Did I Say That I Made Cheesecake?

Yup!  Only the second time in my entire life that I’ve ever made Cheesecake.  I had no idea where to start, so I turned to my girl Martha, Martha Stewart that is.  I kinda-sorta followed the recipe, but I remembered that the first time I did this, the recipe made me TWO HUGE CHEESECAKES!!

AND I didn’t have quite enough Cream Cheese this time around.  I had three blocks left over from my Carrot Cake frenzy of this past Spring.  When I checked the “use by” dates on them it was all hands on deck!

My changes were 3 bricks of Cream Cheese instead of SEVEN, 3 eggs rather than 5 and half of what was called for all of the ingredients for the filling.  The crust was a standard crust recipe off the box of the Graham Cracker Crumbs, simple.

It came out very dense and not as sweet, I really liked it better actually.

That’s a lot of Cheesecake for two people though, so I frozen probably half the cake, in slices, for later.

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A Cross Country Road Trip ~ June/July 2018 ~ Part 3

Next up: A back road drive from Huddleston Virginia to Chincoteague Island Virginia.

We decided that we really didn’t want to drive on the big highways, its so much more pleasant to take the road less traveled.  It took a little longer, but well worth it.

Not a real big island, but what a great place!  And why are we on Chincoteague you ask?  My husband’s good friend of many, many years has a home there and it just so happened that he was there while we were passing by, so we stopped for a while.

[I just had to get a souvenir]

Chincoteague is just a quaint tourist town.  Cute shops, restaurants and oh yeah, the Assateague Ponies are right across a small bridge.  I couldn’t get a good enough photo of the horses, but WOW!  If you go, make sure you’ve got your NPS America The Beautiful Pass!

And talking about the restaurants, we went to two places that were fabulous!  DH’s Old Friend had asked what we’d like to eat and in unison we both said, SEAFOOD!!   😀

Ray’s Shanty, just off Chincoteague Island was just plain delicious!

My husband ordered a Fried Oyster Platter and I had the Shanty Special 3 Item plate of Flounder, Steamed Shrimp and Clam Strips, Oh My GOSH!!!  With a nice cold local brew on tap along side, I was very happy.  Oh yeah, we did share by the way  😉

The other great restaurant that we went to was Bill’s Prime Seafood and Steaks right there on Chincoteague Island.

Both DH and I had a salad, they were huge; I ordered Crab cakes to DH’s 2 plates of raw Oysters on the half shell.
That was a real treat for us!

Old Friend made us dinner too!  Gorgeous Prime Porterhouse Steaks on the grill.

Well, my DH and his Old Friend started to get-a-yackin’ and, ummm, kinda forgot the grill … it was delicious!

We both had a really nice visit with his Old Friend, but we need to motor …

We Will Remember!

Remember

 

Never, EVER forget!

 

A Cross Country Road Trip ~ June/July 2018 ~ Part 2

Well, we made it to Huddleston Virginia, Smith Mountain Lake to be more accurate.

The majority of the gang rented this large home right on the Lake, while we opted for a small condo not far away and also on the Lake.

What more is there to say?  We all had a great time with all of the water toys available

A nice Boat, Jets Skies, Canoes, Kayaks, Flamingo Floaties (these were my personal favorite 😉 ), Wakeboards, and Stand Up Paddle Boards… and what do you call that inflatable that you pull behind the boat?  OH! And did I say that this was the very first time in my entire, cough cough, years on Earth that I’ve been IN a lake?

There’s was definitely something for all ages and abilities 😀

That’s is our #2 Nephew on the WakeBoard, YEEHAW!!!

On our last night, our third Niece and her Beau got engaged on a Sunset Canoe ride for two, how romantic ❤

Also on our last night together, we had a catered supper.

WOW!

That was some spread!

This Family Gathering sure was a blast, loads of fun, lots of laughter … we can get just a wee bit loud when all of are together, but I mean come on, there was TWENTY FIVE  of us   😮

But, it’s time to move on to …

 

Happy Anniversary To A Great Couple!

Twenty-five years ago today, I was so very lucky  to marry my best friend.

Here’s to another 25 years together.

Morning Glory Muffins

I had these muffins on my mind for the past few days, but what with this and that comings and goings, I just got around to making them.  I’ve made these previously, for our new Communities Craft & Bake Sale back a ways… the gluten-free muffins actually did better than the regular ones believe it or not.

My muffins are a jump-off from King Arthur Flour’s recipe, but with a few twists and turn of my own… I just can’t seem to follow a recipe, I’ve got to give them a tweak here and there.

 

Auntie Doni’s Morning Glory Muffins

½ C. dried Cranberries, chopped

2 C. AP Flour

1 C. Brown Sugar, less 1 Tbsp.

2 tsp. Baking Soda

2 tsp. Ground Cinnamon

½ tsp. Ground Ginger

½ tsp. Salt

2 C. peeled and grated Carrots

1 large Apple, peeled, cored, and grated, approx. 1-1 ¼ C. (I had Fuji Apples, but use what you like)

½ C. shredded Coconut, sweetened or unsweetened

½  C.  chopped Pecans

½ C. canned, crushed Pineapple, drained well, reserve the juice

3 large Eggs

2/3 C. Vegetable Oil

2 tsp. Vanilla Extract

2 Tbsp. Molasses

¼ C. of that reserved Pineapple Juice

 

Preheat the oven to 375°F.

Lightly grease a 12-cup Cupcake tin (or 6-cup Jumbo muffin tin), or line it with papers and spray the insides of the papers (I used Baker’s Joy spray-no papers).

In a small bowl, cover the dried Cranberries with hot water, and set them aside to soak.

In a large bowl, whisk together the Flour, Sugar, Baking Soda, Spices, and Salt.

Stir in the Carrots, Apple, Coconut, Pecans and Pineapple.

In a separate bowl, beat together the Eggs, Oil, Vanilla, Molasses and Pineapple Juice; add to the Flour mixture, and stir well.

Drain the Cranberries and stir them in.

Divide the batter among the wells of the prepared pan, filling each cup to the top.

Bake the Cupcake sized muffins 20 minutes and the Jumbo muffins for 25 minutes, until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center of one of the inner muffins comes out clean.

Remove from the oven, let cool for 5 minutes in their pan on a rack, then turn out of pans to finish cooling. Wrap any leftovers airtight, and store at room temperature for several days; freeze for longer storage.

Yield is about 1 1/2 dozen Cupcake sized or 8 or so Jumbo Muffins, this time I got 12 Cupcake and 2 Jumbos… nice for sharing 😀

These little cuties are delicious any time.

ENJOY!

A Cross Country Road Trip ~ June/July 2018 ~ Part 1

I have been most neglectful of my blog, yet again, but I have good reason, a road trip across the United States.  We went from Northern Arizona to Western Virginia and so many other places, but Virginia was the main event… A Family Gathering.

This is Kona, our nephew’s pup enjoying the Lake

My husband’s large-ish family planned a wonderful Lake Side week in Huddleston Virginia, so we had to hoof it!  `Remeber now, we’ve just gotten back from a month in Hawaii … In all, there were 25 folks planned for this get-together, phew!

Our first stop was Tucumcari New Mexico.  We’d stopped for an overnight stay once before and checked into the same hotel.  I won’t bother to tell you which one `cuz it was horrible and we’ll never go there again, for sure!

Next up was a two night lay-over in Fort Smith Arkansas, wow, that was a long drive, EIGHT HOURS  to be precise.

We spent the better part of our second day at the Fort Smith National Historic Site, fascinating by the way-you should go, and then started to look for lunch.  I chatted up the Park Ranger Pat, and she suggested Bricktown Brewery.

YUM!

We started out our meal sharing an order of Bavarian Pretzel Sticks, served with a White Queso for dipping and then my husband and I each ordered the Bricktown Burger, again, yum!  This ¼ pound patty is served on a Potato Bun along with your usual suspects, oh and Sweet Potato Fries dipped in the leftover White Queso.

I also enjoyed a draught Beer, although I’d be hard pressed to tell you which one, but it was perfect with my meal.

Stay tuned for more of our month long adventure…