Sunday, April 19, 2015

No Bake Reese’s Peanut Butter Cheesecake

Craving something creamy, rich, peanut buttery and totally sweet-tooth satisfying? Then boy are you in the right place!! My son has been asking for peanut butter cheesecake ever since I made this recipe (he loved the layer of peanut butter cheesecake in there). I decided to appease the boy and give a no-bake cheesecake recipe a try.

I found the recipe linked below and adapted slightly to use a combination of Reese's and other PB candies I had on hand instead instead of mini Reese's bites.

The drizzly chocolate sauce on top is very pretty and a nice sweet touch to offset the richness of the cream cheese and savory flavor of the peanut butter.

Because I used M&M candies, the cheesecake was studded with little pockets of color from the different colored candy coatings!

This is a very rich and delicious peanut butter cheesecake - the Oreo crust is so yummy! I didn't have the full amount of Oreos but we made do with what I did have; it was a nice complement to the peanut butter filling. As you can see from my pictures, I used a pie plate and skipped the springfom pan. This was easier for me to store leftovers in the refrigerator (with just some cling wrap over the top).

No Bake Reese’s Peanut Butter Cheesecake from Life, Love, and Sugar
Yield: 9 inch cheesecake


2 1/2 cups Oreo crumbs
5 tbsp butter, melted

24 oz cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/4 cups peanut butter
1/2 cup mixed peanut butter candies (PB M&Ms, Peanut Butter M&Ms, Reese's Pieces, PB Chips, etc.)
8-oz Cool Whip (or 1 cup whipping cream beat with 1/2 cup powdered sugar until whipped cream is formed)
chocolate sauce


  1. Combine Oreo crumbs with melted butter.
  2. Press crumbs into the bottom and halfway up the sides of a 9 inch springform pan. Set in refrigerator to firm.
  3. Mix cream cheese, sugar, vanilla and peanut butter together in a large bowl until smooth and well combined.
  4. Gently stir in the Cool Whip (or homemade whipped cream).
  5. Add about half of the chopped Reese's and stir until combined.
  6. Pour filling into crust and smooth the top.
  7. Refrigerate for about 4-6 hours or until firm.
  8. Remove cheesecake from springform pan and top with remaining chopped Reese's and chocolate sauce. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Snugg Organic Toddler Pillow #Review

If you want to learn more about natural latex as a premium filler option for children's pillow's, please visit Snugg Organic Pillow's website. There is a bunch of great information available!

I was given the opportunity to review a toddler pillow for Lindsey and was excited to receive it and open it up for her - I knew she would love it. Lindsey is 19 months and still in her crib so not ready for a pillow at night yet, but boy is my baby a snuggler who loves using her stuffed animals as pillows in her playroom all the time!

Kenneth usually spends at least a half hour cuddling with her in her room in the mornings while she wakes up, and one or both of us usually spend at least a half hour with her in the afternoon / evening when she's settling down and getting tired. She loves to cuddle on anything soft and snuggly. This pillow is certainly no exception.

There are a lot of great things to love about this pillow - I love that it's hypoallergenic, and comes with a snugg case that can be removed and washed when needed, and the consistency reminds me of memory foam. It is very comfortable. My teenager likes it so much, he wants to steal it from Lindsey!

Product Information:

  • 100% latex filling
  • Premium Shredded Latex filling
  • Perfect larger size for your growing child which means you will get years of use from your pillow
  • Hypoallergenic - repels dust mites, the best choice for all children especially children with sensitive respiratory systems like asthma and allergy sufferers
  • Machine washable outer casing
  • This pillow comes WITH a SNUGG CASE so you don't need to spend any extra or make do with a poor fitting case that doesn't fit properly

Slow-Roasted Beef for Sandwiches

This recipe is ah-ma-zing. I think today is the third time I've made this one. I have no idea what cut of beef roast I use, so feel free to use whatever you have and it will probably come out just fine. The secret with this one is to use the meat probe and make sure to follow the instructions about temperature. My roasts seem to take about an hour, depending on if they're fully thawed or not. But every time they come out deliciously flavorful and the PERFECT texture / consistency in the middle. My husband absolutely LOVES this recipe!

Slice it and serve with mashed potatoes and gravy for a traditional roast recipe, or slice thinly and serve on buns for an amazing sandwich (which is typically how we serve ours)! If you are using this at lunch meat, make sure it is sliced as thinly as you can get it - because it is still somewhat pink in the middle it's not super tender if cut thickly which can make it difficult to bite through.Yumm!

Slow-Roasted Beef for Sandwiches from bd.weld on AllRecipes

1 (3.5 pound) beef eye of round roast
2 teaspoons garlic salt
2 teaspoons canola oil
2 teaspoons fresh ground black pepper
1 tablespoon canola oil

  1. Season all sides of beef roast evenly with garlic salt; wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate 18 to 24 hours.
  2. Place rack in middle position of oven and preheat to 225 degrees F (110 degrees C).
  3. Pat roast dry with paper towel and rub with 2 teaspoons canola oil; season with black pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon canola oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until small wisps of smoke rise from the oil. Brown the roast completely, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer roast to a rack set into a roasting pan.
  4. Bake in the preheated oven until a meat probe thermometer or instant-read meat thermometer inserted into the center reads 115 degrees F (46 degrees C) for medium-rare, 1 1/4 to 1 3/4 hours.
  5. Turn oven off and leave roast in oven without opening door until meat probe thermometer reads 130 degrees F (54 degrees C) for medium-rare, 30 to 50 more minutes. Let rest 15 minutes before slicing thin.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Fully Loaded Scalloped Potatoes

I was in the mood for some scalloped potatoes recently, to make as an additional side to eat alongside some of our leftover Easter ham and decided to give this recipe a try.

It was very tasty, and definitely different than your traditional scalloped potato recipe!

The base tastes most strongly of sour cream, which was a creamy and delicious sauce to enjoy the tender cheesy potatoes in; especially sprinkled with bits of thick cut bacon!

This is a wonderful side dish for any meal, and since you pre-boil the potatoes the bake time isn't long at all, and you will have a creamy, cheesy, tender potato side dish to serve with your meal. Enjoy the flavors of baked potatoes, in scalloped potato form!

Fully Loaded Scalloped Potatoes from Kraft

2 lbs potatoes (about 6 medium)
8 slices thick cut bacon
3 TBS flour
1 cup milk
1 cup sour cream
3 TBS chopped fresh chives, divided (optional)
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil; meanwhile slice the potatoes thinly using a mandolin slicer if you have one. Carefully boil the potato slices until tender (about 10 minutes). Drain and cool. Meanwhile, cook bacon as directed on package.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Rough chop the bacon, and reserve 1/4 cup (for topping). Whisk the flour and milk together in large bowl until blended and then stir in the sour cream. Add potatoes, remaining bacon and 2 TBS chives; stir gently to evenly coat potatoes.
  3. Pour mixture into 2-qt. casserole sprayed with cooking spray; and sprinkle the top evenly with the shredded cheese.
  4. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 to 35 min. or until heated through and cheese is melted. Sprinkle with remaining chives and reserved bacon.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

#BundtBakers ~ Surprise Inside Carrot Bundt Cake

Welcome to the April reveal day for the Bundt Bakers! This month our theme was chosen by Anshie who blogs at Spice Roots; she chose "Hidden Surprise"! There was a LOT of trial and error for many of us this month, several of us baked 2 and even 3 cakes to get the taste, appearance, and "surprise" we were aiming for!

If you are a food blogger and would like to join us, just send Stacy an email with your blog URL to

I posted my Kitchen Fail a couple days ago - my first attempt for this theme was a Rainbow Cake, but I did not get pretty swirls of color, so I moved on to the next cake I had on my list to try - this delicious Carrot Bundt Cake!

I am so glad I got to try this one out - the cake is wonderful. Moist, full of crunchy bites of nuts, surrounded by tender and sweet carrot cake; and tucked in the middle? A delicious, creamy cheesecake swirl!

This cake just gets a light dusting of powdered sugar and it is ready to go. The bottom bakes up crunchy, and the rest of the cake is completely tender; it makes for the perfect texture contrast.

I hope you give this one a try! I haven't had a carrot cake in WAY too long and am so glad this is the recipe I ended up making this month. It is completely satisfying, and I love that there are three full cups of grated carrots packed into this tasty treat. My 18 month old tends to be on the picky side, but she really liked this one. (We've been noticing she has reverted to not using words she was previously saying, but she will say "cake" for a bite of this treat!)


    Surprise Inside Carrot Bundt Cake from With a Grateful Prayer and A Thankful Heart

    1 (8-oz) pkg. Philadelphia Brand cream cheese, softened
    1/4 cup sugar
    1 egg, beaten
    2 cup flour
    1 3/4 cup sugar
    2 tsp baking soda
    2 tsp cinnamon
    1 tsp salt
    1 cup oil
    3 eggs, beaten
    3 cups carrots, shredded
    1/2 cup nuts, chopped (I used pecans)

    1. Combine cream cheese, sugar and egg, mixing until well blended. Set aside.
    2. Combine dry ingredients. Add combined oil and eggs, mixing just until moistened. Fold in carrots and nuts. Reserve 2 cups of batter; pour remaining batter into greased and floured 9 inch bundt pan.
    3. Pour cream cheese mixture over batter; carefully spoon reserved batter over cream cheese mixture, spreading to cover.
    4. Bake at 350 degrees, 55 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pan carefully onto cooling rack or serving plate. Cool completely and then sprinkle with powdered sugar, if desired.

Monday, April 13, 2015

GS Journey ~ Your Pregnancy: 5 Weeks (and Beta Update)

How Y & Q's baby is growing:
Deep in your uterus your embryo is growing at a furious pace. At this point, he's about the size of a sesame seed, and he looks more like a tiny tadpole than a human. He's now made up of three layers — the ectoderm, the mesoderm, and the endoderm — which will later form all of his organs and tissues.

The neural tube — from which your baby's brain, spinal cord, nerves, and backbone will sprout — is starting to develop in the top layer, called the ectoderm. This layer will also give rise to his skin, hair, nails, mammary and sweat glands, and tooth enamel.

His heart and circulatory system begin to form in the middle layer, or mesoderm. (This week, in fact, his tiny heart begins to divide into chambers and beat and pump blood.) The mesoderm will also form your baby's muscles, cartilage, bone, and subcutaneous (under skin) tissue.

The third layer, or endoderm, will house his lungs, intestines, and rudimentary urinary system, as well as his thyroid, liver, and pancreas. In the meantime, the primitive placenta and umbilical cord, which deliver nourishment and oxygen to your baby, are already on the job.

GS Journey #3 at 5 Weeks
GS Journey #2 at 5 Weeks

How many weeks today: 5w1d
How I am feeling: Not too bad the past few days. I was queasy on Friday night, but pretty good most of the rest of the weekend. Today I feel some deep cramping sensations, and a little fluttery queasy sensations, a little bit of mouth watering, and feeling a little hungrier than normal.
Cravings / aversions: I've been craving juice the past few days which is unusual for me. I don't drink a whole lot of juice normally. I've been keeping cranberry and strawberry kiwi juice in the fridge and cut it half and half with water when the mood strikes. I had some fresh squeezed OJ the other day that was amazing.
Baby: Size of a sesame seed - Nickname: Tiny Passenger

We had a repeat beta last week on Thursday, and have one more coming up this Thursday - beta recap:

GS #4
10dp5dt 469
13dp5dt 2289 (doubled in 31.5 hours, or 1.3 days)

How does this compare to my previous surrogacies:

12dp3dt 605
14dp3dt 1183 (doubled in 49.6 hours or 2.1 days)
19dp3dt 9151 (doubled in 40.7 hours or 1.7 days)

12dp3dt 110
16dp3dt 519 (doubled in 42.9 hours or 1.8 days)
23dp3dt 5129 (doubled in 50.8 hours or 2.1 days)

12dp3dt 198.1
14dp3dt 388.5 (doubled in 49.5 hours or 2.1 days)
17dp3dt 1264 (doubled in 42.3 hours or 1.8 days)
24dp3dt 7037 (doubled in 67.8 hours or 2.8 days)

As you can see, these numbers are MUCH closer to my twin numbers than my singleton numbers, but we did only transfer one so somehow we must just have an over-achieving high hcg producing embryo this time. Of course the word "splitter" has entered my mind on more than one occasion, but the chances of an embryo splitting are something like 1%, so still hoping for just one very healthy happy baby in there!

One more beta hcg on Thursday - we'll see if the numbers stay at a high doubling rate or if they slow down a little. Then we'll schedule the ultrasound for around 6 weeks - so could be just a week from now! Can't WAIT to see how this little one is doing!

Canvas Factory - 16x20 Canvas Print (Standard Wrap) #Giveaway!

Source: Canvas Print Factory

Canvas Print Factory ( offers fantastic prices on quality canvas prints! Find them on Facebook here:

I love, love, love pictures. My favorite wall at our house is the wall of family photos I have created from pictures taken over the years. I was actually needing one more to complete the shape, and when the opportunity arose to review a 16x20 Canvas Print I was so excited - it would fit PERFECTLY!

Source: Canvas Print Factory

I was sent a 16x20 print of my choice and it turned out so great! I am thrilled with it! I picked one of our most recent family pictures that Kent's girlfriend took for us over Valentine's Day weekend. Kent is being horribly grumpy and uncooperative, but I still love the picture. It is representative of the moody teenager that he is. Smiley, goofy, silly, loving one minute, morose and brooding the next. Such is the life of a 16-year old. I don't miss those days!

Source: Canvas Print Factory

Enter via the rafflecopter widget below to win your OWN 16x20 Canvas Print! Don't miss any of the giveaways going on now! Visit the Giveaways Page and enter to win! 

*Full Disclosure: I received complimentary product from Canvas Print Factory for the purpose of review. I received no compensation for this post. All comments are 100% accurate and 100% my own.     

Matcha Tea Ceremony Gift Set by Matcha DNA #Review

I want to share with you this beautiful ceremonial tea set I received from matcha DNA for review - it is so very pretty! I think this would make such a beautiful gift for the tea lover in your life, and is pretty enough to put out on display in your home as well.

It comes very nicely packaged in a sturdy box, with thick foam padding to protect the items. The bowl is handmade and so pretty. I really like the little wooden spoon  as well. There are instructions along with a small package of matcha tea on the inside cover of the box. Use the wooden whisk to mix hot water and matcha powder together in the bowl for a ceremonial cup of tea anytime. Make tea time special, any day of the week.

*Full Disclosure: I received complimentary product for the purpose of review. I received no compensation for this post. All comments are 100% accurate and 100% my own.

{Kitchen Fail} Rainbow Bundt Cake

Our monthly reveal for Bundt Bakers is coming up - I won't spoil the surprise about what our theme is this month, but I did want to share a complete Kitchen Fail I had in my first attempt for April's reveal day (make sure to come back in 3 days to see all the beautiful bundt cakes on the 16th!)

I was so excited about this cake - I loved the idea of seeing gorgeous swirled colors when I cut into the cake and was so so careful when I poured each color into the pan (my brand new beautiful Nordic Ware Platinum Rose Cast Aluminum Bundt Pan that I was also very excited about).

Here's a link to the recipe I used. The batter tasted great, we had 6 bowls of fun colors to layer in, I poured them in exactly how she described. I removed it from the oven, and it cooled. I turned it out and allowed it to finish cooling. The anticipation was mounting!! I finally sliced into the cake... and this is what I saw:

No beautiful swirls of colors... just a muddied rainbow of greenish / bluish / purplish... sigh.

Oh well, you win some, you loose some. It did allow me the chance to try out these fantastic silicone cupcake molds I was sent - the cake might not have come out how I'd hoped, but the cupcake molds worked great and I love all the colors in this set!

*Full Disclosure: I received complimentary product for the purpose of review. I received no compensation for this post. All comments are 100% accurate and 100% my own.