I am back from my mini tour of the South with a new understanding of how Marine boot camp works. I have two conclusions: I would not last three seconds at boot camp, and drill instructors are extremely intimidating people. Just a couple of pictures…
I wanted to add a picture I took of the infamous yellow footprints that each recruit is instructed to stand on as they are hustled off the van when they first arrive at Parris Island. Once Marines, many of the men and women never want to stand on those footprints ever again, even just to walk over them, because of the memories they bring back from that very first night. The file was too big to insert into this post, so I leave you with the above two photographs. On the left is a platoon of recruits training on the base. Jesse was able to tell what stage they were in their training based on the way they tuck their pants into their boots (as opposed to cuffing them) and the way they are holding their weapons. The second picture is of Jesse’s platoon during the graduation ceremony. It was really funny because very abruptly in the middle of the graduation, the announcer ended the ceremony due to inclement weather. It wasn’t moved inside, just cut off. Jesse said that we missed out on about a half an hour of it. It was a really cool experience to see (most of) a Marine graduation on Parris Island, and I am glad that I had the opportunity.
Now to get back to the sweeter side of life! I’ve been promising this post about how I celebrated National Cheesecake Day for a while now, and it’s finally here! On the morning of National Cheesecake Day, (which may as well be Christmas for those of us with a sweet tooth) I woke up and checked facebook, like any other normal day. (It would probably benefit me to start my day off doing something productive…) Since I am a facebook fan of Reeses, I could not ignore what I saw on my newsfeed. It was a beautiful Reeses peanut butter cup cheesecake, and when I say beautiful, I mean this thing was a piece of art. It looked too decadent for me NOT to try! So, I invited some friends over, and we got baking. Though it didn’t come out anywhere near as gorgeous as the one on their facebook site, it still tasted creamy and amazing! (Trust me, my friend and I ate a third of it, this thing was good). When we made the filling, it was definitely not as thick as I thought it should be, but this cheesecake (like most) MUST be left in the refrigerator overnight or it will be inedible. I would know, because I cut a slice right out of the oven and it was mush. But after a night in the fridge, or even 4-5 hours if you cannot contain your excitement about eating it, it will resemble a cheesecake, and it will be amazing.
*Looking back at the recipe I used, it actually says to leave the cheesecake in the fridge for 4 hours. I’m not sure why I didn’t heed that warning, but it probably had to with how excited I was to eat it…
I wasn’t thrilled with how the pictures came out, or rather I wish I would have spent time decorating the top of the cheesecake with whole peanut butter cups, but we ran out (or ate them). I would suggest buying an extra bag and using them to decorate in some deliciously creative way! Oh well, next time!
Reeses Peanut Butter Cup Cheesecake
What you will need:
4 1/2 cups crushed Oreo cookies
1 cup chopped roasted peanuts
1/2 cup butter, melted
2 lbs. cream cheese, softened
5 eggs, room temperature
1 1/2 cups firmly packed brown sugar
1 cup smooth peanut butter (not natural style)
1/2 cup whipping cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
12 Reeses PB cups, broken into small pieces
Making the crust:
1. Combine crushed Oreo cookies and peanuts that have been ground in a food processor with the melted butter.
2. Pat the crust mixture onto the bottom of the sides of a 10-inch springform pan.
Making the filling:
1. Beat cream cheese in bowl of electric mixer until smooth.
2. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
3. Add sugar, peanut butter, and cream; mix until smooth.
4. Stir in vanilla, then fold in peanut butter cup pieces with a rubber spatula.
5. Pour filling into prepared crust.
6. Place springform pan into a larger baking pan. Pour hot water into the larger oan so that the water comes 1 inch up the sides of the springform pan.
7. Bake at 275°F for 1-1/2 hours, or until firm and lightly browned.
8. Enjoy the peanutbutter-y greatness!
*You can definitely cut the recipe for the crust in half because there was a lot of crust. I don’t mind a lot of crust, and it was a good Oreo-peanutty combination, (I also like to hyphenate my made-up words) but if you’re more about the filling than the crust, definitely halve the recipe. Or just make two cheesecakes!
*Recipe for this Reeses Peanut Butter cup cheesecake comes from: