Monday, November 22, 2010

Cream Cheese Pumpkin Pie

With Thanksgiving coming this week, I wanted to make a twist on your traditional pumpkin pie for dinner with friends.  I found the recipe here and for once did not tweak:

I started with an unbaked pie shell (yes, it’s premade.  I’m moving and working on cleaning out my pantry/small freezer a little.  Don’t judge.)


I forgot to bring the cheese to room temp and was impatient, hence the clumps.  (My microwave died last week and I’ve nixed another because of the move – yes, we’re in sad shape here lately – so I couldn’t just zap it before mixing.  HA)

The cheese layer is 8 oz of softened cream cheese, 1/4 cup sugar, 1/2 tsp vanilla and 1 egg mixed together (Combine all but the egg together – then mix in your egg).  Pour into your unbaked pie shell.


Next, mix 1 1/4 cup pumpkin puree (either canned or fresh),  1/2 cup sugar, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp ginger and 1/4 tsp nutmeg.  Carefully beat in 2 eggs and 1 cup evaporated milk before pouring over the cheese layer. 


Bake at 350 for 1 hour and cool before enjoying.

I’d love to be able to give you a great picture of a beautiful finished pie or slice of pie.  I really would.  Instead, you’ll have to settle for the leftover pie that was demolished when Little Man discovered it on the kitchen counter.


He thought it was delicious.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Butternut Squash Lasagna

My obsession with finding new squash recipes this fall started with this:


It created a need in me to find all sorts of new and different squash recipes to try. I stumbled upon this recipe originally in Mother Earth News. I tweaked the original.

What you'll need (the original - my changes are bolded below):
1 tbs olive oil
1 (11⁄2- to 2-pound) butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup butter
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
4 cups whole milk
Pinch of nutmeg
12 no-boil lasagna noodles
2 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, grated

Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Saute 1 diced shallot and then add cubed squash, toss to coat and season with salt and pepper.


Pour the water into the skillet, cover and simmer over medium heat until the squash is tender, about 20 minutes.


Transfer the squash to a mixing bowl or food processor and mash. Season the squash purée to taste with more salt and pepper.


Melt the butter in a medium-size saucepan over medium heat. Add flour and whisk for 1 minute. Gradually whisk in 1/2 cup white wine and 3 1/2 cups of milk. Bring to a low boil over medium- high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer until the sauce thickens slightly, whisking often, about 5 minutes. Add the nutmeg. Season the sauce with salt and pepper to taste.


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly butter a 13-by-9-by-2- inch glass baking dish. Spread 3/4 cup of the sauce over the prepared baking dish. Cover the bottom of pan with one layer of lasagna noodles. Spread half of the squash purée over the noodles. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup of mozzarella cheese. Drizzle 1/2 cup of sauce over the cheese. Repeat layering once more, finishing with a layer of noodles covered only by white sauce.


Tightly cover the baking dish with foil and bake for 40 minutes.

My helpers were trying to get into the cheese while waiting for the next step.  They were not impressed when I moved it out of reach after taking this picture.


Remove cover, sprinkle the remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses over the lasagna and continue baking until the sauce bubbles and the top is golden, about 15 minutes longer. Let the lasagna stand for 15 minutes before serving.


Ooey gooey deliciousness.


Ooooohhhh yeaaaah.


So, if you find yourself in the same conundrum I’m in (with lots and lots of squash), I’d suggest giving this a whirl.  I think buttercup could also be substituted for the butternut for just as delicious a meal. 


Sunday, November 14, 2010

Cold Weather Goals Update:

You can find my original goals here:

1) Personal

  • I’ve lost 6 pounds and am down to 154.  Awesome.

2) Family


  • We’ve had a few messy crafts.  One in particular involved preserving beautiful fall leaves in melted beeswax.
  • We’ve had some play dates.  We need more.
  • I have 1 handmade Christmas gift left to make and then some baking to do on the last week.

3) Kitchen


  • I’ve tried quite a few new sweets.  One involved oatmeal cookie eyeball cookies for Monkey to take to school for her Halloween party (they were supposed to be peanut butter cookies but peanut products are a no-no to send to school because of allergies).

4) Turning house into home

  • This is all one big SCRATCH off my list.  You may ask why I’m scratching it all at once.  The answer is simple.  We are MOVING.  Officially, as of December 23rd, we will be residents of the St. John Valley again.  We’ll temporarily be living with my folks (a month or 2), so I won’t be turning a house into home until next spring – maybe summer,  depending how quickly we can sell this place. 

How are your lists coming along?

Have a great day!

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