Life's great journey is made up of day by day delights.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

You deserve a treat!!!

Ok! I know a lot of my posts seem to be about food but what can I say? I have to maintain my girlish figure somehow! ;-) This is a new one I really liked from http://www.eatbetteramerica.com/! I love this site! They provide lots of yummy recipes but in a way that cuts calories while not sacrificing flavor. These mini cheesecakes are pretty easy and a definite crowd pleaser! Look for my alterations at the end.
57% less fat • 61% less sat fat • 37% fewer calories than the original recipe—see the comparison. Tempt your tastebuds with a chocolaty cheesecake that's easier on the waistline, once in a while. From eatbetteramerica.


Prep Time:20 min

Start to Finish:2 hr 25 min

makes:12 servings



Cheesecakes

12 foil baking cups

12 thin chocolate wafer cookies (from 9-oz package), crushed (2/3 cup)

12 oz 1/3-less-fat cream cheese (Neufch√Ętel), softened

2/3 cup sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla

1/4 cup unsweetened baking cocoa

1 whole egg

1 egg white

1 oz bittersweet or semisweet baking chocolate, melted

Topping

1/3 cup fat-free hot fudge topping

Fresh raspberries, if desired



1. Heat oven to 325°F. Place foil baking cup in each of 12 regular-size muffin cups. With back of spoon, firmly press slightly less than 1 tablespoon cookie crumbs in bottom of each foil cup.

2. In large bowl, beat cream cheese with electric mixer on medium speed until creamy. Beat in sugar and vanilla until fluffy. Beat in cocoa. Beat in whole egg and egg white until well blended. Stir in melted chocolate. Divide cheese mixture evenly among crumb-lined foil cups.

3. Bake 28 to 32 minutes or until set. Cool in pan on cooling rack 15 minutes. Remove cheesecakes from pan; cool 15 minutes longer. Refrigerate about 1 hour or until chilled.

4. To serve, carefully remove foil baking cups. Spread fudge topping on cheesecakes. Garnish with raspberries. Store cheesecakes covered in refrigerator.

** I had no chocolate wafers and for some reason could find them no where SO in place of those I bought some Kroger brand chocolate graham crackers. I crushed them and added a little butter to make them pressable since without the butter they are quite dry. Thankfully I tested out the hot fudge topping beforehand and it was just not good. So instead I made a quick ganache out of 4 unsweetened chocolate cubes, about 1/2 cup of 1/2 and 1/2 and maybe 1/2 cup of sugar....I really just eyeballed it so my measurements may be a bit off. To make the ganache, I filled a small pot with some water and let it heat up while setting a glass bowl on top of that. The glass bowl just set on top of the pot, the bottom barely resting in the water. In the bowl I put the chocolate, 1/2 and 1/2, and sugar and melted it slowly (test first, make sure you are happy with the consistency and taste). I then put the ganache on top of the cheesecakes. I had no raspberries (which I <3) so I used strawberries instead which were equally divine. I sliced my strawberries at an angle and not all the way through and then fanned them out to "fancy" them up a bit. I know, I know....the ganache may have defeated the whole "healthy" aspect of this yummy treat but honestly I think it was better than the stuff in a jar. The hot fudge topping tasted fake and was full of stuff my body doesn't want or need. These lil' yummies are kind of small but surprisingly filling and most definitely satisfying! Let me know what you think of them! :-)

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Iron sharpeneth iron

I have so many very special day to day delights! One of those delights, as a whole, are my friends! A friend is such an important thing to have and not just a friend but a close friend. I am lucky enough to have more than one! Through life the idea of a friend changes as one matures and grows. In kindergarten, a friend may be the one you sit next to in class, play hop skotch at recess with, or make (and possibly eat.....) paste with. Moving on up through life, a friend may be the one that finds out who your crush is for you, who you go to the mall with, who you study with, and who you laugh with through all hours of the night at a slumber party. And then through the years we learn who our friends are through life experience's. Friends are the ones that are there with you through the good AND the bad. True "besties" are there to let you cry on their shoulder or cry with you, they are there to encourage and edify you and maybe put you in your place when need be. They are there for those random text messages, long e-mails, and even longer conversations! Friends are there to laugh with you and possibly at you as it goes with my bunch sometimes. :-) Real, true friends are there to pray with you and if they say, "I'll pray for you", you know they mean it. They are there to offer advice, offer a laugh, or offer a hug. Friends truly want the best for you! Friends are people that you can grow with as well. They won't hold you back. They want to see you happy! These traits I just listed are only a few of the great qualities I have in my friends. I am more than blessed to have them in my life and I thank God for them!

Proverbs 27:17 "Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend."

Monday, May 17, 2010

Enchilada Pie

Ok, so tonight I made an enchilada pie. I went by a recipe from e-mealz.com. Overall, it was good. Eric was practically in love with it. Me? I was only in like with it. It was missing something but I can't quite put my finger on it. I'm going to post this recipe and encourage you to try it. Let me know how it went in your own household and if you can think of any adjustments that might kick it up a notch. OR if by just reading the recipe you can see something I can't PLEASE LET ME KNOW! Like I said, it was good but it just needs to be better. So here is the recipe. Ideas and suggestions are encouraged and greatly appreciated!

Enchilada Pie
serves 2-4 people

1 lb. ground beef
14 oz. can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 pkt. taco seasoning mix
1/2 small chopped onion
1/2 can black olives, drained and sliced
4-6 medium flour tortillas
8 oz/ cheddar or Mexican blend cheeses

Brown beef and drain. Combine tomatoes, seasonings, onion, olives, and meat. In pie plate, layer sauce, tortilla, sauce, and cheese (3 to 6 times.) End with cheese on top. Cook at 425 degrees for 20 minutes, uncovered. Edges will brown and crisp.

*I added some paprika and garlic powder to the meat and it seemed to help a little. Try it out and let me know what you think! :-)

Thursday, May 13, 2010

So many things to blog about so little time!

WARNING! WARNING! This blog will be extremely random, lengthy, and most likely full of my spazzy pizazz! I am just so happy right now with so many things I want to share. I'm bubbling over!  I hardly know where to begin! Hm....

Psalm 100
1. "Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands.
2. "Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing.
3. "Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
4. "Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.
5. "For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations."
I'll start with praise. That's always the best place to begin! God has been so good to my husband and I. We are truly so blessed! In Eric's (my hubby) line of work, jobs have been unstable due to the economy. MANY are out of work! Last August through late October he had even been laid off. Thankfully the Lord provided him a job and Eric was able to get back to work. We knew that was a true answer to prayer! Since then we have prayed that God would take care of Eric's work situation....I mainly prayed that he simply wouldn't LOSE his job AGAIN. I didn't pray too much into detail beyond that. In the past month or so, he had heard rumors that the company he was working for would soon go under but he kept up with the job. He was always able to meet his hours and so he never looked for a new job especially since there are soooo many other men out there in need of work. Out of the blue, he got a call on Friday about a job offer. A company was looking to hire on a new HVAC service technician. They called the Union Hall and someone there recommended Eric highly. I find that something to be proud of......out of all the unemplyed men out there, they chose Eric! He met with the owner of the company and he got hired on. It could not have come at a better time! He got that phone call for the job offer at exactly the same time the bank was coming to take over his company and start closing things down. If that's not the Lord's hand working, I don't know what is!! Every time I think about this, I want to cry with happiness! God has satisfied all of our needs and beyond. We do not have to carry the burden of worrying about work. Will he get laid off? Will he not? That question has been answered and Eric is happily on day 2 of working with the new company! PRAISE THE LORD!!!

New topic (I warned that this would be random): I love being married so much. More than I can adequately express. My husband is so absolutely amazing! He has taken care of me, held me when I cried, made me laugh, been a sweetheart, prayed with me, encouraged me, and has been everything I have ever looked for. There are so many things about him I love. From his adorable facial expressions to his sense of humor to.....well...EVERYTHING. One of my favorite things that he does, though, is when he cuddles me in the morning. Eric has to get up pretty early every morning for work and when he wakes up he instantly rolls over and wants to hold me. He tells me he loves me about a million times. He calls me "the most beautiful girl ever" even though he clearly hasn't opened his eyes all the way. I mean in the morning I have crazy hair sticking out in every direction, a hint of morning breath, and am just an all around mess. It doesn't deter him from letting me know how he feels....I guess I'll take it! ;-) And last but not least, he gives me scruffy lovin's. That's right. SCRUFFY LOVIN'S. What is that you ask? Scruffy lovin's are the best thing a girl could ask for! It is when he kisses you or presses his cheek against yours and has his morning stubble. I love it because it is kind of a contrast. By that I mean, he is all rough and stubbly and it kind of hurts when he rubs his cheek on yours yet he is being so sweet and cuddly and soft and adorable. And it doesn't just happen in the mornings, he will do it in the middle of the night too. I will wake up at midnight and he is holding me telling me how much he loves me. I don't know if he thinks I'm asleep and I can't hear or if he is trying to get me to wake up. Either way, I don't mind because seriously? Could he be any sweeter?!?!? I tend to roll around in my sleep. A lot. That annoys him because he can't get to sleep himself. So what I end up doing is staying up almost all night so I don't even move a little. The other night I had drifted off and thought I had rolled so I woke up. He whispers in my ear, "Honey, I want you to get rest. You deserve it. If you need to roll over, go ahead. I don't mind. I just want you to sleep. I love you so much! I love you more than myself and I would do anything for you. I don't think you even realize how much I love you." How could a girl not have sweet dreams after that? My Scruffy Lovin's is so precious. :-)

So much more to say but I will leave you with this recipe for now. I tried it last night and Eric and I LOVED it!!!
Pesto Chicken Sandwiches (with a side salad and fresh berries for dessert)

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, pounded
(1 tbsp. olive oil)
Italian seasoning (optional)
Garlic salt (optional)
2 Ciabatta rolls
1 small jar of pesto
Mozzarella cheese

 Pound the two breasts out with a meat tenderizer. Pour oil onto skillet and saute chicken breasts till thoroughly cooked and slightly browned. I sprinkled the breasts with some italian seasoning and a little bit of garlic salt but that is optional. Slice and toast ciabatta rolls. Lay on baking sheet and lightly sprinkle some olive oil on bread. Bake till crispy. Remove rolls when crispy, sprinkle mozzarella over and bake till cheese is melted. Slice the chicken into thin strips. Spread the pesto onto one side of roll then pile on the chicken. Can also add a slice of tomato for sandwich.Voila! A yummy and unique alternative to a simple turkey sandwich or burger! Serve with a salad and some fresh mixed berries.

All of these ingredients, exluding the pesto, were from Aldi's. This was a fairly cheap and definitely delicious meal! I got the recipe from http://www.e-mealz.com/! A wonderful site that helps plan out a meal budget along with giving you recipes for each week according to your family needs. I highly recommend it.

Ok my few readers, I am done....for now. I promise to keep up more so my posts are not as crowded and random. Let me know if you try the recipe and what you thought of it! Feel free to share a favorite recipe of yours with me! :-)