Peaches and Pumpkin

Enjoying the sweet and sour in life.

Brownie Chocolate Chip Cheesecake January 26, 2012

Filed under: Deserts — Peaches and Pumpkins @ 9:53 am
Tags: , , , , ,

This was my second attempt at cheesecake, and was it great! I wrote in my last cheesecake post, that I totally disregarded the springform pan listed in the recipe, and almost had a huge mess in the oven because of it! Come to find out..Brandon’s grandparents are frequent readers of my site:) and surprised me with a new springform pan! I couldn’t wait to try this recipe:

Brownie Chocolate Chip Cheesecake

originally from allrecipes.com

  • 1 (19.5 ounce) box of Pillsbury Classic Traditional Fudge Brownies
  • 3 (8 ounce) packages of cream cheese, softened
  • 1 (14 ounce) can of Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • 3 large eggs (+ 2 more for the brownies)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
  • Whipped topping, or other favorite garnish

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease the bottom and sides of a 9 inch springform pan.
  2. Mix brownies as directed on the package, and spread evenly in pan. Bake for 35 minutes, or until set.
  3. Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, beat cream cheese until fluffy. Slowly beat in the sweetened condensed milk. Add the eggs and vanilla, mix well. Stir in mini chocolate chips.
  4. Reduce oven heat to 300 degrees.
  5. Pour cheesecake mix evenly on top of cooked brownies. Bake 50 minutes, or until set. Cool completely, then remove the sides to the springform pan. Garnish as desired. Store covered in the refrigerator.

A couple of things I noticed with mine: the brownies were a little hard towards the edge.. I probably would have reduced the cooking time a couple of minutes. The cheesecake on the other hand, I almost had to double its cooking time. But it was worth it! It took nearly 2 hours to cool, but I then garnished it with cool whip, and more mini chocolate chips. Everyone loved it. Thank you Memaw and Pawpaw for the pan!

 

Dramatizing: verb 1. Part of Being a Mom January 25, 2012

Filed under: Staying Home with the Kids — Peaches and Pumpkins @ 4:44 pm
Tags: , , ,

You may be wondering about the title of my post. No, that’s not literally what dramatizing means..it really is to express or represent vividly, emotionally, or strikingly.

While reading “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” for the fourth time today, I noticed everything I do with Paige is a production. I always use my hands…to show how big something is, or use different voices, to emphasise different characters. She gets really into stories now, which makes it more fun. But I quickly realized that stories aren’t the only time I’m acting during the day now. Potty training for example.. anything to do with the potty has to be overly exciting (which we all know it’s not) just to get her excited about it. Clapping hands, dancing, cheering..anything along these lines works. Feeding the dog on the other hand, has to be very bad, with an angry voice, and a pointed finger..to help her understand not to do this.  She gets bored during the day, we dance, sing, and chase around the dog. Any adult looking at me during the day would probably pick me as a lunatic. On the contrary: I’m entertaining my daughter!

Just from “acting” around her..she has learned different emotions. During Finding Nemo, another one of her favorites, she will shout,” OH NO!” during a dramatic part, or get excited when the mood is lightened. I’m beginning to realize everything that I do, she is learning from. It’s really exciting. What I teach her, she will carry with her, and teach Colt, and teach her children.

What funny things to you do to teach your children, or keep them entertained?

 

 

Good Feeling Workout January 23, 2012

Filed under: Workouts — Peaches and Pumpkins @ 10:09 am
Tags: , , ,

I just finished my workout for the day, and I really wanted to share it with everyone. I found this site a few months ago, and fell in love! It has tons of free workout tutorials, diet advice, and so forth. The thing that I love the most about the workouts, is that majority of them take under 20 minutes. Today’s, for example, is 12 minutes. With two kids, and a hyper dog.. I have a limited time frame that I have to myself..and when they are both napping, I jump into a workout. Although it doesn’t take long, these workouts are very intense. Meaning, you are working for 50 seconds, and resting for 10, for a full 12 minutes. Not easy. But I enjoyed this workout today, so try it!

I don’t have any of the equipment they show in the videos. I have a timer on my phone, which I just downloaded for free. For a sandbag, usually I will use Paige or Colt.. Sounds funny I know, but they both LOVE it! I will hold Paige on my hip to do squats or lunges, and she thinks it’s great. I usually substitute the dip station they have for the space between my kitchen counter, and island. Hard to imagine, but it works! And the ball they use, I don’t have..so I just pretend I’m holding one..no I don’t use Paige for that haha.

 

 

Southern Baked Beans

Filed under: Side Dishes — Peaches and Pumpkins @ 8:38 am
Tags: , , , , ,

Hello! I hope everyone enjoyed their weekend..and are off to a good start this week! Brandon is usually home on Sunday, so we spend a good portion of the day cooking together. This past Sunday we made Brunswick stew, steaks, and these southern baked beans..which are one of our favorite recipes! They’re a little on the sweet side, so if you prefer a little temperature in your dishes, feel free to add some hot sauce!

Southern Baked Beans

Modified from cooks.com

  • 1 large can of baked beans ( I use Bush’s)
  • 1 cup of chopped onion
  • 1/2  cup of chopped green pepper
  • 1/2 pound of ground beef
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 2 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 6 slices of bacon

Directions:

Cook ground beef, onion, and green pepper until done. Drain. Mix together all of the ingredients except the bacon. Pour into a baking dish, and top with bacon. Bake in a 350 degree preheated oven for 45 minutes to an hour, or until bacon is done.

This recipe is great as is, but the bacon really adds a lot to it! I find it almost easier to cook the bacon before baking, chop it up, and add it in with the rest of the ingredients..then decrease the cooking time. We actually used deer meat in this recipe, and used about a pound. Enjoy!

 

 

Balance January 17, 2012

Filed under: Staying Home with the Kids — Peaches and Pumpkins @ 5:10 pm
Tags: , ,

One of the most important things I’ve learned as a mother, and apparently still working on, is how to balance things. Everyday, it seems like my to-do list is endless, and continuously growing. Dishes keep coming, clothes keep getting dirtier, the dog repeatedly needs to go to the bathroom…it’s almost unnerving, and never-ending. For some reason lately, my OCD (obsessive cleaning disorder in my case), has come on full force. I can’t stand to have any dishes in the sink, clothes on the floor, toys out of the toy-basket, blankets unfolded, or spots on the counter. Everything in my house has a “home” as I like to call it, and I have to make sure everything is put back where it goes.

So..I find things getting out of balance. I can’t enjoy time with my family because I’m too worried about something needing to be done. Thinking about the dishes alone makes me anxious, and almost nervous. But why? Why can’t I just accept the fact that there will ALWAYS be dirty dishes, and laundry, and toys to pick up?

I guess it doesn’t make things any easier, having Brandon, who doesn’t care anything about the house being clean..as long as he has food on the table, he’s happy. So of course, upon walking through the door, I can count on boots in the middle of the kitchen, two socks on the couch, followed by a shirt..and then at least two drinking glasses. Along with Brandon, I have two children under the age of 2. Paige, is a walking tornado. Everything she touches ends up on the floor. But oddly enough, I can already see that she will get the clean genes. She stole my broom yesterday, and started sweeping her changing table. Colt on the other hand, is 4 months old…he has an excuse.

I finally had to put a stop to things yesterday, when I went behind Paige 4 times, and put her toys back in her toy box…only to see her walk back over there, and throw each one over her shoulder onto the floor. I need to get back to maintaining balance in our day. Cleaning at certain times, and playing at certain times. Unfortunately this is easier said than done. I need to work on it.

 

 

Turtle Cheesecake January 16, 2012

Filed under: Deserts — Peaches and Pumpkins @ 9:32 am
Tags: , , , ,

Hey everyone! I know I haven’t posted in a while.. but I had a little spare time this weekend to try out a few new recipes. I’ve never been a baker. Somehow or another I always screw up somewhere. In this one.. I completely ignored the type of pan I was supposed to use. I almost had a disaster in the oven, but I caught it at the last-minute, and it turned out amazing! Brandon loved it, and I will definitely be making this again. I originally found this recipe at www.blogchef.net.

Turtle Cheesecake

  • 1 3/4 cups semi-sweet chocolate graham cracker crumbs, crushed
  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • 3 (8 ounce) packages of cream cheese, softened
  • 1 (14 ounce) can of sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3 tbsp. lime juice
  • 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 2 tbsp. chocolate syrup
  • 2 tbsp. caramel sundae sauce
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions:

  1. Grease a springform pan. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.Combine chocolate graham cracker crumbs and melted butter. Press mixture into the bottom of the springform pan, and 1 inch up the sides.
  2. In a large bowl, beat softened cream cheese and sweetened condensed milk until smooth. Add sugar, eggs, lime juice, and vanilla extract. Beat together until fully mixed, and smooth.
  3. Microwave 1 1/2 cups of chocolate chips in 10 second intervals until melted. Add two cups of cream cheese mixture into chocolate chips, and stir to combine.
  4. Spoon batters alternatively into graham cracker crust. Start with the cream cheese mixture, then then chocoalte chip mixture, then end with the cream cheese mixture.
  5. Bake for one hour and fifteen minutes, or until cheese cake is done. The center will move slightly when done. Cool completely. Once cooled, top with chocolate syrup, carmel syrup, chocolate chips, and chopped pecans.

Like I said above, I totally ignored the part about the springform pan, which is a two peice pan that is about two to three inches deep. The sides of the pan can be removed, as well as the bottom if needed. The baker that I am, thought cheesecake..pie plate. It went well until I added the batter into the crust, and realized I had way to much..then I googled springform pan. Anyways, I quickly figured out that much batter in my little pie plate wouldn’t work, so I had to remove some, and continue baking. It still turned out wonderful, just wanted to share my mishap so none of you do the same! Let me know what you think:)

 

Thank you! January 12, 2012

Filed under: Staying Home with the Kids — Peaches and Pumpkins @ 10:10 am
Tags: , , ,

I just wanted to take a minute today, and thank everyone who takes time from their day to read, comment or even glance at my blog! I’m celebrating the 1,000th view today, and 63 followers! Blogging has really openend me up to a different world. Reading about everyone’s experiences has almost become addicting, and definitely an eye opener to what people are dealing with, and going through. So keep reading when you get the chance, and I definitely will!

Paige, during our overly exciting dinner.

I have also put a link to my friend Kristen’s blog on the right. She has written some wonderful posts about natural parenting. I’m also anxiously awaiting the birth of her son, Oliver, at any time now! So if you can, read and follow her blog.

 

 

Campbell’s Easy Beef Enchiladas January 10, 2012

Filed under: Favorite Recipes,Main Dish Recipe — Peaches and Pumpkins @ 9:15 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

If you haven’t noticed already, I’m not very adventurous when it comes to cooking. I love trying new recipes..but not at my wallet’s expense. I love pantry meals, or things I can switch up the ingredients with things I already have. We usually have a lot of ground deer meat here, and I like to substitute that for ground beef. This enchilada recipe has become one of our favorites. The best thing is.. you can really put whatever you want in this..and it will still turn out good. I will put the original recipe, and tell you at the bottom some changes I’ve made:) Enjoy!

From Campbell’s Kitchen

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 (1 ounce) packet of taco seasoning mix or burrito seasoning mix
  • 1 (16 ounce) can refried beans
  • 1 (10.75 ounce) can Campbell’s Condensed Cheddar Cheese Soup
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 cup long grain white rice, cooked
  • 12 flour tortillas (10 inch)
  • 1 1/2 cups prepared enchilada sauce
  • shredded Cheddar cheese

Directions:

  1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Brown the ground beef, and drain off any fat. Stir in seasoning mix, beans, soup, onion and rice (optional).
  2. Spread a little of the enchilada sauce on the bottom of a 3 quart baking dish to keep from sticking. Divide the beef mixture among the tortillas. Roll up the tortillas and place, seam side down, in baking dish. Pour remaining enchilada sauce over tortillas and sprinkle with cheese.
  3. Bake for 20 minutes or until bubbly.

Now.. like I said, you can really put whatever you want in these..and they’re still awesome. I’ve used ground deer meat. Last week I didn’t have any taco seasoning..so I used salsa instead, and put in a little hot sauce (one of my favorites yet). I have also substituted the cheddar cheese soup with velveeta cheese. I found out if you cover the tortillas completely with the enchilada sauce, they won’t get crunchy..which can sometimes happen in the oven. You can just play around with the recipe to suit your tastes..Let me know what you do to yours!

 

The Wonderful Timing of Children January 9, 2012

Filed under: Staying Home with the Kids — Peaches and Pumpkins @ 9:37 am
Tags: , , ,

Recently, we’ve moved Colt into his crib. For the first few months, he slept in a cradle next to our bed. Doing this has made me discover one of the more humorous sides of being a parent…the wonderful timing of children.

Colt woke up around 3am for his usual feeding, got a new diaper, and quickly went back to sleep. I can usually fit all of that is a thirty to forty minute time frame. Very tired, I slid back into bed, got comfortable and closed my eyes…to sound of Paige crying.  This isn’t unusual. Recently she’s been getting up in the middle of the night from the loss of her pacifier. So, I lay her back down with her beloved passy..and return to my comfortable spot in bed. After once again closing my eyes..I hear Paige crying, again. I can’t help but laugh at this point. It’s as if children know the most inconvenient moments to do anything.

These moments include…but are not limited to: crying screaming as soon as the grocery cart is full at the store, pooping in the tub (not on the potty before the bath), getting syrup all over their hands only when mine are full and then rubbing their head, being silent all day until I have to make an important phone call..the list is endless.

As inconvenient as these events sound, they’ve actually become quite funny to me. It’s inevitable that things like this will happen..so I just enjoy them. Just funny little stories I can share with them one day when they’re older. I also learn new things about my kids everyday..for example: pooping can’t wait. Regardless if it’s in the tub.

 

Maintaining Physical Health January 6, 2012

Filed under: How to's — Peaches and Pumpkins @ 9:59 am
Tags: , , , ,

With two kids..I would love nothing more than to see them grow up, have kids of their own, and possibly even see great grand kids. Maintaining physical health is one of the most important things I can do to ensure that this happens.

Coming from a very active backround..filled with ballet, horse-back riding, and gymnastics, this is the first time in my life I haven’t been as spirited and as physically active as I used to be. Believe it or not…

This is me: taken in 2009, a few months before I got pregnant with Paige. Had motherhood not chosen me, I probably would be fullfilling my dream of being in the circus. As odd as that sounds, Cirque du Soleil was in my future. But, things happen for a reason, and I would not change my life now for the entire world!

Health and physical fitness have always been a big part of my life, and I wanted to share with everyone simple ways to live a longer, healthier life.

Eating a well balanced diet:  I know for a fact, that this is easier said than done. It’s hard to want to cook a healthy meal after a long day, or avoid stopping at the fast food restaurant. Take baby steps.. add more vegetables to your plate at dinner, or add a salad. Try eliminating one fast food trip during the week. Every little bit counts.

Get some exercise: This is a lot easier than you think. Exercising doesn’t have to be time in the gym, or lifting weights. It could be a simple walk around the neighborhood, or taking the stairs instead of the elevator.  Just thirty minutes per day can make the world of difference. As we get older, it’s natural to loose flexibility, and at an older age, this can make things very difficult. Regular exercise can help to maintain flexibility throughout life.

Drink more water: Making it a point to drink more water not only can increase your metabolism, help your body with aches and pains, but it’s a natural detox to clean out all the impurities. Think about it, your body is made of 75% water…try drinking at least two-three glasses per day.

Be More Social: I know you are wondering what this is doing in the list. Studies show that being more social, can actually reduce stress. Those who are isolated are prone to loneliness, and depression. So, be social, and get active! Enjoy friends, and laughter. It’s good for the soul:)