November 30, 2010

Pie Scenes from Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving + 5 days.  Starting to feel somewhat normal again!  I am very sensitive to salt and rarely eat anything high in sodium.  Casseroles typically have a lot of salt.  Guzzling water is the only cure I know. 

Moving on ... in addition to the wonderful (soggy crusted) pumpkin cheesecake, I also made regular pecan pie and chocolate pecan pie.  My husband loves pecan pie and I have always used the recipe found on the back of the Karo Syrup bottle.  But this year I tried the recipe posted on The Pioneer Woman's site.  Click here for the full printable Recipe

The usual suspects

Add the pecans to a unbaked pie crust
Pour the sugar, syrup blend on top and bake!

I did end up baking it longer than the recipe called for.  I am beginning to think my oven cooks slow.  Just trust your judgment so you don't end up with runny pie innards.

Chocolate pecan is almost the same as regular pecan - except for the secret ingredient ... German's Sweet Chocolate. 
The full recipe can be found at the end of this post.
Chocolate, pecans, sugar, eggs and syrup - yum! 
This is the only pie my daughter will eat.

Pop it in the oven and enjoy.
Regular pecan fresh from the oven.

Chocolate fudginess

A family favorite

As mentioned above, my husband loves pecan pie. 
He rated this as the best a really good pecan pie.  The recipe is a keeper!

Wow - it is chocolaty!

Chocolate Pecan Pie

1 package (4 ounces) BAKER'S GERMAN'S Sweet Chocolate
      or 4 squares BAKER'S Semi-Sweet Chocolate, broken into pieces
     (I always use the German's)
2 tablespoons margarine or butter
1/3 sugar
1 cup KARO Light Corn Syrup (or Dark)
3 eggs, slightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/4 cups pecan halves
1 unbaked pastry shell (9 inch)

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Microwave chocolate and margarine in microwave bowl on HIGH 1 to 2 minutes or until margarine is melted, stirring halfway through heating time.  Stir until chocolate is completely melted.

Stir in sugar, corn syrup, eggs and vanilla until well blended.  Stir in pecans.  Pour into pastry shell.
Bake 50 minutes or until filling is firm 2 inches from edge.  Cool on wire rack. 

Makes 8 servings.

Thanks for stopping by!  Tricia

November 29, 2010

Perfectly Perfect Pumpkin Cheesecake

OK I must tell you the truth.  I messed up this recipe but it still tasted wonderful!  I really liked it and hope to make it again one day.  If you like Pumpkin Pie and Cheesecake, you'll love this.  Don't let the recipe fool you, it is very simple as long as you actually turn the oven on when you go to bake it. 

I had made cornbread for the dressing then apparently turned the oven off.  I started the cheesecake crust and adjusted the temperature to 350 degrees but failed to make sure the oven was on.  When I put the cheesecake in the oven to cook, the oven was still warm so I didn't notice IT WAS TURNED OFF!  An hour and a half later, it wasn't quite cooked - like not at all!  Arrggghhh!  Grumble, grumble a few choice words or two.  I went ahead and turned the oven on and baked it according to the directions.  The only thing that was not quite right was the crust.  It was a little bit soggy.  But it still tasted great. 

I want a second chance but will make sure there are a lot of people here to eat it.  It goes a long-yummy way.  For the full recipe click here for the Tasty Kitchen site.

Assemble the crust ingredients:  Cinnamon, butter, brown sugar, salt and Ginger Snaps!

Crush about 40 Ginger Snap cookies until fine crumbs.

The food processor makes this step very simple.

Add all ingredients into the Ginger Snap crumbs.  Mix well. 

Press the crust mixture evenly over the bottom, and very slightly up the sides, of your springform pan.  Chill for 5 minutes, then bake for 10 minutes.  Let cool completely.  (This may be where I turned off the oven!)

For the filling you will need 24 ounces cream cheese, pumpkin, 3 large eggs, 1 egg yolk, sour cream, sugar, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, salt, flour and vanilla.

Beat the cream cheese until smooth.  Add the pumpkin puree.

Blend well. 

Add the eggs and egg yolk, one at a time, incorporating each egg thoroughly before adding the next.

Beat in the sour cream.

Then add the sugar, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, salt and flour.  Beat just until combined.

Beat in the vanilla.

Scrape the filling into the cooled crust and spread evenly.  Set the springform pan in a larger roasting pan and add enough hot water from the kettle to come about halfway up the sides of the springform pan.  (This is where you want to make sure the oven is actually turned on!)

Bake until the top of the cheesecake is a deep golden color and the center is set, about 1 hour and 30 minutes.  I think mine looks a little funny because of the three hour oven event.

Let the cheesecake cool to room temperature on the pan on a wire rack.  Cover and chill for at least four hours before serving.  Top individual slices with whipped cream.  Yum!

Very tasty!
I would make this again in a heart beat.  I hope all your desserts and Thanksgiving Day dishes turned out great.  Thanks for stopping by!  Tricia

November 28, 2010

Thanksgiving Hangover

I can't believe the last 5 days.  I cooked, and cooked, and cooked some more.  Two days of cooking.  You would have thought we were having an army for dinner.  Then for the first time EVER, my son Patrick wanted me to get up and go shopping with him on black Friday at 5:30 a.m.  Honestly it was pretty great and I got a ton of shopping finished.  Yeah!  We got some pretty good deals too.  Then without a chance to recover, out came the Christmas decorations.  Sheesh I can't wait to go back to work tomorrow and get some rest. 

I also NEVER want to eat again.  Well maybe a few days of lean meals would be great. I am afraid I won't be able to button my work clothes tomorrow.  I welcome some normal non-casserole meals.  Give me salad!  I took a ton of photos this past few days and will post them soon.  I didn't detail each recipe but if there is something you would like to know more about, just let me know!

In the meantime, here are a few photos from the Thanksgiving day extravaganza.  We didn't travel anywhere, we didn't have out of town company, no neighbors came by, it was a nice time with just our little family and way too much food! A friend of my son's did come by for a piece of Pumpkin Cheesecake.  I will post that recipe tomorrow - I thought it was awesome even if I did mess it up - more details on that snafu.

We brought out the silver and made it all fancy.

China, crystal and candles!

The newly painted dining room ready for dinner.

I even folded fancy napkins.  These are so easy and this particular fold is called a butler's hat.

Flowers and all the trimmings. 
Funny how you can spend days preparing for a meal like this and it's over in an hour.

Stuffing, green bean casserole sweet potatoes, turkey, broccoli casserole and mashed potatoes. 
Not pictured rolls, gravy and cranberry sauce.

I made a Butterball turkey breast - my favorite.

Wow that was a lot of food.  I am so glad it all turned out OK.
We also had a pecan pie and chocolate pecan pie.  I made a recipe for hard sauce from The Pioneer Woman which includes powdered sugar, butter and whiskey.  It was tasty drizzled over the pecan pie.
I'm ready to get back on the normal eating schedule and eat less!  

I hope you and your family had a wonderful Thanksgiving.  Christmas is just around the corner and the baking will begin soon.  Thanks for stopping by!  Tricia

November 23, 2010

Pumpkin Roll with Cream Cheese Filling

Well I seem to be having a week of technical difficulties.  Last night while posting this Pumpkin Roll I was informed that I couldn't add any more photos to the blog.  It took 24 hours to expand my storage space so hopefully this will not be an issue again for a very long time.  Sincere apologies if you needed this recipe sooner!

I made a pumpkin roll (click here for recipe) at the request of my lovely cousin Suzanne.  Unfortunately we don't live in the same state so I had to find another recipient for this dessert.  We had an office luncheon yesterday so I shared with the ladies.  It was very well received and I must say, it was much easier to make than I thought it would be.   Husband really liked it too.  He's such a willing taste tester - isn't that sweet?

Pumpkin Roll with Cream Cheese Filling

This recipe includes many items already in your kitchen pantry. 
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Grease a 17x11 jelly roll pan. 
Line with wax paper; grease and flour the paper.

In a bowl combine:  flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves and salt.

In a separate bowl mix the eggs and white sugar.

Beat until eggs and sugar are thick.

Beat in the canned pumpkin.

Stir in the flour mixture.

Spread into the prepared pan.  Bake for 13 minutes or until top of cake springs back when touched.

While the roll is baking, sprinkle a thin, cotton kitchen towel with powdered sugar.

Immediately turn cake onto prepared towel.  Slowly peel off the wax paper.

Roll the cake up in the towel, starting with the narrow end. 
Hello!!! Any cake in there?

Once the roll has cooled, prepare the filling by beating the softened cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar and vanilla in a bowl until smooth.

Unroll the cooled cake and remove towel. 
Spread cream cheese filling over cake and roll it up.
Store in a container with a lid and keep refrigerated. 
This roll is better after it's been refrigerated for at least an hour. 
Sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving. 

This cake is light and spongy, and the filling is lightly sweet.

Doesn't the Pumpkin Roll just look like Thanksgiving!

Have a blessed holiday with friends and family.  Thanks for stopping by!  Tricia

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