Rhubarb Cheesecake Squares Recipe

These rhubarb cheesecake squares are a fantastic springtime dessert! A velvety (and easy!) cheesecake filling that’s rich and creamy combines with a tart and bright rhubarb compote (that’s made in ten minutes!). They both sit on an oat crust that’s like a giant oatmeal cookie. What more could you want in a rhubarb dessert?

Rhubarb cheesecake squares are cut into pieces and set on a piece of parchment paper.

Rhubarb cheesecake bars are so satisfying and so delectable! I cannot get over the crispy crust, creamy filling, and tart compote. The combination is just out of this world! Try them and see for yourself!

A rhubarb cheesecake square is separated from the rest of the grouping on a piece of parchment paper.
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Rhubarb Cheesecake Bars with Streusel Topping (& cake stands)

Two weeks ago I broke one of my favorite coffee mugs. It was vintage, stoneware, and had “Home, Sweet Home” written on it in a glorious script. It slipped out of my hands while doing the dishes and the handle broke right off. It’s still lying in the sink drain – I can’t bring myself to throw away the last piece of it.

I don’t know why we form attachments to material objects like that. But it’s happened to me time and time again (my china cabinet full of Pyrex and coffee cup collection can speak to this). I’ll come across something and feel tethered to it, wanting it in my world – to make it fuller, brighter.

It happened earlier this week with a cake stand. Seth and I were in a local furniture store, perusing the floors for items to fill his new home. Then, in the corner, I saw it, made a beeline straight for it, grabbing it hungrily. I held it in my hands, felt the smooth glass, the weight of it. It was unique, beautiful. I wanted it. Desperately.

But it was too much. More than I wanted to spend on a cake stand, a prop for photos, another dust collector. I put it down and we continued up the next two flights of stairs – testing couches, mattresses, chairs. Three floors up, we sat on a couch together, the steel colored fabric matching the overcast sky outside. The large windows behind us let in more than enough light despite the clouds, the constant drizzle quietly tapping against the panes. We dissected the couch, its pros and cons, compared it to others we’d sat on, imagined his home, someday our home. My head rested on his shoulder, my mind drifted to the ground floor, back to the display.

We readied to leave, heading back down the stairs. I wandered back over to the shelf holding the cake stand. I picked it up again, made a mental note to come back for it some other day, and put it back.

“We can do 30% off,” the saleswoman said.

“No, no, that’s ok.” I said.

“She’ll take it,” Seth said.

“What? No!” I protested.

“We’ll take it,” he insisted, reaching for his wallet.

I couldn’t believe it. I never expected him to do this, let him know he didn’t have to, it wasn’t expected of him.

“I can. I want to. I’m going to.”

He smiled down at me, paying the saleswoman. She gently wrapped up the cake stand between layers of tissue paper and bubble wrap. I took it gingerly – my cheeks aching from smiling so big, my eyes bouncing between the bag in my hands and the man by my side.

Outside, Seth opened my door, (something else I have told him he doesn’t have to do, but am grateful whenever he does.) and I looked up at him, stood on my tiptoes and kissed him. Despite the rain and the gray day, I felt bright, light. In awe of my gift, and the cake stand he’d just bought me. The heft of the bag, still in my hands, was the only thing keeping my feet on the ground.

“Thank you.”

He knew it was thanks for more than just opening my door that time.

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Eggnog Cheesecake Bars

Happy 2017!!!

Eggnog Cheesecake Bars | www.midwestniceblog.com

Holy moly, it’s 2017!

The first Monday of the New Year has to be filled with a lot of hope and optimism instead of the regular “blahs” that Mondays are known for, right? Or is that just me?

Eggnog Cheesecake Bars | www.midwestniceblog.com

Or was it the help of this cheesecake? Or the help of the intentions that I set?

See, I set intentions rather than resolutions. Which are basically synonyms, I’ll concede to that, but intentions are different. At least to me.

Eggnog Cheesecake Bars | www.midwestniceblog.com

They’re about adding to life in the coming year, versus subtracting, which seem to be the main theme of resolutions. Not that it’s a bad way to look at things or a bad way to do things; I’ve just found that intentions are better for me than resolutions. It also promotes a sense of purposefulness. (Side note: wasn’t positive that was a real word, but it is indeed.)

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Butternut Squash Cheesecake (with a Ritz cracker crust! And salty maple caramel! And whiskey whipped cream!)

I’m a bit of a perfectionist.

butternut squash cheesecake (with a ritz cracker crust!) | www.midwestniceblog.com

If it’s not going to be perfect, and not going to be perfect because of my own doing, I want no part of it.

It’s part of the reason it took me so long to start a website. It’s part of the reason I stress out about photos. It’s part of the reason I didn’t share this cheesecake with you all yesterday.

butternut squash cheesecake (with a ritz cracker crust!) | www.midwestniceblog.com

Being a perfectionist is also a little selfish, as you can see. Being a perfectionist kept me from posting this yesterday because I couldn’t get it right. I couldn’t find the perfect hook or the perfect picture or the perfect ending. So instead of doing something, anything, I did nothing.

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