Deluxe Pumpkin Cheesecake

UPDATE: This cheesecake was a hit! But of course...I forgot to take a picture of it. So, I'll have to remember next time I make this to take a picture. You've got to make this!!
My husband loves pumpkin pie and cheesecake. So when I saw this recipe I knew I had to try it. It comes from the Taste of Home Holiday books. I haven't tried it yet, but I am in the process of making it right now! But to tempt you I took a picture of the book. This recipe was the cover, so it must be good! Enjoy!

Deluxe Pumpkin Cheesecake
from Sharon Skildum of Maple Grove, Minnesota
1 C. crushed gingersnap cookies (about 20 cookies)
1/3 C. finely chopped pecans
1/4 C. butter, melted
4 Pkgs. (8 oz. each) cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 C. Sugar, divided
2 tbsp. Cornstarch
4 Eggs
2 tsp. Vanilla Extract
1 C. Canned Pumpkin
2 tsp. Ground Cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp. Ground Nutmeg
Chocolate syrup, caramel ice cream topping, and additional crushed gingersnap cookies, optional.
Place a greased 9 in. springform pan on a double thickness of heavy-duty foil (about 18 in. square). Securely wrap foil around pan.
In a small bowl, combine the cookie crumbs, pecans and butter. Press onto the bottom of the prepared pan. Place of a baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10mins. or until set. Cool on a wire rack.
For the filling, in a large bowl, beat one package of cream cheese, 1/2 C. sugar and cornstarch until smooth, about 2 minutes. Beat in remaining cream cheese, one package at a time. Add remaining sugar. Add 2 eggs; beat on low speed just until combined. Add vanilla and remaining eggs, beating on low speed just until combined.
Place 2 cups filling in a small bowl; stir in the pumpkin, cinnamon and nutmeg. Remove 3/4 cup of the pumpkin mixture filling; and set aside. Pour the remaining pumpkin filling over crust; top with remaining plain filling. Drop reserved pumpkin filling by spoonfuls over cheesecake; cut through with a knife to swirl.
Place springform pan in a large baking pan; add 1 inch of hot water to the baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 55-65 mins. or until center is just set and top appears dull. Remove sprinform pan from water bath. Cool on a wire rack for 10 mins. Carefully run a knife around the edge of pan to loosen; cool 1 hour longer. Refrigerate overnight.
Garnish with chocolate syrup, caramel sauce, whipped topping, and additional crushed gingersnaps. And enjoy!

Turkey Lurkey!!!

I am Sooo ready for Thanksgiving. I love, turkey, stuffing, pumpkin pie!!! I have been meaning to post some recipes but our internet has been acting really weird (we have satelite internet). So, I thought I would start with the Turkey, the star of the whole day! When we lived in Hawaii we didn't come home for Thanksgiving, so my very first Thanksgiving I had to read up on cooking a Turkey. I decided to watch the Food Network Channel, Alton Brown to be exact, and on one of his shows he talked about Brining a Turkey.

I really love Alton Brown's show because he explains everything. He explained why brining a turkey is so important: Bringing causes the water in the meat to come out into the brine. The brine then attaches to the H20 and goes into the turkey (he called it equilibrium). The juices are trapped in the turkey and will not come out even when cooked.

So my first Thanksgiving, I decided to brine my Turkey. And it was delicious!! So here is Alton Brown's Brine recipe.

Turkey Brine
1 Gallon Vegetable Broth
1 Cup Kosher Salt (or reg. salt)
1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
1 tbsp. Peppercorns
1/2 tbsp. All Spice Berries
1/2 tbsp. Candied ginger (I couldn't find this so I just use reg. ginger)
Once you bring to a boil take off burner and let cool a little. Then pour into a large bucket. Add 1 gallon of iced water.
Soak overnight. And since it's cold outside put it in your garage, so it doesn't take up room in the fridge. Believe me, I had to put it in our fridge in Hawaii, what a pain!

The next day:
Rinse the inside/outside of the turkey.
You'll need:
Half an Onion & 1 Red apple sliced & microwaved in water
Put these into the cavity of the turkey.
Rub the turkey with canola oil. (I have also heard to put butter under the skin.) Alton also makes a Turkey Triangle (a triangle made out of foil) this is used to cover the breast of the turkey.

Preheat oven to 500 degrees. Cook the turkey in and cook for 30 minutes. After the 30 minutes lower the temperature to 350 degrees, put your turkey triangle on and place your turkey in the oven, legs first.

White meat should be cooked to a temperature of 161 degrees
Dark meat: 180 degrees

Another important thing to do is let your Turkey rest 20-30 min. after cooking, covered.

Sorry there are no pictures, but I will add one tomorrow! And sorry for the late post, but there's still Christmas!


$5 Savings

There is a $5 savings offer from duncan hines, vlasic, armour, log cabin, mrs butterworths and Open Pit. Buy 5 items and get $5 in Savings. You can find the rebate form here.
It looks like you purchase the 5 items and mail in the form. They then send you $5 in coupons. Items must be purchased before 12/7/09 and the form must be postmarked by 1/7/10. Coupons must be redeemed by 4/12/10.
They did a similar offer last year but it was for a $5 rebate. If you watch sales, you can usually find these items at a great price.

Kelloggs Coupons

There are several Kelloggs coupons available here.

$10 Nabisco Rebate

There is a $10 rebate for Nabisco products. It is different than the rebate that is in the booklets that came in the mail. This new rebate, which expires on 11/30/09 can be found here. Click 'get started' and when the page loads look for a coupons tab on the right side of the screen. You can print the rebate info and a coupon.
**Dont forget the first rebate that is in the booklets expires in Dec.


How to treat Honey!

MI just realized after I read this that I was always microwaving my honey so if you already know this stuff it is just a reminder and if I show someone that didn't know then here you go.

Natural Honey has been used by mankind for 2500 years. It's numerous health benefits have made it an important part of traditional medicines.

In many foods and drinks, sugar can be replaced with honey. The sugars in honey are very easily digested.

Honey provides us with some trace amounts of vitamins and minerals, depending upon the flowers the bees used. It needs to be treated with care, and , unless using it in baking, should not be heated above 140 degrees, since higher temperatures may destroy some nutrients and cause darkening of the honey. (Using a microwave oven to soften crystallized honey should be avoided.) The most gentle method of softening honey is to place the contained honey in a bowl of boiling water, replacing the cooled water again and again with boiling water. This can take all day! (You can also put it out in the sun on a warm day.)

The flavors and colors of honey are varied, depending on the plants from which the bees feed. Generally the lighter the honey, the milder the flavor.

Honey has antioxidants, as do most fruits and vegetables. Antioxidants are non-nutritive agents that can decrease the activity of cell-damaging free radicals. (Free radicals have been linked with many chronic diseases.) The darker varieties of honey, in particular, can contain large quantities of a particular antioxidant called flavonoids. these are the same substances, found in red grapes, that have been linked with the lower risk of heart disease. Honey is also a preservative and can slow rancidity in foods.

Although honey is used as an affective dressing on infected wounds, burns and ulcers, the honey purchased for culinary purposes should not be used in this manner, as it contains spores that may cause infection. The honey used in wound healing has been sterilized, generally with gamma radiation.

While honey's nutritional value may be less than some like to believe, it has many other desirable properties.

Here are some tips the newsletter listed:
To replace sugar with honey in a recipe, substitute 3/4 of a cup of honey for 1 cup of sugar and reduce the liquid 1/4 cup, or add 1/4 cup additional flour.

For culinary uses, one cup of honey is considered the equivalent of 1 1/4 cup of sugar.


Berry Flavored Honey
16 oz light colored honey
1 1/2 cups raspberries or strawberries
In a small saucepan stir honey until warmed through. Gently stir in berries. Pour into heat-proof jar. Cool to room temperature. Cover tightly. Let stand at room temperature 3 days, then refrigerate. This makes a thin product, more like a syrup than honey. Serve it over waffles, pancakes, or with nut breads. KEEP REFRIDERATED.

*courtesy of The Wooden Spoon Newsletter April 4, 2007 Vol.2 No. 8


Utah Albertsons FYI

I just thought that I would clarify this since I talked to our new store director here in Idaho who worked in the Albertsons Corporate store in Salt Lake City. #1 because I read a comment on PYP blog that people are stealing from Albertsons in Utah and that is why they are moving out of state because they are using coupons on already free stuff! That if you ask me is ridiculous and someone should totally explain to the lady that Albertsons' hardest state to do business in was Utah. My friend told me that they just couldn't make money with the strong Associated Foods competition. He said they got a new CEO i believe it was who wanted fast money and saw in Utah they were barely getting by so they sold the stores for a couple million and decided to move on! So there is your clarification, and no we are not stealing for using coupons on free items!! Shannon always taught me if they scan the item you can use a coupon!! So tonight I bought 10 pies and 10 ice cream and paid 15 dollars! Let's just say I am using that as a Thanksgiving Gift for my Visiting Teachees!! :) Sorry that I had to jump on my soap box but I had the info and decided to share it!


Recipes for Food Storage Use!

I just found some info that I have had in an email that I never read!! Well if you have food storage for instance Powdered milk that is going to go bad and you have lots but don't know what to do with it!! Here are so suggestions, you can make biscuits or pancakes but this idea I had never even heard of!! Make some yogurt!! Weird huh!! Well here is how you do it:

1 3/4 cup regular dry milk (3 cups instant)
4 cups very warm water (not over 120 degrees)
1/3 cup yogurt with active cultures
Combine dry milk and water. Stir with wire whisk until disolved. Add yogurt and whisk. Pour into containers, cover and incubate in a warm spot for 6-8 hours. Do not disturb during incubation.

Vanilla Yogurt
3 3/4 quarts warm water
4 cups dry, powdered milk
1 cup melted honey
1 Tbsp. vanilla
1 cup plain yogurt
3 Tbsp. unsweetened gelatin (4 packets)

Soften gelatin in 1/4 cup cold water. Stir in some of the 3 3/4 quarts warm water to further dissolve gelatin. Stir some of the water into dry powdered milk and mix well. Add all remaining ingredients. Blend well and pour into jars for incubation. Incubate 6-8 hours. Makes almost 5 quarts.

* I haven't tried these out but thought I would pass it along.
I also found a 172 page recipe book that someone emailed me that is for Food Storage recipes. If you want a copy I can email it to you, just comment with your email address and I will send it to you.
courtesy of The Wooden Spoon Newsletter April 5,2007 Vol. 2 No. 9

Sketchers Advice for all!!

Ok so like 8 months ago Sheena and I decided to buy some boots and saw some Sketchers on sale for like 40 something dollars! Well we first started wearing them and your toes freeze horribly which in Hailey where we are is not a good thing!! Well then this last week my zipper broke, so I decided to call and find out what they will do about it. Pretty much nothing!! If I want them to just look at them and decide if it was my misuse error or a manufacturer error I have to mail them to their headquarters on my money which they aren't even a year old yet and I didn't wear them in the Summer if you know what I mean!! Then it will take 2 months for them to decide, ok 2 months that is um January so what am I going to wear in the snow?? Then they will replace them if possible. Well let's just say I should have saved my money like most people up here and bought a pair of UGGS!! So just a peice of advice don't go for the low quality shoe just because it has the price tag you want because now I am out boots anyways and don't want to spend money to send them back to get the same low quality boot in return!! So there is my soap Box!!


Win a Year of House Cleaning!!!

I could definitely use a year's worth of house cleaning! I cant even image what I would do with the extra time. I receive email from Tennessee Pride and they sent me info on this contest. You can also find coupons on the site.
Sweepstakes info: Prize is a gift card from Merry Maids® good for a year’s worth of house cleaning services. Prize value: $2,800.
For full details and to enter visit TennesseePride.com.


Family Home Evening Ideas

Mike's aunt send me an email about a Family Home Evening blog called Strong Armor. I just glanced at it but it looks like they have some good ideas. Click here to get awesome FHE ideas!

Chocolate Chip Cookie Delight

I can't believe it's November! It's been a month since I have posted a new recipe, it doesn't seem that long at all. October was a busy month for us. But you're in luck, I have a really delicious dessert for you today. I got it from Taste of Home's Simple & Delicious Magazine May/June 2008. I had found this recipe awhile ago, but I finally made it just a few weeks ago. It's really really good and really easy. So let's get cooking.

The ingredients are: Refrigerated chocolate chip cookie dough (you could probably use homemade too), Cream Cheese, Confectioners' sugar, Whipped Topping, Milk, Instant Chocolate Pudding Mix, Instant Vanilla Pudding Mix, & chopped nuts and chocolate curls optional.

Let the cookie dough stand at room temperature for 5-10 minutes to soften. Press into an ungreased 13X9-in. baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 14-16 mins. or until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack.

In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and confectioners' sugar until smooth. Fold in 1 3/4C. whipped topping. Spread over the cooled cookie crust.

In another large bowl, whisk the milk and both pudding mixes for 2 minutes or until soft-set. Spread over cream cheese layer.

Top with the remaining whipped topping. Sprinkle with nuts and chocolate curls if desired. Cover and refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight until firm. If you can wait that long...Enjoy!!
Chocolate Chip Cookie Delight
from Taste of Home May/June 2008
serves 15
1 Tube (16 1/2 oz.) refrigerated chocolate chip cookie dough
1 pkg. (8oz.) cream cheese, softened
1 C. confectioners' sugar
1 carton (12 oz.) frozen whipped topping, thawed
3 C. cold milk
1 pkg. (3.9 oz) instant chocolate pudding mix
1 pgk. (3.4 oz.) instant vanilla pudding mix
Chopped nuts and Chocolate curls optional
Let cookie dough stand at room temperature for 5-10 mins. to soften. Press into an ungreased 13X9 in. baking dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 14-16 mins or until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack.
In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and confectioners' sugar until smooth. Fold in 1-3/4 cups whipped topping. Spread over the cookie crust.
In a large bowl, whisk milk and both pudding mixes for 2 minutes; let stand for 2 minutes or until soft-set. Spread over the cream cheese layer. Top with remaining whipped topping. Sprinkle with nuts and chocolate curls if desired.
Cover and refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight until firm.
Yield: 15 servings


Shirley J's products

Every month our ward focuses on a few items that we should purchase for our food storage. We purchase in such large quantities that our emergency preparedness specialists get us some great deals on these items. Last fall, we purchased Shirley J products. I didnt know much about them but I purchased the chicken and beef bouillion and the creamy soup base. I use the bouillion all the time but have only used the soup base once or twice.
We are planning on purchasing Shirley J items again in November so last week 2 Shirley J cooks came and demonstated how to use many of their products. It was so helpful and we got to taste them!! Their website, ShirleyJ.com, has recipes for their products.

At the demo for relief society, we tried:
the sour dough bread which was really good..it had a wonderful texture
the cornbread which was very good! I dont make cornbread too often because mine always turns out grainy and crumbly. This was neither--it was soo good. I am going to buy some cornbread mix. I also like that their products last for 20 years. Cornmeal only stores for a few months.
I love my bouillion
I may try the onion seasoning or universal seasoning. My understanding is that they are the same thing. The seasoning is more concentrated than you would buy in the grocery store so instead of using a whole packet of onion soup mix you need a much smaller quantity making it a better deal.
We also tried the pizza seasoning. I like it; it tasted similar to Little Ceasars..it tasted a bit salty although they told us that all Shirley J products are low sodium.
I have some of the creamy soup base which is now called universal sauce. Now that I have found some recipes of things to make with it, I am excited.

Recipe/great use for universal sauce:
It can be used as a substitute for cream of soups..that's right you can use it instead of cream of chicken, cream of mushroom, etc. You can see the cream of soup recipe here.

I will experiment with the products that I have and will post my results and my opinions. If anyone else has Shirley J products I would love to here your feedback.


Maceys Ads for this week

I am sorry that I have not been very good about posting deals of the week. Albertsons is transitioning to fresh market & last week I didnt go to the grocery store but used food storage items.
ground beef $1.99/lb
Big Buy bacon 16 oz $.99
Chicken breast $1.49/lb
Sirloin chops bone in $.99/lb
butt roast or ribs (bone in) $.88/lb
pork picnic roast $.99
Dole 28 oz pineapple $.78
wf powdered or brown sugar $1.08
wf walnuts 16 oz $2.98
southeastern mills gravy $.48
General Mills cereal $1.97
Kelloggs cereals 3/$9 ($2 off milk if you buy3) (coupons at kelloggs.com)
wf applesause 23-24 oz $1.25
del monte corn or green beans $.83
gold n plump whole chickens $4.49
tillamook 8oz med cheddar or colby jack $1.99
nabisco ritz $2.79 wheat thins $2.69 ($1/2 @ grocerysmarts group a)
cheez it $2.29
keeble fudge shoppe cookies $1.99 ($1/2 at grocerysmarts group a)
shur savings milk $1.79
freschetta pizza $3.99 ($1/1 @ freschetta.com)
pictsweet 28oz frozen vegetables $1.98

congra sale buy 10 items and receive a 48 oz wesson oil for free
a few of the items included are:
hunts spag. sauce $.95
hunts diced tomatoes $.97 ($.45/3)
rosarita refried beans $.89


Pie Crust

I tried Sheena's chicken pot pie over the weekend and it was pretty good and easy. For those of us who are too cheap to buy a prepared pie crust or just in case you forget to buy one and want to try the recipe, here is an easy pie crust recipe I have used for years.

Pie Crust #1
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
2/3 cup shortening (I have heard that butter flavored shortening makes it very good but I have never tried it)
6-7 Tbsp cold water

Combine flour & salt. Cut shortening into flour mixture. Sprinkle 1 Tbsp water over part of the mixture; gently toss with fork. Push moistened dough to side of bowl. Repeat using 1 Tbsp water at a time,until all the dough is moistened. Divide in half. Form each half into a ball. Flatten each ball into a 12" circle.

Do you have problems picking up the circle to put in the pan? A tip I learned is to wrap one edge of the circle over the rolling pin and gently lift up the circle. I will take pictures next time I make a pie crust to show you but this method helps when the crust is trying to stick to the counter or when it is trying to break apart.
Makes 2 shells - top and bottom or 2 tops.

I also have another pie crust recipe--but I cant remember if i have tried it or not. Here it is:
4 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 Tbsp sugar
1 3/4 cup shortening
1/2 cup cold water
1 Tbsp vinegar
1 egg

Combine flour, salt & sugar. Cut shortening into flour mixture. Combine water, vinegar and egg. Add the liquid mixture to the flour mixture. Stir lightly with a fork and then form into 5 balls. Put into a small container and refrigerate for a short while before rolling out onto a lightly floured board.
Makes 5 shells. Can be frozen as balls or after rolling out for later use.