Thursday, March 31, 2011

Mmmmm cheesecake

What's in the box? Why that would be cheesecake bites (which I'm sure is quite obvious based on the title of the post. My mom's birthday was this week and I didn't know what to get her besides a gift card. She and dad like to go to Cheesecake Factory on date night so that seemed like a good choice. But I wanted it to be more than just a gift card so I decided to bake something to go with it. Cheesecake seemed like a natural choice.
I had to go on a recipe search - I have a recipe for marble cheesecake but it's kind of complicated and I was short on time. I considered cheesecake balls since they are more portable and easier to package but as I mentioned I was in a hurry. I ended up finding a recipe on Bakerella's website - a recipe for cheesecake bites.
These involve using vanilla wafers as the crust and a very simple recipe. Her recipe calls for 1 tbsp of lemon juice- I cut that in half. Otherwise I followed the recipe exactly. My wafers were too small for the baking cups but it still worked okay. I also got only 32 out my recipe instead of the 48 she got. I ended up leaving the cherries off to make them more portable.

Not too bad. Some day when I have more time I want to try some variations on this like chocolate ganache or a rasberry topping. Maybe mable cheescake with oreo cookies for the base! The possibilities are endless!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Mmmmmm cookies

Today I finally got around to making some cookies I had wanted to try. Someone had posted a recipe for chocolate cookies on one of the forums I belong to. I had wanted to make them for a while but never could find the time. But I had an opportunity today! I decided to spruce up the original recipe by adding chocolate chips. I figured if chocolate is good more chocolate is better!

Chocolate cookies
1 and 1/4 cup butter
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt (the original recipe calls for 1/2 but I like a slightly salty taste)
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1 bag chocolate chips

I softened the butter and then creamed it with the sugar. After that I added the eggs and vanilla and mixed again. All of the dry ingrediens came next and After everything was blended I added the chocolate chips. I baked on 350 for 12 minutes.


Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The hat (again)

The hat is off the needles! Just need to weave in the thread from the end. It's bigger than I expected. I had J try it on and it fit him well but I think I will still send it to my friend. Her kid will grow into it, right?

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Spring training

This is one of those days I love being in Arizona. E and I were able to go to a spring training game today. I didn't have an interest in either team but with spring training it doesn't matter. It's more about enjoying some perfect 80 degree weather and soaking up some sun!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Ash Wednesday

Today is Ash Wednesday- the start of the Lenten season. Jars of Clay's Love Song for a Savior was on the radio this morning and it got me thinking. There's a lyric in there "seems to easy to call you Savior, not close enough to call you God". We are so lucky that we get to call Jesus our Savior and Lord. He's all powerful yet he cares and wants us to know him. In our culture of celebrity worship it seems like everyone wants to be famous or associate with them. Yet there's someone better for us to be worshipping-  the Savior who laid down his life for me, you and everyone. I hope to use this season to better absorb that powerful message and carry it with me the rest of my life. 

Sunday, March 6, 2011

The hat

I'm uploading a picture of the hat I mentioned in a previous post. Mostly because I never seem to get many pictures in this blog and this is my current work in progress. I think I need to take more random photos of my knitting so I can see the progess I have made. Maybe like a recap of the week. (Okay who are we kidding, if I do every other week I will consider myself successful)
In other news, I did a 5K this weekend and my calves are a little sore today. We were running late in getting there and had to park super far away so I think it was closer to a 6K but at least the extra exercise is getting easier for me. Someday I'd love to be able run it instead of walking it. And what a great cause we were supporting- Make a Wish Foundation of AZ!
We are also dealing with the dreaded pink eye right now. C woke up this morning with it. Fortunately there is a terrific minute clinic by my house so I didn't have to wait until Monday to get him into the doctor. He hates the drops but he us being a good sport with only minimal bribery (mostly chocolate).

Friday, March 4, 2011

New Skill

I'm so excited- I figured out how to knit in the round. I had wanted to learn for a while but didn't think I could figure it out. Going from two needles to four or five seemed really tough. Two things finally prompted me to get my butt in gear. The first was my list of resolutions. I had wanted to expand my knitting ability and this seemed like a good way to increase the amount of patterns I would be capable of following. The other reason was a specific project I wanted to create. (More on that in a future post but for now I'm going to stay secretive).
I decided to teach myself during my previous vacation. I knew I had to find some time to myself to totally get it. I tried casting on a handful of stitches then joining but wasn't having much luck. So I tried knitting a few rows straight then joining, which seemed to work better. Now that I've done it a few times I think I can join on the first round without twisting. I am currently working on a hat with Caron Simply Soft. If it comes out okay I will give it to a friend who just had a baby. Hopefully I can post a picture of the work in progress soon but I haven't had the best lighting for pics lately.