Four years ago I shared my first recipe here on Kitchen Concoctions.
Four years ago I began to dabble in food photography (boy am I happy to say that has improved!) and figure out things like social media.
Four years ago I began to share my family memories, personal stories, crazy ramblings, and finally had a place where I could just be me.
Four years ago you all came and you listened. You began to follow and comment and like and share things that I said; recipes I created.
Over the past four years we have laughed and cried. We have tasted and eaten hundreds of recipes.
And we have grown in more ways than one.
So today I say thank you.
Thank you for being there from the beginning.
Thank you for listing to me, for so kindly helping me ‘proof-read,’ and for leaving kind comments.
Thank you for becoming real life friends that I can count on, whether miles away or right around the corner.
I am truly so happy that I get to spend my days doing what I love cooking and writing and taking pictures, but most of all, I get to spend my days with you!
So my dear friends, I hope you’ll have yourself slice of cake and stick around as I continue to share my love of food for the next four (forty?) years!
To celebrate four years of blogging (and three special birthdays we had in our family last week) I made cheesecake.
This is a rich, powerful cheesecake that is the perfect way to celebrate any of life’s memorable milestones!
¼ cup butter, melted
25 chocolate sandwich cookies (Oreos), finely crushed
5 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
¾ cup granulated sugar
¼ cup flour
2 egg yolks
¼ cup whip cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
¾ cup milk chocolate chips
¾ cup caramel bits
1/3 cup whip cream
½ cup pecans, chopped
Preheat oven to 500 degrees.
Spray the sides and bottom of a 9-inch spring form pan with non-stick spray.
Mix cookie crumbs and melted butter in a small bowl. Press crumb mixture into the bottom and up the sides of prepared pan. Bake crust in preheated oven for 5 minutes.
In a large bowl on medium-high speed, beat together sugar and cream cheese until fluffy. Mix in flour. Add in eggs and egg yolks, one at a time, mixing well after each egg is added. Mix in cream and extracts; continue to mix until thoroughly combined. Pour cheesecake mixture over prepared cookie crust. Bake in preheated 500 degree oven for 10 minutes. Lower heat to 200 degrees and bake for an additional 60 minutes, or until top is lightly brown and cheesecake is set. Remove from oven and cool on wire rack for 2 hours. Cover cooled cheesecake with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.
In a small sauce pan over low heat, combine 2-3 tablespoons cream with chocolate chips. Constantly stir chocolate mixture until melted and smooth. Set aside. In a separate small sauce pan over low heat, combine 2-3 tablespoons cream and caramel bits. Constantly stir caramel mixture until melted and smooth. Before refrigerating cheesecake or right before serving, drizzle cheesecake with chocolate and caramel sauces and top with pecans.