Chocolate swirl cheesecake (Diabetic friendly)

I am always on the search for yummy desserts that are lower in fat, sugar and calories.  I have tried many, but have not posted them because I have thrown them away.  There is no sense in wasting my time posting something I think is not good.  However, I just happened to find this yummy Diabetic chocolate swirl cheesecake recipe as I was googling stuff, and it looked pretty good, so I gave it a whirl! I found this recipe at The Diabetic Gourmet Magazine website.

It received RAVE reviews from my BFF The Newyorican, as well as The Genius (who is a picky 13 year old).  Bluebell and I enjoyed it also, although I must admit I put some sugar free chocolate sauce on mine…..

 Chocolate Swirl Cheesecake
Yield: 16 servings
Ingredients
Crust Ingredients:
•    1-1/4 cups vanilla wafer crumbs
•    4 tablespoons stick butter or margarine, melted
•    2 tablespoons Equal ® Spoonful or Granulated* (I used Splenda baking mix)
Cheesecake Ingredients:
•    3 packages (8 ounces each) reduced-fat cream cheese, softened
•    3/4 cup Equal ® Spoonful or Granulated** (I used Splenda Baking Mix)
•    2 eggs
•    2 egg whites
•    2 tablespoons cornstarch
•    1 cup reduced fat sour cream
•    1 teaspoon vanilla
•    1 ounce unsweetened chocolate, melted, slightly cooled
•    1 tablespoon fat-free milk
•    Chocolate curls (optional)
* May substitute 3 packets Equal sweetener
* May substitute 3 packets Equal sweetener
** May substitute 18 packets Equal sweetener
Directions
1.    For Crust, mix vanilla wafer crumbs, butter and 2 tablespoons Equal®. Press onto bottom and 1/2-inch up side of a 9-inch springform pan. Bake in preheated 325F oven 10 minutes. Cool on wire rack while preparing cheesecake.
2.    For Cheesecake, beat cream cheese and 3/4 cup Equal® in mixing bowl on medium speed of mixer until smooth and well combined. Mix in eggs, egg whites and cornstarch. Fold in sour cream and vanilla until combined. Remove 1/2 cup cheesecake batter. Pour remaining batter over baked crust.
3.    Add melted chocolate and fat-free milk to 1/2 cup reserved cheesecake batter; mix well. Place spoonfuls of chocolate mixture on top of cheesecake. Using tip of knife or spatula, gently swirl chocolate batter into cheesecake.
4.    Bake in preheated oven 45 to 50 minutes or until center of cake is almost set. Cool on wire rack. Gently run metal spatula around rim of pan to loosen cake. Let cheesecake cool completely. Cover and refrigerate several hours or overnight before serving. To serve, remove side of pan. Garnish top of cheesecake with chocolate curls, if desired. Cut cake into
wedges.
 
Easy to make, delicious and low sugar! Can’t beat that!!!
 
Nutritional Information (Per Serving)
Calories:  164
Protein:  7 g
Sodium: 235 mg
Cholesterol: 57 mg
Fat: 11 g    Carbohydrates: 8 g
Exchanges: 1 milk, 2 fat
Ingredients for Diabetic swirl cheesecake
Low Fat Nilla wafer crust.
Cheesecake mix in the bowl.
After combining chocolate and regular batter, swirl with a butter knife.
After baking.
yum!  (Bluebell will Spackle the wall and put in new back splash)
The NewYorRican approves!!!
Easy to make, delicious and low sugar! Can’t beat that!!!
 
 

It is hard to be a stepparent of a troubled teen.

So I am having a VERY hard time thinking of something funny to write about. I have wracked my brain. I just can’t come up with anything even remotely funny going on in my life right now. Maybe if I tell you all that is going on you could help me…..

Let’s see, actually, if I do that, it will just depress you all as much as it depresses me. I have come to the conclusion after much drama, that apparently I am a minority. I have done research on the internet looking for people like me. Looking for help, looking for support groups. I have not been successful so far. It is hard to describe. I believe there are thousands of people like me, but I don’t think anyone is willing to admit it. We will be ostracized. We will make people angry. Don’t rock the boat……just suffer in silence to keep the peace……
I kid you not, when I do research looking for my people, I come up empty handed.  I mean come on, seriously people???  Even people looking for their African ancestors will have more databases to peruse than people like me.  So have piqued your curiosity yet?  Are you wondering what in the heck kind of minority I am?  You may be wondering if I am really in such a small group of people?

Ok, so I will tell you…..drumroll please………

I am the Step Parent of a Troubled Teen.  Also known as a SPOTT.  And yes, I did make up that acronym….do you like it???  I have an amazing partner who I love without reservation who is the biological parent to a difficult, troubled teen. We have worked with her, we have taken her to see a therapist, (she was fired by the therapist), we have stopped yelling and started talking.  All to no avail.  And to be totally honest, as the step parent and not the biological parent, I have little or no control over the situation anyway.  As a matter of fact, the websites I did find gave me the following advice:

“Communication and teamwork are essential in a step-parenting situation.”
Yessirree folks,  that is abut all there is to being a good stepparent.  Communication……..right?  They have got to be fucking kidding me….
When you are the step parent of a troubled teen you are pretty much the same as a muchroom sitting in a dark corner.  You have absolutely NO say in what happens.  If your partner is a strong parent and uses tough love and firm parenting, things might get better for you.  However, if your partner is a parent who would rather NOT deal with confrontation and the “messy” stuff, all I can say is boy howdy you better hold on for a rough ride.  I know because I am a partner to a wonderful, amazing, beautiful woman who is a parent of the second kind.  She would rather just NOT deal with anything that is difficult.  In teenage language this really means “it’s okay honey, just do whatever you want”.  Then when there are concerns about drinking and unprotected sex and smoking, it is too late to put the brakes on and try and fix what is broken.  And as the stepparent, I can only hold on, close my eyes tight and whimper in the corner.  Sometimes I click my heels three times and say “there’s no place like home, there’s no place like home.” When I am done, I am still standing in the same fucking spot dealing with the same bullshit I was dealing with before.

WHERE ARE YOU GLENDA?????
So, my real question is……is there anyone else out there who walks my walk?  Anyone who finds themself whimpering in the corner because they are powerless and their house is being run by an unruly, ungrateful, teenager who thinks they can do whatever they want???? And the one adult who should have the power does nothing because it is easier to walk away???  PLEASE for the love of all that is good, there MUST be someone else out there like me??? I don’t mind being a minority, but I don’t want to be the only one………

Just knowing there is one other person like me would help………anyone?????

I am going to go eat something chocolate now……

Canning Fresh Tomatoes….YUM!

I planted my first outdoor garden ever this spring!!

I have been so happy with my little garden….my first foray into the world of gardening in the ground! In past years I have always grown my tomatoes and herbs in pots on my deck.  This year I decided I wanted a garden in the ground and Bluebell tilled me up a small 6×6 plot.  Of course I was overly ambitious it turns out and planted TOO much in such a small space, but who knew??

I planted three tomato plants, a yellow girl, a beefsteak and a Roma.  The yellow plant was diseased and we had to pull it up and throw it away pretty early in the season.  This made me very sad, since although I love tomatoes when I eat them I get blisters on my tongue from the acid content.  Yellow tomatoes have a lower acid content and don’t give me blisters.  Oh well, I knew blisters would abound, but I would enjoy my lovely tomatoes nonetheless!!

I also planted two green pepper plants and one yellow pepper plant.  In addition I have basil, chives, lavender, oregano, rosemary, cilantro, and thyme.

As the spring moved into summer, I was surprised by the early harvest of tomatoes.  The beefsteak tomato plant grew about 4 feet tall and two feet wide.  And the Roma plant grew the same !!  We have had tomatoes coming out of our ears, so I decided I wanted to can them so we can enjoy them all winter long!

I looked for ball jars and canning supplies at my local Walmart, Bed Bath and Beyond, and Target.  Nobody had a large canner, so I had to order it from Walmart online and have it delivered to the house.  I found a great website that walked me thorough the canning process and away we went!!

We blanched the tomatoes in boiling water for 45 seconds, then put them in an ice water bath. 

Tomatoes blanched on boiling water for 45 seconds and the skins removed

The skins came off very easily!  Skins in the canned tomatoes make the tomatoes tough.

The tomatoes were chopped and put into the sanitized jars, with 1 tbsp of lemon juice.

Blanched tomatoes being placed into prepared jars.

 

1 tbsp of lemon juice went into each jar to keep the tomatoes fresh after canning.

 

Jars filled to the top with tomatoes and lemon juice.

 

Lids on the jars, getting ready to place in canner

Once the lids were screwed on tightly, the jars went into the canner for 45 minutes.

Jars boiling in the canner for 45 minutes.

 

Jar “remover” tool and the jars after canning.

 

All done, ready to be eaten. YUM!

I will let you know how the resulting canned tomatoes taste!!