Lighter Blueberry Cheesecake +new camera!

On Thursday last week I got my new camera. I didn’t get it until around 5:30 pm and was waiting all day for Ben to send me a text message saying that it was there. Boy the anticipation, I tell you. I got to test my camera out that same night at the Art and Wine Festival in downtown Fargo with a friend. My camera battery just barely got charged for that too. It was really fun, found a really good wine that was sweat but ended up forgetting the name of it.

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I hate that feeling you get after going out to eat and you feel incredibly stuffed afterwards that it makes you feel fat. That is what I felt like on Saturday night after eating at Mexican Village with my Mom. Then I came home after that and I had blueberry cheesecake on my mind and decided to make that. I didn’t eat any of it that same night because I was still stuffed, but I ended up having some the next day. Blueberry anything is good in my opinion and so was this cheesecake.

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This is a lighter cheesecake recipe.

Ingredients from Cooking Light

Crust:
2/3 cup graham cracker crumbs (about 5 cookie sheets)
2/3 cup reduced-fat vanilla wafer crumbs (about 20 cookies)
3 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons butter, melted

Filling:
2 1/2 cups fresh or frozen wild blueberries, thawed
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 1/2 (8-ounce) blocks fat-free cream cheese, softened
1 (8-ounce) block 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
5 large eggs

Topping:
1 1/2 cups fat-free sour cream
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Sauce:
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
1 cup fresh or frozen, thawed, wild blueberries

Preparation

1. Preheat oven to 325°.
2. To prepare crust, combine first 3 ingredients in a medium bowl. Drizzle with butter; toss with a fork until moist. Firmly press mixture into bottom of a 9-inch springform pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 325° for 10 minutes; cool on a wire rack.
3. To prepare filling, combine 2 1/2 cups blueberries and 1 tablespoon cornstarch in a food processor, and process until smooth. Place puree in a small saucepan; bring to a boil. Cook 6 minutes or until slightly thick, stirring constantly. Cool slightly. Reserve 1/2 cup blueberry puree for sauce; set remaining 1 cup blueberry puree aside.
4. Place cheeses in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at high speed for 3 minutes or until smooth. Combine 1 cup sugar, 2 tablespoons cornstarch, and salt. Add sugar mixture to cheese mixture; beat well. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Pour batter over prepared crust. Pour 1 cup blueberry puree over batter; gently swirl with a knife. Bake at 325° for 1 hour and 10 minutes or until cheesecake center barely moves when pan is touched. Remove cheesecake from oven (do not turn oven off); place cheesecake on a wire rack.
5. To prepare topping, combine sour cream, 2 tablespoons sugar, and vanilla in a small bowl, stirring well. Spread sour cream mixture evenly over cheesecake. Bake at 325° for 10 minutes. Remove cheesecake from oven; run a knife around outside edge. Cool to room temperature. Cover and chill at least 8 hours. Remove sides of springform pan.
6. To prepare sauce, combine reserved 1/2 cup blueberry puree, 1/4 cup sugar, and water in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat for 8 minutes or until sauce is thick, stirring constantly. Gently fold in 1 cup blueberries. Remove from heat, and cool. Serve sauce with cheesecake.

Calories: 257
Fat: 8.7g
Protein: 9.2g
Carbohydrate: 36.4g
Fiber: 1g

Oreo Icebox Cake

This cake is SERIOUSLY so easy, your two year old could make it. The oreo cookies act as the “cake” part and the frosting is the coolwhip. Pretty tasty with some fudge sauce on top. I’d let this cake sit out for a bit since it is kind of hard to cut at first.

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The main ingredients. Milk to dunk the oreos in, 2 packages of oreo cookies. Any flavor would work with this. Heck even change up the oreo layers to make it interesting, and some cool whip.

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Dunk some oreos in some milk and layer them on the bottom of the pan.

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Frost the oreos with some cool whip. I used about half a container.

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Repeat the layers until you run out of oreos. I tried doing this with one single package of oreos but I ended up running out towards the end and had to use 2 Golden Birthday cake oreos. So, a little portion of the cake will have regular oreos and birthday cake oreos. I’d suggest using two packages of oreos and two containers of cool whip the next time to get more layers.

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Another pinterest recipe.

Cowboy Bacon Beans

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I used to have a long list of categories on this page that contained the weight watcher points and if it was a weight watcher recipe or not. For some strange reason that disappeared and I apologizefor that. I’m thinking about just having 3 different categories on my page now which would be Bacon, Weight Watchers, and Really Fattening recipes. I’ve been noticing a trend on my blog lately and those are the only three kind of recipes which people seem to like. ;)

One of my favorite things to do on Saturday mornings is watch Food Network. My favorites are the Pioneer Woman, Ina Garten, Trisha Yearwood, and sometimes Giada (only when her boobs aren’t showing). I love to try recipes from either 4 of them and this recipe was on the Pioneer Woman. I recently went to Rib Fest and had these fabulous baked beans and I don’t really have a recipe for beans at all that I like. I saw her make these and decided to give them a try and they turned out really good. Not like the ones I had at Rib Fest, but since they had bacon in them that made them twice as good. I had these with some pork tenderloin wrapped in bacon. I was going to take a picture of the bacon wrapped pork tenderloin for another post, but sadly the bacon fell off the pork tenderloin.

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Recipe from the Pioneer Woman

Ingredients

4 cups dry pinto beans
1 pound thick-cut bacon, cut into pieces
2 whole green bell peppers, diced
1 whole onion, diced
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup ketchup
2 tablespoons mustard
1 tablespoon chili powder, optional
2 teaspoons salt, more to taste
2 teaspoons black pepper, more to taste
4 cloves garlic, minced

Directions

Rinse the beans under cold water, sorting out any rocks/particles. Set aside.

In a heavy pot (cast iron), saute the bacon pieces until halfway cooked and the fat is rendered. Add the green peppers and onions to the pot and cook until starting to get brown, about 3 minutes. Add the beans and cover with water by 1 inch. Bring to a boil, and then add the brown sugar, ketchup, mustard, chili powder, salt, pepper and garlic. Reduce the heat to a simmer, place on the lid and cook until the beans are tender and the liquid is thick 3 to 4 hours.

Homemade Bacon

I made homemade bacon for the first time. I’ve had quite a lot of free time to myself recently and will have a lot of it coming up pretty soon. I’m hoping I can find a job really fast or else I’ll be bored out of my mind. :(

Anyways… The first step to making homemade bacon is to find a good butcher. I went to the butcher where I live in Fargo, ND on University Drive. It’s a little nice meat place called Prime Cut Meats. The guy there was very nice. Ask for a pork belly loin. The total cost for 4 pounds of pork belly was $17.00. I didn’t think that was bad considering the cheapest pound of bacon I’ve seen here runs anywhere from 3.50 to $5.00 a pound.

If you ever watch Alton Brown on Food Network, he had an episode all about making bacon. I used his brine for this and let it soak in it for 3 days. That’s right, 3 days.

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After the pork belly has brined in it’s juices for 3 days it’s time to smoke it. I used apple wood chips.

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The temperature of the pork has to get to 150 degrees. I’m not sure if our smoker is cooking things properly but I set mine to 200 degrees and let it smoke for 2 hours. That’s how long it took to get done. I’m sure there’s other types of brines out there to try for making homemade bacon, and different wood chips to try. It’s all a matter of time before I try out a different recipe. I’d try making my own again. Too bad my nose is clogged up right now cause I have a cold. I couldn’t really smell the bacon’s wonderful goodness. :(

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Scrap Iron Chef’s Homemade Bacon Recipe

Ingredients

1 cup sugar
1 cup salt
8 ounces molasses
1/2 gallon (2 quarts) water
1/2 gallon (2 quarts) apple cider
2 tablespoons course ground black pepper
1 (5 pound) piece raw pork belly from the loin-end

Directions

In a large non-reactive pot, bring half the water, 1 cup of sugar, salt, and 8 ounces molasses to a boil. Stir to dissolve the sugar. Pour into a large container with the remaining water, and the apple cider. Place in the refrigerator and cool to 40 degrees F.

Press the black pepper into the pork belly. Once the brine has cooled place the peppered pork belly into the mixture until completely submerged. Refrigerate for three days.

After three days have passed, remove the pork from the brine and pat dry with paper towels. Lay on a rack over a sheet pan and place in front of a fan for 1 hour to form a pellicle. Lay the pork in the protein box of a cold smoker and smoke for 4 to 6 hours. Chill the meat in the freezer for 1 hour to stiffen for easy slicing into strips of bacon. Slice what you need and keep the remainder in a freezer safe bag in the refrigerator or freezer.

Place the strips of bacon onto a sheet pan fitted with a rack and place into a cold oven. Turn the oven to 400 degrees F and cook for about 12 to 15 minutes, depending on how crispy you like your bacon. Remove from rack and drain on paper towels. Enjoy.