Thursday, November 19, 2009

Pumpkin Cheesecake with Ginger Pecan Crust


1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 cup (40g) chopped crystallized ginger
1/3 cup (54g) pecans
1/2 cup (113g) unsalted butter, cold & cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 tbsp cold water


1 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice (or 1/2 tsp ginger and 1/4 tsp cloves)
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/4 lbs (567g) cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 tbsp cornstarch
4 large eggs, at room temp.

To make the crust

Position oven rack in the center and preheat oven to 350F. Grease the bottom and sides of a 9x3 inch springform pan. Wrap the outside of the pan with 2-3 layers of aluminum foil.

Place the flour, sugar, salt, ginger, and pecans in the bowl of a food processor. Process until the pecans are finely ground. Add the cold butter cubes and pulse until the mixture forms coarse crumbs. Add the cold water slowly until the dough just comes together. Press the dough into the bottom of your prepared pan. Bake for 25-30 minutes until the crust just starts to brown. Cool crust completely on a wire rack.

To make the filling

Reduce oven temperature to 325F. In a bowl, whisk together pumpkin, heavy cream, vanilla, spices and salt. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the cream cheese on medium-low speed until creamy, about 2 minutes. Add the sugars and beat on low speed until smooth. Mix in the pumpkin mixture, then add the cornstarch and mix until just blended. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.

Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing until just combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and do a final mix by hand to make sure all the ingredients are well incorporated.

Pour the filling in the cooled crust. Set the still wrapped springform pan in a large roasting pan. Carefully pour enough hot water into the large pan to come 1 inch up the sides of the springform pan. Bake for 70 to 80 minutes until the center is set but still a bit wobbly.

Remove cheesecake from water bath to a cooling rack. Carefully remove the foil and run a thin knife tip around the edge of the cake. This will loosen the cake and help prevent the top from cracking. Cool completely at room temperature. Refrigerate the cooled cheesecake for at least 4 hours before serving.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Another thought to ponder.....

"When one door of happiness closes, another opens, but often we stare so long at the closed door that we don't see the one that has been opened for us." --Helen Keller

Whatcha cookin Good Lookin?

Chicken Meatloaf

1 pound of ground chicken
½ cup carrot chopped in FP

½ cup onion-chopped in FP
2-4 garlic cloves garlic cloves -minced

1 cup marinara sauce

Sea salt

1 T. Worcestershire Sauce

1 T hot sauce ( I like Tabasco or Texas Pete brand)-optional-but really good
Freshly ground black pepper
1 cup of oatmeal
2 eggs

¼ cup Ketchup
Preheat oven to 400 F.

In a large bowl squish together ground chicken through eggs . The best way to do it is just get your hands in there and mix! Keep squishing until the ingredients are completely blended.

Once everything is mixed, press the mixture into a loaf pan that has been sprayed with non-stick spray. Add the ketchup to the top and spread out to cover the top.

Use Muffins Tins for faster cook (about 16-18 min. The individual portions also look really cute. Well, as cute as meatloaf can look, I guess . :O)

Bake for 35-45 minutes or until chicken is done through.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Fall Fun

When you ask this one what his name is, the usual response is "Baby Duck"

This was the obvious choice for his Halloween Costume!
We went to the Fall Festival at Gatlin Creek and he rode the Kiddie Train at least 5 times. Then, we went to a few houses on our street. He said "Twick-Tweet" a couple of times. Friendly little guy that he is, he walked on inside 3 times to the delight of our neighbors. Hope everyone has a wonderful November. I will try to post more often. Life has been busy lately-and I think I burned out on blogging a bit. Our big news for this week is that my 13 year old will be going on a Science Academy trip all week. Please pray for traveling safety for them. Also, my sweet mom is closing in on the end of Chemotherapy -so please pray for her to continue to heal.