Monday, June 16, 2014

Fake Cheesecake Yummy Yums

In the old days (2 years ago?) I would print out recipes and use cookbooks.  Then, I would make notes on my recipes so I'd know what I wanted to do differently next time.

Now, I do almost all of my cooking from Pinterest.  And, I haven't figured out a way to make notes on pinterest recipes.  So, my solution is to write a blog post and then pin this post.  If anyone has a better technological solution, I'd be happy to hear it!

The recipe below is borrowed almost entirely from here with a few of my modifications.  The original recipe called this a cheesecake, but I think that's a bit of a stretch.  They are good, but not like cheesecake.  
........................................
Vegan (or almost vegan), Gluten Free, No-Bake
Serves: 12
INGREDIENTS
  • Crust:
  • 1 cup pitted dates (soaked in warm water for 10 minutes then drained)
  • 1 cup raw walnuts, almonds, hemp seeds in some combination
  • Filling:
  • 1.5 cups raw cashews, soaked in water 4-6 hours then drained
  • 1 large lemon, juiced (scant 1/4 cup)
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil, melted.  (I think the combination of the coconut milk and the coconut oil made the flavor too cocunut-like, so I think I would eliminate the coconut oil next time.)
  • 1/2 cup full fat coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup honey or agave nectar (Scott feels like honey is healthier than agave nectar.)
  • Optional Flavor Add-Ins:
  • 2 Tbsp salted natural peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup wild blueberries (fresh or frozen)
  • Any other berry
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Start this recipe the night before you want to eat it.  The cashews need to soak for 4+ hours.  And, once it is all assembled, the yummy yums need to sit in the freezer for 6+ hours.  
  2. Put crust ingrediants in a food processor and blend until a dough forms - it should stick together when you squeeze a bit between your fingers. If it's too dry, add a few more dates. If too wet, add more almond or walnut meal. Add a pinch of salt.
  3. Scoop the crust into the muffin cups in heaping 1 Tbsp amounts and press in firmly with fingers. Set in freezer.
  4. Add all filling ingredients to a blender or food processor and mix until very smooth. I did half a recipe at a time.  In the first half, I did the peanut butter add-in and in the 2nd half, I did frozen blueberries.  
  5. Add your add-ins.
  6. Divide filling evenly among the muffin tins. Freeze until hard - about 6+ hours.  Do not skimp on time.  After 4 hours, my peanut putter version was not completely set, but my blueberry version was.  The following morning, they were both fabulously set.  
  7. Once set, get them out by loosening them with a butter knife. 
  8. Transfer the uneaten treats to a pyrex and keep that in the freezer for up to 2 weeks.  

Thursday, May 1, 2014

crib / toddler bed, mattress, mattress cover and sheet set

Our daughter has used this for the past 3 years.  She first used it as a crib with the mattress in the high position, then with the mattress in the low position.  And, then we took the front panel off so it was a toddler bed.

She's now moved on to a big girl loft bed, so we're selling her much loved crib/toddler bed.

Included is:

  • Ikea Gulliver crib - http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/80248525/
  • An Ikea mattress
  • 2 mattress covers
  • Custom sheet set from an etsy seller - 2 small pillow cases, 2 fitted sheets and a quilt.  We no longer have the bumper, but you could order one from the same etsy seller.  She's fabulous.  https://www.etsy.com/shop/CottageBelles
  • 2 small pillows 
The crib is currently disassembled.  It's not in perfect condition.  And, my daughter has added a few stickers which you can probably take off with some effort (Or, you could move the panel that used to be in the front to the back.)







Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Daddy's Boxers Quilt

I love my husband's underwear.  He wears super cute, colorful boxers.  Love love love.

A few years ago, some of his boxers got old and ripped.  He asked me if I wanted them for some craft project.  Yes, I did.

I began envisioning a quilt called Daddy's Boxers Quilt.  I could picture our daughter bringing the quilt with her to college.  But, first I had to make it.

I test-sewed through many designs before I landed on the one that I wanted to execute.  I knew I wanted to incorporate a star motif somehow.  I tried some English paper piecing, but the rigidity of the paper piecing didn't work with the well worn fabrics.



Eventually, I came up with a crazy quilt design with a few stars thrown in.

The back of the quilt has a few more stars that didn't fit with the theme of the front, and it has a fabric that was passed down to me - probably from my great Aunt Ruth.

As for the quilting, I mainly did zig zags on the crazy quilt part with some decorative stitches.  On the orange accents, I did a swirly free motion design.  And, on the stars, I stitched in the ditch, and then echoed that to emphasize the star shape.  



My daughter, Star, loves it.   She loves snuggling under it, touching the fabrics and tracing her finger over my quilted designs.  I still can picture her bringing it to college with her in about 14 years. 


Tuesday, March 25, 2014

I'm not usually one to complain...

...but it has been quite a bad few weeks.
  • My workplace is struggling.  A lot.  It's a hard environment right now.
  • My dad is sick.  In the hospital.  Long story.
  • There's a bump on the back of my neck that needs to be cut out and sent to pathology.
  • Star and I both had lice.  We had a lice checker come to the house last night to remove the lice from our heads and put a non-toxic spray thing in our hair.
Bring it on, universe.  

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Le Tote

Here's my final installment (for now!) on subscription boxes.

When I sized out of (sized down from?) Gwynnie Bee, I was bummed because I didn't know of a service that would be similar for my new smaller size.  Then I remembered LeTote which I had found months earlier, but their sizes were too small for me at the time.  Perfect timing; now I fit into LeTote clothes!  So, I signed up.

LeTote is really similar to Gwynnie Bee.  You pay $49 per month and get a box of 3 garments and 2 pieces of jewelry.  They pick what goes into your box based on what items you "hearted" on their site. 

When you send a box back to them, they send you out a new box.  If they receive the box back with fewer than 5 items, they assume that you wanted to buy the missing piece(s) and they'll happily charge your credit card.

 Here's what I got in my first box. 

Regular Price: $78.00
Member Price: $39.00

Regular Price: $62.00
Member Price: $43.00
Regular Price: $28.00
Member Price: $21.00

Regular Price: $22.00
Member Price: $17.00

Regular Price: $70.00
Member Price: $49.00

The only thing I actually wore was the polka dot shirt.  It fit me oddly.  It kind of made me have a mono boob which isn't a good look, and the shoulders did weird bunch up things.  The short sleeved striped shirt was OK, but a bit to yacht club for me.  The skirt was fine, but I didn't wear it.  The necklace was heinous - way huger than it looks like in the picture.  And, the bracelet looked cute, but you could tell it was really poorly made and had glue parts coming out from behind the stones.

So, after wearing the polka dot top, I sent the whole box back and am now waiting for #2 from them.  

Stitch Fix #2

I updated my post about my first attempt at Stitch Fix so you can see the picture of what they sent me.  I wasn't excited to try them again, but Jenni sounded like she understood me, and she said nice things about my Pinterest board, so I gave them another shot. 

My second box from them was definitely better than the first, but I didn't like anything enough to add any of the pieces to my closet.  Here's what I got.

A black maxi skirt (which is one of the things T+P sent me too!)

A green cardi.  Cute sweater.  I almost kept this, but it was a bit boring and didn't add anything to my existing wardrobe.

A pink(ish) fake leather jacket.  This was kind of awesome, I have to admit.  If I lived a different kind of lifestyle or had a different kind of budget, I would have totally rocked it.  But, I couldn't justify its addition into my life.

A red patterned fake wrap dress.  Again, this was a good try.  But, the slit up the front was so high, I think people could see parts of me which are not work appropriate to show. 

A tribal looking dress.  Cute shape, but I didn't like the tribal pattern.

So, overall, box #2 was way better than box #1, but it still seemed like a waste of time for all of us.  I'm not sure I'll try again. 



 

Thursday, February 6, 2014

My weight loss journey / Rachel of the Biggest Loser





I'm having success with my weight loss.  I've lost 16 pounds since the middle of October which is about a pound a week.  I think I have about 26 pounds to go; so, if I keep up the pound a week pace, I should be at my healthy weight by Scott's birthday.  

The bad news here is that I've officially become too small to use Gwynnie Bee.  Sad.  (I found a replacement service which I'll talk more about at some point.)

Here's the other bad news.  I hate the fact that I am focusing on my weight right now when I live in a country that is obsessed with weight in an unhealthy way.

As The Biggest Loser likes to say, "obesity is an epidemic in America."  To that, I would add that the opposite of obesity is also an epidemic.

For the past few months, I've been watching Season 15, and have loved seeing the contestants' healthy transformations both with their emotional issues and with their diet and exercise issues.  I was solidly in team Rachel.  She was fit and athletic with a kind heart.  Here's a picture of Rachel when she started on the show at 260 pounds and at makeover week when she weighed 150 pounds.  She's 5'4".  At 150 pounds, I thought she looked beautiful.  I thought that maybe she could lose another 10 pounds or so, but I didn't think that she would be able to win the finale because her competition had so much more weight to lose than she did.

Imagine my surprise when a strikingly gaunt Rachel appeared on stage at the Finale.  She looked unhealthy.  When she weighed in, it was revealed that she weighed 105 pounds.


I am not a nutritionist.  I'm not a doctor.  I'm not a financial planner.  Maybe she did this in a completely healthy way and there's nothing to worry about.  Maybe her methods weren't entirely healthy, but she wanted to win $250,000, so it was worth it to go a bit overboard. 

But, oh my goodness people, what message are we sending?  This does not appear to be healthy.  This should not be viewed as success. 

It seems to me that she traded one disorder for another.  At 260 pounds, she used food for comfort and didn't exercise at all.  Now, at 105, she uses her control over food for comfort, and exercises obsessively.  Her behaviors are still problematic.  They are just differently problematic.  I hope her journey is not yet done.