Monday, November 25, 2013

A Family Favorite: Danish Apple Cheesecake

Thanksgiving is upon us! In fact, we've already celebrated turkey day twice and are getting ready for the big day.  My favorite Thanksgiving tradition is the one in which we celebrate just as our little family.  We started doing this not long after we were married and it has been so much fun trying new recipes.  Usually, we do it and then decorate for Christmas, but this year we did it earlier and so that didn't happen. . . . bedtime did.  And, that's okay. . . really.  

But, one of my very favorite fall recipes is one that will look wonderful with on your dessert table, because there's always more than one, right?  This recipe is probably the recipe that someone calls, texts, or emails me for at least once a year, so I thought I would put on the blog (because I apparently haven't shared this with you yet) so that I can always find it and so can you.  

I know that pumpkin based desserts are kind of the spotlight of fall.  And I love me some pumpkin!  Really, I do. . . I have a whole Pinterest board dedicated to it! But, sometimes you just need some apple. . . and cheesecake. . . and in this case, why not both?

The first step is to make your crust.  It's so yummy!  Combine your flour, sugar, and chopped almonds.  I just buy sliced almonds (it's a staple in my pantry) and chop them coarsely with my chopper. If you don't have almonds, walnuts work, too!
You can either do add your cold butter to your food processor or cut into pieces and take your fork to it for-ever.  I like to do it this way:  I freeze my butter, and then take my microplane and grate it.
It ends up looking so pretty and all curly like.  Then I take a fork and stir it together and eventually just get my fingers in and mix it all together by hand.  It's kind of messy on the hands, but it is well worth it!
Add almond extract (or vanilla).  This recipe is seriously adaptable. . . and so very delicious!
Pour it in the bottom of your springform pan.  Make sure you spray it down first because you don't want to have to dig your slices out afterwards. Pat it down flat.  Stick it in the fridge while you work on the filling and topping.
Cream your cream cheese filling until it is so soft and fluffy.
Spread it on the top of your crust. Stick it back in the fridge.
Cut those beautiful green granny smith apples (sorry, those are my favorites!).  I don't even bother taking the peel off.  I like the color that the green adds to it and isn't that where all the nutrients really are?  Toss it together with all the good stuff.
It should look like this.
Pour it over the top of your cheesecake filling and spread it around.
Doesn't that just look delicious!
Stick it in the oven and bake it.  You're house is going to smell amazingly.
Eat. . . it's delicious.  It's the best the first day, but it's still pretty amazing the next day. . . if it lasts.  

Danish Apple Cheesecake
Adapted from Taste of Home

1 cup flour
1/2 cup chopped almonds (or walnuts)
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup cold butter
1/4 tsp almond extract (or vanilla)

1 pkg (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1 egg, lightly beaten

1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 tbs flour
1 tsp ground cinnamon
4 cups thinly sliced apples
1/3 cup almond slices

In a small bowl, combine flour, almonds, and sugar.  Grate cold butter in and combine with your fingers until crumbly.  Add extract.  Pour crumb mixture into bottom of a greased spring form pan and press down until nice and flat.   Refrigerate for 30 minutes. 
In another bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar, and cream of tartar until smooth.  Add egg.  Beat on low, until just combined.  Spread over crust.  
In a large bowl, combine apple slices, sugar, flour, and cinnamon.  Spoon over the filling.  Sprinkle with almonds.  
Bake at 350 for 40-45 minutes.  Cool for 10 minutes.  Run a knife around edge of pan to loosen.  Cool for 1 more hour.  Refrigerate overnight for a firmer cheesecake.  It's still super yummy if served when warm.  

Friday, November 22, 2013


First of all, I may (just maybe) be on a caffeine high.  I had a little over an hour of unexpected me time, so I went to get myself a latte from my favorite coffee shop (not Starbucks, btw) before heading to Ethan's class to help them make Pumpkin Pie for their Thanksgiving Feast. I am exhausted, yet I can't stop moving.  It's great for getting things done!  

Second of all, I finally finished round 1 of Pajamas.  It took me forever. . . not because they take a long time to sew (they don't), but because. . . I am easily distracted.  Seriously, distracted should be my middle name.  But, I finished and as soon as I get this post done, I am going to go cut out some big boy pajama pants so I can get those done in the next few days. . . I am highly motivated!  
These were my fabrics.  Some were from my stash, and others were from JoAnns.  Coupons and sales made these very inexpensive.  It was great!  I will definitely do this again.   Plus, I seriously cannot get enough of this boy's cuteness!  Weston's pajamas took some adjusting to do since he is a little guy, he needed between a 18 months and 2T.  But, when you sew your own, you can make sure they fit around the waist and are the perfect size.  Plus, there are some wonderfully cute fabrics out there!  
I made a mix of cotton and flannel, so that they will last the majority of the year. These Rock and Roll dinos were so much fun!
These one's might just be my favorite! 

I used a this pattern for this round of bottoms and found it to be very simple to use.  There are tutorials here, here, here, and here, and probably about a hundred other places.  I used a pattern because I tried using my own template based off Ethan's pajamas and there were a few flaws, so they became Weston's fourth pair (see below).

Obviously a little long in this picture, but hemming them up is really easy.  Also, ignore my one goof. . . it gives them character, right?

Have a great day!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Snickerdoodle Bread

If you follow me on Facebook or instagram, you have probably heard of my quest to find of cinnamon chips.  And, thanks to several of my very helpful friends (followers), I found the infamous chips at Walmart (which means, I stepped foot inside a walmart. . . something I don't like to do unless absolutely necessary. . . this WAS necessary).   So, thank you very much!  I bought 5 bags and plan on buying more next month and hoarding them in my freezer, bring them out periodically over the next 12 months.  I think it will work, right.  (I must say, I am not normally a hoarder, but when it comes to this recipe, and a few others, I will hoard in order to make them during the year.  You do what you have to do! 
 You see, 2 years ago, you could find these chips during the holidays at your local grocery store.  I bought 2 bags, not knowing how much I would LOVE the treats baked from them, including the recipe I am about to share with you.  Then, they disappeared from the shelves only to be brought back to select stores nationwide.  (I really think that needs to change. . . I am surprised more people haven't scoured shelves for them because this recipe is a KEEPER! 

Recipes for Snickerdoodle bread are all over Pinterest.  Most of them are pretty much the same recipe, but some changed it up a bit.  I liked one that used Sugar in the Raw instead of regular sugar for the topping.  It gave it more of a crunch, kind of like Panera's cinnamon crunch bagel (we are huge fans!).  But, if you don't have it available in your pantry, feel free to use regular sugar. . . It's still going to be awesome!

Snicker Doodle Quick Bread
adapted from various pins on Pinterest, like this one

2 1/2 cups flour, sifted
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 cup butter, softened
2 cups sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
3/4 cup sour cream
1 pkg. Hershey's cinnamon chips
1 tbsp. flour
3 TBS sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon


Cream together butter, sugar, salt, and cinnamon until light and fluffy.  Add eggs and mix well.   Add vanilla and sour cream.  Mix well.  Mix flour and baking powder in a separate bowl.  Then sift slowly into batter.  Do not over mix!  Combine cinnamon chips in a bowl with 1 tbsp flour.  Stir together and then pour into batter.  Stir with a spoon.  Spoon into 4 mini loaf pans.  Mix sugar and cinnamon in a bowl and sprinkle over each loaf.  Bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes.  Cool for at least 20 minutes before removing from pan.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

A love for washi!

I have been on the lookout for some great washi tape.  I wasn't overly impressed with the Smash brand, because two whole rolls stuck to the tape under it, when unrolling, leaving it basically useless.  So, I thought I would try some that I found over at Pick your Plum.  They had a great deal a while back and I loved the bright colors.  I have since found a bunch that I have been happy with and I am having sooo much fun!  

 I think the possibilities are pretty much endless with Washi Tape.  It definitely makes wrapping gifts so much fun (and colorful!).  Right now, I am having fun laying my tape down as a banner, with uneven ends and then running that paper through my Big Shot with an embossing folder.  I have even recently discovered that I can also use embossing folders made for the Cricut Cuttlebug. . . more options!  (I actually may have a slight addiction to using 40 percent off coupons on these things!)
This Washi was actually a paper pack/stack of adhesive sheets by WeRMemory keepers.  I was able to cut the pieces the desired width and go from there.  But, I loved the colors and patterns!  So, much fun!
I even made Halloween cards with some Halloween Washi that I found on sale at Michaels.  So much fun, right?  And so easy.

Have you ever played with Washi?  Have you pinned anything using Washi?  Go. . . visit Pinterest and look for fun Washi ideas and copy and past the link to the comments.

Happy Crafting.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Pumpkin Butterscotch Cookies {a dare}

We are wrapping up a wonderful 4 day weekend with a fun day for the boys and I.  We hung out in our pajamas, painted, and went to the movies, made candy topped brownies, and just had a blast.  Not to mention, it was beautifully overcast and fall-like today.  It really has been wonderful!  
But, now I must get back into the grind of things and it is hard.  I finished a bunch of projects and am getting ready to start another bunch of projects. . . which should be fun.  But, really, my body just is protesting. . . it wants to curl up on the couch and read a good book (there's one waiting for me now!).  The house doesn't need cleaned, right?  The children can manage on their own?  ha ha.  Back to reality, I go.  
 These pictures don't really help.  In fact, I am completely surprised that I haven't blogged about these gems before now.  You see, these beauties came to be as a result of a dare. . . yes, I was dared to make a recipe that was super good!  Plus, it just screamed fall!  Butterscotch and Pumpkin. . . both amazing. . . even more marvelous when bundled together in one cookie.
 I actually might just feel a tad bit guilty for posting these beauties because the dare-er has yet to have any (that I know of).  They really were that good!  I am really glad to know that I froze some of the dough to keep on hand for those moments when you just need some pumpkin.
 I even bundled some up in some hand-stamped fall packaging to give to a friend.  I had to share. . . they were that good!
Pumpkin Scotchies
From The Girl who ate Everything

2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 cup butter, slightly softened
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 tbs vanilla
3 cups old fashioned oats
1 bag butterscotch chips

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Combine flour, baking soda, salt, pumpkin pie spice, and cinnamon in a small bowl.  Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, eggs, pumpkin, and vanilla in large mixer bowl until light and fluffy.  Gradually beat in flour mixture.  Stir in oats and morsels.  Batter will be wet.  If you want thicker cookies, chill dough in fridge for 30-60 minutes.
Line cookie sheet with silpat or parchment paper.  Use your cookie scoop to drop cookie dough onto cookie sheet.  Bake for 7-8 minutes.
Cool cookies on baking sheet for about 2 minutes before moving them.  Cool completely (although they taste delicious warm. . . just don't burn your tongue!)

Also, these are cookies that are best if you just keep them out. . . being stuck in a bag causes them to get soggy.

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Celebrating FALL with my favorite Pumpkin Bread

So, Halloween is officially over and with that I guess fall.  Seriously, one thing that annoys me with commercialism.  All Fall decorations, pumpkin spice candies, etc are put away in exchange for all things Christmas.  Because people around the country stop eating pumpkin after Halloween {insert sarcastic tone here}.  (thank you Starbucks for keeping the PSL til after the holidays. . . I appreciate it!).

I say that, because Friday I felt like a crazy person looking for Pumpkin Spice Hershey Kisses.  Thankfully, my friend found some and picked them up for me, because I really wanted more of these. So, in rebellion of commercialism and for the love of all things pumpkin, I bring you my favorite Pumpkin Bread recipe (that, and I can't believe I have never blogged about it before!).

Spiced Pumpkin Bread
from Taste of Home, 2002

31/2 cups flour
3 cups sugar
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp salt
2 tsp ground allspice
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground cloves
4 eggs
1 (15oz) can solid packed pumpkin
3/4 cup vegetable oil
2/3 cup water

In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients.  In another bowl, combine eggs, pumpkin, oil, and water; mix well.  Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened.  Pour into desired loaf pans.  Original recipe calls for 3 greased 8x4x2, but I used one loaf pan that is larger than that and 4 mini loaf pans, so I could freeze some and give some away. 
Bake at 350 degrees for 50-60 minutes, half that if using minis.  Cool for 10 minutes before removing it from the pan.  


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