Pumpkin Cheesecake

Looking for a new recipe to bring Thursday? Or maybe you’re a pumpkin addict this time of year like me? Well whichever you choose, this is another great recipe to try! It makes me feel so sorry for all the people in the world who do not like pumpkin, ahem, Jenny😉😘.

Being pregnant during the holidays definitely has it’s benefits as I can make as many sweet treats I want and can wear elastic tops to all my pants!! This weekend I actually had a reason to bake, we were hosting bible study. I get excited when it’s our turn to host because I can try out a new recipe on friends.

This recipe for pumpkin cheesecake is outstanding! A delicious ginger snap crust topped with the creamiest cheesecake, so good. There was only one piece that remained after our bible study get together!

ingredients

1 cup crushed ginger snap cookies
1/3 cup chopped pecans
1/4 cup melted butter
4 packages of cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 TB corn starch
2 tsp vanilla extract
4 eggs
1 cup canned pumpkin
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Take a 9 inch springform pan and place on top of an aluminum foil square sheet. Roll foil securely around bottom of pan. Lightly grease pan.

In a small bowl mix ginger snaps, pecans and butter until moistened. Press mixture into the bottom of pan and place in oven for 8 minutes.

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While the crust is cooling, start on the filling. Beat one package of the softened cream cheese, 1/2 cup of sugar, and cornstarch until smooth. Beat in remaining cream cheese packages one at a time until completely smooth. Add in remaining sugar and vanilla. Switch mixing speed to low and add in eggs. Beat just until combined.

Place two cups of the filling in a separate bowl. Add in pumpkin, cinnamon and nutmeg. Remove 3/4 cup of pumpkin mixture and set aside. Pour remaining pumpkin filling over top of crust. Place plain filling on top of pumpkin. Cut through with a knife to swirl. Using spoonfuls drop remaining pumpkin filling on top, cut through with knife to swirl.

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Place cheesecake in oven and bake for 55-65 minutes, until center is set. Let cheesecake cool for 10 minutes, then run a bread knife, slowly, along the edges. Allow cake to cool for another hour. Place cheesecake in the fridge, covered, over night.

The cheesecake is very rich (note 4 packages of cream cheese) and should serve 12-16 pieces.

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Enjoy adding this new recipe to your fall holiday favorites! I know we have.

13 Years

Thirteen years ago, on November 24, I agreed to go on a date with this teenage boy

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Having no idea that this boy would take me on the most incredible journey!

In high school we worried about hand holding and curfews and homework. Life was simple. Life was easy. We were giddy teenagers in love!

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starring in Guys and Dolls senior year

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Prom

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and of course graduation!

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In college the challenges became greater. We worried about when we would see each other next, how long our calling cards would allow us to talk each week, if we’d ever be done writing papers, roommate drama and the list goes on! But it was through these years that our love went from teenage puppy love to real committed devotion to one another.

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And then, on April 13, 2006, after 6 years of dating I said yes to the most amazing question I’d ever been asked!!

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The wedding planning phase was probably one of the easiest for the two of us. We both loved every step of the process! After dating for so long, we couldn’t wait to be husband and wife!! Just 8 quick months after saying yes we said I Do on December 30, 2006.

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Our first few years as young marrieds were pure bliss! I say that most sincerely!! House sitting, spontaneous getaways, friend get-togethers and lazy weekends. These years I cherish always!

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The young married stage ended with a move from Michigan to Indiana. A change we had been praying for, a job we’d been seeking and a new phase about to begin.

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This most recent phase, the one we are currently in, has been the most challenging and most rewarding! We have had many ups and downs. We have learned the importance of truly working as a team, the importance of communication and the importance of keeping our love alive. I am confident this stage is the best one yet!! Never have I been more in love with my husband.

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I have found the one whom my soul loves.
Song of Solomon 3:4

Happy 13th Dating Anniversary, love!!

Fall Pictures

So, we have some really amazing friends! I know I’ve plugged them before, but really sdreevesphotography , cannot say enough good things about them!! I called Sarah a few months ago telling her I wanted to get a few quick pics of our family for Christmas cards when we were up in Michigan in October ( trying to think as much in advance as possible since baby 3 is due Christmas Day!). Even though Sarah was in the midst of finishing her dissertation ( yes my BFF is an actual doctor now, crazy proud) and they had tons of other things going on in their busy lives, she, without hesitation, agreed.

I am completely blown away by the pictures they took. For starters we met for literally 30 minutes and a certain 20 month old (not mentioning any names) was not cooperating ( or so I thought?). However, looking at these pictures they are absolutely perfect! Capturing our girls and our growing family. Thank you sdreevesphotography, so blessed by your talents! Enjoy,

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had to include this one, makes me smile

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and even one of the hubs and I

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Now for the fun task of picking the perfect one for our Christmas cards!

Dishwasher Detergent

I finally used up my last box of dishwasher detergent!! I had found a recipe for homemade detergent a few months and could not wait to use it. After all my success with homemade laundry detergent I was excited to give it a try!

The ingredients looked very straightforward.

ingredients
1cup Super Washing Soda
1cup Borax
1/2cup salt
1/2cup citric acid
Mason jar or container that can close tightly

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I used lemishine as my citric acid ingredient because we had an entire container left over from our move. (Thank you new water softener!!)

Mix all ingredients and pour into jar. Use only 1 tablespoon of detergent for each cycle. Once I had my jar full I could not wait to wash my first load. I was a little nervous. Since we had moved we have had amazingly clean dishes ( again water softener plug) and I was scarred that my first load with the homemade soap would come out spotty or full of residue.

I could not be more happy with the results!!

20131120-185421.jpg Look at this glass-SPOTLESS!!!! Could not be more pleased. Another successful homemade cleaning product. I am excited to see how far my jar will last, since I typically do one load a night.

I know this will be a huge savings as well as a health benefit! So simple. Be sure to try it!

Mint Chocolate Oreo Ice Cream Cake

Can you believe that this adorable guy turned 30 yesterday??

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He’s in an entirely different decade from me now…I know not for long, but reality is reality😉 To celebrate this momentous occasion, I knew I wanted to make a spectacular dessert. As I mentioned last year, I make it a priority to try a new recipe for Eric’s birthday every year. I look forward to the challenge each November! Last year I made a mint chocolate chip cake, since mint chocolate chip is Eric’s fav ice cream. This year I decided to continue with the theme, but actually try an ice cream cake. The recipe I found looked amazing, the moment I saw it back in September, I knew I had found the perfect dessert for Eric’s birthday!

This is definitely a recipe you are going to want to try! It wasn’t too terribly difficult and boy was it delish! Eric even went out for an additional run in order to scarf down a second piece😃 The creaminess of the ice cream mixed with the richness of the brownie layers on top of the coolness of the minty Oreos and hot fudge drizzle…divine!

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Ingredients

one boxed brownie mix +all the ingredients required on side of box
1/4 cup of milk
8oz cream cheese softened
1/2c sugar
2tsp peppermint extract
Green food coloring (optional)
8oz cool whip, thawed
1 20oz bottle of chocolate fudge topping
1 package mint Oreos chopped and divided into two groups ( reserve a handful to put on top)

* best to use a springform pan for this recipe so that you can easily remove cake once it is assembled. I also lined the pan sides with parchment paper.

brownies:
1. Make brownie batter according to directions on the box.
2. Divide the batter in half and bake each half in your springform pan, lined with parchment paper or greased , at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.
3. Once brownie as cooled lift out of pan and place to the side. Repeat for second half of brownie batter.

ice cream:
1. Combine milk, sugar, cream cheese, extract and food coloring. I decided not to use coloring because I liked the bright look of the mint Oreos against the white ice cream
2. Mix until creamy and smooth
3. Fold in cool whip

Assembling your cake
1. Line springform pan with parchment paper. The paper should should stick up above the pan.
2. Put the first brownie in the bottom of your pan.
3. Spread the first layer of Oreos on top and drizzle with about 1/2 c of chocolate syrup ( I used Saunders hot fudge, warmed in microwave and cooled slightly).
4. Top with half of mint ice cream.
5. Add second brownie layer on top of ice cream and repeat steps 3 & 4.
6. Allow ice cream cake to freeze completely and then, before serving, sprinkle remaining crumbled Oreos on top. Drizzle chocolate syrup over the Oreos, allowing the syrup to drip down the sides.

are you drooling yet??

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We had three, well four including myself, extremely happy customers! Enjoy and let me know what you think!!

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A ‘Fairy’ Good Halloween!

2013 was another Halloween for the books! The month of October just absolutely flew by! But we had a blast. Both the girls and I enjoyed a number of fall/ Halloween crafts. Here are a few that we created:

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I even had fun creating a few of my own for the new house. I had a long list of fall crafts/decorations I wanted to complete and only got around to a few:

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This was the first year that we actually had a reason to celebrate Halloween. Sure, we’ve celebrated it in years past. But this year Liesel was in preschool. She would have a Halloween party, and a parade, and friends to celebrate with. We absolutely had to have a costume! Early in the fall I started playing around with different ideas. Every time I’d mention one to Liesel she would think about it for a minute then quickly reply, no I want to be a fairy…with a wand!. Eventually I gave up trying to persuade her otherwise and decided fairies it is! The costume was actually quite simple and I was able to make both girls on a low budget and completed them in one weekend! I used the same template for the tutus that I made last year. I altered them slightly, making the tulle pieces 20inches long for Liesel’s and 16 inches long for Moira’s. To make the tutus more fairy like, I hand sewed felt green leaves on top. ( yes, I still remain sewing machine free and slightly sewing challenged😉). But I was pleased with the results.

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Finally the much anticipated day arrived. Liesel was so excited! Due to bad weather trick or treating was postponed until Friday ( who had any idea this could happen?!). Oh well. We still were able to enjoy a fun day at Liesel’s preschool. Eric, Moira and I were all able to join in on the KOK Preschool festivities! Liesel loved having us all at the party, we enjoyed being able to see Liesel’s classroom in action, and Moira, well she was on cloud 9 being able to finally take part In school!! Here are some pictures from the day.

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On Friday we had Mimi and Papa over for some of our Halloween Chili. Then the girls were off for their first sister trick or treating debut!

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It was definitely a fairy good Halloween for the Statlers!