Inside the Life of Me.....

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Caramel Praline Cheesecake by Homeade by Holman

Oh yes please! This looks so good and I love cheesecake! I'll have to make this one!

Caramel Praline Cheesecake

1 package (about 10) graham crackers
1 T sugar
6 T unsalted butter, melter

4 8 oz packages cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 cup all purpose flour
5 large eggs
2 cups sour cream (16 oz)
1/4 cup milk
1 T bourbon vanilla extract

1 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 T unsalted butter
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
10-12 pecan halves

Spray a 10-inch springform pan with baking spray and place on a double layer of aluminum foil big enough to fold up around the pan.  Wrap the overhanging foil around the sides of the pan to seal it.  

In a food processor, combine the graham crackers and sugar for the crust.  Pulse 5-6 times until fine and crumbled.  Add melted butter and pulse 2-3 more times until the mix begins to hold together slightly.  Pour mix into prepared pan and press into the bottom in an even layer.  Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Heat a few cups of water in a tea kettle or microwave in a large measuring cup.  In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar for 3-5 minutes on medium speed until smooth.  Beat in flour and then eggs, one at a time, mixing on low speed just until combined.  Add sour cream, milk, and vanilla and mix to combine.  Pour mixture into crust.  Place the springform pan inside another larger pan (like an 11"x13" baking pan or a 12" cake pan) and pour the hot water around the outside of the springform pan to a depth of approximately 1" to form a water bath.

Bake for about 75 minutes, until the center appears dull.  The cake should still jiggle slightly in the center.  Remove springform pan from the water bath and transfer to a wire rack.  After about 10 minutes, run a knife around the edge of the pan to loosen and continue to cool about 1 hour.  Transfer to the refrigerator and chill at least 4 hours or overnight.

For the topping, stir together sugar and water in a heavy saucepan over medium heat.  Stir constantly with a wooden spoon until the sugar is melted.  Cook approximately 15 minutes more without stirring until golden brown.  Reduce heat to low and gradually add the heavy cream.  Cook and stir until the sugar is completely melted and smooth.  Using a candy thermometer, increase heat to medium and cook, stirring constantly until the temperature reaches 225 degrees.  Remove from the heat and add butter and vanilla.  Cool to room temperature.  Pour evenly over the cheesecake.  

In a small skillet, toast pecan halves over medium heat for a few minutes just until fragrant.  Press one pecan into each slice of the cheesecake or garnish as desired.

Computer and Charger Case by Etsy

So I bought these cases for my laptop and charger cords and think they are adorable! I found them on Etsy doing a search for laptop case...check them out!

Laptop case by: Bertie's Closet

Charger Case by: BeeYourself Designs

Just had to share!

Tomato and Pesto Pizza by Alicia

Made this homeade pizza for Tyler on Friday and it was really good! Really liked the pesto flavoring rather than traditional red sauce. I had received some really good pesto for Christmas and used it for this!

Tomato and Pesto Pizza

What you need:
Frozen Pizza Crust
1 small can sliced black olives
1 bag shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup pesto 
3 medium tomatoes

What to do: (preheat oven to 425 degrees)
1. Remove pizza crust and spread out on oven pan (I chose to use already cooked pizza crust this time (Boboli)
2. Spread 1/2 cup pesto sauce on crust
3. Slice tomatoes (thin) and place on sauce
4. Sprinkle pepper over tomatoes for added flavor
5. Sprinkle cheese on top (as much as you like!)
6. Add olives to the top!

looked like this before I placed it in oven

7. Cook for 10-15 minutes or until cheese is melted!
8. Enjoy!

Lemon Basil Pasta by Alicia

I made this dish for Tyler and I the other night and it turned out great! It was very light and flavorful, perfect for a night in!

Lemon Basil Pasta

What you need:
1 lb. pasta (any kind really!)
1 can white kidney beans
1 cup basil leaves (fresh)
1/2 lemon
3 Tbs olive oil
salt/pepper to taste

What to do:
1. cook pasta... add beans for the last 2 minutes of cooking time
2. Drain 1/2 of water, keep other half for use later
3. Shred (finely) lemon peel from lemon
4. In a skillet, heat oil and cook grated lemon for 2 minutes until golden in color
5. In a food processor, combine lemon peel, basil, 2 Tb olive oil, juice from lemon half, 1/2 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper... process until smooth. Add reserved cooking liquid, 1 Tb at a time until desired consistency
6. Toss pasta with dressing and serve!


Monday, January 9, 2012

Southern Green Bean Casserole-- by Southern Living

I have been asked for this recipe by friends and family, so here it is! I have made it for Thanksgiving and Christmas, it was a hit!

Southern Green Bean Casserole

What you need:
- 2 (16 oz) bags of frozen french style green beans
- 1 (10 oz)container of refrigerated alfredo sauce (premade, but in the cold section, not warm)
-1 (8oz) can diced water chestnuts
- 1 (6 oz) jar sliced mushrooms
- 1 cup (4 oz) shredded Parmesan cheese
- 1/2 tsp black pepper

- 1 (6 oz)container (regular size) french fried onions (divided)
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans

What to do:
1. Stir together first 6 ingredients and 1/2 can of french onions.. spoon into lightly greased slow cooker
2. Cover and cook for 4.5 hours on LOW or until bubbly 
3. Heat pecans and rest of onions in skillet over med. heat-- stir often-- 1 to 2 min. until toasted
4. Sprinkle over casserole


Thursday, January 5, 2012

A few Snapshots-- by Alicia

My dad bought me a new digital camera for Christmas and I am in love with it! Ok, so I am no pro and definitely could use some tutoring on this thing, but I have been having fun shooting away!

Food from Christmas



 House decorations

Food from New Year's


My beautiful Ring 

My amazing hubby (he wasn't really ready for this one!)

It has been fun testing out different shots!

Welcome 2012

I can't say that 2011 was an especially memorable year... there were definitely things that made it easier, but also quite a few things that made it harder. I won't get into specifics, just to say that we won't really be missing 2011!! Tyler and I are excited for what 2012 has in store for us and hope and pray that it is a healthy, safe and prosperous year for our family.

It is time for my annual New Year's Resolution(s) list... a little late, but hey, better late than never...

New Year's Resolutions for 2012...

1. Internal attitude change...

I have spent SO much time analyzing others' lives... why do they have this and I don't? How come they get that before we do? Why can't we be more like them? Why is this happening to us?

All those feelings did was tie me up in knots and make me angry at others... not a healthy habit. So I decided this year, that, although it will be really hard... I need to make an internal attitude change. I need to be happy for other's (not just on the outside). I need to love unconditionally, and I need to be GRATEFUL for what I do have, even if it isn't what I expected at this stage in life.

2. Change my response to others who don't always treat my how I deserve to be treated...

This one is SO hard.. I am the kinda girl that will let you know when you have wronged me, that will put you in your place when you have insulted me or the people I care about.... but everytime I snap back, I realize I am not being a good example to others and definitely not showing my Faith.

I want to be better at this in the New Year, turn the other cheek so to speak, and not let people are not loving get the best of me. I will control my response to them even it they cannot control their response towards me

3. Keep my chin up when life knocks me down...

Everyone is struggling with something... be it big or small. This year life has knocked Tyler and I down a few times... there have been moments where I don't want to get back up... but I realize that I need to be a good example of what unshakable faith looks like.. even if I am hurting.

I have decided that the best way to show my faith to others who don't understand it or don't want to acknowledge it is to try and look at the positives when life knocks me down. It is so hard to do when you don't feel like looking at the "happy stuff"... but I am going to try harder this year to do that. 

At the end of the day, I KNOW that I am blessed, I have an amazing husband who loves me unconditionally and has chosen to walk this rocky road with me, I have a house to live in (be it small, but we love it), I have job and a family that are constant, friends that check in to see how I am, etc... I am truly blessed.

4. Get Healthy-- inside and out

I LOVE to cook, and I don't mean just meats and veggies... I love pastas, and stuffed chicken, desserts and most of all CARBS... ugh it's a weakness. 

I want so badly to get back in shape, but I can't seem to find the will power to do it. I have decided that this year I need to make a healthy change inside and out. Maybe it's not about wearing a size 2, but looking good in my own skin... Maybe I won't get back to having rock hard abs, but I can definitely work on my waistline by cooking fun, HEALTHY meals for Tyler and I. 

I want to have a healthy mind, skin, body and outlook on life... this is so much more than a diet. I just want to feel good about myself and what is going on around me... this is going to be hard, but I will get there!

And with those four goals, I wish all of you a VERY HAPPY NEW YEAR. I hope that you have made some healthy, attainable, goals for yourself this year... I hope God blesses you immensely and brings you the happiness you deserve--

Fabric Upholstered Headboard by Infarrantly Creative

I follow this blog and LOVE this headboard that she made! So creative and I love the color!

coral and gray bedroom


Check out how she did it at:

Monday, January 2, 2012

Garlic Ranch Chicken Pizza by Suburbs Mama

This recipe looks so good to make for a lazy Friday night in!! Check it out!

Garlic Ranch Chicken Pizza

What you need:

1 large pizza dough, uncooked (fresh, frozen, or whatever you like best)

3/4 c. home made ranch dressing (see recipe bellow)

2 cloves garlic, minced
3 c. Mozzarella cheese, shredded

1/2 c. turkey bacon, cooked and crumbled

1 Cup of chicken (cooked and cut into strips)

2 tomatoes, sliced

*Ranch Dressing: 1 packet TRADITIONAL Hidden Valley Ranch mix (not BUTTERMILK)
1 c. mayonnaise
1 c. buttermilk

What to do:

Whisk ranch mix and mayo together, slowly add buttermilk. When well blended, cover and refrigerate

Mix ranch dressing and crushed garlic together then spread evenly on the pizza dough.

Sprinkle a little cheese over the ranch dressing then add chicken and bacon. Sprinkle more of the cheese over that, add the tomatoes, then add the remaining cheese. Put in the oven at 350 degrees for about 20-25 minutes (or until crust is a nice golden-brown). Top with parsley