Joh vs. Food – Mesa 2016

I had a work trip to Mesa, Arizona back in March.  Not my first trip there, but the first time I’ve spent my birthday away from home.

Kindly, some people from the Mesa office joined me for a little birthday dinner at The Cheesecake Factory, one of my fave places to eat when I’m in the US.

Now, if you have been there before, you know how massive their menu is.  It’s insane the choice they give.  I don’t do very well with so many options.  One thing I did know however, I wanted cheesecake.  And lots of it.

So why not cheesecake for dinner.  I am all about #cakefordinner.  So while the table ordered salads and pasta.  I ordered cheesecake.  4 slices of it.

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Hershey’s Chocolate Bar Cheesecake – 4th best

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White chocolate macadamia caramel cheesecake – 2nd best

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Godiva Chocolate Cheesecake – Ridiculously Delicious -1st Prize

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Toasted coconut S’mores cheesecake – I don’t even like coconut, but I love S’mores – 3rd best

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Gluttony.  But, it was my birthday and could eat whatever I wanted!

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Made a birthday wish – still waiting for it to come true.  =)

Holiday Baking – Round Two

“One of the best protections against disappointment is to have a lot going on.”
― Alain de Botton

It is a chilly, snowy day in the hood today.  I’m avoiding venturing out as much as I can and continuing with the holiday baking. IMG_6537

Today’s bake-a-thon involves blueberry eggnog muffins for my dad. Sugar free and made with gluten-free flour.  I made my own applesauce to add to this recipe for sweetness. IMG_6540

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Mini eggnog cupcakes.  Still debating if I want to frost them or not.  They are perfect little bites of egg nog goodness.IMG_6543

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Still keeping with the eggnog theme, an eggnog cheesecake!IMG_6544

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I’m slowly getting into the Christmas spirit.  My home smells divine right now.  =)

Pie Class – Strawberry Rhubarb & Cherry Cheesecake

So begins another session of classes. This time it’s PIES!

I am so very excited to be in this class. From my first one, I am under impression that pies are a lot of work, or perhaps it is because we are baking two different recipes each class. In any case, I am happy to be learning such staple pies as strawberry rhubarb.

Per the norm, ingredients everywhere!

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Pie dough, softening up. IMG_6342

Rolling out the dough. I am very proud, I am getting better at rolling out dough in a circular shape.IMG_6344

The pie filling is made up of rhubarb, strawberry & apple. We cooked down the apples, blanched the rhubarb to make it soft and added the strawberries.IMG_6345

The streusel topping is made up of bread flour, butter, brown sugar, pecans and oatmeal.IMG_6346

Fresh from the oven, piping hot and still bubbling.

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The second pie was a cherry cheesecake pie, also with a streusel topping.IMG_6347 IMG_6348

Pie is always great with ice cream or in this case some vanilla frozen yogurt.IMG_6352

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Pie for supper. =)