Saturday, October 11, 2014

My Ticket to World Food Championship - Las Vegas

Just A Pinch Recipe Contest - Blue Ribbon "This isn't a Philly Cheesesteak"
I am so excite to be competing in the World Food Championship.  Held in Las Vegas November 12th through the 18th.   My category is recipe and general theme is cheese.  My big cooking day is Thursday November 13th 2014.

My Asiago & Smoked Gouda Cheese Sauce is the star of this sandwich.



Cooking With Cheese 


See you in Vegas Baby



Sunday, September 14, 2014

Pumpkin Cheesecake


It’s time to usher in fall season with wonderful flavors of pumpkin.  This Pumpkin Cheesecake releases all the wonderful flavors of an old fashion pumpkin pie. This festive treat is lightly flavored with ginger-accented crust and all the wonderful spices that bring the aroma of fall in the air.

Recipe Essential Tools

  • Food Processor or Ziploc bag and a meat mallet
  • 9 or 10 inch springform pan
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Aluminum foil
  • Large roasting pan
  • Electric Mixer or large bowl and hand mixer
  • Medium size baking sheet
  • Rubber spatula
Prep Time; 30 minutes   Cooking Time: 1 hour and 30 minutes 
Inactive time: 5 hours     Servings: 12

Ingredients


For the Crust
  • 6 graham crackers
  • 6 gingersnap cookies
  • 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
  • Pinch of course salt
  • 6 tablespoons butter, melted

For cheesecake – note all ingredients for cheesecake should be at room temperature
  • 1        tablespoon butter, softened to grease springform pan
  • 5        8-ounce packages cream cheese, softened
  • 2        cups sugar
  • 1        15-ounce can pumpkin puree
  • ½      cup sour cream
  • 4        large eggs
  • 2        teaspoons vanilla  extract
  • ½      teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½      teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½       teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ½       teaspoon pumpkin spice
  • ½       cup all-purpose flour
Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°.  Butter the sides of springform pan.  Wrap exterior of pan with double layer of aluminum foil.

  1. In the food processor, combine graham crackers, gingersnaps, sugar and pinch of salt. Pulse mixture until fine, then transfer to medium size bowl and add melted butter.  Blend well, then transfer crust mixture to springform pan.
If you do not have a food processor, then place graham crackers, gingersnaps in a Ziploc bag and use a meat mallet to crush into crumbs.

  1.  With a meat mallet or measuring cup, pat mixture into an even layer to fit the bottom of springform pan. Place crust in the freezer for about 15 minutes to set. Once crust has chilled, place springform pan on a medium size baking sheet and bake until crust is firm to the touch and golden brown.  This should take about 10 to 15 minutes. Remove crust for oven and let cool.

  1. In electric mixer with flat paddle attachment, add cream cheese and mix on medium speed until cream cheese is fluffy, about 2 – 3 minutes, scraping the sides as required.

  1. Add sugar and blend well then add pumpkin puree and sour cream. Mix well and add eggs one at a time, beating until combined; do not over mix. Remove mixing bowl from mixer and add vanilla, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and pumpkin spice.  With a spatula, blend spices until mix well.  Then add the flour and blend. 

  1. Pour cream cheese filling into prepared pan and place springform pan into roasting pan.  Then pour boiling water into roasting pan to reach halfway up sides of springform pan.  Bake 45 minutes, and then reduce oven temperature to 325°.  Bake until cheesecake is set about another 20 – 25 minutes. Turn oven off and leave oven door slightly open for about 30 minutes.  Then remove cheesecake from oven and let cool completely before refrigerating for at least 5 hours or overnight.

  1. Before serving, run a knife around the edge of the cake and then carefully remove the ring from springform pan.