New Year, New Adventures

It’s been a while since I posted, and this one is s little over due. I have had one adventure in the kitchen this month (corn and potato soup) and it turned out well, but I forgot pictures. It’s been a little busy. 

My adventure this year is grad school. Again. Yes, I have one masters, but I decided to go for another. My boss wanted me to go for a Ph.D or Ed.D, but I’m not willing to sacrifice half a decade to being in school again. I found a great program, totally on-line, that I can complete in two years. I officially started a few weeks ago (hence the lack of posts) and am getting into a good rhythm. In addition to now juggling full time work and part time school (which is way harder than full time school and part time work it turns out) I’ve gotten a few projects at work. My bosses like that I’m going for administration, so they’ve given me a few things that are more administrative tasks. Presentations, trainings and another thing that would take too late by to explain and I have homework I’m putting off to write this. 😇

Bob has been great about how busy I’ve been lately, but we did find an hour to check out the new beer place that opened near us. Bob drooled when he saw it, and I was pretty happy because they have cider and sodas. Yes, good cream soda and incredible root beer. 

Last month, before the craziness started, I got myself a present. I take a ton of pictures, but they always end up just in my phone. A new little device changed this and I love it. I can hook up my phone and then print actual pictures. They aren’t big, but when I get a cute picture of the babies it’s nice to be able to print them out. 

And that’s about it. I’m going to try to post, but they may be sporadic for the next two years. 

Caramel Pecan Cheesecake

We had Mom and Dad over for dinner last weekend so I asked Bob what he wanted for dessert. He debated between pecan pie and cheesecake, so I decided to combine them and make a caramel pecan cheesecake. 

I started with a basic cheesecake recipe. Because I can’t ever follow a recipe exactly, I tweaked it and crossed my fingers. The most difficult part of this was beating the cream cheese. I don’t have a paddle attachment for my mixer (nor do I have a stand mixer because I know I have no place to put it) so I used regular beaters; this made mixing the cream cheese very difficult, but once I started adding the eggs, it got much better. I also just used 4 eggs and added some vanilla extract to the mix before baking. 

The caramel is more straight forward. Caramel is caramel and most recipes don’t change very much. I did add some salt to this, because I thought it needed it, but for the most part, it’s a basic caramel sauce. 

Once both have completely cooled, I poured the sauce over the cheesecake. I was careful to not over top the cheesecake then added the pecans. 

Bob liked this cheesecake better than the other recipe I have. It does have a creamier consistency, but I still think it is a little heavy. I also prefer the camel sauce that has bourbon in it, but that is just me. 

Welcome 2016

Happy 2016! This is going to be an interesting year. While we don’t have any trip planned, my return to school should keep me busy. I definitely want to try to be a little creative in the kitchen, but I’m not sure how often that will happen. But it’s ok – two years for school so there is an end in sight. My boss encouraged me to go back to school, and she thought I should go for my PhD, but … well …. that would take way more time than I’m willing to do so another masters will work just fine. 

By the way, getting a picture of Jessie is a little tricky. She hates having her picture taken, so I had to get her while she is licking cheesecake batter off my finger.

After a relatively quiet Christmas, we headed to Tallahassee to see Bob’s family. The weather generally cooperated and we were able to even get out to the Tallahassee museum. I had never been there and didn’t know what to expect, but we had a lot of fun seeing the different animals. The black bear and red wolf were my favorites. 

Bob and I did our traditional stay in on New Year’s Eve. I made a nice dinner (Bob requested steak, so that is what we had – he doesn’t request meat often, so when he does, I try to oblige, although I ate more of the potatoes and salad than anything else). This morning I decided I was in the mood for eggs, so I made omlets and potatoes. Bob had an onion and cheese omelet, and I had a kale, onion and cheese omelet. It was a nice way to start the new year.