Tuesday, October 28

Pumpkin Cheesecake! Need I say more?

When I embarked on this low carb lifestyle I was a bit concerned about how I would do without things like cakes, cookies, bread, pasta and rice. Those have always been staples in my diet and not having them had never crossed my mind.
Do I miss those things? Of course. But, to be honest, I don't crave them on a regular basis. I love everything that I eat and I love how this diet makes me feel, so the tradeoff is more than worth it for me.

I had a new A1c test done about 2 weeks ago and it had gone down from 7.2 to 5.9!!! So, obviously, my diabetic blood is responding to my onslaught.

So, are you craving a good, low carb dessert that won't wreak havoc on your bloodsugar? Pumpkin cheesecake is your friend. I have always loved pumpkin pie and whatever genius thought of combining cheesecake and pumpkin pie deserves some sort of award.

I got my recipe off of recipezaar and modified it to make it low carb. Most cheesecakes sport a graham cracker crust and this one was no exception. To make it low carb, I used almonds and unsweetened coconut:

I pulsed them in my food processor until they were very fine. Then combined the two 'flours' with about 1/4 cup of butter and a bit of splenda and pressed it into the bottom of a springform pan:

Pop it into a 350 degree oven for about 10 minutes and then take it out and let it cool.

Now for the cheesecake. So simple guys! Start with your creamcheese:

That's over a pound of cheese! Yum! Combine the Philidelphia with 1 cup of Splenda and vanilla extract and beat it until it's smooth.

To this mix add 1 cup of gorgeous orange pumpkin:

Add 3 eggs, a pinch of cinnamon, nutmeg and all spice:

Mix it until it is smooth, occaisionally spatula-ing the sides of the mixer so it's all well blended, and pour it into the springform pan:

Pop it in the same 350 degree oven your crust was in and bake it for about 50-65 minutes, or until a knife inserts cleanly.

That's it! It really is so easy and it is absolutly delicious! I had a slice and topped it with homemade whipped cream with cinnamon:

What's NOT to love????

Sunday, October 19

You know it's getting cold in Norway when...

the little dogs have to put on their jackets to go for walks.

Usually, I am against dogs wearing clothes. I think it's disrespectful to Chihuahuas to dress them in tutus, paint their nails and dye their hair. My sister forwarded me a blog once called 'Seriously, get this sweater off of me', and I laughed so hard. It's true. If you are easily offended by Chihuahua's using the 'F' word, don't click on the link, but if not, READ IT, cause it is funny.

I have to admit, that my little dogs have taken me by surprise. I am a retriever kind of gal. Grew up with one Lab after another. So when we decided to get dogs that would be good apartment dogs, we took a chance on the chihuahuas. I was hesitant and frankly expected them to be shaky, snappy, yappy dogs. I couldn't have been more wrong. These kids are hilarious and just all around great dogs!

Part of the reason why I think they are so great is that we actually treat them like DOGS, and not accessories. However, due to climate fluctuations, there are times when the dogs need some clothes on. Especially Flash. He's our little white dog. A shorthaired 5.5 pound chihuahua. He actually has to wear LAYERS. I feel sorry for Flash when we get him dressed, he actually LOOKS embarassed. He just does not like to wear clothes. Elly on the other hand LOVES it. The funny thing is, Elly is a long hair chihuahua and really doesn't need any clothes until winter when the snows come, but when she sees Flash getting clothes on, she will throw a FIT if she doesn't get to wear a sweater. Seriously. It is bizarre. She will run around in circles grunting and whining until you put a sweater on her. No amount of telling her to be quiet or trying to reason with her that she doesn't NEED a sweater will shut her up! So, whatever, right? Here's your damn sweater.

So, you know it's gettting cold in Norway when the dogs are wearing clothes:

Thursday, October 9

In which we remember

Today would have been my father's 63rd birthday.

I suppose it will get easier not making that phone call or sending that card that I had become so accustomed to.

I just wonder when.

I know I have posted this image before, but man, it really just captures my father's spirit so clearly. To me, it is joy personified:

Happy Birthday, Dad.

Thursday, October 2

The great potato harvest brings us to the end

Well, it is FALL in Norway. The huge curtain of ivy along the wall of our apartment building is turning from green to yellow to blazing red. Christopher took a shot of it:

It's getting cold, not quite freezing, but close. Cold enough for me to whip out various NorthFace and cashmere clothing items.

My little balcony garden proved to be quite the little producer! I got carrots, beans, tomatoes, salad greens and herbs. Not bad for a first attempt! However, things were winding down, but there was still one thing left to harvest.

The great potato bag.

I've had my eye on it for quite sometime, and given my tendency to pull or dig things up prematurely, that dang bag has been driving me INSANE with curiosity! Christopher did catch me digging around it in one time in August, and I did find a tiny little potato, and then I swore to leave it alone (and I did).

Well, I thought since it was clearly fall it was high time to bust that bag open! I had visions of a bag full of tubers, pounds of potatoes I could share with friends, buttery mashed potatoes or little new potatoes sauteed in butter and dill.

So, Christopher and I started digging.

and digging.

and digging.

ummmm, where were all of the potatoes??

I admit, my success as a first time gardener has made me a bit cocky, I was fully expecting this bag to be FULL of taters.

But, after digging through almost half of the bag and not finding anything, I was getting a little alarmed.

Then, I found one!!!

Finding this little gem reinvigorated us and we resumed the ravishing of the potato bag with a renewed interest...

But in the end, there were only a handful of potatoes to be had:

I was still excited though! I mean, I MADE potatoes!!! We had a lot of tiny ones, and a few good size ones as well.

So, this concludes our great big gardening journey of 2008!

How lovely is the silence of growing things...