Thursday, November 25, 2010

So much to be thankful for

Happy Thanksgiving - I'm sure you are all incredibly busy preparing, eating and enjoying your time with loved ones. We are going to the home of Tim's sister to enjoy the day with her family and since she's hosting - she has the bulk of the work and cooking to do. We got off pretty easy this year by bringing rolls (from an awesome Amish bakery near our home!), pop and a dessert. As I'm writing this I can smell the yummy spices and pumpkin in the pumpkin cheesecake bars that are baking in the oven. Mmmm...

This past Sunday our dear friends Betsy, Marvin and their kids had us over for dinner. I am so thankful to have them as friends. Our sons are the same age - high school seniors, we met and became fast friends when the boys were in Kindergarten. It seems like just yesterday -  how fast time goes. Betsy works at a fabulous second-hand shop, The Crowded Closet (a Mennonite thrift store in which the proceeds benefit needy people here and in other countries). It's a fabulous shop if you ever get a chance to stop by! Betsy has a skill in decorating their home with nifty items she purchases at The Crowded Closet. I wish I was half as talented as she is!

Dinner was delicious, of course. Roasted chicken - raised by them, beef, mashed potatoes, green beans, carrots, rolls, pie - all so tasty! Good friends, good food, good conversation - can't ask for much more than that.

I'm thankful for so many things this year: my loving healthy family, dear friends, a roof over our heads, food on the table and clothes in our back. We are truly blessed. What are you thankful for this year?

Oh, the pumpkin cheesecake bars are done, here's the recipe if you'd like:
1 cup flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
5 tablespoons softened margarine
1/2 cup finely chopped pecans (I just chop them - not finely)
8 ounces of cream cheese
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup solid pack pumpkin
2 eggs lightly beaten
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon allspice (I use Watkins pumpkin pie spice instead)
1 teaspoon vanilla

Combine flour and brown sugar, cut in margarine to make a crumb mix. Stir in nuts. Set aside 3/4 cup of the mix for topping. Press remaining mix into bottom of 8x8 baking pan and bake in preheated 350 oven for 15 minutes. Cool slightly.

Combine remaining ingredients in large mixer bowl. Blend until smooth then pour over baked crust. Sprinkle with reserved topping. Bake an additional 30-35 minutes. Cool before cutting.

Much love - xo - Em

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