Sunday, November 24, 2013


It has been a long time since I made cheese cake.  I have been looking at this recipe from the Wheat Belly book and decided to make it.  It turned out really well and the DH had seconds.  Instead of using ground pecans for the crust, you could use ground walnuts or almonds.  I used pecans.  You can also make this into a chocolate cheesecake by adding 1/2 cup cocoa powder to the filling.  As with cheesecakes, you can add berries, chocolate shavings or fruit preserves when serving.   I baked this cheesecake in a convection oven and for the last ten minutes I lowered the heat to 300 degrees F.


1 1/2 cups of ground pecans
1/3 cup splenda
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
6 tbsp butter, melted and cooled
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract

16 oz light cream cheese, room temperature
3/4 cup sour cream
1/2 cup splenda
dash of sea salt
3 eggs
juice of one lemon 
1 tbsp grated lemon rind
2 tsp vanilla extract


Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. 

Making the crust:  Combine the ground pecans, splenda and cinnamon in a large bowl.  Combine.  Add the egg, butter and vanilla.  Mix thoroughly.  Press the crumb mixture into the bottom of a 10 inch pie plate.  Spread the crumb mixture 1 1/2 to 2 inches up the sides of the pan.

Making the filling:  Combine the cream cheese, sour cream, splenda and salt in a large bowl.  Blend well.  Add the eggs, lemon juice, zest and vanilla.  Using an electric mixer, beat at low speed for a minute to blend.   

Pour the filing into the crust.  Bake for about 50 minutes until nearly firm in the center.  Cool the cheesecake on a rack.  Chill before serving.   Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Sunday, November 17, 2013


We have had to make some adjustments to how toilet paper is provided in the bathrooms in our home.  This is not a new issue in this household.  I wrote a column about it a few years ago describing the dog's toilet paper fetish.  When the dog was younger, his desire to run around with a toilet paper roll in his mouth caused some minor renovations to be done on the bathroom.  I also admit that I have a toilet paper fetish.  When there are less than six rolls left in the house you would think there is a major crisis going to happen.  That is a rare occurrence as I am usually on top of monitoring the supply and restocking the stash of toilet paper.

Toilet paper is bought in bulk - either a 24 or 36 roll package.  A few rolls are kept in each of the bathroom cabinets while the rest is stored in the basement.  This Spring I noticed that the toilet paper and paper towels being stored in the basement were bearing marks of something trying to shred the packaging.  The packaging was being torn and the paper towels were starting to get shredded.  After dealing with throwing out some of the rolls, we purchased two large rubbermaid storage totes and one was used for storing paper towels and the second one for toilet paper.  I thought I fixed this one.  I outsmarted the invisible paper towel and toilet paper culprit.  Of course I knew who the culprit was.  He has four legs, has fur and weighs about 14 pounds or so.

The toilet paper fetish moved from the basement to the bathroom.  We would find shredded toilet paper on the floors of the bathrooms and a good part of the paper from the roll would be lying on the floor.  After this occurred a number of times, my patience was becoming limited.  The toilet paper came off of the holder and was placed on top of the toilet tank.  I now have a new decorative bathroom accessory that hangs on the wall and has no purpose.

The new bathroom accessory. 
That change didn't deter the culprit.  The shredding continued.  I had to make decorating changes.  The question was how to store the toilet paper roll in the bathroom and make it accessible to the user.

Rubbermaid has many uses.
Plastic containers are not just for storing food.  They have many uses.  This particular container is one I have had for years and it is round and nicely holds the roll.  I could't find a similar container for the other rolls in the other bathrooms when searching multiple stores.  Square containers are the norm these days so I bought square containers and have to squeeze the toilet paper roll into the container when using a new roll so that the lid can be snapped on.  After the roll gets used and smaller in width, the challenge disappears.  

I hope the culprit doesn't maintain this fetish for too long and bathroom life can return back to normal.
The culprit.

Saturday, November 9, 2013


I posted a vegetable soup a few years ago with black beans.  This recipe is a bit different.  It does not include corn and uses less black beans.  It is a good recipe to make for lunches and of course I will be taking this soup to work as part of my lunch.  I used my pressure cooker to make this soup and cooked it for 17 minutes.


1 - 19 oz can of black beans, rinsed and drained
2 onions, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, minced or finely chopped
2 stalks of celery, chopped
1 tbsp oil
3 medium sized carrots, chopped
2 -3 zucchini, chopped
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp cumin
8 cups of chicken or vegetable stock
salt and pepper to taste


Heat oil in a large soup pot.  Add onions, garlic and celery and saute for five minutes on medium high heat.  Lower heat if vegetables are started to brown.  Add a little bit of water if vegetables are sticking.

Add beans, carrots, zucchini, broth and spices.  Cover and simmer for about an hour.  Stir occasionally.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Makes 8 servings.

Adapted from Meal Lean i Yumm by Noreen Gilletz

Saturday, November 2, 2013


I recently bought the Wheat Belly Cookbook.  It has a number of interesting recipes.  I modified one of the recipes and made muffins using a loaf recipe.  I also made some substitutions.  Instead of using dates, nutmeg and cloves, I used chopped prunes and all spice.  The muffins turned out great.

Prune Nut Muffins


1 1/3 cup almond meal/flour
1/3 cup ground flaxseed
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp nutmeg
¼ tsp cloves
½ tsp salt
¾ cup chopped pitted prunes, chopped
½ cup pecans, chopped
2 eggs
1 egg white
¼ cup oil or melted butter
½ cup milk or buttermilk


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease a 12 cup muffin tin or use paper liners.

In a large bowl, mix the almond meal, flaxseed, baking powder and soda, spices and salt.  Add the nuts and prunes.  Stir to combine.

In a smaller bowl, combine the eggs, egg whites, oil or butter and milk and beat lightly.

Pour the egg mixture into the flour mixture and mix to combine.  Spoon in the muffin tin cups.  Bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until done. 

Modified from The Wheat Belly Cookbook