Today hit a high of 50 degrees. You’d think it was spring, based on all the people I saw wearing shorts and sweatshirts around downtown Portland. It almost will be, since we dealt with freezing temperatures for about a month now. 20 degrees warmer and we’re pulling out the lighter gear and sunglasses! (Haha. Seriously though, who are these people?)
The warmer weather must be messing with my brain, because I have had sudden urges to clean out my linen closet, pantry, and deep clean the laundry room. That is where I remembered, as I was reorganizing and de-cluttering my pantry, that I had all the ingredients to make 7-layer bars. It seemed fitting, and rewarding, after all the hard work to make these simply irresistible, and super addicting, bars. Continue reading
My family, like many families, has traditions. Some I love, some I…well, don’t. However, my absolute favorite family tradition is a birthday tradition. On your birthday, you get to choose what you want to have for dinner and for dessert. I loved this tradition growing up because in a house full of girls, it was the one day where I got to make the decision and ALL had to agree to it. Because if you didn’t, you went hungry. My favorite dinner that my mom would make was homemade chicken pot pie with a homemade crust.
And for dessert, I ALWAYS asked for cheesecake. Unfortunately, my youngest sister’s birthday happens to be three days after mine, so we would rotate on who picked the dessert, as my mom didn’t want to make two back-to-back. I hated that growing up, but now as a parent, I get it.
The first time I made cheesecake was in college. I followed the recipe to a T and it took many hours to make. However, something went wrong because the water bath the cheesecake sat in leaked, (I even used aluminum foil to wrap it!) and my crust was all soggy with the biggest crack running across and deep down the center. It looked ugly and tasted bland and watery. It was 10 years before I made any type of cheesecake again.
This cheesecake, on the other hand, does not require a water bath. Yeah to not having a soggy crust! And it is moist, rich, and creamy. I sprinkled the top of the cheesecake with graham cracker crumbs, but you could add any type of fruit to the top if you like. Fresh or canned. Both would be delicious. Continue reading
One of my biggest pet peeves is food going to waste–specifically when I have to open a can of something and the recipe doesn’t require that I use all of it. (Like 1 cup of chicken broth when the can clearly has 2 cups, or 1 T of tomato paste when there is at least 8 T in the smallest can.) So the remainder of the contents sit in my fridge, where I promptly forget about it, only to discover a few weeks later a science experiment growing inside the can.
Now, this recipe requires that you use only 1 cup of canned pumpkin, but with the rest of it I make either pumpkin milkshakes or pumpkin waffles. That way, my leftover pumpkin doesn’t go to waste. For Thanksgiving this year, I wanted to try a different take on the pumpkin pie and when I found this recipe in a stack of old magazines, I thought it was perfect. It has caramel, pecans, and a cool pumpkin-y mousse layer. With each bite you can taste the complexity of all three layers working together. It’s a party for your tongue. (Okay, that analogy was a little lame, but it’s true. You’ll love it!) Continue reading