Friday, February 28, 2014

Deep Dish Cinnamon Chip Cookie for One

I have a confession to make.  Recently I have fallen into a pit.  A "I can't wait until after dinner to have a dessert; I must have a dessert now" pit.  And I fall into this pit just about every day around 2pm.  It's terrible.  I really need to kick this middle-of-the-day super-unhealthy-snack thing.  But it's just so difficult.  I'm home... There's a well equipped kitchen right there... Heck, there's a pantry with canned icing and vanilla wafers right there for all I care!  I'll take anything!

But I have really, really fallen in love with this single serving chocolate chip cookie that I found on No. 2 Pencil via Pinterest.  It's super easy to make and ready in about 5 minutes.  And soooo soooooooo good!  Especially because I really don't mind eating raw egg every once in a while, so I don't cookie my cookie quite all the way through and half of it is basically really warm melty cookie dough.  Yum... I'm about to go make myself another one just talking about it.

But today, I decided to try something a little different.  We all know how much I love cinnamon, and while I was stirring up this cookie today, I ran across a mostly empty bag of cinnamon chips that has been sitting in my pantry for a while now.  And I thought... Ooh, maybe I could make a cinnamon chip cookie!

...So, I did!  I tweaked the chocolate chip cookie recipe a little bit to make it mesh better with the cinnamon chips, tossed it in the microwave.  And could barely make it through the whole 5 photos I took before chowing down on it.  And boy was it yummy!  There is nothing quite like a hot gooey chocolate chip cookie, but this one was close.  The extra sugar, cinnamon, and cinnamon chips were delicious!  I will definitely be making this puppy again.

Deep Dish Cinnamon Chip Cookie for One
Adapted from: No. 2 Pencil

1 tablespoon butter, melted (butter, not margarine)
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar
Splash of vanilla
1 egg yolk
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
Scant 1/4 cup flour
2 tablespoons cinnamon chips

  1. Melt butter in a ramekin (or mug).
  2. Stir in the sugars and vanilla.
  3. Add the egg yolk; stir.
  4. Add the flour and cinnamon; mix until fully incorporated.
  5. Add the cinnamon chips and mix together.
  6. Microwave for 50 seconds to 1 minute.  (Adjust time for your microwave, but don't cook it too long or it will become tough.)
  7. Let cool for a few minutes before digging in.  This goes really well with a scoop of ice cream too!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

A Few Small Wins

I've been preoccupied the past few days with making sure Thomas' birthday was a success so I've racked up a few wins to mention today!
  1. Thomas' birthday was a big success.  Everything went well, and Thomas and I had a good time celebrating.
  2. We still have some of his birthday cheesecake in the fridge, and it is all I can do to not devour it while he's at work.  I figure since it's his birthday dessert, we should probably eat it together.
  3. We have been having some absolutely perfect weather here in Florida!  The days are just spectacular with the perfect temperature, sunshine, and a breeze coming off the ocean.  It's enough to make any thoughts of a bad day just float away!
  4. I went for a run today (first one in a little while; I've been lazy lately), and it felt pretty darn good.  I was surprised at how well it went.  I was expecting my little unplanned hiatus to really kill me, but it didn't!
  5. I've got {almost} all of our dinners planned for the month of March!  I'm trying to be really good about planning to see if I can lower our monthly grocery budget.
  6. My kitty is being really adorable sometimes!  On Saturday, Thomas had to work later than normal (usually he's home by lunch), I was bummed about having to eat lunch by myself.  But then... I didn't.  Apparently I had a lunch date with Lolo and just didn't know about it!  She sat across from my tv tray while I ate my lunch, mainly because she wanted me to share, but I like to think she knows that that stuff warms my heart!

Like I said, just a few small happinesses.  But that's what matters!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Layered Crème Brûlée Cheesecake

Before I get started on this new recipe, I am super excited to share that my Chocolate Covered Strawberry Cake Balls recipe was featured on Tasty Tuesdays!  Thank you Alecia for the nomination!  Tasty Tuesdays is a weekly link party that takes place on ten different blogs!  You should check it out sometime for some fabulous recipes!
Detours in Life

Thomas' birthday yesterday was quite a success!  Everything turned out really well.  Last night, Thomas opened his presents, then we enjoyed our Chicken Parmesan in front of some Top Gear UK.  And last we had some delicious birthday dessert while watching Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters.  That's what Thomas chose to do with his birthday evening.  A nice relaxing night at home!

But, I'd like to tell you a little more about this fabulous birthday dessert!  Thomas absolutely loves cheesecake and crème brûlée, so this year, I found a recipe that incorporated both of those lovely items.

Layered Crème Brûlée Cheesecake:  A rich, elegant cheesecake surrounded by sweet and crunchy Nilla wafer crust and a thick and creamy layer of crème brûlée.  This dessert is amazing!  It's so rich and creamy, and the two layers go perfectly together!  Cheesecake and crème brûlée are delicious on their own, but this dessert takes them to a whole new level!

Layered Crème Brûlée Cheesecake
Adapted from: Will Cook for Smiles
Makes: one 9" cheesecake

1 1/2 cups crushed Nilla wafers
6 tablespoons butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 8-ounce packages cream cheese, room temperature
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon corn starch
Crème Brûlée
2 cups of heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup granulated sugar
5 large egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla extract
Extra sugar for torching 


  1. Spray a 9" springform pan with cooking spray.  Cover the outside of the bottom with a layer of aluminum foil to prevent leaking, set aside. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.
  2. For crust: Crush Nilla wafers and place into a bowl. Stir in the melted butter and vanilla; continue stirring until all of the Nilla wafers are moistened. Press the mixture into the bottom of the greased pan.
  3. Cheesecake: Beat the cream cheese with a mixer until smooth.
  4. Add the vanilla extract and the heavy cream; beat well.
  5. Add the eggs, one at the time, beating after each addition.
  6. Add the sour cream, sugar, corn starch, and vanilla extract; beat well again.
  7. Pour the cheesecake batter into the pan on top of the crust. Place in the preheated oven for about 20 minutes.  Meanwhile, make the crème brûlée.
  8. Crème Brûlée: In a saucepan, over medium high heat, combine heavy cream and ¼ cup of sugar. Cook, stirring frequently until just starting to boil. Set aside.
  9. Beat the egg yolks and vanilla until smooth and light.  I suggest using a mixer with the whisk attachment.  Pour in hot cream very slowly (if you do it too fast, you will cook the eggs), a little bit at a time.  Continually beat the mixture while adding the cream.
  10. Remove the cheesecake from the oven.  Using a large spoon or spatula, very slowly pour the crème brûlée over the spatula onto the cheesecake.  If you do this too quickly, the crème brûlée will break through the cheesecake layer.
  11. Bake for 60 minutes, or until the top layer jiggles like Jell-O.  My top layer was a little frothy and browned a bit in the oven, so I covered it loosely with foil to prevent burning.
  12. Remove from the oven and allow it to cool at room temperature for about 30 minutes.  Then chill in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours.
  13. Once it’s chilled, sprinkle some extra fine or granulated sugar on top, a very thin layer.  Using a cooking torch, move the flame continuously over the surface until the sugar is melted and golden brown.
  14. Enjoy!  Store in the refrigerator.
I hope you love this delicious recipe!  We certainly do!

Monday, February 24, 2014

Thomas' 26th

Today is an especially lovely day... It's my husband's birthday!  So the most wonderful thing about today is that I get to celebrate with him the fact that he exists!  

Very quickly, because I know you probably don't care to read pages and pages about how awesome he is, I am just so thankful for him!  I am truly glad that he exists and that he picked me to be his wife.  He has such a great personality and a wonderful heart, and he never fails to make me laugh.  I love the time we have had together so far and I am so glad that I get to spend the rest of my life with such an amazing person!

There, I'm done with the sappiness!  Moving on, here's a little peek at our birthday activities.

I made one of Thomas' favorites for breakfast this morning: banana bread!  For my Banana Bread recipe, click here.
He had to work today (boo), but we got to meet at our local hotdog stand for lunch.  And though I did take a photo of him at lunch (with his hot dog), I will attempt to preserve his manly dignity and not post it all over the internet.

Back at home, his presents are all assembled.  And he'll have to come home quick if he wants to be able to unwrap them himself.  Lolo was all over these things.  I took literally ten pictures of them and only one did not feature Lolo climbing and sniffing around.  She just loves presents (mostly because she wants to chew on the ribbons and play in the boxes).
His birthday dessert is all baked.  We even sampled it last night, and I was pretty pleased with the result.  Thomas' favorite two desserts in the whole world are cheesecake and crème brûlée , so I scoured the internet (a.k.a. Pinterest) for a crème brûlée cheesecake to make for him.  And I finally found a recipe that met my criteria, and here it is:  Layered Crème Brûlée Cheesecake
It features a sweet Nilla wafer crust on the bottom, a rich, airy cheesecake layer in the middle and a creamy crème brûlée layer with some broiled sugar!  It is super rich; a small piece goes a long way.  And that's saying a lot coming from a girl who has a "special compartment" in her stomach that makes her magically always have room for dessert!  (A long-running family joke)  It is absolutely delicious, and it will definitely be a dessert I will repeat, but I may make a few changes next time.  The recipe will be posted later on this week (hopefully Tuesday), so watch out for that!  **Update: You can view the recipe here.

So this evening, I'm cooking Thomas' favorite meal: Chicken Parmesan.  Then we'll just hang out and watch a movie or some Top Gear (UK, of course) and eat some birthday dessert!

Happy Birthday Thomas!

Friday, February 21, 2014

Road Blocks

There are always roadblocks on the way to contentment.  And as soon as you think you've made it past the last, toughest one, you hit another.

Right now, I have two big roadblocks.  And one of them happens to be the big nasty monster called selfishness.  

I think we all struggle with selfishness to some degree.  But, recently, I've realized how selfish I have become.  Somewhere along the way, I decided that I deserve to get what I want.  And it is ok for me to be angry or pout-y or sad when I don't get my way.  And, of course, I know that's 100% not right.  That is a sinful area in my life that needs work.

But I sort of wonder how I got this way.  My parents certainly didn't stand for that sort of thing when I was growing up.  But, I've been out of their "control" for almost six years now.  And most days, there's no one there telling me to check my attitude or to keep me in line.  Thomas does a pretty great job of treating me like a princess, but that doesn't mean that it's ok for me to act like everyone else's interests are beneath mine.

The main area I see this in my life is with my husband.  He would bend over backwards or fly to the moon to make me happy.  And I've started to take advantage of that.  But I want to change.  I want to be better.

I feel like my main purpose right now is to be a godly, submissive, and supportive wife to my husband.  And I can't do that if I'm busy ordering him around to obey my every whim.  I truly want to be the wife and the home he just can't wait to come back to each evening.  And the one he can barely stand leaving in the morning.

So the verse I read this week to remind me that it's not about me is a very well known one, but it certainly needed repeating for me.  It's Philippians 2:3 (NIV).

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Cake Balls

Ok...  I know that title is a mouthful.  But so are these delicious cake balls!  The strawberry cake and the milk chocolate coating are the perfect combination!  
Top them off with some cute sprinkles (like the adorable Valentine's sprinkles I found at the store) or a white chocolate drizzle and you have a finger-food dessert that is great for any time of year!  And they're also perfect for a party since one batch makes about 60 cake balls!  Be ready to share!
Beware though, these are a little intense to make.  It would be absolutely perfect if you had a friend to help share the work, but it is completely possible to make these little beauties on your own.  They are just a little high maintenance but totally worth it!

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Cake Balls
Makes: 50-60
Adapted from: Tidy Mom

1 boxed strawberry cake mix, prepared and baked as directed
1/2 - 3/4 tub of icing of your choice (I used some strawberry and some cream cheese)
about 1 pound milk chocolate
1-2 tablespoons Crisco
White chocolate and/or sprinkles for garnish

  1. Prepare and bake strawberry cake as directed on package.  Allow it to cool completely.
  2. Crumble the cake into a large bowl.  Mix in the icing with a mixer, spatula, or your hands.  Make sure you completely combine the icing and cake.
  3. Roll the mixture into balls about 1 inch in diameter, and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  4. Place in the freezer for about 1 hour to firm up.
  5. Before removing the cake balls from the freezer, melt the chocolate and Crisco in the microwave at 30 second increments until smooth.
  6. Use a toothpick to dip cake balls in chocolate and place on waxed paper to dry.  The chocolate will dry very quickly, so make sure to add the sprinkles (optional) quickly.
  7. Add white chocolate garnish when milk chocolate has dried (optional).
  8. Refrigerate until ready to eat.  These can be served cold or at room temperature.
 *Note:  When dipping the cake balls, I use one toothpick to dip and another to push the cake ball off of the first toothpick.  Then, to cover up the hole, I dab on a little chocolate with a spoon.

I hope you enjoy these delicious treats!  Be sure to have a plan to share some of them, because 60 cake balls is A TON!  Enjoy!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Crepes from Heaven

So, I bought some fresh strawberries at the store yesterday.  And as I was laying in bed last night, I decided just what to do with them... Strawberries and Cream Crepes!


These crepes were absolutely amazing!  Seriously, crepes from heaven is not at all an exaggeration!  I could have kept eating these until it killed me.  That's how amazing they were!  I definitely should not have eaten all four.  I would highly suggest sharing these with a friend unless you want to follow them up with a major workout (which I did, good for me, lol).
You should go make them... Now... Whatever time it is that you're reading this!  I had them for breakfast, but they would be equally as perfect for dessert!

So I used my Crepes for One recipe.  Then I whipped (literally) up some cream cheese cream to put inside of them.  And with the tart, fresh berries.  YUM!
Cream Cheese Whipped Cream (for one)
This made the perfect amount of cream for the four crepes that the Crepes for One recipe makes.  *Note: the crepe in the photo was filled a little too full, so I filled the other ones a bit less to compensate.

2 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
  1. In a small bowl, beat the cream cheese with an electric mixer until smooth.
  2. Add whipping cream and powdered sugar.  Beat until combined and slightly stiffened.
  3. Set in refrigerator while you cook the crepes.  (Crepes for One Recipe)
  4. Spoon two dollops into the center of each crepe, then top with fresh strawberries.
  5. Roll the crepes up and enjoy heaven!
 I am not even kidding.  I would make these every single day of the week if they wouldn't make me fat!  Please go make them so that someone else will know what heaven tastes like with me!

Saturday, February 15, 2014

The Spirit of Valentine's Day

In the spirit of Valentine's Day, I made two yummy pink treats yesterday.  The recipes for both will follow next week, but for now, I just wanted to give a little sneak peek.

For breakfast, I surprised the hubby with some baked donuts.
They are a simple vanilla donut with strawberry glaze.  And of course, you can't forget the adorable Valentine's sprinkles I found at the store!  But since Thomas isn't as enamored with sprinkles as I am, I only put them on half of the donuts.

They were super yummy and weren't too sweet.  Definitely a recipe I'll make again, maybe with chocolate icing next time!  Delicious!

Then, for our Valentine's Day dessert, out of the many desserts I had picked out, Thomas chose the Chocolate Covered Strawberry Cake Balls.
So I made a million of those and topped them off with the same adorable sprinkles!
The thing about cake balls though is that one cake makes a ton.  So we will be sharing a bunch of them with friends over the next few days!

We had a great time yesterday, spending some time outside together.  Then we ordered some pizza and came home for a relaxing night in.  We decided to save "The Monuments Men" for a different night, so I'll give you a review of that when we see it.  Instead, we rented "Riddick" and watched some Olympics while snacking on cake balls!  All-in-all, a fabulous day!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Sweets That Say "Love" {Lundi Little Lovelies}

This year for Valentine's Day, I will be making a sweet treat for the hubby and I to munch on rather than getting dessert at a restaurant.  We're trying to go the bit more budget-savvy route and mostly stay in for Valentine's Day.  So, I've been scouring Pinterest for ideas of something that is both cute and delicious to make.  And in spite of some of Thomas' picky tendencies that narrow down the field, I still have a plethora of ideas.

So here are some of the delicious and adorable treats that I like so far.  And beware, they range from simple to decadent and easy to insanely difficult to make!

***Please note that I do not own the photos or recipes in this post.  They are from many different websites that I have found via Pinterest.  Please click on the link below each photo to go to the website for a recipe.

Raspberry & Chocolate Cheesecake Trifles | Crumbs and Chaos 
Strawberry-Cheesecake Filled Profiteroles via BakersRoyale
Post image for Valentine’s Dipped Rice Krispies Treats 
Chocolate Covered Strawberry Cake Balls #recipe at #ValentinesDay
Dessert Nachos ~ Cinnamon & Sugar sprinkled tortillas piled with dessert toppings! #missiontortillas #recipe #dessert
Strawberry Cheesecake Mousse - A Family Feast
Cherry Cheesecake Pretzel Bites: delicious, easy bite sized treats #Valentines
Sweet Valentine's Day heart cake pops.
Pink Velvet Cupcakes in a Jr | Recipe on
 Creamy Strawberry Dip 6b
Strawberry Cheesecake Muddy Buddies - Creme de la Crumb
Raspberry and Chocolate Mini Tarts from Bakers Royale
  Chocolate Covered Cheesecake Strawberries from Cupcakes and Kale Chips

So, there's a pretty hefty list of some delicious looking treats!  Now, I just have to narrow it down to one... easier said than done!

Friday, February 7, 2014

January Movies

Well, Thomas and I ended up seeing two of the January movies I mentioned I wanted to see in this previous post.  So here are the reviews:

Lone Survivor - This movie was so incredibly INTENSE!  I don't think I relaxed for even one moment of the last hour and a half of the film.  Now, if you are sensitive to language, I would not recommend this movie.  The amount of bad language that was used was, in my opinion, incredibly unnecessary.  But I realize that a lot of people use those words everyday, I just don't agree with it.  Aside from that, I thought the movie was amazing.  It's hard to say it was good, because I know it was based on a true story where many men lost their lives.  The truest thing I can say about it was that it was extremely intense and also very respectful.  The end of the film was very sobering and respectful to those who lost their lives in the events depicted.  One last disclaimer: it was almost physically painful to watch all the things those men went through knowing it really happened.  Whew!  Like I said, I didn't relax at all during the entire last 3/4 of the movie.

Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit - LOVED it!  Just as I suspected, I definitely loved Chris Pine as Jack Ryan.  Though I really don't love Keira Knightley without an English accent.  I love her, but when she uses her real accent.  It is, I'm a bit sorry to say, a reboot.  That's to say that the storyline clashes with that of The Sum of All Fears, the most recent Jack Ryan movie that starred Ben Affleck and Morgan Freeman.  But, the movie was highly entertaining, and just the right blend of action, drama, character building, and comedy.  I would definitely recommend this one to anyone who likes action flicks.

Our next movie date is set for next Friday, Valentine's Day.  And we actually have a kind of weird tradition on Valentine's Day that I absolutely love.  We always go see an action movie.  I know, right?!  Valentine's Day is the one day of the year that you are practically required to watch a sappy chick flick.  But, that's exactly why we don't.  The theaters are packed for the girly movies that come out especially for Valentine's Day.  So we always go see a guy movie instead.  And if I'm being really honest, it makes me feel a little good about myself to be the kind of wife who will do that with her husband on Valentine's Day.  And if I'm being even more honest, Thomas is so great about watching romantic movies and taking me to see the ones I really want to see in theaters, that I don't have to use Valentine's Day as a guilt trip on him.  (But don't ever tell him that I shared that on the blog... he might not be too happy with me for admitting to the world that he watches chick flicks and sometimes enjoys them.)

So anyway, long story short, our Valentine's Day movie is The Monuments Men.  It's not a super "guy" movie like we've seen in past years , we both can't wait to see it!

So there is your movie update!  The hubs just got home, so I've got to go put dinner on the table!

Monday, February 3, 2014

I'll Go Ahead and Consider Today a Success

Because here's the accomplishment I'm the most proud of today:
Yep!  Now I feel awesome.  Lol. 

That is all.