It’s been two days… two long freakin’ days! I know I need to blog like EVERY day and then I am sure it will make me feel better, ’cause right now I have like emotional constipation. HAHAHAHA! (Ok, I know, I know… I have the maturity of a 5-year-old boy when it comes to talking about bodily functions.) Anyways, it really feels like it has been far too long. I hate feeling like I have so much to say and not enough time to write, which it probably the case all the time since I am the care taker of two mini-dictators.

After Christmas, I got back to thinking about food. Who doesn’t love food? It’s in our every day life. We need to have it in order to survive. We can eat a wide variety of them. But, really what stops us from trying new things? With my mini-dictators for example. I had an episode when the Toddler was having a fit over wanting “mo’, mo'” (that’s his version of more). After a grilled cheese sandwich and graham crackers I thought it would be a good time to give the kid some veggies and on most days he loves carrots. Well, that day was not today. He literally threw a tantrum in his big boy (what we call his highchair) as he tried desperately to hand them back to me. When I tried to find a different location on his big boy tray to put them he threw an even bigger fit. I am surprised that the damn things didn’t jump off the tray themselves to avoid the flailing. Here I go to rescue them and take them back to the cutting board and I start eating them. After I am about half way through eating them and dipping them in his “dip, dip” (that what he calls his ranch and ketchup, and I was going for the ranch in this case) he started to look at me like, “what are you eating, and why don’t I have any of that.” I then started making the yummy noises after each bite, “mmmmmmm good” and then I would show him what I was eating. Then, and only then, he decided he wanted some. I set him up with a small handful as to not anger the beast again, and walked away. As I sat and watch and waited for the inevitable tantrum… it never came. I would slowly add a few to his pile here and there. Still no tantrum. That kid ate all but one of those carrot sticks.

WOW! What is this?!?!? Have I found the secret to toddler eating? Hmmm… maybe I should do more research. We did it with veggie spring rolls. These spring rolls have cabbage, carrots, celery, and I think some zucchini or something in it. We had a different “dip, dip” this time (teriyaki sauce). I am over there eating away (no yummy noises this time). He points and stares. I offer him some and first bite… no spitting out, no tantrum… OMG, HE SWALLOWED IT!!! Then another bite… no shaking his head, no weird face… HE SWALLOWED IT AGAIN!!! Now he is pointing to his tray. He wants some of his own. He wants to feed it to himself. This is amazing!

This kid eats anything (for the most part) that we eat. If we are eating a sandwich, he wants bites. If we are eating a burger, he wants bites. If we are eating salad, he wants his own. Kids eat what you eat and they look at you and your facial responses to decide if they really want to try it too. It shocks the sh** out of me that he is willing to try some of the stuff that we eat despite all the potential “weirdness”. But, then it doesn’t surprise me too much because he wants to be a big boy. He is ready to take the plunge into “big-boyhood” and it’s something that we can’t take lightly.

With this latest Toddler discovery and Mr. G and my interest in making more of an effort to be health conscious we had a discussion on our hands. After I looked through my Thug Kitchen cookbook and browsing on their website we thought it would be a really good idea to test their theory. So, for the month of January, we are challenging ourselves to eat fruits, veggies and no meat. We are talking no chicken, beef, pork, fish, etc. We are also going to see if the Toddler can join us in that journey (if not, I won’t be withholding that kind of nutrition from him… he has to eat something). This is a big deal, especially if you know Mr. G. He is all about the meat. So, we are going to go without that, and I am going to try (yep, I can only say try because this part is the kicker) to go without dairy – cheese, don’t say it’s so – and eggs (so no animal products). Well, I will try.

I LOVE cheese, but who doesn’t?

I will be updating you all on recipes and such that we encounter, but I really will need your help to keep me honest. I want you to ask me about it. Make sure I haven’t strayed from the path of better and clean eating. Watch my recipes. I will have ONE night of pure indulgence with my cooking club, but just the one night. I am going to do my damnedest to keep you in the loop. At the end of the month I will do an evaluation to let you know what I will keep doing (if anything) and what I thought of my month.

Since this is still December I am going to give you some holiday goods. We made this for Christmas dessert. Remember I was having a hell of a time finding a Weight Watcher friendly dessert. Well, we did our best and made one based off of a recipe I found on Pinterest. It was rather festive and I will admit I will probably make it again (maybe tweak the filling next time). It is a Cherry Cheesecake Trifle from Freebie Finding Mom.

Cherry Cheesecake Trifle

This is how ours turned out, but unfortunately we started to run out of cherry filling (we only had 2 cans instead of 3) and we had some of the cheesecake filling left over so this one is like excess cheesecake filling. But who doesn’t like cheesecake right?!?!

INGREDIENTS

*This recipe makes 8 Christmas trifle desserts.

1 Full box of graham crackers (if you choose to not have such finely ground graham crackers you may use less)
8 ounces of cream cheese (softened, but I took mine right from the fridge and it did fine, we also used the light cream cheese, it’s really your call on what would best suit you and your family)
3 containers Cool Whip (we used the free Cool Whip, again this can be altered to your preference)
1 cup powdered sugar
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 Cans cherry pie filling (we used the sugar free)

MATERIALS
Zip lock freezer bag
Food Processor/Blender
Large bowl
Electric hand mixer
Serving bowl or glass(es)

DIRECTIONS

1. Place the graham crackers in food processor and let it run until graham crackers have been ground to sand like composition. Set the crumbs aside.

2. In a large bowl, whip together the cream cheese, Cool Whip, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract with an electric hand mixer until smooth. Place mixture in large zip lock freezer bag and close the seal. Snip bottom corner of the bag so there is a nickel sized opening to squeeze mixture out of.

3. In a bowl or a glass, create a base layer of graham cracker crumbs followed by a layer of the cheesecake filling and topped with a bit of cherry pie filling.

4. Repeat layers until the glass is full.

Enjoy immediately or refrigerate until ready to serve. (I would recommend refrigerating for at least 6 hours or until well chilled, it tastes better that way in my opinion.)

**This is my adaptation from Freebie Finding Mom‘s Cherry Cheesecake Trifle recipe. Their version is fantastic (and for a smaller quantity of people), I just doctored a few minor things to better fit me and my family.

The thing that is great about this recipe is that you can really make it how ever you want. You can do fresh fruit if you choose. You can even change the fruit up. You can do blueberries, strawberries, peaches, or even your favorite jam/preserves. It is so versatile for any kind of event too. It would be great in a huge version (like in a trifle bowl), but serving can get a bit messy. Just do what best suits you and your guests.

Enjoy your beautiful Tuesday, and I will be creating a bad ass shopping list for my no meat month of January. Do you have any good recipes that don’t have meat in it? Share it with me.

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