28 September 2009

Mmmm, Cheesecake

Help me pick a birthday cheesecake! Vote on the side --->

Key Lime Cheesecake


1/2 cup sugar
2 pkg. (8 oz. each) Cream Cheese, softened
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 tsp. vanilla
2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
1 tsp. grated lime peel
2 eggs

1 Graham Cracker Pie Crust
1 cup thawed Cool Whip Topping


1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Beat cream cheese, whipping cream, sugar, lime peel, lime juice and vanilla with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended. Add eggs, one at a time; mix just until blended.

2. Pour mixture evenly into graham cracker crust.

3. Bake for 40 minutes or until center is almost set. Cool.

4. Refrigerate 4 hours or overnight. Top with whipped topping before serving.

Red Velvet Cheesecake


Red Velvet Crust Ingredients:

2 cups chocolate graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup butter, melted

Red Velevet Filling Ingredients:

3 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
4 eggs, beaten slightly
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon white vinegar
2 (1 ounce) bottles red food coloring

Topping Ingredients:

4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter, softened
2 cups confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Strawberries for garnish

Red Velvet Cheesecake Directions:

1. Mix together chocolate graham cracker crumbs and brown sugar. Add melted butter and mix well.

2. Press mixture into bottom and up sides of 9-inch spring-form pan. Bake in 350 degree F oven for 10 minutes; cool slightly.

3. In a large bowl combine cream cheese and sugar and beat with a mixer until combined.

4. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

5. Add cocoa, sour cream, buttermilk, vanilla extract, vinegar and red food coloring and continue to beat until filling is smooth and well mixed.

6. Pour batter into prepared crust and bake at 325 degrees F for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until cheesecake looks almost set. Remove cheesecake from oven and cool in pan. Cover and chill in refrigerator overnight (in pan).

7. To make the topping: Beat the cream cheese and butter in a large bowl until smooth. Gradually add powdered sugar and vanilla extract, beating until smooth. Spread evenly over top of cheesecake. Remove sides of spring-form pan and garnish if desired with fresh strawberries.

Brownie Cheesecake


8 oz (1 Pk) Brownie Mix
16 oz Cream Cheese, Softened
3 Tablespoons heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup Sugar
2 Large Eggs
1 tsp. Vanilla
1 cup Milk Chocolate Chips, Melted

Brownie Cheesecake Directions:

1. Grease bottom of 9-inch springform pan.

2. Prepare the brownie mix as directed on package. Pour batter into pan, bake for 15 minutes at 350F.

3. Combine cream cheese, whipping cream, sugar, and vanilla. Mix on medium speed with an electric mixer until well blended. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Pour cheese mixture over brownie layer.

3. Spoon melted chocolate over the cream cheese mixture, then cut through with a knife for a marble effect.

4. Bake at 350F for 35 minutes. Loosen cake from rim of pan; cool before removing rim of pan. Chill.

Orange Cheesecake with Chocolate Drizzle (no picture...)


1 1/2 cups chocolate cookie crumbs
4 tablespoons butter, melted


1 envelope unflavored gelatin
1/2 cup orange juice
24 oz cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup whipping cream, whipped
2 teaspoons grated orange peel


2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon vegetable oil


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Combine cookie crumbs and butter. Press onto bottom of 9-inch springform pan and bake at 350 for 10 minutes. Cool.

3. Soften gelatin in orange juice; stir over low heat until dissolved.

4. Combine cream cheese and sugar. Gradually add gelatin mixture. Fold in whipped cream and orange peel.

5. Chill until firm, about 4 hours.

6. Just before serving - in a small microwavable bowl, microwave chocolate and oil uncovered on high 1 minute to 1 minute 30 seconds, stirring every 15 seconds, until melted.

7. Drizzle chocolate over cheesecake.

24 September 2009

A Plethora of Dance Class Videos

Today was Sariah's second day of Creative Movement Dance Class. Its a pre-pre-ballet class, so they don't have to wear actual dance clothes, just something comfy to move in. If we continue with classes, I'll probably get her some shoes & things! She's really enjoying it. I know, 8 videos is a lot, but she was so cute today!

16 September 2009


Gosh, I realize its been forever since I've posted anything about Sariah. So here are some things that Sariah is really into right now:

1. Outer Space. Sariah loves talking about Space. She's really into planets, stars, the moon, anything up in the sky. And oh, how she'd love to ride in a rocket ship like Curious George does. She use to have huge tantrums first thing in the morning because she couldn't go "up in space!" Since then we've spent hours watching rocket launches on youtube, reading books about space & learning as much as she can. She loves it. If I had known earlier, I would've made her a astronaut costume for Halloween, but it wasn't until after we bought fabric that she started showing her love for space. Airplanes are pretty neat, too. She got really sad one day at the park because the airplane that flew over us wouldn't come back. Needless to say, we spend a lot of time looking for space related activities.

2. The camera. I've got quite the budding photographer. I have 2 cameras, a really nice camcorder, and a cheap small camera I bought at Target for trips. Sariah loves to take the small camera around and take pictures. I like looking at them, because I really get a feel for her perspective on the world. Here is just a small sample of her work.

Yes, that last one is from the day she fell asleep under my bed.

3. Sariah is very helpful. She does mealtime chores right now. She's very good at setting the table & clearing it after meals. She also loves to "help" us cook in the kitchen. She's a very good dumper of ingredients. She loves to turn lights on and off for us & fetch us things. She's going to be a great help when her little brother comes.

4. She's also quite the talker & very observant. When she first meets someone, it takes a little while to warm up to them, but when she gets familiar, she loves to talk. She's good at answering most of our questions. The other day at the zoo she noticed that the spots on the umbrellas were the same as the ones on the giraffes. Although she's starting to get a little bossy. The other morning I was at the computer, she was next to me playing and she said "Mommy, go into the kitchen, get milk for Sariah!" We're working on politeness, and she's normally pretty good with her please, thank you, bless you! Every once & awhile we even get a gesundheit!

5. Some of Sariah's other favorite things include "Green Eggs & Ham" book, almost anything on PBS kids, "helping" mommy race on Mario Kart, playing on the tire swing at the park, riding in the car, getting apple juice slushies at Sonic.

6. We're starting classes this week! This fall we're doing a creative movement dance class, a story time & swim lessons (because we didn't get in during the Summer.) I'm really excited for her, I think she's going to have a really fun time. She's still quite the monkey, and she love to climb. This morning I caught her mimicking the ballet dancers on the Wiggles dvd she was watching, so I think she'll like her dance class. And she told me at the zoo today that she wants to swim like a seal.

7. Speaking of the zoo, (one final story) she did some really great counting today. She counted all 6 penguins by herself, and we learned that camels (at least at our zoo) have 2 humps, so if there are 2 camels, that means 4 humps!

12 September 2009

Football Loyalty 2009

In case you were wondering:

1. Utah Utes: I've been a Ute since I was born. When we lived in Utah, my parents took me to all the games. I grew up on Utah Football, so even though I didn't attend college there, I've gotta wear red!
2. BYU Cougars: Partly out of respect for Doug's family, party because anytime a MWC team wins, well that's good for the conference
3. Florida Gators: I'm a big Urban Meyer fan after what he did with the Utah program back in 2004. I'm sad that meant he left Utah, but he's done some pretty amazing things with Florida that's fun to watch. Tim Tebow's pretty great, too.
4. Texas Longhorns: Ah, Austin will always be my home, so naturally, I adopted Texas.
5. Wisconsin Badgers: We're here, its interesting to follow the local team... nuff said.

everybody else...

So... if Utah plays BYU, then I root for Utah, but if BYU plays Texas, then I'd root for BYU, etc. So while I'm a Ute, when BYU beat Oklahoma last week, well that was awesome. Mostly, I just enjoy football. Some days I'll turn a game on, pick a team and watch.

P.S. The BCS is crap... but that's a post for another time...

10 September 2009

Always Remember

a fireman's coat & hat, found at ground zero
a plane window found at the site of the towers
Its been 8 years. I'm never going to forget what happened 8 years ago. It was a special experience to actually visit ground zero when my mom and I went to New York. You can read more about the individuals that died that die over at Project 2,996.

I've debated about sharing my 9/11 experience here on my blog, because I haven't written it here, but I've made the decision not to. That day isn't about me. That day is about all America. It reminds us that we live in a place that allows us to make our own choices, to think for ourselves, to be personally responsible. We have freedoms that others want to take away because they think they can manage our lives better than we can. That day is about the selfless heroes that stood up to help others & to fight. No matter what anyone else says, does, or tries to make this day into, let us at some point today take a moment and thank Heavenly Father for our blessings, pray for those who lost family or were otherwise personally affected that day, and pray for our servicemen & woman to continue to risk their lives so we can be free.

This is particularly moving. I recommend everyone watch it.

09 September 2009

Proof That Children Can Sleep Anywhere

Yes, that's under our bed...

03 September 2009

Hello World

Awww... isn't he cute?

Introducing our little baby boy! We're so excited. I loved getting a good look at him, his arms, legs, spine, face, heart... I didn't like the seriously full bladder. I kinda overcompensated with the water, and it was seriously painful. I was thankful when we were finally done, it sort of sucks the joy out of it... one the one hand, you want to see the baby move, on the other, man you gotta pee!

I just knew we were having a boy. I've known since I saw that positive test. In ways, I've known since before then, but that's hard to explain. I guess most of that is personal, and things I ponder in my heart. We do have a pretty solid name picked out, but I won't share it here just yet, because for some reason, that feels like jinxing it.

We're thankful to have a healthy boy. We're thankful that we can start telling Sariah about her baby brother! She's going to be an excellent big sister.

02 September 2009

20 Weeks

We're here! Half way. Thank goodness. This has felt like the longest pregnancy ever & esp. the last 3 weeks have dragged on & on. Sometimes when you're waiting for something to happen, like an exam or a root canal, time speeds up, not so much with this pregnancy. Phew, anyways... here are some 20 week stats.

*can get up and down & around, albeit slower than normal. I can still get down on the ground and cut fabric without too much trouble, although I cut almost all the projects out for the rest of the year so I don't have to do it later.
*cannot go into my kitchen/bathroom/car/other places without gagging... STILL
*only vomit once or twice a week... this is a improvement over every day
*can eat beef & dairy again, although I don't do it very much. I had to have a tall glass of milk every day with Sariah's pregnancy, with this one the thought makes me gag.
*exhausted all the time, esp. in the morning. I'd sleep till 11am if I could
*can still play volleyball, as I proved last weekend... I even skinned my knee diving for the ball... hmm, maybe I won't be playing again for awhile...
*been feeling the baby since week 14, but I feel slightly stronger kicks now, but only if I really sit quiet & focus.
*crave McDonald's french fries... seriously, I'd live off them if I could, but I shouldn't
*starting to get some heartburn when I eat food like salsa, hummus, chocolate or walk through Walmart (don't ask why, it just happened and it hurt like crap.) I don't know how to get rid of it if I can't drink milk with my tums. Anybody got some non dairy remedies for heartburn?
*incredibly forgetful: I've left my keys in my car at least 3 times, twice in the garage & once at the "beach" when I locked them & my cell phone in the car. Thank goodness Hilary was there to save me & let me borrow her phone so Doug could rescue us.

I guess that's about it... oh, did you want to know the gender? You'll have to wait, our ultrasound isnt' until later today. Boy vs. Girl has been a hot topic around our house for weeks now, probably since we found out we were pregnant. I am very much on team boy; Doug is very much on team girl. I use to think he was doing it to annoy me, but yesterday I started thinking, maybe he really just wants a girl.

I forget that growing up with sisters has to be different than growing up with brothers. Add that fact that Sariah is just darn cute, and why wouldn't he want to live in a house full of girls? I'll admit, I guess I can see his perspective. I always imagined that I'd have a house full of boys. I've always related better to little boys. One of my favorite callings was a Sunbeam class with 6 boys and 1 girl in it. It wasn't until I was pregnant with Sariah that I craved a little girl. I have always assumed that this time I'd get my little boy.

A couple of weeks ago, Sariah and I were at the splash park. I was sitting on a bench watching her play in the water when a mom & her two girls, about 4 and 18 mo. walked up in front of me to play. I watched as the older sister took care of her little sister & they played together. It really looked like the whole family was having a ton of fun. That's the first time I realized I could be okay if this is a girl. I never had a sister, but I bet Sariah would love one.

Of course, all this is pretty moot until we know for sure. No matter if we end up on team blue or team pink, I think we're going to be excited to have this new child in our family, & Sariah is going to love being a big sister!