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Chocolate Strawberry Cream Cheese Tart & Dealing with New Mom Fears

When you get pregnant, people love to warn you about what will be missing from your new life once the baby comes. "You’ll never sleep again!!" They laugh upon hearing the great news. "Have sex now while you can!" His friends will tell him. "You are going to be so broke, those little suckers are expensive!" as if you just bought a tanking stock against their best financial advice.

What they don’t tell you is that you will worry constantly. About everything. An irrational, gut wrenching fear that is so far beyond the non-mom worries you once had, any other type of fear just seems absurd. Even rational, legitimate non-mom fears seem silly in the face of your completely irrational New Mom fears. Forget that old fear of getting mugged late at night in a parking garage that has always given you the creeps, what about a Zombie attack?! What would I do with the baby if there are Zombies? She’s like a tiny appetizer! Fear of getting cancer? Forget it, what if a Mountain Lion wanders into the house and wants to eat the baby! Again, she’s like a tasty little morsel! What would I do?! I need a plan!

You know how insane you’re being. You know it’s crazy. But you can’t help it. Forget sleep and sex and money, the hardest part of being a new mom is the crazy worry that wraps itself around you like a Boa Constrictor and squeezes the air right out of your lungs (Oh No! Boa constrictors?! What would I do if I’m at the park and one of those things got a hold of the baby?! Do they have those in California? Must. Google. It.)

So, for the sake of my own sanity, and I have to admit that I’m sure I’m WAY crazier than most of you, I’ve devised a few rules to help me cope:

1. Don’t watch the news. Especially local news. No good can come of bored reporters looking to sensationalize a story. Just watch reruns of Friends instead. This also applies to clinking on that story of a dead/missing/maimed toddler on the front page of Yahoo news. Just don’t do it.

2. Use the phrase, "Does it end well?" when those friends and family members, who LOVE to relay to you the most tragic news, start to tell you about a story that they just heard. And if they even hesitate for a moment, yell in their face, "WHY ARE YOU TELLING A NEW MOM A STORY ABOUT A DEAD BABY??"  It’s therapeutic, I promise.

3. Sometimes you have to make a plan. Even though it’s insane and you know that you will never be adrift at sea after your plane crashes in the atlantic with a toddler and a group of hungry cannibals, sometimes it makes you feel better to just make a plan so that your mind can rest.

4. Dumber People than you have raised kids. Sounds harsh, right? It makes me feel better. When I hear stories about crack addicted mothers living on the streets, turning tricks in dirty hotel rooms while the 6 year old and a newborn baby are locked in the closet, most people think, "That’s awful! Those poor kids!" Not me, I think, "Well if she didn’t manage to get her kids killed or eaten by the ravenous undead, I think I have a pretty good shot!" When I feel like I barely have a 50/50 shot of getting my kid out of childhood alive and intact, it makes me feel better to think, "Dumber people than me have done it."

And when all else fails, bake. But watch those Hansel & Gretel nightmares, those will keep you up at night.

Chocolate Strawberry Cream Cheese Tart



  • 2 cups of chocolate graham cracker cookies (like Trader Joes Cat Cookies, or Teddy Grahams)
  • 2 tbs brown sugar
  • 3 tbs melted butter


  • 16oz cream cheese
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract


  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1 tbs corn starch
  • 3 cups fresh strawberries, sliced
  • 1/2 cup sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. In a food processor, add the chocolate graham crackers and brown sugar. Process until only crumbs remain. Add the melted butter and pulse until combined and it resembles wet sand. Dump into the bottom of a 9 inch tart pan with a removable bottom (that has been sprayed with cooking spray). Press very well into the bottom of the pan using the flat bottom of a heavy glass, measuring cup or mug.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the cream cheese and the sugar until well combined and creamy, about 3 minutes. scrape the bottom and add the egg, beating until well combined. Scrape the bottom of the bowl and then add the vanilla and beat on high for about 2 minutes. Pour over the crust and smooth out with a spatula.
  4. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes or until the center of the cream cheese doesn’t jiggle when the oven rack is shaken. This is not a "toothpick inserted in the center should come out clean" situation. Remove from oven.
  5. While the tart is cooking, add the remaining ingredients to a pot over medium high heat. Allow to boil until thick and very bubbly for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
  6. Top the tart with the strawberries and chill until set, about 4 hours, before removing from the tart pan.

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cassie @ bakeyourday April 23, 2012 um 1:12 pm

I don’t even have kids and I worry about raising them when they do come along. I love your list of how you cope. And this tart is so amazing. I wish we were neighbors! 🙂


Jackie April 23, 2012 um 4:16 pm

I wish we were neighbors too! I’d have been all over those compost cookies 🙂


amy April 23, 2012 um 2:56 pm

bahahah! this post is amazing. =) and the tart? looks even more amazing. thanks for sharing!


amy @ fearless homemaker April 23, 2012 um 2:57 pm

this post is amazing! + this tart? looks even more amazing! thanks for sharing!


Kiersten @ Oh My Veggies April 23, 2012 um 4:14 pm

This is gorgeous–I think I could eat the whole thing! And it’s completely perfect because strawberries are cheap & plentiful right now. 🙂

I don’t have kids, but I can tell you, not paying attention to the news can do wonders for your mental health. I read another blogger talking about giving news up for a month, so I tried it too & it is liberating!


Jackie April 24, 2012 um 8:35 am

Seriously, the news is awful for my mental health! Glad that I don’t have the time for it anymore.


Valerie @ From Valerie’s Kitchen April 23, 2012 um 7:50 pm

I’ve got 4 of them Jackie…all boys…and I’ve survived to tell my tale. This means you will be fine, I promise! That was so well written and so right on the point! I wish I could say the worry goes away, I suppose it wanes, just a little, but I swear I worry and have the same fiercely protective love for my 6’3″ oldest boy (man!) that I did for him when he was 6 months old.

This tart is beautiful! I did a strawberry cake today but I want a piece of your tart!!!


Jackie April 24, 2012 um 8:37 am

Thanks Valerie! I know that I’ll still be worrying about her when she is an old woman collecting social security, she’ll always be my baby 🙂


Baker Street April 23, 2012 um 8:23 pm

What a great post Jackie. Love your tips on how to cope and the tart looks super scrumptious.


chinmayie @ love food eat April 23, 2012 um 9:25 pm

Love this post! I am quite a relaxed mommy myself but I worry sometime too… My worries are mostly about how to save the planet for my daughter, am I being too overprotective, am I setting a good example to my daughter by doing….., am i being a good enough mommy to this wonderful little girl, what can i do more to maker her happier/better….


Jackie April 24, 2012 um 8:39 am

I have normal worries and fear and guilt too, but the crazy insane irrational fear I was not prepared for! Not it makes me laugh, and it’s not at all as bad or as frequent as when she was first born, but sometimes I still have the most insane fears!


justine April 24, 2012 um 4:32 am

This post totally cracked me up! And the tart looks amazing…


Julia {The Roasted Root} April 24, 2012 um 5:31 am

Your post had me cracking up…I’m not a mom yet, but my sister, who has five, has definitely brought up some of the same issues. Your cheesecake tart looks fun and delicious!


Sara April 24, 2012 um 5:35 am

Ha! Just about to have my third baby and really appreciated your words, esp. that dumber people than me have accomplished this 😉 But now I feel all annoyed and "nesty" that I do not own a tart pan. ugh.


Jackie April 24, 2012 um 8:41 am

HAHA! I was like that when I was pregnant, "Why don’t I own a madeline pan??" My sister told me the part about "dumber people than you do it all the time" and it seriously helps when I start to freak out.


Bree April 24, 2012 um 6:40 am

So true about mom worries. Next up? Mom guilt! 😉 This recipe sounds delicous too!


Jackie April 24, 2012 um 8:42 am

So true! no one warns you that you will feel guilty about everything!


Mw. Ekster April 24, 2012 um 7:19 am

It looks so yummy!


Paige April 24, 2012 um 9:04 am

The tart looks so yummy! I just had my second baby and even going through it once doesn’t get rid of the worrying. A little more confident maybe, but I’m still overpacking and worrying about the small stuff. You’ll do great I’m sure.

When I read this it made me think of something else I read earlier and thought I’d pass it along:


Erin @ Dinners, Dishes, and Desserts April 24, 2012 um 9:23 am

Having kids is the hardest thing ever!! My son will be 7 tomorrow, and to this day I still shocked the is this old, and has made it this far unscathed. I mean, he is smart, good at school, funny, has lots of friends, and is a really good kid. How did I do that?! The worrying NEVER goes away!!


Maggie April 25, 2012 um 1:16 pm

Ahhhh…isn’t paranoia fun! Don’t you love when your husband looks at you like you are the craziest person he has ever seen. I have LOTS of plans…I have even slept with a kitchen knife and my keys by my bed when my hubby was away one night…C-R-A-Z-Y. Love this blog it gives me inspiration in the kitchen when I am too tired to do anything fun. Thanks!


Jackie April 25, 2012 um 3:35 pm

HAHA! Sounds like me 🙂


[email protected] April 25, 2012 um 6:23 pm

I wouldn’t be so sure that you win the crazy award! I’m a bit nuts myself 😀 And I go on 'media fasts' because the news drives me insane! Thank goodness for chocolate and strawberry no? 😀


Liz April 30, 2012 um 4:09 am

You will be a MARVELOUS mother!!!! And I can just see all the neighborhood kids gathering in your kitchen begging to sample your baking…so much fun in your future!!!


Emily @ She Makes and Bakes May 1, 2012 um 7:03 am

That tart looks fantastic, and I love your worries, especially her being a tiny appetizer. I make a point to not watch the news ever. There’s hardly ever good stories on there. Hang in there! At least you still have your humor…and a good back-up plan!


Steve May 2, 2012 um 7:31 am

Its crazy and mouth watering recipe……Great post..!!


Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious May 4, 2012 um 10:09 pm

I don’t have kids yet but I’m definitely saving this post for that time. Oh and the news thing applies to everyone. When do they ever mention something pleasant on the news?!

On a more pleasant note, I’m totally in love with this tart. I’ve actually been contemplating on getting a tart pan but now I really have to get it so I can make this!


Maggie @ kitchie coo May 9, 2012 um 8:33 pm

Oh my gosh!! I love this post! Hilarious, and SOOOO true. My mind immediately jumps to the worst thing that could possibly happen. If my husband are not home 2 minutes after he said they would be? Dead, they’re dead and I am destined to live an awful, sad, teary life from that moment on. You get the point. I am with you on this Jackie!
The tart, amazing. That makes me forget all about new mom crazies!


Jackie May 10, 2012 um 9:28 am

I can’t tell you how many times I have thought that exact same thing! I’ve even go so far as to think, "What am I going to say at the funeral?! I can’t do it!"
I’m a mess. Glad I’m not alone 🙂


Senior Care Lockport IL June 12, 2012 um 12:49 pm

haha… I don’t even have kids yet, but I can say that from what I’ve seen with my sister and my friends who have kids, you nailed it!

Great looking tart too!


Strawberry Cheesecake Popsicles and I Heart California Strawberries – Domestic Fits April 24, 2013 um 2:35 am

[…] Chocolate Strawberry Cream Cheese Tart – Domestic Fits […]


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