Tuesday, February 14

Healthy Cheesecake

Normally, you might not think that the two - "health" and "cheesecake" - could go together. But if you are of the mindset that its carbs, not fat, that make people fat, cheesecake is your dessert of choice. Of course, when you buy it at a resturant, it's junked up with sugar. However, when you make it at home and follow this recipe, you won't be disappointed.

1 tub (16 oz.) cream cheese (not the low fat stuff)
1 tub (15 oz) ricotta cheese (not low fat)
4 eggs
about 1/2 cup sugar (I use turbinado)
2 heaping tsps of flour
dash of salt, or two
1 tsp vanilla extract
zest from 1 lemon and a splash of lemon juice

1 cup ground flax seeds
1 cup ground or crushed walnuts
1 stick of butter or 1/2 cup coconut oil
sprinkle sugar to taste

Preheat oven to 350
Combine crust ingredients and pat them flat in a cheesecake pan, or a traditional pie pan (if you don't like the consistency, add more flax)
Bake pie crust for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool
Combine pie ingredients. Make sure to use softened/room temp cream cheese and ricotta. Blend all ingredients until smooth.
Pour pie filling into pie crust
Bake for one hour at 350
Pie is done when the top is slightly brown and the center wiggles a little when you move it.
Let cool and serve cold from the refrigerator. 

You can also make a lovely topping for this with berries... I'm serving this for Valentines Day with a sauce of blackberries boiled in a bit of sugar, flour, and lemon juice.

Friday, February 3

"You have to pick your battles": Or, What chores to give up on as a mom

So I've been thinking that there are certain chores rendered pointless by the presence of small wild animals children in the house. On the top of my list are:

  • Cleaning full sized mirrors. It's ok to clean the top 4 feet, but its better to leave the 2 or 3 feet closest to the ground covered in mini hand prints. Something about a clean mirror attracts little paws.
  • Organizing the bottom kitchen cabinets. Or putting anything valuable or breakable in them. This is indeed a "pick your battle" situation. Do you want your kid running around, screaming, while you are making dinner, or is it just easier to open that treasure chest Tupperware cabinet and let them go wild?
  • Folding any clothes in your kids' drawers. Maybe you are blessed with children who appreciated folded clothes, or maybe you are fortunate to live in a climate where children can go around naked. Neither applies to me. My kids love to empty their clothes drawers. Folding clothes is an exercise in futility in my house.

However, certain chores I have doubled up on since having children. These are easy to list because I do these chores ALL DAY LONG. Not kidding about that.
  • Sweeping the floors. Omg, oh my freakin' gosh... I sweep floors all day. Between bread crumbs, chewed up apple peels, milk splatters, I have my vocation cut out for me. The best job prep for being a mom is to have worked custodial in a previous life.
  • Picking up toys. Again, unless I want to twist an ankle or break a leg, I have to pick up toys all day long.
  • Neatly organizing books on the bottom two shelves. It's an attractive nuisance. Something about "order" prompts my kids to induce instant disorder. So those two shelves are disproportionately empty in my house.
  • Keeping the bathroom door shut and the toilet seat down. Joseph has a toilet fetish. I mean, he is obsessed with toilets. And everything that goes in them. And anything he can put in them. I'm sick of fishing him out of the toilet. So out of self-preservation, I've become very good at bathroom etiquette.
I know some of you older and wiser moms are going to suggest that I get my kids to help me. Don't worry! I do. But they are 1 and 2 and there's only so much you can do at that age. How about you? What chores in your house are a loosing battle, and what chores are a daily staple?