Baking Part Time

In between daydreaming, coding, commuting, reading, and traveling around the world… I bake.

Cinnamon Apple Cheesecake

Does anyone else feel insanely overwhelmed sometimes? Like no matter how many to do lists you make, or no matter how you try to keep to a schedule to try and get everything done, somehow there just aren’t enough hours in a day? Lately I feel like I’ve just been play catch up; just trying to stay afloat. My to do lists are just about useless because even if I try to do just ONE thing, that one thing seems to suck up the entire evening.

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About a week or two ago, NY finally started feeling winter, and I had no winter jacket to speak of. So Monday after work I decided that I would leave work on time (hah.. hahah… oh stupid me) and go to the store with my husband to pick up a jacket. I had a very definite idea of what I was looking for – a generic puffy jacket that hit mid thigh or lower. In my mind, I’d go to the store, buy this jacket, then come home in time to feed my daughter dinner and spend time with her before bedtime. What ended up happening is that I left work 40 minutes late, caught the absolute worst train delays, got to the store tired, and by the time I got home it was my daughter’s bedtime and I was exhausted.

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Things like that have me feeling incredibly down. I can’t even accomplish ONE thing in the evening. And baking… HAH! Forget it. These cheesecakes were the first thing I’d baked in 6 weeks. Yup… 6 weeks. A month and a half. Is it because I’m actually more busy somehow? Is it the weather? I have no idea. I was honestly thinking of just shutting down the blog 2 weeks ago. I enjoy it. Heck I absolutely love it! It’s my only real ‘me’ time. Where I’m not the mom, or the wife, or the sister, or the daughter. Where it’s not about dealing with issues at work, or getting the laundry done, or anything else. It’s just me. But as much as I love it, part of me kept saying, “You just have to be realistic. You can’t do everything. And this is the one thing that’s extraneous, so just drop it. You can pick it up again in a few years.”

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I went to visit my mom and sister this past weekend, and my sister asked me something simple like if I was alright or if I was feeling ok. And that was all it took. I just broke down in tears. I’m just so tired! And not the good kind of tired where I’ve actually accomplished something. Just tired from trying to keep up. We talked for a while, and my mom said something that stuck. Life will always be busy, there will always be a million and one things to do, but you have to make time for yourself. Just push everything else to the side, and take an hour or two for myself. All my other tasks will be there when I get back. And get people to help. If I can pay someone to do my laundry for me or clean my house for me or cook weeknight meals for me, I should do it. My mom spent her whole life struggling and it’s taken such a toll on her health that she can’t even enjoy retirement with my Dad.

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So at 10:30pm on a Saturday night, I baked up these cheesecakes. Then, while my daughter napped her incredibly short nap on Sunday afternoon. I photographed. Finally, last night I edited. It was quick and not as intensive as my usual edit sessions last. I got rid of everything that was blurry, or where the composition just didn’t work for me, then edited the last 10-14 photos. Then I picked the few that made it into the post. And that’s it. A post was born. It wasn’t exactly easy, but it was still manageable. I made the decision to do something for myself, and I just did it. It took a whole week, but I still did it. How about you guys? Do you ever feel overwhelmed? How do you deal with it? I’d love to hear what you think.

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Cinnamon Apple Cheesecake
 
Author:

Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 stick butter, softened
  • 2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar, plus 3 teaspoons (divided)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 Granny Smith apple
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Instructions
  1. Peel, core, and dice the Granny Smith apple. Toss with cinnamon, nutmeg, and 3 teaspoons of sugar. I usually taste one of the diced pieces at this point to see if I’d like to add any extra spices or sugar.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine flour and brown sugar. Cut in butter with a pastry blender until mixture is crumbly (I usually use my hands). Press about 1 tablespoon of the mixture evenly into each of the 12 mini cheesecake cavities. You may have some extra dough mixture, which is ok* Bake 10 minutes or until lightly browned.
  4. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese with 1/2 cup sugar in an electric mixer at medium speed until smooth. Then add eggs, 1 at a time, and vanilla. Stir to combine.
  5. Add 1 tablespoon of batter over each crust. Depending on the size of your pans, you may have extra batter* Spoon apples evenly over cream cheese mixture.
  6. Bake 18 minutes, then remove from oven. Let the cheesecakes cool for at least 30 minutes, then cool in the fridge for at least another 30 minutes.
  7. Serve as is, or with whipped cream.

Notes
For whatever reason, I sometimes end up with extra dough crust and / or batter. Instead of trying to force them into the pan, I bake off the extras in little ramekins. I call these my test cases ;)

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3 Comments on Cinnamon Apple Cheesecake

  1. deannalee
    21 November, 2013 at 8:04 pm (153 days ago)

    lovely post and melancholic thoughts. most women should be able to identify with your blues. the sun always rises tomorrow. it will be another day of hope for u. if mom aint happy, no one in the house is happy! do your loved ones a favour. treat yourself good. :)

    Reply
  2. nadia
    22 November, 2013 at 2:47 pm (153 days ago)

    smart woman…that mom of yours!

    Reply
  3. Sana rashid
    22 November, 2013 at 2:52 pm (153 days ago)

    I think I just spammed every single form of social media with you about this post. But I loved it. Exactly what I feel like I’m going through much too often. Sigh.

    Reply

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