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Thursday, February 2, 2012

January 31. 2011: Writers are Biters--into Pizza, Salad and Cheesecake

And into Rusty Webb's extremely entertaining LATEST science fiction short story.

I am so lucky to belong to a writing group that is the leftovers of a writing class at the University of Tennessee Community Outreach. We are met while learning more about writing short fiction from award winning writer, Julia Watts. When class ended, we didn't. I like to call our group Writers Without Class, but somehow, they all seem to prefer StoryLoft Writers...maybe not everyone..but most! I can see why though, because there are some pretty classy writers in the group. More or less monthly, we have been meeting for several years. We have an anthology, should anyone wish to check it out, called JACKSON AND CENTRAL.

It is always a pleasure to sit around and kibbutz our literary babies and I very much enjoy cooking for these writers..although they probably feel like guinea pigs. Luckily, I was able to get the cheesecake done the night before, but did not get home from work in time to do an entree. SOLUTION: Hard Knox Pizza:

You cannot really go wrong with this company and their wood fired thin crust pizza.

They have numerous red and white pizzas, but to me, there is only one kind: totally scrumptious.

I served this with a kitchen sink salad du jour (lettuce + whatever is fresh in the fridge), and a tiramisu cheesecake.
Now I have to admit, that cheesecake did NOT taste like tiramisu, but it DID taste wonderful. I would rename it chocolate chip mocha myself.

The writer's opinions:

HARD KNOX PIZZA: Really good.

Here is the recipe for the cheesecake:

I took some soft chocolate chip cookies by Keebler, crumbled them up and added 3 tsp of instant dark roast coffee and 1/2 stick of softened butter. I baked it at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.

1.2 c chocolate chips
1 1/2 pounds cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 cup marscapone cheese, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1/4 c marsala wine

beat the cream cheese on high speed until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Gradually beat in the sugar at high speed until smooth. Beat in the mascarpone, vanilla and salt. Add the eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in 1/2 cup chocolate chips and the marsala.
Wrap your pan in tin foil, because it is going in a water bath. Set the springform pan in a roasting pan. Pour the mascarpone-chocolate chip mixture into the baked crust, then place the roasting pan in the oven. Pour enough boiling water into the roasting pan to reach halfway up the sides of the springform pan. Bake until the top is golden and the center is set but still jiggly, about 1.5 hour. Let cool in the water bath for 15 minutes, then transfer to a rack to cool completely. Refrigerate for 6 hours or up to 2 days. Remove the cheesecake from the springform pan and serve.

OPTIONAL: YOu can melt 1/2 c of chocolate chips in 2 Tbsp of cream in your microwave--Nuke for 30 seconds and stir. Repeat until it is a liquid. Then transfer to one of those old squeeze ketchup/mustard bottles (easiest) or a baggie with a snip out of the corner and decorate the cake.


  1. And it was certainly yummy. Thanks a ton.

  2. sigh, sounds wonderful, anything with the word mocha in it gets my attention. Missed you guys.