Archive for the ‘pumpkin’ Category


I love this recipe for pumpkin cheesecake. It’s pretty, it’s rich, and it’s always a crowd pleaser. However, I never, ever fix it for Thanksgiving dinner. Why? It’s too rich, that’s why. With all the other goodies I serve at the Thanksgiving Feast (turkey, dressing, my famous make-ahead gravy, mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole with the candied pecans around the top, cranberry/strawberry salad, peas, balsamic roasted vegetables, rolls and butter, pecan pie), I would rather have the traditional pumpkin pie with a dollop of whipped cream. 

Any other time of the year, I’m game for whipping up the pumpkin cheesecake. I’m a sucker for cheesecakes, anyway. Key lime cheesecakes are probably my favorite, especially the two layer one I often fix in the summer because it’s so doggone refreshing! 

The pumpkin swirl cheesecake has my vote as one of the best autumn or winter desserts to serve for a crowd. The servings can be on the small side because they are so rich and it’s easy to get at least 12-15 servings from a large springform pan.  It’s a make-ahead dish, so it’s perfect for a busy person to prepare a day or two in advance. Go for it. 

By the way, this is a recipe from Philadelphia (AKA Kraft) Cream Cheese


For the crust:

25 Nabisco Ginger snaps, finely crushed (about 1 1/2 cups)

1/2 c. finely chopped pecans

1/4 c. (half stick) butter, melted


For the filling:

4 – 8oz. pkgs. Cream Cheese, softened

1 c. sugar, divided, 3/4 c. and 1/4c,

1 t. vanilla

4 eggs

1 c. canned pumpkin

1 t. cinnamon

1/4 t. nutmeg

dash cloves


Oven 325, 300 for a dark pan.


1. Mix ginger snap crumbs, pecans and butter; press firmly onto bottom and 1″ up sides of 9″ springform pan.

2. Beat cream cheese with mixer, adding 3/4 c. sugar and vanilla.  Add eggs, one at a time, mixing on low speed after each addition, until well blended.

3. Remove 1 1/2 c. plain batter; place in small bowl.  

4. Stir remaining 1/4 c. sugar, pumpkin and spices into remaining batter; spoon half of the pumpkin batter into crust; top with spoonfuls of  half of the reserved plain batter.  Repeat layers.  Cut through batters with knife several times for swirl effect.

5. Bake 55 minutes or until center is almost set. (It will jiggle a little when moved.) 

6. Cool completely on rack.  Run a knife around the sides but do not remove the sides until the cheesecake has cooled. Then remove the sides and refrigerate 4 hours or overnight before serving.  Store leftovers covered with plastic wrap in the refrigerator for a few days. 


Serves 16

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Yesterday, I began a seasonal discussion on the uses of canned pumpkin, one of which was in pumpkin pancakes. That recipe uses only 6 tablespoons of puree, leaving well over a cup left. That is enough for the pumpkin cupcakes that are such a delicious treat, very tempting to eat on the run because they need no spoon or fork. I can always convince myself to eat a cupcake, just one, of course, because it is so small. Yeah. I sometimes can convince myself to eat two, for the same reason.

Anyway, here is the recipe which I found on myrecipes.com, a treasure trove of recipes from Southern Living, Cooking Light, Coastal Living, Cottage Living, and Sunset magazines. I used to subscribe to Southern Living for the recipes in each issue and the beautiful articles on decorating, showing lovely, tasteful, traditional homes in the south.

This recipe is from Sunset magazine. I hope you like it.


1/2 c (1 stick) butter, room temperature
1 c. sugar
2 large eggs
1 c. canned pumpkin
1 T. vanilla
1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. ground cinnamon
1/4 t. ground nutmeg
1/4 t. ground cloves
1/4 t. salt
1/4 c. milk
Orange frosting*
Candy sprinkles, optional

1. In a bowl, with a mixer on medium speed, beat butter and sugar until smooth. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Add pumpkin and vanilla and beat until well blended. (Mixture will look separated at this point).

2. In another bowl, mix flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and salt. Stir half the flour mixture into the pumpkin mixture. Stir in milk just until blended. Add remaining flour mixture and stir just until incorporated. Spoon batter equally into 12 muffin cups lined with paper baking cups (1/3 cup capacity; cups should be about 3/4 full).

3. Bake in a 350 degree oven until tops spring back when lightly pressed in the center and a wooden skewer inserted into the center comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Let cool in pans on racks for 5 minutes; remove from pans and set on racks to cool completely, at least 30 minutes.

4. Spoon frosting into a pastry bag fitted with a 3/4-inch star tip and pipe onto tops of cupcakes, or spread with a knife. Decorate with candy sprinkles, if desired.

*Orange Cream Cheese Frosting:
In a bowl, with a mixer on low sped, beat 6 ounces cream cheese and 6 tablespoons butter, both at room temperature, until well blended. Beat in 1 1/2 c. powdered sugar, 1 T. finely minced orange peel, and 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon orange extract until smooth.

(NOTES: I had no orange extract, so I used a few drops of orange juice. It didn’t add much orange flavor. Next time I would use the extract. Also, be sure to very finely mince the orange zest. I left it too big and didn’t like the feel of the orange peel in the frosting.

If you’re counting calories, each of of these babies packs a walloping 376 calories.)

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Halloween’s coming, halloween’s coming, skeletons will be after you.
Witches’ hats and big black cats, ghosts and gobelins too.
O-O-O-O-Ooooh! Boo!

That’s the little halloween ditty I’ve been singing to my grandkids the past few weeks. They are so excited about trick or treating this year in their little costumes, one a ninja and the other a princess. To keep them in the halloween spirit, I’ ve decorated my house with ghosts, witches, bats, skeletons, and of course pumpkins, both real and artificial.

I thought this would be a good time to share some ideal fall recipes using pumpkin, the canned pureed variety, not the fresh. I have several recipes we enjoy, especially at this time of the year. Some are sweet, some savory.

Yesterday, for example, I prepared pumpkin cupcakes with a cream cheese frosting. These would be good trick or treat gifts for those children who know you well enough to be allowed to accept homemade treats. Unfortunately, the days of giving all kids apples, homemade cookies or popcorn balls are long gone. A few maniacs have spoiled that for us with their vicious tricks of pins, razor blades, and drugs hidden in goodies.

Another favorite, which we enjoyed one year at the delightful Inn at Cedar Falls in the Hocking Hills of Ohio, is pumpkin pancakes. I found a Martha Stewart recipe for it that I have made a few times when I have a partial can of pumpkin left over from making something else that calls for pumpkin puree. I will probably make them this week because I have what is left over from making the cupcakes.

Here is the recipe from Martha Stewart for “Pumpkin Pie Pancakes”.

Whisk together:
1 1/4 c. flour
2 T. sugar
2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. ginger
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. nutmeg
pinch cloves

In a separate bowl, whisk together:
1 egg
6 T. pumpkin puree
2 T. melted butter
1 c. milk

Fold egg mixture into dry ingredients. Butter or oil a griddle or large skillet and heat over medium heat.

Pour 1/4 c. batter into skillet for each pancake. (Don’t crowd the skillet.) Cook 2-3 minutes for the first side and 2 for the second.

Serve with butter and maple syrup.

Nummmmmy! I like this with crisp bacon for that good sweet/salt combo that really hits the spot on a cool autumn morning.

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