Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Turtle Cheesecake Recipe

In a recent conversation with my daughter Stephanie I asked her what kind of cake she would like for her upcoming family Birthday party.  She immediately said she would like to have Turtle Cheesecake.  She then said,  "You remember Mom, that delicious cake we had a long time ago."  

Gosh, but it had been a long time since we make that particular cake.  It was surprising to me that she remembered.....

I knew this recipe was in my recipe book collection somewhere, and of all things, it was the first recipe book I put my hands on.

Seen below is the cover of this Christmas with Southern Living Cookbook.   We see the cover photo with the cheesecake my daughter was talking about.  

Just in case you are interested, I looked at the inside cover of this book for the ordering information.  Since this book is many years old now I'm not sure if it is still available.

Christmas with Southern Living Cookbook
First Printing 1997
Oxymoor House, Inc.
2100 Lakeshore Drive
Birmingham, Alabama

This recipe does take a little bit longer than the average cake, but it really is worth it.

I used Chocolate Graham Crackers for the crust.   As you can see 
you will need to have a 9-inch springform pan.

My grandson Chase carefully placed all of the 
Happy Birthday candles on the finished cake for his Mom.

It does not look quite as yummy as the recipe book cover, but it was very good 
and most especially of all the birthday girl loved it!

Not being sure all of the grandsons would enjoy a cheesecake I also made a chocolate 
layer cake just in case.  Yes, it definitely does have that 'homemade' look.

Turtle Cheesecake Recipe

2 cups chocolate wafer crumbs
¼ cup sugar
1/3 cup butter, melted

3 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1 ¼ cups sugar
4 large eggs
1 (8-ounce) carton sour cream
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

¼ cup butter
1 cup (6-ounces) semisweet chocolate morsels

1 (12-ounce) jar caramel topping
1 cup chopped pecans

Combine first 3 ingredients; stir well.   Firmly press mixture on bottom and l inch up sides of a lightly greased 9-inch springform pan.  Bake at 325 degrees for 10 minutes.  Cool in pan on a wire rack.

Beat cream cheese at medium speed of an electric mixer until creamy; gradually add 1 ¼ cups sugar, beating well.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping sides and bottom as needed.  Stir in sour cream and vanilla.  Pour batter into prepared crust.  Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour and 5 minutes.  (Center will not be completely set.)  Turn oven off; partially open oven door.  Leave cheesecake in oven 1 hour.  Remove to wire rack to cool completely.  Cover and chill at least 8 hours.  Carefully remove sides of pan;  transfer cheesecake to serving plate.

Melt ¼ cup butter in small saucepan; add chocolate morsels.  Stir over low heat just until chocolate melts and mixture blends.  Spread warm chocolate mixture over cheesecake; chill 15 minutes.

Combine caramel topping and pecans in a small saucepan.  Bring to a boil, stirring constantly, over medium heat; boil 2 minutes.   Remove from heat, and cool 5 minutes.  Spread over chocolate; cool completely.  Serve immediately, or cover and chill.

Daughter Stephanie,  the Birthday girl,  getting ready to 
blow out the candles on her Turtle Cheesecake.
A fun time was had by all!

Thank you for stopping by for a visit,  and for those of you who enjoy baking,  I do hope this recipe is an inspiration for you too.

Wishing you a happy Tuesday with many blessings for the rest of your week wherever you may be.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Happy Fall Y'All

Yes, as hard as it is to believe, at 4:31 A.M. in the early hours of this coming morning,  we will have our official first day of Fall.

I have always loved the Fall as the fresh cool air begins to sweep in and everything feels fresh and revitalized.  I always open all the windows and doors and let them sit open to let all that amazing fresh air drift into the house.

I recently took my camera to our first Garden Club meeting for the Fall.  Our hostess had made the most beautiful bouquet for her table with all the flowers coming from her own garden.

I tried to get a close up of the tan colored flower seen in the below photo.  As you can see it looks exactly like a butterfly, but no, it is a plant.  Our hostess did such a good job making this lovely natural arrangement from her garden.

As I was driving home from the meeting I passed by this lovely country setting with wildflowers growing all over an entrance fence.  I thought it was so pretty I just had to stop and try to capture these beautiful wildflowers with my camera.  

Mother Nature is so artistic as she allows this beautiful vine to twists and turn 
and drape so beautifully all over this old country fence.

I wish I could tell you the name of this pretty little wildflower vine, 
but I have never seen one like this before.

And, then, directly across the street I noticed what looked like 
wild Morning Glories growing all in the woods.

It was surprising to me to see such beautiful wildflowers blooming all over as we enter into Fall.

Thank you for stopping by for a visit and I hope you are 
enjoying this very last day of Summer wherever you may be.

Monday, September 7, 2015

Hello September

The month of September is such a beautiful time of the year here in the South.  As September begins in our area,  all of the children have returned to school,  football is back in full swing, and one can begin to feel a bit of change in the air,  just slightly enough to remind us Fall is not too far away.

The first Monday in September each year is a special holiday celebrated in the United States to honor the contributions that workers have made to the strength, prosperity and well-being of our country.  According to Mr. Google,  this holiday was established in the year 1886 by President Grover Cleveland and is called Labor Day.  

With the holiday fast approaching we decided to take advantage of the holiday time for a quick trip up to North Carolina.  As you know there is so much beauty all around us,  and for me I love to try to capture some of that beauty with my camera.  So as we drove along there and back I snapped lots of photos of this and that.

As we were leaving out of the driveway 
I just had to snap a photo of the sunshine glistening all over everything.

We were making a quick trip up to the mountain cabin in North Carolina and it was a treat to see so many wildflowers blooming all along the way.

I don't know the name of these light purple wildflowers, but we saw them everywhere.  And then in the below photo I tried to focus on this brighter purple wildflowers in the below photo.

And mixed in with the purple flowers was this single Goldenrod wildflower.  
They too were beginning to bloom everywhere.

In the below photo we spotted this pretty little red wildflower 
growing all by itself among the light purple flowers.

These wildflowers were huge ... Some of them looked to be about a foot across.

And, this lovely little yellow wildflower was mixed in with the purple flowers.

What an amazing artist the Good Lord is and so creative.
Who could have ever imagined all this beauty growing out in the woods for all of us to enjoy.

A mountain neighbor was so thoughtful to stop by for a visit and bring gourds, tomatoes and okra from his garden.  I was so impressed to see these homegrown gourds, the unusual okra and the delicious bright red tomatoes.

The weather in the mountains had already turned cool.

One day while sitting out on the porch with friends I had to go back inside for a heavy jacket.

In the below photo can't you feel the cool breezes blowing across from the mountains.

Heading home we decided to take a different route than usual.  Our travels took us through the charming little town of Hendersonville, North Carolina.  This little town is located about 22 miles South of Asheville, North Carolina.

The main focus in the downtown area is the Historic Henderson County Courthouse which was completed in 1905.  In 1979 this beautiful building was added to the National Register of Historic Places.

The town was planning for a very large street festival called the North Carolina Apple Festival.  They were expecting 50,000 spectators the following day.  As you can see there was a very festive atmosphere along the downtown streets.

It was a treat to visit the old Mast General Store.  I love the way the floors creak as we walk from one display to the other.  As you walk into this store it is like walking back in time.  They do have a website just in case you are interested in taking a look as to what they have inside:

The below photo shows a sign which was outside the front door of Mast General Store.

This is an interesting old town with many restaurants, antique shops and boutiques.

As we continued on our way driving along the beautiful and scenic Highway 64,  we spotted this beautiful field of Goldenrod with the mountains in the background.

We arrived in this very popular vacation town called Cashiers, North Carolina.  Many folks have their vacation homes located in this beautiful mountain town.

As we took some sightseeing side roads we discovered this very beautiful Christmas tree farm.

For as far as the eye could see there were Christmas trees growing in this beautiful mountain area.

As we drove along we spotted what looked like Christmas trees growing along the side of the road.

How about these beautiful yellow wildflowers growing along the side of the road in Cashiers, NC

Passing this pretty lake I just had to snap a photo of Old Glory someone had placed on this dock.

 And, more wildflowers along the way.

We spotted this huge pile of firewood all cut up.  It looked like someone had been working really hard cutting firewood for the upcoming Winter.

And, yes, it looks like they still have a lot more work to do.

Wow!  It looks like hard work to me.  It would take some work to split these huge logs.

Continuing on along Highway 64  we reached the charming little town of Highlands, North Carolina.  We spotted these pretty white flowers growing all along an entrance fence as we drove into the little town.

This was such a pretty plant.  We saw several of them along the way, 
but I have no idea what this plant is called.

A very pretty entrance garden.

Highlands, North Carolina is such a charming mountain town there is no possible way I could do this town justice with my photos ... You just have to be there!  But I did enjoy trying to capture some of the  allure this town offers.

Southern Living Magazine chose Highlands, North Carolina  as a top 5 Small Town Getaway.  How about that!

As we drove down Main Street this beautiful little church caught my eye.  A very sweet man came by and offered to show me the inside of the church, but time was limited and I thanked him and just took outside shots of this charming little church.

And again we see this beautiful little white climbing flower that we had seen on the fence at the entrance to town.   I love a picket fence and especially like all of these pickets in the shape of a cross.  How appropriate for a church picket fence.

This pretty little church is still a very active parish.

This little church was completely surrounded by gardens.  In the below photo we see an interesting tree which was growing in the church garden.  I have never  seen anything like this.  I would not call it a flower or a nut ... would love to know what kind of tree this is.  Isn't that unusual!

Highlands, North Carolina is a very scenic town to explore.  In the surrounding areas there are scenic drives, hiking trails, waterfalls, performing arts including a Chamber Music Festival, and a local playhouse.  There is also fly fishing and golf to be enjoyed by tourists along with amazing upscale shopping and many good restaurants.

I thought this was such a pretty entrance to this local florist.

The below photo was a side entrance to the florist shop.

In the middle of downtown Highlands is the Old Edwards Inn and Spa,  which is a resort consisting of the historic main building, a full-service European-style spa, a fine restaurant called Madison's and a Wine Garden.

If you would like to see more of this beautiful Inn you can click on the below link:

Highlands Inn is another popular Inn and is located along Main Street in the downtown area. 

And in the below photo we see another historical church located in Highlands.

We enjoyed the drive through the lovely town of Highlands.  
As we continued on our way we enjoyed the scenery along the way as in the below photo.

The sign on the highway said, "Scenic Overlook" so we pulled off the road to take a look.  
I thought the sky had a heavenly look as the sun was beginning to set in the West.

What amazing natural artwork.  

I never get tired of trying to capture the beauty all around us with my camera.

It is always a treat to visit the mountains of North Carolina and it was especially nice to have been able to visit the little mountains towns of Cashiers and Highlands.

It has been a special Labor Day Weekend here with a cook-out at our daughters home and a nice visit with the grandsons.  I hope it has been a special weekend for you too.

Wishing you many blessings wherever you may be.