Christmas 2010

Today I decided to write my post-Christmas post. I started reflecting on how calm it was compared to last year.

If you’re interested in reading about the Adventure that was Christmas ’09, click here.

This time around, the weather was not at all frightful (at least in our neck of the woods) and the fire (the first of the season for our little fireplace) was oh so delightful.

We had a lovely time visiting with family. After enjoying the Christmas Eve service at my brother-in-law’s church, we all gathered for a little pot luck munchfest, sampling of sweet treats and exchanging of gifts.

One of the nieces made a Sopapilla Cheesecake which was soooo good! It was something I had not tasted before and would be good any time of the year (maybe even New Year’s Eve). If you want to try it, I found the following recipe on allrecipes.com:

Ingredients

1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 (8 ounce) packages refrigerated crescent rolls
1/2 cup melted butter
1/2 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Directions

1.Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Prepare a 9×13 inch baking dish with cooking spray.
2.Beat the cream cheese with 1 cup of sugar and the vanilla extract in a bowl until smooth; set aside.
3.Unroll the cans of crescent roll dough, and use a rolling pin to shape each sheet into 9×13 inch rectangles. Press one sheet into the bottom of a 9×13 inch baking dish. Evenly spread the cream cheese mixture into the baking dish, then cover with the remaining piece of crescent dough, and brush with melted butter. Stir together 1/2 cup of sugar with the cinnamon in a small bowl, and sprinkle evenly over the top of the cheesecake.
4.Bake in the preheated oven until the crescent dough has puffed and turned golden brown, about 30 minutes. Allow to cool 10 minutes before serving.

I hope you will visit me in the days ahead as I usher in 2011 with posts related to the theme of All Things New. Until then, I pray God blesses you with a Happy New Year!

Natural & Healthy

I’ve been watching Sara Snow and her “Get Fresh with Sara Snow” series on Discovery Health and FitTV. The organic, more natural way of living really appeals to me and something I want to explore more this year.

She offers tips on the best natural products that use less chemicals and are good for us and the environment as well. I thought this was an interesting note on her blog about a certain hand sanitizer which she says can be found at Target and Bath & Bodyworks among other places:

CleanWell products also do not include the controversial ingredient, Triclosan, widely used as an antibacterial in household hand sterilization products. Triclosan is a known endocrine disruptor, a synthetic chemical that when absorbed into the body either mimics or blocks hormones and disrupts the body’s normal functions.

She shares healthy recipes in additional to green living ideas. I found my mouth watering over her Gazpacho recipe which I’m anxious to try (video below).

I want to start a small garden this spring and this will be something I can attempt that looks fairly simple and really tasty too!

What about you? What is your inspiration for living healthier in 2010? Leave a comment and let me know if you have any recipes or gardening tips for me!

Hooray for Pumpkins!

I love fall so it stands to reason I would love pumpkins. Every year, I look for a new recipe to try. Baking is one of the pleasures of the season and sharing yummy treasures is one of the pleasures of life. This is a recipe I found on Paula Deen’s website. Enjoy!

Pumpkin Pecan Pie

Ingredients:
1 cup chopped pecans
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup canned pumpkin
4 tablespoon (1/2 stick) melted butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup dark corn syrup
3 eggs
1 9-inch unbaked pie shell
whipped cream

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 Degrees F.

With a hand beater, beat eggs well. Beat in corn syrup, sugar, butter, pumpkin and vanilla until well-blended. Arrange pecans in bottom of pie shell. Slowly pour egg mixture over them. Bake for 1 hour or until knife inserted 1 inch from edge comes out clean. Let cool completely before serving to allow the filling to set up.

Garnish with whipped cream.

Servings: 6 to 8 slices
Prep Time: 12 min
Cook Time: 1 hour
Difficulty: Easy