Dinner For 20 At My House (& Recipe For Disaster? No Cheesecake!)

Rosh Hashanah dinner at my house & Grandma Molly's cheesecake recipe.

Rosh Hashanah starts Sunday night. I'll be at my sister in law's, but Monday night is mine. Dinner for 20. The inlaws, the outlaws, cousins, siblings ... planning out the menu in my head right now. I pretty much make everything, including all the desserts. Overwhelming? Sometimes! But I have learned (sort of) to try and keep it together.

Of course, the food has to taste amazing, but I realize so much of it is in the presentation — ANYTHING looks better on a cake plate!!! (Except soup. Or brisket, probably) Okay, ANY DESSERT looks better on a cake plate.

A few years ago, after a holiday meal, I remember being in the kitchen with my housekeeper and BFF Suzette. We were putting everything away, and at that moment, unusually, nobody of the 20 people at my house were helping. Everyone was exhausted after the huge amount of food consumed. I looked in the family room, people sprawled everywhere, scalamandre pillows on the floor (gasp!). I got cranky. Very, very cranky. I went back into the kitchen and made myself a cocktail. Or 2. And came to the conclusion — everybody was just happy to be there. They could not care less that I had made every dessert from scratch. They would have been happy with store bought, bakery, whatever!

Like I said, it's all the presentation.  I once unknowingly sold an Entenmanns apple pie for $10 at a school bake sale because it was out of the box and I told the very nice father that bought it that it was homemade! Oops.

So do I still make all the dessert myself? Of course I do!!! Are you kidding?  

But just saying, you don't have to!

Here's one of my favorite's:

Grandma Molly's Cheesecake

Preheat oven to 350

4 packs cream cheese (room temp), 1c sugar, 6 eggs, 1&1/2 tsp. vanilla, small sour cream

Crust — 1 box graham crackers, crushed or crumbs, 1/4 lb. butter melted, 1/2c sugar

to make crust, mix the graham cracker crumbs with sugar & melted butter. Press into large nonstick springform pan, bottom & 1/2 sides. Refrigerate 1/2 hour.

Filling — beat together (I use stand mixer) cream cheese, sour cream, sugar. Add eggs 1 at a time. Then add vanilla.

Pour mixture into pan, bake 45 minutes, then turn off oven but keep pan in oven for 1/2 hour.

*Note: to avoid cracks, it's best to use a water bath — wrap pan in several layers of tinfoil, then place in larger pan with very shallow water, prepare it before baking.

Anyway, when done with oven, refrigerate overnight or at least 8 hours.

Enjoy! Wishing a Happy, Healthy & Sweet New Year to all!!!

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Emily Simens September 14, 2012 at 01:57 AM
love it xoxoxoxoxooox
kristin pappas September 14, 2012 at 04:34 AM
Stacey: Your little story was delightful; making me smile. Family get togethers are the best! You know when the eatings done, and your family is "sprawled everywhere" that the gathering was a success! Happy Rosh Hashanah to you and your family!!
stacey simens September 14, 2012 at 11:33 AM
Thank you Kristin!!! I'm so happy you enjoyed it! Have a great weekend!
Dana September 18, 2012 at 12:18 AM
Its now apparent that the minority resident issue in North Park must be addressed. politicians can no longer pretend that hords of welfare recipients, drug dealers, section 8 recipients, government subsidized housing, homeless, illegal aliens , and illegal housing are threatening the safety of Long Beach. A plan of action must be formulated to rid the area of the vermin. The existence of social welfare subsidies perpetuates the crime problem on the streets in the area. Most people there will continue to suck off of the government as long as politicians give them free money. We can't have another Far Rockaway situation here. Its not safe and the City knows it. Time to call your politicians before an innocent citizen is killed. Everyone can't walk around thinking its only those people getting hurt. North Park section is dragging down the economy of long Beach and contributes significantly to the declining academic environment of the School District. It defies reason that a section near the waterfront of Long Beach would be a war zone


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