Are you avoiding something?
And, no. Your [insert husband, wife, words with friends partner, disgruntled cat here] did not ask me to write this post for you…not that I can’t be financially persuaded to do so at some point in the future so stay sharp.
I mean something that you’ve been consciously putting on the mental back burner, but it just refuses to burst into flames and remove itself from your mind as you’d hoped it would.
Not something with small quality of life profits like cleaning out your trunk that is now heavy enough to have added 10 cents a gallon to your gas bill or rolling up your sleeves and slathering on the dish soap to go to battle with the grease-stained pan that’s been glaring at you since last Thursday.
I mean something with big stakes. Something that could cause so much joy in the long run but you just can’t get yourself to do it. Like maybe signing up for that gym you pass by every day on your way home or updating your resume to apply for that job opening that would be perfect for you.
The possibilities on the joy-o-meter would be monumental. I mean even reaching level “glowing like a pregnant woman” (yes, there is such a meter with such a ranking) such that words wouldn’t even be needed to sense your increased happiness if you did the deed and things went well.
I don’t always agree with the saying that someone will make a move when things get bad enough in the situation they’re in. I think sometimes fear makes you go far past the “bad enough” stage.
Fear of failing.
Fear of change.
Fear of achieving exactly what you are asking for- happiness.
Maybe instead of thinking how bad it would feel if it didn’t work out or how much longer I can wade through unhappiness, I’ll just dive in. Head first. Where I land is where I land and if I fall, then….one more lesson learned and a new set of decisions to make. At least I will have conquered this one.
I think I can handle it. And I think you can too. So, let’s do it this week.
And let’s do something not scary at all too. Something that’s blatantly blissful.
Something that can evoke a smile regardless the tasks being kept at bay. And maybe let’s just push that dirty pan off to the side while we do it….hey, we got bigger fish to fry this week.
Off to creamy, swirly chocolate land….
Make red fruit exciting with noise. Resist pouring over ice cream.
Press through small holes to make one ingredient into two.
Allow dark pulp to fold into thick batter.
Gather teams red, white and brown. Drizzle, pour, drizzle.
Attend adult art class. This time you can eat the paint.
Yes. It’s that good.
Black Cherry Swirl Cheesecake Brownies
These beauties are amazing. A perfectly prim and creamy top layer of sweet vanilla cheesecake crowned with a tart, balancing swirl of black cherry. This all rests upon a firm but chewy layer of chocolate brownies that get in on the cherry action with a couple spoonfuls of cherry pulp. Oh what a pair.
- 6 T butter, melted
- 1 C white sugar
- 1 T vanilla
- 2 eggs
- 1 C flour
- 1/3 C cocoa
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp fine sea salt
- 1 8-oz pkg cream cheese
- 1/2 C white sugar
- 1 egg
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 1/2 C sour cream
- 2 tsp fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 tsp fine sea salt
- 1 10-oz pkg frozen pitted, whole black cherries, thawed in fridge overnight
- 2 T white sugar
- 2 tsp cornstarch
- Set oven at 350 degrees and grease a 9×9 square baking pan.
- Cherries: Place cherries and juice from their bag into a food processor and blend for 30 seconds. Press blended cherries through a sieve to separate the pulp and the juice. Reserve pulp for later and put juice in a small saucepan. Stir in cornstarch and sugar and then, while stirring constantly to avoid burning, place juice mixture on medium high heat until it thickens. This takes only a couple of minutes. Pour thickened juice into a bowl to cool.
- Cheesecake: Cream sugar and cream cheese together until thoroughly blended. Add egg, lemon juice and vanilla and blend well. Then add salt and sour cream and mix until all combined. Place the finished cheesecake batter off to the side until the brownies come out of the oven.
- Brownies: Sift flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt together into a bowl. In a separate bowl, mix butter and sugar and blend. Add egg and vanilla and stir until combined. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and stir until everything just comes together. Mix in the reserved cherry pulp and then spread the brownies into the pan. Bake 20 minutes until they puff on top but are not close to being done. Remove from oven.
- Take 1/3 of the cherry juice and drizzle directly on the warm brownies.
- Spoon the entire cheesecake batter on the top of the brownies and then drizzle the remaining juice on top of that.
- Use a butter knife to create swirls in the juice by sticking the tip a half inch into the cheesecake and moving your hand in a circular movement.
- Put pan in oven for 25 minutes or until cheesecake is firm on the edges but when the pan is moved, the center still slightly jiggles.
- Refrigerate 5 hours or overnight. Remove from fridge and allow to sit for 10 minutes before serving.
One additional layer of advice:
- Be sure to grease up high on the pan since you’re going to layer more than you may think.
- The cherry juice gets thicker as it cools so no need to go crazy with the cornstarch.
- These seem to taste better the next day to me. It’s like the brownies have taken on a bit of cheesecake flavor and the cheesecake flavor itself has become even more delightful. But if you can’t wait, dive in!