Sunday, October 30, 2011

Oreo Cheesecake Cupcakes

     My name is Claire and I am a fool for Oreos.  I'm also a fool for cheesecake and all things cute.  If you are too, then you definitely need to make these.  They are pretty easy, delicious and crowd pleasing.  Most recently I made these for my birthday, which I thought was an excellent choice. I got them from this blog, my only additional suggestions is that they tend to need around 28 minutes. I also would consider these more along the lines of mini cheesecakes rather than cupcakes, but that's just semantics :)

Oreo Cheesecake Cupcakes


Makes 30 cupcakes

1 pkg. oreos (42 cookies - 30 whole, 12 coarsely chopped)
2 lbs. cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
4 large eggs, room temperature, lightly beaten
1 cup sour cream
A pinch of salt


1. Preheat oven to 275 degrees. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Place 1 whole cookie in the bottom of each lined cup.

2. With an electric mixer on medium high speed, beat cream cheese until smooth, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Gradually add sugar, and beat until combined. Beat in vanilla.

3. Drizzle in eggs, a bit at a time, beating to combine and scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Beat in sour cream and salt. Fold in chopped cookies by hand.

4. Divide batter evenly among cookie-lined cups, filling each almost to the top. Bake, rotating pan halfway through, until filling is set, about 28 minutes. Transfer to wire racks to cool completely. Refrigerate at least 4 hours (or up to overnight). Remove from tins just before serving.

Tips: If you aren't sure whether the cheesecakes have set, jiggle the muffin tins a bit to see whether the cheesecake mixture moves or is solid. These are highly addictive, make sure you're ready to feed a crowd!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Meatless Monday and the Importance of Planning

     This week was my second Meatless Monday and I am sorry to say that it wasn't entirely successful.  Saturday was my birthday and I went to Colorado for a few days to celebrate with Leon, friends and family.  It was wonderful and definitely difficult to leave. I got back to Florida on Sunday evening and definitely had some catching up to do, which meant no time to go to the grocery store.  For breakfast I had coffee and a Kashi bar.  Then I had one of my favorite meatless lunches: green beans with slivered almonds, a little fresh grated parmesan and an egg (over easy is my fave).

Sorry for the bad picture quality, but it is delish!

     Unfortunately, by the evening I was stressed, headed over to the library for a long evening and finding my fridge lacking in anything very quick.  For dinner I had a gyro (with lamb, of course).  A little better planning on my part would have helped. How do you insure a well-stocked fridge? Do you write down all of your meals for the week before going to the store?  

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Meatless Monday!

A recent viewing of the documentary Forks Over Knives inspired me to try and trim down the meat in my diet. The premise of Forks Over Knives is that many of America's health problems (heart disease, diabetes, cancer) are linked to the high levels of meat and processed foods in our diets. The film advocates a whole foods, plant based diet and follows several people who are combatting weight and health issues.  There are some pretty intense stats in the film, including that there is a monumental disparity in cancer rates among the United States and many Asian countries where a plant based diet with less meat based protein is prevalent. 

So, I am going to try and do a Meatless Monday every week.  I certainly don’t mind eating vegetarian – I was meat-free for a year or so in high school (although I don't think I did it in the most healthful way). I am hoping that devoting one day a week to a meatless diet will help me come up with new recipes and healthier meatless alternatives that will result in permanent changes in my diet. 

I’m also going to strive to share my meals on Meatless Monday on the blog, which I hope will have the dual effect of getting me to update more frequently and to stick to the meatlessness.

Forks Over Knives is on instant play on Netflix - I recommend that you check it out! 

In the future I think I need to work on incorporating some more beans and other proteins to keep me feeling full, but I will say I felt pretty good about how I ate yesterday.

For today’s inaugural Meatless Monday I had:

Oatmeal with blueberries for breakfast (old fashioned oats microwaved with frozen blueberries). 

For lunch: Salad with onions, campari tomatoes, cucumbers and fat free Italian dressing
and Green Giant frozen cauliflower in cheese sauce. Ok, there are some preservatives in the
cauliflower with cheese sauce but the whole box is 150 calories and it's a good substitute
for mac and cheese if you're in a comfort food mood. 

I went to zumba after my classes were over for the day and I was pretty hungry when I got home,
and, admittedly I was a little bummed that my dinner wouldn't include any meat. 
However, this whole wheat linguine with zucchini and onions was totally delish.  I boiled the
pasta until it was al dente while I sauteed some zucchini, garlic and onions. I mixed the veggies
and pasta with tomato sauce, cubed up a bit of fresh mozzarella, grated some fresh parmesean over the top and baked the pasta in a 350 degree oven for about six minutes. 

What are some of your favorite meatless meals?  Do you think there is too much of a focus on incorporating meats into every meal?