Category Archives: Blog

I Don’t Want to Use the C Word But…

When I have a problem, I do what any rational person would do… I ask the internet.

So, I have a problem.

And while there can be much fodder for joking when you say someone is “crazy”…this is not a joke.

A friend of ours is losing it.

“It” being his mind. Get the whole story »

Better Than S’mores

I know I always say that I hate cooking and such but listen up, folks, because I’ve made an amazing culinary discovery that is so easy a monkey could make it. They’re a lot like s’mores—but 10,000 times better because they’re not all sickeningly sweet.

Prepare to fall to your knees and kiss my feet in gratitude, people. Well, unless you eat too many and gain a bunch of weight—I can’t be  responsible for that—but because I care…repeat after me: “I will not eat too many of these even though they are awesome beyond all reason. I will practice self-control. Also? I will ONLY use these to bribe my kids when my sanity is truly on the line. Or I need them to stop beating the crap out of each other because black eyes will totally ruin our holiday photos”

Alright. Maybe I’m building this up a bit too much…but whatever. THEY ARE GOOD. Get the whole story »

Not Smarter Than a Kindergartener

After I picked the kids up from school, I made a stop at a charity thrift store to drop off some donations. Being that close to the doors of a thrift store, where all sorts of treasures lurk, I fought the urge to go inside but my fetish for Danish modern enamelware and the possibility that some might be in there waiting for me was more than I could resist—I fetched the children and headed for the door.

As we were approaching the door, a guy cleaning the glass outside also moved towards the entrance and stood alongside the opposite door, as if he were waiting to go in behind us. I thought nothing of it.

As I was stepping inside, I felt something wet hit my left eye and simultaneously go in my mouth. Get the whole story »

Is it Your Turn to Bring the Dessert?

Then you HAVE to try this…if you’re willing to veer away from plain old pumpkin pie and wallow in some MAJOR gastronomic sin this Thanksgiving!

Seriously, I made this last Thanksgiving and Oh. My. God.

Pumpkin Chocolate Cheesecake – Serves 10 to 12

Crust
3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
3 tablespoons light brown sugar
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

(I used a pre-made 10 in. graham cracker crust. It was much easier but you will have a little batter left over if you do it that way)

Swirl
3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped (I used Ghirardelli’s bittersweet chips (because they are peanut-safe) but any brand is probably fine)
1/3 cup heavy (whipping) cream

Filling
Two 8-ounce packages natural cream cheese, at room temperature
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 cup heavy (whipping) cream
5 eggs
(I altered the recipe and added 1 oz. of the Ghiradelli chips to the list of filling ingredients)

Prepare the crust: Preheat the oven to 275 F. Combine the crust ingredients and press into the bottom of a buttered 9-inch cake pan with 2-inch sides.

To make the swirl: In the top of a double boiler over gently simmering water, melt the chocolate with the cream. Stir until smooth, then set aside, keeping it warm.

To make the filling: Cream the cream cheese and sugar at medium speed in the bowl of an electric mixer, scraping the bowl frequently and beating until smooth. Add the pumpkin, spices and cream, beating until smooth. Beat in the eggs one at a time, beating well between each addition.

Pour filling over the crust OR pour half if you like chocolate and follow the step right below this one.

(This part is my addition. You can skip it if you like less chocolate)–> Evenly spread the 1 oz. of chips throughout and then continue pouring the batter over the chips until pie shell or pan is full

Next, drizzle a spiral pattern with the melted chocolate on top of the filling and swirl it gently through the batter with the point of a knife. Do not stir.

Place the cheesecake pan in a larger baking pan and pour 1/2 inch of boiling water into the outer baking pan. < — (I still did this step even though I used a pre-made pie shell)

Bake in the center of the oven for 1 hour, or until the center is firm and not soupy. (I still did this step even though I used a pre-made pie shell)

Cool at room temperature, then chill at least 2 hours.

To serve, (I served it from the pie tin so I didn’t do this step. Skip unless you’re serving it as a cake) dip the bottom of the pan in very hot water for 1 minute. Invert onto a sheet of stiff cardboard or a plate. Remove the pan and place a serving plate on the bottom of the cheesecake. Holding both the top and bottom plates (or cardboard), flip the cheesecake back over and remove the plate or cardboard from the top.

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(This post was originally written in 2006. I repost it every fall because this cheesecake is soooo good)

Anywhere But Here: The Autumn of My Discontent

So…this is the time of year that I always become unsettled and want to make a major change RIGHT NOW.

If my calculations are correct, it’s also the time of year I get pregnant—Note to self: DO NOT get knocked up.

Anyway, it’s the fall, my favorite season, that does this to me every year. It’s a tiny bit less hot here and it gets dark earlier, neither of which are that impressive unto themselves. They do, however, remind me (along with Twitter and countless blogs) that somewhere else, it’s REALLY fall. Get the whole story »

I’m Just Not Ready for Any of This

Ugh…today is a hard day and it’s only 10:45am.

It started last night with the huz and I talking about our ten year old daughter who is starting to ask questions about Santa Claus. Of course we want to be honest with her but 1) she asked when our five yr old was around, so we really couldn’t and 2) once you spill the beans about Santa, the whole house of cards will come tumbling down—Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy, the Easter Bunny—all that magic will evaporate in an instant. I’m not ready for that.

And today, my daughter has her last cheer event of the season. They cheer at games until October and then they do competitions for a while and then the season is over. I’ve been a very involved cheer mom and so it was hard to put her in a car this morning with her team, knowing I won’t have any contact with her until after 7pm tonight. At the last competition, cheerleaders and parents weren’t totally separated all day but at this one we are and I hate it. I didn’t even get to hug her goodbye this morning. She was in the car doing something and then BAM…they were leaving. I told her I loved her and she’s like “Okay, bye mama”  OUCH. Get the whole story »

Shame on YOU, Target

Obviously, criticizing this ad would have been more relevant before Halloween (and YES,  I may have been the last person in North America to see it) but regardless, I think it was really crappy and mean-spirited of Target to:

a) make kids feel bad about homemade costumes

b) make moms who take their time, energy and creativity to craft a homemade costume look like fools.

Seriously Target… do you really think this is the way to win over the “purse string controlling” demographic—by shaming them?

Let me put this in terms you will surely understand: You don’t bite the hand that pays your shareholders.