Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Cheesecake Pancakes

My kids being in school has kept me busier running around than them out of school! But life is good. They are happy in school and having a great time. I love watching them learn and grow. They are so great! I made these a few weeks ago.

When I was pregnant with #2, husband and I went to IHOP and yes, they had CHEESECAKE pancakes. Wow, I can still taste them. I am not an IHOP person, but I am a cheesecake person. And they only had these pancakes one time a year, in the summer and now, not even then. Sad story.

So, I got on a mission! Scoured the internet for an awesome cheesecake pancakes recipe. The bad thing was that I had to have actual cheesecake chunks in them, which I didn't have. And since "making a cheesecake" is on my list of things to do, I wasn't about to venture out and make one for pancakes. So, I found this recipe which has cream cheese pieces throughout and it was really good. I added a 1/2 cup of graham cracker crumbs to it to try something new.

2 cups self rising flour
2 cups milk
2 eggs
2 Tbsp butter (melted)
2 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp vanilla
6 to 8 Tbsp of cream cheese (at room temp)

1/2 cup graham crackers

Blend all ingredients together with a spoon. Pour on a hot griddle that has been prepared with a little butter. Once the batter bubbles it is time to flip! Allow it to cook a few minutes on the other side. Serve with strawberry sauce (recipe follows) and some fresh whipped cream if you like!

Put on strawberries, put on this vanilla cool whip topping that is pure heaven!

cool whip

vanilla pudding


Monday, August 29, 2011

Muffin Monday: Pumpkin Muffins

I made these pumpkin muffins the other day in honor of "wishing it were fall", because it really has been so unbearably hot here and is currently 107. At least in the fall, it will only be 90! This recipe is from a can do anything! woman in my church. They are fluffy and light, which is surprising for pumpkin anything! They are fast and easy and perfect for breakfast. You will love them!

I halved the recipe and everything worked out fine.

3 1/2 c. flour
2/3 c. sugar
4 t. baking powder
2 t. cinnamon
1 t. nutmeg
1/4 t. cloves
1/2 c. chopped walnuts

In another bowl combine:
2 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 c. milk
1/2 c. oil
1 c. pumpkin

Mix the top, add the bottom. Stir just till moistened. If you stir too much, you will get "peaky" muffins. Don't use cupcake liners. Spray pan and fill 2/3 full. Bake at 400 for 15-20 min. Mine only took 15, so check then. Serve with butter and/or cream cheese. Yum o. Makes 24

Friday, August 26, 2011

Friday's Favorite: The Only Blog I Read Religiously

This is the funniest and most entertaining blog you will ever read. I am not joking. You will get lost for hours in it. Every time I see a new post, I get all excited because I know it is going to be a) hilarious b) thought provoking c) emotional or d) all of the above. Mostly, it is funny. And I am proud to say I know the guy who writes it. He is my bishop (someone who is in charge of lots of stuff at our church). His wife is close to perfect, they have 7 kids, homeschool, sing, dance, etc and smile, alot!! You'll do yourself a favor by stopping by.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Fat Friday: Cookie Dough Cheesecake Bars

Honestly, do I need an introduction for these bars? They look like pure heaven don't they?! If you want a chance at these yummy yums, answer this question:
What is the baking/cooking challenge that scares you?

Mine is making cheesecake and also bar b qing. I am going to make the attempt on both of these soon!

This recipe comes from My Baking Addiction

For the Crust:
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough:
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup flour
1 cup chocolate chips

For the Cheesecake Filling:
10 oz cream cheese, room temperature
1/4 cup sugar
1 large egg, room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


1. Preheat the oven to 325 F. Line an 8 inch square baking pan with parchment paper or foil allowing a little overhang and spray with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.

2. Mix the melted butter and graham cracker crumbs until thoroughly combined. Press the mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake in preheated oven for 6 minutes. Remove pan to a cooling rack. Do not turn your oven off.

3. While the crust is cooling, prepare the chocolate chip cookie dough. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or in a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar, salt and vanilla until smooth and thoroughly combined, about 1 minute. Mix in the flour on low speed, and mix until just incorporated. Mix in the chocolate chips. Set aside.

4. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or in a large bowl with an electric mixer cream together the cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Mix in the egg and vanilla on low speed just until incorporated. Pour the cheesecake batter into the prepared crust. Using your hand to form clumps, distribute the cookie dough onto the top of the cheesecake batter in teaspoon-sized clumps. Be sure to use all of the dough. You will cover most of the cheesecake batter.

5. Bake for about 30 minutes, until the top feels dry and firm (the cookie dough) and the entire pan looks set if given a gentle shake. Move bars to a cooling rack and allow to cool completely.

6. Lift the bars out by the overhang; slice into desired size and store in the refrigerator. Serve cold or at room temperature

adapted from The Essential Chocolate Chip Cookbook

Thinking Thursday: William Wordsworth

I loved my college education. I loved learning about Romantic poetry from England, Ireland and Scotland. In fact, my only real regret I have is not going on a British literary tour with my college. It was only $2,000, but that seemed like a lot to a 20 year old college girl who made around $400 a month!

I love William Wordsworth. He was a wonderful, creative, insightful poet. He was so close to nature and God and could really appreciate trials and tragedies, as he lost many relatives to different illnesses. My favorite poem by him is called, "I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud". I love his use of imagery in this poem. The last stanza (paragraph) concludes with him saying, he is grateful for beautiful experiences that he can look upon later and think about with happiness. I just love this picture!

I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

The waves beside them danced; but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
A poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company:
I gazed---and gazed---but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:

For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.

This is the picture I am most familiar of. Doesn't he just look smart?! Someday I will make it to England and see his house and I can't wait!

Is anyone else a poetry person? Any favorites out there?

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

2 Year Old Birthday Cupcakes!

Decorating cupcakes is NOT my forte! My sister is much better at that stuff! My cute 2 year old loves babies, so I tried to make these baby cupcakes look like they were under a blanket. I don't mind sharing my funky failures! This was my first attempt with fondant and I cut it out with a flower cookie cutter to look like a blanket.
I can bake a mean cupcake and my frosting turned out perfectly this time! Hooray!! The cake was a bit more dense than I like, but not bad. Next time, I'll have to look for a fluffier recipe. My husband loves dense though so he was pretty happy with it! I got the cupcake recipe here. The frosting was super yummy and creamy and chocolatey!! I found the recipe here.

Vanilla Cupcakes
Makes 36 or so

3-1/2 cups AP flour
2-1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1-1/2 cups (3 sticks) butter, unsalted
2 cups sugar
4 tsp vanilla extract
6 eggs
3 tbsp canola oil
2/3 cup buttermilk


Preheat oven to 350F. Prepare cupcake pan with liners.

In a large bowl, sift to combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

In a stand mixer, fitted with a flat beater, cream the butter and sugar for about 5 minutes until light. Add vanilla. Then eggs, one at a time. (Don’t worry if the batter looks curdled.) Add oil and buttermilk. Slowly add flour mixture in 3 additions and mix until just combined. Try not to overmix!
Fill cupcake liners about 1/2-2/3 full. Bake about 17-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Let cool completely before frosting.

Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting
  • 8 ozs cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/4 C unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 4 C sifted powdered sugar (You can decrease this amount if you don't care about it being as stiff for piping)
  • 1/2 C cocoa powder
  1. Mix cream cheese and butter until smooth and creamy.
  2. Mix in powdered sugar, one cup at a time.
  3. Mix in cocoa powder

Monday, August 22, 2011

Root Beer Roast

Yes, I do cook meals, not just bread and treats! And this is a great meal. Looking at this picture, it looks a bit like mush, but trust me, it was delish and super easy!

Get a roast and put it in the crockpot. Put on onion soup mix and 12 ounce can of coke or dr pepper or sprite or root beer. I used diet root beer. It was still awesome. Add potatoes and carrots. Cook overnight and when you come home from church, you will be so hungry you'll have few bites before dinner! Add these rolls and you're good to go!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Muffin Monday: Popovers

Popevers, I have always wanted to make them and just wasn't that impressed by them. Honestly, they didn't have the umph that I thought they would. There wasn't anything wrong with the recipe, I just think I was expecting something different. The one on the right was very burnt, just bad!! The one on the left turned out. My kids loved them. They are really easy though! Found the recipe at
  • Nonstick vegetable oil spray
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour

  • Powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 450°F. Spray nine 1/3-cup muffin cups with nonstick spray. Whisk milk, eggs, vanilla, cinnamon and salt in medium bowl to blend. Add flour and whisk until smooth. Divide batter among prepared muffin cups (about 3 tablespoons batter per cup).

Bake popovers 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350°F. Continue to bake until popovers are brown and crisp, about 20 minutes. Turn popovers out of pan, loosening with small sharp knife if necessary. Sift powdered sugar over and serve immediately.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Friday's Favorites: High School Movies

Isn't it fun to watch old movies you loved from high school and childhood? I thought yes, until I watched my 3 favroties wtih Blake and I was a bit bored. Yes! Bored. I was ALMOST ashamed of how many times I watched these movies and loved them. Yes, I was a different person. 16 and full of whimsical dreams of the future....but you can't say you didn't love these movies too!!

Does this movie even need an introduction? I think not!! How many times did I watch this movie? Too many to count. How many times did I ditch school to watch this movie? I think 3. How many times did my husband see this movie? Zero. Until recently, I made him watch it. All 3 long hours and although the tragic events of the Titanic are just awful, I just found myself giggling at some parts. "I'm flying, Jack". "I'll never let go, Jack." etc. My husband was actually pretty into it. Was fun to watch This movie really is fun, but maybe I just liked it more as a teenager. Although, I will never let go.....

I don't know how many times my siblings and I watched this movie. Maybe a million! I don't know what was so fascinating about this: the dead people, the hilarious Robert Downey Jr, the happy sappy ending. Blake had never seen this either. We watched it a few weeks ago. I wasn't bored actually, I really liked it. But I just remember it being so magical when I was younger. I guess I am a jaded old soul now.=) Although I still cried when the dead people moved on.

Ah, Romeo and Juliet. The tragic story of two young lovers and one of my high school favorites. Another one that I may or may not have watched around 50+ times. Another my husband hadn't seen. We watched it, about halfway through we turned it off. I know I loved this movie in high school but I just couldn't do it anymore! I think I am getting old? I think I have an obsession with death? I think I have an obsession with Leonardo DiCaprio? No, but I do love John Travolta.

Any movies you loved then that you are just not too sure about now?

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Fat Friday: Indoor S'mores

If you want a chance at these bad boys, tell me one fun thing you will be doing the last week before school starts!

You will want these s'mores! They are addicting. My best roommate in college, Mikaila shared these with us and we would eat them in 1 or 1/2 a day, ok in 1 hour, so sue me! I have tried other recipes and these are truly the best!! The best, I tell you!!

This picture courtesty of Tatortots and Jello: Mine are the same, just haven't made them yet!

8 c. cereal

5 c. marshmallows

1 c. marshmallows (garnish)

1 ½ c. chocolate chips

¼ c. corn syrup

5 T. butter

1 t. vanilla

Microwave marshmallows, chips, syrup, butter uncovered 2-3 min. Stir after every minute. Stir in vanilla. Mix with cereal and marshmallows.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Thinking Thursday: Songs about Growing Up

So, recently, I have been thinking a lot about my cute kids and their growing up and the happiness and sadness that this brings to me. I don't know if it is the new school year upon us and my oldest going to first grade and my middlest going to preschool and my youngest, well, doing the same stuff. But still growing up! It's so strange to be in this situation. Some day, they will be getting married, going to college, etc. I am getting ahead of myself.

I have always loved music. I love the messages lyrics portray and I love belting out the songs and turning them off when I am about to cry because they hit to close to my heart. So, these are three of my favorite "growing up" songs that just get to me. They are in a sort of chronological order. I hope you enjoy and get a tissue.

By the way, why is is the country songs that always get to me?!

Any songs that get to you?

Phil Vassar: Just another day in Paradise (young kids phase)

The kids screaming, phone ringing
Dog barking at the mailman bringing
That stack of bills - overdue
Good morning baby, how are you?
Got a half hour, quick shower
Take a drink of milk but the milk's gone sour
My funny face makes you laugh
Twist the top on and I put it back
There goes the washing machine
Baby, don't kick it.
I promise I'll fix it
Long about a million other things

Well, it's ok. It's so nice
It's just another day in paradise
Well, there's no place that
I'd rather be
Well, it's two hearts
And one dream
I wouldn't trade it for anything
And I ask the Lord every night
For just another day in paradise

Friday, you're late
Guess we'll never make our dinner date
At the restaurant you start to cry
Baby, we'll just improvise
Well, plan B looks like
Dominoes' pizza in the candle light
Then we'll tippy toe to our room
Make a little love that's overdue
But somebody had a bad dream
Mama and daddy
Can me and my teddy
Come in to sleep in between?

Then They do: Trace Adkins (this is the one I have to turn off or I start bawling!)

In the early rush of morning,
Trying to get the kids to school:
One's hanging on my shirt-tail,
Another's locked up in her room.
And I'm yelling up the stairs:
"Stop worrying 'bout your hair, you look fine."

Then they're fightin' in the backseat,
And I'm playing referee.
Now someone's gotta go,
The moment that we leave.
And everybody's late,
I swear that I can't wait till they grow up.

Then they do, and that's how it is.
It's just quiet in the mornin',
Can't believe how much you miss,
All they do and all they did.
You want all the dreams they dreamed of to come true:
Then they do.

Now the youngest is starting college,
She'll be leavin' in the Fall.
And Brianna's latest boyfriend,
Called to ask if we could talk.
And I got the impression,
That he's about to pop the question any day.

I look over at their pictures,
Sittin' in their frames.
I see them as babies:
I guess that'll never change.
You pray all their lives,
That someday they will find happiness.

No more Monday PTA's,
No carpools, or soccer games.
Your work is done.
Now you've got time that's all your own.
You've been waitin' for so long,
For those days to come.

You're Gonna Miss This: Trace Adkins
She was staring out that window, of that SUV
Complaining, saying I can't wait to turn 18
She said I'll make my own money, and I'll make my own rules
Mamma put the car in park out there in front of the school
Then she kissed her head and said I was just like you

You're gonna miss this
You're gonna want this back
You're gonna wish these days hadn't gone by so fast
These are some good times
So take a good look around
You may not know it now
But you're gonna miss this

Before she knows it she's a brand new bride
In a one-bedroom apartment, and her daddy stops by
He tells her It's a nice place
She says It'll do for now
Starts talking about babies and buying a house
Daddy shakes his head and says Baby just slow down

Five years later there's a plumber workin' on the water heater
Dog's barkin', phone's ringin'
One kid's cryin', one kid's screamin'
She keeps apologizin'
He says they don't bother me
I've got 2 babies of my own
One's 36, one's 23
Huh, it's hard to believe

Sea Shell Frames

We have been to the beach for the last two years and we have created quite the collection of sea shells. But what to do with said sea shells that will make them last and not destroy them? Frames, of course! My daughter and I finally made these the other day and we had a great time. She is really creative and fun and had lots of good ideas. Don't mind the empty frames, we are going to get some beach pictures in there! I love the eclectic feel of these. It only took about 10 minutes and some hot glue and some pretty sweet shells!

German Pancake

No, you don't have to go to Germany to try this pancake, although that would be lovely wouldn't it?! I know the picture is a bit funky, but this stuff tastes like a mixture of pancakes and eggs. Now I am starving. Maybe I'll make it tomorrow. It's one of the only meals my family will all eat!

Add a little powdered sugar and maple syrup and dare I say, strawberries? cinnamon perhaps?!

  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 6 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Melt butter in a medium baking dish.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix flour, milk, eggs and salt. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish.
  3. Bake on center rack in the preheated oven for 30 to 40 minutes, until golden brown.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Meet My Friend: Craft Goodies

Hello to you all! It's Wendy from Craft Goodies here-
Craft Goodies
 (to say thank you to Heather for helping me out with my blog while on vacation last month!)
I have been revisiting a few of my older posts over the last little while and ran across this one.
My girls have since added quite a few drawings to their collections and I'm in need of this post so I thought it would be perfect to share with Heather and her readers.
Hope you enjoy it, and hey, stop by and visit me anytime!
 I have challenged myself to bring color into my house. This is an extension of that challenge. My girls rooms are very white-walled and in need of decor.
I want to add a photo frame collage onto the main wall of my 7 yr old's room, but wasn't sure how to fill the frames until she brought me a few of her drawings.
She has plans to be an astronaut and own her own spaceship when she's older. This is what it's going to look like...

This is very important to her and so I wanted a way to make sure the picture lasted for as long as possible.
I had her color the picture with regular crayons and then I ironed the image onto a piece of cotton muslin.

The image transfers easily onto the fabric and leaves a reverse print of the original picture.
I then backed the fabric with a thin piece of felt and using black embroidery floss, back stitched around the entire image, being sure to follow her lines and details.

The result is a permanent work of her art that we framed and will add to her room.
She loves it, and it so proud that her picture is on the wall. I love that I don't have to hang on to every piece of paper that she colors on.
And here's the sappy mommy moment:
when my little girl is one day off, soaring through the stars to Jupiter, I'll be able to look at her picture and still have a piece of her close by...
No budding artist in your home, or are they dead set on having Dora on the wall and you don't draw?
Problem solved!
I ran across a fantastic tutorial earlier.
Nora from over at Handmade and Heavenly
shares how she got some of her son's favorite cartoon characters onto their pillows.
A similar process to what I did, but a lot more details and pictures!
Check out her tutorial here...
Happy Crafting!


For some reason, the link isn't working, so if you want to visit Craft Goodies, here is the address:

And you will want to visit!!!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Meet My Friend: Our Plant Based Family

Jessica and I go waaaay back, like to 5th grade! We played together for years and slept over and I even saw Back to the Futre 3 at one of her birthday parties! She is great. And her blog is great too. Full of healthy, allergy friendly, gluten free, plant based meals. She has a lot of great ideas and you should check her out here!

Kale Chips

Don't be afraid of little green things! These chips are so tasty. You may find yourself eating a whole batch (like we did). That's okay... they are really good for you. Kale is an excellent source of calcium, lutein, iron, and Vitamins A, C and K. The Icing on the Kale" is the naturally occurring all important phyotochemicals which research suggests may protect against cancer. All in a light crispy chip. They are so easy to make too! Gluten-free, vegan, nut-free, soy-free.

1 bunch (around 6 ounces) kale

1 TBS olive oil

Sea salt to taste (don't over do it you can always add more after they bake)

Preheat oven to 300. Rinse and dry the kale, then remove them stems and tough center ribs. Cut into large pieces, toss with olive oil and salt. Arrange leaves in a single layer on a large baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes. Enjoy!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Meet My Friend: Notes She Wrote

Hey there, Belles Bazaar!

I'm Marie, one of Heather's old college friends and the oldest of the four sisters at Notes She Wrote ( I guess I'm just old! Heather and I used to live in the same apartment complex, and her recent post about ID had me all homesick for living life, Idaho style. Oh, what I would do to go bridge jumping right now. :)

Anyway, Heather asked me to guest post and I'm thrilled to be here, especially since she said I can talk about anything! So, I thought I'd list my top five favorite things I love to do with my sisters, and you better believe "cooking, crafting and funning" are all in there!

1. We love to go thrift shopping together. You should see us try on a million things and then leave the store feeling like bandits...Is this for real? I spent less than $50 and came home with like 25 things?? And then we come home and try on everything again and model them for each other.
2. We love a good photoshoot! I'm a photographer who is lucky enough to have three gorgeous and stylin' sister models on my hands. When we get together, we combine our creative juices and usually come away with some great pictures. My sister just younger than me (LuLu) has recently caught the photobug, too, so who knows? Maybe this little photography passion will trickle down the sisterhood and we'll be four photographing sisters! (Now that would be cool.)
3. When we get together, we like to eat good food! Problem is, none of us really has a passion for cooking, except Emma, thank goodness. So, when we're together she usally spoils us rotten and cooks and bakes for us and acts like she loves it (I think she really does!). Chocolate Chip Banana Bread, yummm.
4. We all have a thing for music. I play the piano, Lu plays the violin, Emma plays the guitar, and Lissie sings (and plays the piano and guitar...we call her the star child because she dances, too :)). Anyway, we love creating together, and a recent favorite creation is a song my youngest sister Lissie and I wrote together about my my three kids. It's called Pixie Dust ( I wrote the lyrics ( and she wrote the music and did the vocals. I cry every time I listen to that song!

5. Last but not least, we like to get our craft on. Picture the four of us sitting around my kitchen table. I'm sewing up some bandana bibs (, Lauren's giving one of her thrifted animal print shirts a makeover (, Emma's nearby making us an banana split ice cream cake (, and Lissie's rockin' out singing a favorite song (
But the bummer is, usually we're not together in person. I'm married with three kids and living up in Washington, Lulu's married and has a baby boy clear out in Texas, Emma's down in Utah with her hubby and baby girl, and 16-year-old Lissie is living the teenager life still at home in Germany. So, to keep in touch and share our passion for all things creative we recently started a blog called "Notes She Wrote (!" We'd love it if you stopped by!

And thanks SO much for having us here on your awesome blog, Heather! There are seriously so many gems in here!


Here's the video of their song Pixie Dust, which Marie wrote and Lisie plays and sings. It will have you hugging your babies and never want to let go!

I love Marie! She is the one sister I know and all the rest of her sisters seem to be just and adorable and fun as she is.=) She is an amazing photographer and all the sisters have their own special talents. So, go stop by and see them and thanks for posting, Notes She Wrote!!


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