Saturday, January 30, 2010

Saturday giveaways

Just a few for today. There's a recipe in the post below, fyi! Yummy cheesecake. Diet, schmiet.

For baby:
more to come.

Ever since Capital Mom gave me a gentle shove off the diving board into Twitter, I'm spending oh so much time tweeting giveaways and reading tweets! I'm still a newbie :)

Eggless Cheesecake

This was totally an experiment - I had three packages of cream cheese that were intended for a cheesecake, but soon realized that baked cheesecakes generally contain eggs. What's a girl to do? I made it anyway. Substituting blended tofu for the eggs (1/4 cup per egg). And what do you know, it turned out quite nicely!Those blobs on the top were jam hearts -before it was baked. Baking, apparently turns hearts into blobs. Good to know.

Cheesecake is super easy, yet impressive. This version is rich and has a thick, crumbly texture which I find nicer than no-bake cheesecakes.

The recipe:

Eggless Cheesecake (you pick the flavour!)
  • 1 1/4 cups graham cracker (or chocolate wafer) crumbs
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 3 pkg (250g each) softened cream cheese (you can use light)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup soft tofu, pureed
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3 tbsp jam (or instead you could add 1/2 cup chopped Turtles chocolates - yum!)
  1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Combine crumbs with melted butter and press into the bottom of a springform pan. I like to line the sides of the pan with parchment paper, although I forgot this time! It keeps the cake from browning as much, and makes it easier to remove from the pan.
  2. Mix the softened cream cheese and sugar until smooth. An electric mixer makes this a lot easier. Add tofu in three parts, blending until smooth each time. Stir in vanilla (and chocolate chunks, if you're using them).
  3. Pour over the prepared crust. If you're using jam, put dollops on top and swirl them in by cutting through them with a knife.
  4. Bake 50-55 minutes. It should look slightly golden and still wobble a little in the centre when it's done. Turn off the oven and leave the cake in there to cool slowly, with the door slightly open. This helps prevent cracking. Cool it to room temperature, then refrigerate for 3 hours or more.
You can use whatever flavour of jam you want for the top, or leave it out and serve with fresh cut fruit or berries. I was considering using dulce de leche instead, but DH wanted to use some of the strawberry rhubarb jam we made last summer.

I'd love to hear if you try this out!

Friday, January 29, 2010

First order of the day - a winner!

Time to draw the winner of the SkinMD Natural Shielding Lotion!

And forgive the lateness - I am not sleeping well these days, a mix of anxiety and the sounds of the CPAP machine in our bedroom. Today I slept in to make up for being awake multiple times during the night and then from 4-5 am inclusive... I'm trying to consider it 'practice' for maybe one day having an infant, but on the other hand it would be nice to get a good solid night's sleep as long as I can. No, that's not some subtle hint at news. There is no news.

ANYWAY on to the good part (I love winner announcements!) ... the winner is...which is... Yay! I have a feeling Ninel will be thrilled to win this one - she told me she tried some samples after reading my review and loved the lotion!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Designer deals!

I just ordered some sweet lingerie by Deréon (yes, the line by Beyoncé and her mom) at Beyond The Rack. I got this cute bra and panty set for $15 CDN! Craziness.

I wanted to share because there are still two days & 22 hours left to take advantage of this particular designer event! They have a ton of really cute lingerie and that's a pretty sweet deal for a set.

Beyond The Rack is like an outlet store but with limited quantities and scheduled sales. These are big name, usually super pricey items (women's and men's apparel, handbags, shoes, jewelery, sunglasses & accessories, sometimes housewares). Each sale event is on for only a few days and it's first-come, first-served for however many of each item they have. Recently they had a blowout sale that was up to 90% off and there was such a huge response that there was a queue to enter the site and tons of things sold out. Just to give you an idea of how good the deals are!

Beyond The Rack is by invitation ONLY. So I'm inviting you to join! You can click this link to sign up. Just so you know, it is a referral link (that's the only way to join as far as I know) and if you do end up purchasing anything, I would get a small credit towards the store. Double happiness with one purchase - you get a deal and then I get a deal.

The current events are: Dereon Lingerie, Sari nail lacquer (sets of 3 high-end polishes for $15!), Pretty Ballerinas footwear, Pure & Simple - Whitney Eve - Jayn Simpson ladies' fashion (last week Jessica Simpson dresses were on, this just reminded me), Hype handbags, Toywatch watches, Antique Rivet men's and women's jeans. These all end in a couple of days and new events start with new big-name designers. I've seen some REALLY nice stuff, usually way out of my price range, at much more reasonable prices.

Just so you know, not a sponsored post or anything... just happy with the deal I just got and wanted to share. I don't think I've mentioned Beyond The Rack here before and I know you all love deals :)

Just giveaways

Just some giveaways to share today :)

psst, it's the LAST DAY to enter my SkinMD Natural Shielding Lotion giveaway!

For baby:
For the ladies:
For those who sew (I know you're out there :) ):
  • Win a $15 gift certificate to Heaven Lei Creations (fabric! yay) at Whimsy Couture. Ends February 1st.
For anyone:
  • Win a Love Naturally goats milk body and hand wash (fragrance free) and five bars Love Naturally goats milk soap at Hip Little One. Ends February 13th.
  • Win a pair of Hi-Tec Auckland Sneakers (one men's pair and one women's pair to be won) at Melinda Joy. Ends February 8th.
having fun yet?

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Eggless Lemon Loaf

So the lemon that I painted as a demo in my class on Monday night......became this vision of yumminess...It didn't rise quite as much as the regular eggy one does, but I think a little extra baking powder on the next run will do it. It. Is. Delicious. Rich and luxurious. Absolutely can't taste the tofu. More info on where to get the recipe (and what I did to make the recipe egg-free) here.

Now I need to know what to do with the piles of demonstration paintings (of fruit, mostly) that I have kicking around the studio...


Last night I had a dream that my husband and I were swimming in a river, against the current, and we'd been doing it for days. We were soaked and exhausted, but we kept going. I kept getting pulled under by the current, but we were making progress.

Some great metaphor for what we've been going through, or just randomness from my sleeping brain? I think I prefer tv star dreams.

Tomorrow is the last day to enter my giveaway for SkinMD Natural Shielding Lotion. Odds are good, because for some crazy reason there are only 49 entries to date. I really like this stuff and I think you should definitely enter to win some! Do eet! (okay, funny accents are not as funny written out)

While you're at it, enter my Glade giveaway, too. I know you want a bottle of wine, candles, a giant delicious cookie and a reed diffuser. This is one heck of an awesome prize for one of my Canadian readers. On the down side for me, since I haven't figured out how to number comments yet, I'll be counting a lot of entries :) Don't worry, I always count twice to be sure I get the right commenter when picks a winner!

I'm baking an eggless lemon loaf today. I LOVE baking but going eggless has me scrambling (ha! Sorry) to update recipes (read more about why I'm doing it here). I've made the muffins I showed you earlier twice this month already (DH says they're the BEST muffins I make! Despite his skepticism about going egg free!). I always feel like recipes are more like suggestions anyway - I rarely measure perfectly, add things in and substitute at will.

The lemon loaf recipe I use is from the Company's Coming Muffins & More cookbook - it makes a loaf that is so lemony good. It has a lemon glaze on top, is sweet yet tart, moist and rich... it's delicious. I kind of scoffed at this cookbook when someone gave it to me about 12 years ago - but it's turned out to be a must in my muffin-loving kitchen. It has cheesy quotes, but unbeatable recipes. This loaf, several muffins, and the best cheese bisuits make frequent appearances on our table. I recommend it - the recipes are straightforward and generally awesome.

I didn't want little flecky bits like the flax/water combo gives, so I'm trying a new thing... blended tofu (1/4 cup per egg in the recipe, put through the blender). I didn't have soft tofu, so I'm using medium firm. I'm really hoping the tofu sub will be perfectly unnoticeable. We'll see!

Some other giveaways for today, which I recommend entering after you've entered mine ;) -

For baby:
For the ladies:

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


It's finally snowing here after way too many days of rain. Yesterday it was 8 degrees. In Ontario. In January. So wrong! In January, it should be snowing. So all is just a little more right with the world. Not everything is okay, but one thing is better.

Thanks for your comments, by the way, on my sad tail day post... I am not 100% out of the funk today but I am feeling a little better. I think it's part SAD, part work stress, part anxiety. And it sucks that so many of us are going through these feelings. We probably all need a vacation to some sunny spot - to relax, soak up the sunshine for our Vitamin D fix, forget our troubles for a time. I wish!

Last night I had my painting class. One of my students kept going on last week about how my husband and I should have kids. This week again, she was talking about it, asking me if I was taking prenatal vitamins and so on. I barely know this woman. I am certainly not about to tell her about our troubles. She seemed to be completely oblivious to the vague, subject-changing answers I was giving to her questions, my smile becoming more and more brittle, how uncomfortable I was becoming. I know she meant well and just to be friendly, but it really had a salt-in-the-wound effect on me.

Unfortunately, I know I have done that to people, too. If you've never experienced the loss of a pregnancy, or the frustration of infertility, you don't even really think about it. I've certainly asked people about having kids before (I don't think I was as persistent as my student, but still). I didn't clue in that it might be a painful subject for some couples.

Just saying. Something to think about next time you're wondering why a couple doesn't have children "yet". Maybe they can't. Maybe it's on their minds at every waking moment. Maybe they've been through agony, both emotional and physical, in their struggle for a baby. Maybe they've got a dresser full of baby stuff, a room painted in the perfect nursery colour (Tiddley Pom by Behr's Disney line, btw), hearts longing for a child to love, names picked out, but only bad experiences to show for it... that look on the ultrasound technician's face. The awkward way doctors tell you that you're about to go through hell. Crying from the pain and the loss on the bedroom floor, in the washroom, in the ER.

Maybe it's better not to ask.

Now that that's off my chest... I do have some more giveaways to share today from other blogs. Don't you love blog giveaways? I do (can you tell?!). I love reading blog reviews, learning about new products, having the chance to win something and try it out. Fun stuff. Here we go:

For baby:
For the ladies:
For anyone:
  • Win cool printed pillowcases from A Perfect Thing at Sweeps4Bloggers. Ends January 30th.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Sad tail day (with arghs and ughs).

I like my new Injinji Performance Toesocks. I won them over at Jamie's Precious Peas. I like my toes to have their own personal space.Cadbury likes them, too. Until he thought about it and realized that his toes are unlikely to ever have their own personal space. Then he had a small sad moment.I DON'T like how our fitted sheets don't fit our pillowtop mattress. Yes, we checked the size on the package before we bought. They were supposed to fit. They did - until I washed them. Now I fight with the #@* sheet every time I put them back on the bed. No matter how hard I tug, they will never reach all four corners. Argh!My in-laws have a great Jack Russell terrier (he is full of personality - I love him) that has sad tail days. Days when he's just not happy enough to wag. I'm having one of those. Despite the fun and colourful socks. It's rainy and grey (in January, that's just wrong for where I live - it should be snowing), which doesn't help. I had a fitful sleep and then woke early. I have a class tonight until 10pm and I'm not sure how I'm going to get through it. It's not a specific thing that's making me sad, just a general sense of hopelessness that has been hanging around for a couple of days.


Just giveaways

I don't have much to blog about today, but I do have a whole whack of giveaways to share. And if you haven't entered yet, there's still time to enter my giveaways right here -
Now for giveaways elsewhere in the blogosphere:

For baby:
For the ladies:
For anyone:
  • Win a $25 Starbucks card at A Day in the Life. Ends February 2nd.
  • Win a $50 gift certificate to CSN Stores at An Unconditional Mom. Ends February 21st. (Maybe you will have better luck with this site than I did. It took forever to load and then often would just be 'done' as a blank page!)
  • Win your choice of item from Bored, Inc. at Natural Baby Goods! Cute stuff for tots and moms. Ends February 5th.
  • Win bath products from Seed at My Organized Chaos. Ends February 1st.
  • Win a box of Enstrom's Toffee at Emmy's Boos and Rawrs. Ends January 31st.
more to come!