Monthly Archives: April 2013

Healthier Mini Mason Jar {Birthday} Cheesecakes

Healthier Mini Mason Jar Cheesecakes | Mama Papa BubbaYesterday, when I told Gracen that we’d be celebrating Papa’s birthday soon, the first thing she said was, “We need to make a cake!”  Then she went on about painting him party hats and getting 3 pink gifts, but I digress.  Originally, I was thinking about doing two cakes.  Something delicious and wildly unhealthy from Pioneer Woman for Brad, and something wholesome, wholewheat, and sugar/butter-free for Miss G to enjoy.  Buuuuut, when I thought about doing a cheesecake for Brad (one of his favourites), I realized that I could probably do a modified version that would suit everyone’s needs since cheesecake is mostly just cream cheese. My main obstacle was coming up with a yummy crust without using the usual graham wafer/sugar/butter combo, but I played around a little bit  and I’m happy to report and it turned out really well.

As for the cheesecake itself, I wasn’t sure about it at first.  It tasted good fresh out of the oven, but it was light and bubbly instead of thick and dense the way proper cheesecake is supposed to be.  In the words of my husband, it tasted “healthyish”.  I had come to terms with the fact that I’d have to do some recipe revamping in the future, until we tasted it again tonight.  After sitting in the refrigerator overnight, it had densed up significantly and was actually really good!  Good enough to make again, that’s for sure.

IMG 8983Here’s the lineup of ingredients my little sous chef and I used to make our mini mason jar cheesecakes…  Sour cream, cream cheese, lemon zest, pure maple syrup, pure vanilla, almonds, an egg, and coconut.  Plus the mini mason jars themselves, of course.  5 of these little jelly jars works perfectly with this recipe.

Crust makingTo make our crust, we added some coconut, some raw almonds, a little bit of pure maple syrup, and a little bit of pure vanilla into our food processor and blended until it was thick and sticky.

CrustThen we scooped the crust mixture evenly into our 5 jars, and Miss G used a cork to flatten them out.

IMG 9007IMG 9010This was the end result.

CheesecakeWith our crusts ready to go, we switched our focus over to the actual cheesecake part.  First, we added our room temperature cream cheese and egg into our mixer and beat until smooth.  

IMG 9023Next we added our sour cream, pure maple syrup, pure vanilla, and lemon zest, and mixed again.

IMG 9029Baking is ridiculously fun, wouldn’t you agree?

IMG 9033IMG 9037With our cheesecake filling prepared, we poured the mixture evenly into our 5 mason jars.

IMG 9052Then we placed them into a high-walled baking dish, filled it halfway up the jars with hot water, and baked the entire thing.

IMG 9066When they’d finished baking, I topped the ones for Gracen and I with stewed blueberries…

IMG 9058And the birthday boy’s with deliciously naughty Nutella.  Of course the options are endless really…  Fresh berries, shredded coconut, sliced bananas, or mini dark chocolate chips would all make yummy toppings too.  

The biggest perks to these little desserts is that they already come in a storage container, they’re super easy to hand out at parties, and they tuck easily into picnic baskets and backpacks for a treat on the go.

Healthier Mini Mason Jar Cheesecakes

{adapted from this recipe}

  • 5 4 oz. mason jars
  • 1/3 cup of raw almonds
  • 1/4 cup of unsweetened coconut
  • 1 tablespoon of pure maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla
  • 250 grams of cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 egg, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup of sour cream, at room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla
  • zest of 1/2 a lemon
  • 2.5 tablespoons of pure maple syrup

Blend almonds, coconut, maple syrup, and vanilla in a food processor until thick and paste-like.  Divide the mixture equally into 5 mini mason jars and use a cork to create a flat, even crust.

In a mixer, combine the cream cheese and egg until smooth.  Add in the sour cream, vanilla, lemon zest, and pure maple syrup and mix again.  

Pour the cream cheese mixture evenly into the 5 mason jars.  Place the jars in a high-walled baking dish, fill it with water until halfway up the jars, and bake for 30 minutes at 325 degrees.

Allow to cool on the counter.  Top with toppings of your choice before or after refrigerating overnight.

Enjoy!

♥ 

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Vigid Flies

Vigid, more formally known as Vigid Milkman, is Gracen’s beloved butterfly kite she received in her Easter basket last month.  I have no idea where Vigid (pronounced vee-gid) came from, but Milkman is after Melky Cabrera, a Toronto Bluejays player Miss G and her Papa watch together.  Crazy name aside, Grae is absolutely smitten with Vigid Milkman.  She watches out our big front window, and the moment she sees the slightest rustle of the tree leaves across the street, she asks if there is enough wind for Vigid to fly.  Much to her happiness,  today was an oddly windy day (our yard is littered with trash to prove it) and the moment her Papa returned from home from work, he asked if she’d like to fly Vigid.  Did she ever!

IMG 9080IMG 9079IMG 9108IMG 9110IMG 9102IMG 9092IMG 9086

♥ 

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Gracen Loves Letters

Never once have we attempted to teach this little lady her letters, yet somehow she knows almost all of them.  The way she hangs onto information blows me away.

♥ 

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Little Singer

IMG 8975IMG 8980This girl can turn almost anything into a microphone.  Recently, our front porch bannister has become one.  Naturally this means at least a song or two sung on the way out of the house, and another on the way back in.

♥ 

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An Afternoon of Indoor Fishing

Indoor Fishing Pond | Mama Papa BubbaIMG 8890This afternoon while walking along the river, Gracen noticed a man sitting down on the rocks fishing and was fascinated.  The questions started rolling in and once we’d lost sight of him, all she wanted to know was when we’d see him again.  Luckily, on our way back we found him just where we’d left him.  Phew.  

With a new interest in fishing and a stick worthy of taking home found along the way, this post from Mini-Eco immediately came to mind.  I asked Miss G if she was interested in doing some indoor fishing when we got home, and she was more than game.

IMG 8881Grae and I rounded up a few things…  Some plasticky sheets purchased on our last trip to Urban Source, a hole punch, and a handful of paperclips.

IMG 8882I cut out the fish shapes, and Grae helped punch holes and feed the paper clips through.

IMG 8887Next, Grae chose some baker’s twine from my collection.  We tied one end to her beloved stick, and used a dab of hot glue to attach the other end to a round magnet (though if you had a u-shaped magnet, you could just tie it on).

IMG 8886Next, we got out a big bowl, filled it with water, added a drop of blue food colouring just for fun.  Gently, we set the fish on the surface of the water.

IMG 8898Then it was time to fish!

IMG 8891Gracen held her rod steady, gently lowered into the bowl overtop of the fish of her choosing, and proudly lifted up fish after fish. 

IMG 8900She was pretty pleased with herself.

IMG 8917And after a whole lot of fishing, some messy water play was inevitable. ☺

♥ 

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Miss G {in Manual}

IMG 8858Today I was lucky enough to spend the morning with some blogger friends soaking up the photography wisdom of Justine from B Life Photography and Amy of The Connection We Share.  They took us through the basics of using our cameras on the manual setting and helped us learn the balance between ISO, aperture, and shutter speed.  Being the slightly stubborn person I am (though I prefer the term ‘determined’ ☺) , from here on out, my camera will remain on manual, despite it being freakin’ hard (so much to think about, and so little time while chasing a busy toddler).  

It’s far from a perfect photo, but  here’s my very first manually-shot picture of my little love.  

♥ 

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iPhoneography // Gracen Types

Gracen TypesThough we aim for very little screen time in our house, this afternoon Grae asked me if she could spell some words on my computer.  Because there was so much potential learning involved, I just couldn’t say no.  She cozied up under the covers of our big bed, selected her font colours, and typed her name first.  Since she already knows how to spell ‘Gracen’, she did it on her own, even though hunting for each letter was {painfully} slow.  After completing her name, she asked to type other words.  She selected a new font colour each time, told me her word, and I spelled them aloud while she searched for the letters.  Needless to say, her newly found skills left her as proud as a peacock.

♥ 

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We ♥ Vancouver

IMG 8760This photo reminds me of so many of the things we adore about Vancouver.  The outdoors, art, blossoms, mountains, Queen E Park…  It’s a lovely combination.

♥ 

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How to Eat a Popsicle: Advice from Miss G

IMG 9042Miss G in a soft voice, almost to herself, while making our healthier version of fudgesicles this afternoon…

all you do is…

get some summer shoes on

go outside

find the perfect spot

open it up

and eat up your popsicle

♥ 

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Healthier Banana Fudgesicles

Healthier Banana Fudgesicles | Mama Papa BubbaThe other night, Brad went out for Saturday night movie treats after G was in bed.  I requested a fudgesicle, and he came home with a box of 18.  Oy. Several fudgesicles into the box, I decided we’d better come up with a healthier version, stat.

IMG 8717Here’s our line up of ingredients…  Frozen banana chunks, cocoa powder, pure maple syrup, and  pure vanilla.  Plus a popsicle mould of course.

One ingredient ice creamIMG 8724To get started, we basically turned out frozen bananas into one ingredient ice cream by adding small batches into our food processor at a time, blending them into a thick soft serve texture. 

IMG 8726IMG 8728Next, we added some cocoa, a little bit of pure maple syrup, and a little bit of pure vanilla, and blended everything up again to create thick, chocolatey soft serve.

IMG 8731And that’s it.  We simply scooped the soft serve into our popsicle moulds and popped them in the freezer overnight.  

IMG 8931This was the end result.  Thick chocolatey banana pops that are bound to satisfy a sweet tooth or chocolate craving.

IMG 8941What does Miss G think? Well, after finishing her first one, she turned to see mine still almost whole, and said, “Mine’s a little bit almost all gone, Mama, so I want to trade wif you.” as if she was doing me a favour – hah!  Thanks for thinking of your mama, Miss G.

Healthier Banana Fudgesicles

  • 3 medium bananas, frozen
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons of cocoa
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of pure maple syrup (truly optional – they’d be sweet enough without)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of pure vanilla

Blend bananas in a food processor until they reach a thick soft serve consistency.  Add in the cocoa, maple syrup, and vanilla and blend again.  Scoop mixture into popsicle moulds and freeze overnight.

Enjoy! 

♥ 

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