Neiman Marcus-Style Cheesecake

Neiman Marcus-Style Cheesecake

By Gloria Pitzer, as seen in… The Original 200 Plus Secret Recipes© (Secret Recipes, St. Clair, MI; June 1997, p. 32)


1 cup sugar

1 TB flour

3 pkgs. (8-oz. each) cream cheese, at room temperature

6 egg yolks, well-beaten

1 TB vanilla

1 TB lemon juice

the rind of half a lemon, grated fine

1 cup heavy cream

6 egg whites, stiffly beaten


Cream together the sugar, flour cream cheese, and beaten egg yolks. Add vanilla, lemon juice, rind, and heavy cream. [See below for crumb mixture.] Fold in the stiff egg whites. Pour this into a crumb-lined 10″ springform pan. Bake 1 hour at 350°F. Turn off oven and open door about 1 inch or so, letting cheesecake remain undisturbed IN OVEN to cool completely. Serves 12.

CRUMB CRUST for Neiman Marcus Cheesecake

Crush into fine crumbs 1 box Zwieback – or use 2 cups graham or Ritz cracker crumbs – mixing with 1/2 cup sugar and 1/3 cup butter. Press mixture evenly over bottom of a greased  10″ springform pan and half-way up the sides.

Refrigerate several hours or overnight BEFORE adding prepared filling [above] and the crust will be firmer even when the filling must be baked in the crust as well. This recipe requires patience, time, and perfection – but the results are so rewarding!

Cheesecake Tips for Lower Fat and Cholesterol Options

By today’s “less fat” standards, use instead of the 6 real eggs (yolks and whites) an equivalent with the Egg Beaters product. Also use fat-free cream cheese. Omit the heavy cream entirely, using liquid non-dairy creamer with 2 TB cornstarch for body.

Mondays & Memories of My Mom – Dreams Come True

Mondays & Memories of My Mom – Dreams Come True

Happy Monday to one and all! As this begins another new week – thank God, it’s Monday! #TGIM

It’s also Martin Luther King Day! For great information about the history and celebrations going on today, in his honor, check out and

People from all different races and backgrounds take time on this day to come together and to work together, celebrating our similarities as well as our diversities. Today is a special day to “love thy neighbor” and to lift others up. According to, “Recent federal legislation encourages Americans to give some of their time on Martin Luther King Day as volunteers in citizen action groups.

In other words, MLK Day is nationally recognized as a day of service, as so many hundreds of thousands of people across the country observe this day by giving back to their communities, as the reverend, Dr. King, did during his short but impactful lifetime. It’s such a great, positive way to begin the new year, by making a commitment to your community to make it a better place.

What will you do to honor this day? Some people organize and hold food and clothing drives to help the homeless and downtrodden. Others have  peace parades/marches to celebrate equal rights for all. Museums, schools and other such organizations teach people about the history of oppression and segregation in our country and what we can still do to keep the doctor’s “Dream” alive and thriving.

Mom was actually a big advocate for loving our fellow man/woman. Mom was always questioning why we all just can’t get along, as we’re all God’s children. So often, as Mom and I (and my husband) have experienced, personally; people can’t even find friends within the same family unit these days. Mom always felt that the cohesive family unit was so important to our troubled world. Nonetheless, she continued to hope, as do I – still.

Mom emphasized throughout many of her “Food-for-Thought” articles and editorials, the importance of really caring about each other. She held a strong faith in LOVE and all the things it could overcome and yield, including dreams coming true. Now is the time to make dreams come true! What would you attempt, if you knew you couldn’t or wouldn’t fail? Mom would have answered, “probably nothing that you couldn’t [or wouldn’t] attempt, now, without a reasonable chance of success. But, by removing the risk you might attempt things that were a bit more daring or slightly more challenging.”

‘I take risks because anything worthwhile is worth taking a risk for… You can’t stay in bed your whole life.’ – Carol Burnett


As seen in…

This is not a Cook Book! It’s Gloria Pitzer’s Food for Thought (Secret Recipes, St. Clair, MI; Oct. 1986, p. 24)


THE BEST PART about having a dream is knowing that it just may come true – or, at least, we hope it will. Having a dream, having a goal, gives us hope; and it is hope that keeps us going, enabling each of us to meet whatever the world dishes out. Having a dream that fills us with hope is not… the same as living in a dream world, which often separates us from the reality of what’s happening around us.

I have a whole pile of dreams that keep me going, day-after-day, hoping that one of these will materialize. I fall back on one of these dreams when the ugly side of reality threatens to subdue me or appears to take a valued feeling away from me. I pull out my dreams every so often, whenever I feel I need the renewed strength of knowing that there is something I can look forward to that will be better than what has already transpired.

Dreams come true when they are within the realm of what we are capable of making happen. Dreams are the myriad opportunities that lie just beyond our smallest hope that we can [be, do and/or] have something better!

Everyone should be or, at least, have a good example to follow. As Mom once wrote, about her mom in her self-published book, This is not a Cook Book (Secret RecipesTM, St. Clair, MI; Oct. 1986, p. 8), which I shall repeat from me to Mom – as this is a perfect example of loving inspiration – ‘My mother is another good example I’ve followed. Her best gift, and greatest asset, is that she’s always been a patient listener and a wise adviser. She was absolutely loyal to my father…The world could turn [its] back on her children, but she would always be there for them when we needed her. She’s given me an example that’s going to be tough to equal.’

‘I’ve had so many good examples to follow – I’ll try to be one, myself, to somebody else.’ – Gloria Pitzer, This is not a Cook Book… (Secret RecipesTM, St. Clair, MI; Oct. 1986, p. 8)


Excerpts by Gloria Pitzer from…

My Cup Runneth Over – And I Can’t Find My Mop, (Secret RecipesTM, St. Clair, MI; Dec. 1989, pp. 11 & 40)


EVEN IN MY WRITINGS, I am quick to talk about caring and loving, because [it seems] we just don’t have enough of it. [I am] anxious to convey, through my writings, the real need to care about each other and to keep on caring, even when it [appears] to be useless and without the love being returned.

One quote that I have enjoyed sharing with my readers on this subject, which is unrelated to food for the table but very much a part of the FOOD FOR THOUGHT that I include in all of my writings, was something that I heard at a lecture years ago. The [speaker] advised [us] that sometimes we must love people, even when we DON’T want to, until we DO want to, in order to feel the full effects of that love. (p. 11)

We cannot lose sight of our need to care about each other, to strengthen our values and live by that yardstick. Then, wringing our hands with worry when the world seems to be in a state of chaos won’t send us running for synthetic comforts, escapes and restitutions that spell out ‘getting even’ rather than ‘going forward’. And it was the ‘going forward’ that I worked on so much in those early days…

All I could strive for then, and still do, is the consistency of purpose, the honesty in presentation and freshness of the ideas – whether in the form of a recipe, to imitate a famous food, or as an uplifting article on how to better understand your real self-hood and your relationship with others. (p. 40)

‘While I always spiced [my] columns with humor, I tried to make a point in each that would emphasize that we [should] care about each other [and] be more forgiving too. Whether it is cooking or companioning, my newsletters…carry articles, good thoughts and even suggestions on how to best show that we care about others.’ – Gloria Pitzer, My Cup Runneth Over and I Can’t Find My Mop (Secret RecipesTM, St. Clair, MI; Dec. 1989, p. 20)


Excerpts, written by Gloria Pitzer, from…

This is not a Cook Book! It’s Gloria Pitzer’s Food for Thought (Secret RecipesTM, St. Clair, MI; Oct. 1986, pp. 25 & 29)


Just as a mirror reflects the image in front of it, so it seems that loving people in our midst, bring out a loving nature in those around them. To reflect that kind of feeling is the greatest peace and the best tranquilizer! ‘There may be peace without joy and joy without peace but the two, combined, make happiness.’ – Lord Tweedsmuir [aka: John Buchan] (p. 25)

Life’s most precious gifts don’t come in packages. They come from the heart, wrapped in love… We seem to be living in a ‘keep-your-distance’ and ‘don’t get me involved’ world! People who are potentially caring, compassionate individuals should, but don’t always, care about each other! Some people profess to accept this kind of relationship with others. They endorse the indifference of people who make no demands on each other, who offer no depth, no devotion and no dimension in their relationship. And, by golly, a lot of people are willing and able to settle for cardboard communication when, with a little effort on their own [part, they] could have a perfectly lovely, lasting experience with another potentially caring human being! (p. 29)

Additionally, Mom also printed the following poem (pictured below), in part (the latter half), on page 30 of her book, This is not a Cook Book! It’s Gloria Pitzer’s Food for Thought (Secret RecipesTM, St. Clair, MI; Oct. 1986) – however, I could not find an original source, nor author for it.


Excerpts, written by Gloria Pitzer, from…

This is not a Cook Book! It’s Gloria Pitzer’s Food for Thought (Secret RecipesTM, St. Clair, MI; Oct. 1986, p. 34)


IT HAS BEEN SAID that ‘when God closes a door, He opens a window’ – for those who have the wit to discover it. Among the ill, the handicapped, the disfigured… are an astonishing number of people who have found their ‘windows’. In quiet resurrections, they have risen out of their pain and despair and shattered hopes to new ambitions, new satisfactions and new happiness.

Though largely unsung, these men and women have in them the stuff of heroes! Their battles of necessity are fought alone… in endless hours and days and months. But, in these battles, they somehow develop a special kind of courage and, sooner or later, the breakthrough comes. Then, in spite of all the odds against them, they dare to say: ‘I may not have much candle left but, with what I have, I’ll shed a light.’

So, if you can’t be a lighthouse – be a candle! Let your light shine so that those on whom it may fall, will be blessed; and, like a springboard, bounce right back to make you feel good about it… There’s an old English verse that always comes back to me… [in picture, below – I could not find an original source, nor author for it, other than “From the wall of an old inn, Lancaster, England by Anonymous”] …when I think of how nice it would be if this were not a ‘keep-your-distance’ and ‘don’t get me involved’ world!…


PEOPLE NOWADAYS give up too easily. They’ll donate a dollar to an anonymous recipient of any given charity, but won’t give two words to an offended neighbor – the two most important words of successfully living side-by-side – ‘I’m sorry.’

You don’t throw away the patient because the bandage needs changing. You try again… and again for some common ground of understanding. Otherwise, how will we, as a society, ever be able to love our neighbors across the world, until we have first learned to love those across the street? (p. 50)


This year, in honor of #52Chances and #MemorableBeginnings, I want to offer you a recipe each week from Mom’s “Original 200” Secret RecipesTM collection – as these are the memorable beginnings of the Recipe DetectiveTM. The following recipe, which also represents today as National Cheese Lover’s Day, is for Mom’s imitation of a baked cheesecake like she had, once, at Neiman Marcus…#CheeseLoversDay 

P.S. Food-for-thought until we meet again, next Monday…


National Irish Coffee WEEK


As I’ve mentioned for the past couple of weeks, recommends that we… “Stop shaming Monday and look at what Monday has to offer… 52 CHANCES to see a beautiful sunrise… share your talents with the world… teach someone a new skill that will better their lives…” For me, this year, Mondays are 52 CHANCES to tell Mom’s story, again, and share another one of her copycat recipes; hopefully, re-inspiring love in the kitchen, in the home and family, throughout the neighborhood and around the world. Three down, 49 to go!

Gloria Pitzer’s Cookbook – The Best of the Recipe Detective is available for sale, at $20.99 each, through the publisher, Balboa Press, at; it’s also available in eBook form, for $3.99, at – ENJOY!

Share-a-Lease Cheesecake


By Gloria Pitzer

[This recipe was part of Gloria’s original 200 recipes collection, from the early 1970s, and has been printed in many of her self published cookbooks; the first one being The Secret Restaurant Recipes Book (National Homemaker’s Newsletter, Pearl Beach, MI; Jan. 1977, p. 32), which is no longer in print, and the last one is Gloria Pitzer’s Cookbook – The Best of the Recipe Detective (Balboa Press; Jan. 2018, p. 247)]

   The crust:

Preheat oven to 350°F. Put ¼ pound butter or margarine in a 9-inch, square pan and into the preheating oven until butter melts. Meanwhile, put a 10-ounce package Lorna Doone Sugar Cookies (or plain sugar cookies) through a blender until fine crumbs. Combine crumbs with 1 envelope unflavored, gelatin powder and ¼ cup sugar. Add ½ teaspoon cinnamon if you wish. Mix it well.

Remove pan containing butter from oven as soon as it is completely melted. Mix in crumb mixture, reserving ¼ cup of this and setting it aside to use over filling later, and stir to blend thoroughly. Pat remaining crumb mixture evenly and firmly over bottom of pan. Return to oven to bake exactly 8 minutes – which gives you just enough time to prepare the filling (below.)

   The filling:

Mix the following until light and fluffy: 2 large packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, one 8-ounce carton dairy sour cream, 2 tablespoons butter or margarine, 2 tablespoons cornstarch, 2 large eggs, 1 cup sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Beat with electric mixer on medium speed.

As soon as crust is baked, just slip rack out far enough, without even removing the pan from the oven, so that you can pour filling into hot crust. Sprinkle top of filling lightly with the reserved ¼ cup crumb mixture. Return to oven to bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until you can insert the blade of a table knife into the filling, 1 inch from the edge of pan, and it comes out clean. Cool about 30 minutes before cutting to serve – OR chill it thoroughly and serve it quite cold with whipped cream or Cool Whip topping to garnish. Makes 8 servings.

Mondays & Memories of My Mom – Hi, Neighbor!