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Tag Archives: thanksgiving

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,  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. 🙂

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. 🙂

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A Slightly Delayed Thanksgiving Post

15 Oct

So happy belated Thanksgiving from me to you! 🙂

To be honest I am not a huge Thanksgiving Holiday person, it was never a big thing in my family and a lot of times it seems people use it as an excuse to overeat, shrug. Having said that, my Thanksgiving meal is pizza and if that isn’t overindulging in a bad for me food well then I don’t know what is lol. 😛

Since I work weekends and my family are all a province away (or farther) I spent Thanksgiving weekend doing what I normally do. Working. With a boat race thrown in for good measure. Which, if you consider how much racing I have done this past summer, the boat race this past weekend still counts as what I normally do lol.

It was a different boat race then normal though, a fun race! As in, no medals, no stress, just an end of season festival where instead of racing in dragon boats we race in canoes and the third race of the day is an obstacle course. The races are in a river, a cooooold river! Almost every year a boat tips, teehee, and the shortest race is 1000m. The entire day can be summed up in one word: Epic.

Let me describe the awesomeness of the obstacle course to you, or at least try…

We start off facing a bridge but are a fair distance away from it, the race starts! Everyone battles to be the first to get to the bridge because from the bridge pumpkins have been dropped in to the river, you have to scoop a pumpkin out of the water before passing under the bridge. Harder then it sounds! After getting your pumpkin you complete a 1000m Y-shaped turn, go back under the bridge, do a loop around a buoy then beach your boat, one person gets out, takes their paddle with them, balances a cup of juice on the end of the paddle and runs/walks from Spot A to Spot B without spilling. Once they get to Spot B they are given a bag of cranberries. Then they run back to the boat, hop on in and you are off! We then do another loop around the buoy, go back under the bridge and paddle till we cross the finish line. The entire length of the race is (I believe) 3000m…I’m always a little unsure about race lengths in this festival. Suffice to say, this race is long, and oh so much fun! Because there are turns during the races at this festival, and we are all in canoes instead of dragon boats, there are crashes on the water, boats getting tipped, general mayhem and minor levels of violence, but all in good fun! 😀

The pumpkin scooped outta the river after being dropped from a bridge. This pumpkin has had quite the adventure!

The pumpkin scooped outta the river after being dropped from a bridge. This pumpkin has had quite the adventure!

By 7pm Saturday night I was exhausted lol A long day racing, with longer than normal race lengths, all I wanted was my bed. 😛 I heated my muscles a bit when I got home since they were already seizing a bit then crawled in to bed, oh man that felt good lol. Sunday though I woke up for work and did not feel well. 😦 I thought it was just cause of being tired from the day before but alas, I was wrong. I seem to have caught some sort of bug, I’m not sure what it is. I had no appetite all day Sunday but ate breakfast and lunch when at work cause I kept thinking if I don’t eat I’ll be hungry when I no longer am on break and then I’ll be screwed. When I got home from work I had a nap, a freakishly long nap, started at 3:30p and lasted till about 8pm! Who does that?! I got up for a bit, had tea and toast (my cure for pretty much everything), felt sicker because of it and went back to bed. Slept till I had to be up for work at 5:20am Monday…that is a lot of sleep! Despite all that sleep I spent Monday tired and not hungry and headachey and just not feeling well. My main thought during all that? “Crap! No Thanksgiving pizza for me if  feel like this! Sadness!” I was really looking forward to my pizza but just the thought of food made me feel sick, let alone having to actually eat it, ugh.

Luckily today was a day off, yay! I let myself sleep till my body chose to wake up, which anybody who knows me knows that means I slept in lol helped a friend for a tiny bit of time with his move then spent the rest of the day alternating between staring like a zombie at the tv and dozing off in my living room chair while attempting to get fluids in me by sipping ginger ale and water. I know I am unwell when I don’t drink endless cups of tea! I’ve only had two cups today, and the second one I didn’t really want, I just felt weird not having drunk a lot of tea so I made it and forced myself to drink it cause duuude, you can’t waste tea! 😉

I’m hoping tomorrow I’ll be better, I don’t want to waste my days off not having the energy to do anything!

Despite catching whatever the heck it is I caught I had a good weekend. Any weekend I am on the water racing is a good weekend in my world. 🙂  Saturday night, as I was moving slowly around my apartment because my muscles were already letting me know just how sore they were from the day I realized something I was thankful for, which seemed pretty well timed considering it was Thanksgiving weekend.

I am so thankful that I am physically able to take part in the various activities I take part in. I may bitch because muscles hurt, or I’m lazy and don’t want to go to the gym or it’s cold on the water but I am well aware not everyone can take part in dragon boating, or hitting up the gym, or zumba, or boxing, or hiking or any of the other stuff I do because of physical limitations. I had a long amount of time where I was one of those people. I couldn’t walk. My knee was messed up too badly, my entire left leg was useless. I used to have dreams of being able to walk again, that was it, just walk, without my crutches or a cane, it seemed like it was never going to happen. Now I run, I hike, I do squats, I dragon boat, I dance, I snowshoe, I do whatever I want. And while everyday I take a moment to be grateful for being able to walk I don’t think I ever really took a moment to be consciously grateful for being able to do all the other activities I do. I forgot. I took for granted that I could do all these things.

But not Saturday.

Saturday, when both my knees were barely working because of how badly bruised they got from the boat, when my butt, my back, my shoulders and my arms were all in intense pain and any movement caused me to wince and swear, when stretching made things pop in my back, that is when I had a moment of clarity. That is when I realized I am lucky beyond belief that I was able to be feeling that pain. I am so grateful my body works as well as it does. I am so Thankful I have a loving family and amazing friends who stuck by me while I was injured and who cheer me on now that I am able to be active again.

I will make sure I don’t forget, just like I don’t forget to be grateful I can walk. 🙂

Thanksgiving Long Weekend

10 Oct

For those of you reading this who are not in Canada it is Thanksgiving Weekend – gobble gobble lol. Thanksgiving is a bigger deal in the States then in Canada (there’s some huge shopping day in the States after their Thanksgiving) but it’s not like it’s ignored here…well, by people who are not me lol. 😛

The “traditional” Thanksgiving celebration is a family congregates at some point during the long weekend and eats turkey with all the trimmings – and dude, who doesn’t like a full out turkey dinner? It’s like an early Christmas meal lol.

In my family every Thanksgiving long weekend my dad would go visit his mom (Grandma was in a different province so he was gone the entire time) and mom would order us a pizza, I think we’d usually rent a movie as well but I might be wrong about that…for sure though we had pizza. 😀 I loooooove pizza so I was uber happy with this deal since we didn’t order it in very often (my dad has an aversion to cooked cheese and the smell of it distresses his stomach…also, why order a pizza for dinner when one of the people in the house wouldn’t be able to eat it? kinda rude…) I looked forward to this pizza every year lol.

I remember the first year we had Thanksgiving after my Grandma passed away, mom decided to do the turkey dinner thing, I was upset cause I wanted our traditional pizza lol. Random huh?

Since I moved to BC Thanksgiving has been different every year. The first year I was in school so my entire class got together and had a potluck, we had some “traditional” foods, like stuffing, but we also had things like home made macaroni and cheese, some Chinese food, this chicken thing, a tofu dish…it was whatever people wanted to bring so a really random combo of foods. It was great!

The second year my roomie and I had a small group of friends over and we had some homemade dishes as well as some store bought foods and we all chilled and watched movies. Nice an quiet.

The third year I was soooo looking forward to my pizza meal but a girl I was working with was way homesick for her family and the standard turkey dinner thing (she was from SK and was really missing her family and friends) so we went to White Spot and got the full turkey dinner with a slice of pumpkin pie for dessert. They actually serve the turkey dinner year round and to be fair, it’s way legit, totally tasty but it just wasn’t what I wanted. lol. That year, it was kinda funny, I was really wanting pizza and I ended up going to two turkey dinners, the one at White Spot and then a different friend on a different evening made the entire turkey dinner and invited me and like I could say no? Sooooo I had two full turkey dinners, both with pumpkin pie for dessert and no pizza. Can’t really complain since the food was great and getting to eat pumpkin pie two days in a row was a little slice of taste bud heaven lol 😀

This year though I figured I’d finally get my pizza dinner – and I did! I ate a personal sized pizza on Friday and instead of pumpkin pie for dessert I got dessert breadsticks from the pizza place. Delish! 😀 And yes, I know, way bad for me, but as I stated in yesterdays post I have been an epic failure in the making food choices department lately so Friday was just one more day when I sucked at making good food choices. shrug. I regret it but there’s nothing I can do about it now lol.

So now it is late night on Monday, Thanksgiving is over, and this year it passed with barely a whimper. I am not at a standard monday to friday job so the long weekend aspect of the weekend didn’t affect me, I got my pizza and avoided turkey and well, nothing hugely special happened.

I am trying to get back on track with my food choices and my food tracking so today I wrote down what I ate and attempted to make good food decisions. I made a mistake with calculations though so I ended up going over my points, figures, but at least I am trying! Also, once I realized I went over my points I cut myself off from food, which kinda sucked cause it’s a rainy icky day and I keep wanting to make cocoa or have more soup or chocolate or something but I am resisting it all. Maybe my willpower is slowly coming back to me? I’m over by 3 points so it could’ve been a lot worse…just thought I’d point that out for my defence lol.

I have made a promise to myself and here it is: this week, starting today and going through to the end of this coming Saturday I will be a good little Weight Watcher. I will do all my tracking, I will eat only my points (and if needed a small amount of flex points), I will exercise as much as possible (should be 4 times this week minimum) – basically I will do all the things I am supposed to be doing but fell off the rails with. And why this time frame? Cause I have had long standing plans for this coming Sunday to go with friends down to the states to go to Red Lobster, lol, weird huh? I love Red Lobster but there are none in BC, lame! so some of us got together and decided we’d make a road trip to go since Shrimp Fest is on. lol. We saw ads for Shrimp Fest last month and it’s only on till Oct 22 (if I remember correctly) so we’re going before the end of that – shriiiiiiiimp! YUM! 😀

At Red Lobster I am going to allow myself to eat whatever the heck I want since it’s such a rare treat but after that day I am going to be jumping back onto the strict-diet-wagon I am hopping on today.

I have decided that I am going to be super strict girl starting now (minus my Red Lobster day) and going until Christmas. I am sure there will be days where I go over my points, or I eat something stupid or I’m pms-ing and can’t resist the Nutella (hey, it happens lol) but I’m going to do my best to minimize those screw ups. I want to lose 15 pounds by the time I go back to AB for Christmas and if I don’t start now it’s not gonna happen – cause we all know how frickin slow my body allows me to lose weight, erg.

Huh, I guess instead of a New Year’s resolution (something I never do) I am making a Thanksgiving Resolution…here’s hoping I can stick with it!

Looooooong Weekend!

8 Oct

Long weekends have got to be one of the best things ever! I think the only thing better is when you are still in school and get summer vacation and have all those glorious months off. sigh. I guess it’s a little sad to get so excited about having an extra day off…and really, I picked up a nannying shift for saturday evening so I still only get two days off but whatever – I am looking forward to sleeping in for 3 days in a row! lol.

For all of you not living in Canada it is Thanksgiving. Gobble Gobble, happy turkey day an all that. lol. Thanksgiving isn’t really all that big a deal in my family, I mean what is it really? A holiday celebrating the fact that the Native Americans were nice enough to help the settlers learn about the local food? That’d be great if the settlers hadn’t turned around and then attempted to wipe the Native American’s off the planet. *rolls eyes* Seems like a farce to me. And there is my rant about that, lol.  

In my family the thanksgiving long weekend means one thing: Pizza! Yup, that’s right, pizza! 😀 My dad would always go to visit his mom (she lived in a diff province) and my mom and us kids would order in pizza. This may sound boring but we didn’t eat pizza a lot so it was quite the treat. I wasn’t going to do anything different this weekend, well except for sleeping in on monday lol, but then I decided screw it, why shouldn’t I get to eat some kind of treat this weekend? Everybody else will be.

So on Sunday I am getting a pizza! Yup, a real pizza – not one I make (which are yummy but just not the same), not a frozen one from the store but a real, fresh, bad for me pizza. lol. I already know what I am getting, it is from Panago and it’s the Beef Taco Pizza, holy frog on a stick it is goooood! The best pizza out there! I have been looking forward to this pizza for a week now, the waiting has been hard but worth it. It’ll make the pizza that much better I think. 😀

For today I ate:

29 grams honey nut cheerios = 2 points

1/2 cup 1% milk = 1 point

1/2 cup diced peaches = 1 point

1 banana = 2 points

1 Activia yogurt = 2 points

1/2 cup Maple Baked Beans = 2 points

1 piece toast = 1 point

2 triangles light laughing cow cheese = 1 point

1/2 cup mashed yam = 1.5 points

mixed raw veggies = 0 points

1 Fiesta salad = 6 points

1 piece toast = 1 point

1tsp margarine = 1 point

1 coffee crisp single = 2 points

Puts me at a grand total of 23.5 points for the day. sigh. I did it again! I don’t know what is wrong with me lately, argh. I forgot I had the piece of toast right before I ate my salad so when I was writing my dinner down to see if I had any points left I thought I had more then I really did and now I have gone over, double sigh. I hate doing that!

Oh, hmm, ok, I guess I will stop the rant I was about to start, I just took a moment to do the math and see how many flex points I used this week, it was 6 so I am ok. lol. I felt like I had used a lot more because I don’t regulate them I just use a couple here and there as I so choose. Proof right there peeps about how if you don’t keep track of what you are eating you can get a warped idea of how good or bad your food amounts and choices are. It’s so true, least for me. shrug. I would have days where I felt like I ate a lot and when I really thought about what I ate that day it’d turn out I ate hardly anything and vice versa. It’s odd isn’t it? I wonder why people (especially me) do that…

Tomorrow is weigh in day, oh, and new measurement day cause I kinda messed it up last week. lol. I wonder if going for that hike thursday will have any noticeable affect on the scale tomorrow…I know I shouldn’t expect anything since I only exercised twice and one of those times doesn’t really count, lol, but hey, a girl can hope!

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