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Delicious & Easy Mint Chocolate Cheesecake Bars

Featuring a delicious chocolate graham cracker crust for cheesecake, these easy mint chocolate cheesecake bars are a huge hit! No springform pan or fuss required.These easy cheesecake bars are always a huge hit and perfect for a large crowd!

peppermint-sheet-pan-cheesecake

Delicious & Easy Mint Chocolate Cheesecake Bars

This recipe for Delicious & Easy Mint Chocolate Cheesecake Bars is for you if you love homemade cheesecake but hate the fuss of spring form pans and cracking cakes! It’s easy and makes either one big sheet pan dessert, or two 9x13s, so you can eat one and freeze the other for another day!

My family always begs me to make cheesecakes, but I rarely do. Primarily, I don’t want to find my spring form pan and deal with the disappointment of another cracked cheesecake. Luckily, this recipe is much easier than a traditional cheese cake. Rest assured, though, it certainly doesn’t sacrifice taste! Three simple steps will have this wonderful sheet pan cheesecake on your table without too much effort.

chocolate-peppermint-sheet-pan-cheesecake

Let’s Make these Easy Cheesecake Bars

First, gather tools and ingredients. You’ll need either a sheet pan (18 x 13), these are my favorite, or two 9×13 pans for this recipe. You’ll also need parchment paper. I like the brand If You Care’s Unbleached & Chlorine Free variety. It also helps to have a food processor and a stand mixer, though neither are necessary. Make sure you let the cream cheese come to room temperature for about an hour or so before you’re ready to mix it or it won’t cream as nicely.

Easy Graham Cracker Crust for Cheesecake

It’s easy to make a delicious graham cracker crust for cheesecake.The crust is just crushed chocolate graham crackers combined with melted butter and pre-baked for about 5 minutes. And if you line the sheet pan with parchment paper, the cheesecake bars come off the pan effortlessly.

bake-the-crust-and-add-the-cheesecake

Make the cheesecake batter

To make the cheesecake batter, I busted out my Kitchen Aid stand mixer  and creamed the cheese and sugar before adding eggs one at a time. Finally, add the extracts and the mint candy pieces and pour the mix onto the crust. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes or until the middle has just set. After the cheesecake has baked, let it cool for 15 minutes, and then put it in the fridge for at least three hours.

bake-the-cheesecake-cook-then-add-the-ganache

Make the ganache

While your lovely cheesecake is cooling, make an easy ganache.  Yes, I made a ganache – doesn’t that sound fancy?! No, it’s not hard, don’t worry. 🙂 Just make sure you coarsely chop a cup of chocolate chips before adding hot cream. I used my food processor to chop the chocolate – easy peasy. Let the cream and chocolate mix sit for ten minutes, and then stir until the chocolate is melted. That’s it! After the cheesecake is completely cooled, spread the ganache on top.

cheesecake-with-chocolate-ganache

By the way, don’t let your son drop a grapefruit on the cheesecake after you’ve nicely smoothed out the ganache or it will look terrible. You can just trust me on that one. I was NOT a happy mama and I didn’t display very nice mama skills after that happened. How many times does a person have to tell her kids not to throw balls {or anything resembling balls} in the house?!

chocolate-peppermint-sheet-pan-cheesecake-vertical

Here’s the printable recipe

Yield: 40 squares

Mint Chocolate Cheesecake Bars

Mint Chocolate Cheesecake Bars
An easy and delicious cheesecake bar recipe - no spring-form pan or fuss required!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes

Ingredients

For the crust:

  • 3 cups crushed chocolate graham crackers
  • 10 TBS butter, melted

For the cheesecake

  • 6 - 8 oz packages cream cheese, room temperature
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups raw sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 tsp peppermint extract
  • 1 cup crushed peppermint candies

For the ganache

  • 1 cup heavycream
  • 1 cup finely shredded semi-sweet chocolate, chocolate chips work fine

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. To make the crust, combine melted butter and graham cracker crumbs. Firmly press on a sheet pan (or two 9 x 13 if desired) covered with parchment paper.
  3. Bake at 350 degrees for 5 minutes, remove from oven.
  4. To make the cheesecake, combine cream cheese and sugar in a stand mixer over medium speed. Slowly add eggs one at time until combined.
  5. Add the extracts and candies and mix one last time.
  6. Pour the cheesecake batter on the crust and bake for 40 minutes or until center is almost set. Cool to touch, then refrigerate for at least 3 hours.
  7. To make the ganache, shred 1 cup of semi-sweet chocolate. I ran a cup a chocolate chips through my food processor, but if you have mad knife skills, feel free to use your knife to chop.
  8. Heat one cup a cream over medium high heat until just boiling. Then, pour cream over chocolate in a heat safe bowl.
  9. Let the cream and chocolate sit for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes are up, stir the mixture until a nice ganache forms. Top the cheesecake with the ganache. Put the cheesecake back in the fridge for another 15 minutes or so.
  10. Finally, cut into bars (roughly 2" x 2") and top with a few more candies, if desired
  11. Store leftovers in the fridge.

Nutrition Information:

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 4381 Total Fat: 271g Saturated Fat: 167g Cholesterol: 751mg Sodium: 2317mg Carbohydrates: 438g Sugar: 410g Protein: 60g

If you liked this recipe for easy cheesecake bars, you might like these recipes too:

Busy Week Night Greek Salmon Sheet Pan Dinner

Easy Instant Pot Dessert Recipes

Delicious Pumpkin Cheesecake

I hope you like these mint chocolate cheesecake bars! It is a new family favorite. Happy baking!

5 Useful Tips for Grooming Great Pyrenees Puppies

It doesn’t have to be hard to groom your dog, but it’s best to get off on the right foot. Here are the most useful tips I’ve found for grooming Great Pyrenees puppies so they’re more tolerant as adults!5 Useful Tips for Grooming Great Pyrenees Puppies #BayerExpertCare from SimplifyLiveLove.com

*This post contains affiliate links which means I earn a small commission on your purchase.*

One reason I love Great Pyrenees Puppies beyond the practical usefulness of this working breed, is that they are relatively easy to care for. Their beautiful fluffy white fur looks like it may take hours and hours of care each day, but it really doesn’t. Overall, Great Pyrenees Puppies are pretty easy to groom, but there are a few tips and tricks to taking the best care of these lovely dogs so keep reading for tips on taking care of ears, eyes, teeth, nails, and coat.

5 Useful Tips for Grooming Great Pyrenees Puppies

5 Useful Tips for Grooming Great Pyrenees Puppies #BayerExpertCare #ad

Your Great Pyrenees puppy will be easier to groom if you start grooming her from a young age to condition her to love the attention. I have found Great Pyrenees puppies to be very easy going and accepting of grooming – much easier to care for than other breeds we have raised such as Labs & Goldens.

I recommend starting a Puppy Kindergarten of sorts when you first get your puppy. Take a few minutes each week to sit with your puppy and speak kindly to her while gently petting and touching her teeth, ears, and nails. Get her used to the grooming tools by touching her with them, and if she’s skittish at all, just touch her – don’t actually use them. If you start when your puppy is young, she will get used to the grooming you will need to do as she ages. We used to raise puppies for Guide Dogs for the Blind and Puppy Kindergarten was a weekly ritual that both handlers and puppies really looked forward to! It was a time to connect with the puppies and relax a bit. See if you can’t implement something like this into your dog training regimen – it’s a really helpful tip for easy grooming.

Clean Great Pyr’s Ears

5 Useful Tips for Grooming Great Pyrenees Puppies #BayerExpertCare from SimplifyLiveLove.com #ad

Great Pyrenees Puppies should have their ears washed once a month to help avoid problems. Using an ear solution like will help your dog avoid wax build up and maintain a pleasant odor. If you notice a strong or foul odor while cleaning her ears, your Great Pyr might have ear mites or an infection and might need to see the vet. To clean your Great Pyrenees Puppies’ ears – simply pour a small amount of Ear Rinse on a cotton ball and wipe around inside her ear being careful not to go too far into the ear canal.

Must-Know Grooming Tips for Great Pyrenees Dogs!

Take care of their eyes

Sometimes Great Pyrenees Puppies can get weepy eyes with a reddish discharge that can stain their coat. If this happens, simply clean your dog’s fur with dog tear remover. Keep cleaning until his fur is lovely white again.

Here’s how to brush pyrs’ teeth

I know you want to hear this, but you should brush your Great Pyrenees’ teeth. Like in humans, overall good dental care is indicative of health and well being, so once a month, get out the doggie toothbrush and the meat flavored toothpaste and give your dog’s teeth a good scrub. If you notice lots of yellow on the teeth or puffy gums, you might want to have him checked out by a vet.

That fur though!

Grooming a Great Pyrenees Dog

So many people ask me if my Great Pyrenees’ fur is hard to care for. And honestly, it’s not. Granted, Nora is a working, outdoor dog, but she blows her coat only once a year in late summer and that’s pretty much it. We do brush her once a month and remove any burrs or other offensive things we might find in her coat, but overall, she sheds so much less than other breeds we’ve had and we very rarely find our black clothes covered in offensive dog hair! We have a variety of brushes, but our favorite is the rake pictured above.


Great Pyrenees puppies actually require very little bathing as their coat is naturally resistant to dirt – but that doesn’t mean they don’t love the dirt!! We bathe Nora only rarely, when her coat naturally takes on a bit of yellow color or she comes in contact with something super smelly. It’s recommend that you bathe your Great Pyrenees only once a month or less, because more often bathing removes some of the natural oils that make their fur so wonderfully resistant to most yuck.

Make sure to clip your Great Pyrenees’ nails & claws

Great Pyrenees Puppies double dew claw from SimplifyLiveLove.com

Great Pyrenees Puppies are unique for a lot of reasons, but one big difference between them and other breeds is their double dew claw on back paws. Great Pyrenees were originally mountain dogs and this double dew claw  helped them climb. Since it rarely comes in contact with the ground, it needs a good clip at least every few months or it can grow backwards and get stuck in their paws. NO good! We like clippers like these because they have a guard to help you clip only a small amount. Make sure you do have styptic powder on hand to stop any bleeding you may accidentally cause. Bleeding dog nails are no fun.

Clipping a Great Pyrenees Double Dew Claw from SimplifyLiveLove.com

Your vet may try to get you to remove the dew claws, but every reputable Great Pyrenees owner I’ve ever talked to says DON’T DO IT!! Our dog still has her dew claws and they cause zero issues. If there ever is a problem with Nora’s dew claws, we will deal with it. For now, we just clip them every few months and all is well. I do recommend that you find a sturdy pair of nail clippers for dogs, and as I said previously, getting your Great Pyr puppy used to having his nails clipped early on will insure that he doesn’t fight you on this process.

While these tips are specifically written for Great Pyrenees Puppies and Dogs, they can be adapted to work with most any dog breed! The key here is to start your grooming your puppies when they’re young so they will be receptive to this important care as they age.

If you liked this post on grooming Great Pyrenees, you might like these too:

 I’d love to hear about any dog grooming tips you may have!

Grow a Beautiful & Colorful Cutting Flower Container Garden!


You don’t need a huge space to grow a beautiful and colorful flower cutting garden! All you need are the right flowers, some pots, and a little bit of inspiration, and you can have beautiful flower arrangements in your home from flowers you grow yourself.

Grow your own Cutting Flower Container Garden. You don't have to have a big space to grow your own flowers. These helpful tips will help you get started!

Grow a Beautiful & Colorful Cutting Flower Container Garden!

Happy Tuesday, my gardening Friends, and welcome back to Tuesdays in the Garden. Today, my friends and I are talking blooms. Beautiful, bright, pollinator attracting blooms. Who doesn’t love flowers in the garden? We have lots of beautiful posts for you to check out and I hope they inspire you to add some pops of color to your own outside decor this year.

Homemade flower arrangement

One thing I really love about gardening is being able to bring lovely blooms in my house. I always have irises, sunflowers, and zinnias in my garden to bring indoors, but I haven’t been great about establishing other blooms for cutting. This year I’m trying something new – a cutting flower container garden near my front door. I put this container garden together last week using beautiful and prolific blooms which I look forward to cutting for lovely indoor flower arrangements.

Monrovia flowers that grow well in containers

I’m excited to partner with Monrovia Plants for this post because I always love when the Monrovia flowers start showing up at my local Lowe’s stores. Do you remember the Butterfly Garden in a Pot that I made a couple years ago? I also partnered with Monrovia on that post as well. 🙂

Monrovia Flower displays at Lowes

I love this time of year when the flowers arrive at gardening nurseries. The colors, the scents, I love everything about the gorgeous displays of Monrovia flowers at the nurseries. Not only can you go to Lowe’s to buy Monrovia plants, but you can also head over to their website to do a bit of research as well. Plug your zip code in here and find out what will grow well in your area! See something you like? Have it shipped directly to your store with free shipping.

Colorful Cutting Flower Container Garden

Flowers that Grow Well in Containers

For my cutting flower container garden, I wanted prolific bloomers, preferably flowers that will do well in containers. I found so much beauty and information at the Monrovia Grow Beautifully Blog I encourage you to check it out too! Based on the information at Monrovia, I chose these blooms for my cutting flower container garden:

I looked for descriptions like masses of bright flowers, compact growth habit, perfect for mixed containers and cutting gardens, and amazing large blooms. I’ll be perfectly honest with you and let you know that I’ve never grown dahlias in containers before but I’m excited to see how it works. One thing I love about the beautiful dahlia is that as a perennial, they can come back each year. The downside is that my zone is too cold, and unless I did up the roots and bring them indoors to over winter, they won’t survive. That’s just not going to happen, but bringing a pot indoors is well within my abilities. We’ll see if it works! Call it a fun experiment. 😀

Cutting Flower Container Garden SLL

Container Garden Tips

Once I brought my plants home, I selected large, well draining pots and got to work planting my flowers. I placed them on the boardwalk patio outside our passive-aggressive house. I like having them close to the house because it will make them easier to water and cut to bring indoors. If you’d like to grow a cutting flower container garden, make sure to follow these tips:

  • Make sure to use a large container so there’s room for growth.
  • Use a high quality potting soil to give the plants better nutrients
  • Don’t forget mulch because it’s not just for traditional gardens. It also helps the plants maintain moisture in containers as well.
  • Find a high quality, natural fertilizer to keep your plants healthy.
  • Don’t forget to water!!

Tuesdays in the Garden 2017

Tuesdays in the Garden

And now it’s time to see what my gardening friends are up to. As promised, we’ve got a lot of great posts for you. I hope you’ll pop over and see what they’re up to!

Frugal Family Home

From Shelly at @FrugalFamilyHome – Favorite Spring Flowers

Hearth & Vine

From Patti at @Hearth & Vine – Favorite Scented Plants for the Garden

Angie the Freckled Rose

From Angie at @TheFreckledRose – Favorite Flowering Vines for Your Garden

An Oregon Cottage

From Jami at @AnOregonCottage – Favorite Plants for Gardening in the Shade

homemade food junkie

From Diane at @HomemadeFoodJunkie – 5 Bushes to Attract & Support Birds

Grow your own cutting flower container garden and enjoy fresh flowers in your home all summer.

Easy Weeknight Salmon & Asparagus Sheet Pan Dinner

It’s 5:00 pm on a school night and you have no idea what to cook for dinner. Enter this easy weeknight salmon and asparagus sheet pan dinner recipe! With practically zero prep and a quick cook time, you can have a delicious and nutritious, Whole 30 approved meal on the table in about 20 minutes!

salmon asparagus sheet pan dinner on the table in 20 minutes. Whole 30 Approved

This post contains affiliate links which earn me a few pennies at no cost to you. Thanks for supporting my site! 

Family selfie at the Eiffel Tower

Family selfie at the Eiffel Tower. European Springbreak 2017.

We just returned from our family springbreak vacation in Europe and I realized a couple things while we were gone. First, my body feels better than it has in a long time. I drank very little red wine while we were gone (something I did almost every night without fail before we left). I had been having quite a few headaches before we went to Germany and suspected it may be the wine.

While we were gone, I only drank wine on three separate evenings, and each morning afterwords, the headaches were back. Hmmm. Second, my joint pain (my hips and shoulders have hurt me for years!) was a lot better while we were gone which I attribute to an overall cleaner European food system. They don’t allow a lot of the additives we find in our American food. Hmmm.

That information has been swirling in my head and I’ve also been watching friends participate in lots of clean eating challenges, like the Whole 30 program. Now I’m not quite ready to jump on board with the Whole 30 thing just yet (I REALLY love yogurt and cheese), but I have been cleaning up our food which seems to have deteriorated recently.

salmon asparagus sheet pan dinner featured

When I feel better, life is just better! Is is the same for you? And that’s why I recommend that you try this recipe. With heart-healthy salmon, fresh spring vegetables, and heart-healthy flax, you will enjoy eating healthy and your body will thank you. Maybe, just maybe, it can be the push you need to start eating cleaner every day!

forti flax barlean's blogger challenge

I’m excited to partner with Barlean’s to bring you a Clean Eating Challenge and Forti-Flax & Flax Oil Giveaway. All opinions are my own.

As a Barlean’s Blogger, I was sent the following products to help with this post:

I’ve been baking with flax seeds for a long time. It’s an ingredient in my 12-grain bread, my favorite bread recipe of all times! Flax seeds are full of omega-3s, plant lignans, and fibers. They are a source of essential fats that we need to stay healthy and anti-oxidants as well. According to healthyflax.org “The Institute for Medicine recommends that men consume 1.6 grams, women 1.1 grams  and children depending on age consumer between 0.5 and 1.2 grams per day.  Two Tbsp (30 mL) of ground flaxseed provides 3.5 g of omega 3, more then twice the daily recommendation.”

Flax seed oil is delicious in homemade salad dressings, and ground flax seed is also a great addition to smoothies and yogurt bowls as well. Read to the end of the post for a giveaway and you can enter to win Forti-Flax and Flax Oil from Barlean’s! Now let’s get busy cooking this delicious meal. It won’t take long, promise!

salmon asparagus sheet pan dinner

Salmon & Asparagus Sheet Pan Dinner

To make this quick and easy meal, simply preheat your oven to 450 degrees. Blanch a pound of asparagus for four minutes, then arrange all ingredients on a sheet pan. Bake for 12-15 minutes and enjoy!

salmon asparagus sheet pan dinner

Easy Weeknight Salmon & Asparagus Sheet Pan Dinner #EatCleanwithBarleans #Giveaway

Easy Weeknight Salmon & Asparagus Sheet Pan Dinner #EatCleanwithBarleans #Giveaway
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 4, 6-8 ounce salmon fillets, preferably wild-caught Alaskan Sockeye Salmon
  • 1 lb fresh asparagus, washed and trimmed
  • a handful of cherry tomatoes, washed and halved
  • 1 lemon, half juiced, half sliced
  • 3 TBS avocado oil
  • 1 TBS Barlean's Forti-Flax ground flaxseed
  • REAL salt & pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 450. Blanch asparagus for 4 minutes in boiling water.
  2. Arrange salmon and veggies on a sheet pan (lined with unbleached parchment paper if you want super easy clean-up. Skip this step if you're cheap like me.)
  3. Drizzle avocado oil and lemon juice over fish and veggies.
  4. Top with ground flaxseed, salt, pepper, and lemon slices.
  5. Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until salmon is cooked to your heart's desire.
  6. Enjoy!

Notes

This recipe feeds my family of 6, but two of my kids aren't huge salmon fans.

Nutrition Information:

Serving Size:

4-6 servings

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 502 Total Fat: 17g Carbohydrates: 2g Protein: 81g

Enter to Win #EatCleanWithBarleans Giveaway!

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Easy Weeknight Salmon & Asparagus Sheet Pan Dinner on your table in 20 minutes! Plus, an #EatCleanwithBarleans #Giveaway!