This is the cheesecake my Mother-in-law is known for. It is simple to make, and I don't worry about it drying out or cracking. It turns out perfectly every time.

Kathy's Cheesecake
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup melted butter

16 oz cream cheese, softened (I generally use 8 oz cream cheese, 8 oz neufchatel)
2 eggs
2/3 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla

1 cup sour cream (I use reduced fat)
2 T sugar
1 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Make crust: combine crumbs, 1/2 cup sugar and butter and press into a pie plate or a spring-form pan (either will work fine, just use what you have).
Make filling: Beat together cream cheese, eggs, 2/3 cup sugar and 1 tsp. vanilla until smooth. Pour into crust and bake for 20 minutes. Let cool to room temperature.
Increase oven heat to 425 degrees. Make topping by blending sour cream, 2 T sugar and remaining 1 tsp vanilla. Carefully spread on top of cooled cheesecake. Bake again for 10 minutes. Let cool to room temperature, then cover (careful not to let wrap touch topping) and refrigerate.
Delicious served with fresh berries, frozen berries, cherry pie filling...

Monkey Bubble Bread

The girls came home from school today to find some of these sticky buns in the oven. As with everything we make here in our nuts.

Monkey Bubble Bread

from Baked Explorations

For the Bubble Bread
1 1/4 cups whole milk
2 teaspoons instant yeast
4 cups all-purpose flour
5 Tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 egg
5 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

For the cinnamon-sugar coating
1 1/4 cups firmly packed dark brown sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled

Make the Monkey Bubble Bread
In a small saucepan, warm your milk to slightly above room temperature, then remove it from the heat, add yeast and whisk to dissolve. (Do not warm it beyond 110 degrees F or you will kill the yeast).

In a bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the flour, sugar and salt until combined.

In a small bowl, beat the egg with a fork and add it to the dry ingredients. Mix on low speed until combined.

Keeping the mixer on low, slowly stream in the milk until combined. Add the melted butter and mix until the dough comes together. Replace the paddle attachment with the dough hook attachment. Continue to mix on medium speed until the dough becomes silky and tacky, but not sticky, 8-10 minutes. The dough should mound together and easily come off the bottom of the mixing bowl. (If the dough is too wet, add some flour. If it is too dry, add a tiny bit of water.)

Spray the bottom and sides of a large bowl with cooking spray. Place the dough in the bowl and roll it around to make sure it is completely covered in oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a dish towel and let it rest in a warm area until the dough has doubled in size, approximately one hour.

Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.

Use your clean hands to push down and deflate the dough. Remove it from the bowl and pat it into a rough circle approximately 8 inches diameter. Use a bench knife or serrated knofe to cut dough into 1- to 1 1/2-inch pieces (about 1/2 ounce each)-alternatively, use your hands to pinch apart the dough. Roll the pieces into balls (they don't have to be perfectly round). Place the balls on the sheet pan (you will get about 60 pieces in all). Cover the balls lightly with plastic wrap.

Make the Cinnamon Sugar Coating
In a small bowl, stir together the sugar and cinnamon. Place the melted butter in a separate bowl.

Assemble the Bread
Generously spray a 10 cup Bundt pan with cooking spray. Remove the plastic wrap from the dough balls and dip one ball in the melted butter. Let the excess butter drip back in to the bowl, roll the ball in the brown sugar mixture and place it in the Bundt pan. Continue this process with each ball, until you have several layers, arranging them as if you are building a brick wall.

Wrap the Bundt pan tightly in plastic wrap. Set it in a warm area of the house for about 1 hour, or until the dough balls have doubled in size and appear puffy.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Remove the plastic and bake the Bundt until the top layer is a deep brown and the caramel coating begins to bubble around the edges, about 30 minutes.

Cool the bread for 5 minutes, then turn it out directly onto a platter and serve warm. Should you have any leftovers (this is rare), simply reheat them in a 300-degree oven until warm to the touch.

These are FANTASTIC. I will never make monkey bread from store bought bread dough or biscuits again.

If you need it spelled out for you, this should explain the lack of recipes/appetite lately.