Friday, February 24, 2012

No Added Sugar Banana Cheesecake

2 packages (8 oz) regular cream cheese at room temperature
3/4 cup sour cream
3 large or extra large eggs
3 ripe bananas
juice of 1 small lemon
1 teasp vanilla
1 tblsp rum

Butter springform pan (and sprinkle with some almond flour if you have it) and preheat oven to 315 F.  Beat cream cheese at low speed until smooth then add sour cream and beat until smooth.  Add eggs one at a time and beat until smooth.  Mash bananas with lemon juice and add to cheese mixture.  Add vanilla and rum and beat until smooth (beat more for a lighter cheesecake, less for a denser one).  Pour into pan.  I put my pan inside a larger springform pan to moderate the heat a little without bothering with a boiling water bath.  Bake for 1 hour or until no longer jiggly in the middle.  If you cool it and then refrigerate it a few hours it will cut more neatly than if you can't resist cutting a piece while it is still warm.

I like this the way it is, but if you like desserts sweeter you can add the sweetener of your choice.

Saturday, February 11, 2012


John has slipped significantly, and I realize I have been repressing my reactions.  For me, a lot of frustration and resentment comes up before I ever get to grief.  And I worry that if I complain now I will look back when things get worse and wish I had appreciated how things are now.

For the last six months or so he has been having occasional bowel incontinence, maybe once a week at totally unpredictable times.  He wears disposable underwear when he is particularly worried about it, but he doesn't like to wear them when he is fully dressed with jeans and belt because then he has to undo his belt to urinate instead of just opening his fly.  He did agree to wear boxer briefs (once I cut one layer of the fly for easier access) so the mess would be more contained.  Occasionally the problem is very minor and he doesn't need my help, but often he needs help with his clothes and with cleaning himself.

He finally got the help he needed for his swelled legs, and before he got any really problematic infections.  And the therapist understood that he wouldn't be able to put on compression socks and recommended velcro-closed wraps.  But that means he depends on me to be home to rewrap his legs after he showers.  For the first time I am grateful he only showers twice a week.  Today he said he would be ready for me to wrap his legs at 1 pm.  Instead it was 3:15.

He can still talk to someone and appear just fine.  But I asked him if he wanted to cancel an appointment Monday afternoon--he has an appointment in Charleston Tuesday morning so I will drive us down sometime Monday afternoon/evening.  He said yes and commented that he can't look ahead that way and see the relationship of things.  He is barely hanging in there with a Google calendar to be able to keep track of his schedule at all.  He went to the doctor alone for a urinary tract infection and wanted to get a new prescription for another medication he takes occasionally.  I reminded him to take the bottle so that he could get the same thing but he forgot.  When I picked up the prescription at the pharmacy it wasn't what he wanted (too few days).  He said he would call and straighten it out but when I asked him about it several days later he said he hadn't had time.

He doesn't like to ask me for help, so I get indirect questions when he is hoping I will do something, which just makes me feel that he is expecting me to do whatever extra it is.  Yesterday he asked about recipes to use a lot of frozen blueberries that were accidentally left out.

He drools and his nose drips a good bit.  He tries to carry a napkin, but then he leaves those around the kitchen.  Sigh.

Sunday, February 05, 2012

Borscht Stew

Borscht Stew

2 lbs beef chuck
oil of your choice for browning
1 large onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teasp smoked paprika
1 cup water or beef stock or enough to mostly cover the meat
2 bay leaves
1 can tomatoes (optional)
1/4 cup sherry vinegar
3 medium-large beets, cooked, peeled, and chopped
10 baby carrots, cut in half
1/4 green or red cabbage, chopped finely
4 leaves swiss chard, cut up
1 teasp ground cumin
1/2 teasp mace
Greek yogurt as garnish

Brown meat in oil and set aside.  I browned my meat whole then cut it into small pieces when it had cooled, which meant more juice to supplement the stock.  Cook onions in oil until softened and browned.  Add garlic, smoked paprika, stock, bay leaves, the reserved meat, and tomatoes with their juice if you are using them.  Press down the meat in the pan and make sure you have enough liquid to nearly cover it.  Cook, covered, barely simmering for 1 1/2 to 2 hours--until meat is tender.  Add cut up cooked beets, carrots, cabbage, cumin, and mace, and cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are tender.  Add chard,  and cook briefly until the chard is wilted.  Serve with a dollop of greek yogurt.

John thought this was missing something, but he doesn't like things with any strong flavor so I was very cautious with the spices.

Friday, February 03, 2012

Nut cookies

This is a primal recipe--no grains, relatively low carb.  I started from this recipe for chocolate chip cookies-- I didn't bother with the chocolate chips and didn't miss them.

8 pitted prunes
1 1/2 cup walnuts
1/2 cup pecans
1 tsp baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 egg
1/4 cup sunflower seeds

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Grind prunes, walnuts and pecans in a food processor until very finely chopped. Add baking soda and salt and pulse a few more times.

Melt the coconut oil. With the food processor running, drizzle it into the batter with the egg and vanilla. Add sunflower seeds and process until somewhat chopped.  Stir in chocolate chips or raisins if desired.

The dough will form a wet ball.  Make small balls and flatten on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.  Bake 15 minutes, or until nicely browned.