Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Mini Cheesecakes

Yesterday I scoured a few recipe sites to find the perfect cheesecake recipe to bring to a friend's dinner party.

I landed on mini cheesecakes.

YUM!

I just love mini desserts and the idea of mini cheesecakes seemed perfect!

I combined a couple recipes that I found online and came up with this little gem ... mini raspberry and chocolate cheesecakes.

They were delish!  These got rave reviews at the dinner.  Enjoy!

Mini Cheesecakes    *Printable Recipe*
15-20 vanilla wafers, crushed
1 8oz pkg cream cheese (room temperature)
1/4 cup and 2 Tbsps sugar
1 egg (room temperature)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
15 fresh or frozen raspberries
1 tsp sugar
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line mini muffin pan with paper liners.  Crush vanilla wafers and place 1 tsp of crushed wafers into each paper cup.  In a mixing bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar, eggs and vanilla until light and fluffy.   Fill each mini muffin linter with cheese mixture, almost to the top.  

Puree raspberries and sugar.  Pour mixture into strainer to remove seeds.  On half of the cheesecakes, place three or four tiny dollops of raspberry mixture on top of cheesecake and swirl with toothpick.

On remaining half of the cheesecakes, sprinkle mini chocolate chips.

Bake for 15 minutes.  Cool.  Then keep cool in refrigerator.


Monday, April 23, 2012

Scott Kennedy

Recently Dan & I were blessed with the opportunity to see Scott Kennedy perform live at the Funny Bone in Virginia Beach.  We had such a great time!  This comic was pretty stinkin' funny.  I laughed so hard my belly hurt.

Laughter sure does lighten the load.  I think everyone needs a night like this.

We were even able to meet Scott before he went on stage which was pretty cool.  My friend, Theresa, had introduced us.  She had befriended him while she was on duty in Iraq and he was there entertaining the troops.  He's pretty incredible!  Not because he's hilarious, but because he has a HUGE heart and love for our military.  In fact, he's been to Iraq 43 times and Afghanistan 11 entertaining our soldiers on the front lines.  Theresa tells me that Scott doesn't just go to the "safe" bases in these war zones, he travels to the forward operating bases (FOBS) where most celebrities wouldn't dare attempt to travel.  He's even taken a bullet during one of these trips, but he keeps on going back.

When I think of Scott Kennedy, I think....

Patriot

Selfless

Passionate

Servant

Humble

Hilarious

Incredible Human

I've met and worked with many celebrities throughout my years of working in corporate america, but this guy sure is different to say the least.  There are not many like him out there and I'm thankful for his passionate and selfless heart for serving our country.  He's using his special gift of entertaining to give our soldiers a night like we had experienced.  Lightening their loads.  Giving them a reason to laugh so hard their bellies hurt, and meeting them where they are.....on the front lines.

I'm truly humbled.

After the show, we had to rush back home to relieve our babysitter.  Unfortunately, we missed catching up with Scott.  Theresa had told us that he came out looking for Dan to give him a special gift.

Whhhaaaatttt!!???

Scott gave this to Theresa to give to Dan for him.
Front

Back
It's a coin that means something to military folks.

When Dan saw this he was beyond words.  I could see in his eyes that this meant something to him.  It touched a nerve.  It was special.

Thank you Scott Kennedy.  As a military spouse, I will forever be thankful!

Here's a photo of Dan & I with our friends, Theresa and Barb, at the Comedy Club.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Lemon Crinkle Cookies

Last night I was struggling to figure out what sweet treat to make for my Mother's of Preschoolers (MOPS) meeting this morning.

I thumbed through my recipe books, scoured a few websites, and finally landed on Lemon Crinkle Cookies.

I'm so glad I did.

Love - Love - Love Them!!

They were super easy to make, incredibly delicious, and a big hit at my mom's group meeting today.  Not one cookie was spared.  Most definitely a keeper!

Lemon Crinkle Cookies

½ cups Butter, Softened
1 cup Granulated Sugar
½ teaspoons Vanilla Extract
1 whole Egg
1 teaspoon Lemon Zest
1 Tablespoon Fresh Lemon Juice
¼ teaspoons Salt
¼ teaspoons Baking Powder
⅛ teaspoons Baking Soda
1-½ cup All-purpose Flour
½ cups Powdered Sugar
Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease light colored baking sheets with non stick cooking spray and set aside.
In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Whip in vanilla, egg, lemon zest and juice. Scrape sides and mix again. Stir in all dry ingredients slowly until just combined, excluding the powdered sugar. Scrape sides of bowl and mix again briefly. Pour powdered sugar onto a large plate. Roll a heaping teaspoon of dough into a ball and roll in powdered sugar. Place on baking sheet and repeat with remaining dough.
Bake for 9-11 minutes or until bottoms begin to barely brown and cookies look matte {not melty or shiny}. Remove from oven and cool cookies about 3 minutes before transferring to cooling rack.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Wacky Wednesdays

Happy Hump Day!  It's the afternoon on Wednesday and I still have so much to do.  I tend to feel like this on Wednesdays.

Frantic.

Lots to do and not enough days in the week.

After my Optometrist appointment this morning, I walked outside and saw this.
A long line at the commissary entrance.

Typically these lines wrap around the building, but this one wasn't as bad.  Although I had a long list of errands to run today, I considered myself lucky and jumped right in.

Every Wednesday, the commissary on our post hosts Wacky Wednesday Deals (aka Manager's Specials) that are sold outside of the store.  These deals are usually Ah....mazing!  Mostly the people that I see in line are military retirees and a few stay-at-home moms with their kiddos.  

Really, who else can make these early morning shopping jaunts?


Getting closer...

The lady in the pink shirt is a retiree, great-grandmother, and cancer survivor.  God bless her!

I chit chat with folks while I'm waiting.  It makes the time go by faster.


YAY!  After 20 minutes of waiting and chatting, we finally made it to the deals.  

Oh, that big blow up dog, was there for a dog food company to promote their brand.  It sure was strange ...


These deals were great as usual.  Like $5 off a giant bag of turkey and ham slices for a total of $.99.  Also...

Five big boxes of cereal for $1.95 total ($.39 each).

Gotta love Wednesdays!


Saturday, April 14, 2012

Friendships


Today was such a beautiful day.  My heart is filled with joy and my face is all smiles.  Not because the weather was perfect or that the toddler was in a great mood. This was a beautiful day because I was able to spend some time with my new friend, Cathy.

She glows.  Her happiness and love for the Lord shines bright.  You can't help but notice.  

I'm inspired.

I love our newfound friendship.  There's no pretense.  No competition.  No expectations.  No judgements.  No gossip.

Not easy to find.

It's hard to establish solid friendships in this military lifestyle.  People come and go often because of frequent moves and connecting with others is difficult.

So when I meet people like my new friend Cathy, it's very exciting.

(By the way, if there are crazy dating ads on this page, it was not my intention.  I didn't put them there.  For some reason the content on this page leads Google to place those type of ads.  They change out often.)



Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Chopped Salad

Found a recipe on Pinterest.

Changed it up a bit.

Made this yummy salad for lunch today.

Loved it!  Here's what's in it.  Hope you enjoy it as much as my husband and I did.












 
*Printable Recipe*

  • 1/2 head iceberg lettuce
  • 1 head Romaine lettuce
  • 1 cup head red cabbage, minced
  • 1/2 small red onion, finely minced
  • 3 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 tomatoes, seeded and diced
  • 1  c. ditalini pasta, cooked and cooled
  • 4 strips of bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 4 Tbsp gorgonzola cheese, crumbled
  • Marie's creamy italian garlic dressing or Balsamic Vinaigrette

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Be Not Afraid

I'm currently reading Tim Tebow's book, Through My Eyes, and a beautiful song just keeps playing in my head over and over like a broken record.  You know....the kind that you can't shake?

I keep humming and singing this song.  

It makes me happy.  It brings me peace.  It gives me hope.

It's a hymn that I learned in church many years ago, titled 'Be Not Afraid'.  Here are the lyrics...

You shall cross the barren desert, but you shall not die of thirst.
You shall wander far in safety though you do not know the way.
You shall speak your worlds in foreign lands and all will understand.
You shall see the face of God and live.

Be not afraid.
I go before you always.
Come follow me, and
I will give you rest.

If you pass through raging waters in the sea, you shall not drown.
If you walk amid the burning flames, you shall not be harmed.
If you stand before the power of hell and death is at your side, know that 
I am with you through it all.

Blessed are your poor, for the kingdom shall be theirs.
Blest are you that weep and mourn, for one day you shall laugh.
And if wicked men insult and hate you all because of me, blessed, blessed are you!

While there are 365 references in the bible that tell us to not be afraid, one that I read this morning is in Jeremiah 1:8.  

"Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you, declares the Lord."

A wonderful example of a human being today who isn't afraid to live his life as God intended while glorifying God throughout is Tim Tebow.  

He uses his spiritual gifts to breath life into people of this world, as well as the platform that he's been given to share his faith, to create dialogue, to change lives.  Here's an example.


This is a screen shot of him on national television in 2009 after winning the 2009 BCS championship and earning MVP.  As you can see and as many have heard, he has a reputation of writing scriptures on his eye black during games.  But this game was a very important one.....it was the championship, it was being televised, millions were tuning in.

According to google, the verse John 3:16 was among the highest ranked search term within a 24 hour period of the game.  Generating over 90 million searches.  Incredible!

At such a young age, he is a shining example of how I believe God has intended us to "Be Not Afraid".

- To profess our faith to people of this world without fear of condemnation.

- To use our spiritual gifts to fearlessly serve others.

- To trust in the Lord always to see us through all of life's challenges.

- To God be all the glory!



Monday, April 9, 2012

Many Blessings

As I reminisce over this past Easter weekend, I am thankful for so many wonderful blessings that God has poured into my life.


A supportive Christian mom's group


A loving husband and father

Funny pictures

Loud Roller Coasters
Thrill rides for my wonderful husband to enjoy (I'm chicken)

New friendships that are the kind that will last a lifetime


Friends sharing their cool toys 

Skinny Girl Margaritas

Easter Egg Hunts for the little man
just to name a few ...


Friday, April 6, 2012

A Cold Spring Day

This Spring weather is crazy here in Virginia!  Yesterday we were in shorts, tees, and flip flops.  Today we're bundled up in our fleece jackets and jeans with kleenex in hand to wipe our runny noses.

It was such a cold day, I chose to keep the toddler inside except for a morning play date with my mom's group.  Although I was only going to drop by for a few minutes to say "hello" to the ladies, I ended up staying for the planned activity - an Easter Egg Hunt.  My little man had such a great time!


Afterward, we cozied up in the house and enjoyed a nice warm bowl of Irish Brotchan Roy.  It was easy-peasy to throw together and was perfect for a cold dreary afternoon.



Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Lentil Noodle Soup

At 4:30pm yesterday, I had no idea what we were having for dinner.  Usually when this happens we're out the door by 5pm and headed to a local restaurant hoping our sweet little toddler doesn't turn into a hungry screaming monster along the way.

Every time we eat out, I have to fight the temptation to eat badly.  As in, eat anything that's fried.

I love fried everything.  

I grew up in Texas where fried is good.

But, in a rush to avoid heading out the door and filling up on greasy food, I threw together a Lentil Noodle Soup.  Boy, am I glad I did.  It was super yummy!  

Lentil Noodle Soup   *Printable Recipe*
1 tsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 garlic, chopped
1 carrot, sliced
5 cups water
1 cup dry lentils
2 chicken boullion cubes (knorr brand)
1 small bundle vermicelli noodles (aka cellophane, mung bean noodles) 
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp dried thyme
2 bay leaves
dash of salt

In a large pot, saute the onions, garlic and carrots in olive oil for 3-5 minutes until onions turn clear.  Add water and boullion cubes, lentils, pepper, thyme, bay leaves and salt. Cover and cook on medium heat until lentils are soft, about 30-45 mins. 

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Moroccan Vegetable Curry

Yesterday was such a relaxing day here in Virginia.  We didn't have any commitments and relaxed by laying around on our couch watching movies.....all - day - long.

While my husband and son indulged on sci-fi movies (kid-friendly of course), I spent some "me" time in our kitchen.

One of my favorite places in the world!  

After chopping, sauteing, and simmering, we had one of our favorite vegetarian dishes for lunch - Moroccan Vegetable Curry with Brown Rice.

Simple and very easy to make.

Enjoy!

Moroccan Vegetable Curry   *Printable Recipe*
from allrecipes.com

1 sweet potato, peeled and cubed
1 medium eggplant, cubed
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
1 onion, chopped
6 T olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp ground tumeric
1 T curry powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 T salt
1 can garbanzo beans, drained
1/4 cup blanched almonds
1 zucchini, sliced
2 T raisins
1 cup orange juice
2 cups spinach

In a large pan, saute sweet potato, eggplant, peppers, carrots, and onion over medium heat for five minutes.  In medium saucepan, add 3 tablespoons olive oil, garlic, tumeric, curry powder, cinnamon, salt and pepper.  Saute over medium heat for three minutes.  Pour garlic and spice mixture into the large pan of vegetables.  Add garbanzo beans, almonds, zucchini, raisins, and orange juice.  Simmer 20-30 minutes covered.  Add spinach and cook for five more minutes.  Serve over white or brown rice.

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