Sunday, April 22, 2012

Mini Cheesecakes

Okay, so here is my first attempt at sharing a recipe with you!  This recipe is SUPER easy.  My mom gave it to me and I'm not sure where she got the original recipe from.  The original recipe is for cupcake-sized cheesecakes but it can easily be used for mini cheesecakes made in a mini muffin pan.

Mini Cheesecake Recipe
Yields: 12 servings or 20 mini servings

Vanilla wafers or mini vanilla wafers (used if you're making the mini cheesecakes)
2 8oz packages of cream cheese, softened
2 eggs
2 T of lemon juice
2/3 C white sugar
toppings: chocolate chips, cherry pie filling, strawberry jam, raspberry jam, whipped cream, etc.

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
2. Line muffin tins with paper baking cups.  Place a vanilla wafer in each cup.
3. In a medium mixing bowl, beat cream cheese until fluffy.  Add eggs, lemon juice, and sugar.  Beat until smooth and thoroughly combined.
4.  Fill each baking cup 2/3 full with cream cheese mixture.
5. Bake for 15-17 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
6.  Cool on a wire rack.
7.  Add any toppings you desire!

Cream cheese, eggs, lemon juice and sugar all mixed!

I made the mini ones using my mini muffin pan

Aren't these cupcake liners adorable?

Mini vanilla wafer in place

Scooping the mixture in

All filled up!

Now what I did was heat up some strawberry and raspberry jam in the microwave and swirl it in the cheesecakes before baking.  What I learned was that while this works great on the regular muffin sized ones, the mini ones get weighed down by the jam and sink in.  (See pictures below)  They were still yummy, just sunken in!

All done!

I forgot to take pictures of the final masterpiece but I put a strawberry on top of the strawberry swirled ones and a raspberry on top of the raspberry swirled ones.  Next time, I would add the fruit and then drizzle on the jam at the end instead of swirling it in.


Monday, April 9, 2012


It's the last day of spring break! *tear*  I can't believe how fast it went!  I'm kind of afraid I will forget to set my alarm clock for tomorrow morning!

Since I love my dog and I love taking pictures, I decided to post some recent pics of Riley!  Last Friday, Ben was home so we took our girl to the dog park!  Other pics are just from around the apartment!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Happy Easter!!

Happy Easter everyone!  Christ has risen and he is alive!  Today is such a happy day!

 "The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified.  He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay.  Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.’ Now I have told you.”

  So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples.  Suddenly Jesus met them. “Greetings,” he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him.  Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.” ~Matthew 28:5-8

Now I know these pictures don't have anything to do with Jesus but aren't they precious?  Happy Easter! 

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Aunt Dorothy

So I have some sad and wonderful news to share.  Yesterday, my great Aunt Dorothy went home to be with Jesus!  She was in her 90's and had been suffering from some complications due to a past surgery so while it is sad news for me and my family, it is wonderful for her.  Heaven gained another angel yesterday!  I know Aunt Dorothy is now looking down on us and is rejoicing in meeting her Savior!  I am sure she is also very happy to be with her hubby again, my Uncle Jennings who we said good-bye to almost 7 years ago.  I am also sure she is hanging out with her baby brother, my Grandfather, who we said good-bye to when I was in 4th grade.  Uncle Jennings and Pop pop, we miss you too!!!

Aunt Dorothy was such a wonderful person!  I loved getting to visit with her and she always was asking about me, Ben, even Riley!  She loved dogs and I remember her little dog, Tink.  Now that I think of it, I am sure Tink is happy to see her too!  She also loved my parents dogs, Oakley and Mali.  Aunt Dorothy always knew how to tell a good joke and give a great hug.  We will surely miss her hugs!

Here are some pictures of my wonderful Aunt.  I think most of them are from the wedding, which is a funny story!  At the time of the wedding, we weren't sure if she would be able to come because she had been having some issues and she was in a rehab place (I think at least) to work on getting better.  Anyways, she was able to come and apparently had to be back at the rehab place by 7:30pm!  At 8:00pm she was still at the wedding!  She kept saying how she had broken curfew and how she was such a rebel! Again, great sense of humor!  Finally, she left but not before she gave me one of her great hugs and smiles!

Chipotlesque Burritos

So we tried out the Chipotlesque burritos on Thursday!  They were.....good! But not Chipotle.  The chicken was yummy and spicy but the rice was not lime-y or cilantro-y enough.  Good notes for next time!  Overall, the burritos were yummy but in their own way.  I definitely would try making them again! Here are some pictures of the yummyness!

Yummy rice!  Needs more lime and cilantro next time.

Yummy chicken!

Friday, April 6, 2012


I JUST finished Task 4!  It is a great feeling!  Now all that's left is to go over everything with the rubrics, tweak it here and there, and submit by April 23rd!

Now, it's time for sleep.  Night!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

3/4 done!

Task 3 is done!  Yes!  One more to go!  Now, a short break then on to Task 4!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012


So, if you know Ben and me, you know that one of our most favorite places to eat is Chipotle!  For me, it's a chicken burrito (sometimes bowl if I'm trying to be good), no beans, with cheese, lettuce, and sour cream!  Ben is a fajita chicken burrito guy with lettuce and cheese (I I can't quite remember what he gets on his).  So about a year ago, I stumbled upon a website that claimed to have Chipotlesque recipes.  I tried them out and the burritos were pretty tasty but not QUITE like our favorite restaurant.  The rice was too cilantro-y and the chicken wasn't spicy enough.

Since then, I've been wanting to try again but the problem is the marinade suggests marinating over night and I usually didn't think about trying the recipe again until the day of....see my problem?  Enter: SPRING BREAK!!  Now, I've been pretty busy this break doing non-fun things, like cleaning and completing my online portfolio for grad school.  But that also means I am home and can make the marinade ahead of time.  YAY!!!

So tonight I made the marinade....what do you think?

Before blending!  Lots of garlic

All blended up!  At this point I tasted a little and it was HOT!  Wonder how the chicken will be

Marinated chicken!

So come back tomorrow (or maybe Friday) to see how the Chipotlesque burittos turn out!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

2 down, 2 to go!

Task 2 is done!! Yessss!!!

Now, I'm going to be a good student and get started on Task 3.  Wish me luck!

Task 1 done!!

Task 1 of 4 is done!  Woohoo!!!!  What in the world am I so excited about you ask?  Task 1 is done!

For those of you I haven't seen recently, Task 1 is part of a 4 part online portfolio that I have to complete for my graduate program.  This portfolio is due April 23rd so my spring break is solely completing it.  The portfolio is called the Teacher Performance Assessment, or TPA for short.  I am one of the (not so) lucky few who are part of the pilot program of TPA at the University of Maryland.  It is intense and requires a lot of writing, thinking, reflecting, and I even have to submit a video of myself teaching!

So, my goal is to complete one task a day and take the fifth day to go over the entire thing with the rubrics before submitting it.  Yesterday's task was task 1 and even though I was up till 12:30am, I got it done!

Now on to task 2....and a puppy play to come of the play date

86 days till graduation!!!