Friday, November 23, 2007

Black Friday

We didn't do anything crazy like wake up at 5am to go shopping, but we did find something great. Our FIRST married Christmas Tree. It's a 6.5 ft pre-lit Balsam Fir. The very best thing about it (ok, in my opinion) is that it is only 3 pieces. You don't have to manually put in every single branch like some trees. WOOHOO! We have decided that our family (David and Cassie) will put up Christmas decorations on the first day of December....a tradition begins....come back in 8 days to see the decorations.... <3

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Chocolate Pound Cake

So I don't even like Starbucks, but they used to have this chocolate pound cake that rocked my world. Then they discontinued it. Since I was already making 2 desserts for Thanksgiving I thought I would try to find a recipe for chocolate pound cake and see if I could come close to appeasing my cravings. ~Well it is good, and I did get lots of compliments on it, but isn't Starbucks. Maybe next time I will try chocolate chips in the batter. ~Isn't the serving dish cool? It was a wedding present and I've just now been able to use it!

1 1/2 cups butter, softened
3 cups white sugar
5 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 teaspoons instant coffee granules dissolved in 1/4 cup hot water
1 cup buttermilk
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Grease and flour a 10 inch Bundt pan. Mix together the flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the vanilla. Beat in the flour mixture alternately with the dissolved coffee and buttermilk. Pour batter into prepared pan.
Bake in the preheated oven for 60 to 70 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Let cool in pan for 20 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely.

Chocolate Cheesecake

Mmm Mmmm Mmmm my amazing chocolate cheesecake with chocolate chip cookie crust! This was a hit at Thanksgiving last year so I HAD to make it again! Be sure to cut VERY small slices as this dessert is SUPER rich.
~Ok so I forgot to take a "before" picture, so here is the "after".


1 pkg of chocolate chip cookie dough

2 pkgs(8 oz each) of cream cheese, softened

1 cup of sugar

4 packets(1 oz each) of unsweetened chocolate squares

2 pkgs(8 oz each) of cool whip, thawed

~you will need a springform pan for this dessert~


~Preheat over to 350 degrees-then grease a 9 inch springform pan

~Press cookie dough into the bottom of springform pan and bake for about 15 minutes. Let cookie cool completely.

~Combine cream cheese, sugar, and chocolate squares in large mixing bowl until well blended.

~Add cool whip and stir until just blended.

~Spoon mixture over cookie and smooth top.

~Cover and refridgerate for 3-4 hours, or overnight.

~Remove sides of pan.

Peanut Butter Pie

So I lost my wonderful peanut butter pie recipe I had made from last year's Thanksgiving, and had to search for a new recipe. I have to say, it was a little runny, it didn't hold together very well. I'm posting the recipe anyway, maybe someone else can figure out how to adjust it so that it stays together better-I'm thinking less cool whip.


1 baked pie crust, or use graham cracker crust, 9-inch
-I bought the chocolate pre-made pie crust
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 cup confectioners' sugar
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup milk
8 ounces whipped topping
chocolate shavings, optional

In a medium mixing bowl, beat cream cheese until fluffy. Beat in confectioners' sugar and peanut butter. Slowly add milk, beating until smooth. Fold in whipped topping; pour into crust. Freeze for 1 hour.

Mashed Potatoes

So for Thanksgiving lunch Ruth asked me to make mashed potatoes this year. I was VERY excited! I found a recipe that looked good online, then changed it up just a bit. David and I drink skim milk, and I wasn't sure that was going to get me the creamy potatoes I wanted so I added buttermilk as well.

Here's the recipe, originally from, then adapted by me:

6 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed -or one for each person
1/2 cup warm milk
1/4 cup butter or margarine
3/4 teaspoon salt -then add more to taste
1/2 cup buttermilk-if you used skim milk
dash of pepper

Place potatoes in a saucepan and cover with water. Cover and bring to a boil; cook for 20-25 minutes or until very tender. Drain well. Add milk, butter, salt, buttermilk, and pepper; mash until light and fluffy.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Thanksgiving Break Yet?

I'm really looking forward to the week of glorious week off. One week of catching up on laundry, house cleaning, grading papers, and hopefully MORE SLEEP. Although Seajay hasn't caught on to the concept of sleeping in past 6am on the weekends. Switch gets it, but Seajay can't seem to figure out why we are still in bed past 6 on Saturday and Sunday-and thanks to her we usually aren't. SHE thinks it's more important to get up and pee, than for her mommy to get a few extra hours of sleep. So I take her out, then go back to sleep. Have your cake and eat it too!

Both doggies are VERY bad on the leash-so we are trying the Halti. It's a head collar that attaches to a leash. Basically it leads them around by their face, so if they are pulling (which they are SO bad about doing) then it pulls their head. These halti's are supposed to work miracles-but the dogs don't like wearing them. We are s l o w l y desensitizing them to the halti's so they don't mind wearing them as's a labor of love and a work in progress.