Posts Tagged ‘ Visiting Gavin ’

Yummmy Chocolate Cheesecake

Gavin came up this last weekend and we celebrated Valentine’s day late. I knew I wanted to bake him something really special. I was searching around the food network website for something to make and found a recipe for new york style chocolate cheesecake.

Yummy right?

The recipe was surprisingly straight forward and easy to follow, which was a big relief compared to the cake pops! Also Gavin and I made it together so that made it 100 times better! The cheesecake came out really rich, but SO GOOD! To garnish it besides the strawberries I made some fresh whipped cream and I will put the recipe for that after the cheesecake recipe.

 

New York Style Chocolate Cheesecake

Original recipe found here

Crust

  • 1 1/2 cups chocolate wafer crumbs (I used chocolate graham crackers)
  • 3 Tablespoons sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Cheesecake

  • 20 ounces of cream cheese (2 1/2 packages), softened at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
  • 1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped from inside of pod and reserved
  • 3 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream
  • 8 ounces melted semisweet chocolate, cooled slightly
  • 3 eggs

Garnishes

  • Fresh strawberries
  • Whipped cream
  • Fresh mint sprigs
  • Whatever else you can think of!

Directions

  1. Preheat over to 350 degrees F for silver spring-form pan, or 325 degrees F for dark nonstick spring-form pan
  2. Lightly grease the bottom and sides of a 9-inch spring-form pan
  3. In a mixing bowl, combine the chocolate wafer crumbs, 3 tablespoons of the sugar, and the butter and mix well. Press onto the bottom of springform pan and set aside.
  4. In a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer, combine cream cheese, remaining cup of sugar, vanilla extract and vanilla bean seeds and beat until light and creamy.
  5. Add the flour to the cream cheese mixture and beat until smooth.
  6. Add the melted chocolate and sour cream and mix well.
  7. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, mixing on low speed after each addition until just blended.
  8. Pour the batter into prepared pan and bake for 1 hour to 1 hour and 10 minutes, until the center is almost set.
  9. Run a sharp knife around the rim of the pan and allow cake to cool on a wire rack before removing rim of pan.
  10. Refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight before serving. Cheesecake may be made up to 2 days in advance before serving and will keep for up to 1 week in the refrigerator.

Note on the baking: Emeril’s recipe didn’t say to use a water bath to bake the cheesecake, but all of the other recipes I looked at and the comments said to use a water bath so the cheesecake won’t crack and have a nice looking top.  I found another recipe from the food network, this one from Nigella Lawson. Here are her directions for a water bath:

  1. Line the outside of the tin with a good layer of cling wrap, and then another layer of strong foil over that. This will protect it from the water bath.
  2. Sit the springform tin in a roasting pan and pour in the cheesecake filling. Fill the roasting pan with just boiled water to come about half way up the cake tin and bake in the oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour.

The water bath worked really well and I was so happy with how the cheesecake turned out!

Whipped Cream!

Whipped cream is so yummy! And so easy to make!! And delicious on top of the cheesecake!

Basically for every cup of whipped cream add 2 tablespoons of sugar and then whip! BUT, don’t whip too much otherwise you could end up with butter!

 

This was such a good cheesecake and I think I will be making it again in the future! I’m also thinking about trying another yummy sounding cheesecake! I hope some of you give this cheesecake or another cheesecake a try! Let me know how it turns out!

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It has been a while!

I have meant to update my blog many times over the past few weeks, but haven’t found the time to sit down and do it. Well Gavin is watching Monday Night Football, so why not a better time than now?

Dead week and finals week got c-r-a-z-y! The Sunday after finals were over Gavin flew up and visited for a little less than a week. We hung out at home and also went out and did some things around Salem, Eugene and Portland. We went to VooDoo Donuts once I picked Gavin up from the airport and then headed over to the Nike Employee Store. We went down to Eugene to hang out for a day. We walked around Autzen and got excited to go to the BCS National Championship game in January. We also visited the VooDoo Donuts location in Eugene and got a few donuts there. Later in the week we went up to Portland and went ice skating with Ashley and Matt. Then we went to lunch with my roommate Alexa at a restaurant up near Portland. After lunch we headed over to the VooDoo Donuts in downtown Portland to complete the VooDoo trifecta. Later that night we went over to the Griffiths’ house and had an amazing dessert and enjoyed talking for a few hours. It is so great to have people in your life that are so welcoming, supportive and mentors in your life and that is what the Griffiths are to me! Then the night before Gavin flew out my guy friends from high school played football and Gavin joined them in a football game. Overall it was a really great visit and we got to relax at home a lot!

I was pretty busy up until Christmas finishing making Christmas presents and hanging out with friends. I got all the presents finished and enjoyed Christmas with my parents and family friends!

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Later when I have more time and all my pictures uploaded (I forgot to pack my card reader or cable) I am going to post about my DIY Christmas presents and how they turned out! I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas with friends and family celebrating the birth of our Savior!!

Everything but the kitchen sink

It has been forever since I have updated and there is much to update about!! So lets get going!

The rest of summer

First off, my mom and I went on a road trip to look at schools for grad school. I want to do a school counselor program. It was fun to take a road trip and spend time with my mom. I went to Sac State, San Jose State and St. Mary’s. Of the three I liked St. Mary’s, but for $25,000+ a year it should be the program that was most appealing! Honestly Sac State was the least impressive, and I would want to try my hardest to not go there. The campus and feel of the school just didn’t stand out to me. Did that happen to any of you while looking at colleges?? Did you like the school that cost the most? I’m still not sure whether I want to do grad school right away. Right now I am leaning more towards taking a year off, but we will see how everything ends up. Honestly I need to pray about it a LOT more because I really don’t know what the Lord has in store for me next year. It is slightly crazy to me that I am already thinking about plans for next year when I have literally just started fall team.

Other then looking at schools my mom and I visited SLO Saturday night until Wednesday morning. It was really great to hang out and get to spend time there and see so many wonderful people! My mom and I stayed at Apple Farm which was so much fun! We got to do a lot of things that I love in SLO including going to Avila! It was super windy, but still great just to be at the ocean! I picked up some rocks and stuff for another little project in my living room : ) It was great getting to spend some quality time with Gavin before being apart for almost 2 months, which will be our longest time apart so far. Also I loved getting to go to Crusade and seeing everyone there! I also got to go to Jesus burgers for a little and the slack street party. All of it was so great to go to! Being away makes me realize how unique and special the community is there. Seriously that many college students who are seeking, on fire for and loving Jesus is amazing! It makes me want that kind of community here in Eugene. I feel so blessed to have been able to spent 2 years in that amazing transformational community. SLO, Crusade and the people there have made a lasting impact on my life and it was really great to be able to experience that one more time before coming up here for the year. Also I loved getting to catch up on life with people and I truly wish I had the time to get to talk more in depth with more people to hear about their summers and how God was working in their lives this summer. But, that is why there is skype right?  ; ) It was so great to see so many people that I care about, it made me miss you all less!! I had been hearing about people’s lives from Gavin, but it was great to actually talk to people and hear from them, not that I don’t appreciate the updates Gavin : )

So then I came back and I was home for a day then I came down to Eugene to get settled in before school started. Friday night I was bored so I baked cupcakes for the UO game Saturday. I had seen the cook books Hello Cupcake and Whats New Cupcake at the Jelly Belly factory (where my mom and I got belly flops SO GREAT!) and was inspired. So I was ambitious and decided to make Oregon O decorations for my cupcakes. My yellow Os set up nicely, but I didn’t make them as thick as I should have, so some broke. However my green Os did not set up very well. I think it was because I was working on the counter that is above my dishwasher so the heat from that made the chocolate set up funny. I got the colored melting chocolate from Michael’s and it tasted just like white chocolate and wasn’t too pricey!  Here is the finished product:The basic idea with the melted chocolate is to have a design or pattern under a piece of parchment paper and then pipe the chocolate in the design and let it set. To make it easier to put the decorations on the cupcakes I made a point to stick into the cupcake. I don’t have a picture, but you get the idea. Overall pretty easy to make plain cupcakes a little more fun! Not to mention the Ducks won Saturday against Arizona State!! WOOOOO!!! Saturday we play Stanford it is going to be a close game, but hopefully a good one with a Oregon W! I am hoping to get a ticket to be able to experience a Pac-10 game as a student, but we will see. It is really hard to get tickets because they only have around 4,000 student tickets. Anyway, Sunday I went back to Salem for Ashley and Matt’s engagement party. It was a great BBQ and nice to see family friends. Then I came back to Eugene to get ready for school Monday!

School

School started Monday and it felt really weird starting, but also like we should have started a while ago. For the most part I am excited for my classes this quarter. I am taking SOC 330: Sociology of Family, SOC 345: Race, Class and Ethnicity, GEOG 142: Human Geography, SOC 491: Sociology of Education (Online class) and last but not least DANC 199: Salsa. Geography seems like it could be a really cool class, it is a lot of freshmen, but other then that it seems good. The teacher seems really interesting so hopefully that class will be a good one. I am taking Salsa and my roommate is actually taking the same class! I’m pretty excited to learn Salsa and get to take it with my roommate and a few of her friends!

Garden

My plants are all back in Eugene with me! I planted some parsley and cilantro in a pot that I had had flowers in. But I think I am more excited to have more herbs!! I will post pictures once they have sprouted and start to grow. My green beans grew beans again and I was so excited to find beans when I came back from CA most recently. Also once I had harvested the main head of broccoli there were other side heads that started growing that I harvested yesterday and had in a stir fry with my green beans! Also I have now ate 5, yes that is right 5 cucumbers that I have grown! Plus there are more on the vine still! I must say that from now on I will be growing cucumbers I love them soooo much and there is just something rewarding about eating produce that you have grown!

These are the broccoli, green beans and cucumber I picked the other day!

Projects/finishing my room

So I haven’t actually finished my quote/painting project, but I plan to do that this weekend! However I have finished my room for the most part. There are some mirrors that I want to put up over my dresser, but other then that done and organized!! Now my goal is to just keep it this way throughout the quarter! If you know me at all you know this is an ambitious goal, but one that I would really like to achieve. So here are some pictures:

My bed and bedside table

Close up of the wall decal. It was a labor of love that took f-o-r-e-v-e-r! I think that was mainly because my walls are textured and the letters didn’t stick very easily to it. But it is up and I’m lovin’ it so far!

My desk area

A little reading nook/area. Plus the ottoman/seat is storage! So great!!

My desk, pictures of people I care about and words of encouragement!

Calendar & cards!

My huge closet, door to my room & pictures of my lovely roomies : )

That is all for now! Thanks for sticking with me through the long post!! I am really going to try to update more often (then I will also have less to write about, hence shorter posts)! As always I would love to skype and catch up on life more! Hope everyone has a good rest of the week and a fantastic weekend!!

Easy marinade for chicken or salmon

I found this marinade a while ago and I have loved it! I usually let the marinade sit for 20-30 minutes and then put it on the grill, or put it in the oven to bake, but grilling it so good! The picture to the right is of chicken Gavin and I grilled the other night.

  • overflowing 1/4 cup of honey
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce (low sodium if you want to be more healthy)
  • 2 cloves garlic chopped
  • 2 limes juiced
  • cilantro chopped

You can play around with the proportions to make it more or less sweet or salty depending on how much soy sauce or honey you put in. But it has become an easy go to marinade to make chicken a little less boring.

Gavin and I had steamed broccoli and grilled corn with our chicken and it was a very delicious summer dinner! Enjoy!!

Vacation in California

So I finished summer school and it was time for VACATION!! Basically I was really excited to come down and just get to relax and spend sometime down here with some pretty great people   : )

Friday: I got up early and went up to Portland to catch my plane. My dad and I made a stop along the way to pick up a surprise for Gavin. Then I had a layover in Vegas and ended up getting my boots shined, they look gooooood! I caught my plane to Orange County where Gavin picked me up! I gave him his surprise, which was donuts from Voo Doo. I had been eating them in front of him on skype, so I figured I would let him enjoy some with me. The picture to the right is of Gavin with a maple bacon bar, which isn’t as weird as it sounds. When you think of the donut as a pancake, the maple frosting as maple syrup, and then bacon it works! You can ask Gavin if you don’t believe me, or I will post a video on Facebook of Gavin eating it! I also brought us Voo Doo dolls (SO GOOD!) and a few others. So we hung out at Newport Beach and ate Voo Doo donuts and just relaxed. We went in the water a little and drove around Newport. I had never been there so it was fun to go around and explore. Let me just say The OC did not accurately portray Newport! So then we left Newport and continued on our adventure South. We drove through Laguna Beach and a few other towns then we stopped in Dana Point. The Ocean Institute wasn’t open, but we went down to where you can go look at the tide pools, but the tide was high, so we just watched the waves! The ocean is just so relaxing to watch. We played around on the stairs racing the waves in. To the left is us at Dana Point with the ocean behind us. It was so pretty!! I would love to go back sometime when the tide is lower and be able to check out the tide pools and all the cool little sea creatures that live there! We were off from Dana Point and headed South again. We hit some traffic around San Clemente, so we decided to just get off and have dinner there. It took us about 20 minutes to find a parking spot that was somewhat near the pier/beach. We went down to the road that is right by the beach and got some pizza (white sauce with chicken SO YUMMY!) Then we took it to the beach, which was right across the street and watched the suffers and the sunset and enjoyed our pizza. Over all it was a really relaxing dinner/evening. Also it was fun to watch all the suffers ride the waves. I felt very SoCal! The picture to the right is of Gavin and me relaxing and enjoying the sunset. Life doesn’t get much better does it?  : )

After San Clemente Krista met Gavin and me in Oceanside and I went with Krista down to her house to stay the night before Vince and Angela’s wedding. Overall Friday was a very busy and fun day of exploring Orange county!!

Saturday: During the late morning Krista’s family and myself played settlers. It was fun and Krista won, but only because we let her interim build that one time : ) Then Krista and I got ready for the wedding and headed up to Trabuco Canyon for the wedding. It was a really nice ceremony and then we headed over to the reception. It was a really fun night and great to celebrate Vince and Angela. Also it was great to get to see friends from Poly again and get to have a great time with them! Angela (and Vince) planned a wonderful wedding and I had a great time! The picture to the left is of Vince, Gavin, me and Angela. These two have become such great friends of both Gavin and mine over the past two years we were honored to get to share their special day with them!

I will say though it was a little strange to go to a wedding of our friends. I guess it is that time in our lives where our friends start getting married. I know this is just the beginning and in the next 5-10 years more and more of our friends are going to be getting married! It makes me realize that I am getting older, growing up and this is what people do during this time of life. Not that I haven’t thought about this before, but that it has actually started happening didn’t quite seem real at first. I don’t know if any of that made sense, but if it didn’t thats ok!

Sunday: Gavin, Garret and I went to Disneyland!! I love Disneyland so much and it was even better because we used our free ticket from volunteering so we didn’t have to pay to get in! I will let pictures do the talking because a picture says 1,000 words, right?

The three of us in front of the castle

I love Eeyore!!

Splash Mountain! Check out the video on Facebook : )

Mickey!!

Love the fireworks!!

Minnie!!

Monday: I relaxed! I was so worn out from everything that I pretty much slept all day!! I went to a surprise going away party for Quinn that was really fun and great to see everyone. Then Gavin and I watched Dear John and then I pretty much crashed!

Tuesday (Yesterday): Gavin and I went to Pismo and Gavin took me boogie boarding! We took pictures, but I forgot to put my main memory card in, so I don’t have a way of getting them off until I get back to Eugene. But it was really fun!! Then we went to Old West Cinnamon Rolls. They were soooo good!! I got a mix to make once I am back in Eugene! Then Gavin and I made dinner. I think I am going to post the recipe, so I won’t write about it here. But it was delicious! Then we went to Summer Crusade! Nick Weber was speaking and it was so great! I always love when he talks. It makes me wish I had gone to the rain while I was here, but oh well can’t go back in time. But he was talking about how the Gospel needs to be central in our lives as Christians and how we can preach the Gospel to ourselves every day. I could write a whole blog on that, but I don’t think I will right now.

Wednesday (Today!): Today has been pretty relaxing as well. Gavin came over to Krista and Nicoles condo (where I am staying) and we have been hanging out. In a little Gavin and Garret are going to take me rock climbing! I am pretty excited I have never been before so we will see how that goes!! I’m sure I will have a few pictures to post later.

Ok if you are still reading this props to you! I am impressed! I think I went a little long because I want to be able to remember everything!! I hope you enjoyed reading this extremely long post, and if you are in SLO let me know!! I would love to see as many people as I can while I am down here!!

Start of another term!

Before I write about the new term I am going to write a little about this last weekend.

So Thursday I went up to Portland and flew down to Sacramento. Gavin and Garret got in early early Friday morning. Friday Gavin and I went on a bike ride around his neighborhood. (For anyone that has doubts about my bike riding ability, Gavin can vouch that I can ride a bike!) That was really fun, but it was HOT! So we came back and swam in the pool for a while which felt soooooo good! Friday afternoon Gavin, Garret, Cody and I went to see Inception. It was really good, but it was very intense. It was non-stop action for two and a half hours. I would probably see it again once it comes out on dvd. But if you like action movies that also have a psychological story line and play with your mind and reality, then you would probably like Inception. Friday night Gavin’s mom made Indian food for dinner that was delicious! I can’t remember the names of everything that we had, but I want to get some of the recipies because they were so yummy!

Saturday was Gavin and Garret’s birthday. We ran a lot of errands and stuff. Brian came up for dinner, which was fantastic (steak, potatoes, salad, corn, peach pound cake, and homemade icecream). After dinner we went and relaxed in the spa which was so great!

Sunday Gavin, Garret and I got up early to drop me off at the airport and then they drove back to SLO. Lynn picked me up from the airport and then I came back to Eugene and just relaxed last night because I didn’t have homework or anything!!

Today is the first day of the second 4 week term of summer. Right now I  am enrolled in a SOC 311 Methods of Research. I had that class this morning at 10. It seems like it should be a good class. Instead of having a final test we have a research project. I am excited that I will get to come up with my own research concept and execute it because I didn’t get to do it in my stats class. I am also enrolled in SOC 399 which is on immigration in America. I am crashing SOC 310 at noon. This class is sociological theory, which will probably be kind of boring. But if I get SOC 310 I can take Sociology of Education in the fall! I really want to take this class so I am hoping the teacher will add me! Then I can drop SOC 399. Also kind of funny, a girl that I know through mutual friends from high school was in my SOC 311 class this morning. What a small world!

I’ve started looking at schools for my masters in educational counseling, which is what I want to do eventually. I haven’t decided if I want to go straight into it or take a year off. I keep going back and forth for a lot of reasons, but I have a little while until I have to decide what I want to do.

I should get headed to SOC 310 to try to get in!! Hope everyone had a great weekend!

starting to become settled

This past week has had it’s ups and downs. Well I guess I will start worse and end good. I can’t believe I am still writing this, but I am still looking for a roommate. I am so drained from all of this, and I know I wrote that before, but now it is even more true. So far I have met with three possible roommates, it feels like so many more. Anyway, there are two girls interested in the apartment as of right now. I know that there is a reason for all of this, otherwise it wouldn’t be happening! Another thing that comes with not having a roommate is living alone, which has kind of been a bummer. Living in a new place and coming home to an empty house has been lonely. We weren’t created to be alone! But I know that is this is just temporary and in no way a permanent situation.

Another hard this recently has just been getting used to living here. I am just trying to figure everything out here. I don’t really feel plugged in yet, and I guess it would be unrealistic to feel plugged in after barley a month. But it just makes living here harder. This whole move has been really challenging in my relationship with the Lord. I’m trying to figure out what it looks like to continue my walk here. This whole process of moving and finding new community and everything is new to me, I just kind of had it all already in place in SLO and I just had to jump in for the ride. For that I am so thankful, but now this is just a HUGE growing experience! I know the Lord is faithful and with us wherever we go, and that is such a comfort!!

On the upside, I have been making friends! It has been really nice to start to just get to hangout with people. Friday I went over to a house of girls and they had a burrito bar and ice cream. The ice cream was really nice because this past week was REALLY HOT!! Then Saturday I went with people to float the McKenzie river. It was really fun and really relaxing to just get in the raft and just float and enjoy the beautiful scenery! (I put pictures up on facebook) Then afterword we went over to one of the guy’s house and had pizza, then back to the girls’ house for more ice cream. After that we went to see Date Night at the movie theater. This movie theater plays movies that are no longer in the normal theaters but not out on dvd. So because of that the movies are really cheep! Monday movies are $0.75, normally they are $1.50, and Saturday nights are $2. So that is a really cool thing to do! Sunday I went to church with one of the girls from the house. We went to First Baptist, the parent church of CCF. I’m not sure if that will end up being the church I go to on a regular basis. It was really really big and I felt kind of overwhelmed. The worship was great and the message was good, just different than I am used to. Pastor Bryan  is such a dynamic teacher, and so was Aaron at Frist Baptist SLO so I would really like to find a church more like those two.

So as far as school goes, this is week 4 the last week of this first term! I have class today and tomorrow and then finals! It is crazy to me how fast this has all gone!! My soc class has been pretty interesting this past week. Interesting in the way of my teacher’s views and him communicating them. We watched this movie on 9/11 being thought up and executed by the government and the Bush administration. It was crazy!!! We have been talking about denial in the class, and then my teacher is like don’t go into denial. It makes you almost feel insane and wrong for doubting this crazy theory! Anyway so that was a different view to hear about. On that note, Eugene is really different than SLO. It is A LOT more liberal than SLO so it has been a little bit of a culture shock and getting used to the new city. Which, by the way it feels like a HUGE city compared to SLO. I think Eugene is about 3 times bigger than SLO. So that has been a big adjustment as well.

One last positive thing, I am taking my soc final early on Thursday so that I can make it to the AIRPORT!!!! I am flying to Sacramento Thursday night for Gavin and Garret’s Birthday. I am sooooooo excited to see Gavin and get to spend a relaxing weekend dow there. Also I am going to have coffee with a potential roommate. Yes, I am still talking about in California! She is from Manteca, so as long as everything works out with her work schedule she is going to drive up and we are going to have coffee and meet. So we will see how that goes. But I am really most excited for seeing Gavin and getting to spend time with each other. It will be really comforting and just nice to spend time with Gavin.

So I should go have some breakfast and read more….SO MUCH READING!! Hahaha but it will be good to get 8 units DONE! So off to be productive!!

Miss you all so much!!

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