Monday, October 22, 2012

Pumpkin Cheesecake Bites

I love Cheesecake and I love Pumpkin.
Combine the two and in my book you've got yourself a little slice of heaven.
Not to mention most holiday recipes scream for pumpkin.
So from October on through December most of my days are spent baking and working
pumpkin and or ungodly amounts of cinnamon into my families diet.

I just love the smell the spices warm my home with.
Don't you?

So when I spotted this recipe I knew I had to try it.
But before I share let me tell you what I very much love about this recipe.

1 - It doesn't take forever to make.
2 - While its cooling you can do other things.
3 - It's rather inexpensive.
4 - You can feed a crowd.
5 - One slice won't kill you with calories.
6 - They are easy to eat - no plate or fork needed.
7 - Easily accessible ingredients.

So here goes.

1 15-oz can pumpkin (Libby's is labeled Gluten Free)
3 eggs
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tbsp cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tbsp cornstarch
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp salt
1.5 lbs cream cheese, at room temperature

for graham cracker crust:

1 Box of Kinnikinnick Graham Crackers
1 stick butter, melted
1/4 cup sugar
*whipped cream to top

Whipped Cream
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 tbsp powdered sugar
1 t vanilla

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
In a large bowl crush graham crackers with your hands. Add sugar and butter and mix well.
Press graham cracker crumbs onto a lined (parchment paper or silpat) jelly roll pan. Bake for 5
minutes until toasty. Remove and reduce oven temperature to 325.

Mix together the pumpkin, eggs, brown sugar, cream and vanilla in a large bowl.

In the bowl of a KitchenAid, beat together the cream cheese, granulated sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon,
nutmeg, salt and ginger. Beat until light and fluffy then slowly pour in pumpkin mixture. Continue
beating until mixture is smooth and no lumps remain.
Pour batter onto baked crust and bake for 50 minutes until edges begin to pull away from the sides
of the pan. Let cool completely before cutting into small squares and topping with whipped cream.


1.5 hours

I ended up cutting mine a tad bigger than I had wanted but that's only because I was having a tough
time getting them all the same size. The next batch really will be little bites. I think this is my dessert
to bring to Thanksgiving this year!!!

And as always I give credit the the awesome recipes I find. I found this lovely on pinterest and just
changed a few ingredients so we could eat it gluten free. To see the original recipe check out

Hope you enjoyed.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Unreal Candy

Tom Brady, Gisele Bundchen, Matt Damon and John Legend
are all fans of this candy that looks like, tastes like all those other candies but without all the crap that is bad for us!
Think M&M's, Reece's Peanut Butter Cups and priced exactly the same!

 I've tried them and we love them at our house and this will be what the Trick-or-Treaters get from us this year.

 Most are Gluten Free all are 100% chocked full of REAL ingredients.

Watch the video and see for yourself.
And this candy can be found in regular stores!!
I got mine at Walgreens!!! 

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Inspiration Friday - October 12, 2012

I have a little story to tell you that at the end may leave you with a little tear in your eye. No, it's not a sad story. It's a story about loving one another. A feel good story. One that I will leave you filled with hope.

The past few months have been a total rat race around here. I am shuttling kids to Lacrosse and Cheer every night of the week. There are some nights I drop off come home cook dinner go back and pick them up, eat and collapse into bed.  Sometimes it feels like, what's that movie? You know the one with Bill Murray. Yeah Ground Hog Day! Sometimes my life feels like that movie. haha Ever feel that way?
Among this daily rerun, I find myself hitting the store at night after picking the kids just to kill two birds with one stone and switch things up a bit.

Well last night just happened to be one of those nights where we were out of milk and some other basics so after picking my oldest daughter up we stopped at Wal-mart to grab some milk and a few other items we needed.

We stared off into no where while waiting in the long roped off coral just under the 20 items or less sign.  Finally, we were ushered to register one where Doreen, the cashier, greeted us so nicely and began to scan our groceries.  After exchanging lovelies and all my groceries were bagged she hit enter on the register and up popped my total, $25.02.  I swiped my card and nothing. I swiped it  several more times to pay and every time the reader would beep and return that the card could not be processed. I explained to Doreen that my card sometimes won't scan and that normally cashiers need to swipe it directly on the register. So she tried this as well and with no luck! :(

At this point the line was really backing up and I could feel what felt like a million eyes looking at me. I could feel my face getting red with embarrassment and the feeling of humiliation was horrible as I had to tell her I had no other way to pay.  Not to mention my daughter had already tore into her gum which she had to release back to the cashier. Not a good feeling. So I asked the clerk if I could take my groceries to the front service desk to try and pay there that sometimes my card will work there and she responded with "I'll just suspend your order and when you get a means of payment just come back and you wont have to wait or stand in line." So after all the swiping of the card forward and back, slow and fast, wrapping it in a plastic bag and swiping it and on to manual entry twice directly on the register I simply told her I will call my husband and be back. Then I did what felt like the walk of shame from the register towards the exit where I then called on my best friend, my husband.

Gosh folks I can't begin to tell you that as my daughter and I walked away from the register how helpless and dejected I felt.  After talking to my husband he assured me all was well with my account and that I should just give it another try.  So back we went to the register where this all started. This time I was now behind the gentleman who had been loading his groceries onto the counter behind us just moments prior.  Yes, he was there for everything we tried. Yes, he heard the whole dialogue. Yes, I was thinking this man is probably happy we moved on so he can finally get out of here.

So now we stand watching, as what appears to be, the cashier clearing all of our stuff out of the register so she can now ring up this poor gentleman, whom I might add, has been held up by us and waiting a good 10 minutes just to pay and leave the store. The cashier gives me a look and I let her know I would like to try my card again if she didn't mind after he finished and paid for his items. And what she said next really took me aback. She gently smiled and softly said "He's is going to pay for your groceries." I couldn't believe what I was hearing. I immediately protested to him and begged  that he please not, that I could pay for my groceries.  But all I got was a calm look of determination as he swiped his card and then turned to me and said these very powerful words.

"It's done. Have a Blessed day and all I ask is that you do the same as I've done for you. When you see someone in need help them out." 

Through my shock, as I stood in front of this gentleman, I mustered up a most sincere Thank You that literally poured from the bottom of my heart. Did I cry? Why yes I did!! And my teen was so moved that she was speechless and teared up as well.

This random act of kindness really tugged at my heart and opened my eyes to the fact that

There are still wonderful, kind and loving people in this world.
And the act of one person can set off a cascade of events that can change the lives of many.

This whole story reminds me of this awesome movie. Remember Pay it Forward? 
What a great story.
I really have to dig this movie out and watch it again. This time with my kids.

Any how we see movies and read about selfless acts of kindness a lot. I get chills every single time and I'm always left with a feeling hope. But to have this actually happen to you is beyond amazing. It's surreal and it's a memory I will never ever forget.

I hope you've been inspired by this post and leave you with one question. Have you ever had a random act of kindness bestowed on you? Or have you been the awesome person to help another out unexpectedly? Now's your chance to share and inspire. Tell me!

Happy Inspiration Friday!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Meet Food's Erin Brockovich

Robyn O'Brien is one hell of an amazing woman and she has such a powerful message to share.


Monday, October 1, 2012

2012 Tower of Terror 10 Miler

I had a great time and learned a ton on this run!
Best of all
 Here is my sister in law, Jackie, along side me on the Disney charter bus awaiting transport to the start! We were super giggly and excited to get going!

And I don't think I have ever seen so many potties! I couldn't get back far enough to get them all in the picture either.
They had a bunch of screens setup where you could snap a quick pic so here we are just before the race in front of our favorite screen.
See that big glowing blob behind me?? That's a full moon!!
How cool that we got to run under a full moon. 
Keep in mind this race started at 10 PM!
Love it.

I saw a shirt while waiting in the gate that I loved so much I have to share it with you.
Dead Last Finish is greater than Did Not Finish, which trumps Did Not Start. 

Are those not words to live by??

At this point my hair was pulled back and I had my game face on! I was so pumped to go!
We had several starts ahead of us including two wheel chair starts, the Elite start (only 20 people were in elite group) and then A corral. With each start having 5 minutes between them. Trust me with that many people excited standing and waiting the HEAT becomes quite stifling. 
So we were so happy when our fireworks went off and corral B was unleashed!

At the end of the race everyone got a goodie box. 
They were calling it a protein pack.
I took it and grabbed a banana and thought nothing of the box until the next day
and I was so pleasantly surprised!!
Most everything in this little black box was Gluten Free!!
The box contained Crunch Master Crackers, Hickory Farms White Cheddar Cheese Spread, Gummy's Smart Candy, A Cliff Bar and a Brown and Haley Almond Roca Toffee candy (both processed in a shared environment with wheat), and a bag of mixed nuts. 

So pretty much everything I could eat and gave the bar and candy to my kiddos!
I was so super impressed with the GF foodies and so glad I took one.

And here I am back on the bus with my oh so cool medal!
This sure beats the heck out of a t-shirt!
My time on this run
I really was a hot mess at this point. Humidity was horrific! I have never ran in such heat. EVER.
And I live here.
Shocking I know. You would think I would be used to it. But when you are running in areas where no wind can stir, the humidity is extremely high and you have the heat of the day rising up and leaving the pavement, it slows you down, depletes your body and just down right makes for a challenging run.

 I cried a little too when I came over the finish and bowed to have my medal draped around my neck.
Certainly not an experience I will ever forget.
{Getting chills just typing this}
So here is my next day Vanna photo with my medal! So happy and proud of ME!

I have since signed up for the
Disney Princess Half Marathon for Feb 2013!

Oh why the hell not!
It's only three more miles...