Monthly Archives: February 2013

Gluten-Free New York Cheesecake

Maybe you’ve seen the pictures of our cheesecake and wished you could order some, but you’re gluten-free?  Here’s the answer.

This is a lovely recipe for a rich, creamy, gluten-free cheesecake done exactly like the traditional New York cheesecake. The added bonus to this is that celiacs won’t suffer any ill effects from it because of the nature of the recipe. It’s made from cream cheese, sour cream and graham-style crackers and topped with a very nice cherry pie filling. This is an easy recipe which takes about an hour and a half to complete and we guarantee you’ll be willing to share it with friends and family. Or you could have it all for yourself, we wouldn’t blame you. Before you begin you will need to prepare these ingredients:

The Crust:

1 ¼ cups of graham cracker crumbs, gluten-free

4 tablespoons butter, melted

2 tablespoons sugar

¼ teaspoon nutmeg

 

The Filling:

2 lbs (900 g) cream cheese, softened

1 cup sugar

1 cup sour cream

4 eggs

2 tablespoons cornstarch or sweet rice flour

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

The Topping:

1 cup sour cream

¼ cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Cherry Glaze

1 can cherry pie filling, 21 oz or the equivalent in maraschino cherries

1 tablespoon sugar

¼ tablespoon vanilla extract

You need to preheat your oven to about 325°F (163°C), then take a nice spring-form cake pan. Take the graham crackers crush them to a fine dust with a rolling pin. You may want to place them in a Ziploc bag or something similar to avoid spilling beforehand though. Next pour the crumbs into a mixing bowl and add sugar and nutmeg, then stir until they blend well together. Add the melted butter and keep stirring until they are combined.

Next you must press the mixture on the bottom of your pan. Make sure you don’t press the crumbs on the sides of the pan as this may ruin it. Place it in the fridge so it can cool down while you begin step two – making the cheesecake filling.

Grab a large mixing bowl and place the sugar and cheese within, then beat it an electric mixer until its creamy and smooth. Add the eggs next one at a time and then the rice flour, sour cream and vanilla. Once again beat the mix until its smooth and ready. Next you must take the crust from the fridge, followed by pouring the filling in the spring form pan. Using a spatula you must smooth top it and bake it for about 45 minutes until it is done.

While that is happening you can work on the topping by taking the sour cream, sugar and vanilla extract and whisking them until they have blended well and smoothly. Take the cheesecake out of the oven and spread the sour cream mix on top. Be careful not to damage the surface itself and work with a light touch. When that is over return the cake back into the oven for about 15 minutes so the topping can harden a bit, then turn off the oven. Leave the cake inside for an hour while it cools down and then refrigerate it for 4 hours before you have to serve it. The cherry pie filling is made in a similar fashion to the topping, but blending the ingredients together. You should spread the cherry glaze carefully on top before you serve each piece to keep it nice and fresh.

We hope you enjoy this recipe! Remember to always read the labels on the ingredients you use to avoid gluten contamination of your food. Many companies may change the contents of some of their products without warning so it pays to be extra careful.

This guest post has been submitted by SW16 Moving Services.

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8 Great Reasons to Get Moving

  1. Exercise makes you feel better, more relaxed and happy. When you exercise even a little, three times a week, you’ll notice a difference in mood.
  2. Exercise relieves stress– I walk on the beach every day, because I’m a very lucky person. If I’m having a rough day, I feel better after my walk. Sometimes I don’t want to go, but I make myself do it, and I’m always happier afterward.
  3. It helps you lose weight. This is a no-brainer, right? Calories in, calories out. Different kinds of exercise burn more calories, but all is good.
  4. People who are physically active live longer. There was a US studyin 2012 that definitely showed a correlation between exercise and a longer life.
  5. Great for your cardiovascular system. Regular exercise strengthens your heart, improves blood flow, reduces blood cholesterol and triglycerides, and lowers blood pressure.
  6. Reduced Risk of Stroke- Exercise reduces your risk of stroke by the same amount that it reduces your risk of heart disease!
  7. You will sleep better – Another study- when do they find the time for all these studies?-found that aerobic exercise helped people who weren’t sleeping well. “Researchers say the participants who exercised reported that their sleep quality improved, raising their diagnosis from poor to good sleeper.”
  8. Stronger immune system. You’ll love this. Studies show that regular exercise can significantly reduce the number of colds you get every year.

Those are eight great reasons to keep up with your new year’s resolutions of getting more exercise, or of starting up! Do you really need to watch that TV show again? Instead, get some exercise and you will feel great!

Melody, MagicKitchen.com blogger

 

 

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10 Romantic Valentine’s Day Ideas

Isn’t it too bad Valentine’s Day takes place in February? Think of all the romantic things you could do in summer; go for a balloon ride, go for a long scenic drive with the top down, picnics, boat rides..the list goes on and on.

But what can you do in February for a romantic Valentines Day? Here are 10 Romantic Valentine’s Day Ideas you will love.

1. Do something different. Sometimes the most fun can be had by doing something you don’t usually do, or something you haven’t done for a long time. Go bowling, roller-skating, ice skating or tobogganing.

2. Give your loved one a tour of your past. If you live near the town you grew up in, your partner will really enjoy seeing the places that helped make you… you. Bring a long some pictures of you at the places you’re going to tour to, if you can.

3. Have a bubble bath together. No need to rent an expensive hotel room if you don’t have the means, just set up the bathroom with candles, and get naked together!

4. Take dance lessons. It can be really romantic to know the classic dances. Commit to dance classes this year, and next year go out and tear up the floor!

5. Couples Massage. Book it, Danno!

6. Make dinner. Whoever does the cooking most of the time gets a night off, while you do the cooking and cleanup. Then go to #3. 😉 If you’re not much of a cook, order from the MagicKitchen.com Valentines Day Menu.

7. Puzzle Love Note: Write out a note from your heart. Glue it to thin cardboard, then cut it into puzzle pieces and give it to her or him.

8. Have a date at home. Rent a couple of DVDs, make some popcorn, and snuggle up on the couch.

9.  Get Away. If your time and budget allow, hop on a plane and get away for a few days. Or if you live near a beautiful spot,  jump in the car and book a cabin in the mountains with a fireplace. (or your equivalent)

10. Plan a Trip. Spend the evening poring over maps and travel guides, and decide where your next exciting trip will be. Plan it all out, and get your savings plan in hand. If you enjoy traveling, this is a great way to spend time!

Melody, MagicKitchen.com blogger

 

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How to lose weight and feel awesome (Even at middle age!)

Keeping our bodies fit and our minds healthy even at middle age is easier than it seems. Keeping up with kids, stress at work and caring for aging parents take a toll on the way we take care of ourselves. Exercising the mind and body will not only have great short term effects but will also last into our senior years, especially if it becomes a long term routine.

1. Stretching- It keeps your body toned and able to keep up with a broad range of activities from playing with your kids to gardening. A little goes a long way too; 15 minutes of stretching everyday will keep up your range of motion and your body active.

2. Puzzles- Exercise is not just for your body. Spending time doing word puzzles, will keep your brain sharp and helps prevent Alzheimers in old age.

3. Reading- Curling up with a good book will actually force you to set apart some time quiet and alone which will decrease stress and

also stimulate the brain. Reading a book with a group or a friend will also give you a chance for some great conversation.

4. Walking- Not only will walking give you physical exercise, it will also exercise your brain. Walking for 45 minutes a day, 4 days a week will increase blood flow to the brain making it healthier and stronger.

 

5. Drinking a Glass of Wine- It will lower the risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes and help keep your bones strong.

6. Developing Relationships- This will keep you young at heart and lowers stress. Have a chat on the phone, go on a picnic, start a family heirloom project with people you love…feeling awesome isn’t just about staying physically healthy!

7. Drinking Water- Staying hydrated is the first step to keeping your body in working order. It’s also the zero calorie beverage. Swap out the soda, tea or juice drinks at each meal and just watch the weight drop.

8. Developing a Hobby- Learning a new skill or developing an old one will give your brain a good workout and will give you something to feel good about. Try planting a small vegetable or flower garden, scrapbook your kids photos that have piled up in boxes or in files on your computer, volunteer, or  learn a language.

9. Swimming- How many little old ladies do you see at the gym in their bathing suits and goggles doing laps around the pool? Swimming is the ultimate low-impact exercise because the water is easy on joints and aching bodies that make it difficult to run on a treadmill or go for long periods of time on the elliptical. Your heart rate is constantly going and the water resistance is great for toning muscles. Combined with daily stretching, swimming will get you ready for bathing suit weather in no time.

10. Cycling- Not just at the gym. Get on an actual bicycle and roam around your neighborhood. Take your kids and make it a family affair. Cycling is a great way to get your heart rate up and will keep your endurance up. Make cycling a 2-in-1 if you are at the gym and bring a book along for the ride!

It’s always hard to find time, but if losing weight is your goal, consider all of the factors that keep one healthy…body and mind. Of course, healthy meals are a big part of staying healthy too!

Mariel, MagicKitchen.com Blogger

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