Christmas Cranberry Cheesecake Tart

It’s the first time I’ve been able to go home for Christmas in 6 years. Against all odds with the weather and airport chaos, we made it to Texas! 

The entire week, every single flight from Seattle to San Antonio was cancelled due to weather. The day before, the flight cancelled because the airplane originated from Chicago. Luckily, B checked and saw our flight's airplane originated from California, so we were good to go!
Why we spent >3.5 hours at the SeaTac airport. 
  • The luggage conveyer belt broke that morning, leading to hundreds of luggages scattered everywhere
  • Security breach stopped the TSA security process in the entire airport
  • Epic Christmas storm cancelling / delaying flights 2400 flights at SeaTac
  • Holiday craziness
  • Post COVID rush
  • The longest TSA line I have ever seen in my life
  • Last minute gate change so we had to run through two terminals and take two trains to get to the new gate
I’m so glad we arrived extremely early because we barely made it on the plane. If we missed our flight, it would be impossible to book another flight before Christmas. 
We waited 45 min for just the kiosk to print luggage tags. Then another 30-45 min to drop off the luggage. Since the conveyer belt broke, there were just luggages piled everywhere. The baggage lady told us our luggage would "very likely not make it," and recommended we take our carseats. B groaned and lugged 2 carseats on his bag like a Sherpa. 
The line for security extended through multiple floors, two escalators, and literally into the attached parking garage, where people waited outside in 20°F weather. B and I got separated while he tried to find the end of the line, so I was juggling Izzy, Alanna, a stroller, 2 bags, and luggage trying to find an elevator. 

A kind TSA lady let us join the line inside so the girls would stay warm. Even with jumping in the line, it still took us over 90 min to make it though TSA. A ton of people missed their flight even if they had arrived 2.5 hours early.
While going through TSA, I was wearing Alanna, who was wearing a teddy bear suit, in a baby carrier strapped to my chest. A security woman pointed at Alanna and asked "What is THAT?!"

Another security man said, "That's a baby you idiot!"

I think she thought Alanna was a stuffed animal, or maybe a dog. She was embarrassed and apologized profusely, but it gave us all a good laugh.
Luckily for us, our plane was delayed 20 min; this gave us enough time to make it to the gate as they were boarding (which is when both girls started crying, which I don't blame them). We breathed a sigh of relief when we took off. 

My brother was able to fly home as well a few days later, so our family was lucky enough to be together for Christmas. A Christmas miracle!

Christmas Cranberry Cheesecake Tart


Ingredients
CRUST
1 cups graham cracker crumbs, crushed
3 tablespoons cup light brown sugar
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

CHEESECAKE 
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
pinch salt
1 large egg, room temperature

TOPPING
1/4 sugar, plus additional for coating
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup fresh cranberries
Garnish with rosemary or evergreen sprigs

Directions
CRUST: Preheat the oven to 350°F. 

Mix the crushed graham cracker crumbs, brown sugar, and melted butter together. Press the crumb mixture into the bottom of a springform pan. Bake for 8 minutes. Set aside to cool while you make the filling.

CHEESECAKE: Reduce the oven temperature to 325ºF.

In a large mixing bowl beat the cream cheese with an electric mixer. Add the sugar, sour cream, vanilla, and salt. Beat on medium speed until well combined. Mix in the eggs just until combined. Pour the batter evenly into the prepared crust.  Bake for 30 minutes. Once the cheesecake goes into the oven, begin working on the topping.

TOPPING: Combine 1/4 cup sugar and 1/4 cup water in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring until sugar is dissolved to make your simple syrup. Do not boil. Add cranberries to the syrup for a minute (if too long, they will soften or burst). 

Transfer cranberries to a plate or tray to dry (they will get sticky as they dry). Roll cranberries in sugar to coat.

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