Thursday, April 8, 2010

Cindy's Cheesecake Cups

A dear friend told me the other day that she'd never made cheesecake... and I don't blame her.  Spring pans and water baths and all that... it can be daunting.  What most people don't know is that you can make cheesecake without all that fuss.  You just need the right recipe!  Voila!  These are a family favorite.  Dress them up and they're the bell of the ball!

Cindy's Cheesecake Cups
3 8oz packages cream cheese (low fat works well)
3 large eggs
2/3 c sugar (half spenda's ok)
1 T vanilla
1 t lemon zest (optional)
1 box Nilla Wafers
foil muffin liners
1 can pie filling/topping of choice

Beat together eggs, sugar, cream cheese (softened), vanilla and lemon zest.

Line muffin pans with foil liners.  Place 1 Nilla Wafer in bottom of each cup.

Fill 1/2-2/3 full, bake at 350 degrees F for about 20 minutes, until tops are drying, but not cracked.  Remove from oven and cool completely on wire racks (cakes can be frozen at this point).

Serve chilled, topped with pie filling.  Makes about 24.

Pumpkin Cheesecake Cups
3 8oz packages cream cheese
3 large eggs
3/4 c sugar
1 c pumpkin puree (pack pumpkin)
1-1/4 t cinnamon
1/2 t ginger
1/2 t nutmeg

Follow directions above.

Sour Cream Top:
16oz sour cream
1/3 c sugar
1 t vanilla

Mix well, spread over hot cakes and bake additional 5 minutes.  Cool on wire racks, serve chilled.

Easter Bread

A Russian Easter Bread (round) and Challah (long). They were marvelous! The Challah's tried and true. The Russian Easter Bread is a new recipe but sounded really interesting, from  It's dense, and sweet and Granddad's fresh whole wheat flour is what really made it WOW.  Grandmother said that I would have won a blue ribbon on the Challah, it was funny to inform her that I already had!  Hooray for a home-made Easter.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Process This

Ran across this neat food-processor cookbook while searching bread recipes for Easter.

I think I'll save her Portuguese Farm Bread recipe for another time though.  This year, I think Easter's going Russian. I know how much I love challah bread, so this sounds really yummy!

Tomorrow I have a date with my breadmaker.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Blessing my Family

So, I've learned something that I want to share with all my friends:


And on that note, some confessions:
I have removed my makeup with a cotton pad and then used it to wipe down my vanity.
I have quickly swiped a dusty baseboard with a clean piece of toilet paper (dust flushes)!
I have used my son's worn-but-not-actually-dirty sock to mop up drips from bathtime.
I have scrubbed the toilet bowl without any bowl cleaner.
I have used a piece of dirty laundry to wipe down the top-inside of my washing machine before tossing it in the load.
I have used a baby wipe to clean the inside of my car (not the windows) while at a stop light.
I have used waterless hand sanitizer to get ink off hard surfaces.
I have scrubbed only the bad spots on my floor with the sink sponge before tossing it and getting a new one.
I have used the spent hand towl from the half-bath to wipe down the entire bathroom with just water before laundering it.

And you know what - it's working.  I do what I can in the moment and there's some level of forward movement.  I throw more away.  I keep less.  I give more.  I sell more.  I clean less.  Because, as it turns out, you really can't clean clutter - you can only move it.  So.  I'm chosing to move it right out of my house!

While these specific tips haven't come from, the concept has.  You're not behind, jump in where you are.  Fling Boogie.  Fire Drill.  Weekly Home Blessing.  Zone Cleaning.  It has taken time, but I have built some core routines and am proud to say that my sink is shiny, my dishes caught-up, the laundry managed, and the house is closer to being on auto-pilot each week.  I don't feel guilty about the "hot-spots" that still exist, I don't feel the weight of mountains of clutter or laundry, and I don't have CHAOS (can't have anyone over syndrome).  I'm rather quite enjoying coming downstairs for work each morning and seeing my lovely entry table clear except for the lovely vase and flowers on it!

And my sweet hubby and son are joining in, whether they realize it or not.  My behavior (improved attitude about cleaning in general) and routines have rubbed off on them.  Hooray for teamwork and a happy, mostly clean, home.