Friday, November 16, 2012

Pecan Pie Pumpkin Cheesecake

This was 100% my pride and joy for the week. When I made this I was freaking out because as much as I don't want to admit there was a crack all across the middle. Alas, there's nothing a pecan design can't fix. I feel like sometimes I really should give myself more credit than I do. I was so worried about this cheesecake and I heard nothing but good things about it from my co-workers at our Thanksgiving potluck. It was seriously the bane of my existence... for the day. I kept going back and back and taking a small slice. I should've just started out with a mondo slice and maybe I would've been satisfied. Anyway, this definitely put me in the Thanksgiving mood. So I wanted to make sure I shared it in time with all of you so, you know, so you actually make it and eat it! Then I won't feel so bad about myself, especially since I skipped the gym for 3 days now and I ate this for lunch yesterday along with some sushi, chick-fil-a nugs, eastern NC pork bbq, potato salad, hashbrown casserole, mac and cheese, and 2 cookies. Eeeeek!

Pecan Pie Pumpkin Cheesecake
Yield ~16 servings

1 package of Graham crackers (about 10 crackers)
3 tablespoons butter

Pecan Pie filling
1 cup sugar
1 cup corn syrup 
3 tablespoons brown sugar
3 eggs
1 cup pecans
1 tablespoon vanilla 
1/3 cup butter, melted

Cheesecake filling
2 packages of cream cheese (8 ounce each, room temp)
1 cup sugar
2 tbs flour
1 tbs vanilla
2/3 cup pumpkin
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cinnamon
3 tablespoons brown sugar
3 eggs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and put a water bath on the shelf below. (water bath means in a cake pan 9x11, for example, fill it half way with water, this keeps the cake from cracking) In a food processor crush the graham crackers, then pour the melted butter in to mix. Press the mixture into a 9" springform pan and bake for 10 minutes. In a bowl mix together all ingredients for pecan pie filling except pecans. Once crust is ready spread the pecans out, then pour the filling on top. In another bowl, mix together all the cheesecake ingredients except the eggs. Then add them in one by one mixing between each, but make sure you hand mix the eggs in. Pour the filling on top of the pecan pie filling. Bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees, then turn it down to 325 degrees and bake for another 30 minutes until center is just slightly jiggly. 

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Seafood Garlic Cream Sauce Pasta

Alright, finally got a new one for you all! So, if you aren't my facebook friend you don't exactly know how this week is going for me. Let me tell you. Monday night while running I was semi-molested by a 20 year old boy trying to hit on me... while I was running. Then I heard a child scream at the top of her lungs. I live in a nice suburb people, not inner city Baltimore. Then I found out our floors weren't going to be done until Thursday now instead of yesterday. That means I can't bake in my own kitchen for the event I'm making 350 cupcakes for on Friday. Yea... and I'm doing it all for free so this just adds to the stress level. Somehow in the 5 hours between getting off and going to bed and transporting all of these back to my house I have to make 350 cupcakes. It's all going to a wonderful cause, I'm just not so sure how I'm ever going to get it done. I'll get back to you on that. Then this morning a rock knicked a chunk out of my windshield. Of course, I know these are all little things in the grand scheme of things but I'm starting to wonder if I'll ever catch a break this week! Yeesh, well maybe I should drown my sorrows in the carbs of my leftover pasta.

Seafood Garlic Cream Sauce Pasta
Yield ~4 servings

1 cup mushrooms
1/2 onion, sliced
6 garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 cup peas
1/4 cup sherry wine
4 scallops
1 1/2 dozen mussels
1/2 pound shrimp
1/2 cup cream

pasta (enough to your liking)

Add some oil to a pan on medium high. Saute mushrooms and onions, with salt and pepper. Add sherry wine to deglaze. Add chopped garlic and allow it to get fragrant on the medium high heat. Add the scallops and mussels, and turn the scallops once they start to get seared. Then add the shrimp, peas, and cream. Let the sauce reduce. It should be done when the shrimp are done cooking. Meanwhile cook your pasta and when it is done add the sauce to your pasta.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Apple Oatmeal Cake with Brown Sugar Caramel

It's always 'Ashley make dessert' whenever I'm invited to anything. At this point it seems I have no choice. So when we were invited over for a small retirement party of course I made dessert. It was slightly difficult being that the entire weekend we tore up the old hardwood floors in our kitchen and the boards underneath. With that being said, it meant none of our appliances were where they needed to be and I hadn't been to the grocery store. When this happened I resorted to my pantry and used what I had, considering by the time we were able to move the oven back to where it belonged it was 8 PM on Sunday night. Oy vay. That was an exhausting weekend if I ever knew one but at least you get an amazing cake out of it. The glaze was a total accident too. I just looked up brown sugar glaze and whatever combination my ingredients created was heaven. It was pretty much like a cinnamon caramel and I was eating it by the spoonful.

Apple Oatmeal Cake with Brown Sugar Caramel
Yield ~12 servings

1/2 vanilla cake mix
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 package vanilla pudding mix
1 pack apple cinnamon instant oatmeal mix
1 pack cinnamon spice instant oatmeal mix
2 eggs
3/4 cup oil
2/3 cup water
3/4 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon vanilla

1/2 cup brown sugar
3 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl mix the eggs, oil, water, sour cream, and vanilla. Then add in the cake mix, flour, sugar, instant oatmeals, and pudding mix. Pour into a 9 inch cake or springform pan. Bake for 1 hour or until toothpick inserted comes out clean. In a pan bring the brown sugar, butter, and whipping cream to a boil. Reduce to medium heat and stir until sugar is disolved (about 5 mintues). Take off heat and stir in the cinnamon. Poke some holes in the cake after it's cooled some and pour the glaze on top then sprinkle the chopped pecans on top of the cake.