Thursday, October 22, 2009

pumpkin cheesecake bars

This is a really good pumpkin dessert. I think the chocolate topping helps to make it so good :) but I highly recommend this one.

Pumpkin cheesecake bars with chocolate topping

1/2 c butter
1 17.5 oz package oatmeal cookie mix
2 8-oz packages cream cheese, softened
1 3/4 c sugar
3 eggs
1 15oz. can pumpkin
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 c semisweet chocolate pieces
1/4 c butter
48 pecan halves (I skipped this one)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 15x10x1 inch pan with foil, extending foil over the pan edges. Lightly grease foil. Set pan aside. In a large bowl, use a pastry blender to cut 1/2 cup butter into cookie mix until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Press mixture evenly onto the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes or until set.
2. In a large bowl, combine cream cheese and sugar. Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until combined. Add eggs, one at a time, beating on low speed after each addition until just combined. Stir in pumpkin, vanilla, pumpkin pie spice, and salt. Pour pumpkin mixture onto the hot crust.
3. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes more or until mixture is slightly puffed around the edges and just set in center.
4. In a small microwave safe bowl, combine chocolate pieces and the 1/4 cup butter. Microwave on high for 30 to 60 seconds or until softened; stir until smooth. Drizzle chocolate over the cooled bars and carefully spread evenly. Gently press pecan halves evenly across top (optional). Cover and chill for 2 to 24 hours.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

a greater purpose

I was encouraged the other day when I was driving to work and the singer from Casting Crowns was talking about their new album/song, "Until the Whole World Hears." He was talking some about the ministry he is involved in but also the fact that we're called to so much more than just the everyday living that easily consumes our lives. I know for me, it is easy to do what I know is comfortable and routine forgetting even some days what my real purpose is. Although I may not fully know that yet, I know, as a child of God, there is more than just what I am doing now. I have to remember to slow down and look at the opportunities placed before me and take full advantage of each one. Not for my glory, but for His. This is not always easy especially in a fast-moving, all about me world that can easily suck you in. Some days I come home from work and am frustrated and think how did I even show/share the love of Jesus...just because I didn't slow down and make time. I think of missed opportunities and negativeness (is that a word??) that I showed throughout the day. But then I remember how big a sinner I am and how great a Savior I have.
Because of this, because of renewed mercy and undeserving grace and the hope I have not in this world...I have a purpose, just as everyone saved by grace, to share this...until the whole world hears.

Here Casting Crowns shares their meaning behind their song...

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

pumpkin candles...

Found yet another little project on the cover of Better Homes and Gardens Magazine. It was too cute not to do and perfect for the start of the fall season. Of course, there is not much to it but its so fun to decorate this time of year!

Back with a pumpkin dessert recipe soon!