Monthly Archives: March 2009

Vampire Weekend

In case you haven’t figured this out by now, we’re a little obsessed with certain reading materials around here.

So of course it is only natural that there will be a DVD release party tonight attended by certain friends and family.

I was simply told to bring a dessert and that “we’re going with a red theme.” I came up with something that I hope will taste as amazing as it looks (I tried the raw batter and it tasted wonderful, but can’t have the finished product until tonight). Yes, that’s right folks you get TWO Gourmet Lisa posts about dessert from me in a single week. I guess you could say I’ve been feeling particularly inspired lately.

Before I go any further though I have to admit that I did look to The Pioneer Woman’s Carmel Pumpkin Gingersnap Cheesecake recipe for a little help in constructing this recipe.

Vampire Cheesecake

Ingredients
Crust:
-Joe-Joe’s (I bought the chocolate filled kind, but the filling doesn’t really matter)
-3 tbsp butter
-1 .63 oz Trader Joe’s 100 Calorie 70% Dark super smooth Belgian chocolate bar

Filling:
-2 pkgs cream cheese, room temperature (this is important, you don’t want to wind up with lumps in your cheesecake)
-1/2 cup sugar
-1 16oz pkg strawberries (I actually bought a 32oz pkg so I’d have leftovers)
-2 eggs
-1 tbsp heavy cream
-red food coloring

Optional:
-Chocolate powder for decorating (I used Trader Joe’s Sipping Chocolate)

Directions
Use a butter knife to remove the filling from your Joe-Joe’s. In a food processor crush the cookie part of the Joe Joe’s. I used about 2 rows from a box of Joe-Joe’s.

Now you should stop and have a Joe-Joe’s and milk break while you melt butter and the chocolate bar. Also, if you bought extra strawberries like me that leftover filling tastes excellent with them.

Add butter and chocolate to food processor and pulse until thoroughly combined. Press into bottom and sides of a springform pan or pie plate. Chill for 20-30 minutes.

While this is going on take a moment to clean up your kitchen or at least clean out your food processor. I had a sink full of dishes so I had to clean the kitchen in order to continue with the recipe.

Top and quarter the strawberries.

Place them in your food processor and pulse them until you have a nice smooth pulp.

In a mixing bowl beat cream cheese and sugar until light and fluffy. Add strawberries and continue mixing. Add eggs and then cream beating between each one until combined.

Add food coloring until desired redness is achieved (I used the whole 1oz bottle).


The vampires are now salivating.

Remove crust from fridge. Gently pour cheesecake into pan. If necessary, even out the top with a flat spatula.

Bake at 350 for 1 hour 15 minutes or until no longer soupy. Cheesecake should still be somewhat jiggly. Cool on counter 30 minutes. Cover and chill in the fridge at least four hours or overnight. Or if you are like me and you waited too long to figure out what you are going to make, chill in the freezer for like an hour or so.

And if you want, you can decorate it with some chocolate powder. I made a template/mask out of some cardstock, placed it on my cheesecake and then dusted with the chocolate powder.

I’m not sure if my decoration will make it in tact to the party, but one can hope. At least I took a picture for evidence.

Incidentally, the title of this post is one of my new favorite bands and not just because they have the word “vampire” in their name. Check them out.

2 Comments

Filed under Gourmet Lisa

A contest…

So I see all these little contests always going on around the blog-o-sphere. I’ve wanted to have one so bad, but me buying stuff to give away randomly just doesn’t really work into our budget.

Anyway, with all these little babies popping out and my having tons of extra quilt squares I figured out that I have the PERFECT give away item for a contest.

You, yes you, could be the owner of a couple rad little jingly soft blocks for your little guy or girl (I’m pretty sure I have enough neutral/boy colored fabric for a boy version).

Bean loves these things because they are easy to grasp, they jingle and she can throw them pretty far. I think other babies will love them too.

So, all you have to do if you want to win some blocks is leave a comment saying the following:

1. How long you’ve been reading my blog.
2. Why.
3. Where you are from (optional).
4. Specify boy or girl.

The contest will close one week from today at which point I will randomly draw names or put the comments through a randomizer or something. I look forward to hearing from you!

8 Comments

Filed under Craftopia, Homemade

The crafty bug

OK, we still don’t technically have Internet. Well we might have already had it if I had been home yesterday when UPS tried to deliver our goods from Verizon. Oops. But if I hold my computer at just the right angle I can get connected on an unsecured network here in the apartment complex.

The craft bug hit yesterday and since then I have accomplished three, yes three, little projects. So I thought I’d share.

First, here’s my take on the Anthro bird display…

I’m still not sure if I completely like it. The whole thing is pretty easily removed though, so I’m not worried. Right now I’m just trying to let it grow on me. Stephen’s response to the “art” on the walls? “I think we can get away with it because we have kids. I think they’re fun. They’re pretty girly.”

Anyway, the way I did it was I purchased one of those scrapbook stacks (Talia’s idea), made four templates, traced and cut them out then used Scotch brand removable foam mounting squares (Ruth’s idea) to attach them to the wall. I did try the more clustered look that the window display had going on, but I really didn’t like it.

After my art project, I decided to make a couple of jingly blocks for Bean with some of the leftover quilt squares, polyfill and bells I had…

Then this morning I finally finished Olive so she joined her best friend Archie for a picture on the chair in the livingroom…

Of course we all know that Olive and Archie can’t resist a good playground, so they are pretty happy about the fact that there is one just a few feet from our front door…

(I’m sure my neighbors all think I’m crazy now for taking pictures of dolls on playground equipment)

Bean loves all the toys I’ve just made her, but she’s being a bit of a grump today and so I have her down for her second nap right now. I’m hoping she’s a little more cheery the next time she wakes up.

Oh and Bean’s new room is just about finished. I just need to hang up her name shelf. I did find some pretty sweet wall decals at Target though so I applied them yesterday. Here’s a peak at her room…

That lamp and shade were procured in my first IKEA experience.

I can’t wait to unpack Bean’s books and fill that little built-in shelving unit.

12 Comments

Filed under Craftopia, Family, Homemade, Ramblings

Week Twenty Five

Bananas for breakfast…

Showing off her new trick for a little “me” time in the mirror…

Followed up by practicing her vocal technique…

3 Comments

Filed under Family

I’m back… sorta

So we still don’t have Internet access. I’m bumming off the free wi-fi at the Whole Foods across the street. I am currently sitting outside at their tables with a baby on my lap, typing away.

I just had to blog though because my brain is exploding with things to say.

Well, speaking of Whole Foods. Ummm it’s awesome. I may have spent over half the month’s grocery budget on a week’s worth of groceries though so I need to stay away and go to the Trader Joe’s up the street instead.

Remember the sandals from Target that I used in all my nursing fashion outfit things? Well, don’t buy them. Mine are already thrashed and I seriously JUST bought these things. Grrr.

The move went really, really smooth. Some of my furniture may disagree with that statement, but no major damage was done, just a few little bonks and scratches. Now it looks loved.

I had my first ever IKEA experience on Sunday. I bought some lamps. I was going to order some bookcases and a desk from there, but being as how they want to charge me $350 for shipping, I’m exploring some alternatives first.

I am so excited to be cooking again! Last night I made some really yummy Chinese food and tonight we are having these guys over for Italian because my recipe made an insane amount of food.

Have you missed my Gourmet Lisa posts? Well fear not, this is one. I decided to experiment a little with some of my leftover ingredients from dinner in order to make dessert tonight. Here goes…

Berry and Ricotta Filo Tart

Ingredients
-1 cup Ricotta cheese
-4-5 oz blueberries
-8 oz strawberries, topped and diced
-3 tbsp orange juice
-filo dough

Directions
Preheat oven to 375.

In a small bowl combine all ingredients except filo dough.

Unroll filo sheets and cut 2-3” squares. Place squares in ramekins or in muffin/cupcake tin. Spoon berry and cheese mixture on top.

Bake for 15-20 minutes or until edges of filo are golden brown and berries are tender.

Enjoy warm or cool.

And this is the result…

Oh and in case that wasn’t enough in the dessert department, Cara came over this afternoon and dropped these little lovelies by…

Ummm… delish.

While we’re at it, let’s add a little more eye candy to this post…

Yep, she’s a cutie. I seriously can’t go anywhere with her without being stopped by at least five people.

Oh and I’m actually loving apartment living. I promise to post pictures of our new diggs as soon as we’re unpacked. But this is why… Saturday when we got here we discovered that our washer was a bit loud. Like a plane taking off upstairs. So I reported it to maintenance yesterday and today they brought me a brand new one (I peeled the protective film off the knobs myself)! No more fixing stuff ourselves. That is the best.

Anyway, Happy St. Patrick’s Day everybody.

3 Comments

Filed under Family, Gourmet Lisa, Ramblings

OK, wait one more…

Ever since I stepped foot in Anthro a couple weeks ago with Ruth I’ve been dying to do something like this on one of the walls in the apartment…

Any ideas how? Let me know…

1 Comment

Filed under Craftopia, Homemade

Great friends…

I have had the priviledge of knowing Talia (and her family) for well over five years now. As so many others have said, Talia is the sweetest person you could know! I am so glad to count her as a friend. Her husband, Jeremy, goes even further back with Stephen, as you saw in the old photos I posted a few days ago.

While we don’t see eachother very often, they are the kind of friends that when we do hang out it never feels awkward and we just keep on staying until we all realize it is way past bedtime and that one of us has a 30 minute drive home ahead of us because we live on complete opposite ends of town. It is well worth it every time though.

The other thing is that we are the kind of friends that are too busy having fun to remember to take pictures! So the last few times we’ve seen eachother, we’ve been trying to make a point of picture taking. Talia just sent me the pictures she had on her camera. So here goes…

From her perfect shower (no dumb games, just the best little time of visiting and opening gifts even the kids were there!)…


Yay! We finally have a picture of us together!


And as promised, Bean and I modeling the sling I made her.

Sunday night we had dinner (in which I discovered a white sauce that comes in a jar and actually tastes really good) and hung out for the last time before the move and before little Rosalie arrives. It was at their house that I realized that my camera didn’t have the memory card in it all day which meant that not only could I not take pictures of our time together that night, but that I also had NO pictures from Bean’s baby dedication that morning. I’m hoping Stephen’s mom got some and will pass them along. Anyway, here are the pictures I took with Talia’s camera…


Talia requested that Stephen bring his guitar over. So Stephen grabbed my guitar. We refer to it fondly as the “beater” guitar because it is the least expensive of all the guitars in this house. So we don’t mind taking it places where it could get a “beating” like the beach, hanging out in the back of a hot car, where kids are likely to have accidents around it, etc. It is still a great guitar though and sounds good. Anyway, while we were there Talia was saying that she wished she had a guitar and I was going to just give it to her (Stephen has given away his fair shair of instruments over the years, so I figured I could do the same), but when I announced this we all found out that Jeremy had already sneakily bought the guitar for Talia as a surprise. I’m glad the guitar has a new home with such good friends.


Annabelle was having so much fun playing with Bean. Poor Emma had pink eye and had to stay a little isolated that night. 😦 Even though pink eye is really contagious we decided to risk it because we knew this was our last chance to hang out and I knew from the tear duct business after Bean was born that I had everything I need to treat it for free (Yay for breastmilk!).


Do you see that lovely little blue bird blanket Bean is sitting on? Well Talia decided that she was going to make her own receiving blankets for Rosalie because the ones in the store are way too small. So she got a bunch of different flannels and made some. She decided to make an extra blue bird one because the fabric was just so cute. And so then when I agreed on how cute it was she gave me the extra one. Yay! I love, love, love this blanket. Eeeee! Thank you so, so much Talia.


Of course Talia could not resist Bean’s cuteness. She had so much fun making Bean giggle. It was too cute.

So anyway, I’m thinking this will be the last post before the move and until we get our Internet service set up. I think it is a great way to wrap things up in Bakersfield… with good friends. We will miss you all!

3 Comments

Filed under Ramblings