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Archive for February, 2014

I am so glad you are joining me today for Book Beginnings because the book I have for you is one of my all-time favorites.  Do you ever find a book that somehow speaks to you and it seems you can relate to the characters and setting so well.  “Big Stone Gap” by Adrianna Trigianni is one of those to me.  Now, I am really nothing like any of the characters, but the small town setting and people are similar to my small hometown so maybe that is why I enjoy it so much. Here is the first line:

“This will be a good weekend for reading.”

I know this is a short sentence, but I can tell just what kind of weekend that would be.  The weather might be a little cold or wet and the person actually has no big plans to worry about.  She is ready for a little R & R with a good book.  If you haven’t read this, please give it a try.  Ms. Trigianni is one amazing author!

Please join me at Rose City Reader for Book Beginnings.

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I think everyone was ready for a hike in the woods.

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Not sure what kind of bird lost this feather, but it was pretty and vibrant.

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We found a little green along the way.  Can’t wait for spring to get here.

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Can you spot the raccoon tracks?

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Roy thought he was king of the world.

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More green!

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Some critter had recently eaten lunch on this rock. 

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Here we are on the last Monday in February and hopefully Spring is just right around the corner.  I am excited about the time change next weekend and gaining that extra hour of evening daylight.  It makes the time after work so much enjoyable to be able to get outside in the sunshine even for just a few minutes. 

Since I am trying to watch what I eat a little better, this past Saturday’s post will be the last dessert post for a little while.  I am concentrating on main dishes that are quick, easy, tasty and fairly healthy for the next few weeks.  Don’t worry though, I have too much of a sweet tooth to go too long with a treat.

On this same “healthy” line, I have a post in the works about a few apps and gadgets that I am using to keep track of my exercise and eating habits.  Most are free which is awesome and all are easy to use. 

Have a wonderful and blessed week!

Sloppy Joe bubble up (new) with fresh fruit

Pizza triangles (new) with salad

Cheesy steak sandwiches with oven baked fries

Grilled hot dogs with oven baked fries

Pizza night

A Southern Soul’s Slow Cooker Roast (new) and butter roasted potatoes

Just wait ‘til you see what I do with the roast leftovers.  Thanks, A Southern Soul for the idea!

Please join me at I’m An Organizing Junkie for Menu Plan Monday.

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I wanted to make something different for one of our Christmas dinners and I knew that several people there were cheesecake fans.  This was my first cheesecake so off to the internet I went in search for a recipe to try and found this one on Pinterest (of course) from Kraft. 

It ended up being a simple recipe and oh, so tasty.  C’s cousin’s little boy who is one and a half years old kept sneaking a bite while the adults were playing a game.  Needless to say, there wasn’t much left at the end of the night and that’s exactly how I like it.

Praline Cheesecake

66 Nilla wafers, divided

1 1/4 cups granulated sugar, divided

1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted

3 pkg. (8 oz. each) cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup sour cream

1 tsp. vanilla

3 eggs

25 Kraft caramels

3 tbsp. milk

1/2 cup chopped pecans, toasted

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Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Completely crush 50 of the Nilla wafers.  Mix the crushed cookies with 1/4 cup sugar and butter.  Press onto the bottom of a 9 inch spring form pan.  Stand the remaining wafers around the edge of the pan, pressing gently into the crust.

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Beat the cream cheese and remaining sugar with an electric mixer until smooth.  Add the sour cream and vanilla.  Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating on low speed after each until just blended.  Pour the batter over the crust.

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Bake for 45 to 50 minutes or until the center is almost set.(I baked mine for 55 because my oven cooks a little slow and I was scared the center wasn’t done.)  Run a small knife around the rim of the pan to loosen the cake.  Cool before removing the outer ring of the pan.  Refrigerate for 4 hours.

When you are ready to serve the cake, microwave the caramels and milk on high for 1 minute or until caramels are completely melted.  It took about 1 1/2 minutes for mine.  Cool slightly then pour over the cheesecake and sprinkle with the toasted pecans.

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Praline Cheesecake

This finishes up my Sweet Treat month here at Picture Perfect Cooking, but I am sure there will be plenty more to come in the future.

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Good morning!  Today I am linking up at Rose City Reader for this week’s edition of Book Beginnings.  When you are finished here, click on over and check out other book lover’s choices for this week.

Castle is probably my favorite television show and one that I always take time to watch.  My book today, “Heat Wave”, written by “Richard Castle” originated from the show.  The character “Richard Castle” is a crime/mystery writer so a ghost writer has written books under his name and “Heat Wave” was the first. 

“It was always the same for her when she arrived to meet the body.”

I enjoyed it, but I had a hard time reading it and not picturing the actors from Castle in the roles.  If you are a looking for a fun, easy to read crime/mystery novel, give this one a try.

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Wordless Wednesday

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Good morning, my dear readers!  We have survived another little winter “clipper” over the weekend and this week the temperatures are supposed to be in the fifties and sixties.  Yay!!!  Last Friday evening, our yard was full of robins and I took this as a sure sign that spring is on the way.  If it’s not, don’t tell me.  I like living in my little fantasy world when I can. 

Last week’s menu was a bust.  Do you ever have those weeks when you just don’t feel the best?  That was me last week.  I wasn’t sick and there really wasn’t anything bothering me, but I was tired all week so most of the cooking kind of went out the window.  Actually, it was more of in the window since I did hit the drive-thrus a couple of times.

This week should be better so much of last week’s menu has been postponed to this week.  Have a wonderful and blessed week! Oh, and Happy President’s Day!

Sliders with oven baked fries

Easy deep dish pizza with salad

Tacos with fresh fruit

Italian breaded pork chops (new) with butter roasted potatoes & salad

Spicy beef vegetable soup or chili

Crescent pizza triangles (new)

Southern slow steaks (new) with oven baked fries.

Please join me at I’m An Organizing Junkie for Menu Plan Monday.

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