Monday, July 5, 2010

It's the Freakin' Weekend Baby...

This three day weekend was exactly what I needed!  It's been a busy year to say the least.  Between Joe and I having to travel for work as soon as the academic year ended and then moving into our new place, I feel like we haven't really stopped moving for the last month or so.  We're finally unpacked and settled and we had a chance to entertain ourselves this weekend rather than just trying to get things done before work started up again.  I planted some flowers on our new patio and we got a grill and some new furniture.  I think Joe grilled something every day this weekend.  Tonight- he grilled french fries wrapped up in aluminum foil- they were actually really good!  Who knew you can grill a french fry. We went to see Grown Ups- we weren't too impressed... I don't know how they ever roped Adam Sandler into that script.  I was a little sad for him walking out of the theatre!  We had a BBQ with some friends and shot off fire works in the street.  This was a new thing for me since fireworks are mostly illegal in MN.  I kept on screaming- and I am sure I made a skittish name for Minnesotans in general- sorry all!  I finally finished the novel Joe gave me for Valentine's Day and I watched about 10 episodes of The Hills on Netflix on demand (ridiculous- I know).  I did some long workouts at the gym, which I guess isn't too entertaining, but it was nice not to rush for once!  I tried to talk the cat into venturing outside on the harness, but he was not having it.  Can't really blame him- he's got it pretty good right where he is.   I gave our new kitchen a work out too with these fun recipes you should try if you want a sweet or savory treat...

Peanut Butter and Banana Mini Oreo Cheesecakes
1 8-ounce package cream cheese, at room temperature
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg, at room temperature
1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
16 Oreos
2 medium bananas, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch slices
1.  Heat oven to 350˚F. Make the peanut butter cheesecake by beating together cream cheese and sugar with a mixer until fluffy. Mix in egg, peanut butter, and vanilla and beat until smooth.
2.  Line 12 cups of a muffin pan with paper cups and place an Oreo in the bottom of each cup. Add three slices of banana on top of each Oreo. Pour peanut butter cheesecake batter on evenly on top of the banana layer.
3.  Crush remaining 4 Oreos in a bag with a rolling pin or pulse in a food processor until crumbled. Sprinkle Oreo crumbs evenly on top of peanut butter cheesecake layer. Bake at 350˚F for 25 to 28 minutes or until set. Remove from pans and let cool to room temp, about an hour, and then place in fridge until chilled, about 1 more hour. Remove mini cheesecakes from paper muffin cups. Makes 12 servings.

Applebee's Spinach Artichoke Dip
1 (10 ounce) box frozen chopped spinach, thawed
1 (14 ounce) can artichoke hearts, drained and roughly chopped
1 cup shredded Parmesan-Romano cheese mix
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
10 ounces prepared Alfredo sauce
1 teaspoon minced garlic
4 ounces softened cream cheese
pepper (optional)
1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Combine ingredients thoroughly in a bowl and spread mixture into a small baking dish (I used an 8" X 8" dish).
3. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until cheeses are bubbling and melted.
4. Serve with chips or bread and enjoy.

Hope everyone had a great 4th of July!

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