Isaiah 6:8

8 Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”

Friday, October 15, 2010

Pumpkins, Stuffing, and Relish....Oh My!

I have several favorite fall recipes that when I have the time I love to cook.  The cheesecake recipe I have not made in a long time but it is relatively easy to prepare, cleanup is a breeze and eating is to die for.  I watched an episode of a cooking show on TV one fall for this one...and wrote down the recipe as they cooked it.  I have made it many times and it is always a hit.  Poor Frank...I have never made it for him....maybe this year since I am on a pumpkin kick.  Now I will be quite honest, I love the taste of pumpkin and use it a good bit during the holidays....Pumpkin Pie is my all time favorite....and even though I live in the south....did not grow up eating Sweet Potato pie....we had Pumpkin with homemade whipped cream.....I have had people tell me you can't tell the difference in the two....that is a bald faced lie...yes you can!  I do not eat sweet potatoes....any way, form, or fashion!  I am a pumpkin kind of girl!
Pumpkin Cheesecake
3 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, at room temperature
1 (15-ounce) can pureed pumpkin
3 eggs plus 1 egg yolk
1/4 cup sour cream
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
2 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
For crust:
In medium bowl, combine crumbs, sugar and cinnamon. Add melted butter. Press down flat into a 9-inch springform pan. Set aside.
For filling:
Beat cream cheese until smooth. Add pumpkin puree, eggs(one at a time), egg yolk, sour cream, sugar and the spices. Add flour and vanilla. Beat together until well combined.
Pour into crust. Spread out evenly and place oven for 1 hour. Remove from the oven and let sit for 15 minutes. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 4 hours. I top mine with whipped cream.  If I am lazy...I use the store bought kind...if not...I make my own.  Either way, trust me...this is Slap Your Momma delish!
When I was in Maine visiting my friend Mary's sister Noel, I looked through one of her cookbooks and found an awesome pumpkin bread recipe.  It is another one of those awesome recipes....personally...with the pumpkin I think it is the nutmeg, allspice, cinnamon that really float my boat.  This one is easy and makes three loaves.
Pumpkin Bread
1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin
4 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
2/3 cup water
3 cups white sugar
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour three 7x3 inch loaf pans. In a large bowl, mix together pumpkin puree, eggs, oil, water and sugar until well blended. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger. Stir the dry ingredients into the pumpkin mixture until just blended. Pour into the prepared pans. Bake for about 50 minutes in the preheated oven. Loaves are done when toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. (If I want to fancy it up I ice it with a can of cream cheese frosting once it cools...or a glaze of powdered sugar and water.)
I also am not a big dressing eater.  I grew up on stuffing and I love the stuff.  My mom would stuff the turkey, stuff big squash, stuff pumpkins, stuff anything and I could eat it hot or cold.  I took my mom's recipe and added cranraisins to make it my own....I am also crazy about them.  It is really good and we eat it year round....with pork or poultry.  I personally could eat it as a meal.  Daughter Amy, introduced me to the Harry and David dried form a few years ago...and although it appears to be seasonal there...I love it as much as the homemade.  Thanks Amy!
Cranberry Stuffing
1 cup butter or margarine

3 medium celery stalks (with leaves), chopped (1 1/2 cups)
3/4 cup finely chopped onion
9 cups soft bread cubes (15 slices) or the equivalent of the Pepperidge Farm dried
3/4 cup dried cranberries or golden raisins (I use the cranraisins...that covers both.
2 tablespoons chopped fresh or 1 1/2 teaspoons dried sage leaves
1 tablespoon chopped fresh or 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup of chicken stock (if you bake it...and don't stuff something with it.
Heat oven to 350.  In 10-inch skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Cook celery and onion in butter, stirring frequently, until onion is tender. Stir in about one-third of the bread cubes. Place in large bowl. Add remaining bread cubes and ingredients; toss. If you bake it alone....put in 1/2 cup of chicken stock to keep it most. If I bake mine alone...I keep it in the skillet and bake it.  Serves about 18
Now, neither stuffing or dressing is complete without cranberries.  I don't care for the canned stuff so I make my own.  It is not jellied...I think that is a bit gross.  I make a cranberry relish.  It is very tasty and pretty in a cut glass dish!
Cranberry Relish
2 bags cranberries
2 cups sugar
2 cups water
1/4 cup orange juice
1/2 tsp orange rind - grated
Combine all ingredients in a large sauce pan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and cook for 5 minutes or until berry skins pop. Chill and enjoy!
My neighbor, Miss Gloria called yesterday and wanted us to come over and reap some of her pear trees bounty.  I am going to be canning for the next couple of days.  I plan on making pear preserves and pear relish.  I love pear preserves on homemade biscuits and on pancakes.  I love pear relish on black-eyed peas.  Yummmm Yummmm....I hope they turn out well and I am not getting them done sitting here blogging.  Have a Wonderful Friday and wish me luck as I can.  I will post pictures of the end results. 


Jacki said...

Oh great, I'm starving!
These sound yummo! I'm also a pumpkin pie girl. Nothing better in the whole world...but the deep dish kind! My mom used to make them in those skinny frozen pie shells. I want mine with substance!
And tons of whipped cream.

I'm going to print all of these and try them. Maybe you should do a second (cooking) blog!

Trina said...

And I am not a pumpkin gal at all! Give me a baked sweet potato with sugar and cinnamon or a sweet potato casserole any day. I'm not a huge fan of sweet potato pie, though.

Edie Marie's Attic said...

HI Karen!

Oh what great recipes! I love anything cranberry & will be trying those recipes. Can't wait to see your pics of everything. Have a great weekend...

Hugs, Sherry

Sweet Tea said...

I love pumpkin and have been craving it lately. I agree with you - "A sweet potato does not a pumpkin make".

Mary said...

Thanks for all of the recipes! I've never had sweet potato pie, but I bet you CAN tell the difference! Love pumpkin! :D