Its about time

Since it has been around a year since I have been on here, I thought it was well past time to get back in the game. ¬†ūüôā

What a way to start than with this:

The word you are looking for is…”ahhh…maaaaa…zing!”

This awesome creation by McCormick and Schmick’s graced my plate yesterday in all its splendor. ¬†It is huge! ¬†At least to me. ¬†The size of the picture doesn’t do it justice. ¬†It is truly a delicious piece of art filled with mousse and the raspberry sauce on the bottom is delicious! ¬†I would recommend to anyone and everyone.

We then made our way to see Allegiant…which sadly I would not recommend to anyone and everyone. ¬†My husband enjoyed it, but has not read the book. ¬†Very futuristic…almost to the sci-fy realm. ¬†I, being a HARD CORE Divergent fan, am not enjoying all the artistic liberties being put into the films. ¬†This last one is completely different than the book, changed, not just missing parts. ¬†However, it is entertaining.

That’s it for now! ¬†Figured I would start with a nice light, yummy post before delving into politics and such on my first blog back in action.

ūüėČ

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Cherries, Goals, Joseph and Josh McDowell

My daughter recently had a birthday, and I was lacking in taking pictures of the food, so I will just tell you about it.

Her theme was cherries, so I decided to include cherries in every part of the dinner.  We had cherry coke and cherry koolaid to drink, cherry glazed pork roast and cherry coke bbq ribs for our main course, cherry applesauce and a tossed salad with dried cherries for sides, cherry muffins and cherry jello topped of the dinner off.  Dessert included  cherry pie cookies and a chocolate cake shaped as decorated as a cherry.  Cherry heads, cherry tootsie pops and cherry twizzlers garnished the table as well.

I had a lot of fun making these dishes, most of the recipes were new. ¬†And, she was excited that cherries touched everything! ¬†I think her love for cherries is waning slightly…probably just because we were inundated with them for awhile. ¬†ūüėČ

Anyone interested in the above recipes, shoot me a message! ¬†ūüôā

In other news…I know I have not done well with blogging every day as was my goal. ¬†Gallbladders and floods got in the way. ¬†BUT, I have to say that God is drawing me closer. ¬†Definitely giving me new questions to tackle and research, which means I am digging into His word more, which is always a good thing! ¬†I am by no means digging in as much as I could/should, but I am getting there…only because of Him. ¬†In my gallbladder craziness, both food and exercise went by the wayside, but it actually helped me get back to normal living. ¬†I found that overtraining leads to overeating for me, because the calories you burn can’t compete with the incredible hunger. ¬†So, I am mixing it up, doing different cardio and strength routines, not getting stuck in a rut and not getting crazy hungry. ¬†‘At first there was no difference, but I am happy to say that I am finally seeing some more definition in my body AND shed a couple pounds (just a couple, but I am ok with that for now). ¬†ūüėČ

I recently finished UnDaunted. ¬†It is a nonfiction book about Josh McDowell. ¬†Josh McDowell is the author of More Than a Carpenter. ¬†Josh learned to forgive the unforgivable, to trust the untrustable and to hope in something he didn’t quite believe all because of God. ¬†The writing may not be the greatest, but the story is amazing!

My husband and I began watching Seasons of Gray~A Modern Day Joseph Story.  WOW!  So good!  We have to finish it tonight but I can already recommend it.

That is my eclectic post for the day!

ūüôā

Christmas

The days surrounding Christmas had ups and downs this year, but one thing that NEVER changes is that Christ came down all those years ago to be born here on earth, leaving His perfect Kingdom, so that He could save our lives.  That is THE meaning of Christmas.  That is the unchanging good news.  That is why despite sadness we have joy!

Joshua’s birthday celebration:

Christmas Brunch, before eating commenced:

Some yummy recipes this year included banana cream cheese stuffed baked french toast, blueberry white chocolate coffeecake, scones, quiche and about a million other things. ¬†ūüėČ

Here are a couple desserts after they were dug into…red velvet cheesecake and butterfinger bars:

The butterfinger bars were very good…a little difficult to cut and the recipe is surely for a small pan (I used a 9×13 and had to double and it was still a stretch!)

The red velvet cheesecake I couldn’t try, because of the red dye, so I am not sure how it turned out, but it looked good! ¬†ūüėČ

BUTTERFINGER COOKIE DOUGH CHEESECAKE BARS

YIELD: Makes one 8×8 pan

Ingredients:

CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE LAYER

  • ¬Ĺ cup butter, melted
  • ¬Ĺ cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • ¬Ĺ teaspoon vanilla
  • ¬ĺ cup flour plus 2 tablespoons
  • 1 cup mini chocolate chips¬†+ 1/2 cup for top
  • 5 Butterfinger bars, king size

CHEESECAKE LAYER

  • 8oz. cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

PREPARATION:

Create a sling by lining the pan with foil so that there is a one inch overhang on each side. Cover foil with bake spray. Heat oven to 375 degrees F.

TO MAKE CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE LAYER

Melt butter and let cool to warm. Add in brown sugar and mix to combine. Add in egg and vanilla extract and mix to combine.  Add in flour and fold to combine. Add in 1 cup of mini chocolate chips and fold to combine. Pour mixture into pan; set aside.

TO MAKE CHEESECAKE

Add all ingredients in a bowl and beat until blended. Set aside.

ASSEMBLY

  1. Press 3/4 of cookie mixture into pan. Place Butterfinger bars side-by-side on top of cookie dough. Pour cheesecake mixture on top. Crumble remaining cookie dough sprinkle on top of cheesecake layer along with remaining 1/2 cup of chocolate chips all over top.
  2. Transfer pan to oven and bake for about 30-40 minutes at 375 degrees F. Remove from oven set on wire rack to cool.

 

RED VELVET CHEESECAKE

Yield: 12 to 14 servings

Prep Time: 1 hr + cooling and chill times

Cook Time: 1 hr, 15 min

CHEESECAKE:
Two (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, at room temperature
2/3 cup granulated white sugar
pinch of salt
2 large eggs
1/3 cup sour cream
1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

RED VELVET CAKE:
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups granulated white sugar
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch process)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups vegetable or canola oil
1 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup (two 1-ounce bottles) red food coloring
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 teaspoons white vinegar

CREAM CHEESE FROSTING:
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted lightly to remove any lumps
Two (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1. Prepare the cheesecake layer: Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.  Spray a 9-inch springform pan with nonstick spray and line the bottom with a round of parchment paper.  In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to mix the cream cheese- blend until it is nice and smooth and creamy. Mix in sugar and salt and blend for 2 minutes, scraping down sides of the bowl as needed. Add eggs, one at a time, blending after each addition. Finally, mix in sour cream, whipping cream and vanilla. Mix until smooth. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.  Bake the cheesecake for 45 minutes. It should be set to the touch and not jiggly. Remove the cheesecake  and let it cool on a wire rack for at least an hour. When it has cooled, place the pan into the freezer and let the cheesecake freeze completely. This can be done in several hours- or overnight.

2. Prepare the cake layers: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round metal baking pans (or spray with nonstick baking spray with flour). In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. Add eggs, oil, buttermilk, food coloring, vanilla and vinegar to the flour mixture. Using an electric mixer on medium-low speed, beat for 1 minute, until blended. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl with a rubber spatula. Beat on high speed for 2 minutes. Spread the batter evenly into the prepared pans, dividing equally. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached. Let cool in pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Run a knife around the edge of the pans, then invert cakes onto a rack to cool completely.

3. Prepare the frosting: In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat powdered sugar, cream cheese, butter and vanilla until it is smooth and creamy (do not overbeat).

4. Assemble the cake: Place one cake layer into the center of a cake plate or platter. Remove the cheesecake from the freezer, take off the sides of the pan, and slide a knife under the parchment to remove the cheesecake from the pan. Peel off the parchment. Measure your cheesecake layer against the cake layers. If the cheesecake layer turns out to be a slightly larger round than your cake, move it to a cutting board and gently shave off some of the exterior of the cheesecake to get it to the same size as your cake layers. Place the cheesecake layer on top of the first cake layer. Place the 2nd cake layer on top of the cheesecake.

5. Frost and decorate the cake

Lemon Bars

This recipe is easy and delicious. ¬†A great treat ūüôā

LEMON BARS

Crust: 2 cups all-purpose flour, 1 cup confectioners’ sugar, plus more for dusting , pinch of salt , 2 sticks butter or margarine, at room temperature, plus more for greasing

Filling : 4 eggs, 2 cups granulated sugar, 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour, 6 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly grease 9x13x2-inch pan.

Make the crust by combining flour, confectioners’ sugar, and salt in a large bowl.  Cut in the butter to make a crumbly mixture.  Press the mixture into the prepared pan.  You may need to dip your fingers into a little flour or confectioners’ sugar to keep the dough from sticking to your fingers.  Bake for 15-20 minutes.

Meanwhile, to make the filling, mix the eggs, granulated sugar, flour, and lemon juice.  Pour this over the baked crust and bake for 25 minutes longer.  Sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar, if desired, when the bars are done.

Boston Cream Pie

If you like Boston Cream donuts or traditional Boston Cream Pie, try this recipe out…

I love it! ¬†It is messy and not traditional, but fun and yummy. ¬†ūüôā

It is from the restaurant Bread and Chocolate.

 

 

 

Find the recipe at one of these website:

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/boston-cream-pie-recipe2/index.html

http://www.foodnetwork.com/throwdown-with-bobby-flay/boston-cream-pie/index.html

Macaroons

So tomorrow we are celebrating Mother’s Day early with my family. ¬†It will be an interesting day…first the half marathon, then a Mother’s gathering and then, sadly, we have to go to a funeral home after. ¬†Kind of a crazy mix of events.

My mom, who is amazing, is hosting. ¬†We debate over this every year, because she is my mom and I don’t want her to do any work. ¬†However, since we are doing it a week early and it is the day of the race, I couldn’t debate it too much this year.

So…I forced her to let me be in charge of dessert. ¬†I can keep dessert safe in the car while I run. ¬†I opted to do a bite size dessert platter with mini brownies, mini angel food cupcakes with almond frosting, biscotti, mini chocolate chip pies, chocolate cookie type doughnut type deliciousness and macaroons. ¬†The macaroons my husband and I had out around Christmas time and today they taste exactly … exactly… exactly like they did there. ¬†I hope they do tomorrow as well. ¬†ūüėČ ¬†Anyway, thought I would share the recipe…it is a great one.

http://old.post-gazette.com/food/19991209eggwhites2a.asp

Enjoy!

ps…I am also getting an ice cream cake on the way…yummmmmmy!