Pumpkin Cheesecake! Pumpkins, Squash and Autumn Corn! The Flavors of the Season!

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It’s that time of year and nothing says Autumn like pumpkins!

Pumpkin is great in soup, cheesecake, cookies, pies, breads, curries and more.

Cooking with Fresh Pumpkin

There’s no shame in using canned pumpkin. Even professional bakers do it. But if you’re using fresh, choose small, flavorful sugar pie pumpkins–and save the big ones for carving. A four-pound pumpkin should yield about 1½ cups of puree.

To make pumpkin puree:

1. Cut the pumpkin in half and bake cut-side down, covered with foil, in a 375 degree F oven for about 90 minutes or until flesh is tender.

2. Allow to cool, scoop out the flesh, and puree.

3. Strain the puree for extra-silky smooth soups and custards.

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A trip to a local farm introduced me to all kinds of squash and corn varieties.

The possibilities are vast and are not limited to baked goods.

Pumpkins are great in savory dishes and lend themselves to spicy flavors; think curry and roasted pepper.

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Over the next few weeks I want to explore all things pumpkin, squash and corn!

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Pumpkin Cheesecake
Ingredients

1 1/2 cups graham cracker cookie crumbs
3/4 cup ground hazelnuts
3 tablespoons brown sugar
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

3 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 cups canned solid pack pumpkin
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup maple syrup
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
4 eggs

Method

1.Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Grease and flour a 9 inch springform pan.

2.Using a fork, combine gingersnaps, hazelnuts, 3 tablespoons brown sugar and melted butter. Press mixture onto the bottom and two inches up the sides of the pan to form the crust.

3.With an electric mixer, beat cream cheese and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Stir in the pumpkin. Mix in the cream, maple syrup, cinnamon, allspice and vanilla. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, mixing until smooth.

4.Pour batter into prepared crust. Bake in the preheated oven for 90 minutes, or until center of cheesecake is set. Allow to cool in pan for 30 minutes, then refrigerate overnight.

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I have no idea what these are but I am willing to give them a try!

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Whipped Cream Avalanche! Cheesecake in a Midwest Heatwave!

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I should have given this a bit more thought!

I do not have air conditioning and we are in the middle of an incredible heatwave here in the midwest.

The heat index was 106 degrees! yesterday.

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We were celebrating a birthday and this cheesecake with strawberries and whipped cream is a favorite.

birthday cheesecake

It did look great when I placed it on the table but by the time I picked up the camera it was sliding all over the place!

That was about 15 seconds!

One of the secrets to the greatness of this cheesecake is the crust.

The butter toasted pecans make the crust amazing and every time I make this the only request is that next time I make more crust!

Ingredients:

Crust

1 stick of butter

3/4 cup of pecans

1 1/2 cups graham crackers

Filling

3 8 oz. pkgs cream cheese
1 cup superfine granulated sugar
2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
2 tsp. vanilla extract
3 eggs
1/3 cup whole milk
Whipped cream prepared or homemade; we used Redi-Whip, it’s a nostalgia thing!

Method:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

Saute butter and pecans until they become aromatic and lightly toasted

Place graham crackers, sauteed pecans and butter in the food processor and mix until the texture is fine

Press into the bottom of a 9 inch springform pan and bake for 10 minutes

Set aside; reset oven to 325 degrees

With an electric mixer beat cream cheese, sugar and flour together until well mixed

Add vanilla and beat until smooth

Add eggs one at a time beating well after each addition

Beat until smooth

Add milk and mix until well blended

Pour the batter over the crust and bake in preheated 325 degree oven for 45-55 minutes

Fell free to garnish with your favorite fresh fruit after the cheesecake has chilled in the fridge overnight

Don’t be shy with the whipped cream!

Put love in it and Enjoy!

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Anna’s Breakfast Potato, Veggie and Egg Scramble with Cheese!

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Not only is my BFF Anna is a great cook but she is the hostess with the mostest!

We invade her lovely home for long weekends and she manages to entertain us like royalty!

One of her specialties is this casserole, of sorts, or breakfast scramble.

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She par cooks potatoes in the microwave

Chops and sautes any vegetables on hand, usually: red peppers, asparagus, leeks, and mushrooms and sets those aside

Then dice the potatoes and combine in a large skillet the cooked veggies, potatoes, some cheese then crack a few eggs on top

Turn the heat down to low and cover to allow the eggs to cook.

You’re finished!

You can also do this in the oven in a lovely casserole dish for a more elegant presentation.

Or cook the eggs seperatly and serve on top.

Either way it’s delicious!

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Meatless Monday! Spinach and Mushroom Omlette

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Eggs aren’t just for breakfast anymore and these are stuffed with spinach and mushrooms.

When dinner rolls around don’t hesitate to crack a few eggs and enjoy a healthy and hardy meal full of protein and veggies.

Add a salad and you’ve got a well rounded meal for the whole family to enjoy.

Use your favorite vegetables and cheeses to create a quick and easy, Meatless Monday!

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