Mini Eggnog Cheesecakes

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So I know this post is going up after Christmas, but I am hoping it will still come in handy for those of you who have some leftover eggnog in your fridge and are looking for a way to get rid of it. I made these for our holiday party because eggnog is such a classic holiday treat, but I personally have never been the biggest fan of drinking it. So instead of just serving it in liquid form, I figured I’d put it in a dessert. Plus, these were fun because they are mini and as I’ve mentioned before, small or bite size desserts always seem to do better at parties.

The only slightly complicated part about this recipe is the pan. First of all, you have to buy a special mini cheesecake pan. I found one on Amazon, like this one. Then, getting the cheesecakes in and out of the pan takes a lot of patience. Plus, assuming you only have one pan, you have to do these in batches if you are making more than 12 (I made 36). Despite all of the hurdles involved, these were very popular. You can do the mini cheesecakes with any flavor, not just a holiday appropriate one. So if you’re like me, and you like to bake things like this just for the challenge (and because you know people will like them), go ahead. However, if you’re not a big baker and are easily frustrated, this may not be the best recipe for you.
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Cinnamon Raisin Swirl Bread

When Dave and I first started dating, I would leave a couple of food items in his fridge and freezer so that I could still eat the kinds of food I liked when I was over there (eventually he figured out how to shop at Trader Joe’s so I stopped doing this). But one of the things I loved to leave in his freezer was the Cinnamon Raisin Swirl Bread from Trader Joe’s. The only problem was, Dave realized how awesome this bread was and tended to eat some (or all of it) when I wasn’t around. I did eventually put a stop to that, but then at some point I forgot about this bread and stopped buying it. That is, until I decided to make my own, and I have to say, it was just as good!

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Cinnamon Roll Cake

I wanted to make sure to get this post up before the holidays because this is exactly the kind of thing you want to be eating on Christmas morning, with a hot beverage in your hand, in front of the fire, and possibly while opening some presents. It’s decadent, but still tastes like breakfast and not dessert. It’s also very easy to make and serve if you are having a bunch of people over for the holidays.

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And I’m back…

So after a two week hiatus to take my first set of law school exams, I am back to blogging. Even though I haven’t had much time to write posts lately, I have done a lot of cooking and baking. I’m very excited to share a bunch of new recipes with you guys in the new year! Today I don’t have a recipe to post, but I did want to share some pictures with you from last night’s holiday cocktail party that Dave and I threw.

I finished finals on Monday and decided to throw a Tuesday night party before everyone leaves town for the holidays. Since everyone would be coming straight from work, we had lots of hearty appetizers (think mini pot pies, and amazing crockpot mac and cheese), plenty of drinks (especially for those of us who just became real people again after finishing our exams on Monday), and as always, lots of desserts (you’ll see mini peppermint brownies, salted caramel bars, and mini eggnog cheesecakes on the blog soon).

And to help everyone capture the holiday spirit, I set up my own photo booth and made props from some craft supplies I picked up last week. I also had as many holiday decorations as I could possibly fit in our small apartment.

Ok, on to the good stuff – the photos. Credit goes to Thomas Brunet who took most of these photos since I was still busy setting up…

The food:

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The desserts:

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The drinks:

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(more the aftermath than the original set up)

The decorations and photo booth:

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Baked Apples

So this post goes really well with my post from earlier this week – the roast chicken. Both these dishes are so easy and are perfect for late fall/early winter. They’re warm and make your kitchen smell delicious. We also used to have these all the time as kids so they remind me of fun filled childhood days spent playing games in front of a fire (not sure how often that happened, but I seem to remember it).

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Bourbon and Orange Pecan Pie

So in honor of Thanksgiving, which is right around the corner, I wanted to share a pecan pie recipe with you. But not just your average pecan pie. I chose to make one with a few extra special flavors – orange and bourbon. This pie will make a great addition to the dessert course on Thanksgiving! So if you feel like impressing your family, volunteer to bring a dessert. No really, I know what you’re thinking, ugh the last thing I want to do on Thanksgiving is bake. I just want to watch my parents do all the hard work, and sit around working up my appetite. But this is really REALLY easy. Yes, even for you novice bakers. I PROMISE!

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The 7 Layer Bar

This is hands down the easiest cookie to make ever. No really, it is. You pour some stuff in a pan and bake it. Oh and here’s the best part, PEOPLE LOVE THEM. So just keep how easy this is a secret – deal?

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Ingredients
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (just put crackers in a bag and take your anger out by mashing it up)
1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup butterscotch chips
1 cup white chocolate chips
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 cup shredded coconut

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Line a 13 x 9 inch pan with foil. Spray foil with cooking spray.

3. Cover bottom of pan evenly with graham cracker crumbs. Now layer the three different kinds of chips. Pour the can of condensed milk all over the chips. Then add a layer on top of coconut.

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4. Bake for about 25 minutes, edges and coconut will have started to brown. Once the pan has cooled, lift the foil up and out of pan. Set on a cutting board and slide bars off foil before cutting.