Tuesday, November 30, 2010

pumpkin cheesecake

another winner from simply recipes, this pumpkin cheesecake is always a big hit.
it was perfect for thanksgiving dessert, and we'll probably have it for christmas too

start with some pecans, flour, brown sugar, and graham cracker crumbs

add to food processor and pulse

add butter and egg yoke, pulse until mixture is uniform

press into a springform pan and bake at 375 for 10 minutes

next empty 2 cans pumpkin puree onto a paper towel or cheesecloth
and soak up as much excess liquid as possible (this took more than half a roll of paper towels - be prepared!)

in a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and allspice

stir together with pumpkin puree, salt, vanilla, and bourbon
i used old grand-dad bourbon :)
add 5 eggs and beat in. set aside

in a large mixing bowl, beat cream cheese and brown sugar until smooth

gradually add pumpkin mixture and beat until fully combined

wrap your pain in aluminum foil and place in a large pan with sides

add your cheesecake filling and set on oven rack

pour a large pot of boiling water into the larger pan.
you want the water to go about halfway up the sides of the pan the cheesecake is in.

this is called a water bath and provides moist heat to the cake, which helps prevent it from cracking

bake for 1.5 hours. then prop oven door open and let cool for 1 hour
next you'll remove the cheesecake from the oven and allow it to cool completely to room temperature.  chill overnight in the fridge.

when it's finally time to serve, unlatch your springform pan and place on a pretty pedestal

when i made this cheesecake last christmas, i only had 1 can of pumpkin puree.  so i improvised and added a cup of nutella to the filling mixture.  
crazy, but it actually worked.

i did it right this year for thanksgiving and everybody loved it.

click here for the recipe.  after all the eating i did this weekend, i am suddenly too lethargic and lazy to type anything else.

good day to you.

Monday, November 29, 2010


mashed potato and stuffing sandwich.

redundancy at it's best

Thursday, November 25, 2010

things that taste good thursday

especially when it's your reward for running a turkey trot 5k

happy thanksgiving!!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

the odyssey of gluttony part 3: plaza azteca

some college friends and i decided to take a day trip down to our alma mater, CNU; or rather, the city it resides in:  Newport News.  

we didn't miss school.  we missed the food.

after a quick detour to the Warwick Cheese Shop and back to campus, we finally made it to our mecca.

the place people still talk about when they leave school for good.

it was a long 4 years, but it was worth the wait.

Plaza Azteca

THIS is where the magic happens

besides getting a new sign, not much has changed

the old sign in all its glory

chips, salsa, and white sauce.  magnificent white sauce

apparently we've lost touch with the concept of portion control

gretas chicken & fried rice, and my quesadilla ranchero

the ever popular burrito san jose

not much has changed at Plaza Azteca in the 4 years since graduating.  the salsa and white sauce are abundant, and the giant mugs of dos equis are still really, really cheap.  this trip was a great success.

recap and a few extras coming next week...

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

the odyssey of gluttony part 2: asian grill

some college friends and i decided to take a day trip down to our alma mater, CNU; or rather, the city it resides in:  Newport News.  

we didn't miss school.  we missed the food.

no trip to Newport News is complete without a stop at walmart 
(we needed a cooler to hold our leftovers!)

  then we wandered around the CNU campus a bit to work up our appetites.  

finally it was time for stop #2:  asian grill

just like mexican joints serve chips & salsa, asian grill serves crispy noodles & duck sauce

the bounty

sushi, general tso's chicken, shrimp fried rice, spring rolls, and miso soup

tony's beautiful sushi

fortune cookies and orange slices

our fortunes.

the fried rice at asian grill is still the best i've ever had.  so are the fortunes.

stay tuned for part 3 tomorrow.  we saved the best for last

Monday, November 22, 2010

the odyssey of gluttony part 1: cheddars

some college friends and i decided to take a day trip down to our alma mater, CNU; or rather, the city it resides in:  Newport News.  

we didn't miss school.  we missed the food.  

it was cheap, it was greasy, and it was GOOD.

we left DC around 9:30 am and got to Newport News just after noon. 

first stop:  Cheddar's

you can get mind-blowingly drunk for only $11!

tony had a monte cristo with a side of broccoli casserole

the mashed potatoes are still as good as i remember

where else but a college town can you feed 3 adults for under $11 each?

stay tuned for parts 2 and 3 coming later this week...

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

crab stuffed mushrooms

i have been avoiding carbs in an effort to equip myself for the imminent holiday gluttony. 
  nothing like losing a few pounds so i can gain them back.

eating eggs and chicken all the time gets old fast, so i try to diversify my meal options.  
enter crab stuffed mushrooms.

rinse and stem 10 mushrooms
(i used 11 because that's how many came in the package)

chop 1/2 cup green onions

chop 1/2 cup fresh parsley

add to a dish with 1 cup crabmeat, 1/2 cup softened cream cheese, 4 tablespoons parmesan cheese, and a pinch each of salt, pepper, and garlic powder

mix together with a fork

spoon into mushroom caps and place in a greased baking dish

sprinkle with bread crumbs
(or parmesan cheese, which i did, for low-carb version)

bake at 375 for about 20 min, until filling is melted and topping is browned

this is what perfection looks like.  now go make these so you can taste it too!

crab stuffed mushrooms. (adapted from paula deen)

10 white mushrooms

1 cup crabmeat
1/2 cup cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/2 cup chopped green onions
4 tablespoons parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

topping:  1/4 cup breadcrumbs or parmesan cheese

preheat oven to 375
rinse and stem mushrooms, set aside
combine remaining ingredients in a medium bowl and combine with fork
spoon mixture into mushroom caps
sprinkle with 1/4 cup breadcrumbs or parmesan cheese
bake for 20 minutes or until filling is hot and melted and topping has begun to brown

notes:  you can save the mushroom stems, dice finely, and add to the filling mixture.  there is plenty of filling for more than 10 mushrooms (mine were not very large).  adding mushroom stems will increase the amount of filling.  you'll probably have enough for at least 15 mushroom caps.

i saved 4 of these and re-heated them in the toaster oven at work the next day.
they are just as divine the second time around