Saturday, December 31, 2011

Organic Mini Cheesecake

Happy New Year!

Here's a great dessert for 2012.

Sugar-free, wheat-free, organic, and scrumptious.

Making desserts that my hubby can eat (no sugar, no wheat) can be a bit tricky.  I've never attempted cheesecake before.  I never liked it as a child and so I never bothered to make it as an adult. Till now.
I've had a taste bud development for cheesecake and the past for few years.  I'm trying to decide if it's a good thing.

I'm happy with the results although they weren't very pretty, but that's what whipped cream is for, right?

The ingredients are simple; Cream cheese, butter, eggs, maple syrup, maple flavoring, and spelt cereal crumbs.

I try to "healthify" my desserts by at least choosing better ingredients like local free-range eggs,

Organic butter,

and organic cream cheese.

The maple syrup and spelt cereal (Arrowhead Mills) crumbs are also organic.

Melt half a stick of butter and pour over the cereal crumbs in a separate bowl.

Divide the mixture into 12 muffin cups. (or 6 jumbo)

Press them down to form a crust.

I also made one with just ground almonds (almond meal from Trader Joe's) that turned out good too.

Place 2 packages of softened cream cheese in the mixing bowl and beat till fluffy.

Add one egg at a time till incorporated.

 Add maple syrup and flavoring and mix.

Spoon mixture into muffin cups.

Fill them up to the top.

I'm sure I did something wrong since they sunk a bit in the centers.

Under baked, Over baked? Cheesecake experts, a little help here?

It didn't affect the taste one bit.

Nothing that peeling off the wrapper, a squirt of whipped cream, and some fruit couldn't fix.

Organic Mini Cheesecakes
2 - 8 oz packages organic cream cheese
2 eggs
1 teaspoon maple extract
2/3 cup organic maple syrup
3/4 cup crushed spelt cereal (or graham cracker crumbs)
1/4 cup organic butter, melted
1 Tablespoon sweetener (honey, agave, or maple sugar)

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees (F).
2. Beat cream cheese till smooth. Add one egg at a time till incorporated.
3. Add maple syrup and extract, beat on low till combined.
4. In small bowl, drizzle melted butter over spelt crumbs and sweetener, mix and press into the bottom of lined muffin cups.
5. Spoon cream cheese mixture into cups.
6. Bake 20-25 minutes till done.
7. Allow to cool and refrigerate till serving. Remove wrapper, put on pretty plate (essential!), and squirt liberally with whipped cream and top with pieces of fruit.
8. Eat.

The Lunch Lady

Pasta Goodness

I know I'm breaking all my food combining rules with this one, but it's SO good.

Sometimes one just has to break their dietary rules.

Hey, and the bacon is nitrate-free, so cut me some slack.

This is a beautifully gluten-free dish that tastes amazing.

It's simple; Brown Rice Penne Pasta, a sauteed onion, cooked bacon, fresh baby spinach, olive oil, and a sprinkle of Pecorino Romano, Salt and Pepper. And garlic if you have some.

Bacon Pasta:
1 pound organic brown rice penne, cooked
1 onion, sliced, sauteed in a bit o butter
bacon, cooked & sliced
Organic olive oil
fresh organic baby spinach
grated cheese
salt & pepper
garlic (fresh or dried)

1. Cook pasta, drain.
2. Saute onion. Cook bacon. Slice or crumble.
3. Sprinkle ingredients over pasta. Add baby spinach, grated cheese, organic olive oil, and seasonings.
4. Eat

This was our lunch last week.

The Lunch Lady

Friday, December 30, 2011

My Soldiers

Making movies again.

Yup.  It involved a lot of camo, ammo, and guns.

(That face. It just about kills me!)

It helps that they had all the gear from dressing up like soldiers a few Halloweens ago.

Ya really are never to old to dress up.


That's my baby wielding his gun.
The Lunch Lady

Beautiful Breakfasts

Here's a sample of my delicious organic spelt cranberry blueberry jumbo coffee house muffins.

They really taste as good as they look.

No. Better.

Chocolate Chip Banana.

I use as many organic ingredients as possible. This includes the flour, sugars, butter, and fruit when possible. I also use grapeseed oil, local free range eggs, and organic vanilla extract.

I try to use ingredients that are less processed and are things that you feel good about eating.

Fresh fruit needs to look and taste good.  I only serve fully ripened fruit that's delicious and healthy for you.

(No hard, unripe melon here!)

The Lunch Lady

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Ornaments: Joy and Peace

Our tree is full of all kinds of ornaments that we have collected, made, and been gifted throughout the years.

These decoupaged balls are one my favorites and they've lasted through the years since they can't break.

Silk flowers are a beautiful way to fill up the empty deep spaces in the tree.

 A few years ago, Lance and I made a bunch of ornaments ourselves.

We just printed "joy" in different fonts on a piece of cardstock and glued them onto different pieces of fabric.

This one came from Target this year.

I made this one from scrapbooking stuff.  I love how each letter looks like an ornament.

A button, a bead, a few letters on cardstock, tied with some jute twine.

Simple, free, creative.

I just shop the drawers in our craft room for odds and ends.

These are my favorite ornaments, my angel ladies.  They are made from shells and odds and ends; ribbons, buttons, silk flowers, leaves, raffia, old cloth....

Each one is unique. I posted this on my old blog.

What are your favorite ornaments?

Joy and Peace to you,
The Lunch Lady

Eve and Presents: Recap

We traditionally open our gifts mostly on Christmas Eve.  This year we split them between Eve and Morning.

(Note** these pics were taken before I opened my present: new camera. Can't ya tell?)

The Spread:
Deviled Eggs, French Onion smothered mushrooms, Cream Cheese spread, raw veggies, bacon wrapped shrimp, Caprese, Brown Rice Sushi, Spinach Dip....

My little chef helping fill the deviled eggs.

The French Onion smothered mushrooms before baking...

Evilly good trifle.

It's yellow box cake, chocolate pudding (hey I made it with organic milk. Doesn't that count?), Cool Whip, and fresh raspberries and strawberries.

Hope your Holidays are Merry and Bright and full of happy family times.

Oh and good food. There's always that.
The Lunch Lady

My Charlie

Yesterday, the younger 3 boys decided to dress up like old fashioned guys and make a video with Logan's new camcorder.

They are definitely putting the new stuff to good use.

I picked up the mustaches at Old Navy for their stocking stuffers. The best $2 I've spent in a while.

Lucas pulled his outfit together and looks surprisingly a bit like Charlie Chaplin.

Before his big on camera debut, he needed to replenish his fluids.


"I don't know how guys with mustaches drink water mom."

I think it has something to do with glue.
The Lunch Lady

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Clay birds

 Yes, a different kind of clay birds. We aren't skeet shooting here, at least,  not yet.

As I mentioned before, I pulled out an early stocking stuffer a few weeks ago for my 8 and 12 year old boys who were moaning about their old clay being a bit hard and tough to work with.

And, yes, we homeschoolers are not immune to the Angry Bird craze around us.  My younger 2 boys love all things Angry Birds.

I just wish that they weren't so, well, angry.

I think we need to make Happy Birds.

I love that they worked hard at these little figures, details and all.

We baked them in the oven so they are indestructible.

Trust me, I dropped them. I should know.

I'm just loving my boys' creativity.

Wonder where they get that from?
The Lunch Lady