Friends share work and recipes

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Seems like every time I turn around now a friend of mine has a child getting married.

The first thing I tell a friend with a newly engaged child is “Let your friends help you!” Like everything else in life it is more fun when surrounded by your friends, and they really do want to help you with the details.

Friends are the ones that say “What can I do for you?,” and they really mean it. No matter what your answer is, it will get done and you can mark it off your list. They are also the ones who will gather with you to celebrate your child’s wedding, not just send a gift. Having them there means more than you think.

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I’ve told as many of my friends as I can thank you for being at Holly’s wedding. You don’t know what it meant to walk down that aisle and see your smiles, and then to see you celebrate with us at the reception was wonderful.

Last Friday night a group of friends gathered to celebrate another child’s wedding in our circle of friends. We gathered at one couples’ lake house and did what our group does best, we enjoyed each other’s company, made out-of-towners feel welcome and served good food.

We had the main meal catered by a local restaurant but the hostesses made the appetizers and desserts; it’s something our group does really well.

I brought a new recipe that I had only made a few times. It came from a Dallas cookbook given to me last year by Laurie Aldredge, Holly’s new mother-in-law.

She brought it to me as a “happy” when they came last August for the engagement. The cookbook is titled “The Collection, Cures for the Common Cuisine.” It is from the Women’s Auxiliary to the Children’s Medical Center of Dallas.

Fiesta cheesecake

1 1/2 cups finely crushed tortilla chips

1/4 cup butter, melted

2 8-ounce packages cream cheese, softened

2 eggs

8 ounces shredded pepper jack cheese

2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and chopped

1 4-ounce can of diced green chilies, drained

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 cup of sour cream at room temperature

1/2 red bell pepper, seeded and coarsely chopped

1/2 green bell pepper, seeded and coarsely chopped

1 cup chopped green onions

1 large tomato, chopped and drained on a paper towel

Black olives, coarsely chopped

Tortilla chips or Fritos

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine the crushed tortilla chips and butter, mix well. It is important that the chips are crushed finely so they hold together when baked. Press this mixture onto the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan and bake for 15 minutes. In a medium bowl beat together the cream cheese and eggs with an electric mixer until well blended. Add the pepper jack cheese, jalapenos, green chilies and cayenne, mixing well. Pour this over the tortilla crust. Bake for 30 minutes. Set aside to cool. Spread the sour cream over the cooled cheesecake. Loosen the rim by running a knife around the edge and chill until ready to garnish. When ready to serve, remove the sides of the springform pan and place on your serving platter.

Use the bell peppers, green onions, tomato and black olives to make pinwheel design on top of the sour cream.

The recipe calls for serving with tortilla chips but I prefer Fritos.

Christina Hall writes a weekly column for The Democrat. She can be reached at