In AIN’T MISBEHAVING Marla Jean Bandy has to move back into her parents house after her divorce, and the longer she’s there the more she finds herself falling back into old childhood patterns. Her mother Bitsy shows her love by fixing all of Marla Jean’s favorite home cooked meals. The ones she loved growing up. Her mother even trims the crust off her tuna fish sandwiches before cutting them into cute little triangles. It’s awfully sweet, but Marla Jean doesn’t need to be coddled. She needs to get a place of her own if her life is ever going to start moving forward again.
In the 1970’s Family Circle Magazine published a series of recipes billed as The Best of the Best. I imagine these were the kind of recipes Bitsy relied on when feeding her family. I tried the recipes in that series, and this one became a family favorite. Enjoy!
The Best of the Best Cheesecake
1-1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
3 Tbsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
3 8-oz. pkgs. cream cheese, room temperature
1-1/4 cups sugar
6 eggs, separated, room temperature
1 pint dairy sour cream
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
Grated rind of 1 lemon (about 1 Tbsp.)
Juice of 1/2 lemon (about 1 Tbsp.)
1/4 tsp. salt
DIRECTIONS: To make crust: Spray a 10-inch spring form pan (or a 9" and an 8") with non-stick cooking spray. Place pan in center of a 12-inch square of aluminum foil and press foil up around side of pan. Combine cracker crumbs, sugar, cinnamon and melted butter in small bowl until well blended or put everything in the food processor and pulse. Press 3/4 cup of crumb mixture onto bottom and side of pan. Chill prepared pan while making filling. (Reserve remaining crumb mixture for top, if desired.)
To make filling: With electric mixer on low speed or with a wooden spoon, beat cream cheese in a large bowl until soft. Gradually beat in sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg yolks, one at a time, until well blended. Stir in sour cream, flour, vanilla, lemon rind and juice until smooth. In a separate medium sized bowl, beat egg whites until they hold stiff peaks. Fold whites into the cheese mixture, soufflé fashion, until well blended.
Sometimes even good girls need to be a little bad... Marla Jean Bandy might be down, but she's not out. Even though her no-good ex-husband left her for another woman - a Bookmobile-driving librarian twenty years her senior - Marla Jean won't settle for another lonely night. She's not ready for Mr. Right, but why not have a little fun with Mr. Right Now? The only wrench in her plan is her childhood crush. Jake- and the memory of the one toe-curling kiss they shared on a hot summer night years ago.
About Molly: Molly lives a charmed life in Texas with her husband, Mr. Wonderful and her extremely large cat Nelson. When she's not writing, she spends her days reading, taking dance classes with MW, and watching every kind of sporting event imaginable. Molly has three grown children, all married to terrific people and two wonderful grandchildren. Life is good! AIN’T MISBEHAVING a contemporary romance from Grand Central Publishing was released June 2012.