Tuesday, March 20, 2012

white chocolate raspberry cheesecake & spring renewal

Happy first day of spring!

This year is just flying!  It feels like just yesterday we were bringing in the New Year and now here we are at the start of a new season.  But not just any season.  Spring is about all things new.  Spring evokes thoughts of renewal and new beginnings.  I don't know what this past winter has been like for you.  Perhaps it was one where you experienced loss, regret and disappointment.   But Spring is a reminder of the promise of the gift that Jesus has overcome the world and He has made all things new. 

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. -- 2 Corinthians 5:17

In honour of Spring and Mike's mother's birthday, we celebrated with white chocolate raspberry cheesecake. I have made it three times now -- each time for a birthday. And each time for three beautiful women in my life.

It is a most delicious cheesecake The beauty of this cheesecake is it's ease in preparation. It's a no-bake cake, so there's nothing finicky about it. You could easily substitute the white chocolate for milk or dark chocolate. And any kind of berry could be used.

So if you have a birthday coming up and you need to make a cake but are short on time, but you still want the oooos and awwws of a celebration cake. This cake is happy to take that place.

white chocolate raspberry cheesecake
adapted from Good Food

3/4 - 1 cup graham crumbs
3/4 cup ginger cookies, crushed
3 oz butter, melted

500g white chocolate
2 oz butter
1 tsp vanilla
2 bricks cream cheese, room temp
1/4 cup sugar 
175ml whipping cream
225g fresh raspberries, plus extra for garnish

1. For the base, combine graham crumbs, ginger crumbs and melted butter.  Press into the base of a 9.5" springform pan.

2.  For the filling, put the chocolate, butter, vanilla into a heatproof microwave bowl and microwave in 20-second increments to melt.  Allow to cool slightly.

3.  In your mixer bowl, blend cream cheese, sugar and whipping cream until smooth. 

4. Stir chocolate mix into cream cheese mix.  Gently stir in rasberries.  Spoon on top of the crumb base. 

5.  Refrigerate until set (8-24 hours). 

6.  Remove from tin and garnish with additional berries.  Serve.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

chocolate fudge bites

Who would have ever thought that I'd be running outside in 24 degree weather in the middle of March.  We have been blessed with the most wonderful spring weather ever!

Yesterday was my second outdoor run this spring.  I don't know how far it was because I was at my parents and forgot my Garmin at home.  But I've ran that route a fair number of times and figure it was about 5k.  The forming blister on my toe is telling me I've moved from the treadmill to outdoors.   I really need to invest in some good running socks.  Anyways, it seems this wonderful weather will be sticking around just long enough to see Mike and I off on our vacation to Florida in a week.  Oh I can't wait for the heat of the hot Florida sun...sand between my toes and the smell of the ocean.  Pure bliss. 

In prepation for my vacation and summer, I've been trying to shed my winter weight since January.  For me this means cutting out most carbs and sweets.  So, I'm happy to say I am almost at goal weight.  Again.  Yeah!  Geesh it's miserable not being able to eat chocolate this time of year.  Well, I may have sneaked a couple of Cadbury Mini Eggs into my mouth while at the folk's this afternoon. :)  I don't know what it is, but there's something about Easter chocolate that tastes different than chocolate any other time of the year.  It's just soooooo good.  But like I said, I've been dieting so I haven't been eating a whole lot of chocolate, but a girl can't be without chocolate for too long, so I've been whipping up these little chocolate fudge bites.  They're roughly 50 calories a bite, and a their chewy fudgy taste won't have you missing Easter chocolate for long. 

Chocolate Fudge Bites
(Makes 10-14 balls)
source: Chocolate Covered Katie
  • 3/4 cup pitted dates (120g)
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/16 tsp salt
  • 1.5 - 2 T cocoa powder (or raw cacao powder)
  • 2 T shredded coconut
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup raw pecans
  • chocolate chips (optional) (I don't add)
Blend all ingredients together very well in a food processor.  Roll dough into balls or bars.  
Voila...easy peasy. 

Saturday, March 10, 2012


These past couple of weeks have been somewhat of a blur.  On a high note...we finally sold the house! 

I listed and sold my car in the same day and bought a "new" car! 

Five weeks ago, my life changed with the death of Ziva.  I'm sure there are those who can't understand this, but her death devasted and consumed me.  It's slowly getting easier, but I still have my moments where I can't believe she's really gone. 

But there is hope.  Spring is almost here and the signs are everywhere you look, from the warmer weather to the green daffodil shoots coming out of the cold hard earth.  I saw my first robin of the season this morning.  She was perched on the fence in my backyard singing a song.  By the time I saw her and grabbed my camera, she was gone.  She must have been camera shy. :) 

Have a blessed Saturday!