Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Mini Cherry Cheesecakes


I love trying out new recipes and today I had the opportunity to make these gorgeous little cheesecakes. They were exceptionally fun to make, a little time consuming, but all in all fun.

 In case you all want to try your hand at making these, here is the recipe,


Mini Cherry Cheesecakes

Crust:

1 cup all purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup baking cocoa
1/2 cup cold butter
2 tbsp cold water

Filling:

2 packages (3 ounces each) of softened cream cheese
1/4 cup sugar
2 tbsp milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg (I used medium)
1 can cherry pie filling

In a small bowl mix together your flour, sugar, and cocoa, once combined mix in your butter with a fork (It makes mixing easier) until it is all crumbly. Gradually pour your water onto the mixture and mix with your fork until the dough is moistened, then roll up your sleeves and mix the dough with your hands until it forms a ball. Put your ball of dough on a cutting board, using your hands, form your dough into a log, and cut in half, then to achieve 24 equal balls of dough, cut each of those halves into six pieces and finally cut all twelve pieces in half, which makes 24 balls of dough. Shape each of those little balls into a liberally greased mini muffin pan.

 In a large mixing bowl, beat your cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Mix in the milk, vanilla, and your egg, beat until creamy then spoon about a tbsp of filling into each cup. Bake at 325ยบ for 15 to 18 minutes or until the filling is set. Cool on a rack for about 20 minutes then place a towel over the top and gently flip your pan over to release your mini cheesecakes, if they don't all fall from the pan I find gently twisting them helps. Then finally garnish each cheesecake with a cherry, and store in the refrigerator.  This recipe makes 24 Mini Cherry Cheesecakes. They are bite sized, but if you're feeling ladylike you can get two, maybe three tiny bites from each one.

Monday, March 30, 2015

3's of Me

 3 Names I go by ....
 (Since my Mother has a problem remembering my sister's or my name, she often calls us these instead)

Frieda Beth
Betsy Sue
Isabella


3 Places I have lived ....
 (Though my family doesn't move often I have had the privilidge of living at these places)

A large and beautiful farmhouse
A log cabin in the Ozarks
A double-wide


3 Favorite drinks ....

(To me no other beverages even compare to my favorites)

Water
Hot Cocoa
Birch beer



3 Places I have been ....
 (I love traveling, even though I don't get to very often these are some of my favorite places that I have visited)

Sullivan's Island, South Carolina
White Sands, New Mexico
Niagara Falls

3 Favorite foods ....
(To me nothing is quite like walking into the kitchen and seeing my favorite foods on the table)

Lasagna
Chicken potpie 
Beef Wellington

3 Things I look forward to ....
 (My life is tons of fun but these things are pretty much like the icing on my cake)

Christmas
My birthday
Back to school sales

3 Pets I have had ....
(These animals were all loved and adored by me when I was younger)

A Great Pyrenees, named Abby
A Beagle, named Trixie
And a cute little kitten, named Chocolate

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Hodgepodging


1. This coming weekend is Palm Sunday, which marks the beginning of Holy Week. Do you celebrate Easter in your home? What was your favorite Easter tradition as a child?

 My earliest memory of ever celebrating Easter is when I was four, my Mom had filled various cups with different colors of dye and we got to roll our eggs into them with spoons and wire whisks, by the time I actually cracked an egg open it was solid purple and I'm pretty sure I threw it away.

2. George Weinberg is quoted as saying, 'Hope never abandons you, you abandon it.' Agree or disagree? Share your own thoughts on the word hope.

 Hmm I have to say I agree, but to me the word hope has far to many levels of comprehension to even begin trying to explain.

3. Weigh in with a yay or nay on the traditional Easter candies. A solid milk chocolate bunny? Cadbury Creme Eggs? Peeps? Reese's Peanut Butter Eggs? Jellybeans? Coconut Cream Eggs? Of the candies listed, which one would you most like to find in your Easter basket?

 Not to sound positively selfish, but for the past three years I have been getting a foot long crackly chocolate bunny that takes about a month to eat I like it and all, but what my heart really yearns for is a box of Cadbury Creme eggs.

4. When did you last feel 'like a kid in a candy store'?

 That would definitely be last summer when my Mom, Diane, and I all went to " hilltop fruit market, home of America's Candy Land " the title pretty much sums up how awesome it is, there are rows after rows all filled with every candy you can think of, even though last summer was very adventurous, that was my favorite afternoon.

5. What's something you know you do differently than most people? Does that bother you? Does it bother other people?

I don't like to listen to music while I'm working, and I know that annoys some people.

6. Palm Springs CA, Palm Beach FL, or the PALMetto State...of the three mentioned, which sunny spot would you most like to visit right now? Which have you visited at one time or another?

 Ever since watching " I Love Lucy " I have always wanted to go to Palm Springs CA, so I'm choosing it for the place I'd want to be right now.

I have visited the Palmetto State twice. Love going to the beach there!

7. If you could change the length of a day would you lengthen it or shorten it? Tell us why.

  The days are fine to me, though I am quite frequently wishing that the days would be longer,at other times I think the day will never end, so I guess I'd just leave them the way they are.

8.  Insert your own random thought here. 

 Oh woe me, yesterday I had the most brilliant plans of starting a series of "Tasty Tuesdays" where I would obviously post food recipes in a weekly fashion, and unfortunately my whole family ate up all the "chosen" food before I even had a chance to take a picture. 

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Wednesday Hodgepodge


1. Share a favorite song, book, or movie title containing the word green?

 Considering my love for classical music my favorite piece is Greensleeves.

2. Ralph Waldo Emerson is quoted as saying, 'Shallow men believe in luck. Strong men believe in cause and effect.' Would you agree? Are you a believer in luck?

 I believe that with God you have " blessings " some might call that luck, I prefer blessings.

3. Spring water, Hot Springs, handspring, spring fling, spring break, spring fever, offspring...which 'spring' word best applies to something in your day, week, or life right now?

 Spring break is definitely something I love, but spring in general is finally here and my heart can't help but sing along with all the birds, for with Spring comes the promise of Summer.

4. What's something you do to make yourself look or feel more confident?

 I pray a lot because I know God put me on earth for a reason.  Knowing that helps me feel confident.

5.  It's National Celery Month...are you a fan? If so, what's a snack or dish you enjoy that calls for celery?

 Hmm I love all vegetables except for celery I don't mind celery if it is in soups or snuggled into a chicken salad sandwich but other than that I'd prefer corn, green beans cucumbers, tomatoes ........

6. What's one thing you wish you'd learned sooner?

 I wish that I would have actually tried to understand my Grandmother when she was trying to teach me to crochet because then I would have two more years worth of crocheted things scattered around the house :)

7. Would you like to own a second home? If so where would you want that home to be?

 To be one hundred percent honest I think a second home is not for me, the reason ........ ( who wants to clean up another house? )

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

 My heart is singing happy songs for the beauty of spring has unveiled itself upon my neighborhood and every year ( mid spring ) all around our woods bountiful supplies of wild flowers awaken and open their sleepy petals, and start busily dancing little jigs in the wind, and with those flowers come long and beautiful walks through the woods in the early morning when the dew still lies on the grass, what more could I ask for? 

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Wednesday Hodgepodge


1. What's the first image that comes to mind when you hear the word 'spring'? Which phrase best describes the season of spring where you live right now (today)-sprung! almost there, or still waiting?

 What a lovely the sound of spring has to my ears the simple word takes me for a stroll through greening meadows, blooming flowers beside a gurgling brook, and singing birds. Unfortunately for me spring is farther away then I'd please.

2. Bed, couch, stapler, garage door, computer mouse, recliner, flashlight, door knob...which household item containing springs most needs replacing in your home? Speaking of springs...did you ever own a Slinky?

 One of the doorknobs in our hall definitely needs replacing, especially considering that it refuses to let you lock the door, and speaking of a slinky, we happen to own one that brought me a lot of fun when I was younger.

3. March is Women's History Month. Share a favorite quote by a woman.

 "Remember, if you ever need a helping hand, it's at the end of your arm." by Audrey Hepburn.

4. What's a question that looms large in your mind right now?

How long can winter drag on? I'm so ready for flip-flop weather.

5. Are you a sugar freak? By that I mean how much do you love sugar? With all the bad press sugar gets these days, have you made any efforts to reduce the amount of sugar you consume?

 Hmm let me see here, I most definitely don't have anything against sugar though I don't find it necessary to be frequently eating candy, cake, and drinking soda.

6. Would you rather have less work to do or more work you enjoy doing?

 I would like more work that I enjoy doing because if nothing else will keep me busy, working on my favorite chore will.

7. Ever been to Texas? Of the top ten Texas tourist attractions which would you most like to see-The Alamo, The San Antonio River Walk, The State Capital, Dallas World Aquarium, Padre Island National Seashore, Houston Space Center, Schlitterbahn Waterpark in New Braunfels, Six Flags Fiesta Texas,  Moody Gardens, or Galveston Island?

 I was four years old when I visited Texas so I really don't remember anything about it, but someday I want to go visit the major water parks and of course visit the Padre Island National Seashore for I am a lover of water and anything Aquatic  

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

 This morning I woke up to a thick veil of fog, I remember when I was younger I used to think that fog and Angels used to be connected to each other, kind of sad now that I am older and I know that fog is just clouds, but their misty beauty will always bring back those memories for me
.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Wednesday Hodgepodge


1. 'In like a lion, out like a lamb'...does the first part of this saying describing March weather ring true  where you live? 

  Oh yes, across the road from where I live we have a waterfall that is solidly frozen, and now I can hear the musical drip drip of the rain splashing onto the bush out by the porch.

2. March 4th is National Grammar Day. What common grammatical error bothers you the most? 

 Oh my, there is definitely nothing worse than people mixing up too, to, and two.
 
3. William Arthur Ward says- 'The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.' Which one are you?
  
 I would have to say I'm more of a realist with an optimistic twist, or in other words I do what needs to be done but keep my spirits high.
 
4. What's something you need to 'march forth and conquer' this month?

 Definitely finishing crocheting my afghan, the poor thing has been laying limply on the craft table for a while now.

5. An ongoing debate around here...do you dust first, then vacuum or vacuum first, then dust? Of the two routine household chores, which do you dislike the least? How's that for wording?

 I like to dust first because naturally dusting sends tons of dust to settle onto the floor, then I vacuum to suck up all of the dust resulting in a clean (mostly dust free) room, but hands down vacuuming is the worst.

6. According to thrilllist.com, the ten most photographed sites in the U.S.A. are- Cinderella's Castle in Orlando, Southernmost House in Key West Florida, The Space Needle in Seattle, The Site of the Boston Massacre in Boston, The Bellagio Lake/fountains in Las Vegas, The Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC, Coit Tower in San Fransisco, The Art Institute of Chicago, Niagara Falls, and snagging the number one spot-The Guggenheim Museum in New York City. 

How many on this list have you photographed? Which on the list would you most like to visit and photograph?

 Well considering that I'm more of a home body, I have actually never visited or photographed for the matter any of those places, though I have full confidence that someday I will visit Niagara Falls, and the Art Institute of Chicago, but until then I can be found photographing flowers, dewy spider webs, our waterfall, and at least one of our four pets. 

7. Fifty years ago Monday (March 2, 1965) The Sound of Music premiered at the Rivoli Theatre in NYC. Have you seen the film? Do you own a copy? On a scale of 1-10 how much do you love it (or not)? Ten=best movie ever. If you're a fan, what's your favorite scene or song from the movie?

 Unfortunately I have never even heard of that film so I can't rate it.

8. Insert your own random thought here.

I am getting very exited because spring is coming and my Dad will get to set up our trampoline which has been sitting in the garage since Christmas.

Monday, March 2, 2015

A Girl of the Limberlost ~ Review


  I recently read the book " A Girl of the Limberlost " You know you have found a good book when you can crawl into the book and become the main character. That's what happened to me with this book. I became Elnora, a poor girl that has a Mother that seems to care about money more than her only child and doesn't realize how cruel she is by refusing to pay her own daughter's expenses even things like school fees. With her Uncle's support Elnora sets out to make money by gathering moths from the depths of the Limberlost swamp so she can pay her school tuition and her personal expenses.

  Elnora's High school is bit more challenging than she thought it would be, she simply doesn't fit in and one of her teachers even misspelled her last name Comstock for Cornstock, though she soon wins over the girls hearts at her school with acts of generosity and thoughtfulness, though her life might be hard at times it is soon filled with plenty of surprises as an orphan named Billy visits Elnora, whether he is found jumping on dogs or yanking out a turkey's tail Elnora is busy with Billie's tendency to be bad without knowing it and his love for cookies.

  Life in the Limberlost changes for Elnora as her new found love for playing the violin takes place, including a dramatic change in her Mother, Elnora learns to forgive as her Mother finally realizes what she is doing to her daughter.

  Soon Elnora meets a young man that because of his illness has taken to the country side, because of his love for collecting moths he spends numerous afternoons helping Elnora, but as the year ends some unexpected circumstances arise. Everything eventually works out, and the book ends in a very satisfying way.