How to Make Cheesecake like a Rovenstine

My friend Taylor's birthday is tomorrow. I offered my recent cake-decorating skills, but she wanted a pumpkin cheesecake. (Who doesn't want cake for their birthday?) Anyway, here's how you can make a cheesecake my way:

1. Make graham cracker crust.
2. While making filling, measure out sugar and set aside.
3. Before putting the cheesecake in the oven, taste it. Even if it tastes weird, put it in the oven.
4. After the cheesecake has been in the oven for 10 minutes, start washing the dishes.
5. Find the measured sugar on the counter.
6. Remove cheesecake from oven, and gently scoop out the filling. Be careful not to scrape the graham cracker crust.
7. Add sugar to filling, pour back in the pan and place back in the oven.

Now you probably are thinking that this might not be the best way to make a cheesecake. Just trust me. I'm pretty much like the next Pioneer Woman.


Sweet and Salty

I love chocolate-covered pretzels. I stumbled on a picture of a bar that looked similarly sweet and salty when I was surfing food blogs the other day. It didn't have a recipe with it, so I googled and found a couple things, but nothing that sounded like the picture looked. So I adapted a couple different recipes and it looks like the picture and tastes pretty good. I'll probably try it again because it seemed that everyone liked it.

Peanut Butter Chocolate & Pretzel Bars

2 sticks unsalted butter
1 3/4 cups brown sugar
2 eggs
1 T vanilla
2 cups flour
1 t salt
2 cups chopped pretzels
1 1/4 cups peanut butter chips
1 1/3 cups dark chocolate, finely chopped
1/2 cup whipping cream

1. Preheat oven to 350ยบ and grease a 9-by-13-inch baking pan.
2. Melt butter and brown sugar in a saucepan on low heat, stirring often. Remove from heat, and let cool slightly.
3. When cool, whisk in eggs and vanilla.
4. Stir flour and salt into butter mixture, and stir in 1 1/2 cup pretzels and peanut butter chips.
5. Put batter into pan and spread evenly.
6. Bake for 30 minutes.
7. Let cool in pan on a wire rack.
8. Bring whipping cream to a boil in a small saucepan.
9. Remove from heat, add chocolate, and stir until smooth.
10. Let cool until thickened.
11. Spread glaze over blondies and let set.
12. Sprinkle remaining pretzels on top.
13. Cut and enjoy! (I let mine set up in the fridge before cutting.)



Now that it's fall, I guess I should say something about summer. I really wish I lived in some exotic foreign country, so I could post exciting things every day, but I don't. I live in Missouri. In addition to taking a couple classes this summer, I did a few other things. And I do mean few. Here they are in a single post:

I painted a dresser indoors. I wouldn't suggest it (even if you do have a large tarp). Luckily, I didn't get paint on the carpet, but it was very stressful.

I grew some pretty plants on my patio. I did eventually have some healthy tomatoes, but my friends got them because I was out of town when they ripened.

I also had a hummingbird feeder and a regular bird feeder on my patio. I saw lots of them, but didn't get any good photos. (I felt a little bit like an 80-year-old woman, but I'm okay with it.)

I went to South Dakota for a family vacation (without Becca) and fished with some of my favorite people.

I went to Tan-Tar-a Resort on Lake of the Ozarks with my family for church camp. My dad drove a boat. (Apparently, I wasn't very good at taking enough photos this summer.)

I got to see one of my favorite families at their welcome home from Korea party.

We had a very large Rovenstine family reunion in 100-degree weather. It was so hot I was unmotivated to take photos. This is the only one I took. Nanny loved being pushed around in that wheelchair all day.

I went to Vegas to meet up with some of my Peace Corps friends. It was such a short trip, but we had a good time.

Renana, Jon, Becca and I decided to make Nikki a strawberry shortcake with sour cream instead of whipped cream. She ate the entire thing without saying anything. Then we all laughed like 10 year olds.

I celebrated a birthday with the cutest 1-year-old boy I know! Nikki made the cake, and Isaiah did a good job eating it up.

Becca and I went to an OKC Redhawks game. I go for the popcorn and cotton candy. I couldn't even tell you who played. I think Becca paid attention to that stuff.

I celebrated my 26th birthday with my college friends. I thank Facebook and cell phones for helping us all stay close even though we live in four different states.

I helped throw a baby shower for Julie and baby Jude.

And that was my summer. Since school started, my life is classes and the occasional football game. Maybe I'll be motivated enough to do a "fall" post before winter.


My tomato woes

I should rename this blog to reflect the life of my patio plants. I was getting so excited about my growing tomato. However, today when I was watering it I felt something weird on the bottom. I took a picture, but it just grosses me out (like gives me the goosebumps grosses me out). You can go here for more details on what is wrong with my tomato plant. My poor tomato has Blossom End Rot. So what do I do? Should I let the tomato keep growing? Can I still eat the top if the bottom is rotten? The article linked above makes it seem like this is hard to get rid of. So will every tomato turn out with this? I am so sad. I need someone with a green thumb to help. Help please.



I'm not going to apologize or explain away the reasons I haven't blogged in four months. I will just say: I'm a graduate student living in mid-Missouri (not much happening). But I have decided to break my blogging silence because I'm so excited about...

...my baby tomato! I hope it turns into a full-size tomato soon because I really need some affirmation when it comes to my patio gardening. I don't think my strawberries are going to do anything. I do have spots on the leaves of the tomato plant though. Can anyone tell me if this is okay?

My daisies are doing pretty well though. I didn't realize the stems would get so tall. In other balcony news, I have stopped filling up the bird feeder. They were making a mess and eating too fast. I need to save my money for people food.



I loved this commercial. Loved it. All the rest of the Superbowl commercials were trash, but this one made me audibly say "aah." You must watch it.

And just for fun... my favorite commercial of all time. It was a very short Quiznos campaign, (apparently people don't like rats near their food) but I still laugh out loud when I see it.


Best Present Ever!

For some of my faithful blog readers (Grandma Donna and Renana) you may remember I was in a movie. Today I opened my mailbox and there it was! Rachael was in the movie with me, and she saw it was out on DVD and selling on Ebay. So she mailed me a copy. (What a good friend!) I am so excited to watch it! We went and saw it in the theater, but there were no subtitles. So now I can watch myself in a movie AND understand what's going on. If you come visit me, I'll let you watch it!