Monday, October 17, 2011

Blogging Fail and Apples

By this point, you would think that I would know myself well enough to know that I'm not good at juggling life. Let me take that back. I can juggle life, but I always hit a point where I think I can throw one more ball into the mix and then they all come crashing down.

This time around the crash wasn't exactly a negative thing, but I definitely couldn't figure out how to make everything work together. It's been about 2 months (give or take) since I last posted and in that time I've gone out of town twice, painted the buffet (finally!), quit my job, got a new job, had a few weekend visitors, spent hours at Ikea, bought a new car, threw a party, and painted/decorated the office. Phew, reading everything makes me tired all over again!

So, I know it's no excuse for my absence, but I thought I should at least catch you up on my life.

Now that we got that out of the way, let's talk about Fall.

Last October, Jesse and I went to a pumpkin patch called Cox Farms. We had a great time seeing all of the baby animals, picking out pumpkins and enjoying the fall weather.
Here's a quick snapshot of our afternoon at the farm.

We haven't made it out to any pumpkin patches this year, but we've still found several ways to enjoy the season. This past weekend we hosted a post-season bocce party at our house, which was full of fall treats. I made a big batch of chili, spinach artichoke dip, an apple dip and a nice fall cocktail for everyone to enjoy. We spent the afternoon watching football and playing bocce outside. Everyone seemed to have a great time, but more than that, they all loved the food. :)

Since everything was such a hit, I wanted to share a few of the recipes here on the blog. I especially want to share the apple recipes while there's still plenty of time to enjoy the fall bounty. (Yes, I just used the word bounty ... it sounds so mature!)

So let's get started!

The first recipe is for an amazing fruit dip that I discovered on, the one and only, Pinterest. I didn't know I'd be throwing a party when I came across the recipe, but I pinned it anyway because I figured it might come in handy. Boy am I glad I did! People were a little skeptical at first, but as soon as the first person dug in, it didn't take long for everyone else to follow suit. I'll definitely keep this one in the arsenal for any upcoming potlucks!

Caramel Apple Cheesecake Dip
Servings: 8-10
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Inactive Time: 2 hrs. - overnight

12 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
3 Tbs. heavy cream
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 small jar Caramel sauce
1/2 cup Heath milk chocolate pieces
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
2-4 Granny Smith or other crisp tart apples, sliced and soaking in
lemon juice and ice water until ready to serve

Line a six inch cake pan or springform pan with plastic wrap. Use enough plastic wrap to hang over the sides of the pan about 2 inches.

Place softened cream cheese in a mixing bowl and beat on medium speed until smooth. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the heavy cream and powdered sugar, mix well, until smooth. Place half of the cream cheese mixture in the lined pan and smooth with the back of a spoon. (If you dip the spoon into warm water before you start to smooth the cream cheese, it will be much easier to spread.) Spoon on a layer of caramel. Sprinkle with a layer of chocolate chips and the Health pieces.

Place in the refrigerator for about 20 minutes. This will help the caramel set up a bit and make topping it with the remaining cream cheese much easier.

Scoop the remaining cream cheese on top and smooth out using the back of a dampened spoon, like you did for the first layer. Add another thin layer of caramel, heath pieces and chocolate chips on top. Fold the overhanging plastic wrap over the top and refrigerate for at least two hours, but up to overnight for best results. Pull back the plastic wrap so that the top of the cheesecake is exposed. Place a serving plate on top of the pan and invert. Remove the pan and the plastic wrap. Spoon caramel sauce over the top of you cheese cake and top with more of the Heath pieces and chocolate chips. Place the sliced apples around the dip and serve.

*Note: If you want to throw this together super fast, just spread the cream cheese mixture on a serving platter and top with the caramel, Heath bits, and the mini chocolate chips.

I'm not sure if I have any readers left, but hoping assuming I do, what have you been up to? Does anyone have any good fall recipes to share? I'd love to hear any updates, if nothing else so I know you're still here!

I missed you guys and it feels good to be back! :)


  1. Way to go Susan, glad you are back:) ummm can you make that dip for me?!

  2. OOOOhh that dip looks good!! So glad you are back, life does take over some time and you know what it's ok!!!

  3.! And so excited you are back! Thanks for posting that recipe. I will have to make that sometime. Can't wait to see what else you have up your sleeve!

  4. Mmm that dip looks good. Why did you wait until you no longer worked here to bring this up? And no chi tea cupcakes!..they were chi tea right?

  5. Thanks to everyone for the welcoming words!

    Charmaine and Meredith - I promise I will make the dip for you guys. I'll either bring it to Meredith's shower or use it as an excuse to have all of you over to my house.


I would love for you to leave me a comment! It's a great way to interact with all of you (and to confirm that I have readers). I hope you enjoyed this post and I look forward to hearing from you soon!