Recipe Friday

October 5, 2012

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Okay, I’m over it.  I mean, I’m really, really over it.  This week has had more ups and downs than Kirstie Alley’s weight.  I’ve had to deal with some life challenges that have forced me to step back and own up to my role in life — I’m an adult.  For so long I’ve felt like I’ve been playing at it. I’ve been delighted when I’ve been mistaken for a teenager, when people who card me look at the date in disbelief.  The truth is, I haven’t seen my teens in about 15 years.  
Anyway, this week saw the changing of the guard yet again. My mom headed back to her house Tuesday, but my mother-in-law came wasn’t able to come in until Wednesday afternoon.  I called in some more favors and had a neighbor stay with Vivi while I ran carpool in the am.  I totally spaced that Mo had early release that day and finagled a playdate for her that involved the alignment of the planets, consulting Poor Richard’s Almanac, and sacrificing two chickens to get all of that straight.  Co had a full day, and between stints with the sitter, I was home alone on baby duty.  If everything is in arm’s reach, I’m good to go on feeding and changing.  But I forgot to have the sitter take Vivi out of the swing before she left.  I had diapers, wipes, bottles, and no baby.  I won’t get into how I MacGuyver-ed the bouncy seat to the swing, put her in it and got it all back to the command center that is the overstuffed chair and ottoman.  Suffice it to say, we made it without incident, though I’m not anxious to repeat it. 
Because I’m so hard-headed, it absolutely kills me to have to ask for help when I want to do things for myself.  Yes, I know that I’m down to one leg and that both of my hands are constantly full of crutch handles, but I. CAN.DO. IT. MYSELF.  
I really can’t, though.  I’m trying, but I need help.  And you have no idea how hard it is for me to cough up that nugget of truth.  Really, the hardest part of going up the stairs on one knee and down the stairs on my butt is that big lump of pride I have to traverse.  That coupled with the fact that I’m exhausted by the effort (but would die if anyone knew it) is beyond frustrating. 
I have a sorority sister who is dealing with her own recuperation from a slip and fall. She says she’s got her angry days and I told her, she took the words right out of my mouth.  At first there were a few pity parties, but the anger gave way.  One day, the hubs found me lying on the floor of the closet surrounded by a pile of pants that I couldn’t get over my cast.

“Did you fall? Are you okay?” he asked, panic tingeing his voice.

“Yeah,” I sighed.  “I’m alright. I’m just getting dressed.”
When I finally did peel myself off the floor, I had on pants that fit over the cast and over the tummy.  Six weeks with no exercise except bicep curls of the hand-to-mouth variety can have disastrous results.  The pants were on and they fit? Double win.

I feel like Harvey Two-Face about the whole thing.  I’m vacillating between being so.freaking.mad. and so extraordinarily grateful.  I mean, how would you feel seeing all of your laundry clean and folded, but then realizing your mother-in-law folded your thong underwear?  Yeah. Think on that.

I know that I have SO much for which to be grateful:

1. family and friends who have rallied around to help me.
2. good medical care.
3. the fact that my foot is still attached.
4. the cast is coming off in 2 weeks, not 6.
5. the muscles in my upper body, left leg and butt are going to be so well toned
But then, when someone asks me how I’m doing, I feel more like this. . .
SN: about the cast.  When my brother was in high school, he broke his leg playing basketball.  Something going up for a rebound, tripping over a shoelace, yadda, yadda, yadda. . .broken leg.  I was about 9 or 10 at the time and I thought the whole cast/crutches thing was the coolest thing ever.  His friends had decorated his cast and wrote all kinds of messages. He got out of doing chores. In my pre-teen opinion, he’d hit the motherlode.  Now, having had the experience myself, let me tell you, this shiggity ain’t fun at all.  There’s a big difference between having a broken leg in high school, when you live at home with your parents and your biggest responsibility is doing your homework and walking the dog and having a broken leg as a grown woman with a family and a household to run.  When it all went down, when I tripped over the bag and saw the blood. I was like, “Ugh, I don’t have time for this! “.  In my head, I was all. . .

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Don’t get me wrong.  There have been lots of positives. I’ve gotten to have quality time with Vivi, with my mom and with my mother–in-law. I’ve been able to catch up on my writing here on the blog, and on my yet-to-be-made-public microblog.  I’m tumblr addicted and I admit it. 
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I started tweeting. I’ve been insta.gramming. I made several playlists on Spotify. I’ve read books. I’ve organized the girls winter clothes. I cleaned out my bathroom cabinets. I’ve caught up on my correspondence, writing birthday cards, thinking of you cards, condolence cards, and thank you cards.  One day, there were flowers delivered.  A few days later, this was on my doorstep (cue the Hallelujah chorus!).

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Thank you, thank you, cool KC! Those cupcakes were (yes, they’re gone) right on time and delicious.  As to your note about being torn between the cupcakes and chocolate covered bacon? Really, there’s no wrong answer there.  Maybe I need to mashup the two and do french toast maple bacon cupcakes with chocolate shavings. . .mmmm. . .bacon cupcakes.  Must.start.looking.

While I won’t delay this post any longer as I search for the holy grail of baked goods, I will leave you with a fall themed goodie that I really want to make once I can maneuver around the kitchen on both feet.  You know how I feel about pumpkin; I hope I get to indulge the season has passed. And of course, if anyone is feeling ambitious enough to make these and then drop them off at my house for a sampling, I’m more than happy to oblige! I promise to put my huge stick away.  

Happy Friday, y’all!
Update! Found it!  Click here.
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Mini Pumpkin Cheesecakes
Courtesy of Life {Made} SimpleIngredients
1 package (8 oz) Original Philadelphia Cream Cheese, room temperature
½ c. pumpkin puree
¼ c. + 2 tbsp. sugar
1 egg
2 tsp. milk
¼ tsp. vanilla
¼ tsp. cinnamon
¼ tsp. pumpkin pie spice (or allspice)
¹⁄₈ tsp. nutmeg

For the crust:
8 gingersnap cookies
1 graham cracker
1½  tbsp. melted butter
1½ tsp. brown sugar
¼ c. pecans
pinch of salt

For the vanilla bean whipped cream:
1 c. heavy cream
1 tbsp. granulated sugar
Seeds from ¼ a vanilla bean

Pumpkin pie spice for garnish

DIRECTIONS:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a mini cheesecake pan with baking spray. Set aside.
2. In the bowl of a food processor, grind all ingredients for crust, except for the melted butter. The mixture should resemble slightly coarse crumbs. Remove mixture and pour melted butter over. Mix until crumbs are wet. Press into the bottom of each hole. Place in oven and bake for 10 minutes.
3. While crust is baking prepare filling beating together cream cheese, sugar and pumpkin puree until smooth. Add spices, vanilla, heavy cream and egg. Mix until just combined.
4. Pour filling over each crust, dividing evenly. Place in oven and bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and cool in pan for 20 minutes before removing cheesecakes (yes your cheesecakes will sink a little, this is normal).
5. Remove cheesecakes from pan using the bottom of a wooden spoon. Using a butter knife, remove metal bottoms and place cheesecakes in an airtight container. Refrigerate for 2 hours before serving.
6. While cheesecakes are cooling, prepare vanilla bean whipped cream by fitting a chilled mixing bowl into your stand mixer. Add heavy cream, sugar and scraped vanilla bean seeds. Using the whisk attachment beat on high for 2-3 minutes until stiff peaks begin to form. Return to refrigerator until cheesecakes are ready to be served.

7. To assemble, using a mesh sieve, lightly dust cheesecakes with pumpkin pie spice before or after topping with a swirl of whipped cream. Enjoy!

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