Saturday, February 12, 2011

Cruise to Mexico

Eric and I NEEDED a vacation, so we decided to take a cruise!  We had a last minute change of heart from our original Whistler snowboarding plan.  www.vacationstogo.com  We got a KILLER deal $550 per person for a 7 day cruise to Mexico on Holland America- room with a balcony!  

Here's a few pictures!


We did the Hidden Beach Horseback riding excursion in Puerto Vallarta- I have nothing but GREAT things to say about this tour!!  Well worth our money!!

This is my million dollar shot!!!  Whales graced us with their presence on our way- literally 20 feet away from us!!  This wasn't even part of the tour!!  Amazing, peaceful creatures...  something I will NEVER forget!

My first horseback riding experience was great!  They gave me a grandma horse that took it's time and made me feel completely comfortable!  We borrowed the people of Quimixto's horses and they took us to a huge waterfall.  This little town is only accessible by boat and I swear, this is where I want to retire!

We also stopped in a little cove and went snorkeling.  Then went to another hidden beach where they had lunch prepared while we relaxed on the beautiful beach.  Aahh, great memories!!

We also stopped at Mazatlan, however I was a little under the weather, so we stayed on board and I got to rest.  Our last stop was Cabo San Lucas where we did the Extreme Zip Lining excursion.  It was a great 2 hour workout with ziplining, rappelling, rock climbing, walking over a plank bridge, and the list goes on!!  Great experience!!

It was my first cruise and it was GREAT!  Can't wait for our next adventure!

Pumpkin Cheesecake

It has been one crazy busy new year and it's already 12 days into FEBRUARY?!  Aaah, make the time go by a little slower so I can enjoy my weekends!!

I've needed to post this for a while and have only now just found some time!!   This is a Phenomenal recipe;  it has a taste that you can't put your finger on what ingredient it is that makes it taste so uniquely delicious!  Found it on AllRecipes.com.  Don't be intimidated by the amount of ingredients, you may have most of them already in your kitchen.

   


Pumpkin Cheesecake Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/2 cup ground pecans
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 3/4 cup canned pumpkin
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground mace
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese
  • 3/8 cup white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon extract

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. Combine the graham cracker crumbs, ground pecans, 2 tablespoons white sugar, 2 tablespoons brown sugar, and the melted butter or margarine and mix well. Firmly press mixture into one 9 inch springform pan.
  3. Combine 3/4 cup of the white sugar, the pumpkin, 3 egg yolks, ground cinnamon, ground mace, ground ginger and salt in a medium bowl. Mix well, and set aside.
  4. Beat cream cheese with an electric mixer until light and fluffy; gradually add 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons white sugar and mix well. Add the whole egg, remaining egg yolk and the whipping cream, beating well. Add cornstarch and vanilla and lemon flavorings, beat batter until smooth. Add pumpkin mixture and mix well. Pour batter into the prepared pan.
  5. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 50 to 55 minutes. Do not overbake. Center may be soft but it will firm up when chilled. Let cheesecake cool on a wire rack, then refrigerate.


I decided to make cupcakes instead of a pie and it turned out perfectly!  

I wrote letters out of candy melt for a personal touch!