Monday, January 31, 2011

Book Club: Ministry of Motherhood

Welcome, Ladies!
Have you grabbed a copy of Ministry of Motherhood yet?  If you haven't, now's the time.

If you're feeling like a mama who just can't catch her breath between the dishes and the laundry, the carpool and the diapers, Sally Clarkson reminds us that there's purpose in our parenting.  And she doesn't do it to add more guilt in becoming the Perfect Woman, but rather to encourage mothers.  Motherhood and ministry are not exclusive.  Sally Clarkson helps us see that they co-exist, even thrive.

So pick up your copy, get reading and let's meet back here on Friday to discuss the the Introduction.  And if you'd like to learn more about Sally Clarkson, check out her website: I Take Joy.

Happy Reading!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Made by Me Monday

Hey all,
Here's another Made by Me Monday for ya.  How was your weekend?  Can you believe we're back at Monday already?

Our weekend just flew by.  We were so busy; I don't feel like I got much done.  Friday night we were at a friend's house for pizza and visiting and Saturday i was in meetings most of the day while hubby survived the children for 7 hours.  Sunday brought our usual routine of church and naps.  I finished reading Beth Moore's So Long Insecurity which was incredible.  Definitely should be on your reading list this year if it isn't already.

We did a date night last night.  I'll tell you more about it on Wed.  Super fun and very inexpensive.  So there will be tips on 52 First Dates.

I spent a little time planning some Valentine's activities for the coming weeks.  Finished off making a fun Valentine's project and decorating our entertainment center.  Speaking of which did you see the Valentine's candles from Saturday?  I'll be showing you some more details in the coming week.

Also be sure to come back tomorrow for our intro to Mission of Motherhood book club.

So random topics, lots to look forward to this week and can't wait to start sharing with you.  Hope you're excited about sharing too 'cause I'm opening up the Made by Me Monday linkie.  Write a blog post highlighting your project with a link back here so that others can join in on the fun.  Then link up below to the blog post itself.  You can post more than one project; just add more than one link.  So let's start partying!

Lee's To Do List

I love these Homemade Coasters (@ Craving Some Creativity).  They're so pretty and would make a great gift.  Forget gift... I wanna make some for myself.

For those with New Year's Resolutions, this Homemade Yoga Mat Bag (@ Vegetarian Frugal Housewife) is wonderful.  The style is so fun and what a great way to reuse what you have.

I really want to try this Super Easy Spinach and Cheese Bread (@ The Pursuit of Happiness).  Next time I have company, it's on the menu.

I needed Extremely Detailed Tutu Tutorial (@ Vermillion Rules).  Tutus are definitely on my To Do List this year.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Easy Valentine's Project

Earlier in the week, I promised you an easy, quick affordable project.  So I sat down and put together these super easy glitter candles.  You may have seen them around, but weren't quite ready to try them yourself.  Let me reassure you.  They are really easy and will cost you little to nothing.  So let's get started.
You will need:
Mod Podge
Epsom salts
Votive candles
Glitter and any extra embellishments

1. Start by brushing a generous coat of Mod Podge on your candle.

2. Sprinkle a layer of Epsom salts into a paper plate or shallow bowl.  Add glitter if desired.

3. Roll candle in salts until evenly coated.  Allow to try.

4. Add additional embellishments if desired.

See... I told you they were easy.  And with 3/$1 votive candles, very affordable.  I added gold glitter to some of my candles, but found that I really loved the plain ones.  Plus I used both red and white and both came out beautifully.  Imagine how beautiful these would be for a winter dinner in white and silver.

What's been your favorite quick and easy project lately?

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Ode to Disneyland

Disneyland, how I love thee.  Let me count the ways!

I've been a true Disneyland fan from a young age.  Growing up I had family that lived in Southern California.  We visited them every couple of years and often included a Disneyland adventure in our travels.

Disney has a way of enveloping you from the moment you walk through those gates.  Immediately you are transported into the WORLD OF DISNEY.  If there's anything they do well, it's creating atmosphere.  So well that you almost forget that you're supposed to be the adult in the situation.

Our most recent trip to Disney was just a few weeks ago.  And for someone who's been there several times, this trip was liking going again for THE FIRST TIME.  While we were there, we had a great time exploring the park with Great-Grandma, Grandma, and lots of cousins.  These are just a few of the highlights:

Lydia and I happily skipping Space Mountain

Everyone waiting for the Matterhorn--Mommy's favorite

Seeing Small World decorated for Christmas

Loving our kids

Eating popcorn

Goofy's Kitchen

Dancing with Minnie Mouse

Noah pulling out his tooth

Spending time with Grandma and Great-Grandma

Spending time with cousins

Meeting Chip and Dale

Making new friends

I'll be posting some tips and tricks of Disney next week, but for now I just to let you know how much fun we had.  If you ever have the chance to take your kids to Disneyland, do it!  If you think driving 10 hours in a van load of 12 people will drive you crazy, do it!  If you have a chance to be a kid again, do it!  It's magic!!!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

52 First Dates: Week Thirty-Three

How was your date last week?  What did you choose to do?

This week we revisited the Love Letters challenge.  We didn't really have a date night on the calendar (or really time for one for that matter) so it was nice to still be able to do something to build up our marriage.  I took this one on myself as we hadn't thought ahead to planning anything.  We didn't get a chance to read them to each other since my hubby's been working so much.  But I had a lot of fun writing mine and leaving it for him to find.  It was a low key week for us in the middle of being busy, but we still made the time to do something.

Lesson learned: Small gestures can be made at any time and still make a world of difference.

Are you ready for this week's challenge?

This week we're going international.  You are going to prepare a date all centered around an evening in Italy.  Dinner, music, movie, game, atmosphere...  How creative can you get?  Be sure to search the internet, your local library, any friend's collection... and see what you come up.  Make dinner together or order in, but my challenge to you is to try new and different things.  After all, that's been part of 52 First Dates as well.

Pop back in and let us know how it went.  What are you learning by dating your spouse?

I Dare You!

What's keeping you from living fully?

100 Days of School!

I don't know about the rest of you, but we're quickly approaching our 100th Day of School.  Noah's kindergarten party is on Friday and he's super excited.  For months, his class has been creating paper chains to count the days.  And just this past week, I heard him practicing counting with his cousin in preparation.

Before I had a little one in school, I never realized how significant this day would be fore my kids.  Now that we're there, I'm realizing what a great tool it is for counting and learning.  And how incredibly exciting it is for making a milestone in the year.

So to get your creative juices going, I'm posting several fun 100 Days of School ideas I've discovered while searching the web:

100 Days of School--Lessons, links, ideas, and printables
100 Days of School @ Enchanted Learning
100 Days of School @ Mrs Kilburn's Kiddos
100 Pieces of Me by Oh, My Stinkin' Heck
100th Day of School Breakfast by BareMountain
100th Day of School activities @ Tip Junkie

What creative projects are you planning for the 100th Day of School?  Are your kiddos excited?

Monday, January 24, 2011

Makin' New Friends

I happened to come across Friend Makin' Monday over at All the Weigh this week.  Looks like fun.  Wanna join me?

Answer each question using only one word...

1. Where is your cell phone? non-existent

2. Your most significant other? working

3. Your hair? Brown

4. Your mother? best

5. Your father? 

6. Your favorite? Disneyland

7. Your dream last night? nothing

8. Your favorite drink? water

9. Your dream/goal? writing

10. What room you are in? bedroom

11. Your hobby? scrapbooking

12. Your fear? failing

13. Where do you want to be in 6 years? mothering

14. Where were you last night? bed

15. Something that you aren't? awake :-)

16. Muffins? chocolate chip

17. Wish list item? naptime

18. Where you grew up? California

19. Last thing you did? write

20. What are you wearing? comfy

21. Your TV? off

22. Your pets? 2 cats

23. Friends? love 'em

24. Your life? busy

25. Your mood? content

26. Missing someone? of course

27. One place that I go to over and over? YMCA

28. Something you want? Noah's Independent Study to be made up

29. Your favorite store? Target

30. Your favorite color? Red or blue

How about you?  What's on your mind today?

Made by Me Monday

Hey everyone,
How are you doing?  It's so nice to be here again on a regular schedule.  I missed all of you while I was gone.  Missed chatting and writing for the blog.  Missed the feedback and the friendships.  It was definitely nice to take some time away from the computer, but I'm happy to be writing again on a regular basis.

Our weekend was nice and relaxing after our time at Disneyland.  We caught up on laundry, homework, cleaning and gardening.  The weather was BEAUTIFUL.  So much for living in California.  One week we're in the 20 degrees and the next week it's so sunny we can hardly stand being inside.  

I spent quite a bit of time helping Noah catch up on independent study for school, but I also had a fun, quick Valentine's day project to work on.  Easy, quick, affordable... that's my mantra these days.  Well, that was my goal anyways.  We ended up making a quick trip to see my sister in law instead.  She had her baby three weeks early so we ran down to see the family.  Project... well, that just fell by the wayside for the time being.  I'll work on it tonight and post on Friday so you can see how truly easy it is.

For now, let's start linking up.  Write a blog post highlighting your project with a link back here so that others can join in on the fun.  Then link up below to the blog post itself.  You can post more than one project; just add more than one link.  So let's start partying!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Lee's To Do List

Check out these Felt Valentine's Day Fortune Cookies (@ Treasure for Tots).  Aren't they cute?

I love this list of these Free Valentine's Printables (@ Living Locurto).  There's a lot here and so many ways to run with it.  Hope you enjoy!

All things Vintage have a dear place in my heart, including these Vintage Kids Valentine Cards (@ Vintage Holiday Crafts).  Can you imagine all the fun stuff you could do with this page?

For a quick and easy gift for a friend, check out this Book Page Necklace (@ Mandipidy).  It's so pretty and easy.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Turkey Pesto Sliders

Number two on my list of Amy's Notebook experiments was these Turkey Pesto Sliders.  Easy, delicious and great for leftovers, they make a perfect weeknight meal.  Plus they are pretty hard to screw up.  You can change the cheese, spice up the pesto, change up the bread.  So depending on what you have in your pantry on any given night, you can have a different meal week after week.  Try 'em!  You won't regret it.

Turkey Pesto Sliders
(@ Annie's Eats)

6 slider buns
6 slices of turkey deli meat
6 slices of provolone cheese
3 tbsp. 
3 tbsp. mayonnaise
2 tbsp. butter, melted
Preheat the oven to 400˚ F.  Line a baking sheet with foil or a silicone baking mat.  Split the slider buns and lay a folded slice of turkey on the bottom half of each bun.  Layer each with a slice of provolone.  In a small bowl, combine the pesto and mayonnaise in a small bowl and mix until blended.  Spread a thin layer of the pesto mayonnaise on the inner side of the top half of each bun.  Replace the top bun over the cheese to assemble the sandwiches.  Brush the tops of the buns lightly with melted butter.  Bake 10 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the sandwiches are warmed through.
We adapted ours slightly.  I used real turkey leftovers as I love it so much better than deli meat.  Sorry!  We also added garlic to the mayo for a little extra kick.  Besides provolone, we also tried pepper jack, swiss, and feta cheeses.  I personally love the pepper jack.  Yummy!
Pair it with a green salad or some sauteed zucchini and you have yourself a great meal.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

52 First Dates: Week Thirty-Two

How was your date last week?  Did you spend your pennies wishing away?  What did you wish for?  Did you learn something new about your spouse?  Did any of your wishes come true???

We spent our date on vacation and we're still on vacation till tonight.  So I really won't have much of a chance to update you on it till later.  Sorry!  I hope you had a great time and really enjoyed another week of dating your spouse.  Thirty-two weeks we've been pouring our time and resources into stregthening our marriages.  Thirty-two weeks of learning and growing... what a challenge and what a privelege.

I'm getting sappy so let's move on to this week's challenge.

This week's going to be easy on you.  Pick one of our past dates that you were unable to complete or would like to repeat.  This is a chance to get out there and repeat those special moments that make your marriage work.  And for a reminder, here's how we've been dating:

Wk 10: Bucket List
Wk 11: First Words
Wk 12: Love Letters
Wk 13: Review Week
Wk 14: Home Date
Wk 17: Stargazing
Wk 18: Group Date
Wk 19: Spa Date
Wk 20: Costumes!
Wk 26: Going Out
Wk 30: Love Notes
Wk 31: Pennies in the Fountain

So how's your dating life?

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Made by Me Monday

Hey gang,
I'm off an adventure right now.  Our family is currently in Disneyland, living it up with lots of cousins and Grandma.  We're having a great time.  I swear this is the funnest age.  The kids are loving it and we love living all these experiences through their eyes.  I can't wait to come back and share it with all of you.

In the meantime, I have a great Made by Me Monday to share with you.  We recently tried these yummy Turkey Pesto Sliders I discovered from Amy's Notebook through MomAdvice.  They are super yummy and even the kids loved them.
I'll be posting the recipe on friday so be sure you're around to check it out.  They really are incredible.

For now, let's start partying.  Write a blog post highlighting your project with a link back here so that others can join in on the fun.  Then link up below to the blog post itself.  You can post more than one project; just add more than one link.  So let's start partying!

*Disclaimer: Linked to these Parties

Lee's To Do List

Valentine's Day is coming. Check out this great Amazing Race date (right here @ Creative2xmom) that can be adapted to any city.

Don't forget these super cute Valentine Labels (@ PaperGlitter.) Perfect for packages all year round.

Also printable Goodie Bags (@Twigs and Thistle). Bookmarking this for a holiday party!

Check out this Valentine's Party (@ Kami Buchanan). Wow! I'd love to do something like this, but oh, my! It might break me. Anyone have the budget for me?

Friday, January 14, 2011

Christmas, Christmas, Where have you gone?

Wow! 2011,... How can it be?  Seems like yesterday it was August and I was doing back to school shopping.  How it's all come around to January, I do not know.  But since it's already January, I figured it's about time I posted some Christmas photos.  I'm a little late to the party, but wanted to share with you some of the latest happenings in our house.

Grandma baked sugar cookies and then did craft time with the kids.
I love the delivery box she created for them too.

Noah lost a tooth on Dec 23rd.  First lost tooth.

Noah and Lydia opening their new jammies on Christmas Eve.

Christmas Morning Excitement!
We spent Christmas with my in-laws this year.
Lots of visiting family and aunts and uncles.

Off to my mom's for New Year's and celebrating!

The kids were so excited that Grandma bought them skates for Christmas.

Mommy and Daddy let them stay up New Year's Eve.
And they even got to play in the snow the next morning.
What a fun surprise!

So that was our whirlwind couple of weeks.  We spent lots of time with family and celebrating the Christmas season.  My kids always luck out with two Christmas' and even got to spend lots of time in the snow this year.  We're so blessed to have family that loves us and loves our kids.  And doubly blessed with two precious children who bring so much joy to our lives.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Guest Posting Today: Minnie Mouse Candied Apples

I'm guest posting over at A Vision to Remember today.  Remember that Minnie Mouse party?  Well here's the Minnie Mouse Candied Apples.  They were so much to make and came out super cute.  Be sure to stop by and say hi.  I can't wait till you get to see these apples.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

52 First Dates: Week Thirty-One

So how was everyone's week?  Did you surprise your husband with love notes?  What did he think?

I must confess that I forgot to do this.  It got later in the week and I thought, "I need to check the blog and plan a date."  Ooops!  I was supposed to be planning this all week.  Dang!  But I made up for it in the end. Over the last several days, I hid notes in coat pockets, on windshields, on pillows, in cereal bowls...  I hid 'em wherever I thought he might be surprised.

And you know what?  In writing those notes, it just reminded me how much I really do love him.  It's funny.  Being forced to really think through things, really writing them down and be clear, it's a strong reminder of what I actually have.  I'm telling you.  If you ever need to be reminded about how great you have it, spend some time telling your spouse what you love about him or her.

Taking the focus off the chaos, pushing away the negative, and you'll be reminded of what truly maters.

Ready for this week's challenge?

This date requires getting out of the house, but it will only cost you pennies.  Grab a roll of pennies and visit a local fountain.  Spend the date flipping the pennies into the fountain and making wishes.  What will you wish for?  What will he wish for?  How can you work to fulfilling those dreams together?

Let us know how your dating life is going.  Has this been a good experiment for you and your spouse?

Monday, January 10, 2011

Minnie Mouse in the House!

My sweet little Lydia became my Christmas present three years ago.  She's sweet, sassy, and always fashionable.  So when it came to planning her birthday this year, the answer was obvious: Minnie Mouse!

The problem came when trying to find Minnie Mouse party supplies in red and black.  Our traditional little Minnie Mouse has had a fashion makeover and everywhere I look, Minnie was dressed in pink and purple.  As much as my little girl is girlie in her pink, we really wanted to go for a traditional Minnie Mouse party.

Ultimately the planning of this party came down to a lot of DIY.  But it was oh, so much fun.  Love my babies, and love throwing these parties for them.  Hope it supplies you with some ideas for your next party!

My mom created this Minnie cake from a little girl mouse cake made by Wilton's.  One of my favorite parts with the ruffled dress made of fondant.  Oh yeah!  And the sparkly shoes.

I went a little sugar happy with the snacks.  Marshmallows covered in chocolate and sprinkles and pretzels dipped in melted chocolate.  Doesn't exactly scream healthy.  But of course, the obligatory veggie tray.  Funny thing: the girls were going straight for the cherry tomatoes and the adults were hooked on the marshmallows.  Ooops!
I'm hooked on these birthday banners.  They are so much fun to make and easily customizable.  Add some red, black, and white streamers and balloons... instant party!
Party games ended up being entertainment for the rest of us.  We started with a quick game of Minnie Freeze Dance.  Turned on some Christmas Disney music and did more dancing than freezing.  While they danced, we laughed.

After burning some energy dancing, we played Pin the Bow on Minnie.  No blindfold, but with three year old, it was still fun.  Hilarious!  They just kept playing over... and over... and over again.
Even big brother had to get involved, going backwards 'cause of course "he's five."  
Party picture with her friends and then...
Opening presents and...
Playing princess dress-up!  Oh, yeah!  And a prince too!
Thanks for coming to Lydia's party.  Hope you enjoyed yourself and gathered a few ideas.  

Later this month, I'll show you the awesome candied apple Minnie Mouse's we made.  They were gorgeous. 

For more inspiring Minnie Mouse parties, check out:

New Book Club: Ministry of Motherhood

I've been wanting to read another book club book for quite some time, but he days just seem to slip away from me.  So before another day slips by, I figured I'd better get on it.  Starting February 1st, we'll be reading Ministry of Motherhood by Sally Clarkson.  I've heard some great things about this book and I'm excited to read it.  I've had it sitting on my nightstand for the past couple of months and thought you all might be interested in reading it with me.

Here's the product description from Amazon:

Because Motherhood Isn’t Just a Job. It’s a Calling. 

A mother’s day is packed with a multitude of tasks that require energy and time: preparing meals, washing clothes, straightening and cleaning the house, and caring for children. These jobs all are necessary and crucially important. But in the dailyness of providing for a child’s physical, emotional, and social needs, vital opportunities for spiritual nurture and training can be overlooked. 

This doesn’t have to be the case. You can focus your energy on what matters most. Learn how you can: 

• Make Life’s Mundane and Nitty-Gritty Moments Work for You and Not Against You.

• Discover Ways to Make Character-Building a Natural Part of Live.

• Teach Your Child in the Same Way Jesus Taught the Disciples.

• Pass on Crucial Gifts that Will Serve Your Family for a Lifetime.

Using biblical wisdom and practical teachings, Sally Clarkson shows how you can make a lasting difference in your child’s life by following the pattern Christ set with his own disciples–a model that will inspire and equip you to intentionally embrace the rewarding, desperately needed, and immeasurably valuable Ministry of Motherhood.

So check your local book store, pick up a copy and check back here on Feb 1st for our first discussion.  See you soon!

Made by Me Monday

Hey gang,
How was your weekend?  Are you still experiencing FREEZING temperatures?  This winter is throwing me for a loop.  I live in Northern California which has definite seasons, but usually temperate winters.  Not this year.  This year we've been waking to temperatures in the 20's.  Too cold for me.  We left the house at 11 am on Saturday and it wasn't 30 yet.  I'm just not used to it.

Besides cold, our weekend ended up flying by too fast.  We look the kids about 1 hour north on Saturday to go play in the snow.  We had so much fun.  My 5 year old would have stayed there all day if we would have let him.  It was repeated time up the hill over and over... and over... and over...  He's a wild man.  I'll have to post some videos later this week as he was seriously wild.  

We had company Friday night and the kids loved having a friend over.  And Sunday was a typical church Sunday.   Church in the morning, naps in the afternoon (my favorite), and a potluck in the evening.  It was a good time of fellowshipping with other families in our community.  It was wonderful, busy and way too quick.

I have a Minnie Mouse party post coming up later this week.  We celebrated Lydia's third birthday in December and I can't wait to show you all the details.  
The post should be up tomorrow so I hope you'll come back and check it out!

For now, it's time to post up for Made by Me Monday.  Write a blog post highlighting your project with a link back here so that others can join in on the fun.  Then link up below to the blog post itself.  You can post more than one project; just add more than one link.  So let's start partying!

*Disclaimer: Linked to these Parties

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Book List 2010

I'm getting ready to post my new book list for 2011.  So I wanted to move 2010 to a post for anyone that wants to reference it.  There's some great books here as I had the chance to read more than I had anticipated.  Happy reading!

Christian Living:
End of the Spear by Steve Saint
Passionate Housewives Desperate for God by Jennie Chancey and Stacy McDonald

My Heart's at Home by Jill Savage
Mission of Motherhood by Sally Clarkson

The Complete Herb Book by Jekka McVicar
55 Most Common Medicinal Herbs by Dr. Heather Boon
Superfoods for Healthy Kids by Lucy Burney

Other Books Read:
Potty Train Your Child in Just One Day by Teri Crane
Itsy Bitsy Yoga for Toddlers and Preschoolers by Helen Garabedian
SuperNanny by Jo Frost
The Last Song by Nicholas Sparks
8 Little Faces by Kate Gosselin
I just want you to know by Kate Gosselin
The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
My Sister's Keeper By Jodi Piccoult
Understanding Sibling Rivalry by T.Berry Brazelton
A Sane Woman's Guide to Raising a Large Family by Mary Ostyn (see my review here)
Rosemary Gladstar's Herbal Recipes for Vibrant Health
Lord, I want to be whole!  by Stormie Omartian
Real Food on a Real Budget by Stephanie Langford (see my review here)
Choosing to See by Mary Beth Chapman

Lee's To Do List

I love this Vintage Wedding.  Wouldn't this be beautiful around Valentine's Day?

Speaking of vintage, this Tea Party (@ Kara's Party Ideas) is gorgeous.  Little girls and big girls alike would love this one.

What a cute idea for a DIY "Antique" Sign (@Happy Baby Designs)!  Great for holidays ideas.

Looking for a new addition to your wardrobe?  Check out this Blue Jean ReVamp (@ Two Junk Chix).  What a way to recycle an old pair of jeans?

Thursday, January 6, 2011

My First Cheesecake

When we moved into our house, we loved the fact that there was a lemon tree in the backyard.  We're always looking for ways to grow, use, value everything that we can.  Very little in this house gets tossed out without being used for two, three, four different purposes.  It gets used up before it gets thrown out.   

So I looked at that lemon tree and immediately my mind went to "How can I use that?  How can that benefit our family?"  It was only a few months ago that I came across this Meyer Lemon Cheesecake  and bookmarked in the Resources I'm Currently Lovin' section.

One problem: I've never baked a cheesecake before.

Cheesecake is hard to make.  Right?

Actually it turns out... it's not.

This was one of the easiest (honestly) project I've ever done.  Couple of things to note though:
*Make sure you factor in the time to create and cool your crust before baking the cheesecake.
*The flavor really comes out in this if it can sit overnight.  Factor in that time as well.
*I used regular lemons, but our lemons are slightly sweet.  I used the same measurements as for the Meyer lemons.
*Make sure you have friends around to enjoy this with you.  Or you'll end up eating it all yourself.
Meyer Lemon Cheesecake
(makes one 10-inch cheesecake)
From FoodBuzz  

For the crust:
1 3/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
7 tablespoons butter, melted

For the cheesecake:
2 1/2 pounds (1.14 kg) Cream Cheese, at room temperature
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
3 tablespoons lemon zest (from about 4 lemons)*
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/3 cup heavy cream
3 eggs
2 egg yolks
1/2 cup Meyer lemon juice*
About 1 cup lightly-sweetened whipped cream, optional for garnish
4 to 5 lemon slices, halved, optional for garnish

*If using regular lemons, reduce the zest to 2 tablespoons and the lemon juice to 1/3 cup.

Preheat oven to 375ºF and butter the bottom of a 10-inch spring form pan

Mix together the graham cracker crumbs, sugar and melted butter.  Press into the spring form pan, going up the side of the pan only 1/4 inch.  Bake about 8 minutes, until lightly browned.  Cool completely.

Decrease oven temperature to 325ºF

In a stand mixer, cream the cream cheese until it’s smooth.  Add the sugar and lemon zest and mix together.  Add the vanilla extract, cornstarch, and heavy cream and stir until combined.  Add the eggs and yolks one at a time; mix each in before adding the next.  Stir in the lemon juice.  Pour the cheesecake filling into the spring form pan on top of the cooled crust.  Bake in a water bath for 60-70 minutes.  The outer edges should be set and the center will still jiggle a little when you move it.  (The cake continues cooking after it’s removed from the oven.) 
 Cool for 15 minutes, then remove the spring form rim.  Cool completely, then place into the refrigerator for at least 8 hours, overnight is best.  You can garnish with the whipped cream and lemon slice, if you like.  The cheesecake also goes very well with lemon granita.  Enjoy!
Update:  To ensure that no water leaks into the cheesecake while it's baking, wrap aluminum foil around the outside of the spring form pan.  Don't fill the water bath until you've already placed the cheesecake in the oven, and only fill it to halfway up the side of the spring form pan.
Hope you all enjoy it!  We made one over New Year's weekend and it was Wonderful!

Are you taking on any new challenges in the kitchen these days?
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