My sister and I watched every single episode of the 80's & 90's television show Full House.
I idolized D.J. She was the older sister, and I was too, so I felt like she and I had a lot in common. We were kind of like soul sisters, really.
I tolerated Stephanie. She was the middle child, a little too whiny for my liking, but she was the same age as I was, and I thought that was pretty cool. When I was about 10 years old, I met the actress who played her at a convention in Denver and I had the opportunity to ask her a question. I asked, "Do you ever get nervous while taping?" Her answer was, "No." Awesome. That's probably how I came to loathe the simple "yes" or "no" question.
I adored Michelle. She was too cute, with her, "You got it, dude!"s and her mischievous little ways. I was also a bit jealous of her - jealous of all darling little sisters, really. They had it so much easier than us awkward older sisters.
I loved them all: Uncle Jesse with his hairspray, Danny with his cleaning products, Joey with his cartoon voices...
I loved how every episode of Full House had a lesson. I'd feel so conflicted for much of the episode - Stephanie would have crashed the car into the back of the house, or D.J. would have passed out on the treadmill, and I'd be on pins and needles - scared of the punishment sure to come down the line. But, at the end of every episode, that sappy music would start to play and the lesson would be revealed. The lesson was always so fitting: that nothing could change the love Danny had for his daughters, or that sisters are there for each other through good times and bad, or that it's okay to love yourself and your body for who you are.
Ah, such a breath of fresh air.
Sure, Full House was cheesy.
Full House was sweet.
And the show always had a weighty lesson at the end of it.
Kind of like cheesecake: sweet, cheesy, and with a nice density. Easy to love, but not something you'd want to have too much of at one time.
If Full House were a food, it would be definitely be cheesecake.
Chocolate Almond Cheesecake.
½ teaspoon almond extract
1 ½ cups chocolate graham crackers, finely ground
1 cup roasted almonds
2 tbs. granulated sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
⅓ cup melted butter
16 oz. softened cream cheese
1 can sweetened condensed milk
¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 cup sour cream
3 tbs. sugar
1 teaspoon almond extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine all crust ingredients in a food processor. Process until well-mixed, then scoop out and press onto the base and sides of a spring form pan. (If you don't have a spring form pan, you can just line the bottom of any pan with parchment paper and spray it with nonstick spray, as I just learned from Heather's post earlier this week!)
Beat together all filling ingredients and pour over the crust.
Bake on middle rack in oven for around 50 minutes, until the filling is set. You can insert a toothpick into the center; once it comes out mostly clean it is ready.
While cheesecake bakes, mix together topping ingredients, then spread over the cake once it comes out of the oven. Bake another 10 minutes.
Let cake cool completely, then refrigerate several hours, or until cold.
As Uncle Jesse would say, "Have mercy."