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Niki’s Italian Cheesecake Recipe

Niki’s Italian Cheesecake Recipe

Every time the weather begins to cool the slightest bit, I find that perfect reason to make my family famous Italian cheesecake. This cake is fluffy yet creamy, light yet rich, and so delicious! There is definitely a secret to this recipe… and I’m about to tell you!

Cheesecake filling:

  • 2 lbs ricotta cheese ( room temperature)
  • 2 packages cream cheese (8 oz. each at room temperature)
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 1/2 tsp. lemon juice and a couple shreds of lemon zest
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 3 tbsp. cornstarch
  • 3 tbsp. flour
  • 1 pt. sour cream

Graham Cracker Crust:

  • 2 packages graham crackers — flavored or plain (the cinnamon sugar are good for this recipe)
  • 1 stick butter (room temperature)

Steps:

First, start with the crust. Completely crush the graham crackers in a bag or in a food processor. Transfer into a bowl and add the stick of butter, blending completely with a rubber spatula or your hands, then pour and press the mixture into two 10-inch buttered springform pans. You can press the crust either just on the bottom for a thicker crust or spread up the sides (whatever suits your tastes!). Set this aside while you make the filling.

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For the filling, blend the ricotta and cream cheese well and then blend in the sugar. Beat in eggs one at a time. Add vanilla, lemon juice, cornstarch, flour, and butter. Fold in the sour cream and blend until completely smooth with no lumps or chunks of any kind.

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Pour the cheesecake filling evenly into the cake pans. Alternatively, you can also use the pre-made graham cracker crusts from the grocery store.

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Pre-heat your oven to 325 degrees. Bake for 1 hour. Do not open oven door. I repeat: Do not open the over door. You’re just gonna have to peek through the glass. Turn off the oven and leave the cheesecake for another 2 hours without opening the oven (no peeking!). Take it out and let it cool in the refrigerator. You can leave it plain or add your favorite cheesecake toppings — blueberry and cherry are good options!

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Last Updated on March 24, 2021

8 Smart Home Gadgets You Need in Your House

8 Smart Home Gadgets You Need in Your House

We’ve all done it. We’ve gone out and bought useless gadgets that we don’t really need, just because they seemed really cool at the time. Then, we are stuck with a bunch of junk, and end up tossing it or trying to sell it on Ebay.

On the other hand, there are some pretty awesome tech inventions that are actually useful. For instance, many of the latest home gadgets do some of your work for you, from adjusting the home thermostat to locking your front door. And, if used as designed, these tools should really help to make your life a lot easier—and that’s not just a claim from some infomercial trying to sell you yet another useless gadget.

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Take a look at some of the most popular “smart gadgets” on the market:

1. Smart Door Locks

A smart lock lets you lock and unlock your doors by using your smartphone, a special key fob, or biometrics. These locks are keyless, and much more difficult for intruders to break into, making your home a lot safer. You can even use a special app to let people into your home if you are not there to greet them.

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2. Smart Kitchen Tools

Wouldn’t you just love to have a pot of coffee waiting for you when you get home from work? What about a “smart pan” that tells you exactly when you need to flip that omelet? From meat thermometers to kitchen scales, you’ll find a variety of “smart” gadgets designed to make culinary geeks salivate.

3. Mini Home Speaker Play:1

If you love big sound, but hate how much space big speakers take up, and if you want a stereo system that is no bigger than your fist, check out the Play:1 mini speaker. All you have to do is plug it in, connect, and then you can stream without worrying about any interruptions or interface. You can even add onto it, and have different music playing in different rooms.

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4. Wi-Fi Security Cameras

These are the latest in home security, and they connect to the Wi-Fi in your home. You can use your mobile devices to monitor what is going on in your home at all times, no matter where you are. Options include motion sensors, two-way audio, and different recording options.

5. Nest Thermostat

This is a thermostat that lives with you. It can sense seasonal changes, temperature changes, etc., and it will adjust itself automatically. You will never have to fiddle with a thermostat dial or keypad again, because this one basically does all of the work for you. It can also help you to save as much as 12% on heating bills, and 15% on cooling bills.

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6. Smart Lighting

Control your home lighting from your remote device. This is great if you are out and want to make sure that there are some lights on. It is designed to be energy efficient, so it will pay for itself over time because you won’t have to spend so much on your monthly energy bills.

7. Google Chromecast Ultra

Whether you love movies, television shows, music, etc., you can stream it all using Google Chromecast Ultra. Stream all of the entertainment you love in up to 4K UHD and HDR, for just $69 monthly.

8. Canary

This home security system will automatically contact emergency services when they are needed. This system offers both video and audio surveillance, so there will be evidence if there are any break-ins on your property. You can also use it to check up on what’s happening at home when you are not there, including to make sure the kids are doing their homework.

Featured photo credit: Karolina via kaboompics.com

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