Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Cheesecake Factory Banana Cream Cheesecake

If you love bananas and cheesecake then you will want to make this!

20 vanilla sandwich cookies
1/4 cup butter, melted
24 ounces cream cheese, softened
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
3 eggs
3/4 cup mashed bananas
1/2 cup whipping cream
2 teaspoons vanilla

Preheat oven to 350º F. Place cookies in a blender; process with on/off pulse until finely crushed. Add butter; process with pulses until blended. Press crumb mixture into bottom of a 10-inch springform pan; refrigerate. Beat cream cheese in large bowl with electric mixer at medium speed until creamy. Add sugar and cornstarch; beat until blended. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in bananas, whipping cream and vanilla. Pour cream cheese mixture into prepared crust. Place pan on cookie sheet and bake 15 minutes. Reduce oven temp. to 200º F and continue baking for 75 minutes or until center is almost set. Loosen edge of cheesecake; cool completely on wire rack before removing rim of pan. Refrigerate cheesecake, uncovered, 6 hours or overnight.

Then I used the remaining whipping cream and 1 tablespoon of sugar to make whipped cream to add to the top.

Forgive me

Forgive me if I don't post very often for the next couple of months. Erin is homeschooled, I am finishing undergraduate studies, preparing medical school applications, looking for work, and taking care of three children. I'm just a little busy. I'll be posting when I can, and will be back in full swing in December. Graduation is December 10!

Saturday, August 27, 2011


Erin purchased a cheap little kite at the store one day last week, and she and Layla had a blast with it. There wasn't a lot of wind so they took turns running up and down the street to get it to stay up in the air.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


I sit the MCAT in two days. Five hours beginning at 8am on Saturday morning. To say that I am nervous is the understatement of the year. I've been reviewing and studying for it for the past two weeks, and I'll live and breath it until I leave on Saturday morning. Until then...

**Please cross your fingers and legs for me in hopes that I do well. I can't get into medical school without a good score on the MCAT.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

A day with friends

Dave, one of the track parents and the announcer at our track, invited us over today to spend the day. The kids did some fishing, swimming and we all just hung out. We've been over before, and they have become part of our extended family. Dave and his wife, Valerie, have two boys, and they are both so sweet. Jackson "Big Bear" races at our track, and his little brother, Benny, is always there supporting all of the riders. They also happen to be huge WWE fans (only the little boys-not their parents or us), so tonight Dave purchased the big event of the summer on PPV, had a couple more of their WWE buddies over and they watched in complete excitement.

Jackson and Benny playing Chicken in the pool on Brian and Dave.
Dave and Brian trying to catch up to Bren...
...since he caught this baby bass.

Valerie wearing Jackson's WWE mask.
Erin and Valerie
(l-r) Bren (barely visible on the left), Jessica, Zack, Benny, Jackson, Logan, Austin, Valerie, Erin and Sean.
Their faces during the wrestling were priceless.
The dads. Brian, Bill and Dave. All three are also business owners.
Jackson, Zack and Logan showing off their muscles.

Friday, August 12, 2011


Roo, Brendan's bearded dragon, was found sleeping like this tonight. She's apparently perfectly comfortable like this.

AP Boot camp

This is not Sean's first year taking AP classes, but it is the first year that Mitchell High has hosted the boot camp. He loved it (and his team won the events of the day, receiving gift certificates to local eateries). You can read about it and see a picture of him from our local news here.

Thursday, August 11, 2011


I couldn't find her for a while today, and after frantically searching everywhere inside of the house I finally found her hiding between the curtains and the window. She was sitting on the window sill, watching the lizards walk back and forth along the outside ledge of the window. The lighting was perfect to capture a picture of her. To the left is the lining of the curtains (the white).

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

What's growing?

Our first ever sunflower.

Our first full ears of corn.
Another round of Better Boy tomatoes.
10-15 more pear tomatoes to be picked every day.

Cherry tomatoes by the bowl full.

Mystery solved

Over the summer while I was home alone one weekend I noticed that the top left drawer of my dresser was open. I would close it and then later that day it would be open again. This went on for several days and I couldn't figure out what was going on. Well today Sean was in my room with the animals and we discovered, on video, how that drawer repeatedly got opened.
Please excuse the mess-I've been reorganizing drawers and closets in my room so there is stuff laying everywhere.

Monday, August 08, 2011

BMX race in Nashville, Tennesse

We just found the website for a photographer that was shooting all of the riders during the race in Nashville, Tennessee back in May. Here are the pictures of Bren and Erin.

Going down...
And trying to get back up.

All photos are courtesy of www.bmxbackyard.com.

Sunday, August 07, 2011


Erin and Bren had their fourth and final state qualifier for BMX today. They competed in qualifying races in Middleburg, St. Augustine, Daytona and Oldsmar (today). On September 10-11 they will compete in the state championship race, and will be awarded their state plates and numbers. As of today Erin is in 1st place in the state and Bren is in 2nd. However, after his race today he may have earned enough points to put him in first, and we'll know in a couple of weeks.

Today they both raced hard and earned 2nd place overall (Bren) and 3rd place overall (Erin). Erin had an amazing race in the main event against a 10 year old and 11 year old girl. She was right behind them, too! I'm so proud of both of them and looking forward to the remaining big races this year in Orlando (Disney Cup national) and our track (state championship).

These are photos that were taken today by a local photographer that frequently shoots at our track. Bren is #75 and Erin is #21.

Erin is at the gate on the far left with the green helmet.

So close to the 10 and 11 year old!

Saturday, August 06, 2011

Pretty girl

She was just playing around wearing her dad's hunting gear last night. She's just so damn beautiful.

Cake pops, take two

My first attempt to make cake pops did not end so well. Let's just say that they were not edible, and that's putting it nicely. So I took a deep breath, refocused and started again. This time they are not only prettier, but absolutely delicious. As in our family of five finished off 30 of them last night delicious. Yeah, they are THAT good.

I made double chocolate cake pops. The cake and icing are both chocolate and then they were dipped in melted milk chocolate. Some were then covered with sprinkles. I need improvement on my dipping technique so that they don't drip while they are drying, but otherwise it was a huge improvement over the first try.