Heathy Cheesecake In A Jar



After yesterday's picnic post
I got several emails and comments
asking for the cheesecake in a jar  recipe!

So Ellis and I have done this  post to tell you all about this
 easy, healthier version of  
Cheesecake
that packs perfectly for a picnic
or 
just as delicious served at home!


I will let Ellis 
tell you all about the recipe …
she's the one here at our house who 
has been creating all of our recent
beautiful, produce driven meals!


Greek Yogurt Cheesecake
Servings: 4 

Ingredients:
2 eggs
1 1/3 c plain greek yogurt
4 oz. cream cheese
3 tsp. vanilla
4 Tbsp. sugar or other sweetener
2 pinches of sea salt



To begin, preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Lightly grease four 8 to 12 oz. jars. We love using recycled jam jars, but any small jars will do. 


Next, put the yogurt, cream cheese, eggs, sugar, vanilla, and salt in a food processor or blender. Mix well until the ingredients are creamy. 


Once the batter is mixed, fill the jars evenly, being careful to wipe off any drips on the glass.

In order to cook the cakes evenly, the jars need to be placed in a baking dish filled with water. Carefully pour the water into the dish until it reaches half way up the sides of the jars. 

Bake for 40-45 minutes until set and slightly golden brown.


Remove the jars from the water bath and let them cool to room temperature. Continue cooling in the refrigerator for about an hour or overnight. 

Garnish with raspberries, blueberries or blackberries and a sprig of mint. 

Enjoy your lovely little treats!


The inspiration behind the recipe was found at 
http://naturalnoshing.wordpress.com/2011/09/06/yogurt-cheesecake/



As always my friends


I wish you love and joy
as you style your life








Hello Monday … Hello gratitude


I'm coming off of a marvelous weekend today
one that was part refreshing and relaxing
and
 still filled with unbroken hours in the garden
spent cutting back summer's growth.
With still enough unhurried time
to shop with my youngest for clothes for college
which starts for him today.

I woke up this morning to a chill in the air
and out of no where the fog pulled in from the ocean
a perfect gentle reminder
to not only savor and enjoy these last weeks of summer ...

but even more
the suddenness of the change in weather
a reminder to me
to seek gratitude for all the beauty in a day
and 
gratitude for the health of myself and my family
for I have realized all to often of late
that too,
 can change on a dime
through no fault of our own.


This knowledge has me continually motivated to seek out the beauty in the  every day
and
 especially the weekend.

So  for Friday's  date night
 a picnic was packed 
and 
down to Crystal Cove beach we drove.

In a presently ongoing quest in
 trying to simplify my life
to be able to enjoy it more
I decided I wanted to know I could still have a 
luxurious date night
without feeling I had to be held hostage in having to spend for it.

For me a luxury date consists of 
a stunning vista
healthy beautiful food
wine
and 
the man I love.


We had the most marvelous meal
courtesy of trips to the farmer's market
and 
the creative efforts of my darling daughter!

I told her I would pay for all the ingredients
and
 she could make a picnic for 
herself and her love
as well as her dad and I.

She prepared the most perfect picnic
and 
we all had our own romantic dates!


Ellis packed everything for the picnic in
 mason jars
form the appetizers 
to the main course
and 
even desert!


The desert was a memory in itself!
A healthy version of cheesecake made with greek yogurt
and 
baked right in the jars
and
 topped with fresh berries!


I must admit
driving down to the beach I was missing 
just going 'out'
but it ended up to be the most magical and romantic night ...


The  sheer vastness …


of the ocean
and 
the sky being continually painted with the setting sun …


was so soul restoring
it had all the effort to get to the moments
so worth it all.

A moment filled with wonder and beauty
a moment
to be reminded
not only of the true beauty in the world
but
a reassurance
in the power above.

My heart is full of gratitude this week
for the reminder.


As always my friends

I wish you love and joy
as you style your life












Sharing the Mrs. Band


I recently have written often about
self care. 

Realizing more and more some simple investments in
self care
 can reap 
large rewards in an overall quality of life.


One very important component in
self care
for me
is learning to change my internal voice
from
the critical shrew
who is never satisfied with anything I do

to a kinder, gentler internal voice of gratitude and love.
I realized a while ago
if I could identify myself with my 
five year old child self
and
 learn to nurture her 
in the loving manner
which I spoke to my own children
not only would my self esteem  be a lot better off
but
my life would be so much the happier for it.
There is so much to be said
for learning self nurturing kindness. 

Learning a  voice
and
 internal narration that realizes
that at times life is hard on us all
and
 we are all doing the best we can
with what we know at the time.

A nurturing voice
that ends the day head on pillow
going through the days events
and
 lists the positives
no matter how large or small.

A voice that is learning to focus on life's beauty
as a coping skill to combat
anxiety.

It is a new internal voice I am cultivating
on a daily …  hourly basis.

I have found my new voice so much more appealing than the shrew
and
we are able to accomplish so much more together!
I don't think anyone really moves forward in life
from berating and fear
not even our own selves.


My learning to cultivate a new internal voice
is exactly
why I am so very taken with
The Mrs. 
band

and
 their message of

You Are Enough!
The Mrs. band was the opener
at Blogher 2014 for Kerry Washington.
Although I love their upbeat message in the song
I'm Enough

it was their exhibit at the show
with a positive talking mirror
that had me in gulping back tears.

My words don't do the experience justice…
Watch the video below
and
see just how moving and empowering nurturing self talk can truly be!

    
                

If you are as taken with the process
as much as I was
the video below
is all about the making of the video
and
the Mrs.
 Band
You Are Enough
campaign.

   
My greatest take away from Blogher 2014
was wanting to add my voice
to a larger voice that is  about
helping us all
to see and treat ourselves
with dignity, respect
kindness and love.

The more we can do that for ourselves
the ripple effect is
the more we are able to do it for others.
I have realized
when I can quiet my own self criticism
my need to criticize any one else is also released.

Self compassion
equals
others compassion.

I want to develop both of these traits
not only
for myself
but
to be a  better role model
for the marvelous young women
who are coming up behind me.

We can all do so much more to change the world
when we are united together in love and kindness
not only
love and kindness for others
but our selves as well.


As always my friends


I wish you love and joy 
as you style your life






Weekend Wear … and Some Fabulous Food!


Friday night date night 
took us to 
Old Town Orange
 this week.

I wanted a cool and casual look and feel
and 
was quite happy with my evening  ensemble consisting of my 

Vince- silk top
drapey pants - Nicole Miller Atelier
Trina Turk- Palm Springs sandals
long knit vest - Anthropolgie
The Iris Sun readers- from Readers.com
and
bracelets from Tamera Beardsley Design.


The outfit was cool, casual and still perfectly
pulled together for cocktails
 and
shopping some great vintage stores that 
Old Town Orange 
is known for.


After cocktails we noticed a new store 
with a line continually out the door
so of course we went to investigate …

It ended up to be a new ice cream store
a' la Minute Ice Cream
which uses the new novel trend 
of liquid  nitrogen for an instant ice cream freeze!


Inside the unusual flavors are hand written on butcher paper.
The ambiance is organic and open.


With lovely finishing details on the community table.


After placing your order …


The magic is made!


My pick 
Beet and Goat Cheese
was actually a delightful concoction
with a creamy texture and a gentle sweetness.


Jeff's pick
Chocolate Lavender
was creamy with just a hint of floral.

The only down side to the liquid nitrogen freeze
was the fact that the ice cream seemed to melt quicker 
than a standard freeze.

But the best part was really more the entertainment factor
of the ice cream presentation
making it a perfect date night finish.


Saturday Jeff and I had the pleasure of
lunching at the the fabulous
French Basketeer's home!


Visiting with Andrea
at her Laguna Beach home is always
a true treat!

Andrea is an exceptional entertainer
I first mentioned
 her magic Here
when we had the honor of having dinner at her home.

Andrea has just recently added cooking classes to her site!
I for one will be there with bells on
to learn from such a skilled international artisan!

I am always happy with my food styling and presentation
but my expertise in actually cooking
can be improved
and
I know of no one better to learn from than
The French Basketeer!


Our first course at Saturday's lunch

Skewers of
 tomatoes
mozzarella 
rasberries
peaches
sprinkled with tiny globe basil
and
finished with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar!



Fresh summer appetizer perfection in my book!


Rissotto was skillfully made
and
 artfully presented
along with trussed chicken.


Frozen grapes were served 
with a tasty bread
and
cheese brought back from Andrea' most recent trip
to France this July.


Then there was this beauty!


Molten chocolate cake
fresh from the oven …

Cutting into the center reveals
the creamy  chocolate molten interior.
Andrea uses a recipe she learned while in Rome
and
 this cake is truly a memory maker!

It is ale oone of the reasons I will be attending
her cooking class on August 23rd!


It is recipes like this one I want to add to my entertaining repertoire!
Ones heavy in gorgeous presentation
absolutely delicious
and Andrea says not even difficult …
then adding into the mix
a recipe with a story of a Roman history
Desert perfection!


Now if a perfect molten chocolate cake wasn't 
fabulous enough …
it was served with
hand crafted fresh fruit sorbet
one meyer lemon
the other grape.

So elegantly presented in vintage stemware …


but it got even better
when it was finished off with a 
drizzle of vodka
resulting in a combination of flavors
that made for the most blissful, fresh and delicious desert ever!

This desert is already on our menu for 
our Monday night family dinner!




As always my friends

I wish you love and joy
as you style your life




linking up with
Visible Monday




Self Care … In the Kitchen


I came back from my trip knowing there were a couple of areas in 
my life
that I wanted to clean up
and
 put more directed energy into them
to make them an on going priority.

The top one
My Health.

By the end of the trip I realized I was pretty proud 
and
 content  with the strides I have been making in
mind and soul
but I realized
I had not been putting much energy
into the 
body part if the equation.


I had for too long
put 
'getting things done'
ahead of 
invested time in 
my body and health

On my trip
I really realized
I need to make friends 
with my own body
and
 showher more respect.


But this time 
it's not about 
oh I wish I was thinner
I don't think I'm good enough
so I want to change thought process.

This time it's quite the opposite.
It's rather
I like who I am becoming
and 
I want to travel this life
in a body that is fit and healthy
to ensure the active lifestyle I pursue
and
 the good I want to accomplish.


I realize I am not young enough to ignore
my own health.
This year at 55 I have begun to notice 
physical changes
that I can no longer ignore.

So 
I have realized 
a shift in priorities is necessary.

This week after a trip to the farmers market
we have invested time into 
good nutrition
and
 health.
A much needed investment in ongoing
Self Care.


After our trip to the market
with lists in hand
we came home and prepped it all
storing the bounty in jars!
They ended up so beautiful 
and were a joy to use!


Even the refrigerator was beautiful!

I must say
making the produce pretty
was a huge success!

It was the first week 
that everything has been used up in our house!

I was happily surprised 
how fresh everything stayed in the airtight containers!
I can't wait to go back to the market tomorrow!


Making nutrition a priority
means  allocating more time
to meal preparation.
I have to continually remind myself
that making time for this
is a good thing!

Figs were made with goat cheese
drizzled with honey and broiled.
I can't believe we have never used these 
sweet treats before!


Heirloom tomatoes with burata  cheese,  basil and balsamic vinegar
made it to our weekly family dinner.


I must say making healthy foods a priority
takes some true effort on our part.
My daughter has been totally on board
so it makes it so much more fun and doable.

I think true changes happen slowly
with intent and grace.

I still love the adage

Small steps
plus
intention
equal 
success.

I began my blog and business
with this 
chalked onto my studio board
and it has served me well.


Any positive change has to be gentle
in the beginnings
for it to really catch hold
in your heart
and
to become a new habit.


Self care intent
must be gentle and kind
otherwise
it can end up feeling like just one more 
unaccomplished defeat.

Trust me 
I know.
I have been on both sides of the journey
enough to know now that 
 true self care
begins with a gentle hand
and 
nurturing self talk.

One calm step at a time.


As always my friends

I wish you love and joy
as you style your life