Friday, July 31, 2009

Chess Cake - A recipe

Did you know yesterday was National Cheesecake Day? If you did, then you might have known you could go to The Cheesecake Factory and get any slice of cheesecake for half the regular price. If I'd been feeling a little better, I might have taken advantage of the great deal, and gotten myself a slice of Tuxedo Cream Cheesecake. But alas, I was in bed much of the day getting over a stomach bug. What does this have to do with a recipe for Chess Cake? Keep reading...

Prior to knowing I was going to spend Wednesday and Thursday sick with a bug, my Thursday girls were coming to my house for Bible study. My mom made a dessert for me to share with the group, and brought it over last night. By the time she arrived, I had already canceled with the girls in an effort to keep them well. But my mom gave me the dessert anyway, so I could enjoy it when I felt a little better. Imagine my surprise when I cut myself a small square of it and took a couple of bites, and immediately started feeling better! The theory is the sugar in Chess Cake helped me feel better, but whatever it was, I'll take it.

I had a conversation with one of my Thursday girls via Instant Messanger yesterday and we were talking about Chess Cake. She asked me if I was mispelling Cheesecake, and I said, "Nope!". She wanted to know what it was, so I started Googling it and came up with a couple of recipes that were close to the one our family uses and even a picture. She declared it good enough to come over and try, even though she had to brave possibly getting sick from me. After the long conversation I had with Anne about this cake, and a couple of inquiries from others about what exactly it is, I felt like I just had to share the recipe (and a picture from the Internet) with you.

Chess Cake

1 package yellow cake mix
1 eggs
1/2 cup butter, melted

1 8oz package cream cheese, softened
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 cups powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 325. Grease 9x13 pan. Mix together cake mix, 2 eggs and 1/2 cup melted butter. Pat the crust down into pan. (This will not be runny like cake batter, and even stiffer than brownie batter.) In another bowl beat cream cheese until smooth. Add butter, eggs and vanilla. Beat well. Blend in powdered sugar. Pour over crust mixture. Bake 30-35 minutes. Refrigerate.

If you make this, please share a piece with me! :-)

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Safe Start/Transition Swimming Lessons

Last month the boys finished up another refresher course at the YMCA with SafeStart. We have been so blessed to have such an amazing instructor these last two refreshers, and the boys have grown by leaps and bounds in their swimming ability. They did so well, in fact, that their instructor recommended that we go ahead and start with transition lessons, taught by one of the swim team coaches at the YMCA. As a bonus, their SafeStart instructor taught them how to wear a mask and snorkel. She said they did so well we could take them our snorkeling! Who knew a two year old could learn how to snorkel. It's very cool.

SafeStart is all about a baby or young child surviving if he or she were to fall into a body of water. It teaches a child how to turn on to their back, get their breath, and turn over to get to the side of a pool. The most important part of the lesson is teaching the child not to freak out when falling in, but to get oriented, get on their back and wait for help. The boys have mastered this skill, and while we reinforce what they have learned at SafeStart, we will most likely have one more refresher course before Christmas.

Their transition class is really neat. It's two-three kids with one instructor and she works with each child individually, teaching them basic swimming strokes. They are also learning how to power down to the bottom of the pool to get a toy and then push off the bottom to resurface for air. The boys are having a blast. Last week, their instructor said they were doing so well on their backs that she was going to teach them elementary backstroke. If they can do it, she will ahve taught them the basics of two strokes: freestyle and elementary backstroke. I think what I like most about their transition lessons is they get to swim with a skilled instructor twice a week and while she is teaching them new skills all the time, she is still reinforcing all of the necessary survival skills they learned in SafeStart.

Matthew with a mask and snorkel!

Matthew swimming

Nicholas with a mask and snorkel!

Nicholas swimming