Wednesday, July 25, 2012

My Camera is Like a Box of Chocolates

The Entertainer likes to borrow my camera and I never know what I'll find when I plug the memory card in.  And now, for your viewing pleasure - from the vantage point of The Entertainer.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Dark Chocolate Truffle Brownie Cheesecake

I found this pin on Pinterest and immediately thought of The Thinker who, like his momma (pregnant or not) can never get too much chocolate.  When I asked for his birthday dinner request, he asked for frozen pizza, Ruffles potato chips, and chocolate cheesecake.

I had only ever made one cheesecake in my life, not being a HUGE fan of cheesecake and always discouraged by the cost and uncertain results, but when a child requests something as simple as frozen pizza, how can you NOT attempt to make him a cheesecake?

This was a very simple recipe, simply bake the brownie layer, while it is baking prepare the cheesecake layer, pour it on, bake it up, pray, pray, pray that it doesn't crack, chill and serve.  Be wild and throw some birthday candles on if you like.  And if you want to get super crazy with a side of nuts, let your children go crazy garnish with the can of chocolate whipped cream that you bought in a moment of weakness just to get the children to the check out counter quickly and quietly after a thoughtful moment of consideration.  Man, that stuff is really nasty.  The children like it but blech.

The middle was still a bit gooey after baking for 50 minutes, I'm blaming it on the fact that I had no idea what I was doing.  I'm wondering if my springform pan is 8 inches instead of 9?  The top never cracked in the slightest bit - it is simply a gorgeous cheesecake.  Boy howdy, is this thing rich.

UPDATE: Today I had another piece and it wasn't gooey at all.  The recipe said "chill several hours" and while it was baking I did some other researching that said you should refrigerate overnight or even up to 24 hours.  I only chilled it for about 2 hours so I think this was why it was gooey...if you try this recipe, make it the day before.

The birthday boy was very pleased with his birthday "cake".  My dad and his wife took The Thinker out for his birthday lunch, he requested Fazoli's and they took him to Olive Garden!  What a treat!  Happiest of birthdays, Thinker!

Tea Party

Tea parties are a pretty favorite thing to do around here.  Sadly, we don't have them with much regularity anymore, and despite my best intentions, my intentionality has been waning significantly lately. 

The Reader had asked for a tea party several times and I kept putting him off, mostly because I was {and still am, and I'm also convinced I forever more will be} deep in the thick of decluttering and nesting.  I would be scrubbing the crevices of the kitchen counter with a q-tip, ammonia sitting in the oven every time he would ask.  There was always something on the dining room table or a project I was in the middle of.

Soon however, my pregnancy hormones combined with the deep desire to get some extras cleaned out of the fridge and a craving for lemon (a very common craving during this pregnancy) found a stray jar of lemon curd and, much like giving a moose a muffin, if you've got lemon curd, you need to bake some scones to go with it.  If you've got the makings for Mock Devonshire cream in your fridge, all the better (next time I've halve the recipe as now I've a stray container of Mock Devonshire cream and I loathe stray containers of anything in my fridge).

I made a quick trip to our favorite bakery where I spent $4.00, pulled from the hutch some glass dishes and my grandmother's vintage hankies to use as napkins.  I clipped a few flowers from the yard and set the table for an impromptu, and yet still very overdue, tea party.  It was simply too hot for a pot of hot tea so I made iced and no one complained. 

Why do I wait so long to do special things like this?  Why does it seem like a huge deal in my head but really, it wasn't any more work than a normal afternoon snack.  It did create a few more dishes but they were dishwasher safe so who cares?

What have you done to make something special for your children & family lately?