Tag Archives: day

Community Cheesecake

When I first spotted this scrumptious cheesecake, I knew it had to go on {the list}. Um, it has Keebler Fudge Striped cookies. As. The. Crust. Enough said…

Would’ve probably made it sooner, but I didn’t have a spring form pan.

But, I do NOW….and I DID make this cheesecake for our Valentine’s Day dessert.

This was my first cheesecake, so I was a little nervous.

{before the whipped cream goodness}

{and after!}

I knew I could not have this cheesecake staring at me all week {AKA eating it for breakfast with my coffee!!} so I cut it in quarters and shared with our neighbor friends. However, when I cut into it the center collapsed….maybe I didn’t chill it long enough?

Despite the oozing mess, I did receive all sorts of positive feedback. Check out this sweet comment:

“I just wanted to thank you once again for the DELICIOUS cheesecake!  When I came home from work this afternoon, my mom (who was watching the boys) said, “Where did you get that to-die-for cheesecake that’s in your fridge?  I helped myself to some, and I don’t think I’ve ever tried anything so divine in my whole life.”  No joke, she literally talked about the cheesecake for 20 minutes!  My mom is a dessert fanatic, yet over the last three decades of my life, I don’t ever remember her praising any dessert quite like your cheesecake 🙂  So, thank you again!!  We all REALLY enjoyed it.  Still can’t believe it was your first attempt!  You must consider opening up your own catering/party business!”

Awww, thanks Alina and THANK YOU Meg @ Whatever for sharing and THANK YOU Pam for your endless hours in the kitchen perfecting this extraordinary dessert!

I’m going to call it the {traveling cheesecake} because whenever I make it, three quarters of it will find another home. It is very rich, but smooooooth and creamy.


One of Jay’s favorite meals is Chicken Marsala. We use Ty Flo’s recipe and every time we make it, I wonder “Why don’t we make this more often?”

Tyler Florence’s Chicken Marsala

I served with roasted asparagus with parmesan:

{just take a bunch of asparagus, cut about 2 inches off the ends, cut in thirds on an angle, drizzle with olive oil, salt & pepper & parmesan, toss, place on a baking sheet lined with foil for about 20 minutes @400*}

Easy peasy, right?


That was our Valentine’s dinner…complete with crooked table cloth adorned with spilled smoothie spots and colored Crayola markers! We skipped the {Wilson Creek} Almond Champagne and will enjoy that this weekend.

And, as I mentioned, Miss Elliott lost her first tooth Valentine’s evening.

It’s so true that when you have children you start to see things differently and enjoy them so much more. V-day has never been one of my favorite holidays, but this year I really enjoyed watching them address their little valentines to their friends and see their joy when showing off all their cards. Next year my goal is to come up with a homemade valentine ~ there are loads of darling ideas out there!

And next year, even though I loved our dinner at home, {you and I} are GOING OUT to dinner, babe!

Love you.


Happy Wednesday!


Don’t Cry Over Spilled Juice

Today Holden exchanged valentines at school.

The only red{ish} shirt that was clean was his plaid dress shirt. As I was ironing it this morning, Elliott pipes in, “You know how to do that, Mommy?”

Apparently she’s never seen me press anything…..uh, and maybe I haven’t pressed anything in the last 5 years and 9 months.

Yoga pants and tank tops don’t require an ironing board or spray starch, so yes, this would be part of my skill set that she has not yet witnessed.

{Thank you, Jay for doing your own ironing!}

At any rate, he looked beyond adorable in his {beautifully ironed} GAP shirt and spikey hairs…

LOVE this kid!

I asked him what his favorite part of school was today and he said…

“When I spilled my juice!”


Coming up tomorrow….father/daughter dance.

Precious. I can’t wait to see them off.

Now that will be something to cry over.

{D} Day

My Wednesday started off taking this little guy to Elliott’s classroom:

{This pic is from several Christmases ago, but he wore the same collar today}

It’s share day and this week’s letter is “D”.

Dog. Dachshund.

She wanted to share Rascal SOOOO bad so last week I sent her teacher an e-mail to see if this would be OK {afterall, one of her little classmates shared a snake for “S’ week!}

{Rassy sitting with Elliott earlier this year when she was under the weather}

I hadn’t heard anything back until yesterday when I got the OK to share Rascal first thing this morning.


It’s the LAST thing I wanted to do.

But, Elliott was so excited. How could I say, “no”?

I had to wake Holden from a deep sleep and drag him in his buggie jammies to E’s class. I’m sure I was a sight carrying a wiener dog in a Santa collar with a pajama’d 3-year old in tow.

However, Rascal was a gentleman and behaved beautifully. He let all 25 kids pet him and got lots of sniffs and kisses in.

Elliott demonstrated how Rascal sits and waits for a treat and answered a couple classmate’s questions and Pajama Boy, Rassy and I were off!

Oh, and I had to bribe Holden to get him out the door ~ so it was off to the {d}onut shop we went!


How did YOUR Wednesday start out?

Indecisive Daddy

I’ve been asking Jay for weeks, “What do you want to do for Father’s Day?”

I guess men and women are different in that guys don’t really care or put a lot of thought into certain things.

So, yesterday morning at 9:00am he was still pondering…

Santa Monica? Beverly Hills?

He settled on The Grove since there are plenty of places to choose from with the Farmer’s Market, The Cheesecake Factory and The Farm.

We strolled around the market checking out all the different options.

Cajun. Kabob. Italian. Mexican. Korean. Chinese. BBQ. Seafood. Breakfast dishes. Sandwiches.

Now, I too, was indecisive!

We shared a sushi roll while we decided on something else.

Jay got beef kabob (which I was glad because he’s been talking about kabob for awhile) with hummus, pita and some middle eastern take on potato salad with mint which was delish.

The kids got pepperoni pizza, of course.

I finally decided that I wanted some spicy Jambalaya from The Gumbo Pot. The line was long…

We also tried the hushpuppies…

…and the beignets for dessert!

Trying to cool theirs off:

Powdered sugar everywhere.


We were successful and got out of there without buying anything other than our lunch.



I wanted to fix dinner, of course, but Jay wanted to do Sticky Brown Sugar Glazed Babybacks on the grill. I went to the store and grabbed a slab and a half along with the fixin’s for some Bacon Blue Cheese Potato Salad and Peanut Butter Cup Ice Cream. I prepared the dry rub (cayenne, salt & pepper) and made the glaze (brown sugar, beer, cider vinegar, red pepper flakes and mustard powder) and he did the grilling. Thanks, babe!

Bacon Blue Cheese Potato Salad:

Sweet, sticky ribs:

This was our first time doing ribs. I was a little nervous, but they turned out fantastic. Next time Jay said he will not have as many coals going so they can cook “lower and slower” so to speak, but they were outstanding.

The tater salad was a new find, too and it was perfect with the ribs.

We made our second batch of ice cream…

Peanut Butter Cup ~ Jay’s fave!

In the end, it doesn’t matter if you’re indecisive or have the perfect plan in your head.

All that matters is that we spent the day together as a family and reminded ourselves what an honor (most days!) it is to be parents to E & H.

From the moment the Clear Blue Easy stick told me Jay was going to be a daddy, I knew he was going to be a wonderful one.

That was almost 6 years ago!

These two HAVE decided that they have the best daddy in the whole wide world!

We love you, Daddy!


Welcome, Summer!

What a weekend…

Today we ventured to the pool. For me, Memorial Day should include some pool or beach time.

It felt great to be out under the cloudless blue, getting some real color for the first time in months. A rainbow of flip flops lining the edge of the pool and at the sides of lounge chairs. The sound of little ones squealing and splashing. Mommies and Daddies getting caught up with their friends while keeping one eye on their little swimmers. Plastic tumblers holding “prohibited” beverages. Orange stained Dorito fingers and towels showing the same. Grilled hot dogs & cheeseburgers, macaroni & potato salads, chips & dips and brownies & cupcakes!

Dive sticks. Boogie boards. Floaties. Goggles. Wet towels piled up on the warm cement. Funny tan lines already emerging and peeling crying kids away from the water promising them another trip to the pool SOON.

Kids that fall asleep on the 3-minute car ride home and still look like this after 2 hours:

And little newly turned 5-year olds that say, “I had SO much fun!”

Now, that’s a good day.


This 3-day weekend was also full of all sorts of summer fare.

On Saturday evening, I made Carolina BBQ Pork again. Along with Down Home Baked Beans. And some Blue Cheese Coleslaw.

I don’t normally get excited about coleslaw, but this stuff is GOOD. Thanks to Hollie for planting the seed by mentioning this to me a few weeks ago!

Note: I only used 1/2 cup mayo as the bag of angel hair cabbage mix was only 10 oz. (and well, because frankly NOTHING should contain 1 cup of mayo). I also used Craisins in place of the grapes and they worked well with the blue. If you need a slaw recipe for your summer, you’ve got to check this one out.

We used some of the BBQ pork and baked beans for some Southern Skillet Nachos on the grill. I layered chips, chopped pork, baked beans and cheese in a cast iron skilled and Jay put it on the grill for about 10 minutes (until the cheese melted).

Traditional deviled eggs were a must this weekend, too.

Jay wanted to do some carne asada this evening…

Time was running out so I just went to Trader Joe’s and picked up some of theirs. It was very lean and super flavorful. We grilled some onions and peppers and made some mini burritos:

We washed it all down with these margaritas:

{Keepin’ it classy with the Keystone Light!}

I would say that we definitely had a well-balanced holiday weekend.

Dance class. Birthday celebration. Hollywood. Pool time. BBQ. A visit from Gramma & Popsi. Games of Twister. Laundry.

Yes, well-balanced!

About a week and a half to exhale and then we have a visit from Lolo & Lola, a preschool graduation and a Mardi Gras themed dance recital.

I have a feeling it’s going to be a summer to remember!

Nighty Night!

Kid Swap

My friend, Hollie, had a brilliant idea…

Take turns swapping the kids and celebrate Valentine’s Day sans midgets!

GREAT idea.

Jay and I celebrated last night and the Sullivan kiddos will come spend a few hours with us tonight.

We went to Saturday evening Mass and then came home to prepare a Pioneer Woman Valentine’s dinner:

Filet with onion and blue cheese sauce
Twice Baked Potatoes
Bread Pudding with Bailey’s Irish Cream sauce

Talk about a meat and potatoes meal. Veggies were NOWHERE to be found on this table tonight.

Personally I don’t like to prepare steaks at home…I always screw them up. I think cooking steaks is a science and it makes me WAY nervous. But we were trying to save some dough and decided to stay in. I substituted PW’s ribeye recipe with some filets. I told the butcher to say a prayer for me that I wouldn’t massacre them. They turned out OK, but the onion blue cheese sauce was simply out of this world and oh SO easy to make.

I’m telling you, the sauce was divine!

I’ve also not been able to successfully graduate from the school of bread pudding…not too sure why…it’s NOT that difficult.

I attempted PW’s sourdough bread pudding and substituted some almond extract for a portion of the vanilla and added sliced almonds on the top rather than the pecans she calls for. I also used Bailey’s Irish Creme Coffee liquor in place of the Jack Daniel’s for the sauce. Both substitutions worked out nicely and the pudding had a very distinct, but not overpowering, almond flavor.

We were so stuffed from our hearty, stick-to-your-ribs dinner that we just sampled the dessert, but are looking forward to enjoying it again this evening.

Happy Valentine’s Day!