Friday, October 30, 2009

Pumpkin Cheesecake

In the spirit of Halloween, I thought I'd publish a few pumpkin recipes that I think are delicious. Hope you enjoy!

This Pumpkin Cheesecake was a hit at our Thanksgiving dinner last year. Recipe complements of my friend Katy.


For the crust

* 3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
* 1/2 cup finely chopped pecans
* 1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
* 1/4 cup granulated sugar
* 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled

For the filling

* 1 1/2 cups solid pack pumpkin
* 3 large eggs
* 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
* 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
* 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
* three 8-ounce packages cream cheese, cut into bits and softened
* 1/2 cup granulated sugar
* 2 tablespoons heavy cream
* 1 tablespoon cornstarch
* 1 teaspoon vanilla


Make the crust:
In a bowl combine the cracker crumbs, the pecans, and the sugars, stir in the butter, and press the mixture into the bottom and 1/2 inch up the side of a buttered 9-inch springform pan. Chill the crust for 1 hour.

Make the filling:
In a bowl whisk together the pumpkin, the egg, the cinnamon, the nutmeg, the ginger, the salt, and the brown sugar. In a large bowl with an electric mixer cream together the cream cheese and the granulated sugar, beat in the cream, the cornstarch, the vanilla, the bourbon liqueur, and the pumpkin mixture, and beat the filling until it is smooth.

Pour the filling into the crust, bake the cheesecake in the middle of a preheated 350°F. oven for 50 to 55 minutes, or until the center is just set, and let it cool in the pan on a rack for 5 minutes.

Pumpkin Bread

This AMAZING pumpkin bread recipe was given to me by a friend. It is very likely the best pumpkin bread I've ever tasted. If you like pumpkin, you must try!!!


3 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
2/3 cup water
1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease
two 9x5 inch loaf pans.
2. In a large mixing, combine sugar, oil and eggs; beat until
smooth. Add water and beat until well blended. Stir in pumpkin,
ginger, allspice and cinnamon.
3. In medium bowl, combine flour, soda, salt, and baking powder.
Add dry ingredients to pumpkin mixture and blend just until all
ingredients are mixed. Divide batter between prepared pans.
4. Bake in preheated oven until toothpick comes out clean, about 1 hour.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Mango Smoothies

We love a good smoothie round here, and we've had our fill this week. Mango smoothies are up there in our top couple faves. Recipe from Williams-Sonoma.

Mango Smoothies

2 cups frozen mango cubes
1 cup plain yogurt
2 cups milk
1 banana, coarsely chopped
2 T. lemon juice
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Blend and serve. (Trader Joes has delicious frozen mango year-round.)

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Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup

Our menu is very flexible this week- we're nursing our daughter back to health after she had a tonsilectomy on Monday. I made this soup last night, and it was just what the doctor ordered, for all of us. Recipe adapted from one found on For the Love of Cooking.

Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup

2 T. olive oil
2-3 T. yellow onion, finely diced
2 cup carrots, diced
1/2 cup celery, sliced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
couple dashes of oregano
couple dashes of thyme
1 chicken bouillon cube
Sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste
6 cups chicken broth
3 cups of baking potatoes, peeled and diced
2 cups of roasted chicken, shredded
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 cup half n half
2 cups uncooked egg noodles

Heat olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion, carrots, and celery; sauté for 5-6 minutes. Add the garlic, cook for an additional 60 seconds, stirring constantly.
Season the cooked vegetables with oregano, thyme, chicken bouillon, sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste. Add 5 1/2 cups of chicken broth and potatoes; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer partially covered, 20 minutes or until the potato is tender.
Combine the cornstarch with the remaining 1/2 cup of chicken broth and mix thoroughly. Add cornstarch mixture, chicken, half-n-half and egg noodles to the broth, and cook for 10 minutes or until the noodles are tender.
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Monday, October 12, 2009

Pie in a Jar

Oh. My. Word. Just when I think I've seen it all... This is so fun, I can't wait to test it out. Find the instructions here. I love the internet.
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Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Seven Wives Inn Granola

There is a little bed and breakfast in St. George, Utah that has the most delicious breakfasts. I've asked the owner for a couple of her recipes, and she shared them willingly. First, the granola. I love the addition of the coconut and the peanut butter. It makes a nice big batch, so I keep some out to eat and freeze the rest for later use.

Seven Wives Inn Granola


8 cups oats, not instant
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1 1/2 cup wheat germ (optional)
8 oz. almonds
8 oz cashews
8 oz coconut, unsweetened large ribbon
3 oz sunflower seeds
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup peanut butter
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup raisins


Mix first seven ingredients in a large bowl. Heat water, oil, honey, and peanut butter until it begins to bubble. Add vanilla and pour over dry ingredients. Mix well and spread on two large cookie sheets. Bake in 200 degree oven for about two hours or until coconut is golden. Stir occasionally while baking. Add raisins when cool. Store in an airtight container.
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Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Corn Cakes

Came across this fun appetizer on Prudence Pennywise a few weeks back. Very tasty- kids and adults gobbled them up. I think they would be outstanding with some of Shawna Ellsworth's salsa... must get that recipe.

Corn Cakes

1 and 1/2 cups corn kernels, divided use
1/4 cup vegetable broth or chicken broth or water
1/4 cup butter, softened
3 tablespoons sugar
1 pinch salt
heaping 1/2 cup masa harina
1/4 cup flour

In a blender, combine 3/4 cup corn kernels and butter. Process until almost smooth. Pour into bowl and add remaining ingredients, including remaining 3/4 cup corn kernels. Shape into 12 small patties. Preheat griddle over medium high heat and lightly coat with butter. Cook patties like pancakes, until golden brown on each side. Serve with avocado, sour cream, and fresh salsa.
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Monday, October 5, 2009

Menu, 10-4-09

Hold the Onions Readers, please pray for Maren this week. She is getting all 4 wisdom teeth pulled today and will be on a steady diet of liquified food for the next few days. Her last meal is going to be a big fat In-n-Out cheeseburger before the big event. Best of luck Mare!

Here's whats for dinner round here this week...

Sun- Paula Deen's pot roast, mom's homemade rolls (she did good, Kelli!), layered green salad, balsamic roasted potatoes and carrots, and Laurel's layered chocolate pudding dessert- must post recipe for that soon, it is THE BEST.

M- broccoli cheese soup, rolls, green salad w/ walnuts and pears

T- leftovers

W- spinach ravioli with marinara sauce and steamed squash

Th- maybe stirfry again- it was so good last week!

F- pepperoni pizza

S- going out, or taking out
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Thursday, October 1, 2009

Oreo Banana Cream Pie

Chris took me out for a wonderful dinner for my birthday a couple months ago. We ate at one of the restaurants inside the Marriott Desert Ridge Resort in Scottsdale. Our dinner was delish. But one thing stood out above all the rest of the meal. DESSERT. Mini root beer floats and an Oreo banana cream pie with caramel sauce and a crispy cinnamon sugar banana slice. I could not get over how amazing it was. ATK helped me recreate the pie for my Mom's birthday earlier this month. The only thing I cannot figure out is the fried banana. Mine turned to mush. I am stumped and would welcome any suggestions.

Oreo Banana Cream Pie

16 Oreo cookies, broken into rough pieces (not double stuffed)
2 T. unsalted butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350. Grind cookies in food processor until fine crumbs. With machine running, pour butter through tube til incorporated. Transfer crumbs to pie plate. Press crumbs into an even layer on the bottom and sides of pie plate. Bake until set, about 15 minutes. Cool.

1/2 C. plus 2 T. sugar
1/4 C. cornstarch
1/8 tsp. salt
5 large egg yolks
2 C. whole milk
1/2 C. evaporated milk
1/2 vanilla bean split lengthwise
2 T. unsalted butter
2 ripe bananas

Whisk the sugar, cornstarch and salt together in a medium saucepan. Whisk in the egg yolks, then immediately but gradually whisk in the milk and evaporated milk. Scrape the seeds out of the vanilla bean halves with a knife. Add both vanilla seeds and pod to the pot. Bring mixture to a simmer over medium heat, whsiking frequently, then cook for one minute til mixture is thick and smooth. Off the heat, discard the vanilla bean pod and whisk in the butter.

Pour filling into a shallow pan and lay a sheet of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the filling to prevent a skin from forming and allow to cool at room temp til just warm, about 30 minutes. Pour 1/2 the filling into the Oreo crust, add a layer of 2 ripe bananas, sliced thin, and pour in the remaining filling. Again lay a sheet of plastic wrap directly on the surface. Refrigerate the pie until completely chilled, about 4 hours.

1 C. heavy cream, chilled
1 T. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
caramel sauce

Just before serving, whip the cream, sugar, and vanilla together in a chilled bowl until soft peaks form. Spread over top of the pie. Drizzle with caramel sauce and top with additional sliced bananas, if you fancy.
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