Sunday, July 1, 2012

Welcome Guest Molly Cannon

Please join me in welcoming Molly Cannon to the Kitchen.  Molly's very first book, AIN'T MISBEHAVING, was released last week ... and let me tell you, she's come out swinging.  I got a sneak peek at the book, and it was unbelievably good.  I've heard her compared to Susan Elizabeth Phillips.  No lie.  So if like smart, sassy, Southern charm and a little romance to boot, do yourself a big ol' favor and (a) make this cheesecake and (b) read AIN'T MISBEHAVING.

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.

Pour into prepared pan. Bake in moderate oven (350 degrees F) 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until top is golden; turn off oven heat and allow cake to cool in oven for 1 hour.  Using a 10-inch pan, you will have to adjust time. If you are unsure about doneness, open oven door, jiggle pan. If it shakes to much in the middle, give it more time. You want the center to be almost set but still a little jiggly when you turn the heat off.) Remove cake from oven and allow to cool on a wire rack at room temperature. If desired, sprinkle remaining crumbs on top. Chill overnight before serving. Yield: 12-16 servings.

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.


  1. Welcome Molly--the book sounds delightful. wouldn't it be perfect to read WITH a piece of cheesecake?

    1. Thank you for the welcome,Lucy! What a good idea. I think cheesecake improves all sorts of activities!

  2. I'll try this cheesecake for sure. I'm half way through Ain't Misbehaving and am loving it! Molly, I've had some laugh out loud moments, and I'm sure there's more to come.

    1. Thanks Jerrie! I'm so happy you're enjoying the book. And you can make this cheesecake your own by adding fruit toppings. But it really is good enough to eat plain.

  3. Welcome, Molly. Wanda sounds like a doll getting ready for a totally new adventure going home. Uh-oh. And the cheesecake...well, this is almost identical to my family recipe, so I KNOW it's good. Sometimes, after the cake has cooled, I spread an extra layer of sour scream on the top and add chocolate chips for adornment. I'm look forward to reading Ain't Misbehaving. It sounds like a fun summer read!

    Best of luck

    Avery aka Daryl

    1. Yum, Avery! I'm going to try the sour cream and chocolate chips next time I make it! Thanks for the suggestion.

  4. So lovely to have you here. I love those old tried and true recipes. Sounds like a fun book

    1. Thank you, Krista! When I got married I relied on the Joy of Cooking and magazines I picked up at the grocery store. That's why I love this site. Shared recipes are the best.

  5. Your cheesecake recipe sounds wonderful! Im putting your book on my to be read list! =)

    1. Thank you, Melissa. My husband usually makes it these days so it tastes even better!