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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Love Chocolate? Love Peanut Butter?

This is what happens when chocolate and peanut butter get married. They create a sinful baby full of worthy calories.
Chocolate cake, peanut butter frosting, Reese's cup, chocolate drizzle. What's not to love?

Peanut Butter Frosting:

1 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup butter softened
4 cup (2lbs) powdered sugar
1/3 cup heavy cream or till desired texture

Cream together peanut butter and butter until light and fluffy. Alternate sugar and heavy cream into butter mixture. Apply to cooled cake! 
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Friday, November 25, 2011

Ode to pumpkin

When you think of desserts on Thanksgiving what comes to mind? Most likely pumpkin pie, right? I know that people really really really love their pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving but for me I find it to be a little drab. This year I was in charge of desserts (which I usually am) and my family knows when they place that responsibility on me I don't stick to traditional. Our menu included a crisp apple pie with a dutch crumbled top, a delectable pumpkin crunch cake, and a pumpkin swirl cheesecake with a gingersnap/pecan crust. Yum.
You see, pumpkin can be transformed into a delicious masterpiece, why settle on plain pumpkin pie? So, without further ado: 
Pumpkin swirl cheesecake with a gingersnap/pecan crust


  • 1 1/2 cups crushed gingersnap cookies
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped pecans
  • 1/3 cup butter, melted
  • 2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
  • 3/4 cup white sugar, divided
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). In a medium bowl, mix together the crushed gingersnap cookies, pecans, and butter. Press into the bottom, and about 1 inch up the sides of a 9 inch springform pan. Bake crust 10 minutes in the preheated oven. Set aside to cool.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix together the cream cheese, 1/2 cup sugar, and vanilla just until smooth. Mix in eggs one at a time, blending well after each. Set aside 1 cup of the mixture. Blend 1/4 cup sugar, pumpkin, cinnamon, and nutmeg into the remaining mixture.
  3. Spread the pumpkin flavored batter into the crust, and drop the plain batter by spoonfuls onto the top. Swirl with a knife to create a marbled effect.
  4. Bake 55 minutes in the preheated oven, or until filling is set. Run a knife around the edge of the pan. Allow to cool before removing pan rim. Chill for at least 4 hours before serving.
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Monday, November 21, 2011

Spoiled kids make it hard for me to parent

I don't live in a rich area, I need to get that straight right now. Sure, we live in a nice area but I would classify our town as 'middle class', not upper class. Yet for some reason all the kids at my sons elementary school have cell phones, and ipods, and ipads, and probably credit cards for all I know. Mind you my son is eight. When I was eight I could distinctly remember asking for a tea set.... aaand probably a dog for Christmas BUT I always felt my lists to Santa were reasonable. This year Tyler thinks he deserves... no better yet, is entitled to a slew of items that are WAY beyond my budget. Well, even if I could afford it I wouldn't get him what he's asking for because what eight year old needs the following: 

Tyler's Christmas list to Santa:  

1) Please, a dirt bike
2) Please, an ipod
3) Please, an itouch
4) Please, an Xbox 360
5) Please, a cell phone
6) Please, a TV
7) Please, a ipad

I guess he figures if he says 'please' before each item that Santa will be more inclined to give it to him. When I asked him why he was asking for so many BIG items he said, "because all the kids at school have them". I explained that most of these items were unreasonable and he seemed to understand. It's just unfortunate to me that he thinks he needs them because his peers have them. Why do 3rd graders have cell phones???  I think I just need to find a way to humble my children while surrounded by so many spoiled kids. 

Here are a few funny comics I found on the subject :) 

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Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Trip to Monterey Bay 2011

A few months ago I won tickets to the Monterey Bay Aquarium through a contest on All I had to do was tweet my favorite sea creature and why. So first I had to create a twitter account which I swore I'd never do! The tweet couldn't be very long so I had to get very creative. It went something like this - "Sea horses. They're cute, delicate, majestic, and best of all the men are the ones who give birth". I didn't win the grand prize but I did win 2 tickets to the aquarium! This was very exciting because I had never been to Monterey AND I love any excuse to plan a trip :) 

We went on a walk one morning and Tyler was HILARIOUS dancing down the street. 

Tyler loved the touch tanks 

The jelly fish were so mesmerizing! 

Tyler's height at age 8 compared to a newborn whale. 

This little kid saw us getting ready to take a picture then jumped in and wouldn't leave. It was kinda funny. 

My inspiration for my winning tweet! 

My beautiful pearls

I loved this tank. It looked like Finding Nemo! 

Ugh. I wish men could carry the babies for us too. Sea horses have it so easy! 

Tyler being a shark caught in a net 

And what would a trip to Monterey be without eating at Bubba Gump's!

The build your own sundae for kids was so cute.

The views on this drive were absolutely amazing!
 I was so grateful for nice weather that afternoon. 

This big rock out in the water was COVERED with sea lions! I mean hundreds! It was quite stinky. 

Tyler trying to scare away the birds. 

Watching the horses along the beach. 

The Lone Cypress Tree. 

Fishing F-U-N! 

Deke reallllly wanted to catch a shark. It didn't happen.

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Monday, November 7, 2011

All Hallows Eve

"Witches flying through the sky, on their broomsticks way up high, black cats howl as they go by for this is HALLOWEEN!" One of the songs we sing throughout the month of October. Love it. 

We of course went to Apple Hill to get our pumpkin. 

Tyler carved a vampire and Deke carved the Joker. Curses for not taking a picture of the finished project! 

Tyler made a spooky haunted house

Tyler and cousin Kyla at Trunk or Treat. 

Our traditional Halloween dinner - Mummy dogs. Yup, realllll nutritious. 

Such a cute Captain America! 

Ok, so here is the one picture I got of Tyler's vampire pumpkin *cough* yeah a week later. If you look closely you might even see the mold. 
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