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Mothers Deserve . . . Cheesecake!


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If Mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy! Well that’s the way it should be, at least on Mother’s Day. Twenty-four hours, or 1,440 minutes. That’s not too much to ask from a family, is it? For all that mothers do?

If you’re reading this magazine, chances are you have young ones in your life in one way or another. And if you’re a mom, you might be that sandwich generation. Not that you need to make sandwiches—which I’m sure you are making plenty!

The sandwich generation is sandwiched between their children and their parents. Perhaps you’re the daughter taking care of your kids, and you may have parents or other older relatives who need you, too. (If you don’t yet, trust me, you’re just a few years from it. And when it happens, it comes fast and furious, just like in the movies.)

So on Mother’s Day for 86,400 seconds, let’s celebrate “us” while we celebrate our moms, too. What about a multigenerational brunch with all the moms in your life coming together?

I’m not alone in thinking mothers need to be honored with a special day. Mother’s Day is celebrated in 46 countries around the world. Most folks give their moms a card and some flowers.

My favorite gift from my son was when he was little and made cards in elementary school. Those small presents from the heart are still the most charming gifts we can ever receive. Even though he’s now 29, I just peeked back at my eldest son’s early work. My mother just moved; as we were about to leave her home of 14 years, someone asked if anyone knew what was in a cabinet 12 feet up in the air with no knob or handle. When we pried it open, there was a shoebox, filled with my son’s early artwork. I was charmed. His cursive signature was so carefully penciled in on the dotted-line paper. (As an adult, his signature is a scribble.)

This year for Mother’s Day, I want to set the table with all the kids’ artwork. Forget the fancy table settings. No centerpieces for us. Those handprints, drawings, ceramics and painted pieces are their love notes to us. This Mother’s Day I want to be reminded that perfection doesn’t mean the table is perfectly set, with the napkins properly placed and silverware polished to a shine. It means little hands helped make the meal—and perhaps big ones, too. It means a family or friends came together to celebrate.

As a mother many times over—biological, stepmother, grandmother and surrogate—I realize what I really want for Mother’s Day doesn’t come wrapped in a bow. It doesn’t grow in the ground or get delivered by a florist. What I want for Mother’s Day is really so simple: It’s to be loved. To be recognized for not being a friend when I need to be a parent; for cleaning up messes when a child (no matter what age) was sick. I want them to know that even though they’re growing, they will always get “advice” (it comes with the job title) because they will always be our kids. And no matter what, we will always love them, to the moon and back!

From one mother to another: Happy Mother’s Day, Ladies! You deserve to be revered for at least 24 hours!


Chris Xaver, Ph.D., is a local TV and radio personality with a blended family consisting of five children ranging in age from teens to adults.



Creamy to the Moon Cheesecake


1 cup chopped almonds or pecans (or a mix of the two—
I pulse in food processor)

2 tablespoons butter, melted


4 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese

1/2 cup sugar

1 cup stevia

¾ cup heavy whipping cream (or evaporated milk)

4 eggs (room temperature)

1 cup sour cream (full fat)

1 tablespoon vanilla

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice

Zest from 1 orange

¼ cup flour (I use gluten-free)


½ cup sour cream

2 tablespoons stevia

1 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9-inch springform pan. In a medium bowl, mix nuts with melted butter. Press onto bottom of springform pan.

In a large bowl, mix cream cheese with sugar and stevia until just smooth. Stir in cream, and mix in the eggs, one at a time, just enough to incorporate. Next add sour cream, vanilla, orange juice and flour, only mixing until smooth. Pour into prepared crust.

Bake in preheated oven for one hour. Turn the oven off, and let cake cool in oven with the door closed for 5 to 6 hours; this prevents cracking. Chill in refrigerator until serving.

I put a sign on the oven door so no one opens it. In fact, I’ve put a lock on it before, and police tape! If the door opens, it releases the heat and ruins this process. The door must remain closed.

When ready to serve, spread the topping on. Garnish with berries or slices of orange. Serves 12.

© Family Times: The Parenting Guide of Central New York