We had our annual ornament exchange and dinner this year at The Cheesecake Factory at Cumberland Mall. Nancy S. got to try out her new van. Our reservation at the Cheesecake factory allowed us to get seated right away and begin our much needed and enjoyed conversation around the table catching up with everyone. (December 2016)
The best part of the Cheesecake Factory is…well…the cheesecake. I ordered the Christmas Red Velvet Cheesecake. It never disappoints.
That afternoon we went to the Escape Room and tried to break out of our locked room with the clues provided within. We were not successful within the hour time limit. It was a challenge!
Later that evening we went to J. Alexanders for another delicious meal.
Finally, we went back to our hotel suite and enjoyed opening gifts.
We departed the next morning eagerly anticipating our upcoming trip to Asheville in April.
Another fabulous trip with the Birds! Kim organized a trip to Serenity in the Mountains Spa. Recipes to come. Photos for now.
Fiesta night with make your own dang quesadilla bar.
Terri’s Charm School now accepting applications.
Magic Baskets from Kim and Gina.
Our favorite game Left, Right, Center. We had another round of cash and white elephants.
Pecan Crusted Quiche by Gina and Southern Living.
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
¾ cup chopped pecans
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon paprika
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup chicken broth
¼ cup mayonnaise
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 cups finely chopped cooked chicken
½ cup (2 ounces) shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
¼ cup minced onion
3 drops of hot sauce
¼ cup pecan halves
Combine first 5 ingredients in a medium bowl; stir well. Add oil; stir well. Firmly press mixture in bottom and up sides of a 9-nch deep-dish pie plate. Bake at 350 degrees for 12 minutes. Cool completely.
Combine sour cream and next 3 ingredients; sir with a wire whisk until smooth. Stir in chicken, ½ cup cheese, onion, and hot sauce. Pour chicken mixture over prepared crust. Arrange pecan halves over chicken mixture. Bake at 350 degrees for 55 minutes or until set. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.
Yield: 8 servings
Hash Brown Casserole by Gina.
The moose it toting some fruit while munching on the quiche.
Whoa buddy, you’re dropping a berry!
Departure group photo. Till next time, ladies!
Ooey Gooey Grits Cake from Gone with the Grits Cookbook
1 box yellow cake mix
1/2 cup butter
1 cup cooked grits (can omit for traditional recipe)
1 8-ounce package cream cheese
1 1-pound box powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine cake mix, eggs, butter and grits in a large mixing bowl. Beat thoroughly. Spread mixture in a well-greased 9X13-inch pan. Beat next cream cheese, powdered sugar, eggs, and vanilla together until smooth and creamy. Pour over cake batter. Bake for 35-45 minutes. Cool and cut into bars.
Served by Julie at Huller House, February 2015
Saturday morning started with bagels and grits cake.
We headed out to Juliette, GA. One day I know we will fulfill our dream of personalized kayaks. For now, we were excited to see the offerings at Juliette for leisure time on the shoals.
Polly’s Picnic Brownies from The Cat Who Cookbook
4 1-ounce squares baking chocolate
3/4 cup butter
6 eggs, beaten
3 cups sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup chopped nuts
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Melt chocolate with butter. Cool lightly. In a large bowl beat eggs and sugar together. Combine flour and salt with egg mixture. Stir chocolate mixture into flour and egg mixture. Add vanilla extract and nuts. Pour into greased and floured 11-inch by 15-inch pan. Bake 30-35 minutes. Cool. Spread with frosting. Cut into squares. Serves 8-10.
1/3 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup cocoa powder
4 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Beat butter until fluffy. Add cocoa and beat until well-blended. Add powdered sugar alternately with milk. Beat until smooth. Blend in vanilla extract.
Served by Julie at Huller House, February 2015
For our next Teach a Cardinal we made beaded servers.
I love how they they all turned out so different to represent each person who made it. We had a UGA server, 4th of July server, fish server, to name a few. To make them, use approximately 3 feet of a 20 gauge wire and about 12 beads. Use pliers to coil the wire on one end. Thread the beads. Begin wrapping at the base of the server. At the other end, tuck under the wire or coil the end to secure.
We went to the Cheesecake Factory for our Christmas brunch and ornament exchange 2014.
Cheesecake Factory Red Velvet Cheesecake Ingredients
Filling ingredients for cheesecake:
- 2 pounds cream cheese, brought to room temperature
- 1 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 cup sour cream, room temperature
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 5 eggs
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
Red Velvet Cake Ingredients:
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 3/4 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 cups flour
- 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/4 cup sugar
- 3/4 cup canola or vegetable oil
- 2 large eggs, brought to room temperature
- 1 teaspoon white vinegar
- 1 teaspoon red food coloring
Cheesecake Factory Red Velvet Cake Cheesecake Cream Cheese Frosting Ingredients
- 12 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, brought to room temperature
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 4 cups confectioner’s sugar
Recipe by CopycatRecipeGuide’s Food Editors
Cheesecake Factory Red Velvet Cheesecake Recipe
Cheesecake Factory Red Velvet Cheesecake Filling Recipe
- Preheat oven to 475 degrees.
- Place 2 large shallow pans filled with 1/2 inch of water into the oven to create a water bath.
- Prepare 2 greased 9-inch springform pans by wrapping aluminum foil around the bottom of them to prevent leakage from the water bath.
- In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese with an electric mixer on low speed.
- Gradually beat in the sugar, eggs, sour cream, flour, vanilla and lemon juice.
- When the batter is blended, divide it between the springform pans.
- Place one cheesecake pan into each of the water baths in the oven.
- After 10 minutes, reduce heat to 350 degrees.
- Bake for another 35-40 minutes until the sides are set. The center should be slightly jiggly as it will firm up during cooling.
- Cover and place in the refrigerator to cool for four hours or more.
Cheesecake Factory Red Velvet Cake Recipe
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease one 9-inch round baking pan.
- In a small bowl, whisk buttermilk and vanilla.
- Mix the flour, cocoa, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt together in another bowl.
- Cream the sugar, butter, and oil together.
- Add one egg at a time and whisk.
- Add vinegar and food coloring, and beat the batter well.
- Add half the flour mixture to the batter and mix at low speed.
- Continue to mix the batter while adding the buttermilk.
- Add remainder of flour mixture and mix the batter until it is smooth with no lumps.
- Pour the batter into the prepared 9-inch pan.
- Bake cake for 30 – 35 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
- Cool round layers 10 – 15 minutes before loosening, then remove them from the pans, and cool completely.
- Once cooled, carefully slice the Red Velvet Cake horizontally so there are two evenly-sized layers.
- Freeze for 4 hours or more.
Cheesecake Factory Red Velvet Cake Cheesecake Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe
- Using electric mixer, beat cream cheese, butter, and vanilla in large bowl until smooth.
- Add powdered sugar 1 cup at a time, beating until smooth after each addition.
- Remove the chilled cheesecakes from the springform pans.
- Remove the Red Velvet Cake layers from the freezer.
- Place one layer of Red Velvet Cake on a plate.
- Spread a thin layer of frosting on the cake to help the next layer to adhere.
- Place one cheesecake layer on top of the Red Velvet Cake.
- Add another thin layer of frosting.
- Repeat with remaining Red Velvet Cake and cheesecake layers.
- Cover the entire cake with a crumb-coat of frosting to trap all loose crumbs before adding your final layer of frosting.
- Use a piping bag to create a decorative edge around the top of the cake.
- Cut the cake into 12 equal slices and serve.
Ordered by Julie at Cheesecake Factory at Cumberland Mall December 2014.
Photographer Julie missing in action on this one.
Janet’s Giant Salad!!!
Joanna didn’t get squat!
Gina brought us all candles in these amazing bags.
Julie’s cheesecake to go.
Then, an intrepid few went to the Ferris Wheel in Atlanta. It was a gorgeous day with amazing blue skies.
Panic Button for the Weenies!
Terri and Gina Loving It!
Julie and Nancy Loving It!
Jazz Hands Attack!
Characters from Frozen roamed Centennial Park in Atlanta.
Crowded ice Skating
Layered Cookie Bars
3/4 cup butter
1 3/4 cup vanilla wafers, crushed (50 vanilla wafers)
6 tablespoons cocoa
1/4 cup sugar
1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
1 cup chocolate chips
3/4 cup brickle toffee bits
1 cup pecans
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Melt butter in 13X9-inch baking pan in oven. Combine crumbs, cocoa and sugar; sprinkle over butter. Pour sweetened condensed milk evenly on top of crumbs. Top with chocolate chips and toffee buts, then nuts. Bake 25 – 30 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool completely in pan. Cut into bars and serve with vanilla ice cream.
Served by Julie at Addams Family Musical dinner at Julie’s house.
1 cup sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
12 oz. smooth peanut butter
6 cups cornflakes
Combine sugar and syrup in a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Remove from heat and stir in peanut butter. Pour over cornflakes and stir well. Drop by tablespoonfuls on waxed paper.
Served by Julie at Joanna’s Lake House – October 2014
These homeless women enjoy fine cornflake cuisine!
(Kim donated some Presents of Mine clothing for a homeless shelter but we just had to try them on before they got shipped out. Kim was impressed with our modeling ability and is considering using us on her website.)
We saw a little bit of fall color but this wasn’t a very good year for vivid leaves.
The sunset was, however, beautiful. We caught the end of it. We were too busy crafting inside to see the beginning.
Our dinner out was BBQ. An artist sat at our table and made portraits on the paper bag placemats.
Our late night shenanigans included our longstanding tradition of guess the chest.
Finally, thank you Joanna for my new ironing board cover.
Everyone, send me ALL your wrinkled clothes!!!! I suddenly don’t mind ironing…
2 boxes walnut brownie mix prepared according to directions on box
3 jumbo Symphony bars with almonds and toffee
Line 13 x 9 Pyrex dish with aluminum foil and spray with Pam. Spread half of the brownie mix in pan. Cover with Symphony bars. (Steve says eat the candy that doesn’t fit.) Co er with remaining brownie mix and bake according to brownie mix directions. You’ll probably need to bake about 10 minutes more. The top brownie should be done, but the middle will be melty due to the chocolate.
Let the brownies cool. I put them in the refrigerator. Invert them onto a cutting board and peal the foil off. Then invert them again and cut into squares.
Graham Cracker Crust:
1 ½ cups graham cracker crumbs
½ cup butter,melted
32 ounces cream cheese
1 ½ cups granulated sugar
5 large eggs
¼ cup heavy cream
½ cup strawberry jam
Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Spray bottom and sides of springform pan. Mix graham cracker crumbs and melted butter thoroughly, and press into bottom of pan. In a large mixing bowl, combine cream cheese and sugar, blending with mixer at medium speed until smooth. Add one egg at a time, scraping sides of bowl iwht spatula. Mix until well-blended. Add heavy cream and continue to mix for 1 to 2 minutes. Pour filling into pan and gently swirl strawberry jam throughout, starting at center. Bake for 3 hours, remove from oven and cool to room temperature. Cooling to room temperature before putting it in the refrigerator is very important. Refrigerate overnight. Serve with fresh sliced strawberries.
Kim Deutsch at Christmas Brunch at Joanna’s
Jewell’s Banana Pudding
7 large bananas
1 ½ box of vanilla wafers
1 can Carnation Evaporated Milk (Nestle brand)
1 can Carnation Evaporated Milk (Pet brand)
2 ½ cups sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
Dash of salt
In a medium saucepan stir all dry ingredients together until you cannot see the cornstarch and flour; no heat. Add both evaporated milks and one can of water or milk (better with milk) to dry ingredients. Stir on medium heat (being sure to scrape sides and bottom of sauce pan) until mixture heats. Beat 4 egg yellows, and stir in the mixture. Turn heat up slightly stirring constantly until mixture comes to a slight boil and then turn heat back down to medium. Continue to stir mixture until it begins to thicken. Remove mixture from heat. Layer serving dish alternating banana slices and vanilla wafers. Pour liquid mixture over layered bananas and vanilla wafers. Top with crumbled vanilla wafers. Good werved warm or chilled.
Terri Hull and Jewell Fuller