There’s Only So Much Crafting I Can Handle

Though I typically enjoy being crafty, there is only so much crafting one person can handle.

invites 009

That, my friends, is not even one quarter of our wedding invitations.

Ryan and I have been formatting, gluing, stickering and stamping for hours. We have a little more than half of our invitations stuffed and are calling it a night.

I am so grateful for Ryan’s help. He was the computer whiz and figured out the templates for our invites, and also helped me stuff all the envelopes with the actual invitation, reply card and wedding website card.

While working away on the invitations, we both enjoyed two big bowls of soup for dinner which went unphotographed in the invitation madness.

I also took a quick baking break and made us a coconut-scented vanilla loaf bread that included a cup of light coconut milk in the batter.

invites 001

I’d share the recipe, but I basically winged it and it wasn’t overly amazing. Still, we both enjoyed a couple of slices smeared with a bit o’ buttah.

invites 002

After plugging away at our initiations for another hour or so (and going through 2 bottles of super glue!), I declared it was time for dessert and ran to our local grocery store to nab some goodies.

Ryan is a huge fan of Oreos, so I decided to make a semi-homemade bowl of cookies ‘n’ cream ice cream.

I blended light vanilla bean ice cream with mini Oreo cookies in a food processor until I had a thick, somewhat soupy mixture, chock-full of Oreo chunks.

invites 004

invites 007

invites 006

The above bowl is Ryan’s serving. I actually ate a lot of cookies and ice cream in the process of making the mixture that my portion was much smaller since I was already feeling a bit ill from eating so much of  the vanilla loaf before downing more sugar in this bowl. Ooof!

I’m off to clean up some of the crafting madness now because our apartment looks like wedding invitations just threw up all over the place. 

G’night, friends. 😀

Mini Oreo Cheesecakes

I have one heck of a delicious recipe to share with you, but first let me make 95 percent of you think I’m totally disgusting.

Guess what I had for lunch today?

Liverwurst.

Liverwurst

Also known as liver sausage, liverwurst common in Germany and is actually made with pork liver (as well as pepper, thyme, mustard seed and other spices).

Liverwurst is very pungent (even more so than tuna salad), so I made sure to eat my sandwich very quickly at work today so as not to receive nasty looks from all of my coworkers.

I first discovered liverwurst in elementary school when my friend Carrie used to enjoy liverwurst sandwiches at lunch. She would almost always let me have half of her sandwich, probably because I was the only other person crazy enough to think it tasted delicious. 😀

I haven’t have liverwurst in years and randomly felt inspired to purchase it at the grocery store this week to creep you guys out. 😀

I enjoyed my liverwurst on a whole wheat sandwich thin with a smear of light Miracle Whip.

Light Miracle Whip

Liverwurst Sandwich - EEEW! (But Really MMMM!)

I also included grape tomatoes and freshly sliced green pepper on the side.

Looks Like Christmas

A mini Oreo cheesecake also made its way into my mouth.

Lunchtime!

Mini Oreo Cheesecake

…Hold up! What? A mini Oreo cheesecake???

Good news! It is now time for the unveiling of last night’s mystery recipe:

Mini Oreo Cheesecakes

I have to thank the one and only Martha Stewart for this fantastic recipe. When I stumbled upon her recipe for mini Oreo cheesecakes on the blog Handle the Heat I knew I had to give it a go.

Milk's Favorite Cookie

Oh-So-Tasty

I love cheesecake, but find it really easy to overdo it when it comes to consuming the rich dessert. The mini size of these cheesecakes seemed like built-in portion control which really appealed to me.

After jotting down the recipe and making a pit-stop at the grocery store on my way home from work yesterday, I got crackin’.

I began by blending two pounds of Philadelphia cream cheese. I used four 8-ounce tubs and figured I could get away with using two regular and two 1/3 less fat because using the 1/3 less fat cream cheese makes this recipe instantly healthy. 😉

Whirring Away

I then added a cup of sugar to the cream cheese and had this revelation: Cream cheese + sugar = Heaven for your taste buds.

I added the remaining ingredients (sour cream, salt, vanilla, eggs) before folding in chopped Oreo cookies.

Cookie Crumbs

Once the cream cheese filling was ready, I poured it into lined muffin tins on top of the whole Oreo cookie that was resting on the bottom of the tin.

Fill 'Er Up

After baking, cooling and chillin’ in the fridge overnight, these lil’ babies were ready for my belly.

Mini Oreo Cheesecakes

Eat Up!

Remember what I said before about how these little cheesecakes are basically built-in portion control? That was a lie. That only applies if you have the self control to only eat one… which I do not.

Cheesy, Sweet, Yummy

Just Trrrrrry To Resist Me

It's a Party in Your Mouth

One Last Bite...

So stinkin’ tasty!

Mini Oreo Cheesecakes (from Martha Stewart Cupcakes)

Makes 30 mini cheesecakes

Ingredients:

  • 42 cream-filled sandwich cookies, such as Oreos, 30 left whole, and 12 coarsely chopped
  • 2 pounds cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • Pinch of salt

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 275 degrees. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Place 1 whole cookie in the bottom of each lined cup.

2. With an electric mixer on medium high speed, beat cream cheese until smooth, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Gradually add sugar, and beat until combined. Beat in vanilla.

3. Drizzle in eggs, a bit at a time, beating to combine and scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Beat in sour cream and salt. Stir in chopped cookies by hand.

4. Divide batter evenly among cookie-lined cups, filling each almost to the top. Bake, rotating pan halfway through, until filling is set, about 22 minutes. Transfer to wire racks to cool completely. Refrigerate at least 4 hours (or up to overnight). Remove from tins just before serving.

On My Feet

I am finally sitting down after being on my feet ever since I got off of work this afternoon.

That’s 5+ hours of runnin’ around and standing. My heels and back are happy to finally be relaxin’ on the couch!

So what have I been up to?

Running errands, cooking and baking… lots of baking!

In preparation for our BBQ tomorrow afternoon, Ryan and I picked up food and other necessities for grillin’ out and feeding our friends.

When we arrived home, I got to work making the food that I could prepare ahead of time.

Oreo balls:

Oreo Balls

Chocolate + Cookies

Funfetti cookies:

Funfetti Cookies

Chocolate chip cookies:

Chocolate Chip Cookies

I have special plans for the chocolate chip cookies. Icing may or may not be involved. 😉

I also prepped some pasta salad and another appetizer, so I am hopping everything will come together easily tomorrow morning.

Our BBQ menu includes:

  • BBQ pulled chicken
  • Pasta salad
  • Baked beans
  • Buffalo cheese toasts  
  • Chips and guacamole
  • Chips and chili dip
  • Fresh veggie skewers
  • Cucumber slices and ranch dip
  • Triscuits and French onion dip
  • Oreo balls
  • Funfetti cookies
  • Chocolate chip cookie sandwiches

I’m hoping I can talk Ryan into giving me a back rub tonight!

See ya in the morning!

Oreo Overload

It feels so good to be home! I love knowing I have four long days to hang out with my family and soak up the holiday spirit. Yessss.

After arriving in St. Pete and catching up with my family for a bit, Ryan, my mom, dad, sister and I headed out to dinner at Alfresco, a restaurant located in the Vinoy, the gorgeous hotel where Ryan and I will be getting married in October next year.I wasn’t super hungry so I opted for a double order of the shrimp cocktail appetizer as my main course.

Shrimp Cocktail

I also had several bites of my mom’s entree which I thought was the best meal of the evening. 

She ordered an open-faced veggie sandwich on naan (oven-baked flatbread) with artichoke cream cheese. 

Open-Faced Veggie Sandwich

We also explored the hotel a bit to look at the holiday decorations. The florist who will be doing the flowers for our wedding actually decorated the Vinoy for the holidays, so we enjoyed looking at the decor. 

Christmas Tree Smiles

Crazies

When we arrived home, it was time for dessert! 

I made some Oreo balls, courtsey of Miss Jessica’s recipe

I started with a row of Oreo cookies which I whirred into crumbs in a food processor. (“Whirred” is a technical term. 😉 ) 

Oreo Cookies

Oreo Crumbs

I then added two big scoops of light cream cheese. Light makes it healthy, right? 😀 

Oreo Crumbs and Cream Cheese

Once a thick dough formed, I rolled it into little balls and stuck them in the freezer for 45 minutes to harden. 

Oreo Dough Balls

Some of these little guys definitely didn’t make it to the freezer. They got a little sidetracked by my mouth. 

After the Oreo dough balls were a little hard, I dipped them in melted white and semi-sweet chocolate chips

White and Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips

Melted Chocolate

After the balls were coated in chocolate, I put them in the freezer for another 30 minutes until the chocolate was hard and the Oreo balls were nice and cold. 

Chocolatey Oreo Balls

These were delish! 

Though they were tasty, I must admit I prefer them dipped in white chocolate. We had them at the pre-tailgate party at my parents’ house this past weekend and they were fantastic! 

Oreo Soft Serve

All the Oreo business made Ryan crave some cookies ‘n’ cream ice cream. Since we didn’t have any on hand, I used the opportunity to make some Oreo soft serve using the cookies, vanilla ice cream and the food processor.

Pre-Blended

 

Blended Oreo Soft Serve

Cool 'n' Creamy Cookies 'n' Cream

This was so tasty! How have I never done this before???  

With a full belly, I’m off to relax with my family for the rest of the evening. Good night everyone!

Free Dried Plums 

Want some free Mariani dried plums? 

Dried Plums

 

Click here and enter the promo code SUPERFRUIT to receive your own complimentary bag of the tasty fruit!

All My Bags Are Packed

“Good Lord, we’re only going home for the weekend,” Ryan said as he looked at my bags. Considering I typically live in my pajamas or bathing suit when I’m at home, I admittedly over packed for our weekend at my parent’s house.

I'm Ready to Go

I'm Ready to Go

In my defense, only the bright blue duffel bag is actually my stuff. Sadie’s dog goodies are in the other bag and the black bag on the ground is my computer which I need to keep up da blog. So there!  

A trip to see my family is always full of fun and food, and last night was no different. When we arrived, my mom immediately rattled off a list of everything she bought at the grocery store: deli meat, the fresh bakery bread with the specs of little nuts, six different kinds of ice cream (I’m not lying), Oreos (Ryan’s favorite), berries, pineapple, veggies, pretzels, Kashi cereal… the woman would not stop talking and my mouth would not stop watering.

Dinner was ready within an hour of our arrival.

Steamed Broccoli

Steamed Broccoli

Ham Steak

Ham Steak

And Again

And Again

Fresh Bakery Bread

Fresh Bakery Bread

Sweet Potatoes

Sweet Potatoes

I filled by plate with a bit of everything and also made myself a roast beef sandwich because I was dying to use the fresh, nutty bread.

Roast Beef Sandwich

Roast Beef Sandwich

Well aware of Ryan’s intense love for Oreo’s, my mom also surprised us with this fantastic Oreo pie for dessert.

Oreo Pie

Oreo Pie

My sister had not arrived yet and the four of us did a number on the the cookie pie. Only a small sliver remained… oops!

About an hour or two later I helped myself to a large bowl of Edy’s S’mores ice cream for two reasons: 1. I’m home and can eat like a kid again! 2. It’s Limited Edition! It could disappear at any moment. 😉

Edy's S'mores Ice Cream

Edy's S'mores Ice Cream

We spent the evening catching up and laughing while Ghostbusters was on the T.V. in the background. “Who you gonna call!?”

I went to sleep feeling (overly) full and happy. 🙂