this is the semi-grown up blog of liz markus, showcasing her ability to put letters and symbols together in a pleasant and correct manner.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

fruity pebbles cheesecake, part two

last time, on "as the pebbles bake"...

so you have your tye-dyed extravaganza. joseph has nothing on you and your pie dish. and you could just sorta grab a fork and chow down on a giant fruity pebbles cookie. but that would be half-assed. and here at chocolate~murdercakes, we like to do things at least two-thirds-assed. which is why we will now fill the crust with... um... filling.

because i was worried about the integrity of my crust, i was afraid to use a regular baked-cheesecake filling, thus subjecting my base to another hour or so in the oven. so i opted for the good ol' philly cream cheese no-bake cheesecake. but i had no cool h-whip. i did, however, have a big tub of nonfat plain yogurt (don't ask me why i have what is basically a non-food in my fridge. just sit back and think happy thoughts about how i thoroughly defile it into pie). so i placed a single block of cream cheese into my bowl with eight ounces of non-food, and about a quarter-cup of white sugar (i didn't want to go crazy with sweetness, seeing as how the crust was constructed from a "don't eat" on eat this not that's list of cereals).

after five minutes of pain and suffering in the form of trying to combine a chilled block of cream cheese with watery yogurt using a wooden spoon, i sucked it up like a big girl, dumped the whole mess into a mixing bowl, turned on my mixer, and blasted that sucker on "creaming" for a couple minutes. my result was a light, airy bowl of fluffy, creamy goodness, made better with a splash of vanilla extract and another spoonful of sugar.

i tried really hard to keep crumbs out of the filling, but i, well... failed. so there's cute little specks (yes, that's right, they're cute) in the filling, and the next morning...

thanks, jerry!

it grew flowers! LOL! no, no, that was me with a plate of pebbles, picking through for the colors i needed. and let me tell you, post cereal, you are sorely lacking in the green department. just sayin'.

fruity pebbles cheesecake

1 1/2 cups fruity pebbles cereal, crushed
1/3 cup butter, melted

1 block cream cheese, softened
8 ounces non-fat plain yogurt
1/4 cup white sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

fruity pebbles for decorating

for the crust: preheat oven to 375 degrees. combine crushed fruity pebbles and melted butter in 9 inch pie dish. press down and up around sides of plate. bake for ten minutes. allow to cool completely before filling.

for the filling: place cream cheese, yogurt, sugar and vanilla extract in mixing bowl. mix on high for a couple minutes, or until completely combined. pour into cooled crust and refrigerate overnight.

use extra fruity pebbles for the decoration of choice. you could do...


or maybe, this:

or even this:

it's really up to you. use your imagination! enjoy!

Monday, April 25, 2011

fruity pebbles cheesecake, part one

so yesterday was easter. for the past few years, my mom has been in entrenched in the living hell that is shopping mall retail work, compounded with the extra water-boarding of the children's book section of borders. however, as many have read recently, borders books has taken a bit of a nose-dive, and by "nose-dive", i mean "bankruptcy". the majority of the stores in our area have closed, including my mom's location at oakridge mall. as a result, she was free and clear to do easter up right, instead of yelling at children opening packages and escorting twitching men with hands buried in their coats to the door.

such a celebration, obviously, called for special things. mom made a big-ass ham with fruit sauce; baked beans; brown bread; and stuffed potatoes. that left my sister and i in charge of dessert. remember the aforementioned requirement of specialness?

my sister made a chocolate roll cake with orange buttercream frosting. and i made a fruity pebbles cheesecake.

the idea had been stewing in my brainmeats for a couple of months now. it started with the idea of froot loops cheesecake, but upon viewing the cereal aisle at safeway, it occurred to me that:

a. fruity pebbles were practically already crushed
b. fruity pebbles and froot loops are the exact same cereal

the beauty of it also lay in its simplicity: with a sugar-laden cereal as your base, there was no need to add sugar. just melt some butter, press it down, and your technicolor dream-pie would be ready for take off.

first, a glamor shot.

this one shows my genius technique for not getting crumbs everywhere: take a large sheet of parchment and fold all the edges in an inch. pour your fruity pebbles in the middle (as shown). place another sheet of parchment over it all, and go to town with your rolling pin. then you will end up with...

modern art!

in my world, modern art = a cup and a half of pebbles crumbs.

... which you will then pour into your pie dish...

... and combine with 1/3 cup melted, unsalted butter.

(gratuitous rubber ducky tea kettle shot)

after you've patted your crumbs into the dish, you will bake them for 10 minutes at 375, at which point you will be rewarded with a fragrant, tye-dyed extravaganza. which will be continued in part two, as soon as i get the rest of the pictures.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

+100 things that make me happy+ #6: indescribable moments of excellent qualities of sunlight and clouds

wow, i'm pretty sure there is no way i could've come up with a more pretentious, hipster description and title, buttttttt there you go, that's the best i could do. because there are times when you step out your front door in the morning and the mist has burned off the christmas trees in the farm next door but it's still lingering in the sky above, and the sun is yellow and the trees are pink and you're just like, "... yeah."

since i fail at words, this will be mostly a picture post, via stock.xchng and google.*

no, i do not live in a castle.

nor by a lake.

i do not live in a rickety, falling down fisherman's hut.

and i unfortunately don't live anywhere near this.

this and the following photo exist in better sizes, but the photographer is apparently a paranoid android and has emblazoned his full-size photos with ugly watermarking (and i use that term lightly, since in my mind, "watermarking" is a subtle yet distinguishable mark upon an image, whereas the marks on this guy's stuff look like they were done in MS paint)

see above.

and then i randomly found a painting that totally got what i was going for!

i hope that was helpful in shedding some light (LOL) on #6**... one of these days, i'll get a real camera, and then i can take some pictures of the light around my house. perhaps someday the weather will stop sucking my balls and make it even easier to achieve the aforementioned. because it's kinda hard to take good pictures of good light when you're lacking both.

* my photography-fu is unfortunately weak, due to lack of skill and a camera capable of catching all the nuances of color that occur around my own home. :(

** upon further reflection and searching results, i've found that there is a way to describe the light that i sometimes get up here: HDR. sometimes, my mornings exist in real-time HDR. the future is now!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

+100 things that make me happy+ #5: listening to my music turned up loud whilst driving somewhere i want to go

i learned to drive kind of late in life, and by "late in life", i mean twenty-one. yeah, i could've gotten my permit at sixteen and rocked garbage cans and mailboxes the whole city over, but it just... never came up, i guess.

most of my learning was done on manual transmissions, in my '84 rabbit and my boyfriend's seemingly never-ending supply of cars that he picked up at auctions in the area. the night i got my permit, i drove around an elementary school parking lot, and then a spooky backroads way between santa cruz and san jose. luckily it was late at night, because i spent the whole time freaking out, thinking a class of seersucker-clad preschoolers on their way home from a field trip to "take a fuzzy baby animal home!" farm would stray away from their julie-andrews-clone-chaperones and wander in front of my 15mph-creeping vehicle. at midnight.

obviously, things worked in my favor, which brings us to today, with the eight years of driving experience i have tucked under my argyle belt, and dramatically morphed attitude toward driving that includes speeding up when i see a pedestrian even consider strolling across the street in front of my car if there isn't a damn pair of solid lines bisecting my path. this experience is made all the more exciting when coupled with my mp3 player blasting industrial, rock, techno, richard cheese, and WAT IT DO?. even better, take the speed and the blaring audio, place them on a winding and seldom-traveled mountain road, and you have yourself a very happy girl.

i indulged in this little pleasure the other day. just me and imperative reaction rolling down mount charlie road, taking it all the way to scotts valley, and then on to felton for some nachos and gasoline, then north on highway 9 to boulder creek and the (apparently) newly paved bear creek road, past david bruce winery, and all the way home again. the trip only came out to about three-and-a-half hours of my time, and i didn't get a chance to stop at san lorenzo valley high school (school was still in session) to poke around and take in the layout (book research and whatnot); but it was a beautiful day, i was full of vallarta, and a construction guy smiled at me both times as he waved me past. good times.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

+100 things that make me happy+ #4: falling asleep to a scalp massage

from mid-april to early march, i had dreadlocks. no, i am not rastafarian. jah does not provide for me, nor do i find all things irie.

back when i was a wee teen, i attended CCOC (central county occupational center; or, as we liked to sound out, "see-cock"). and every day, during break-lunch-siesta, i would sit on a bench with my fries and hot chocolate and watch the mechanic students line up at the cafeteria. one of them was a girl.

not only was she a girl mechanic, she was a girl mechanic with black and pink dreads. and she was skinny. and wore all black. and was therefore absolutely awesome to me, a lightly-chubby network admin student* with crappy red curly crap-hair.

she, along with a certain vampire: the eternal struggle playing card (i bought tons of those stupid things when i was younger. it was only for the pictures and because "vampire" was in the title, i never actually played with them) that cemented dreadlocks in my mind for the next decade. yes, it took me at least ten years to make good on my fantasy of wild, crazy noodle-hair.

it cost $245. it took over four hours. it happened on the day peter steele died. and six months or so later, i was tired of it.

what's the point to this big long spiel? during that whole time, my scalp was off limits to me or anyone else, outside of hair washing. a whole year devoid of the feeling that comes from lying under clean, warm blankets in a dark room while someone else's hand (that part is important, because the muscles in your shoulders get sore quickly if you do it yourself, thus ruining the effect) strokes your hair and rubs your scalp. it's almost like being in the womb again. because i totally remember that time, duh.

* HAHAHAHAHAHAHA i remember NOTHING from that class except deltree and always check the physical layer! and getting humped against a wall. that was completely different, though.