Posted by: aauntiem | June 22, 2010

men i love love cheescake

As someone that teaches women’s studies, I have, by proxy and sitcoms, a reputation for man-hating. Feminists, and with it women’s studies professors, are portrayed in popular media as women that love other women and hate men.

But, this reality of a women centered community that devalues the presence of men is not something that comes from my experience. Usually, when I hear people talk about this I get that puzzled shoulder-shaking look and turn around to see if there is someone they are speaking to behind me.

In fact, the WST community I learned in and then taught for always includes men—as students, as gendered bodies, as husbands, fathers, partners, brother, friends.

Right, right, some of you are shaking your heads. You mean “they “ (ie: those scary women) probably like gay men. This, too, is a stereotype that follows WST: that either a man interested or connected to women is gay or looking to score with a classroom full of sexually liberated college chicks.

Again, when this happens I turn around in circles looking for the referential point. Who me?

That is why, when I teach the Introduction to Women’s Studies class we always read Naomi Woolf’s essay Radical Heterosexuality. In that essay she has this section entitled the “Men We Love” where she lists a whole set of reasons why feminists love men. Her essay, a feminist argument that defends heterosexuality and loving men, debunks this man-hating myth.

This weekend I was thinking about that essay when Jay’s fiancée was straight-faced preparing for his dog-daughter’s birthday party, or when after midnight on a Saturday I looked over at Picasso and his brother working on embedding tags into a wedding florist website. I was thinking about that essay when my mother called to tell me our dinner plans had changed because my father couldn’t leave the golf tournament so we would eat at her house. I thought about it when I gave my father his father’s day card, when Picasso didn’t complain on Sunday and just got in the kitchen to make the mess go away and to help me make a mess again, and then again when my chefy- brother handed me the tongs and eyebrows crossed said “make these work before I burn the steaks.”

Masculinity and all its rules are tough. I don’t think most people acknowledge that the men around us operate under some pretty harsh expectations. When I stop to look around at the men in my life, I realize that they are pretty amazing and they often work thanklessly, knee deep in crap, just like their female counterparts.

Men I Love….

(Jay’s Finance prepping for doggy birthday)

1. Do a special dance for cheez-its, make silly faces, and play dress-up.

(Rtini the Brother-in-law, always planning the next best dress-up party)

2. Do a latter-climbing (arms in the air shake it all around) dance for FSU football.

3. Sing along with the girls to the songs on the radio.

4. Store the shrimp in their hats when wade fishing.

(Picasso, after a fishing trip  in P’cola)

5. Lets a certain weenie dog lick his face so long that it induces a gagging sound in his daughter.

6. Believes in magic so much that he has listened to the Harry Potter audiobooks so many times that he could recite, from anywhere in all books, the end of any given line.

(Papi, chefy-bro, and sister with chefy-bros puppies))

7. Surprise their wives by being kitchen-fairies and dish boys.

8. Buy popcorn at the movies.

9. Just laugh when their wives stay up way past their bedtimes (or for days straight) to read books in a series.

10. Always believe that I can be more than I ever imagined

In honor of the Men I Love, I made my dad some cheesecake, my brother some chocolate sauce for that cheesecake, and my Picasso his favorite dessert, homemade whipped cream.

I have included my lightened up version of the Better Homes and Garden’s Original Cheesecake Supreme. I did about half the original in the pictures and half light. But, for Thanksgiving I make the lightened up version and it is awesome (really, I just didn’t have egg substitute and Splenda).

Lightened-Up Betty Crocker Supreme Cheesecake

6 weight watcher points for 8 slices or 4 WW points for 12 slices

1 tsp ground cinnamon (only if you use regular graham crackers)

1 cup(s) SPLENDA (if you use sugar cut the servings to 12 to keep it at 6 pts)

2 Tbsp white all-purpose flour

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 cup(s) fat-free evaporated milk

1/4 cup(s) fat-free egg substitute

1 item(s) egg

1/4 cup(s) walnut halves

16 oz  Free Fat-Free Cream Cheese, softened

8 oz  Reduced Fat Cream Cheese, softened

1/3 cup(s) butter

6 whole reduced-fat cinnamon graham crackers

First set your oven to 375. Then, use a mortar and pestle or a food processor to crumble up your graham cracker and nuts.  Once they are chopped and crumbled up pretty fine, stir together in medium to large bowl the  graham crackers, walnuts, and cinnamon.

Then, go melt your butter.

While you do that I am going to go clean my microwave,. What is that anyway? How long has it been there? Is it the center of the universe?

While it is melting, add 1-2 tbsp of splenda (or sugar).

I am going to stare horrified and transfixed at the sad, sad state of my nail polish. I don’t even have small children to blame. Jay don’t look (she has a thing for nails), I still want to be friends.

Once the butter is all melty, pour the butter into the crumb mixture.

That is the sweet money, right there. I could just eat this part.

Once this is all mixed and buttery, you want to pour the crumbs into a 9 inch springform-pan. Then push the mixture out to cover the bottom of the pan.

Hold on a sec., 1994 just called and they want the grunge look back…

Ok, now, continue pressing the crumb mixture up the sides of the pan, a little less that half way up.

Then, set the crust aside cuse you done and you  just made a graham cracker crust. Viola!

Now,  in another large mixing bowl add your cream cheese. Give those guys a soft whip.

See how it is thick, watch as the cream cheese changes to end up a little soupy like.

Next, add in the splenda (or sugar) flour, and vanilla.

Then, beat (beat-beat it…80s song anyone).

Next, add egg substitute and one egg yolk (is pre-beat these in a little glass bowl and add them in).  Stir in milk.

It should be getting berry soupy by now.

We are almost ready. Next, pour this soup stuff into our crusty-pan.

See how it has some lumps. I had to go back and re beat the bottom of my bowl (sometimes that stand alone mixer is not your friend). You want to de-lump your cream cheese.

Bake in a 375 degree F oven for 35 to 50  for 9-inch pan or until it is set about 2 inches out from rim. It is still a little flappy in the center, This is ok.

Also, take the original recipe’s advice and bake it on a baking sheet. That way your house will not fill with smoke.

Don’t worry, Picasso and I only died but the cheesecake was just fine.

Next, cool this puppy on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Then, knife the edge, cool again for 30 minutes. Next, remove the sides and cool until it is completely cool  (go take a nap.)

Then, chill in your refrigerator for at least four hours. I only cooled for two and it is a little wobbly.

I heart crust.

and men.

and cheesecake.




  1. The men you love are amazing!!!
    The cheesecake looks perfect. The recipe looks super easy.
    The picture are so yummy. I can’t wait to try this!

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