The first thing that I ever cooked by myself was Bisquick pancakes. I was probably about 9ish. I thought it was so impressive to be able to make a meal for my parents (as opposed to the other way around). I think it was this foray into pancake-making that lit the culinary flame that never has gone out. Fast forward a few years...
My mom had an old version of a Betty Crocker cookbook. It was red and thick and very well-loved (aka used-until-it-was-falling-apart). Some of my (and my brother's!) favorite pictures in that cookbook were of the birthday cakes. I remember that a few of them even were circled in pen, by some very hopeful children. The very first REAL recipe I made was from that cookbook. I was just so amazed to make something that adults loved and that people would pay big money for in restaurants. I was probably just a young tween when I made this for the first time and I recently came across it again while transferring my recipes to OneNote. I will always cherish it as THE recipe that started it all.
Makes 12 servings
1 1/4 c. graham cracker crumbs
2 T. sugar
3 T. butter, melted
20 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 c. sugar
1/4 t. vanilla
1 c. sour cream
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Stir cracker crumbs & sugar together. Mix in butter. Press into bottom of 9" springform pan. Bake 10 minutes. Cool. Reduce oven temperature to 300 degrees. Beat cream cheese in large bowl, until lump free, scraping sides and bottom of bowl. Gradually add 1 c. sugar, beat until fluffy. Scrape sides. Add vanilla. Beat in eggs, 1 at a time. Pour over crust. Bake 1 hour or until center is almost set. Cool to room temperature. Spread with sour cream. Chill at least 3 hours, better if overnight. Loosen edge with knife before removing side of pan. Wipe knife after each cut for nice clean slices. Yum!
Can substitute one vanilla bean, split and scraped, for the vanilla extract.
P.S. Do you remember the first thing that you learned to cook/bake?