Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Almond Joy Cheesecake

Katy requested an Almond Joy Cheesecake for her birthday.  She sent me to Creations by Kara for the recipe.  Click on Creations by Kara to see her directions and photos.  I think mine turned out almost as good as hers.  I changed the cooking times and I used slivered almonds instead of sliced. 

Almond Joy Cheesecake
1 1/2 cups finely crushed Oreo crumbs
1/2 cup sweetened flaked coconut
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup melted butter
4 8oz pkgs cream cheese, softened to room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
4 eggs
1 tsp almond extract
1/2 tsp coconut extract
1/2 tsp vanilla
pinch of salt
1/2 cup sweetened flaked coconut, toasted and cooled
1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted and cooled ( I used slivered almonds)
6 Tbsp cream
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup sweetened flaked coconut, toasted and cooled
1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted and cooled ( I used slivered almonds)
For crust Preheat oven to 350°. Combine Oreo crumbs, coconut, sugar, and butter. Press the crumb mixture into the bottom and about an inch up the sides of a springform pan. Bake for about 10 minutes. I used a 10 inch spring form pan. Cool for 10 minutes. 
Filling: Beat cream cheese till smooth. Add sugar and beat till creamy. Lightly beat in the eggs, extracts, and salt till combined. Fold in the coconut and almonds. Pour mixture on top of the crust. Turn oven down to 325° and bake for about 75 more minutes or until the outer 2 1/2" is set. Remove from oven and cool completely on a cooling rack. ( I changed these times--see Note below)
Topping: Heat cream in a glass bowl in the microwave until hot but not boiling. Add chocolate chips and vanilla. Let sit for about a minute, then stir till smooth. Pour over the top of the cheesecake, letting some drip down the sides. Sprinkle toasted coconut in the middle and toasted almonds around the edges. Chill.

Note:  I did not follow the directions for baking times.  Every time a bake a cheesecake, it cracks.  I followed some directions I found on the internet to prevent cracking--it worked.  I did this instead:  Bake half an hour at 300° F / 150° C. Then, turn off the oven, open the oven door, and rest for 30 minutes. Then, close the oven and bake 30 to 40 minutes more at 300° F / 150° C.

Let me know if you try out this recipe.  Thanks to Kara for sharing.  It is delicious!!!


Monday, April 28, 2014

Birthday Celebration Times Six

Although we missed Easter with the family, we made up for it the following Sunday with a large gathering for multiple birthday celebrations.  Steve, Laura, Katy, Eve, Scott & Sam all celebrate birthdays in April, May & June.  A Poole/Springer tradition to celebrate family birthdays continues although we sometimes have to be creative in when and where we celebrate with such a large family.

The special Birthday girl or boy gets a special dessert.  We had Key Lime pie, He Man Chocolate Cake, The Very Best Chocolate Cake Ever, Almond Joy Cheesecake, Tea Cakes, and Ice Cream.  

Just a few pictures to make your mouth water....

Make a Wish!
Katy brought the Grand Puppy Hobie to visit Piper and Jack.  Hobie loves to roll in the mud and play in the pond at our house so he must have bath to go back home with Katy.  He looks so cute, I could just about keep him--


Friday, April 25, 2014

Sunrise in St. Petersburg

The clouds have been hovering for days in St. Pete and the winds have been blowing.  When I saw this sunrise, it gave me hope that on this, our last day here, we will have sunshine and soft breezes.


Thursday, April 24, 2014

Leaving St. Pete

We didn't expect to have made so many friends while in St. Petersburg.  It has become difficult to think about leaving this place.  We will be taking the boat to St. Simon's Island by June 1.  Our insurance rates are higher if we stay below the Hurricane Line which is near St. Mary's, Georgia.  We spent hurricane season last year between Isle of Hope, GA and Mt. Pleasant/Sullivan's Island SC.  We plan to be at Golden Isles Marina in St. Simon's until mid October when hurricane season is over.  

Looking for food

Many great matches were played on these courts and many of the worlds problems were discussed at those tables after the matches.  We will miss you all at Isla Del Sol! Look for us to return in mid October!!!


Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Easter Egg Hunt at Isla

The Easter Bunny came to Isla Del Sol on Saturday morning!!!

He arrived by golf cart and started giving out hugs and surprise gifts.  

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Shoe Explosion and a Bikini

Six people on board made the shoe basket explode.  

I couldn't resist having our picture taken here!


Monday, April 21, 2014

A bike ride to Old Captiva and the Mucky Duck!

We heard that we must not pass up a meal at the Mucky Duck in old town Captiva.  We took bikes outside the resort and headed toward old town.  We discovered the Mucky Duck without any trouble.  The old town consists of just a few streets (two) and a few shops.  The Mucky Duck sits right on the beach with outside and inside eating.  We chose to eat outside with a terrific view of the ocean.


Sunday, April 20, 2014

Guest Blogger Today

While our guests were aboard last week, I asked them to write a guest post.  Glenn took me up on my offer and is writing today.   Please enjoy his post!


In the original Muppet Movie Kermit the Frog sings a lyric that defies all logic but is almost magically reinforced in our daily lives – “there’s not a word yet for old friends that just met.”   So it was over 20 years ago when 4 families’ lives came together in a perfect storm of a sort in the halls of Lawrenceville First UMC – old friends had just met and somehow we knew there was a unique bond among us.  Sure, there was the all having young children connection, but it quickly ran deeper –we all love boats and being on the water and we found every opportunity to do it together!  We all owned some type of floating craft – sailboats, ski boats and rowboats– and most were seaworthy!   We began sharing time on the water as well as on land.  We’ve vacationed together, bicycled some questionable back-roads of Mexico together, and even added to the flotilla together.   Now that most of the children are grown we’re appreciating time together as just the adults – though constantly interrupted by the delightful tinkle of text messages from our independent offspring.

This past week three of the four couples shared an excursion together on Meandering Joy.  We converged on St. Pete on Sunday afternoon.  Joy and Steve made the drive down and headed straight for the boat.  Nancy and I drove down a different route and stopped at the St Pete airport to give Charlene and Dave a lift to the boat.   After a trip to the Publix for some significant provisioning we settled in for a good rest with visions of blue seas filling our dreams.  Our course called for going to Venice, Boca Grande, Captiva Island, Cabbage Key and back to St. Pete.  Our reality on Monday as we headed out was, well, wind and rolling waters.  We enjoyed the great stability of Meandering Joy and stayed in the ICW rather than running in the Gulf.   We arrived in Venice knowing that there were storms headed our way.   We and several other boats claimed a space in the Crow’s Nest Marina and tied up well for winds and rain.   Our planned one night in Venice became two as we waited out the storms.   But don’t worry, we had a great time!  We explored Venice together, walked in the rain, ate more than well and even met another Fleming owner who gave us tour of his boat and a ride back to our marina on a rainy afternoon.  Be assured that we had a blast!  That’s just the wonder of all-weather-friends when they are together – it’s the time shared rather than the circumstance that make it all fun.

The decision came on Wednesday to push on to Captiva and skip Boca Grande.  We stayed in the ICW and the weather was improving by the minute!    We tied up at South Seas Marina under beautiful blue skies and a light breeze.   We secured rental bikes to assure great touring of the island.  So enjoyable was the marina, the resort and especially the beach that we changed the itinerary to spend three nights at Captiva.  Relaxation, great conversation, outstanding onboard meals, time on the beach and even an intense game of “Catch Phrase” all combined in proper portion for a time in the memories book as more than outstanding!

I had been looking for an opportunity to fly my quad-copter/drone and make a few pics of the boats and South Seas provided that chance.   Right next to the marina was a large grassy lawn that was the perfect spot for take-off and landing.  The little drone has a great camera and will run up several hundred feet for some great views.  I’d never flown over water and was a bit nervous since it does not provide a second chance at a landing.  But I wanted the pix of Meandering Joy so it was a new challenge that I had to face.   It’s battery powered and we get 15-20 minutes of flight on a battery.  We’ve learned that when you fly in a public area you not only need time to fly but you have to allow plenty of time to show off the pics and talk to “inquiring minds” that want to know all about the Phantom.   Thankfully the guy who kept shouting he was going to get his shotgun and take target practice really didn’t start shooting – he was joking, I think.   Anyway, I got in two great flights and made some awesome pics around the marina.   Then I took her up high enough to make a few pics that included the marina and the beach.  I’ve got pics to send to several boat owners who were interested.

We pulled away from the dock at South Seas at 7AM on Saturday with an all day run in the gulf ahead to reach St. Pete before dark.  As the daylight grew it revealed a gentle breeze on peaceful, green water.   I’ve been boating on the Gulf for about 50 years and I can’t remember a time with this level of perfection for cruising.  We ran all day and docked back at Isla Del Sol at about 5:30.  It had been a perfect trip!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Steve, Dave and the Giant Waterslide

South Seas Resort has three pools.  Two of which have slides.  Steve has a love of water slides.  Do I need to write anything else.  He announced he was going to try out the slides.  After which I gave him the warning that we were visiting on spring break week and there would be many many small children who would be riding the slides and he should be careful with his 6'3" self.   Dave decided to go along.   I am sure Dave thought we would think all would be ok since he was going to supervise.   We all knew Dave was just as interested in the water slide as Steve he was just a little more nonchalant.

Steve took his waterproof camera along and took these pictures of all the fun.

Dave -feet first

Hey Charlene- Did you see that?

Man! This is sooooo fun!

Belly Slide

Hey Mister --Give me a turn...


Photographs from Above

Aerial Photography by Glenn Martin Photography!!!