Birthday Fun

As some of you know, this past week was my birthday and I know some of you would enjoy knowing what I did to celebrate; beyond online shopping for birthday gifts. (Being the introvert I am I get excited to have packages delivered at home without any malls or answering “can I help you?”.)


The weekend before my birthday Luke took me out to all you can eat sushi at our favorite hole in the wall sushi place in Rochester. I filled up on plenty of spicy tuna  and we shared sake.

Afterwards Luke bought me shoes. Yes my husband bought me shoes for my birthday. We went to the Field and Stream by the mall and Luke bought me my first pair of Chacos. (He has been trying to get me a pair for a couple of years now).


We then headed over to the movie theatre to see Jurassic World, which was surprisingly good. Who doesn’t like a dinosaur action movie with awesome John Williams music?

jurassic world

Realizing the time after the movie we rushed over to our favorite yogurt shop just before they closed. We felt bad making her turn the machines on again which ment a soupy dessert and a few bug bites from eating it outside. Still it was a great birthday date.

very_berry_LOGOOther than this,  I decided also to make myself a few b-day treats. As you should know from reading my blog I enjoy baking and cooking new recipes so making my own b-day treats was fun.


I made lemon cream scones for breakfasts which went perfect with goat cheese and strawberry rhubarb jelly.


I also made shortcake with orange liquor macerated strawberries and homemade whipped cream. (Recipes of all of this to follow). And just in case your wondering, yes I shared my birthday treats with Luke.

Valentines Strawberry Cheesecake Cookies

In past years I have made pie for Luke for Valentine’s which I will still do, and other goodies but not cookies. This weekend we have house guest (Luke’s brother and family) and I have students who I want to introduce to the American idea of Valentines day. So this year I tried out some new cookie recipes for Valentine Cookies.


I made adjustments to my funfetti cheesecake cookies in order to make a new strawberry cheesecake cookie. This are easy-to-make dump and bake recipe taste like fresh strawberry cake with a extra surprise of cheesecake as you finish it off. Plus they have a great traditional pink valentines color and flavor.

Strawberry Cheesecake Cookies


Makes about 32 cookies

  • 1 box strawberry cake mix
  • 1 small box instant cheesecake pudding mix
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla
  • 1/2 cup white baking chips, divided



-Preheat oven to 350. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper, vegetable oil spray, or a SilPat.

-In a large bowl, combine the cake mix, pudding mix, vegetable oil, eggs and vanilla until dough forms.


-Stir in 1/2 cup of the white chocolate chips.

-Using a cookie scoop, drop dough by tablespoonfuls onto prepared cookie sheets 2 inches apart.

-Using the remaining 1/4 cup white chips, press a few chips onto the tops of each cookie or extra sprinkles


Note: depending on what color you want the cookies you can add a little red/pink food coloring to the mix because the strawberry color fades with the baking.

-Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until cookies just start to crack on the top.


The centers will still be very soft – that’s okay!

Cool for 2-3 minutes, then remove from cookie sheet to wire rack.

I stuck these cookies in the freezer right away because I know that when I dole then out I’m sure they won’t last long.

Happy Memorial Day!!

I chose to make some BBQ themed Memorial Day treats for Luke to take to the VA sharing a little thank you to his co-workers for serving those who have served.


I found these jet puffed red, white, and blue star shaped marshmallows at the store and thought up a semi-healthy dessert.


You could use watermelon or raspberries instead of strawberries. I found the blueberries were easy to work with but the strawberries were probably a little overripe. It is best to buy berries fresh and make the kabobs right away.


The leftover blueberries and marshmallows were made into more dessert kabobs for our church picnic on Sunday.IMG_3129

Whether you are enjoying a BBQ with friends and family,  celebrating those who have served, or just enjoying a day off from work or all the above have a great Memorial day!