I wanted to talk about holiday traditions today. As you may know, we have a pretty big religious divide in our families–my family is Christian, while Eric family (and we) are Jewish. Balancing this has always been tricky, and it’s become even more so since having Ethan. The compromise we’ve come up with is that we split Thanksgiving–every other year we’re with my family, and every other year we’re with my in-laws. We visit my in-laws the weekend of Hanukkah, and we fly up to see my family for Christmas every year. So our families have a bunch of traditions, but we’re still getting our feet wet about which traditions our small family will have.
This year, we decided to visit my family over Labor Day, and stay home for Thanksgiving. We’ll be spending the day with our friends, and we’re both looking forward to not traveling on a holiday weekend. For Hanukkah, we wanted to start the tradition of giving Ethan small gifts each night, plus a bigger gift on the last night. So this year, we’re giving him a new book every night, with some bigger gifts throughout the week. For Christmas, our tradition is that we spend Christmas Eve at my Gramma’s house with all of my cousins. I don’t know if we’ll be able to this year with Ethan, but if he’s sleeping well, then we’ll probably go for it. It’s always so fun to stay up late, play board games and UNO, cracking up about something silly. Some of my best memories growing up are of Christmas Eve nights at Gramma’s. It was my Grandpa’s birthday, so it’s always been a really special day for our family.
It’s been a while since I had a chance to do any baking with everything else we have going on. But the holidays are coming, and Food Lion is sponsoring a bake off on their Facebook page–so I wanted to come up with a good recipe to enter. Here’s what I came up with! I hope you’ll enter too–here’s the link: You can enter in one of four categories–appetizer, entree, side, or dessert. 12 winners will take home a $500 Food Lion gift card! The bake off ends 11/28–so get your favorite recipe entered soon!
Cheesecake with Spiced Graham Cracker Crust
11 whole graham crackers
1/4 c. honey
1 T. cinnamon
1 t. nutmeg
1 t. allspice
1 t. ginger
1 container fat-free cottage cheese
2 bricks reduced-fat cream cheese, softened
Zest of 1 lemon
1 T. vanilla
1 c. sugar
Heat oven to 350F. Spray inside of 9″ springform pan with pam.
Make crust: Process crackers in food processor until fine. Add spices, pulse until combined. Add honey, and process until crumbly and well-mixed. Press into the bottom and 1″ up the sides of springform pan. Chill in the refrigerator while you make the filling, about 10-15 minutes.
Make filling: Process cottage cheese and cream cheese until smooth. Add lemon zest and vanilla, pulse until combined. Add eggs and sugar, process until well blended.
Bake the cheesecake for 45 minutes, or until the center is almost set. Turn the heat off, crack oven door with a wooden spoon, and let rest in the hot oven for 30 minutes. Let cool completely on a wire rack. Chill.
Pictures to come–it’s still cooling! But it’s weight-watchers friendly, at 6 points per slice (12 slices per cheesecake). Enjoy!
I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour for Mom Central Consulting on behalf of Food Lion. I received a promotional item to facilitate my shopping experience and review.