Blueberry Orange Cheesecake Bars & Marital Not-So-Bliss

*There is no shortage of summer in these Blueberry Orange Cheesecake Bars! The cookie crust is sweet and buttery, and the cheesecake is creamy and packed with flavor. Use fresh or frozen blueberries for this recipe, or any other fruit you have on hand!*

Blueberry Orange Cheesecake Bars - www.countrycleaver.com

Marital bliss is hard. It’s hard in the best of times and always harder when the perfect storm of events culminate in the one moment that you come home to find your husband has made dinner – and you’re mad about it. Who am I?!

It wasn’t that he made dinner – it was that the beef stew you thought he was making was more of well, a six quart dutch oven full of vegetable soup with bits of stew meat thrown in – on the hottest day of the year. It was good, no great, but that perfect storm hit me and the only thing I could feel in that moment was disappointment in the entire day.

Who was I? Seriously, my husband made me a rediculously delicious dinner – even if we later laughed that it was soup on the hottest day yet of the year – and I was judgey about it. That’s not me. That’s not marital bliss or thankfulness or paying attention that even during his last quarter of school, after he stayed up the night before until 11:30 trying to finish his homework and paper that he was up at 6 when I left for work and he’d taken care of everything that day – laundry, too!

Blueberry Orange Cheesecake Bars - www.countrycleaver.com

Yesterday, was not my finest day. The gentle talking to at work that made me self conscious about keeping my frustrations and emotions that I normally wear on my sleeve hidden a little more, the tummy ache that would not end, and that I was so achy that the margarita I had been planning to make all day that didn’t even sound good by the end of the day all resulted in a whiney, ungrateful, and petulant Megan. I’m a flippin’ peach people.

And as I lay on the floor, head resting on the dog’s blanket, resting my aching back and grumpy tummy, thinking that I somehow totally deserved to smell the dog blanket behind my head and cover my yoga pants with endless amounts of Huck hair, Ben came down to lay right next to me in all of my not-so-glory and share a few quiet moments with me, suddenly wiping the bad day’s slate completely clean with just his presence. Β It’s amazing the power that this man I married has. Even in our not-so-finest hours, I’m so utterly thankful that we can come to each other for just a moment to sit there are be us.

Marital bliss is hard. It’s not always present, but it’s in those little moment you can find where the bliss really is.

Blueberry Orange Cheesecake Bars - www.countrycleaver.com

Yield: 16 Bars

Blueberry Orange Cheesecake Bars

Ingredients:

Cheesecake Crust:


2 cups Flour


Β½ cup Powdered Sugar


1 cup Butter


Blueberry Filling:


2 Tbsp Sugar


1 Tbsp Cornstarch


1 cup Fresh or Frozen Blueberries


Β½ cup Orange Juice


Cheesecake Filling:


1 8oz. package Cream Cheese, softened


Β½ cup Sugar


1 Tbsp Flour


2 Eggs


1 tsp Vanila


Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a 13x9 baking dish with foil. Set aside.


In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the ingredients for the blueberry filling and stirs until the mixture simmers and thickens. Many berries will break during this process, but that is okay. Remove from heat and set aside.


For the crust, in a large bowl mix together the flour and powdered sugar. Using a couple of forks or butter knives, cut in the butter until the mixture resembles pea side crumbles. Press it into the bottom of the line baking dish. Place in oven and bake for 15 minutes.


While the crust is baking, in a stand mixer or bowl with a whisk (if you have strong arms), beat together the cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Add in the flour and stir until combined. Whisk in the eggs and vanilla until smooth.


Once the cookie crust is complete, spread the cheesecake mixture on top of the warm cookie crust. Add in dollops of the blueberry mixture and with a butter knife run it through the blueberries and cheesecake to create the swirl pattern. Place in oven and bake an additional 20 minutes. Remove from oven and let the pan cool for at least 1 hour. Place in fridge and let chill 1 additional hour before removing from the baking dish.


Remove from the baking dish and foil, slice and then serve. Promptly devour.


Recipe mildly adapted from Better Homes and Gardens Blueberry Swirl Cheesecake Bars