Candy Bar Cheesecake Brownies

PMS and children do not go well together.  PMS and Candy Bar Cheesecake Brownies go very well together!  I love my children dearly but today I am counting down the minutes until they go to bed so that I can calm my raging hormones with a few one of these…

Candy Bar Cheesecake Brownies

Brownie Layer
1 cup butter, melted
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 large eggs
3/4 cup cocoa
1 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

Cheesecake Layer
16 ounces cream cheese, softened
2/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs
2 cups sliced candy bars (I used Milky Way & Snickers)

Combine melted butter with sugar and vanilla extract.
Then add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.

Stir in cocoa until well blended.

Add flour, baking powder and salt

and stir until just combined, do not overmix.

Set aside one cup of the brownie batter and smooth the rest
into a buttered (or foil lined) 9×13 pan.

Begin making your cheesecake layer by beating cream cheese and sugar until smooth.

Add the vanilla and eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.

Smooth cream cheese mixture evenly over the brownie batter.

Cut Milky Ways and Snickers
(or whatever other leftover Halloween candy you have in your pantry) into thin slices.

Sprinkle candy bar slices evenly over cream cheese layer.

Using the reserved one cup of brownie batter, drop 12-15 spoonfuls over the top of the candy bar layer.

Use a butter knife to gently swirl the batters.

Bake at 350 for 35 minutes.  Allow to cool completely before cutting into squares.


source:  brownie base adapted from Two Peas & Their Pod

Baked Spaghetti

It does not work for me to prepare dinner in the afternoon.  In the afternoon, my kids need me, my undivided attention.  When I am trying to make dinner while Caleb is asking for help with his homework, Bella is begging for a snack and Drew is coloring on the table, it just doesn’t work.  My most enjoyable afternoons with my kids are when I know that dinner has already been taken care of so I can focus on taking care of them.  This Baked Spaghetti is the perfect make ahead meal.  Make it in the morning and enjoy the afternoon with your family, it’s a win win for everyone :)

Baked Spaghetti with Creamy Marinara Sauce
12 ounces uncooked spaghetti
1 pound ground beef
1 jar marinara sauce (26 ounces)
1 tablespoon butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
⅓ cup chopped onion
2 teaspoons fresh chopped basil
1 teaspoon fresh oregano
3 ounces cream cheese
Grated Parmesan cheese
1 can Fried Onions

Cook spaghetti according to package directions.

Drain and toss with 2 teaspoons olive oil.  Set aside.

Melt the butter in a small skillet over low heat.  Add the garlic and onions and cook until soft.

In a separate skillet, brown the ground beef over medium heat.
Once cooked through, drain the excess grease.

Add the garlic, onions, basil, oregano, and jar of marinara sauce to the cooked ground beef.
Stir in the cream cheese until melted and combined.

Put a thin layer of the marinara sauce on the bottom of your casserole dish.

Layer the spaghetti over the sauce.

Top with the remaining marinara sauce.

Sprinkle generously with Parmesan cheese.
(If making this ahead of time, now is the time to cover and refrigerate or freeze)
Otherwise, bake at 350 for 25 minutes.

Remove from oven and top with Fried Onions.
Then continue baking for an additional 5 minutes.


Toot Sweet Giveaway!

Toot Sweet Caramels

It was almost three years ago when I was drowning in laundry, diapers and dishes…  I was spending my days taking care of my three babies ages four and under.  I was consumed with them but feeling as though I had lost myself.  I needed something for me!  Just a small space, that I could Continue Reading …

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

I always thought that one Halloween all three of my kids would wear coordinating costumes.  I see other families with a Mickey and a Minnie, a Luke Skywalker and a Princess Leia, a princess and a knight.  It’s cute, it’s adorable!  I like the whole sibling costume coordinating thing but it’s just not going to happen Continue Reading …

Pumpkin Crumb Muffins


Fall has finally arrived here in California!!!  I am going to enjoy every minute of it, well at least  until it warms back up to 90 degrees next week…  In the mean time, we kicked off the season by making these pumpkin muffins.  They are AMAZING!  You really must try them :) Pumpkin Crumb Muffins With Continue Reading …

Brownies in a Jar


I was a teacher back in my pre-baby days.  In those days, my students were my babies!  I poured all that I had into them.  I would wake up each morning, thinking about our day of teaching and learning and then each afternoon, begin planning for tomorrow.  Even on breaks and on the weekends, my students were Continue Reading …