Thursday, October 30, 2008

Harvest Fun, Food & Friends

I've been busy lately with my "To Do" list before the baby comes. This little one is moving a lot lately and I feel at times like maybe I'll be going into labor, but I don't think it's the case (probably just tired and feeling ready). Here are some things we've been up to this week and still have more since I am selling food at a Craft Bazaar on Saturday.

When I went to the consignment shop I found this wonderful little red poncho (40% off too) for Veronica, which made me think she could be Little Red Riding Hood for Halloween and wear it again.

Here she is pulling her baby out of her basket. I tried to give her a basket, since Little Red needs one, but it only lasted about 5 seconds.

I think this will be the only picture I can get of her with the basket.

I made a wonderful Pumpkin Cheesecake for our Thursday playgroup, which came out wonderfully. Here are the results & the recipe.

Spiced Pumpkin Cheesecake

1 cup pecans
1 cup graham cracker crumbs (I used one pouch of whole graham crackers)
2 Tb sugar
1 tsp ground ginger
5 Tb melted unsalted butter

4-8 oz packages of cream cheese (2 lbs), room temperature
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground ginger (I added more ginger than this, probably 1/2-3/4 tsp)
1-15 oz can solid pack pumpkin
3 large eggs
1 Tb vanilla

Make Crust:
Preheat oven to 350. Blend first four ingredients in food processor until nuts are finely chopped and everything is ground. Add butter; process until moist crumbs form. Press onto bottom & 1 inch up sides of 9-in diameter springform pan with 2 3/4-inch-high sides. Bake until lightly toasted, about 10 minutes. Cool. Wrap outside of pan with double thickness of heavy-duty foil. This is for the water bath (bain marie), so you want to ensure NO water is able to go in between the foil and pan to make the crust soggy.

Make Filling:

Using an electric mixer, beat first 4 ingredients in large bowl until smooth. Add pumpkin; beat until blended. Add eggs one at a time, scrape the sides, beat until smooth. Add vanilla and beat. Transfer to crust.

Heat up a kettle of water to boiling. Put kitchen towel in bottom of roasting pan, put cheesecake on top of towel and place in oven. Pour enough hot water into roasting pan to come 1 inch up sides of springform pan. Bake cake until top is golden, or bake for 1 hour and 20 minutes or so. One of the most important things is to NEVER open the door while baking cheesecake. Once your timer goes off, turn the oven off, but leave the cheesecake in the oven for an additional hour and DO NOT open the door. Remove cheesecake from roasting pan. Cool. Cover and chill in fridge overnight.

Using Roasted Pumpkin or Sweet Meat Squash (light green/mint squash) for pies or cheesecake:

Heat oven to 450. Cut your pumpkin or sweet meat squash. Take out all of the seeds and insides. You can choose to cut into a couple smaller sizes. Place pumpkin or squash on a roasting pan or jelly roll pan. Add a little water to the pan. Bake for one hour. Let cool and cut off the skin. Add smaller chunks to food processor and puree until smooth. This freezes perfectly for up to a year. Substitute this for buying your own canned pumpkin.

Today at Playgroup we piled all the kids out onto the porch to capture their cuteness in their costumes. It was great as you can see, especially since we weren't able to get all the kids to smile at the same time.


a.a. said...

ohhh! they all look so cute in their little costumes! that must have been fun! and the little red riding girl is especially cute :)

amy said...

What a cute red ridding hood you found! Love it!

And those pictures of all of the kids are super cute!

KAMILLE said...

a.a. you're not bias towards Little Red or something--are you related to her?

Anonymous said...

I would love to try that recipe but it is coming out in code. Oh and that little girl with the Red cape is a doll. love Nana

Jenny said...

Those group shots are hilarious. My favorite is the one w/mohawk boy trying to get away and crying. I love Little Red and I'm actually putting two french braids in Kim's hair in a few minutes b/c SHE'S Little Red, too. Wonderful.