Sometimes things happen that make you play with food in a way that you wouldn’t otherwise. I recently became a board member at one of the city’s dog parks. This is something new to me – dog parks. I had a Cocker Spaniel for 14 years, he was a rescue and had spent his first year pretty much alone so he was very needy and barely left my side. Though he was super sweet and somewhat energetic, taking him for a run was plenty sufficient for him. In the last few years he was actually just happy to be near us and in the last year when we moved outside the city he ran back and forth around our property chasing the scent of all the various critters that crossed our two acres. His sense of smell was pretty incredible always but I’m guessing even more refined as he went deaf.
We weren’t going to get another dog but alas it seemed such a waste to have so much yard and no four legged to enjoy it with us. I cruised the shelter websites and when I saw Mojo, now Brax, I just couldn’t resist those oversized Shepherd ears and that black stoic face. The kids had moved out and I missed rushing home to a wagging tail, walking with a buddy, curling up with a fur ball, and just having a dog around.
Brax was about 5 months old and he quickly grew into those ears though they still sit like satellite dishes, moving independently, catching all the noise around him. He forces me to walk, which is a good thing, but as much as I try, he isn’t keen on being a lapdog, no matter how much I try to convince him otherwise. He’s far more social than Jesse ever was and thrives on being with other dogs, playing in the dog park and I get my steps in, it’s a win win.
He’s also opened up a whole new world of cooking for me. Not only did I start making his food, making sure he was getting a more holistic diet than the dried kibble but since becoming a board member for the KPDC dog park I’ve been playing with dog themed people food for our upcoming Dog Fest.
This is just one of the recipes that I’ve tailored to fit that theme — BRIEchon cherry cheesecakes. It’s an adaptation of the cheesecakes my mother used to make and they turned out to be pretty delicious.
BRIEchon Cherry Cheesecake
- 2 eggs
- ½ C sugar
- ¼ lb butter (preferably unsalted)
- 1 ¼ teaspoons baking powder
- 1 ¼ C flour
- Splash of vanilla
Mix all ingredients into a dough. Use about a tablespoon of dough, roll into a ball then flatten it and drop into each muffin cup.
- 500 grams (I package ricotta) OR dry curd cottage cheese
- 2/3 Cup Sugar
- 3 egg yolks
- 1 package of vanilla pudding (UNSWEETENED) I use Dr. Oetker’s, the kind that you cook.
- 300 grams of softened Brie cheese
- Zest of one lemon
Mix all ingredients in a mixer until smooth and then fill the muffin cups about 1/2 to 3/4 full. The crust and the filling puff up quite a bit and so make sure you leave some room for them to expand. The first time I made these I filled them too much and they overflowed… not pretty! I could have filled these a little more but they were still very good.
Bake the cheesecakes at 350 for about 15 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean and allow to cool. Top with your favourite topping. This time I used canned cherry cranberry pie filling and drizzled with melted chocolate.
Before topping, the cheesecakes can be frozen until you’re ready to use them then just allow to come to room temperature, top and serve.