This recipe is somewhat symbolic of my life right now. Let's just say that it is BANANAS!! Yes, and not in a good way. This week marks the end of my marriage of 10 years (relationship of 14 years.) It has been a horrible past 3 years and it is coming to an end. I have so many mixed emotions right now and unfortunately everyone else has an idea of how I should feel or act. Some have even suggested that I have a party. Obviously, they have not gone through this process. I am a person who does not give up and the downward spiral of the past few years has made me feel very let down in myself and all things that I believed were good and trustworthy. In my heart, I know that I have tried all that I could possibly have, I loved, I listened, I cared, and I tried so hard, even at times I knew I could never break through. So many of my friends and family have watched my struggle; that is the best word for it, a struggle. I kept hoping and trying that everything could be worked out and it couldn't. I never considered divorce to be a choice for my life, but as I have learned all of what I did was not enough to overcome life's obstacles or how people change over the years. Through all the trying and pain, not only have I lost someone that was the most important person in my life at one time; I have lost myself. And that is a sad place to be. I gave and gave and gave and I lost myself.
This week I have allowed myself to finally mourn this process and yes there have been tears. In so many ways, this is a death of a huge part of my life. Now I have to move on and find out who the new Rebecca is and unfortunately that will be very difficult. I have so many choices to make right now; personally, professionally and all of them can affect me for years to come. I am moving forward slowly, cautiously and most importantly making every decision for me, something I need to learn how to do again. Please keep me in your prayer and send love in my direction.
Banana Pudding CheesecakeThis recipe has been one of those that has been stored away for just the perfect time. Well, this past weekend was that time. My parents came down to South Carolina for their yearly pilgrimage and so I decided to make them my guinea pigs. They loved it!
1 1/2 cups of finely crushed vanilla wafers
1/2 cup of chopped pecans1/4 cup of butter, melted
18 of vanilla wafers
3 large ripe bananas, mashed1 Tbsp. lemon juice
2 Tbsp. light brown sugar
3 (8 oz) packages of cream cheese, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract
Garnishes: sweetened whipped cream, vanilla wafers, sliced bananas tossed in lemon juice
1. Preheat oven to 350°. Stir together first 3 ingredients in a small bowl until well blended. Press mixture onto bottom of a greased and floured 9-inch springform pan. Stand 18 vanilla wafers around edge of pan (rounded sides against pan), pressing gently into crust to secure. Bake 10 minutes. Cool completely on a wire rack (about 30 minutes).
2. Combine bananas and lemon juice in a small saucepan. Stir in brown sugar. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, 1 minute or just until sugar has dissolved.
3. Beat cream cheese at medium speed with an electric mixer 3 minutes or until smooth. Gradually add granulated sugar, beating until blended. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until yellow disappears after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Gently stir banana mixture into cream cheese mixture. Pour batter into prepared crust.
4. Bake at 350° for 45 to 55 minutes or until center is almost set. Remove cheesecake from oven; gently run a knife around edge of cheesecake to loosen. Sprinkle top of cheesecake with coarsely crushed wafers. Cool completely on a wire rack (about 1 hour). Decorate as desired. Cover and chill 8 hours.