Thursday, January 31, 2013

Strawberry Cheesecake Pie Deliciousness

Our friends Paul and Melissa had us over (all of us: SO nice!) for dinner a couple of weeks ago.  We had a fantastic time getting to know them and their adorables.  We had an even more fantastic time eating the dessert that Melissa made.  It was so ridiculously good.  I asked her for the recipe pretty soon after, and she was nice enough to indulge me.  I made it that week - and again the following week.  I probably shouldn't make it this week.  You should make it, though -
you will not be disappointed.
At.  All.

Melissa's Strawberry Cheesecake Pie
Graham Cracker Pie Crust:
1 1/2 cups (or 1 package) finely ground graham cracker crumbs
1/3 cup white sugar
6 tablespoons butter, melted

 Melissa likes to leave the graham crackers a little chunky instead of grinding it into a powder.
Mix ingredients together and press into a pie plate.
Press just so it's formed in the pie plate.  If you press too much, it gets too hard and chewy.
Bake for 7-10 minutes at 350.
Let cool before spooning in cheesecake filling.

Cheesecake Filling:
1 block cream cheese
1 container cool whip
1/2 cup sugar

Strawberry Glaze:
1/2 cup mashed/pureed strawberries
1/2 cup sugar
1.5T cornstarch
3/8 cup water

sliced strawberries (for topping)
In a saucepan, combine sugar and cornstarch.
Stir in water and mashed berries.
Bring to a boil, stirring constantly.
Stir in food coloring if desired (I haven't either time).
Cook and stir 3 minutes more.
Cool in fridge.

Amazingness Combined:
 Spoon the cheesecake filling into the cooled pie crust.
Slice a bunch of strawberries and mix with the cooled glaze.
Top your pie with the glazed strawberries.
Enjoy the deliciousness you just created.
Share and make immediate friends.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Get Outta Here with All That Awesomeness

December 2012
What a fantastic way to start out our year:

January 19
Today my Radiologist/Oncologist called to let us know the results of my MRI on the Jan 14th 2013.  I have no new growth, and from what they could see only scar tissue is left - which is expected with how many 'shots' I got during my Sept 7th 2012 Gamma Knife surgery.  He will not need to see me for another 6 months.  I was declared cancer clear from the neck down on Sept 4th, 2012.  Now, I am cancer clear from the neck up - just in time to return to Honduras in a couple weeks.
GOD IS FAITHFUL...stage FOUR (aggressive breast cancer that metastases to an infested liver and later got secondary brain tumors) now........stage FREE...:D  Thank you for praying with Peter, Marissa, and me - through this part of our journey of growth.  What a blessing to be under the care and love of a Merciful Heavenly Father...Love you LORD...and thanks to so many family, friends, and caregiving staff that helped us get through this stage in our life....Investing in one another reaps sweet blessings in both the good and hard times. 
January 27
 I pray women going through cancer discover beauty through their journey.  I did and have - and I could not have done so without God, faithful prayer warriors from my family and friends, and sweet caregivers (....I used western medicine and a ton of lifestyle changes in diet, scheduling, time of stillness, sleep and laughter.).  We are each fearfully and wonderfully made and worth loving and fighting for - for there's a ton of beauty in who you are created to be.

 Many of you have been amazing about praying for my cousin, Maileen, and her journey with cancer.  I'll love you forever for that.  In just a few days - Peter, Maileen, and Marissa will be heading home to Honduras.  Would you pray for a smooth transition back for their family?  Much love from the bottom of our family's heart.  We are so thankful!

Friday, January 25, 2013

A Picky Girl's Favorite

Our oldest doesn't tend to eat a huge variety of food, but she certainly loves this meal - which isn't your typical tacos, spaghetti, or pizza kind of dinner.  My friend Amanda first introduced me to this recipe years ago.  She literally came over to our house one afternoon with all the ingredients, and I watched her cook - and then we ate.  It was lovely.

Chicken Lettuce Wraps
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 chicken breasts, cut into thin, 2-inch-long strips
2 tablespoons grill seasoning, recommended brand Montreal Seasoning by McCormick
1 green pepper, cut into thin, 2-inch-long strips
1 onion, chopped
3 large cloves garlic, chopped (adjust to your taste)
3/4 cup hoisin sauce
1/4 cup chicken stock
1 head iceberg lettuce
 Heat a large nonstick skillet over high heat with the vegetable oil.
Season the chicken with the grill seasoning.
Add the chicken pieces to your pan and stir while it cooks through.
Add the bell pepper, onion, garlic and continue to cook until the veggies are tender.
While that's cooking, combine the hoisin sauce and the chicken stock in a small bowl.
Add the liquid to your skillet and stir to fully coat the chicken and veggies.
Combine and transfer to a serving bowl (or you can leave it in the pan like we do).
To assemble the wraps, peel a leaf off of your lettuce and place a spoonful (or two or three) of the deliciousness in the center.
Wrap the leaf around the mixture and enjoy!

This recipe is adapted from Rachael Ray's Chicken Lettuce Wraps because
-I'm not a huge fan of water chestnuts.
-I use whatever kind of peppers we have on hand.  Last night we had green.
-who knows what drama would unfold if we had bean sprouts on the table.
-I sometimes have sesame seeds on hand, and when I do - do I want or have time to toast them?  Usually not.

Easy, delicious, and all our girls (and our boy) enjoy it - I should probably make it more often!