Monday, October 19, 2009

I ♥ Faces “Pink” Photo Challenge

I dedicate this week to my mom and mom in law who are both surviviors! This picture of my mom and Paisley is so special considering we are so lucky to have her here with us. The pink glasses are priceless! I will never forget the morning she phoned me and said she had a old fashioned marble size lump and her doctor said to watch it! I phoned a surgeon and had her in the very same week and a diagnosis! It was a very aggressive breast cancer and they were able to do surgery, chemo and rad. The last six years are such a blur. Not for my mom, she has been through it all. Way to be the best mom and survivor I know. She thanks Jesus and so do we. Love you mama.

October is breast cancer awareness month, take time to stop by and look at all the great pink photos at I Love faces!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Pumpkin Spice!

I love the flavors of fall, here is a bite size treat sure to spoil your taste buds!
Black Bottomed Mini Caramel Pumpkin Cheesecake Bites

8-10 whole Oreos, finely ground in food processor

1 1/2 Tablespoons melted butter

8 oz softened cream cheese

1/2 Cup granulated sugar

1/2 Cup pumpkin puree (I used Libby’s)

1 large egg

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg

caramel topping

24 Pumpkin Spice Hershey Kisses, unwrapped

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Combine ground Oreos and melted butter into a bowl until well combined. Spoon into 12 mini cheesecake cups that have been sprayed with cooking spray. Press into the bottom of each cup so the crust is flat. Partially bake for 10 minutes then remove from oven.

2. In a stand or electric mixer beat the cream cheese, sugar and pumpkin until smooth. Beat in egg, vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg until combined. Pour evenly into the 12 cups filling about 3/4 way full. Spoon about a teaspoon of caramel into the tops of each filled cup and swirl with a toothpick gently. Bake for 25-28 minutes or until cheesecake is cooked through. Let cool completely.

3. Remove cheesecakes from pan and top each with a spoonful of remaining caramel and a Pumpkin Spice Hershey Kiss. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

24 mini cheesecakes

I will post a pic when I get them cooled! They smell fabulous.
I found the pumpkin spice kisses at target.

Monday, October 12, 2009

I ♥ Faces “Excited” Photo Challenge

When I saw excited I knew the picture I would enter. Nicholas was so tickled to catch a brown trout and a big one to boot! This is a priceless picture and will be one of my favorites for many years to come. Please stop by I ♥ Faces to see the other great pictures!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Chocolate cake and grapes!

I love this time of year. The smells are so crisp and baking is so fun. I made a cake for Nicholas today and twinked the recipe a bit to make it more fall like. It is hard to believe frost and pumpkins are here.
Jeff has a weekend plannned to close Yellowstone Park. We always try to open and close the park. We love it there and the kids enjoy the timeshare and swimming too. We are going to check out a hot spring right outside the park and soak our feet! I am blessed to have a wonderful husband who takes time for family and my children who teach me so much.
We are making wine this year and have had fun with the crush. The kids had never stommped the grapes.
They are merlot from the Prosser area in Washington.. Jeff makes wonderful wine and this is the first batch to be made in Idaho Falls. The grapes we planted here are doing better this year. We hope to get a little juice from those also.
the recipe is following, enjoy and thanks for stopping by.
Amazing Chocolate Zucchini Cake
Wow, this is one of the better gluten free cakes we've had. Very light, fluffy, and so moist!

2 1/2 cups gf flour blend (see sidebar at right for recipe)
1/2 cup cocoa
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 teaspoons xanthan gum
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 cup shortening
2 cups sugar
3 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 teaspoons grated orange peel
2 cups coarsely shredded zucchini
1/2 cup milk
1 cup chopped nuts (opt)

Preheat the oven to 350°F.
1 Combine the flour, cocoa, baking powder, soda, salt, and cinnamon; set aside.
2 With a mixer, beat together the shortening and the sugar until they are smoothly blended. Add the eggs to the shortening and sugar mixture one at a time, beating well after each addition. With a spoon, stir in the vanilla, orange peel, and zucchini.
3 Alternately mix the dry ingredients and the milk into the zucchini mixture, including the nuts with the last addition. Mix until smooth.
4 Pour the batter into a greased and flour-dusted 10-inch tube pan or bundt pan (I used a 9x13 pan, as I didn't have a bundt pan). Bake in the oven for about 40-50 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pan 15 minutes; turn out on wire rack to cool if baking in bundt pan. Otherwise, leave in 9x13 pan.
5 Drizzle a glaze of your choice over cake.

I made it with substitution of 1 cup pumpkin plus 1 cup zucchini and left out the vanilla by accident. I added 1 cup white choc and 1/2 cup dark choc chips. This made 12 large muffins, costco size large. The cocoa i used was Gourmet Ramstadt breda rich dark cocoa.

Both ways are wonderful, enjoy!