Happy! Sad! Nervous! Mini-Cherry Cheesecakes

Hello! Happy Tuesday!

I got the BEST news at physical therapy yesterday! Since I’ve been going for a week now and my leg is feeling stronger, I figured it was worth asking when I would be able to try running. AND HE SAID AT THE END OF THIS WEEK!!! I’m so excited! Can you tell? Haha!


Of course, that was the best part of my day yesterday. I had a major case of the Mondays. I didn’t even make it to CrossFit. Work > working out 😦


But, that just meant I had extra time to make some treats for a friend’s (and coworker) birthday today!

My Runner’s World magazine showed up in the mail yesterday! So excited and yet a little nervous to crack it open.


I’m a crier and I know I’m going need a box of tissues nearby. This is definitely not breakfast reading material. I need to make sure I allot myself the time, and space, necessary to read, remember, cry, pray, and heal.


Okay, just thinking about reading it makes me well up a little. So, let’s move on to the birthday treats!

As you know, I like to bake. I especially like to bake when it’s to celebrate a friend’s birthday! And, it’s way more fun to make things that your friends like so I surreptitiously queried her husband regarding her baked good preferences. I didn’t want to make something she wasn’t going to like! Seriously, at a previous place of employment, my boss brought in a carrot cake as a surprise birthday treat. Carrot cake. Um, not all people are fans of carrot cake! I still shake my head about that day.

Anyway, cherry cheesecake was the answer and I could TOTALLY make that happen – mini (and easy) style! 🙂


Mini Cherry Cheesecakes

2 packages (8 oz each) reduced fat cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup sugar
3 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Vanilla wafers
Cherry pie filling
Foil baking cups (Look for 2″ baking cups – larger than mini but smaller than regular. If you can’t find that size, use regular or use the mini and buy mini vanilla wafers. I used regular size.)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place foil baking cups on baking sheet. Place a vanilla wafer in each cup.

2. Mix cream cheese, sugar, eggs, vanilla, and lemon juice until smooth and creamy. Spoon 2-3 tablespoons of cream cheese mixture over each wafer. (I found that 2 tablespoons was perfect. 3 tablespoons made the cookie rise up in the baking cup. THAT didn’t make me happy.)

3. Bake for 15-23 minutes (If you use the mini cups, you’ll want to bake for less time. I used regular and baked for about 22 minutes.).

Let cool and top with cherry pie filling. Refrigerate until chilled.

4. Om nom nom!


Recipe adapted from Bakerella

– jennifer

Whip-It-Good Banana Split

Ah….the banana split. One of the greatest ice cream desserts ever – right next to the hot fudge brownie sundae. 🙂  I remember going to the ice cream parlor after softball games and being so excited about the banana split. 3 scoops of vanilla ice cream, 3 different toppings, whipped cream, peanuts and a cherry ; heaven to a pre-teen! Who’s worried about calories?!  Well, me, now that I’m all grown up. 🙂

But, that doesn’t mean I don’t still want a true banana split every now and then. What it does mean is that I’m more amenable to healthier substitutions to protect my waistline and I found the perfect recipe! From “The New Abs Diet Cookbook” comes the “Whip-It-Good Banana Split” – chocolate pudding, bananas, whipped cream, peanuts complete with a cherry on top. It’s heaven all grown up!


Whip-It-Good Banana Split

2 cups fat-free milk
1 package (4 servings) Jell-O instant sugar-free chocolate pudding mix
2 ripe bananas, sliced
1/2 cup fat-free whipped topping
1 tablespoon chopped peanuts
4 Bing cherries, stem on (optional)

Whisk together the milk and pudding mix for about 2 minutes. Spoon half into dessert dishes. Top with bananas and then the remaining pudding. Divide the whipped topping, peanuts, and cherries (if using) among the dishes. Let stand until set, about 5 minutes.

Makes 4 servings

Per serving: 130 calories, 5g Protein, 24g Carbohydrate, 1.5g Fat (0g saturated), 75mg Sodium, 2g Fiber