21 December 2008

Sugar-LESS Cheesecake


Every Christmas has a challenge. Previous years have seen Norwalk outbreaks, flooded basements, and the oven breaking (necessitating our cooking chicken over the wood stove in the basement). This year, it is making Christmas as diabetic friendly as possible.

So I've been looking around the 'net at diabetic recipes, normal recipes, and plugging everything in to some of the more reputable recipe analyzers to come out with a desert that will make the family happy, but not raise their blood sugar. In a strange incident where Lady Murphy seemed to be absent, I've hit upon a near success right off the bat. Well... not so much near success, as success that I can see tweaking just a smidge for next time.

This cheesecake recipe is based on Anna Olsen's Honey Yogurt Cheesecake. I'm emphasizing the less in sugarless here because there is still sugar in the graham cracker topping, and the raspberries. But, these are well within an allowable intake according to the Diabetes Association information that my Dad has received.

2 c. 1% Yogurt (plain, balkan style is good)
2 c. low fat Ricotta cheese

Mix these together and place in a strainer lined with paper towel, perched over a bowl. Refrigerate for 24 hours, emptying the bowl of liquid every so often. In 24 hours you'll have a very thick mixture of yogurt and cheese. NOTE: I did this for less than 24 hours... and it turned out way less custardy then I would have liked. Best just think ahead and go the full 24.

Add to the yogurt and cheese mixture:

1/4 c. granular Splenda (or less if you aren't fussy on the Splenda tang)
zest of a lemon
splash of vanilla
1 large egg

Blend this until nice and smooth with a spoon or whisk. Evenly divide amongst 12 lightly greased muffin tins. Bake at 325 F for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 30 minutes, then refrigerate for at least a couple of hours.

In the meanwhile, thaw and mash up some frozen raspberries. Squish these through as fine a strainer you have to get rid of most of the seeds (or not... I just hate getting raspberry seeds stuck in my teeth). If the raspberries are super tart, add some Splenda to taste if you like.

Also, crush up enough graham crackers to equal one cracker per person (so 12 if you are going to be serving all 12 cakes). Add a little melted butter until crumbly, spread on a small sheet pan and toast for 5 minutes (or less... don't burn it).

Once the little cheesecakes have been chilled in their tin, run a knife around the edges, and then turn them out onto a cutting board (just easier than using a plate or platter).

Just before serving, place a cheesecake on a plate, drizzle with the raspberry mixture (about a tablespoon does the trick), and top with some graham cracker crumble.

Voila! Your very own little cheesecake measuring up to 139 calories, 8.3 g of protein, 6.3 g of fat, 6 g of sugar, and 1.3 g of fibre.

19 December 2008

Snowmaggedon? Wimps.

So, now that southern Ontario is getting a snow storm, the media is dubbing the little-more-than-a-foot of accumulation "Snowmaggedon". Pshaw... where were they when central Ontario, specifically the Haliburton Highlands, got 24 hours and over 18" of the white stuff?? Seriously journos... come up where I live... where real winter has been here for 4 weeks already.

To steal my sisters wit: Madness? THIS.... IS.... WINTER!!!!!!

That isn't to say I don't see the humour in Snowmaggedon. It is funny...

And the snow is a royal pain in the ass. I was really happy this morning to not have to brush off the car and scrape ice of the windshield. The snow falling right now is really light and fluffy... the kind that is super easy to move around, but kicks up when you're driving and makes it hard to see. Last week it was really heavy and sticky... the kind that soaks into your trouser cuffs and boots and makes your feet cold for the whole ride home.

I got off work early today because the college I work for shut down. It was pretty funny because it was actually the two main campuses to the south that shut down, and made everyone else shut down with them. Everyone in Haliburton just sort of looked around and went "and this is unlike any other day up here how?" These are people who drive to work along a windy road with hills when there is a foot of snow on it with ice underneath.

*sigh* But I don't work there anymore. I'm off to other things... specifically Western's MLIS program in January. I'm not relishing the drive to London in January... but I am looking forward to being down in the cultural mecca of southwestern Ontario... and being somewhere I can perhaps go out on a date with someone who I don't have to do a genealogical background check on.

Do have to say though, I am looking forward to Christmas. Not for the presents, but for the time off with my family and cousins. Oh, and that brings us to the food part of the blog... there was a food theme wasn't there?

Turns out Dad has type II diabetes. Went to the hospital for a stomach bug (which turned out to be just your run of the mill oh-please-kill-me-now stomach bug), and came back with metformin and an information package. So, this is going to be a sugar-less Christmas, which has me trolling the web for new recipes and ingredients to create diabetic-friendly desserts. I'm going to do some experimenting this weekend, so expect a blog entry on that soon!