Sunday, August 14, 2011

"Unexpected" Surprises....the lesson!!!

For those who know me, I am a huge fan of planning. I love being able to look forward to what is coming in the future and enjoy it. However, there are times when life chooses differently for you. While at first these interruptions are annoying and a little frustrating,  I realized once I am present in these events everything worked out the way they needed to. 

This week was a perfect example of "unexpected" surprises. Some positive and some negative. Now that it is over, I realize everything ended up being perfect.  The week started with a fiasco in the car department, an amazing lunch, live music, a new recipe and ended at a pool with a friend and her child. While some events were a challenge I would rather not have occur again,  others turned out to be a true surprise and made for some great times. 

The biggest lesson this week taught me is that all of these events made me realize nothing is under our control (while we wish they were).  Life can end up being so much more fulfilling if you just step back, let go and just enjoy the ride.  If you let it, this ride can show you what is possible, who is important and how a surprise can make life just that much more enjoyable. 

Out of this week, came these amazing Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Bites..which were truly needed. So I hope you remember when these "surprises" occur.........just say thanks (or bite your tongue), find time to enjoy the experience ... or just be sure to learn the lesson (whatever it may be)!!!

Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Bites

Chocolate Crust
2 C Unbleached Flour
1 C Sugar
6 Tbsp Baking Cocoa
2 Tsp Baking Powder
1/2 Tsp Salt
1 C Unsalted Butter, cubed
2 Egg Yolk
2 Tsp Vanilla 

Line a 9- by -13-in.  pan with foil lined across the long edge. Grease foil (I use Pam) and set aside. In a food processor, combine flour, cocoa, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Pulse in butter until mixture resembles fine crumbs. Stir in the egg yolk and vanilla. Press into the bottom of prepared pan. Bake at 325° for 20 minutes.

Cheesecake Filling
2 pkg (16 ounces) Cream Cheese, softened
2/3 C Sugar
1 C Sour Cream
2 Tbsp Unbleached Flour
1/2 Tsp Salt
2 Eggs, lightly beaten
2 Egg Whites, lightly beaten
1 Tsp Vanilla
1/2 C Mini Chocolate Chips 
In mixing bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Add the sour cream, flour and salt. Beat in the eggs, egg whites and vanilla on low speed just until combined. For a smooth filling, pour filling though a sieve to remove any lumps. Pour filling over warm crust.  Tap pan on counter lightly to remove any bubble in filling until they come to the top. Sprinkle Chocolate Chips over filling.  
Bake for 35-40 minutes or until center is almost set (if center of filling is loose in pan, return to oven and continue checking every 5 minutes).  Cool on a wire rack and then refrigerate overnight. When ready to serve, lift out of pan using foil. Discard foil, trim edges  and then cut into 1-in squares. Serve cold. 

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