It takes a special pair of people to withstand the roller coaster life of a marriage, family and a military career.
One half active duty service member, the other half spouse.
Today is Military Spouse Appreciation Day.
Appreciate doesn’t even come close.
Some people might look from the outside and determine that the biggest advantage of our gypsy life is the world travel. As an insider, I assure you that my life has been improved, not by standing atop the Eiffel Tower or putting my toes in the Mediterranean Sea, but by the strong, talented, funny, loving women that are my compatriots.
These women act as friend, confidant, and emergency contact. In a matter of weeks they take on family status as they are the ones that share your Thanksgiving table, cheer from the sidelines of soccer games, hunt for Easter Eggs, and celebrate birthdays with as much love as an aunt or sister.
This week I threw a small lunch to honor the ladies who stand by my side in our current adventure.
My little party took on a Pear theme, with a play on words as to the importance of the pair in the success of a military life.
I created a keepsake photograph for each guest:
We had a simple meal – A big salad bar with greens, cheeses, nuts, roasted chicken, vegetables, fruit, seeds and croutons. It was a “make your own” to meet the needs of a variety of tastes and diets. I did some mini-quiches too, they were appreciated at lunch and again by my kids for an afterschool snack.
Then we shared some decadent desserts.
Chocolate Tiramisu Trifle
Pina Colada Cupcakes
But most popular were individual Pear, Carmel Cheesecakes.
I came across the recipe here:
I followed the recipe exactly, except that my oven required longer cooking times. The process was lengthy, but not difficult. The end result was a really creamy cheese cake and wonderfully GLUTEN FREE!
- 1/2 pound cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 3 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 6 tablespoons light corn syrup
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- Fleur de sel
- Pre-heat the oven to 325°. In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and sugar at medium speed until smooth. Beat in the eggs, 1 at a time, then beat in the sour cream. Pour the batter into six 5-ounce ramekins or custard cups.
- Set the ramekins in a small pan and set the pan in the center of the oven. Add enough hot water to the pan to reach halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Bake the cheesecakes for 10 minutes, until set at the edges but still quite jiggly in the center. Turn off the oven and leave the cheesecakes in for 1 hour. Transfer the ramekins to a rack and let cool completely.
- In a heavy medium saucepan, heat the corn syrup. Stir in the sugar and cook over moderately high heat, undisturbed, until a deep amber caramel forms, about 9 minutes. Off the heat, carefully stir in the butter with a long-handled wooden spoon. Stir in the cream in a thin stream. Transfer the caramel to a heat proof pitcher and let cool. Stir in 3/4 teaspoon of fleur de sel.
- Pour 1 1/2 tablespoons of the caramel over each cheesecake and swirl to coat the tops. If the caramel is too thick, warm it in a microwave oven at 10-second intervals. Refrigerate the cheesecakes until chilled, at least 3 hours. Sprinkle with fleur de sel just before serving.