Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Autumnal Moon

While enjoying the last few comfortably-temperatured evenings outside, the moon caught my eye, passing through the clouds.


the moon was hiding


moon again

peeking out

hi there moon

the moon by the trees

once more, the moon

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

I thought this was kinda cool...

So one day I was driving along, minding my own business, when I glanced down and realized that soon - quite soon, in fact - my odometer was going to look kinda cool for a brief amount of time. 

I had to be prepared.

I couldn't miss this.

Camera in tow, I began to faithfully watch the numbers rolling (I mean, watch the road and occasionally happen to glance down), watching, and waiting. On the last mile, in order to avoid being on the highway during picture time, I meandered down a random residential street. 

And then....THEN...

Totally worth it.
lucky 7's

i thought this was cool

How could I pass up immortalizing this moment? How, I ask you? 

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Magic Cheesecake

We last left with this...

"To come...did you really think I would let our anniversary go without baking? Actually, yes, technically I did..."

Oooh, she's being mysterious. 

Did anyone guess what was to come? 

Was the change in my header a total giveaway? 



It was a no-bake cheesecake.


I made it totally no-dairy. 

No bake? No dairy? Is it still a cheesecake?

Cheesecake enthusiasts and purists would probably argue that, no, what I made was more along the lines of a frozen pie. 

I say that Adam and I went out for cheesecake on our first date, and I was trying to be cute. So it's cheesecake. Anyone who says different can come talk to me and my springform pan. 

Also, Adam has said that his favorite thing I make are the magic cookie bars, so I thought it would be fun to incorporate parts of those into the cheesecake. 

Again, just for good measure, I bring you...MAGIC CHEESECAKE (kinda).

Crust, coming together...
Getting the crust together

Scraping down the bowl
Stirring the filling

Yes, I totally practiced opening a springform pan before ingredients were added. A good idea, if you haven't done it before. Or maybe just for me. 
Into the pan

Not sure why the filling looks beige here. 
Topped with chips

Coconut, ready for the oven.
Coconut, pre-toasting

Getting there...
Getting there...

Me: Think I should put the coconut back in for more toasting?
Mom: I think you should stop right now while the smoke alarm hasn't gone off. 
Now there's some toasty goodness!

Closeup of the top of the cheesecake, after it was frozen for a day.
The top of the cheesecake

And with coconut added.
And add the toasty coconut

I was incredibly pleased with myself at this point that my idea worked. 

Let's eat!
Crumbly crust

I forgot to take a picture before i took a bite. Or three.

So what have we got going on here? 

1 cup of Pecan Sandies cookies (I'd say about 8 of them would be good - I ground up 10 and it was too many)
1/2 cup of graham cracker crumbs
3 tablespoons of butter
2 tablespoons of sugar

8 ounces of non-dairy cream cheese (I used Tofutti's Better Than Cream Cheese - in my opinion, it has a great texture and taste) 
1/3 cup of sugar
2 tablespoons of lemon juice
1 cup of Cool Whip (thawed)

Semisweet chocolate chips
Butterscotch chips
Toasted coconut (put as much shredded coconut as you'd like on a baking sheet, turn the oven to 350, and take it out every 2 minutes or so, tossing the coconut around, until it is dried and lovely golden hue)

To make:
*Crush the cookies, and mix together with the rest of the ingredients for the crust in a bowl until everything is lightly moistened and looks like it will hold up to be a mighty fine crust. Press the mixture into your springform pan, and refrigerate until you're ready to add the filling.
*Beat together the non-dairy cream cheese, sugar, and lemon juice until it is smooth. Incorporate the Cool Whip. Spread the filling on top of your crust.
*Sprinkle the toppings on top of the filling (I added the toasted coconut after it had been frozen for awhile, but either way is ok)
*Freeze for at least two hours (I froze it for a day).
*Place in the refrigerator an hour before serving.

As I said earlier, no, this is not technically a traditional cheesecake. However, it is mighty tasty, and it does kind of look like cheesecake, if you're really looking to call it so. I had been plotting out this idea for awhile (yes, I had even made a little cross-section diagram at one point, seeing how to incorporate as much magic cookie bar as possible), and was absolutely thrilled it worked out as well as it did (it's the little things sometimes), not only that I had accomplished my goal, but had also created a dense and creamy lactose-intolerant friendly dessert. 

There's always a reason to celebrate.


So for our anniversary dinner, Adam and I went out for hibachi. What can we say, not only is it good food cooked in front of you, there is also the large potential for large flames and swinging knife blades.

And when that's done intentionally, it's even better.

Before dinner. Knowing there's a fire extinguisher nearby makes me feel better about the events to come.

"You ready?" the chef turned to me, as I sat with camera in hand. 

"Ready when you are"
Hey there fire!

This fire is totally and absolutely necessary. Yup. Not just for the theatrics.

Onion volcano. 
Onion volcano

This one got lit on fire twice. Just because. 

To come...did you really think I would let our anniversary go without baking? Actually, yes, technically I did...

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Just wanted to say...

Dear Adam, 

One of these days, I promise I'll get all of my extraneous items out of your car, including, but not limited to (as we both know their tendency to multiply): the melted birthday candles, the mittens, and the cookie. Or maybe I won't. Who knows when you may feel the need to have a celebration, get chilly, or are hungry? Really, I'm thinking of you here.

one of our earlier pics together

Thank you for always being the person who will piece back together my cakes when half of them get stuck in the pan, who will immediately offer to eat the cookies I declare a disaster, and who will point at desserts in the store and say "I bet they're not as good as yours."

(Non-baking related, thank you also for always waiting patiently while I take a picture of a weed, parallel-parking my car, and the countless other things you do for me.)

me and my Devils fan

Autumn has always been my favorite season, more so now as its brilliant skies and crisp air remind me of the beginning of our relationship and us eating cheesecake, walking around to find turtles, and watching movies . (I know you're also especially fond of autumn as it is the beginning of "jacket weather".)

smiles at the shoreline

Here's to us, and to the meals we've cooked together, the conversations and laughs we've shared, the thousands upon thousands of memories -- and all of those that we'll have in the future.

Happy 2 years together love <3