Sunday, November 28, 2010

November is drawing to a close....

I'm not entirely sure where this month has vanished to. I did complete bartending school, and have my TABC certificate... and a "gig" lined up for New Years Eve - which is TOTALLY swell! I'm so excited! Trae turned 19 years old a couple of days ago, we celebrated 3 Thanksgiving Day's, I sprained my ankle (which I haven't given a chance to heal), I baked positively LOADS of yummy desserts.... (posted my Sopapilla Cheesecake recipe a short bit ago - you seriously have to try it - it's completely yummy!).

It's time to finish up Christmas shopping... I'm almost done, I think. Just a few more specific items to get... and I also still have to sew their Christmas Sleep Pants (something I started doing a few years ago - it ensures that they get some nice fleece pajama bottoms that they really like and no one else will have ) I picked up some fleece remnants to make a quilt for Jessica, too... 

Trae & Jessica are officially signed up for Job Corps - Trae is going in for HVAC training, and Jessica will learn to be a Medical Transcriptionist. They'll live on campus in San Marcos for the duration of their vocational training, and Job Corps will assist them with job placement and finding living quarters when they graduate from the program. They're both completely excited! I'm thrilled that they have such a neat opportunity, too.

I actually went out to the Black Friday sales... not much, really. Some jeans from Walmart ($8 instead of $20), and the Ninja Prep Master from Target for $28 instead of $50. (I made Pina Colada's with it last night... it definitely does a splendid job of turning ice cubes into snow... I still have a few more "tests" to run it through, but so far - I'm a happy camper about it!)

I've started working on rearranging my kitchen, too... I know, I know... I picked a fine time of the year to do that, didn't I? It wasn't intentional... it started out with "this would work better here..." and just ballooned from there  

I think we're finally getting used to the time change, too... that's probably one of the biggest challenges that I face every year. I definitely don't like losing the daylight so early in the evenings... I know it wreaks havoc with Andrew being able to get anything done outside after work, too.

OH! Another product review... a friend of mine introduced me to sleepphones - ear phones that are flat and tucked inside a fleece headband... I can now listen to music to fall asleep, and Andrew can't hear it! They're soft, comfortable, and keep my ears warm at night It's a happy thing all around! LOL I picked up the "old" model on eBay for about $18 shipped. The new ones run near $60 - so I'm just peachy to have the old ones.

I guess that's it for this evening... time to get started prepping for Andrew's breakfast and lunch for work this week. I try to get a few different meals put together on Sunday evenings, so that he's not having the same thing day after day... and it's not sandwiches... I also make some of those little sausage patties, put them in slider buns with cheese, and he eats those on his way to work for breakfast. They're easy, portable, hot, and filling... which makes for a happy husband I usually try to tuck some yummy snacks like pretzels and pistachios or other munchies that he likes... I think there might be one or two slices of poppyseed-pumpkin pie in the fridge for this week, too. (A winning recipe that I should definitely post - he's a VERY happy camper with the invention... now I just need to figure out where to buy more poppyseed... I only have enough for one more pie ). 

Heading to the kitchen... the heart of our home :-)

Sopapilla Cheesecake - Yummy!

2 (8oz) cans of crescent rolls
2 (8oz) pkgs of cream cheese, softened
2 cups sugar (divided, 1 cup each)
2 tsp vanilla (divided, 1 tsp each)
1/2 cup margarine or butter - melted
ground cinnamon

Spray your 9X13 pan - then fit in one whole can of crescent rolls - spread flat to make the crust. Pinch the holes closed, or use the Deli Creations Crescent Roll dough.

Blend together (with mixer) softened cream cheese, 1 cup of sugar, and 1 tsp vanilla (can be a little more liberal with the vanilla). Spread mixture evenly over the dough.

Stretch the 2nd can of crescent rolls over the cream cheese mixture to form the top crust.

Melt the butter/margarine, blending in 1 cup sugar and 1 tsp vanilla. Pour evenly over the top crust, and sprinkle generously with cinnamon.

Bake at 350* for about 30 minutes until bubbling, and crust is slightly browned. 

Let cool and refrigerate before cutting into squares.

(I generally grab a biscuit cutter, and use that to cut it into cute little tartlets - it's just a "thing" - not necessary, but totally fun to serve that way... and the "scraps" get put into containers in the freezer to snack on later).

If you line the pan with Reynold's Non-Stick foil, you can lift the whole cheesecake out of the pan using the foil after it's completely cooled, and it makes it loads easier to slice! I absolutely abuse that foil! It's wonderful stuff!

Monday, November 1, 2010

October is gone... November is in.

I'm not even positive where October has disappeared to. Andrew working at finding a new job, I started taking bartending classes... Trae working at the Renaissance Festival... then all of the other normal stuff going on. Car repairs, household stuff, voting coming up (as in TOMORROW!)... school days at the Renaissance Festival happen tomorrow & Wednesday...

It's November now, and I'm working on trying to finish up Christmas before it gets here, and go through recipes for the holidays. It's time to start baking... pumpkin pie, pumpkin cookies, pumpkin cupcakes, chocolate macaroons, lemon drop cookies, chocolate chip cookies, sopapilla cheesecake, and whatever else I come up with.

I'm thoroughly exhausted this week... and can't wait for school to be over. I think it'll be fun to be a bartender... a mixologist. (How cool is THAT title?). I've definitely learned more about alcoholic  beverages than you'd think anyone would ever need to know, and creating mnemonics to remember some of these drinks has been quite tricky. (If you only knew!)

I'm heading to bed for the evening, and will hopefully find a chance later this week for a better update. Hopefully my eyelids won't be quite this heavy the whole week

Have a great night!