This week I’m having my tonsils removed. What does this mean to you? It means you’re going to join me as I spend my 10 day long recovery period in comfortable lounge wear while eating soft foods.
As you would assume, I’ve been given a long (long!) list of foods that I cannot eat until after my surgeon clears me at my post-op visit, which is ten days after my surgery!! For someone that truly takes pleasure in eating, this is torture! Alas, at least maybe I’ll drop a few pounds. What I’m going to share with you today are two recipes for soft foods – foods that are easy to eat with a sore throat – but foods that you’ll love and enjoy anytime, really. Whenever I make either of these desserts (what else??) they’re both a big hit.
The first is less of a recipe, and more of a dish you just have to assemble and refrigerate. Ah, the classic Ice Box cake, with a twist. What you’ll need is a box of graham crackers (not cinnamon or chocolate, just regular ol’ honey grahams) a tub of cool whip, and a pack of chocolate jello instant pudding prepared. That’s it! Layer it in a flat bottom dish (or here in my trifle bowl, if you want it to look fancy) graham/pudding/cool whip/repeat. Refrigerate over night. I’m always surprised at how delicious this dessert is. Bonus: you can make it low fat if you use fat free pudding and fat free coolwhip. I like to crumble some extra graham crackers on top, b/c, well, I just do. It looks nice.
My second recipe I can absolutely not take credit for. I found the recipe online, and it has become a Christmas Day staple in our home. Cheesecake. CHEESECAKE. Need I say more?
1/4 cup finely chopped pecans
1/4 cup finely chopped almonds
1/4 cup finely chopped walnuts
3/4 cup finely chopped vanilla wafer
2 tablespoons melted butter
1 1/2 lbs cream cheese
1 1/3 cups sugar
5 large eggs
16 ounces sour cream
1/4 cup flour
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 teaspoons lemon juice
First, let me say, if you don’t have a stand mixer, this cake is nearly impossible to make. So, go buy one! I don’t know what I’d do without mine.
Crust: Mix all nuts and vanilla wafer crumbs with melted butter and press into a 9 inch buttered spring form pan, trying to line the sides as much as possible about 1 1/2″ up the sides of the pan, set aside. Now, Tom doesn’t enjoy the nut crust as much as I do, so I’ve often made it with either all vanilla wafers or the same measurement of honey graham crackers. Choose whichever you like the best! Even crushed oreos might work. Or Nutter butters! Mmm.
Cheesecake: All above ingredients should be at room temperature before your begin. Start by beating the cream cheese until light and fluffy. I do this in my stand mixer and I just leave the mixer on setting 2 the entire time – I feel like the cake just comes out creamier this way. Add the sugar a little at a time and continue beating until creamy. Add one egg at a time and beat after each egg. When eggs have been mixed into the cream cheese add flour, vanilla and lemon juice, mix well. Add the sour cream last and beat well. (One time I accidentally forgot the sour cream. I didn’t realize it until I took the cake out of the oven and saw the unopened sour cream container on the counter. Ooops. It still came out ok, just not as dense) Pour the mixture into the spring pan. Place on the top rack in the middle of a 325 degrees preheated oven for one hour and 15 minutes. Usually on the bottom rack of the oven I fill a baking dish with water and keep that in the oven for the duration of the bake. I feel like it keeps the cake moist and helps prevent cracking. When time is up, prop open oven door and leave in oven for one hour. After one hour, remove from oven. Let cool enough before the cheesecake is put into the refrigerator for 24 hours. Yes, these last few steps are necessary. They keep the cake from sinking in the center.
FYI, if you want to serve the cake on a platter instead of the bottom of the spring form pan, line the bottom with parchment, and it will come off very easily.
Here is a photo of the cake – unfortunately, this is a photo of the day I forgot to include the sour cream, so it did sink a bit. It still tasted good though!
Now that my belly is full of 987 calorie per slice cheesecake, I probably want to put on some comfortable, less restricting clothes. This doesn’t have to be as schlepy or boring as it sounds! On the contrary! Now, on many a night you will, indeed, find me on my couch in mismatched pajamas and my raggy purple robe, but during the day time I try and make an effort to make comfortable also look presentable. I do this because, invariably, if I run out to Waldbaums in a hideous outfit with my hair in rat nest mode, I will run into at least 8 people that I graduated high school with. Its just the way of the world.
Thus, I attempt to choose loungewear that still exudes a sense of style and cohesion. And, yes, I wear earrings even when I run up to the store to pick up cat litter. You never know when you’re about to run into your ex’s nasty mother who didn’t like you anyway and would love to report back to said ex that you look like a bag lady now and hes better off without you. You get my drift.
Don’t get me wrong – I’m certainly not lounging around the house in dress pants and shoes. My cardinal rule for anything I’m going to wear in my house: elastic waist. Jeans might look nice, but, I’m sorry, they’re just NOT comfortable for sitting.
Here, Stella models two of my go-to lounge outfits. She looks a little frumpy today – blame it on myself being too lazy to iron the clothes before putting them on her.
First, white linen drawstring (elastic waist!) pants from NY&Co and a green cami from Old Navy. Second, my new favorite tshirt – from target, merona lounge pants, and my yellow cardigan from, you guessed it, Ann Taylor Loft. The sleeves are a little wrinkled b/c I just pulled it out of the dryer – I wore it yesterday!
Here are a few more really pretty loungewear choices:
A soft, unstructured cardigan looks so much nicer than a sweatshirt; Jcrew.
I think a screen printed tshirt a more interesting alternative to a plain old white tee; Target.
I swear to you, these are the BEST bra-camis in the world. And I’ve traversed the globe on a quest for tank tops with built in bras. I own about 10 and will probably go and order this color, and others, soon; Old Navy.
This is a t-shirt material pull-over hoodie, but the logo reminds me of Sea Ponies. Shoo be doo, shoop shoop be doo… come upon a Sea Pony when you’re in distress; Old Navy.
Now, I’ve furnished you with these options – I fully expect to NEVER see any of you wearing plaid PJ pants and a old college sweatshirt in public ever again!