Up until last year, I used to be taller than Nathan. And stronger, and faster. Not anymore! My little brother has shot right part me and doesn't seen to plan on stopping any time soon. He is truly a young man and I often forget to treat him as such. Kind of hard to believe considering he is way bigger than I. Nathan and I are different in so many ways, but gosh do I love him. He turned 14 last week! He didn't want a party. Didn't last year, didn't this year. See one difference? I rarely pass up the chance to have a party. But I guess we are just wired differently. He would rather spend an afternoon with friends and have nothing to do with candles, presents, or attention. Okay, totally a big sister thing to say, but I think it's sweet. Strange, but sweet. Since I couldn't coordinate a bunch of fun party foods for him, (no party) I did the next best thing and made cheesecake. Nathan's favorite candy bar is snickers and this has been his birthday "cake" for several years now. To be honest, it is worth not having a party. I would have to share at a party. Sharing snickers cheesecake? Ain't happening in my world any time soon!
My favorite things about Nathan:
- he goes and plays with new people. Most times, he never finds out their name, just enjoys playing with them. Me, I gotta know their life story; are you safe? Can you be trusted? Etc, etc. Nathan accepts them as a playmate regardless. I admire that.
- he and I used to have bedrooms across from each other and we would tap messages on the walls and play games in each others beds even when we weren't supposed to. It's sad it won't ever be like that again. Now we like our sleep way too much! #teenageproblem
- he's got a compassionate heart.
- he will eat my baking experiments :)
- he works hard at mowing and football conditioning. Recently, he's let me work out with him. This wouldn't be a big deal, except a couple months ago, I really wanted him to work out with me. I wanted motivation. However, he did not want to at all and would not do it with me, no mater how much I cajoled and pleaded. I realized later it was born mainly from fear that I would be better. What?! Did I mention he is way taller and stronger than me? However, I (grudgingly) let it go and now that football has started he had been diligently working out. And he let me do it with him! I came to the conclusion that I will never compare volleyball practices with football ones. I haven't yet but I will not now! I only did his conditioning with him and I was soaked with sweat. I do not think I have sweat like that all year. Running down my face and forehead and chest - I did let him go first so he would finish first (I didn't want to ruin his generosity) and I think he realized we can push each other in positive ways. It was fun not because I was really challenged but because Nathan got to lead me. And he said I did really good!
Happy birthday, buddy!
Recipe Source: Taste of Home
Yield: 14-16 servings
1-3/4 cups crushed chocolate wafers (about 28 wafers)
1/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup butter, melted
3 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
1 cup chocolate syrup
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 eggs, lightly beaten
6 Snickers candy bars (2.07 ounces each), coarsely chopped, divided
Additional chocolate syrup
In a small bowl, combine wafer crumbs and sugar; stir in butter. Press onto the bottom and 1-1/2 in. up the sides of a greased 9-in. springform pan. Place pan on a double thickness of heavy-duty foil (about 18 in. square); securely wrap foil around pan. Place pan on a baking sheet. Bake at 325° for 12 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.
In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese, milk, chocolate syrup and vanilla until smooth. Add eggs; beat just until combined. Stir in 2-1/2 cups chopped candy bars. Pour into crust. Place springform pan in a large baking pan; add 1 in. of hot water to larger pan.
Bake at 325° for 75-80 minutes or until center is just set and top appears dull. Remove springform pan from water bath. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Carefully run a knife around edge of pan to loosen; cool 1 hour longer. Refrigerate overnight.
Top with remaining chopped candy bars; drizzle with additional chocolate syrup.