Friday, January 1, 2016

Easy Chocolate Lover's Cheesepie

This is the quickest, easiest, yummiest cheesecake I have ever made! It's from Hershey's. I made it crustless for New Year's, because my friend is gluten free. It was equally delicious that way. Make it!
3 packages cream cheese (8 oz ea), softened (I use the 1/3 less fat)
3/4 c sugar
3 eggs
1 t vanilla extract
2 c (12 oz pkg) Hershey's Mini Semi-Sweet Chips, divided
1 extra-serving-size packaged graham cracker crust (9 oz)
(I made my crust, I like homemade better.  I used a deep dish 9" pie plate)
2 T whipping cream

1. Heat oven to 450.
2. Beat cream cheese and sugar in large bowl with mixer until well blended.  Add eggs and vanilla; beat well.  Stir in 1 2/3 c small chocolate chips; pour into crust. Or, for gluten free, just pour the mixture into a greased pie plate.
3. Bake 10 minutes.  Without opening oven door, reduce tempurature to 250; continue baking 30 minutes or just until set.  Remove from oven to wire rack.  Cool completely.  Cover; refigerate until thoroughly chilled.
4. Place remaining 1/3 c chips and whipping cream in a small bowl.  Microwave at high 20-30 seconds or just until chips are melted and mixture is smooth when stirred.  Cool slightly; spread over top of cheesepie.  Refrigerate 15 minutes or until topping is set.  Cover; refrigerate leftover pie.  Serves 10.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Pumpkin Custard

I tried my hand at making my own pumpkin pack! It was pretty easy, and it tastes really good! I have been making pumpkin recipes to use it up! I found this custard recipe on Taste of Home. I tweaked it because I wanted to make a larger amount. My pumpkin pack is quite mild, too, so I didn't want to overpower it with too much sugar and spice. I might need to change it when I go back to store bought pumpkin.  I will have to see... If you want to make it the original way, click the link above. 

Ingredients
  • 1 large can solid-pack pumpkin (I used my homemade and it was 3 1/2 cups)
  •  4 eggs
  •  2 cups half-and-half cream
  • 2/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • TOPPING:
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • Whipped cream, optional (I think whipped cream should be mandatory! Ha!) 

    Directions
  • 1. In a large bowl, combine the first six ingredients; beat until smooth. Pour into 9x13 pan.
  • 2. Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 30 minutes.
  • 3. For topping, combine the brown sugar, pecans and butter. Sprinkle over custard. Bake 20-30 minutes longer or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Serve warm or chilled; top with whipped cream. Store in the refrigerator. 

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Ikea Pedestal Table Makeover



Several years ago, I bought an Ikea pedestal table off Craigslist. I didn't have a real use for it, but I thought it was cute, and it was cheap, so I bought it in a bundle deal. Shortly after that, I was talking with my sister about my new score and not knowing what to do with it. She mentioned how she had seen a table cut in half used as side tables. Brilliance struck! I needed night stands in our master bedroom! At that time, I wasn't as handy as I am now. I hadn't used much more than an orbital sander. We lived close to my very talented, wood-crafting father-in-law. I happen to be his favorite daughter-in-law, (ok I'm his only one),so he took on my crazy project! He ended up taking the pedestal apart, cutting them in half and then putting the whole thing back together the way I wanted them.

SIDENOTE: Do you ever have an idea for a project, and think it's going to be quick and easy, and then you find out it isn't? That's pretty much how ALL of my projects go. He really saved me on this! Haha!

I loved how it turned out. They leaN up perfectly against the wall. You could secure them with 'L' brackets underneath if you really wanted to.

Recently, we moved to a new house, and I was ready for a new style for my nightstands. They were black, so I painted them a nice warm yellow. It's called "White Raisin". The brand is HGTV Sherwin Williams from Lowe's. I scuffed it up to show through a little of the old black finish. I really like how it turned out. I love how they look against my nearly charcoal gray walls. I'm using pale robin's egg blue and a gray blue as my other accent colors in the room. And now, I'm working on a new upholstered headboard for us. My room is coming together! Good luck on your home decor projects! Share yours with me!
Here is what it looked like originally. Mine was black. (stock photo)

Before my paint job.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

READ THIS FOR A HAPPIER MARRIAGE! A Book Review

Did I get your attention??

At a women's conference a few years ago, I went to a "Communicating in Marriage" class.  It was awesome!  I learned a ton from it.  The speakers referenced a couple different books.  One was "The 5 Love Languages".  I have heard of it, but have never read it.  So, I made a trip to the library.  Wouldn't you know, my little library had it!  It was even the 2010 edition! 

This is such a great book.  In my opinion, when you get your marriage license, they ought to give you this with it!!  So much heartache would be spared if we only started out our marriage knowing how our spouse needs to be loved!  I have to admit, Chris and I really haven't had many troubles as a couple.  We are both very open and blunt about what we need.  Chris is actually more than me, weird, I know.  But he is so good at telling me when he needs something different from me.  I have learned to be more like that from him!  So, I wasn't desperately searching for some answers.  But, I love delving into the human psyche.  I like to see how we work, why we do certain things. 

ANYWAY.  I had pretty much figured out what I was, and thought I knew what he was.  We took the tests in the back.  I am 'quality time'.  I scored a 10 in that.  But, I had 'acts of service' and 'touch' tied at 8!  So, I guess that makes me easy to show love to.  Chris was also 'quality time' 10, but he was 'touch' 9 and 'acts of service' 8!  Isn't that amazing that we are the same??!! That isn't very common according to the book.  It talked about the "in love phenomenon".  That is when we first fall in love.  They can do no wrong, they don't have a fault in the world.  We know we will never fight like other couples do!  Then slowly, we come back to reality.  We realize they aren't perfect and have to figure out how to love them for real and for the rest of our life.  As I read this part, I thought, I can't remember this change.  I don't think I have loved him any differently than when we first met.  (I don't remember coming down off the high) I am sure there are people who can point out when it happened for them.  They say this 'in love state' only lasts 2 years max.  I was confused.  As I read on, I found the answer. They say you usually show your love to your spouse in your language instinctively.  So, since we have the same love language, it was easy! This isn't to say we haven't had any troubles, but in general, I have always known that he loved me.  That he loved me best and first of all.  I have commented before that I know he'll drop everything and pick me. 

I loved the thought that each day we have a choice to love or not to love our spouse in their love language.  When we do, their 'love tank' will be filled.  They will be secure in our love.  Things will go more smoothly between us.  It also said "I am amazed by how many individuals mess up every new day with yesterday".  Love it!  I tell my kids this routinely.  Tomorrow is a new day.  It doesn't matter what happened yesterday, today we get to start over and try again.  I'm sure they are tired of hearing it, but I wish I had heard that all the time as a kid.  So, I say it over and over again. 

I really loved all the stories in this book.  Most of the couples were on the brink of disaster, and because they started filling each others love tanks, because they CHOSE to love each other the way the other could understand, things got worked out over time.  How awesome is that!!??

So, if you and your spouse have some issues, read this book! It could help! And if you think you're happy enough, read this book! It can't help but make things even better.  I learned a few things about myself and things about Chris from this book. I am excited to practice. 

You can find "The 5 Love Languages" at the library, a thrift store, or Amazon!  It's a must read.  If you have read it, read it again.  It doesn't hurt to be reminded.  You can take the quiz online here.  Go to 'assessments'.  There are quizzes for spouses, you can email your teen to invite them to take it, and there is a 'mystery' for younger children to solve in order to find their love language!  I will have my big boys take it, but I think I have them figured out!  And I can't wait to get my hands on "The five love languages of children", too!

Sunday, October 4, 2015

5 Healthy Halloween Snacks

Do you get overwhelmed with all the junk that comes around this time of year? I love treats, but enough is enough sometimes! Haha. Here are some great, cute ideas to help you out from some really great blogs. These would be really fun to have at kid parties or grown up ones. You can check out Nuts.com for some other yummy snacks shipped right to your door, too!

Healthy Candy Corn Snacks

Healthy Halloween Snack Candy Corn Fruit Cocktail - Family Fresh Meals







































Stuffed Pepper Jack-O-Lanterns
 


Spooky Spider Snack




Witch's Brooms



Olive Snake


Saturday, October 3, 2015

Galvanized Metal Island






Today, I'm sharing our latest project in our home remodel. We finished the island surround in galvanized metal. I wanted something a little rustic and country. My sister came up with this great idea as we were throwing around barn wood, bricks, etc. I live in rural farm country, so I set out looking for some old galvanized metal. I found some, but it was a little too 'rustic'!  Haha. My next stop was my local metal works place. I got brand new stuff, and then aged it with some vinegar. It worked like a charm. I LOVE how it turned out. My sweet hubby is so great when I get crazy ideas. He always makes them happen! I'll share a couple other of my projects soon.
 




Wednesday, September 16, 2015