Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Days like today make it SO difficult to think about leaving this place. Some people consider the desert to be Heaven-on-Earth; some the mountains, some the cities. For me, THIS is it. It rained and was foggy early this morning; we really thought it was going to be like that all day, which is wonderful here, too. However, Kenn left to get some more wave photos, and it really turned beautiful. I'm sitting about five feet from the door onto the deck, which has a plexiglass insert so all I see is the floor, the top and side railings, and the ocean.

The tide must be on its way in; the waves are hurrying to get to the rocks and cover them. It's got to be in the mid-50s; the door is wide open, so I can hear each crashing wave, the rollin surf, and feel the little bursts of breeze. There's a possible cloud line out on the horizon, but the sky is blue with whisps of clouds. The water is a dark gray-blue underneath the whitecaps and foam.

What IS it that I love so much about the ocean? I didn't exactly grow up on the ocean - the last I looked, Indiana was landlocked. True, Indiana holds a close second in my heart, but here, where the Pacific Ocean meets the coast of the U.S., is where I feel closest to God, to who I *am*, and to where I feel His presence and peace the most.

It's not that I DO much when I'm in that place of His presence and peace. For the most part, I watch as each wave breaks; they're all so different, so unique. It's not that I see anyone special while I'm here; even Kenn is gone. And it's not like the ocean is peaceful; in my lifetime, I've seen it destroy countries, claim land back to itself, and claim countess lives.

So what is it? I keep trying to figure it out. I do think some of it is that the roar of the waves blocks out all other sounds. I have stupid cat hearing, for those of you who aren't around me much. Sounds bother me. I can hear something two blocks away if I don't have the TV on at home. :) So blocking out the everyday noises certainly allows me to hear God's voice better. So I'm sure some of it's that.

But not all.

We only have one week left in this place. It makes me incredibly sad to know that, but I am SO grateful for the time I've had here. For the absolute beauty God has surrounded me with here. For the photos I've been able to use to capture and share a tiny bit of His wonderful heart.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I think there's a wave to video.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Recipe Review: Chocolate Mousse Cheesecake

Hi, everyone! I'm on the central Oregon coast for another two weeks or so, and I'm having lots of time and company to try out recipes in and on! :D

This cheesecake recipe is one I Pinned, and it came from this blog originally: Mangio da Sola
(That link will take you directly to the recipe!)

First of all, let me just tell you that this house, although it has lots of amenities, doesn't have all my cooking equipment. :D So I'm improvising where I can, and saying, "Oh, well" where I can't. :D

Second, this cheesecake deserves lots of TIME to put it together in. I did it in one day; I HIGHLY recommend giving yourself time throughout two days - none of the steps is a real time-eater, but the time between steps should be increased compared to what I was able to do! :D

With that being said, it is COMPLETELY decadent, and INCREDIBLY rich. The smaller the slices, the better - something I HARDLY ever say about cheesecake! :D It actually worked in my favor to not have everything I needed; I cooked off two mini-cheesecake bowls that were JUST the cheesecake mixture, and discovered a new cheesecake base that will be my go-to for a long time! I also had extra mousse, and put it into two wine glasses - and that was a snack a couple of nights later.

If you like chocolate, you will have lots of it with this cake! Chocolate cookie crust, chocolate mousse, and dark chocolate ganache. Creamy, and really lovely. I asked Kenn's opinion: "I thought it was really good. Good texture, good taste. Lots of chocolate. And...RICH!"

If you're looking for an impressive dessert for a dinner party, and want something that you can do well ahead of time, this is it! If you're looking for a light, healthy dessert to whip together, look somewhere else. :D

If you try it, let me know!!! I'd love to hear your opinion, too! :D BE BLESSED! Look for more recipe reviews - I've done two others in the last two days! :D