Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Another fluff post...but it's fun :-)

I found this on another food blog. What kind of cereal are you?

You Are Muesli

You are broad minded and cosmopolitan.

Your tastes are varied and numerous.

You like many types of things. You definitely aren't picky.

The only thing you can't stand is being bored.

You're the kind of person who can't have the same breakfast often.

Your breakfast is unpredictable, unique, and very varies.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The Daring Bakers Play with Cheesecake

I'm a little late with this Daring Bakers post, but April was one of those months where life just completely overwhelmed me and took over (That's also why there are no pictures in this post). But better late than never, right?

This months challenge was hosted by Deborah and Elle. The recipe they chose was for Cheesecake Pops from Sticky, Chewy, Messy, Gooey by Jill O’Connor. The cheesecake pops involve making making a cheesecake, scooping them into little balls, placing sticks in them, freezing them, then dipping them in chocolate and decorated however we wished. Normally, this is the type of challenge that I would relish and take to extremes. But with how busy life has become, and the increasing exhaustion of this pregnancy, I just didn't have the energy to go all out the way that I wanted to.

Overall, I would say this was a great concept, but only a good recipe. Before I made the recipe, I read that several other Daring Bakers had trouble getting their cheesecake batter to set sufficiently. Unfortunately, I had the same problem. When it came time to form the balls, I found that the cheesecake was well set around the edges, but not so much in the center. Though not fully set, however, it was firm enough that I was able to make balls and insert the sticks (or in my case, segments of drinking straws). After freezing them, the dipping and decorating went well (too bad I didn't manage to get any pictures).

I thought the finished product was quite good, and Psycling quite enjoyed these little pops as well. We also gave some to a friend, who sent me this email a couple of days later:

I just ate your cheesecake balls for breakfast O:-) Damn they were good. The cheesecake part was the perfect consistency for my taste and the chocolate give it a nice texture contrast. I loved them!

I guess they were a success :-)

Now for my assessment: I thought these were very good, but if (when) I make them again, there are a few things I'd do differently. First, I'd use my standard, go-to cheesecake recipe which has never failed me. It comes out perfect every time! Second, rather than making cheesecake pops, I think I'd make cheesecake balls. Perhaps it was because I had trouble getting the cheesecake to set, but the sticks didn't stay in well...the balls of cheesecake tended to fall off them. But little balls of chocolate covered cheesecake sound like perfection!

Sorry for the boring (late) post this month. Hopefully, I'll be back on track for the May challenge.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Callie & Wylie need new homes...Can you help?

This is Wylie. I rescued him as a kitten shortly after I graduated from college. He had developed a really bad eye infection and someone just dropped him off at the vet to be euthanized. The vet refused to euthanize for such a treatable problem, and cured the eye infection and put him up for adoption. He was five months old. He's now about 7.5 years old and a very loving, playful, personable cat who sometimes thinks he's a dog. He greets me at the door when I come home (though it might just be because he wants food) and he does actually play fetch with his toys. He likes to curl up next to me (or on my lap) and have his ears scratched, and purr like crazy! His favorite toys are pipe cleaners (especially coiled up) and shoestrings, and he is very attached to his toys! He will often keep them all together in one spot. He's a fun cat!

This is Callie. I got her a few months after Wylie because I thought he needed a companion while I was at work all day. She is one of the most loving and personable kitties I've ever met. She loves to be held or to sit on your lap and purr. Every night, she sleeps curled up next to me. Besides being pet and getting attention, one of her very favorite things is chasing the laser pointer red dot!

Unfortunately, Callie and Wylie need to find new homes. Ever since we got Thea, their quality of life has degraded. While we did everything we could to socialize the dog with the cats, nothing worked. Apparently there are just some dogs that just don't seem to be able to over come their instinctual desire to chase cats. Despite our reprimands (and several scratches on the nose from the cats) Thea just won't leave them alone. Because of this, we can't give them the kind of good life and attention that they deserve.

I love these kitties, and I can't tell you how sad it makes me to have to give them up. But I know they deserve a better life than what we are able to provide them with now. The deserve to be in homes where they can soak up all the love and attention and playtime that there is to offer.

Both Callie and Wylie are current on vaccinations and routine veterinary care. When each goes to their new home, they will bring with them some of their favorite toys and other necessities. Can you help Callie and Wylie find the loving new homes they deserve? If you or anyone you know (living in or traveling to the Atlanta area) would like to adopt one (or two) lovable, personable, adult cats, please let me know. For more information, feel free to contact me at sara[at]thepaynes[dot]cc.