Recipes the Second

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This recipe is certainly silly. It says to separate the eggs, but it doesn’t say how far to separate them. –Gracie Allen

It’s about time we started cooking again, don’t you think? Let’s start with dessert, because we’re all adults and we can.

I ran across this recipe by accident: Minute Microwave Cheesecake from www.yourlighterside.com. You can go look at if you want, but I have a couple things to say first before I talk about.

I’m all for having more low carb recipes. I’m really impressed with a lot of what she’s managed to create on this website. Obviously she’s got some wicked kitchen skills. But I have three problems with her recipes, in general. First, she’s ok with low-fat stuff. Her first note on this recipe is that you can use low-fat cream cheese and sour cream if you want. As you know if you’ve read anything on this blog, I think that’s ridiculous. The right kind of fat–lard, bacon fat, coconut oil, tallow, the drippings from little fat lambs–is your friend. Fat fills you up, aids your weight loss and is GOOD FOR YOU. Eat it. Eat it ALL.

Pardon me, I’ve got to get some butter

Ok, I’m back. The second problem I have is her use of fake sweeteners. I’ve discussed this before, but let’s review. First, fake sweeteners keep your cravings for sugar and starch alive and well. Keep using them, and you may never reach the point where you can happily go weeks without dying for a piece of candy or a pretzel. Break with sweet stuff entirely–at least for a few months–and you may break the cycle of cravings forever. Really. It’s at least worth giving it a shot.

I also have a problem with fake sweeteners because your body is not fooled by them. It knows–specifically the taste buds in your intestines know–that Splenda and Stevia are sweet, and they prompt you to secrete insulin just like sugar. That’s why artificial sweeteners have a bad track record with weight loss. Everybody says so… I also don’t like them because they’re chemicals. I don’t enjoy eating things created in labs. I’d rather splurge once in a while on something with real sugar than regularly ingest stuff like that. And, yes, I know sugar has been chemically altereted and everything. But I just don’t eat it that much–I never did–and I don’t have time to go chop down the sugar cane by myself. I can handle the bit of sugar that’s in dark chocolate, for example.

(Then why the sweet recipes, you ask? Because people keep asking me for them. I don’t eat much sweet, but when I do, it’s stuff like this.)

But to each his own. Sugar never bothered me much. I hardly ever ate it. Never loved sweet things all that much. What was killing me were the stupid whole grain breads and the skim milk and fruit smoothies.

Finally, I’m not a fan of trying to recreate every starchy food you ate back when you thought eating grains was good for you. I put this last because this is a personal things. Perhaps there are some people who genuinely find they have no more cravings for pizza because they can eat cauiiflower crust pizza. I just don’t eat pizza at all, and…know what? All cravings for pizza went away some time ago. The people I know who keep trying to make biscuits without flour and pizza without dough and cake without sugar? They are all struggling really hard to resist eating sugary, starchy things all the time. “Oh, it’s a special occasion, I should eat a slice of cake.” “We hardly ever come to this restaurant, I’ll just have some bread.” They don’t believe me when I tell them I don’t have the slightest interest in that cinnamon bun; but it’s true. I don’t. As soon as I learned that the stuff I thought was keeping me healthy (whole grain bread, tons of fruit and vegetables, low fat foods) were actually what was hurting me, I just gave up every piece of fruit and every pinch of grain and anything and everything that looked like and tasted like them for three months, and now I don’t crave them at all. It may not work this way for everyone, but it has worked for everyone I know who has tried it.

So that being said, I thought this recipe had potential but needed some help. It needed a way to make it just a smidge sweet, but without artifical sweetner. And of course it needed lots of fat, and it needed crunch.

So here’s what I did. First, I grated half a bar of very dark chocolate into a glass microwave bowl. I…very carefully…melted it down. Then I increased the cream cheese to 2 1/2 oz and the sour cream to 2 1/2 T. I did add both lemon juice and my homemade vanilla and the egg, as she suggests. I whipped this in with the chocolate till it was thoroughly mixed. I took it out frequently to mix it as it was cooking. Then I put in the fridge overnight. Overnight is the key, folks. It makes everything come together and gives it a better cheesecake texture.

The next day I whipped up some pure cream (almost like butter in consistency, and much higher in fat than normal whipping cream) with some lemon juice. Then I put some grated coconut in the bottom of small mug, scooped the chocolate mixture on top, topped it with a few blueberries and a big scoop of the whipped cream, with a few more pieces of shredded coconut on top. (I should also mention that this “one-cup” serving, when you add the little extra cream cheese and sour cream and use pure cream, made three servings for us. So that half a chocolate bar was not eaten by one person at one sitting. One serving was 1/6th of the chocolate bar, or about 2 squares..)

I liked this. It was very, very good. Raspberries would have been better than blueberries, but I didn’t have any.

Naturally I had to then try it with peanut butter. I left out the lemon juice, decreased the cream cheese just a bit and added about 3 T of natural peanut butter. I left the pure cream plain on this one, too. I wanted a crunch to go with it, so I ground up almonds in a coffee grinder, mixed them with enough butter to make them the consistency of dough, pressed them in tiny individual foil tart things and baked them for a few minutes. Then I scooped the peanut butter and the whipped cream on top. Of course it sat overnight as well. This was also very delicious, though much less sweet than the first one.

I had leftover ground almonds.  I sensed The Roommate was getting bored, so I went to make something different for a snack. Something filling but not sweet (other than a little natural sweetness in the almonds and coconut). So I made:

Almond Butter Coconut Things

Grind some raw almonds in a coffee grinder or something similar

Mix in butter. How much butter? However much you like

Form into patties, roll in egg white and shredded coconut

Fry in coconut oil

I had a little leftover peanut butter cream cheese stuff, so a dollop of that went onto these. Our favorite thing all week.

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