Monday, December 19, 2016

Cheesecake Bombs

  • 8oz (1 cup) cream cheese, room temperature 
  • 4 tablespoons butter, room temperature 
  • 1/2 cup crushed graham cracker crumbs 
  • 4 cups powdered sugar 
  • 10 oz (1 1/4cup) chocolate chips 
  1. In a large bowl, mix the cream cheese and butter together until combined. 
  2. Add in the graham cracker crumbs and mix well. 
  3. Add in the powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, until it is all mixed in. 
  4. Cover and chill in the fridge for at least 1 hour. I usually let it sit overnight. 
  5. Place a piece of wax paper on the counter and remove batter form the fridge. 
  6. Scoop into balls and roll in between palms if necessary. Place on wax paper. 
  7. Place in fridge for 10-20 minutes if they are too soft to dip. 
  8. Melt the chocolate in the microwave, stirring every 15 seconds to make sure it doesn’t harden up. It should take about 1 minute for the chocolate to completely melt. 
  9. Dip balls into chocolate, covering completely. 
  10. Place back on wax paper and let cool until chocolate has hardened. 
  11. Store in the fridge for the best taste.

  • Substitute Oreo crumbs for graham crumbs
  • Add single cherries or other fillings to the center of the cheesecake ball before dipping in chocolate
  • Mix cinnamon and brown sugar into cheesecake batter

Pineapple Dream Squares

  • 2 1/2 cups graham crumbs (2 sleeves) 
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (for crust) 
  • 2 cups of powdered sugar, sifted 
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened (for filling) 
  • 4 oz cream cheese, softened 
  • 8 oz container Cool Whip 
  • 20 oz can crushed pineapple, drained well 

  1. Preheat oven to 300 F. 
  2. Melt butter in the microwave and allow to cool. Combine the crumbs and butter and toss together until incorporated. Press 2 cups of the crumb mixture firmly into an 9×9 square pan and bake for 8-10 minutes. Place on wire rack to cool. 
  3. Beat the cream cheese and butter together until creamy. Turn the mixer down to low and add the powdered sugar one cup at a time until incorporated. Turn up and beat well for a minute or so. Add a heaping tablespoon of the drained pineapple and stir in with a rubber spatula. Spread the cream cheese and pineapple mixture over the crust. 
  4. Fold the remaining pineapple into the Cool Whip and spread on top of the cream cheese mixture. Sprinkle the remaining graham cracker crumb mixture on top. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight

Monday, August 29, 2016

Tweed Squares

Cake Base:
  • 2/3 cup butter
  • 2/3 cup white sugar
  • 1 1/3 cup flour
  • 2 tsp, baking powder
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 egg whites
  • 2 tbsp white sugar
  • 2 squares semi-sweet chocolate, grated (I recommend icy squares)
  1. Cream together butter and sugar
  2. Add flour, baking powder, salt, milk and vanilla to creamed mixture
  3. Beat together egg whites & additional 2 tablespoons of sugar.
  4. Fold egg white mixture into creamed mixture.
  5. Grate two squares of semi sweet chocolate, and fold into mixture.
  6. Bake at 350F until golden brown.
  7. Remove from oven and cool on wire rack.

Middle layer:
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 cup icing sugar
  1. Beat together butter, egg yolks and icing sugar
  2. Spread over top of squares evenly

  • 2 squares semi-sweet chocolate
  • 1 tbsp butter
  1. Melt semi chocolate and 1 tbsp butter together
  2. Drizzle over squares
  3. Refrigerate 30min and cut into squares

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Review of The Sorcery Code

    I recently read The Sorcery Code by Dima Zales and honestly liked the book, but unfortunately I didn't love it. The writing style was easy to follow but I found it to be a bit choppy at times which killed its continuity. It has many good points which make it a very interesting and fascinating. But it also however has many things that make it fall short.

    The author writes the individual chapters from the perspective of the character so you get to fully experience what they are feeling and thinking at that time. However, because they start and end a chapter from just one point of view at a time it often feels as if some scenes overlap and don't always link up. If your an avid reader such as myself who enjoys emersing themselves in the authors world, then this almost choppy type of writing can bring you out of it quite suddenly. Suffice to say its a bit of an experience killer.

    The book has many good points though. The world itself is fascinating. There are many different magical gadgets that are brushed upon, and the magic they use is based on a very rational rule system involving complex math and incantations. So as a result there are no over powered sorcerers running amocke. Such as where in our own education systems where ones success is proportional to the amount of hard work and dedication they put in to their chosen career paths, so to a sorcerer has to work hard to be accomplished. The characters are pretty unique and the author does a really good job in defining the distinctions in social class and even adds personality to the classes that are believable.

    The bad points in this novel are few but they are (in my opinion) what can make or break a novel. For starters, there are points in this novel where everything begins to feel like the illegitimate love child of Harlequin romance and Harry Potter. Feelings form far too fast and flare passionately in situations that probably would take longer to happen in normal cases(i.e the love at first sight of Blaise and Gala when she is a new being fresh into the world) and then simmer out in places where a more intense one is needed(i.e when Blaise's ex-fiance basically breaks into his home, has a near mental breakdown for reasons I don't want to mention so as to no spoil it for potential readers, and burns his research and tries to kill him. To which Blaise's reaction is not anger). Mostly though I would have to say that the biggest overall flaw in this novel would be that it has a luke warm feeling throughout the story line.

    In conclusion the novel wasn't a bad read, but there were things that could have been done to improve it. I probably would recommend this book to someone if they were only looking for something to pass the time with, or were bored with their usual genre because it is a interesting concept and twist to the magical world.

This book can be found on at: The Sorcery Code.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Baked Potatoes

  • 2-3 medium potatoes per person
  • 2 tbsp melted butter
  • Salt/Pepper
  • Shredded cheese
  • Crumbled bacon
  • Green Onions (optional)

  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF
  2. Scrub the potatoes and poke holes around the skin
  3. Bake for 1½ hours
  4. Remove from oven and slice down one side of the potato but not completely in half
  5. Pull the sides of the potato open gently and brush the butter inside the opening
  6. Sprinkle some salt and pepper into the opening 
  7. (Alternatively, mix the salt/pepper with the melted butter so when it is brushed on, it spreads evenly over the potato.)
  8. Put some shredded cheese into the opening, packing it down and add the crumbled bacon
  9. Continue baking until cheese is melted.
  10. Sprinkle on some green onions as a topping (optional)

Potato Rounds

  • 4-5 medium potatoes
  • 2 tbsp melted butter
  • Shredded Cheese (I use a bag of shredded Tex Mex)
  • Well cooked and crumbled bacon

  1. Preheat oven to 400ºF
  2. Scrub potatoes clean and cut into ½ inch slices.
  3. Brush the melted butter onto each side of the slices and place on an ungreased baking sheet
  4. Bake for 15min, flip slices and bake for 15 more minutes until golden brown
  5. Top with shredded cheese and bacon and continue baking until cheese is melted.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

PackAways Review

PACKAWAYS Dorm Boxes are available in 4 colors and different sizes. The sizes include moving boxes and a large underbed storage size 36L x 24W x 6"H that would be ideal for extra clothes and neat storage where space is tight in dorm rooms. Moving boxes are engineered to erect and collapse instantaneously without tape, these are super for moving kids to and from school. Made from durable polypropylene, these boxes should last the 4 years of moving your children to and from school.
While ideal for this particular application, PACKAWAYS can be used for numerous organizational projects around the home.
Low cost and Proudly made in the U.S.A.
  • Corrugated Plastic, Protects from Water & Humidity
  • Instant Set-Up, No Tape Required
  • Reuse Hundreds of Times
  • Collapses Flat When Not in Use
  • Unique Wipe Away End Panel

I was given the opportunity to review PackAways Reusable Dorm Boxes to help my brother in his move to University and received 2 boxes in the colors green and pink and classic size. I was impressed at how quick and easy they are to put together. It's as a simple as push the ends together to open it and push down the inner panel. The boxes are also very durable and lightweight which is always a plus when packing for a move. There are two labels that use dry erase markers allowing you to mark whats in each box and erase it later when the box is no longer in use for this purpose. Once packed, the top panels fold down and lock in place without the use of tape; I loved this aspect of them. The handle holes on either side make moving the boxes so convenient.
Collapsed BoxPartially Opened BoxOpened Box
We opened the boxes up and prepared them for packing. It was super easy to manage and with the convenient size, we were able to pack all my brothers books and school supplies into one box. We used the other for his electronics, gaming systems, computers, etc. The boxes closed up tight and handled the weight with ease. We labeled the boxes and packed them into his car. We arranged them into his trunk and still had plenty of space for the other boxes we had packed with his clothing, toiletries and bedding. 

When it came time for the move, my brother's dorm was still under maintenance so he had to stay in another location. He got to this temporary residence and unpacked the things he needed or wanted to use. He commented many times about how the PackAways were his favorite boxes throughout the experience. A few weeks later when his dorm was ready to move into, he repacked the boxes and moved on in. He says he is now using the pink one as his laundry basket because when it's time to bring it out for a wash, he just has to push the top panels down and never have to worry. He gave me the green one to use myself and it has now been turned into a storage bin for my oldest sons school supplies and school work he brings home. We were able to erase the labels we had previously marked and relabel however we choose. 

I was very surprised by the durability and ease of assembling the PackAways. They were so convenient and to know that if its not in use by anything, it can be flattened just as easily and stored out of the way. If I move in the future, I'll be looking for more PackAways and definitely recommend them to anyone moving. The only precaution I could find with them, watch out for the edges when pushing in the top panels. I was careless and not watching properly and managed to cut my finger slightly on the opening when pushing in the flap. Other then that, I could find no issues with using these boxes. 

For More Information about PackAways and how you can purchase your own, visit their website:
or visit/like them on Facebook

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.