10.27.2011

Pumpkin. Pumpkin Cheesecake

Wow. I've really been a slacker. Huh. That sort of sucks, doesn't it?

Really, I haven't been up to much - drinking water, eating eggs & toast, working and crocheting some scarves for Christmas presents. And trying to look for purple sparkly yarn so I can make myself a scarf. I've also been coveting 2 cans of pumpkin puree trying to figure out what I should make. Pumpkin bread? Pumpkin muffins? Maybe pumpkin pie? Oh, wait - I've got to save a can because I came across a Pumpkin Cheesecake recipe in my latest issue of Southern Living. Oh, yes, PUMPKIN CHEESECAKE. WITH PRALINE FROSTING.

I think I was meant to live in the South with all the fabulous food. Biscuits and gravy? Yes, please! Gumbo? Why, yes, please! Crawfish? Ummmm.... YES. Cajun food. YES. Grits? Oh, my Lord. I really think I'd fit in well in Louisiana. Le sigh. I think I can only convince Bimmer Man to possibly move to South Carolina for retirement. Is that southern enough? I think there might be a race track there.

Now I've never made a cheesecake before (GASP!!) in all the years that I've been cooking and baking. I don't even own a springform pan (GASP!!). So I'm going to have to buy one (I'm blushing). Let's just say thank goodness it was up on myrecipes.com to share with you - because I'm way too lazy to even try and type up the recipe from the magazine.

Pumpkin-Pecan Cheesecake

Ingredients

  • 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped pecans
  • 5 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 3 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 4 (8-oz.) packages cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups canned pumpkin
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • Praline Topping
  • Garnishes: coarsely chopped Pecan Pie-Glazed Pecans, fresh sage leaves

Preparation

  • 1. Preheat oven to 325°. Stir together first 4 ingredients in a bowl until well blended. Press mixture on bottom and 1 1/2 inches up sides of a 9-inch springform pan. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned.
  • 2. Beat cream cheese and next 2 ingredients at medium speed with a heavy-duty electric stand mixer until blended and smooth. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until blended after each addition. Add pumpkin and lemon juice, beating until blended. Pour batter into prepared crust. (Pan will be very full.)
  • 3. Bake at 325° for 1 hour to 1 hour and 10 minutes or until almost set. Turn oven off. Let cheesecake stand in oven, with door closed, 15 minutes. Remove cheesecake from oven, and gently run a knife around outer edge of cheesecake to loosen from sides of pan. (Do not remove sides of pan.) Cool completely on a wire rack (about 1 hour). Cover and chill 8 to 24 hours.
  • 4. Remove sides and bottom of pan, and transfer cheesecake to a serving plate. Prepare Praline Topping; immediately pour slowly over top of cheesecake, spreading to within 1/4 inch of edge. Garnish, if desired.
  • Try This Twist! Sweet Potato-Pecan Cheesecake: Substitute 1 1/2 cups mashed, cooked sweet potatoes for canned pumpkin. Proceed with recipe as directed, baking 1 hour or until almost set.

10.11.2011

Pear Crisp

I've got 8 Bartlett pears that I need to use up and bake with - since I went to Costco this past weekend, I sort of forgot that buying in bulk (especially produce) can be sort of wasteful when there's only two people in the house. Unless you really like something and eat it all the time.

Generally I turn to Paula Deen for baking recipes and this Pear Crisp recipe looks super easy and delicious. I think pears are my second favorite fruit (first is definitely peaches!).

Pictures to come tonight!

How Much Do You Really Want To Know?

About pregnancy.

Seriously. I mean I never heard some of the weird things that happen to your body and really, I don't plan on posting about pregnancy that often (maybe like once or twice more before March, otherwise I plan on sticking to my usual stuff: food, decor and random crap).

I guess I'll tell you the weird stuff that happens so you'll be prepared. Any pregnant women or mothers, please feel free to add more in the comment section.

1. Food that you previously liked will not taste good. I projectile vomit from ice cream, soup and crackers. Strange, yes, part of pregnancy, yes.

2. Your feet swell. Or at least my left foot.

3. Zofran, Reglan and Phenergan will become lifesavers if you have awful morning sickness (and when the doctor starts discussing a PICC line and 24 hour IV Zofran drip, don't panic, just tell them that yes, you can keep down water. For more information on Hyperemesis, please visit helpher.org).

4. Even water tastes weird. (I HAVE to drink water out of a bottle, if not, well then, you've been warned)

5. Animals smell funny.

6. Get at least 4 different scents of body wash plus 1 unscented body wash so you have options.

7. Options for anything are awesome. (ie: strawberries or grapes; easy to vomit or tastes good; clean or you can live with dirty, etc...)

8. Suddenly you have a runny nose. And a postnasal drip. Which you've never had before.

9. Meh, I'm not far enough along to keep going.

Ok, ladies and future mothers: I've warned you of my symptoms. I promise that if you live close by I will come over and clean your fridge, take out your garbage and clean your bathroom. I will make your life easier. Maybe even walk your dog. And help you grocery shop. And not shove crackers or ginger in your face. In fact, I will stop at Subway if you want, get you a 6 pack of N/A beer and happily wish you congratulations and give you well wishes because it's very exciting and pretty awesome...

10.10.2011

Bringing the Outside In: Card Holder

Thank goodness I've been feeling a bit more crafty lately. I'm feeling more like me SO... let's get some craft on. Ok, well sort of.

I had an excellent idea that I found on Pinterest and so I decided to take my tired self to Joann Fabrics and try to re-create this. However, I think I failed miserably.

Here's my inspiration:

Very pretty. Plain branches, decorated with cards in some sort of vase... Blah, blah, crafty, blah.

And here's what mine looks like:

Ignore the crappy iPhone photo. I literally stuck branches in a pitcher. And then I started laughing. And then I decided I was way too lazy to take the branches out so I just left them there.

So I think I've formulated a plan for this to not look like the tree from the front yard shit in the pitcher:

1. Get rid of the gumball machine (Hey, Neighbor Heather, you've got 3 kids, do you want it? Plus you live by me so I can just walk it across the yard... please say yes).

2. Find some sort of different catch-all table for the front hall. Maybe something more like this: And bonus points if I can find a real antique.

3. Spray paint the branches. What color? Umm... White? Silver? Turquoise? Red? I dunno... my creativity has gone out the window since I have the spawn of Bimmer Man in my ute.

4. Find some old Christmas cards and hang them up to make me look more popular. BWAHAHA.

Happy Monday.