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Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecake

23 Oct

It was Thanksgiving a couple weeks ago, a holiday I normally celebrate by eating pizza and watching a movie. This year though, a friend decided she was going to do the whole Thanksgiving thing and she invited me over. My contribution to the meal was dessert because let’s face it, it is the only thing I can reliably make lol

I was going to make a traditional pumpkin pie but decided to switch it up a bit and made a pumpkin swirl cheesecake – it sounds fancier than it is lol

Basically it is a cheesecake that had the batter separated so half is normal cheesecake batter and the other half has pumpkin puree and a bit more sugar mixed in, then you layer it and swirl it with a knife. It was dead easy to make and people liked it, so a win in my books!

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The cheesecake cracked along the swirl lines I made with my knife when cooling, which is annoying. I tried the hack of turning the oven off, cracking the door open, and letting the cheesecake cool that way, theoretically making the cooling off process less traumatic and therefore stopping the cheesecake from cracking…you can see how well that turned out. *rolls eyes* I know there are ways to repair the cracks but it would have ruined the marble look so I just left it.

The crust was made by putting ginger snap cookies in my mini food processor and pulsing until the cookies were crumbs, then doing the same with walnuts, pour the crumbs of both in to a bowl, add melted butter, mix it all up then put it in to the bottom of a springform pan and press it down so it is even. As a crust it turned out perfect, firm enough to maintain structural integrity when a slice was cut, but not so hard it wasn’t an easy thing to eat. I liked it but didn’t love it…could be because I’m not a huge ginger cookie fan. It was a complimentary flavour for the pumpkin though, which was why it was chosen.

As for the cheesecake it is like I mentioned above, you make a standard plain cheesecake batter, take out a cup and leave it alone, to the rest you add pumpkin puree, seasonings,Β  and some sugar, mix it in well. Then you pour approximately half the pumpkin batter in to the pan (on top of the ginger-walnut crust you’ve already put in there), make sure it spreads evenly. Put about half of the white cheesecake batter on top, sort of in blobs, then use a knife to spread it a bit. Then repeat! Once you’ve got the second layers of the pumpkin batter and the plain batter in the pan use a knife and swirl it all around. Make sure your knife goes all the way down to the crust without actually cutting through or messing up the crust.

Bake, let it cool, pray to the baking gods you don’t get huge cracks during the cooling process, curse the baking gods when the cracks come anyways, transfer to your serving platter or in my case the cake holder I was using to transport the cheesecake, and all that is left is to enjoy. πŸ™‚

In my opinion it turned out not flavourful enough, but others seemed happy with it so that could just be me. I wish I’d put more seasonings in it (it uses the same as a pumpkin pie) but hey, live an learn! I am toying with making it again but instead of pumpkin I’d make a raspberry puree and use that, I think it would be pretty with a pink swirl in it.

Here are some other pictures from Thanksgiving…my friend hosted a great evening, her meal was delicious, and it was fun to spend the evening with her and her family. πŸ™‚

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It’s Canada Day!

1 Jul

WooHoo! It is Canada’s 150th Birthday today, time to celebrate! Or ya know, go to work if you work today…like I do… πŸ˜›

There will be parties, fire works, events of all kinds all across the country…it will be epic. Not gonna lie, I’m a little bummed I’ll miss out on the festivities but I look forward to hearing the stories from everyone who got to celebrate.

As with every Canada Day since I started this blog I am about to bombard you with YouTube videos celebrating the day, and possibly a cute meme or two if I find some I want to share.

Enjoy!

Okay, so “bombard” may have been a strong word, I fully intended to bombard you all but I can’t find as many videos as I thought I would, le sigh. So instead I will leave you a link to a story that is about as Canadian as it gets…

http://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/herding-cattle-in-saskatchewan-leave-it-to-beaver-1.3373151

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canada day water fight

canada flat tire

canada slippers

 

Christmas Day!

25 Dec

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I hope wherever you are and whatever you celebrate you have a day filled with love, hope, and peace. πŸ™‚

xoxo

Day 5 of 20

24 Dec

Day 5 of the 12 Days of Fitness!

Lemme tell ya, this was a good one! πŸ˜€

I had a bunch of stuff to do around my parent’s place and earmarked today to be the day of getting shit done. Before that all started though I decided to go for a walk, in -12C (that is before windchill, I’m not actually sure what the temp with windchill was but the wind was going at 11km/hr and I sure felt it!), while it was snowing…I never claimed to make smart decisions lol

So out I went and I have to admit, I kinda liked it. It was cold, at about the ten minute mark I seriously considered turning back because the wind was cutting through my pants in a brutal way and my legs were burning from the cold but I know from past winters that if I just keep going eventually the pain goes away. It isn’t that I acclimatize, it is that my legs stop feeling temperature, or anything for that matter lol πŸ˜‰

I fast walked for about 20 minutes then had to turn around due to a road and weather. On the way back I decided to jog a bit so on the parts of sidewalk that were cleared I jogged. When crossing roads I walked because they were super slippy and I really don’t need to fall and get injured right now. Some parts of the sidewalks were un-runnable thanks to snow and ice but I think I got a pretty decent jog in there. I passed two people who were shovelling snow while walking in the one direction and when I was passing them on the way back at a jog they both looked at me like I was a martian lol Admittedly, I wasn’t dressed like a runner so maybe it was my outfit that was confusing them, and not that I was running in that type of weather?

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I got wicked windburn on my cheeks from this walk!

Once back at my parent’s place I shovelled snow from their back porch, the front path, and the driveway. By that point I was cold but wasn’t going to start feeling any colder so I figured might as well get it all done at once.

About an hour later you’d never know I shovelled since it had kept snowing and everything was white again *rolls eyes*

I did other things around the house that kept me busy but those two activities are what I am counting towards my fitness for the day for the challenge.

I’d say I can quite confidently check mark this day as a success! πŸ˜€

Day 3 and 4

23 Dec

I was too busy to write yesterday, sorry!

Today’s post is about Day 3 and Day 4 of the 12 Days of Fitness.

Are you still on track? I sort of am…kind of…maybe?

Yesterday was more of a weight workout type of day vs a cardio workout, which is what I tend to do.

My brother came over to my parent’s place when they were out (I am staying here for a bit over Christmas) and we put up a bunch of art work for my parents. This may not sound like a workout but it was multiple, heavy framed, pieces of art, most of which got put up on high or hard to reach areas. This meant that while my brother did the math for where to place the hooks so each piece was displayed to the best it could be, I was the one holding the artwork up so he could look at it. I was also running up and downstairs grabbing things, moving all over the house while helping with the whole decorate-the-house project and basically just moving a lot…while carrying heavy stuff…I feel that should count.

Do you think it counts?

I dunno…maybe I am fooling myself. I remember at the time of doing all that work thinking “damn, this is harder than expected, this definitely counts as my workout today” but now, looking back, I am of course, doubting myself. *rolls eyes*

For now, let’s assume it counts. Ok?

For today, Day 4, it is my birthday! Yay birthdays! πŸ˜€

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I have a little tradition for my birthday. I got to WEM, I shop the sales, I enjoy the teeny tiny 5% sales tax that this wonderful province has, I meet up with a friend and we either go for a meal and then a movie or just one of those, or something else completely, and then I make sure I am home in time for a family dinner where the menu was of my choosing.

Oh, I also let myself sleep in a little because if you can’t sleep in on your birthday then when can ya? πŸ˜‰

I thought to use my walking of the mall as my exercise, which may sound stupid, but that really was the plan! It is a big mall and the stores I wanted to visit are not all that near each other soooooo I figured walk as fast as the crowds will allow from one store to another and get a bit of exercise in. The crowds weren’t that bad, but the line to buy things in some of the stores were unfortunately long and slow, which kinda messed with my plan by (1) making me not able to visit every store on my list and (2) not giving me as much walking time as I expected. The bonus though was that because I was now more time constricted I was walking even faster than I had planned, so maybe that helps to balance things out?

Look! At WEM even the penguins go mall walking! And if it counts as exercise for penguins it should count for people as well, don’t cha think? πŸ˜‰

Again, I don’t really know if it counts. After dinner and dessert and time with the family I intended to go downstairs, dragging my laptop behind me, and workout to either one of my dvds or a workout video from YouTube but I am just toooooo tired! All I want to do is have a cup of tea, a shower, and crawl in to bed, which is exactly what I am going to do, because really, when you want to pamper yourself what better day than on your birthday?

Detecting a bit of a birthday theme here? πŸ˜‰ lol

I think I am going to count both days as complying with the rules of the challenge. After all, the rules didn’t specify certain exercises must be done, just that you had to be consciously active and both days I was. Admittedly, with odd activities, but still, I was active! Plus, both days I worked up a bit of a sweat and I definitely felt strain in my arm and shoulder muscles when holding the framed pictures up high for extended periods of time.

So yeah, ok then, while writing this I have decided that both days count. So there! πŸ˜‰

Tomorrow I may do a more traditional workout though, just to get a bit more on track…maybe…

Day 2 of 12

21 Dec

Alrighty peeps, it is Day 2 of the 12 Days of Fitness and I’m sure everyone has been active today, right? Right!

I was up earlier than any human being should be when on vacation but that is what happens when you are staying with parents who wake up early…and when you are going to a morning WW meeting lol

Today was a happy day, went to my meeting, down a pound, entered a new weight decade, out for brunch with the parents, ate a delish meal at Cora’s. It was a random mixture of healthy and non-healthy foods, as most meals out are.

I got Theo’s Omelette which is an omelette filled with oh so many vegetables, covered in cheese, and served with a side of potatoes, fresh fruit, and toast. I asked them to make the omelette with half the normal amount of cheese because restaurants always seem to drown food in cheese and I think it came out with a pretty decent amount.

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After brunch it was errand time, borrowed my Dad’s car for a while and bonus points for me, I returned it in the same condition it was in when I left the driveway. πŸ™‚

This evening after dinner I realized that even though I had parked far away and walked when going to all the shops I hadn’t really done anything worthy of being called exercise so I grabbed one of the exercise dvd’s I brought and started working out.

Tonight I did the 5 Mile Walk dvd by Leslie Sansone, it is a “walk at home” dvd which means you are walking on the spot, or forwards and backwards, or side to side, in random combinations and taking her word for it that eventually you have walked 5 miles. I tend to jog for large parts of it, and incorporate more arm work, so I get a better work out.

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The woman, Leslie, is so annoying, ugh. But she keeps you moving which is the important part. Normally I play the dvd on my laptop with the volume down low and watch something on tv while walking but my mom joined me this evening so we kept the volume up high and we kept being told to “walk! walk! walk!” lol Β πŸ˜€

My fear that I would fail this challenge by Day 2 has been relieved. Now on to figure out where to fit something in on Day 3!

Did you work out today?

12 Days of Christmas Fitness Challenge

7 Dec

Tis the month to gain ridiculous amounts of weight super fast if not careful! With so many social gatherings, and treats, and just general feelings of wanting to eat alllll the food this month it can be easy to wake up January 1st and realize your jeans aren’t fitting quite as well anymore.

I so don’t want that to happen to me!

Yes I know that being healthy is 80% what you eat and only 20% exercise but let’s be real here people, there will be food aplenty all over the place and I am sure I will end up eating more than planned.

So the idea is to help minimize some of the food damage I will end up doing by ensuring I stay active this month.

Here is the plan…

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The challenge begins December 20th and goes to December 31st. You don’t have to be out there running marathons, or making massive gains at the gym, I’m not looking for crazy changes in fitness activity. All I’m looking for is fitting exercise in to the daily routine over those days when so many of us skip exercising.

Just because there are a million and one things to do over the season doesn’t mean we should stop finding time each day to take care of ourselves. How else do you expect to enter 2017 feeling your best if you load up on food in this last month and don’t at least try to burn some of it off?

Some ideas for exercise could be:

  • a walk around the block
  • mall walking if you are somewhere cold
  • during the commercials do some squats, or sit-ups, or planks, or push-ups, or whatever you are able to do
  • take the stairs instead of elevators
  • park far away from the doors of the places you are going
  • snowball fight! build a snow fort! basically anything with snow!
  • pop in an exercise dvd
  • play tag with your kids, or nieces and nephews, or your friend’s kids

You get the idea!

So who is with me? Who is willing to try reeeeally hard to make the time everyday, for 12 days, over the busiest time of the year, to be good to ourselves and fit some exercise in to our days?

C’mon, you know you want to!

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