Mini Cheesecakes

If you’re looking for a quick and easy recipe for a delicious dessert for a party or get together, this recipe is for you!

I absolutely love cheesecake and have a few different recipes for it, from cherry to blueberry to lemon to chocolate swirl, but this is by far the easiest.

I like to use this recipe for mini cheesecakes, but you can tweak it and use it for a large one.

These were a huge hit at our New Year’s Eve party a few weeks ago.

Mini Cheesecake Recipe

2 cups of graham cracker crumbs

5 tbsp sugar

6 tbsp of butter or margarine, melted

6 8oz packages of cream cheese (don’t try to save calories and use light cream cheese, you will lose the rich flavour)

1.5 cups of sugar

2 1/2 tsp of vanilla

6 eggs

Heat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit and line muffin tin with paper liners.

Mix the graham cracker crumbs, 5 tbsp of sugar and the butter or margarine in a bowl. Press the mixture into the paper liners (approximately one heaping tbsp – depends how thick of a cookie base you would like).

Beat the cream cheese, remaining 1.5 cups of sugar and vanilla in an electric mixer until smooth. Add eggs one at a time at low-speed.

Scoop the mixture over the graham cracker crust (until muffin cup is almost full).

Bake 25 min or until the cheesecake centers are almost set. Cool completely and refrigerate for several hours.

This makes approximately 36 mini cheesecakes. You can half the recipe for less.

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Now when it comes to cheesecake, you have many topping options. You can leave them plain or top them with whipped cream, fresh fruit, a dollop of cherry filling, lemon zest or a combination of things.

I chose to top mine with some whipped cream (so easy to do, 35% whipping cream and a little sugar) and some fresh blueberries. I really wanted to use raspberries but they are costing a fortune these days.

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I didn’t have a chance to snap the best picture of them, I did a quick one with my iPhone before the party but they turned out great and tasted even better!

Enjoy!

Gifts for Him

I love Christmas and everything that comes with it. The only challenge I seem to run into each year, is finding the perfect gift for that special someone. My mom used to be the hardest person to buy for, but for the past couple of years, she has been creating a Dropbox and updating with ideas regularly – this makes things so much easier. Now the person most difficult to buy for is Steve. What does he need versus what does he want. Here are a few gift ideas for the special guy in your life!

Amazeballs $24.50 – Indigo

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Two times the power of square drink stones, they will keep your drink colder for longer. Made from food safe stainless steel, filled with a specially formulated food-safe glycerin gel that freezes without diluting your drink. Freeze for four hours and keep your drink cool for up to 45 minutes.

Nike + Fuelband SE $99.99 – SportChek

pSPCK1-19396574dtThis device is designed to track the intensity of workouts, counts steps, tell time, display your progress in real time, sync with your iOS or Android device, and it has Bluetooth. What a great way to track your activity – a great gift to go along with a New Year’s resolution.

The Nest Learning Thermostat $249.99 – Best Buy

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This fancy gadget is a sleek and intelligent heating and cooling system. This handy gadget quickly learns your habits in approximately one week, programming itself based on your schedule and preferred temperature settings – glowing blue for air conditioning, red for heat, and black if it is off. It has Wi-Fi Connectivity which allows you to access it from your laptop, smartphone or tablet to change the temperature, view whether or not you are saving energy and more! While connected to Wi-Fi, it can also monitor the weather to understand how the temperature affects your energy use.  It is a little pricey but it is designed to save you in energy costs in the long run.

 Lambswool Mockneck Sweater in “Oatmeal heather” $69.95 – The Gap

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I love this sweater. I had to include the photo of it on the model, because the photo of the sweater alone did not do it justice. It is 55% lambswool and 45% Nylon and is also available in a navy blue colour.

The North Face Etip Glove $45 – The North Face

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These warm, four-way-stretch fleece gloves are perfect for the chilly temperatures. They will not only keep his hands warm, they also feature a silicone gripper palm pattern to provide superior grip, allowing him to swipe and use his touchscreen device without exposing his hands to the cold. I love this idea!

Hopefully these ideas help with the shopping for the guy(s) in your life. Only 17 shopping days left until Christmas!

Plaid Squared

clearPlaid is a hot item in fashion this fall/winter. It’s funny how fashion trends come full circle. Right now there is a lot of 80’s and early 90’s fashion that has reborn in a more subtle and “fashionable” way.

When I was little, I had quite a few plaid outfits, so I made it my mission to find a few for Everly. I came across these two pieces that I had to have!

Joe Fresh $16

Joe Fresh $16

Old Navy $16.94

Old Navy $16.94

How cute is that dress? And the pants with the little zippers at the ankles? Too cute for words.

Of course I couldn’t stop there. I had to find something equally cute for Maxton.

Old Navy $19.94

Old Navy $19.94

Can’t wait to dress my two little ones in their little plaid get-ups!

Next came the hunt for a plaid shirt for me. I have tried on so many but always have a hard time finding one that is fitted through the body but still long enough in the arms. I finally came across one that I loved that fit great, and is nice and warm! It will look great with a pair of jeans and tall boots.

Old Navy $29.94

Old Navy $29.94

I also couldn’t resist this cute scarf after this blast of cold weather we’ve been having.

Old Navy $19.94

Old Navy $19.94

Last, but not least, Steve. There are A LOT of plaid options out there for guys. I had no problem finding something for Steve. I stuck with this find from Old Navy (if you haven’t guessed already I snagged all of these during an awesome sale) for him.

Old Navy $29.94

Old Navy $29.94

Stylish right? Why not add a plaid scarf for him too?

Old Navy $19.94

Old Navy $19.94

I plan on dressing the kids up in their plaid ensembles for their upcoming Santa photos. I think I may have to snag a family plaid photo just for a laugh!

Happy plaid shopping!

Halloween Fright

I hope everyone had a great and spooky Halloween!

We had rain for most of the day yesterday, but there was a small window for trick-or-treaters to get out before the rain started up again, along with hurricane-like winds (which are much worse today).

I wasn’t quick enough to get out to take pictures of our house before all of that started, so I only got a couple of not-so-great photos.

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I meant to get out sooner but didn’t get the opportunity.

It took EVERYTHING to get Maxton into his monkey costume. The costume was huge on him last Halloween, so I decided he could wear it again this year, not to mention how cute he looked in it last year.

We had a little Halloween party with some friends last weekend, and my friend managed to snap a great photo of all the kids dressed up!

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My success wasn’t as great, trying to get a picture of Maxton, Everly and my Afro Samurai.

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I must say, Everly makes a VERY cute watermelon. Such a warm little costume!

DSC_0640After finally convincing Maxton to put his costume on, I had Everly strapped in the carrier, ready to go trick-or-treating, when the doorbell rings, and Maxton answers it with Steve. Maxton lets out this ear-piercing cry and runs into the corner, almost running into the wall. I look over and there is a little boy standing in a Hulk costume, complete with a scary mask. The kid had scared the pants off Maxton.

I felt so bad for him! It’s the first time he has really been scared of anything to the point of crying. I was able to calm him down, and we were about to walk out the door again. As soon as I opened it, there was a boy dressed up in an alien costume, with what I considered to be a scary mask. That was it. Maxton immediately screamed and started hysterically crying and screaming “go back” (I assume he was speaking to the alien), and trying to climb up Steve’s leg. It took 20 minutes and some M&M’s to calm him down, so we closed the door on going out to trick-or-treat. I pray those scary masks don’t give him nightmares, and he doesn’t remember it next year.

Happy Halloween!

Prime Rib and Ham and Turkey, Oh My!

This past weekend was (Canadian) Thanksgiving!

We had a long weekend packed with food and visiting with family. We were very lucky to have three very different dinners, none of which I had to prepare! Talk about being thankful!

On Saturday we headed out to my Dad’s place which is about an hour-and-a-half drive. Everly slept the whole way, and Maxton decided to take in the scenic drive and fall asleep five minutes from his house. He was in a surprisingly good mood that day, considering he only had a five-minute nap. He slept in until 8:30 that morning, after being up for 3.5 hours straight during the night, so I guess he wasn’t tired enough.

Saturday was a GORGEOUS day weather-wise, and we spent some time outside on my Dad’s beautiful property.

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The drive up was spectacular, with all the fall colours.

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We finished the day off with a prime rib dinner, pumpkin pie, apple crisp, and a food coma. It was a great day!

On Sunday, we headed to my Mom’s for dinner, and the weather was less than disappointing. It rained all day, which means we had no choice but to keep eating with no way to burn off those extra calories! More pumpkin pie anyone?

DSC_0522DSC_0525DSC_0527DSC_0529DSC_0531DSC_0538DSC_0544DSC_0545 (Please note the expression on Everly’s face. She is already suspicious of her big brother.)

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Babcha was getting some pretty big smiles from little miss.

My mom prepared a delicious ham dinner and we were stuffed with pumpkin pie and apple coffee cake (my recipe which I will share soon) afterwards!

On Monday, we headed to Steve’s parents for a turkey dinner. The weather was okay – it was sunny but pretty chilly. We spent almost the entire time outside which was great. Everly decided to sleep through the entire visit, so there aren’t any pictures of her, but I assure you she was there!

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This was all followed by more pumpkin pie and blueberry pie. Delicious!

We have a lot to be thankful for this year! Happy Thanksgiving!