I made my first pumpkin cheesecake a few years back and has been a recurring addition to our Thanksgiving dinner ever since then…though baking cheesecakes can be/sound a bit intimidating with a few techniques mentioned below it can be pretty easy to have success on your first attempt. In addition this is also a great way to get rid of my masses of pumpkin puree in my freezer saved from this years pumpkins
- 1 graham cracker crust (homemade or store bought)
- 16 oz. of crème cheese (2 – 8 oz. packages)
- ⅔ cup brown sugar
- 1.5 cup of pumpkin puree (or one can of store bought pumpkin)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- ¾ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon ginger
- 2 eggs
- Preheat oven at 350 degrees
- Beat cream cheese until it appears fluffy
- Add sugar, pumpkin, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger and and beat until well combined
- Add eggs one at a time and beat until creamy
- Place empty graham cracker crust to a cookie sheet and place in oven with rack pulled out. Fill with mixture until full and carefully push rack (and cheesecake) into the oven. You can attempt this pour and move away from the oven but unless your day job is working on a bomb squad most likely this will lead to some filling on the floor and yourself.
- Bake for 50-60 minutes keeping a careful eye on the edges if you start to see some browning your cheesecake is done cooking.
- At this time I turn off the oven and crack open the door a few inches to let things cool down gradually, optionally you can pull it out and place the cheesecake on a cooling rack for 1-2 hours. Though if you are in a hurry you can speed up the cooling by placing your cheesecake in the refrigerator after 10-15 minutes though you significantly increase the chance of causing a ugly split down the middle of your nice cheesecake.
- After cooling for 1-2 hours cool or overnight(if you can wait that long)
The end of this summer I planted a bunch of carrots one afternoon and I unfortunately pretty much forgot about them. Without proper thinning I ended up with quite a few short and/or twisted carrots which I decided would be perfect to make some fermented ginger carrots.
Step 1: Clean and peel carrots. Peeled and cut the ends off of the carrots and set them aside.
Step 2: Shed the carrots. With a food processor this speeds up the process significantly but you can also do this with a hand shredded or even some good knife work. The smaller the carrots the faster the fermenting process will be. After slicing place carrots into a bowl and mash them a little bit to get some carrot juices flowing. (personally I use a piece of wooden dowel) Finally toss in 1-2 tablespoons of fresh grated ginger.
Step 3: Fill with brine and wait. In a separate container mix 1 quart of distilled water with 1.5 tablespoons of sea salt and mix until dissolved. Pour over brine over carrots and cover jar with some cheesecloth. Typically with fermenting I would have to construct something to keep the vegetables from floating to the surface but I have found with carrots they are pretty good about sinking to the bottom on their own.
You can let them ferment on a warm counter for a few days or up to a week and a half. Then move them into your refrigerator where they will continue to ferment at a much slower rate until all are consumed.
This is the time of year when you have more zucchini in your garden than you can deal with. You neighbors are closing their blinds when they see you coming up the street, here is a delicious option to make use of some of the fruits of your labor.
You can use this same recipe to make a large loaf of bread, but I like the muffin option since it is easier for my kids to grab a snack without having to pull out a knife to slice it up.
Zucchini Muffin/Bread Recipe
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup brown sugar (packed)
- 1/4 cup white sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup old fashioned oats
- 3 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 2 cups finely grated zucchini (2 medium or 1 large zucchini)
- 1/2 cup chocolate chips (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Stir flour, sugars, spices, baking powder/soda, salt, and oats into large bowl.
- Combine eggs and vanilla to a small bowl, beat and add to larger bowl
- Squeeze out liquid from grated and combine to large bowl until well combined. Add chocolate chips and stir until well incorporated
- Add batter to 9”X5” loaf pan or into 24 muffins.
- Bake for 60 minutes (bread loaf) or 45 minutes (muffins) and allow to cool for 10 minutes before attempting to slice/consume.