Butterscotch swirl pumpkin cheesecake

I love fall!  So much has been going on but I wanted to share a couple of recipes before diving into that. First a perfect for fall cheesecake, later I’ll post a yummy scone recipe.  When I was out shopping & saw this organic pumpkin pie mix I bought it without even knowing what I’d do with it. I just LOVE pumpkin. Did I mention I love fall? Haha. It’s just pumpkin flavored stuff everywhere & I, for one, couldn’t be happier. With Thanksgiving around the corner, this would be a perfect alternative to a pumpkin pie. Anyway, I decided on a cheesecake since we had also just bought a ton of cream cheese. & What a perfect combo, pumpkin & cream cheese. For this recipe I used a regular old pre made graham cracker crust but if you’d rather make it from scratch, just crumble a bunch of graham crackers, melt some butter & brown sugar & mix them up in a 10″ springform pan. Without further ado, a yummy cheesecake recipe to welcome the fall.

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Sorry for the poor quality phone picture! I didn’t have my camera with me & was too lazy to go get it before digging in!

Cream Cheese Filling
4 8 oz. blocks of cream cheese – room temp. (don’t use whipped tubs for cooking as the incorporated air throws off the measurements!)
2 cups of sugar
2 TBSP all-purpose flour
4 eggs
2 egg yolks
2 TSP vanilla extract

Pumpkin Filling
1/2 Can Pumpkin pie mix
1 egg

Butterscotch Swirl
1/2 cup of butterscotch morsels
3 TBSP of light cream

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1. Beat together the cream cheese, sugar, 4 eggs, 2 egg yolks & vanilla. With mixer on low, add in the flour. Set aside

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2. In a separate bowl, whisk the pumpkin pie mix & egg. Set aside

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3. In a double broiler, melt the butterscotch morsels, being careful not to burn them. When nearly completely melted, add the cream.
4. Pour the melted butterscotch mix into a condiment dispenser. (This is not really necessary but I did it to facilitate the drizzling process!)

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5. Pour the pumpkin filling into the crust & spread evenly.

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6. Layer the cream cheese filling on top & spread evenly.
7. Drizzle the butterscotch on top & swirl with a toothpick (or a chopstick, like me haha)
8. Bake at 350 F for 2 hours, in a hot water bath.
9. Cool the cake & refrigerate overnight.
10. Enjoy!

The young (stay at home) mom

Young mom, young mom, only in her 20′s. What a shame, she’s throwing her life away. What about her career? What about her days of partying & hanging out with friends? What about doing whatever she wants & answering to no one? Poor young mom, she has to see all of her old friends following their dreams while she stays home & takes care of a baby. Pitiful young mom, her life must be so boring. & How demeaning, letting some man take care of her, she ought to be thinking about setting an example for her kids & showing them they need to be independent.

But on the other hand, she doesn’t have to work! She gets to stay home all day taking care of a baby. I mean how much work can it really be? Besides, no one forced her into having a baby so young. She knew what she was getting into. After all, everyone ends up happy with the choices they make… don’t they?

Oh young friends, I’ve been there, done that. Now I’m here. Yes, my career is on the back burner right now. Yes, I’ve subbed out heels & a killer outfit for flats & a diaper bag. Yes, my husband is the main bread winner. Who says I’m dependent? Poor clueless girl, a marriage is a partnership. A co-dependence. We support each other in whatever way we can. My baby is no ball & chain. In a few short years my so-called shackles will be more independent themselves. I’ll still be young & free to pursue my career, if I so choose to do so, without having to worry about putting it on hold at some point down the road. I’ll show you then. I’ll bounce right back & go harder than ever. That’s what keeps me motivated & keeps my hopes up isn’t it?

Or is it because it’s so easy? My job is a thousand times more difficult than you can imagine. You get to clock out at the end of the day. I’m working a 24/7 (for the next 18 years!) shift. You’ll see someday. The more demanding the job, the bigger the reward. You’ll see someday.

It’s that sweet smile. That warm laugh. That adoring look he gets in his eyes. How he smiles first thing in the morning when he sees his world, his sun, always there next to him. I could live like this forever.

Blueberry cheesecake ice cream

Another recipe for sis! This is outrageously good, not as fatty as store-bought, AND no ice cream maker needed! I plan on experimenting with adding alcohol or gelatin later to see if I can soften it some because it does end up a little harder than I’d like, but delicious nonetheless. Also this one is mainly guesstimates at quantities of ingredients. I just eyeballed it & don’t really remember well since I made this a couple of weeks ago. Next time I’ll get accurate with it!

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INGREDIENTS
4 C blueberries
1/2 stick of low-fat cream cheese
1/4 C & 2 TBSP light brown sugar
3/4 C powdered instant non-fat milk
1/2 C light cream
1/2 C skim milk
2 graham crackers
1 TBSP butter

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1. In a small saucepan, melt butter & 2 tbsp sugar. Crumble in graham crackers until nice & blended. Turn off heat & set aside.

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2. Chop up a handful (about a cup?) of the blueberries. Set these aside as well.

3. In a blender, combine remaining blueberries, cream, 1/4 cup sugar, powdered milk, skim milk & cream cheese. Blend until liquid.

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4. Put this in a container in the deepest, darkest corner of your freezer possible! After one hour, take it out & stir it up. Do this every hour for the next 4-5 hours (first see step 5!), more if possible. I know it’s annoying but it breaks up the ice crystals so the finished product is softer & smoother.

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5. After a couple of hours it should be solid enough to hold the graham cracker crumbles & chopped blueberries you made earlier. Fold these in. After a few hours of taking out, stirring & freezing again, it should be ok to leave it alone & freeze overnight.

6. Enjoy!

Home made jam!

Yes, I’m posting recipes now haha. I’m sooo all over the place over here, fully aware. But I think I’m gonna try to stick to DIY stuff of all sorts on here. Sooo here’s my first one, for my sis. Home made jam.

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INGREDIENTS
1 LB of fruit of your choice (I used a mix of blueberries & raspberries here)
1 C sugar
1/2 C water
1/2 lemon

STEPS
1. Blend fruit & water until liquified
2. In a medium saucepan boil all ingredients over medium heat. There will be frothy stuff forming at the top. Scoop this out so you get a nice clear jam!
3. When it starts to thicken (after about 20-40 minutes) it’s done! It’ll be a little runnier than normal jam, totally thickening once cool. Something like this…

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There you have it. Easy peasy home made jam.

6 Months

I just re-read my birth story that I typed up on a forum I frequently visit. I can NOT believe it’s already been 6 months (well, a week shy but who’s counting!?)

Has the time really gone by so quickly? Being a first time mommy can be a big adjustment & it’s sometimes so overwhelming. But re-reading this just makes me realize even more how much I have to appreciate every second.

Side note: but my poor little guy is finally sick for the first time ever! He’s so congested & can’t stop coughing :( feel so sorry for him.

Anyway, here’s my super long birth story full of acronyms that maybe no one will understand unless they google it. Ha!

Some back story… My entire pregnancy my son has been measuring “big”. I was reassured that I wouldn’t hear any talk of induction or anything by one of the OB’s in my clinic until my EDD of 11/13. At my 37th week check up on 10/25 I was ordered to get an EFW ultrasound. I went in for the ultrasound on the 30th & was told baby measured 9lbs. I knew that at my next OB appointment there was a high chance I’d have to deal with talks of induction to prevent him getting too big for me to deliver. Finally my appointment rolls around on the 1st & my OB was running hours late due to the storm so I asked to leave after having my urine, & bp taken. Before I left they told me the NP needed to talk to me. Lo & behold she was worried about the EFW & said I might need a c-section! Not even an early induction or anything just jumped straight to c-section. I told her I did not want that at all & she said she just wanted me to know it may be something to think about but that I should wait to talk to my OB & asked if I could come in again on Monday (the 5th). I made my appointment & went home devastated. Even though I knew it was my decision & that it was not a huge deal, I hated the fact that I would likely have to fight for my NUCB & that I actually let the scare tactics get to me & make me wish he would just be ready to come already, even though I was still a little over a week from my EDD.

I head to my appointment on Monday dreading talking to my OB but ready to stand my ground. As soon as she sat down with DH & I. She made it very clear that while it is my choice, she did not personally feel I was putting my baby or myself in any danger if I wanted to try for a vaginal birth. I was thrilled! She was honest about the risks but admitted that ultrasounds are often off & that I was not even in as high risk of a category to talk about c-sections. She said we would revisit the conversation if I go a week past my due date & sent me home with the advice to walk a lot & have a lot of sex haha. I hadn’t been checked yet since I thought it was pretty pointless, but I asked her to check because I wanted to start doing things at home to move things along but only wanted to do it if I had at least some progress. I was between 3-4 cm, 70% effaced & at -2 station. She made an appointment for next Monday but said I would likely be having him in the next couple of days. I was so excited!

All of the rest of the day I had strong contractions, but I figured it was just from having my cervix checked. Tuesday rolls around & I had no contractions at all, all day. I know it had literally been a day since talking with my OB but I irrationally went to bed around midnight, really bummed thinking that he may very well still not be anywhere near ready.

I woke up around 1 AM to a very strong contraction. I had been having them at night for the past couple of weeks so thought nothing of it. Then I suddenly felt a gush of water & it wasn’t such a large amount. I wasn’t sure if it was my plug or if I had broken my water, but when I got up to check I felt another gush & knew it was the real deal. I couldn’t believe it! Since I didn’t really have any major contractions by then, I thought I’d have some time before having to head out. I woke up DH & he excitedly wanted to go straight to the hospital. But I told him I still felt fine & wanted to take a shower first. So we took a quick shower & that’s when my contractions started to really kick in. I tested GBS+ so I knew I couldn’t take too long & decided I should just get ready to go now. I got dressed & had DH call my OB to let her know my water had broken & I would be coming in. The hospital is only 15 minutes away but with my contractions having seriously picked up, it felt like an eternity before getting there. We checked in at 2:18 & was taken to my room right away. The OB on call came in to check me & I was at a 5. My contractions were so awful I couldn’t believe it! I had to be hooked up to the IV to receive antibiotics. It was torture being stuck in the bed & dealing with contractions. I had declined the epidural & I was totally fine between contractions but as they progressed I found myself doubting myself. I couldn’t focus & couldn’t practice any of the hypnobabies techniques I had studied, everything went out the window. But my husband kept encouraging me & telling me I was doing great. At one point I totally lost it & couldn’t catch my breath at all. I don’t remember all of this but my husband says I asked for something to relieve the pain, just not the epidural. I had told him before not to let me change my mind at all because I knew there was a chance it would happen when I actually went into labor. He kept telling me I could do it & I think the nurses & OB were getting angry & told him he had no right to choose for me. But I’m so glad that he did his best to help me get the birth that I wanted. I had no concept of time at this point but I was checked again & I was at a 7. I still had a hard time focusing on my breathing & it caused LO’s heartrate to drop to the 70s. I had no idea any of this was happening, all I could focus on was trying to make it through past each contraction. It was getting to the point where I was at risk of c-section not for his size but because I couldn’t get it together with my breathing. At that point I was given oxygen & DH talked to me & told me I had to breathe so that our baby could breathe. It was all it took to get me to work harder than I’d ever worked in my life & just breathe deeply & slowly. Next time I was checked I was at a 9. At this point my body started pushing on it’s own. I couldn’t believe how much pressure I felt & how I just could not stop myself from pushing. Finally I got to 10 & was told I could actively push. It took 3 pushes & less than 15 minutes until he was here. I didn’t really feel the ring of fire & I had 2nd degree tearing but I didn’t really feel that either. Pushing was such a relief other than one part that really hurt, probably when I tore.

Little Jean arrived on 11/7/12, 3:42 AM. It was less than four hours from the time my water broke to the time he arrived. He was 8 lbs & 2 oz, 21″ long. I am so beyond in love with him & so happy to finally have him here. Although it was crazy intense & nothing like I had imagined, I wouldn’t change my experience for anything. I’m so grateful & happy that my DH was able to support me & not let me completely lose sight of what I had wanted for so long. Although I almost caved, I’m so proud of myself for being able to say that I got my NUCB after all!