Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Pumpkin Cheesecake with Praline Topping

It is time for all things pumpkin and pumpkin spice.  I have embraced the pumpkin spice season and have made some pretty delicious stuff, if I do say so myself.  The pumpkin spice cinnamon rolls were a hit and so I decided to make a pumpkin spice cheesecake with praline topping for a friend.  Everything went well, cheesecakes are really very simple.  I made the crust, mixed the batter, put it in a pan of hot water and slid it into the oven.

It baked and I took it out of the oven at the perfect time.  I slightly tipped the pan to make sure there was no water trapped in the aluminum foil bib around the bottom, and it slipped out of my hands and crashed to the counter.  Not a pretty sight.  I screeched, the kids came running and all they could say was "again?"
Mason said, "At least is didn't land upside down on the oven like last time."
My family is so helpful.

Well, I smooshed it back as much as I could, and made the topping.  The praline topping covered a lot of the mess.  I took it to work and shared it with coworkers instead of giving it to my friend.  It was delicious and I think it will make a showing at our Thanksgiving.  Let's just hope I don't drop it again.

Pumpkin Cheesecake with Praline Topping
Taste of Home, Nov 2016

1 cup graham cracker crumbs
3 Tbsp. granulated sugar
2 Tbsp. butter, melted

3 pkg. (8 oz. each) cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup real maple syrup
3 large eggs, room temp
1 (15 oz ) can solid-pack pure pumpkin
2 Tbsp. cornstarch
3 tsp. vanilla extract
2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice

1 cup heavy whipping cream
3/4 cup real maple syrup
1/2 cup chopped pecans, toasted

Preheat oven to 325˚F. Wrap double thickness of heavy-duty foil around outside of a greased 9 in. springform pan. Mix cracker crumbs and sugar; stir in butter. Press onto bottom of prepared pan.

Beat the cream cheese, sugars and maple syrup until smooth.  Add eggs; beat on low until blended.  Whisk in the pumpkin, cornstarch, vanilla and pumpkins pie spice; pour over the crust.  Place springform pan in a larger baking pan; add 1 inch hot water to larger pan.

Bake until center is just set and the top appears dull, 70-80 minutes.  Remove springform pan from water bath.  Cool cheesecake on a wire rack for 10 minutes.  Loosen sides from pan with a knife; remove foil.  Cool for 1 hour longer.  Refrigerate overnight, covering when cheesecake is completely cooled.

For topping, combine whipping cream and maple syrup in a small saucepan over medium heat; bring to a boil. Continue boiling, stirring occasionally, until sauce is slightly thickened, 15-20 minutes.  Stir int he toasted pecans. Refrigerate until well chilled.

Remove rim from pan. Stir the topping and spoon over chilled cheesecake.

1 year ago:    Fruit Cake Martini and Early Christmas Shopping
2 years ago:  Citrus Cranberry Fizz and the Weekend off
3 years ago:  Autumn Fruit Tart and The Year of Gratitude
4 years ago:  Gingered Pear and Brandy Drink and the Horseshoe Champion

October 26, 2016  Sunrise 9:21 am  Sunset 5:47 pm  Temp. H 32/ L 21°F

Monday, October 24, 2016

Seeded Whole-Grain Quick Bread

Well, it snowed and stayed in Fairbanks.  I can't complain, we had a great fall and a late snowfall. The only thing to do now is build a fire in the wood stove and bake bread.

I love bread with seeds and nuts.  My family, not so much.  I think I was the only one who really liked this bread with sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, and flax seeds.  Too bad, I had to eat most of it!
Happy Fall.

Seeded Whole-Grain Quick Bread
from Eating Well, Sept. Oct 2016

1/3 cup unsalted sunflower seeds
1/3 cup unsalted pumpkin seeds
3 Tbsp. flaxseed
3 Tbsp. sesame seeds
2 cups white whole-wheat flour
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
3 large eggs
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp. pure maple syrup

Preheat oven to 350 F.  Coat a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan with cooking spray.

Combine sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, flaxseed and sesame seeds in a dry medium skillet. toast over medium heat, stirring, until lightly brown and starting to pop, 5-7 minutes.

Reserve 2 Tbsp. of the seed mixture in a small bowl; transfer the remaining seeds to a large bowl. Add flour, baking powder, baking soda and slat to the large bowl' whisk to combine.  Whisk eggs in a medium bowl, then stir in buttermilk, oats, oil and maple syrup.  Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredient; stir and fold together until combined.  Scrape the batter into the prepared pan.  Sprinkle with the reserved seeds.

Bake until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean, 45-55 minutes.  Let cool in the pan for about 30 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

1 year ago:   Sudafed and Green Pea Soup
2 years ago:  Banana Muffins and Little Blue Cougar Pills
3 years ago:  Mac and Cheese with Bacon and Bad Dreams
4 years ago:  Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies for a Friend

October 24, 2016  Sunrise 9:14am    Sunset 5:54 pm   Temp H 28/ L 13°F

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Last Camping Trips

We went on our last camping trip last weekend. We went camping at "our spot" because friends were doing a vow renewal and my husband was officiating. It was brisk, sunny, and beautiful when we pulled in and as the afternoon progressed is got cloudy.  We had a fire, the dogs went to the water, and we just took a breath and relaxed.

Sunday morning I got up and walked the the falling snow.  Yes, we have had our first official snow.  The flakes were big, fat, and really wet.  When they hit you they left a wet spot, and when they landed, they melted right away.  I walked the dogs quickly and headed back into the COW to warm up with some coffee.  It warmed up as the day progressed but we decided to winterize the COW and put her away for the winter.

Then I went to Oklahoma for a week for work.  Got home and the days were sunny, the weather was crisp, and we were invited to camp and have a bonfire at a friend's cabin at Harding Lake.  We went and had a fun evening of visiting and catching up.  They had a bonfire (I went to bed) and the next morning we drove back to town and really put the COW away for the winter.  With my work schedule, I won't be home for another weekend until Nov. and by then it really will be too cold.

So we are settling into our winter mode.  And while it is sad the warm summer is over, and winter is always a little too cold and a little too long, I really do enjoy the change of season and the holidays that are headed our way.

Happy fall.

October 11, 2016  Sunrise 8:33 am  Sunset 6:40 pm  Temp H 50/ L 28˚F

1 year ago:    Heavy Snow, a Ruined Pedicure, and Pasta with Spinach and White Beans
2 years ago:   White Cake with Strawberries and Cream
3 years ago:   Retiring and Beer Bread
4 years ago:   Roasted Chicken with Apples and Garlic

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

End of the Season Yard Cleanup and Quick Jambalaya

Ahh, October.  I love Fall.  The mornings are crisp, the afternoons are perfect for working in the yard and then having a fire after dinner.  And this fall, so far, has been beautiful.

Dave was busy doing yard work over the weekend, and I got out our Halloween decorations.  The Chick and I worked on the inside.

The baby boy helped with the outside.

We had a busy day, so I needed something quick to throw together for dinner, before the evening fire and s'mores.  This was perfect.  

I do need to ALWAYS wear my reading glasses now when I cook. I followed the recipe, we sat down to eat and this was pretty spicy! I don't really like spicy food but the rest of the family liked it.  The next day I sat down to copy the recipe and read 2 teaspoons of cajun spice...I added 2 TABLESPOONS!  Ah, live and learn.

Quick Jambalaya
adapted from Cooking Light, October 2016

1 Tbsp. canola oil
1 onion
3 oz. andouille sausage, finely chopped
8 oz. moose sausage (I had some left over from making meatballs, so I just used it up)
12 oz. skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into bite size pieces
2 (10 oz.) cans unsalted diced tomatoes and green chilies
2 tsp. salt-free Cajun seasoning, or more to taste
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
2 (8.8 oz. pouches precooked rice (I used one white and one brown)
4 green onions, chopped
1 lemon cut into wedges
Hot sauce, optional

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add onion and sausage; cook 4 minutes or until onions are tender, stirring occasionally.  Add chicken; cook 4 minutes or until chicken is lightly browned, stirring occasionally.

Strain tomatoes in a colander over a bowl, reserving 1/4 cup liquid.  Add strained tomato mixture, 1/4 cup reserved tomato liquid, Cajun seasoning, and salt to pan, scraping pan with a wooden spoon to loosen browned bits.  Cover and reduce heat to medium, and simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Meanwhile, warm rice in microwave and spread on platter.  Remove jambalaya from heat, pour over rice.  Top with chopped green onions.  Serve with lemon wedges and hot sauce.  

3 years ago:  Cranberry Shortbread

October 4, 2016   Sunrise 8:12 am  Sunset 7:05 pm  Temp. H 39/ L 28 °F