Welcome We all have good days and bad days. My husband always reminds me that the good days feel so good, because we have the bad days to compare them to. But wouldn’t it be nice if we just had good days, better days, and best days? Let’s chat about best days and best foods today. And feel free to add your “bests” to the comments section. I love hearing from my audience! Note-I may receive a small compensation from advertisements and affiliate links found on this blog. I am not affiliated with any publishers or restaurants mentioned in this post and the opinions stated here are mine only. For further information, please see my terms and disclosure page.
Food For Thought Have you seen the movie Tangled? I love the scene where Rapunzel has joined Flynn Ryder and she is in the forest glen playing, enjoying her new freedom, and says “BEST DAY EVER!” Don’t we all love that feeling, in that ONE MOMENT when we just know, this is the best day ever! We have obvious choices…the day I got married, the day my child was born, etc. And those should be best days…but what about the days in life that are not life-changing or earth-shattering, yet, in a single moment, you know this is a “best day.” I think that’s what makes up our best days…BEST MOMENTS. I’m talking about those single, unexpected moments when you wish you could freeze time. I think of giving my daughter a bath and listening to her jabber when she was about a year old, and I was overcome with emotion looking at this wonderful child that God had blessed us with, thankful for her health and development. I think of sitting out in a lawn chair watching her play in the sprinkler when she was about 4 years old. It wasn’t just about the event, it was the full sensory experience-the birds singing, the dappled sunlight through the trees, the cool mist carried by the breeze to my skin, her laughter, the warmth, the peace and calm. I think of some of the amazing vacations my husband has taken me on. These best days for US would be a nightmare for some. Spending an entire day hiking in the mountains, chasing waterfalls, is another full sensory experience that makes best days for us. Even between the sweat drops, tumbles in the creek, the effort in making that climb, the rock scrapes, it ALL comes together to make the best day ever. When I reach the summit or come around the bend to a majestic fall, I breathe it all in and wish I could stop time…or at least save it in a bottle.
We probably have few days that are truly perfect, a day when literally every single thing goes the way we want it and we’re filled with magic and warm fuzzy feelings. Most brides have at least a couple of close calls on their wedding day. The day my child was born was a “best day,” but I probably wouldn’t choose to have a 24 hour labor and delivery again to “savor the moment!” But a BEST DAY is full of small BEST MOMENTS. They’re the days that have so many “wish I could freeze time” thoughts, we want the day to last forever. Any days that I get to spend with the people I love have the potential to turn into the best days ever. Best moments sneak up on us when we aren’t expecting them. This has been a big lesson for me in my adult life. We cannot plan “best days.” When I get so wrapped up in having a perfect day, I am bound to be disappointed. You cannot force best moments or best days, you just have to feel them. Like when American Authors sing Best Day of My Life…”I feel it in my soul…”
We would all like more BEST DAYS, but if we can’t plan for them or force them to happen, how do we get more of them? Here’s a few ideas I have, while reflecting on my best days, for how to achieve more days like that. First, be present! Oh, my goodness, I have had to work so hard on this. I thought I was the queen of multi-tasking and getting things done, checking off my to-do list, and planning in my mind the next list of tasks. But I was missing out on those BEST MOMENTS. I was too preoccupied with tasks and goals, to enjoy what was happening in my life RIGHT NOW. Whether it be with my husband, daughter, other family, or friends, I need to be present in the moment with them, mindful of our conversations and experiences. Second, recognize that best moments do not necessarily have a price tag and simple pleasures are best. My best days have never been expensive and my best moments are usually free! It cost me nothing to have a soul-cleansing, sunrise run by a lake on a beautiful fall day. I spent nothing to watch my daughter play in the sprinkler in our back yard. And hiking has to be one of the cheapest forms of vacationing! I say it often here at faith-family-food, but it’s worth repeating. It’s about people and nature, not things. I also think our best days come when we learn to have peace and contentment in our lives. If you have been following my blog, you know I have traveled a long, challenging road to reach a state of contentment in my life, to no one’s fault but my own. But my best days and best moments come when I’m in a place of contentment and peace. I think that’s really what makes a best day…no stress and lots of peace. It’s hard to have a best day when you are stressed out and worried. So whatever you can do to let go of what’s keeping you stressed will help…take a walk, do yoga, play at the park with your kids, chop some vegetables, read a good book…just take a break and find your peace. So, even though we know there will be some bad days, maybe we can start having more good, better, and BEST DAYS!
Today’s Scriptures I love reading the Psalms. Whether I’m having a “best day” or one of those bad days that make us thankful for our best days, I can usually identify with different psalms of the Bible. Some of them are full of hearty praise, and just make me think, wow, he must have been having a best day ever when he wrote that! Here are just a few of the Psalms we can use when we want to praise God for giving us a BEST DAY.
- Psalm 8: “O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory above the heavens. From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise because of your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger. When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him? You made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor. You made him ruler over the works of your hands; you put everything under his feet; all flocks and herds, and the beasts of the field, the birds of the air, and the fish of the sea, all that swim the paths of the seas. O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!”
- Psalm 103:1-5 “Praise the Lord, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. Praise the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits–who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems you life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.”
- Psalm 145: 1-7 “I will exalt you, my God the King; I will praise your name for ever and ever. Every day I will praise you and extol your name for ever and ever. Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise; his greatness no one can fathom. One generation will commend your works to another; they will tell of your mighty acts. They will speak of the glorious splendor of your majesty, and I will meditate on your wonderful works. They will tell of the power of your awesome works, and I will proclaim your great deeds. They will celebrate your abundant goodness and joyfully sing of your righteousness.”
Today’s Recipe Sometimes I like to think about the BEST FOOD EVER. That may even be more tough to determine than my best days. It’s hard for me to even narrow down to just a few. I’ve had the best fried chicken at The Old Mill in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. I’ve had the best mac and cheese at an Irish pub in Divide, Colorado. The best fajitas were at Quiote in Brevard, North Carolina. The best burgers and barbecue are usually in small town joints. The best breakfasts I think are found at a local chain called The Big Biscuit. But we all know I love desserts and sweets, and I think the national chain Cheesecake Factory really have top notch desserts. I’m all about texture in my food, and they seem to achieve just the right textures in their cakes and cheesecakes. My husband and I have routinely considered their red velvet cake cheesecake one of the very best. So today, I offer a copycat, sort of. This is my Red Velvet and White Chocolate Cheesecake Cake, tweaked slightly from The Housewife Modern, and a tip of the hat to a favorite dessert at the Cheesecake Factory. A couple tips, though. Plan ahead for this dessert, since anytime you make a layered cake and cheesecake it’s going to take a couple of days. Also, this is an over-the-top dessert in richness and decadence and very sweet. Make it for special occasions.
Red Velvet and White Chocolate Cheesecake Cake
- For the Cheesecake
- 2 8-oz packages of cream cheese, at room temperature
- 12 oz package of white chocolate chips (I used Ghirardelli), melted
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 eggs
- 1/3 cup sour cream
- 1/3 cup heavy cream
- 2 tsp. vanilla
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Beat cream cheese in large bowl until smooth and creamy. Add chocolate, sugar and salt, continuing to beat on medium speed. Add in eggs; mix until blended. Add sour cream, heavy cream, and vanilla; beat until well combined. Spray 9-inch spring form pan with cooking spray and wrap bottom with aluminum foil. Pour batter into prepared pan. Place cheesecake pan inside a larger pan, adding about an inch of water to outside pan (this is called a water bath.) Place entire set of pans, carefully, in oven, on middle rack. Bake for 1 hour. Turn off oven, but leave cheesecake in the oven for one more hour. Remove from oven and place on cooling rack for 1-2 hours. Transfer to refrigerator and allow to chill for 24 hours. The beauty of layering a cheesecake between cake layers is it does not matter if it cracks!
- For the Red Velvet Cake
- I used Betty Crocker Red Velvet Cake box mix. It has “pudding in the mix” so it stays nice and moist and I get an acceptable red color without being scary red. I prepared according to package directions, baking in 2 9-inch round cake pans. Don’t forget to grease and flour your cake pans so your cake layers come out pretty! Also, I let my cake layers cool after baking for 2 hours before assembling.
- For the Frosting
- 2 8-oz packages of cream cheese, at room temperature
- 2 sticks butter, at room temperature
- 12 oz. package of white chocolate chips (I’m still using Ghirardelli), melted
- 1 TBS vanilla
- 3-4 cups powdered sugar
- Beat cream cheese and butter until smooth and blended. Add chocolate and vanilla, beating until creamy. Slowly beat in powdered sugar, one cup at a time, until the fluffy frosting texture you desire has been achieved. I wanted my frosting a little stiffer, but you may use less sugar if you want a softer texture.
- For Assembly
- Place a cake layer on plate. Spread about a 1/2 cup of frosting. Add cheesecake layer-after removing outer ring of spring form pan, flip over onto cake layer, and using a long knife, separate the cheesecake from the pan bottom. This should work, but it takes a little practice. Spread about 1/4 cup frosting on top of cheesecake layer. Place final cake layer on top and finish frosting top and sides. If you have additional icing, you can add some “flair” to your cake by piping rosettes or swirls. Cake must be refrigerated when not being served.
- Please note-I’m still learning how to cut “clean” cake slices so the crumbs don’t get everywhere. The cake tastes divine, but my slice pictures look so messy. I’d love any tips you may have!
And, here are some helpful products for today’s recipe, and yes I do use these products! (These links were valid as of 8/16/17 at 3:15 pm CDT)