Blue Ribbon Cheesecake

After weeks of prep, Thanksgiving was over in a flash! I have to say that all the food turned out perfectly and we all had a great time! I kept my menu just about the same as last year, with one change. I made a different cheesecake and it turned out awesome! It’s my new favorite cheesecake for sure!

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Blue Ribbon Cheesecake (Serves 10 to 12)

Recipe from The Cheesecake Bible Cookbook



1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs

1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted


4 packages (8 oz. each) cream cheese, softened

1 1/4 cups granulated sugar

4 eggs

3 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 tsp. vanilla extract


1/2 cup sour cream

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice

1/2 tsp. vanilla extract


2 cups fresh strawberries, sliced (optional)


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Crust: In a bowl, combine graham crackers crumbs and butter. Press into bottom of 9-inch cheesecake pan, ungreased, and freeze.

3. Filling: In a mixer bowl fitted with paddle attachment, beat cream cheese and sugar on medium-high speed until very smooth, for 3 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition. Mix in lemon juice and vanilla. 

4. Pour over frozen crust, smoothing out to sides of pan. Bake in preheated oven until top is light brown and center has a slight jiggle to it, 45 to 55 minutes. Let cool on the counter for 10 minutes (do not turn the oven off). The cake will sink slightly.

5. Topping: In a small bowl, combine sour cream, sugar, lemon juice and vanilla. Pour into center of cooled cake and spread out to edges. Bake for 5 minutes more. Let cool in pan on a wire rack for 2 hours. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 6 hours before decorating or serving.

6. Decoration: Top with sliced strawberries when completely chilled, if desired. 

Printable Recipe 

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Tuesday’s breakfast:

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I went on a run outside and came home to do more Thanksgiving prep. Lunch was a tuna salad, crackers and pickles;

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I was hungry later so I had a That’s It bar. I really like these. 

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My son went to a friend’s house and my daughter had a friend over so I took them to CPK for dinner.  I ordered the Cedar Plank Salmon (North Atlantic Salmon roasted on a cedar plank with smoked paprika and lime. Served with white corn and spinach succotash, topped with feta.):

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The corn was good but the salmon was dry. :(

Wednesday’s breakfast:

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I went to Orange Theory to get in one last workout before all the food madness began. 

I cooked and prepped all day. Lunch was a turkey sandwich and a salad:

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Finally all the prep work was done and all four tables were set and ready to go!

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For dinner we went to Pizza Rev. It was fabulous. 

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I fell into bed exhausted that night. 

For breakfast on Thursday, I scrambled some eggs with onions and cheddar cheese and lots of hot sauce.

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I got all the appetizers ready and everyone arrived. I put out cheese, crackers, onion dip, chips, Slow Cooker Taco Dip, and Hebrew National Franks in a Blanket. 

Eventually, it was time for the main event! 

Good Eats Roast Turkey:

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Creamy Macaroni and Cheese:

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Make-Ahead Mashed Potatoes:

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Gulliver’s Creamed Corn:

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Green Bean Casserole that my brother in law brought:

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Homemade Gravy:

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A bit of everything! 

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Besides the cheesecake, we had some other great desserts.

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Grandma Ople’s Apple Pie:

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The Best Pumpkin Pie Ever:

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Homemade Whipped Cream and Vanilla Ice Cream:

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That’s a Thanksgiving wrap!!

Friday’s breakfast was scrambled eggs again.

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We packed up and hit the road for Los Angeles. Along the way, we stopped at Taco Bell for lunch. 

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Taco Salad. It’s really good when you put like 20 packets of hot sauce on it.

We got the JW Marriott hotel at LA Live, checked in and went to the USC basketball game. Beforehand, we met some friends at a dinner at the Galen Center beforehand. I wasn’t super hungry so I just had a salad. 

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We had a great time at the basketball game and left with a USC win over SMU. 

As if that wasn’t enough basketball, we went with my brother to the Lakers vs. Warriors game!

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My son didn’t want to participate in my selfie, so he hid under my scarf. Lol.

After the game, we stopped at Smashburger for a late night dinner. I had a cheeseburger and sweet potato fries. 

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I have to say I enjoyed it greatly. I haven’t had a real burger with a bun in a long time! :)

Breakfast Saturday morning was a Kind Bar before heading over to USC for the USC vs. Notre Dame football game.  

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We went to a tailgate beforehand. I had a slider and some cheese and salami.

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We met the rest of our group at the Audi Suites. 

My sister in law Stephanie and I:

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We were fortunate enough to get to hang out on the field before the game. 

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I was also able to run out on the field right after the players right before the game began. It was an experience I’ll never forget. 

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Lynn Swann, Director of Athletics

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I had a fabulous time with friends and family and we topped it off with a USC win!

We went back to my brother’s house after the game. For dinner we had Sugarfish takeout. 

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It was probably the best takeout I’ve ever had. 

This morning we met my brother in law at Coral Tree Cafe for breakfast. 

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I had an egg white omelet with spinach, onions, cheddar cheese and sliced tomatoes. We hit the road for home after breakfast. I spent the rest of the day catching up around the house and cleaning up after the Thanksgiving tornado. 

Tomorrow regular life resumes!

How was your Thanksgiving? Where did you go? Make any new recipes?

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