Book List and Baked Good

Cheesecake Will End War: Erin’s Magnum Opus

Whelp, I guess I can just shut down this blog and never bake again because I achieved my magnum opus this week and I’m never creating anything this good as long as I live. I give you, white chocolate blueberry cheesecake:

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This was in honor of Oscar Night because I wanted to make something shamelessly indulgent and bad for every organ in your body. Just like Hollywood!

White Chocolate Blueberry Cheesecake

Ingredients:

Crust:

3 tablespoons of sugar

7 tablespoons of melted butter

2 cups of crumbled Nilla wafers

Cake:

Three 8-ounce packages of cream cheese

1 cup of pureed blueberries

2 tablespoons of flour

A pinch of salt

1 and 1/4 cups sugar

1 tablespoon of vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon of ginger

1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg

Directions:

1. Melt your butter and set it aside.

2. Use a food processor to blend your Nilla wafers into fine crumbles.

3. Mix the butter, 3 tablespoons of sugar, and the cookie crumbles together. Spread the mixture at the bottom of your 9-inch springform pan.

4. Bake your crust for 9 to 12 minutes at 375 degrees Fahrenheit. The crust should be slightly brown and fragrant when you remove it.

5. Use an electronic mixture to beat together your cream cheese, flour, salt, and pureed blueberries.

6.Beat in the sugar, vanilla, and spices.

7. Beat in the eggs one at a time.

8. Transfer your mixture into the pan.

9. Bake your cheesecake for 55 to 65 minutes. When you’re done, the middle should look like Jell-O and the sides should be raised slightly.

10. Refrigerate the cheesecake for at least 8 hours. When you remove it, perfection!

I melted some blocks of white chocolate over the stove and mixed in frozen blueberries to make the topping. It tasted delicious, although my friend pointed out it looked like another milky white substance I will let your filthy mind identify for yourself…

Verdict: A masterpiece on par with the 1976 film Network (which is even more relevant today than when it was created, and that’s so depressing I was going to cry, but then I remembered my cheesecake and felt happy again.) 

This is, hands down, the greatest thing I have ever done in my life, possibly the greatest thing anyone in the history of mankind has ever done. Like, remember when they invented penicillin and people stopped dying of polio? Better than that. Don’t wanna brag, but… I’m pretty sure if everyone in the world ate this cheesecake, there would be no war.

Four Movies That Were Better than the Book

4. Fried Green Tomatoes, written by Fannie Flag and improved by Kathy Bates 

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The book was incredible. Don’t get me wrong, but the movie had Kathy Bates. She’s the reason the movie was better because she is an absolute goddess in this Bechdel Test smashing masterpiece. The story is about remembering what’s most important in life – friends, best friends – and this is conveyed through two generations of rock solid female friendships. (And, hey! Anything that ends in unexpected cannibalism is fine by me. Suddenly Last Summer, anyone?)  My one maaaajor point of contention with this adaptation is that it played down Ruth and Idgie’s romance. The only hint the two are lovers comes in what was supposed to be a homoerotic food fight scene, but was really more or less just a food fight scene. (Unless you’re, like, aroused by blackberries or something. No judgement!) But, FYI they were lesbians. STOP STRAIGHT-WASHING HOLLYWOOD, GOD DAMN IT!

3. East of Eden, written by John Steinbeck and stripped to the essentials by Paul Osborn 

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Even Steinbeck agrees with me on this one. The book was lovely, but I fully admit it wandered in the dark for about 300 pages before getting to the fucking point. I admire Steinbeck for leaping off the proverbial cliff, trying to write a book that encompassed everything about humanity, but what he produced was a bit of a mess. The film strips it down to the essentials, scraping the philosophical asides and the longwinded family histories that bogged down the novel. Instead, it tells the simple, human story of Cal, played by James Dean, and his deep-seated fear he’s an evil person. I love you, John, but this story only needed maybe four of your original characters. Let’s be grateful screenwriter Paul Osborn could see that!

2. Forrest Gump, written by Who Gives a Shit? and made decent by everyone in the god damn movie 

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Sometimes I stop being a contrarian and enjoy something everyone enjoys. I LOVE Forrest Gump. Some stories are supposed to be a little sentimental and a little cheesy because we can’t all be so cynical all the time. Forrest Gump the novel featured a decidedly darker Forrest, not to mention absurd plot twists (surprise cannibalism not welcome here). The movie is far more human, making Forrest innocent enough to reflect rawly on death in an organic fashion. Death is just a part of life, but we all sure wish it wasn’t. Forrest’s thoughts are simultaneously childish and sophisticated. He reminds us that no matter what we believe – whether we think we all have a destiny or are all just floating around by accident – we are all humbled and perplexed by mortality.

1. The Shining, written by Stephen King, made awesome by Stanley Kubrick 

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Stephen King was not too happy with Stanley Kubrick’s “rendition” of his novel. I put rendition in quotes because Kubrick strayed so far from the source material the novel and movie have little connection beyond the title. James Joyce once wrote, “History is a nightmare from which I’m trying to wake.” Kubrick’s Shining is that nightmare, touching on genocide, oppression, and violence. The final image isn’t supposed to have literal significance. Like dream imagery, it makes sense only symbolically. Jack is a violent, oppressive person. His inexplicable appearance in that final photo signifies forces like him are nothing new. Horror has always been a part of history. The one hope is the Shining. Some people are granted the gift to see and understand the connection between the past and the present, saving themselves and others from repeating past disasters. Something to remember right about now…

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