Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake - Holiday Season Begins


Pumpkin Spice Season isn't over until I SAY it's over, okay? Pumpkins keep well in winter and I know y'all have a bunch of extra cans hidden in your pantry.

Holiday season is upon us! Do you know what YOU'RE bringing to your office potluck?

Believe me, this cheesecake is the highlight of ANY holiday table. Funny story: I attended a potluck for local theater people and accidentally dropped this cheesecake. I had nothing else to bring, so I ended up salvaging what I could and putting it in the pan. I kid you not, I heard, more than once, "who brought the weird pudding thing? IT'S DELICIOUS!"

So, even when you drop it and it looks like nothing, it still tastes amazing. Get on this.

Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake

  • 1 1/2 cup crushed ginger snaps
  • 1/2 stick butter, melted
  • 3 packages cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 tsp vanilla (I use bourbon vanilla)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 3 large eggs

Topping: 1/4 cup caramel sauce (I use homemade with bourbon mixed in), pumpkin pie seeds (I used Trader Joe's spiced)

-Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

-Mix together crushed ginger snaps and melted butter. Press into a springform pan (or deep pie dish), using a glass to press the crumbs as tightly as possible, and pushing them up the edges of the pan.

-In a stand mixer, mix together the cream cheese, pumpkin puree, and sugar. Add the eggs, one at a time. Taste, and adjust spice if desired.

-Pour the cheesecake mixture into the prepared crust. Bake for an hour, until firm. Let cool completely.

-Drizzle caramel over the prepared cheesecake and top with pumpkin seeds.

Tip: to avoid the top cracking in the oven, place a pan with water on the bottom shelf of the oven and let it bake with the cheesecake.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Back for the Season with Hot Mulled Wine


I've been absent from the blog. I missed the biggest foodie holiday. I'm sorry. Election season hit and I didn't really feel like cooking. It's been hard to focus on lighthearted things when you're preoccupied with the outcome of a polarizing election and feeling helpless and upset. It feels fake to get excited about recipes when so many are hurting.

When not trying to be a millennial social justice warrior princess, I've been diving into improv with my new troupe, a group of girls who I just adore. I suppose jumping on stage and being forced to be lighthearted and funny and find humor and healing with no prep is easier than sitting down and creating a recipe and writing a post. Excited to see where our group goes in the coming year.

My darling fiance, who typically helps me with my food photography, has also been recovering from surgery. So without the help here, it was just easier to take a mini-hiatus.

Anyways, that's where I've been.

About this recipe, my grand return back to blogging--it's funny, because I've challenged myself to avoid alcohol until Christmas--is a delicious hot mulled wine. Mulled wine reminds me of nearly 10 years ago, when I was wandering the gorgeous streets of Prague during a study abroad trip. It's hot, boozy, and perfect for the season.

Texas is still lovely and warm, but if I close my eyes and sip slow I can almost hear the snow patting softly on the windowsill.

Serve a big pot for your holiday party. It's like winter sangria. And sangria is legit.

Hot Mulled Wine

  • 2 bottles of mild red wine - I use a red blend
  • 1 apple, cored and sliced into rounds
  • The peel from 1 orange
  • 1 tsp dried whole cloves
  • 1/2 tsp allspice berries
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 whole star anise
  • 1/3 cup sugar

-Over medium heat, combine all ingredients.

-Let wine simmer for 10 minutes, until fragrant. Let simmer longer for a more intense flavor.

-Use a ladle to pick out the spices. Serve in heat-proof cups. Optional: serve with a sprig of rosemary.

Monday, October 31, 2016

Pumpkin Beers

Hey all! I made a few Youtube videos of my friends and I trying to find the perfect pumpkin beer!

Check it out and have a happy and safe Halloween :D I know I will... can anyone guess what my costume is?

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

EASY Pumpkin Crescent Roll Breakfast Danish


Crescent rolls are one of the most versatile processed foods around. Yes, processed. Mass produced. Probably super bad for you. But also super buttery and delicious and can be morphed into anything from a simple piece of twisty bread to a homemade hot pocket.

In this EASY pumpkin crescent roll breakfast Danish, the crescent roll provides the pastry base, holding the creamy, pumpkin-spiced filling. Drizzled with icing, it's irresistible.

As we know, I'm battling dumb body issues and constantly trying to force myself to eat better. But in moderation, this sometimes-treat can be worth it. A slice for a special occasion. In this case, it was my birthday. So I can make the exception.

Plus, my coworkers helped me eat it, so over-indulgence was impossible ;)

Brimming with deeeelicious pumpkin flavor, my EASY pumpkin crescent roll breakfast Danish makes a lovely addition to your fall brunch table.

EASY Pumpkin Crescent Roll Breakfast Danish
  • 2 tubes of crescent roll dough
  • 1 8oz package of cream cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin butter (approx.)
  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar + 1 tsp (or more) water

-Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

-In a stand mixer, mix together the sugar, vanilla, cream cheese, and egg until smooth.

-Spray a pie or tarte pan with cooking spray and press the dough triangles from 1 crescent roll tube into the bottom of the pan. Pour in the cream cheese mixture.

-Top the cream cheese mixture with teaspoon-sized dollops of the pumpkin butter, dropping teaspoons across the surface.

-Gently press the remaining crescent roll dough pieces on top of the cream cheese and pumpkin butter in your desired pattern--I am lazy, so I left them as triangles.

-Bake for 20 minutes, or until the crescent roll dough has become golden brown in color.

-Let cool completely. Mix the powdered sugar and water together gently, until thick but able to be drizzled easily. Drizzle over cooled pastry. Cut into slices and serve.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Halloweeny Goodies


Once upon a time, I had a blog called Quarter Life (Crisis) Cuisine.

It's still there, but I don't update it as much, since I'm building up this one now. Plus, I just turned 29. My quarter life is done.

The downside? All my best recipes are still there!

So please check out last year's Halloween recipes, on the offchance I run out of time to make any this year ;)

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Pumpkin Spice Three Layer Bars


It's October! And while I'm lamenting the loss of summer--though thankfully, here in Austin it'll be comfortable temperatures until at least December--I'm happy for the change of wardrobe and slightly cooler days. And all the pumpkin stuff everywhere!

Yea, I'm a Pumpkin Spice Latte bitch. You wanna fight about it?

I do miss New England fall. Texas fall is still fun though. Now I can FINALLY wear a Halloween costume without freezing my ass off. Perks!

These are a variation of my "I Love You Brownies" (recipe forthcoming) that I make when I am celebrating something special for people I love. Those brownies are chocolate and peanutbutter. These are white chocolate and pumpkin.

I kind of wish they came out more pumpkin-y looking (no artificial colors!), but the taste is out of this world.

Pumpkin Spice Three Layer Bars
For the Blondie
  • 1 stick + 2 tablespoons butter, room temp
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 large egg 
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 tsp powdered ginger
  • 1 tbsp pumpkin spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

-Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 9x13 baking dish.

-Brown the butter--cook over medium heat until frothy, stir, and take off the heat once brown bits are beginning to form. Let cool slightly.

-Add brown sugar, eggs and maple syrup.

-In a separate bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. Slowly add the dry to the wet, mixing well until there are no clumps.

-Pour into prepared baking dish and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 15 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool completely.

For the Filling
  • 1/2 stick butter, room temp
  • 1/4 cup pureed pumpkin
  • 1 tbsp pumpkin spice
  • 2+ cups powdered sugar

-In a stand mixer, mix together the butter and pumpkin. Add the spices and slowly add the powdered sugar until a stiff buttercream forms.

For the Fudge Topping
  • 2 cups white chocolate chips
  • 1 stick butter

-In a double boiler or microwaved in batches, melt the chocolate chips. Add the butter and stir until smooth.

To assemble the bars: Spread the pumpkin buttercream over the blondies and let air-dry until just firm. Pour the white chocolate over the top and let chill until firm. Cut into bars and serve.