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October 28, 2008

Dinner Divas: Caramel Apple Cheesecake

Filed under: Dessert, Dinner Divas, Fruit — Tags: — bettylou79 @ 12:57 pm

It’s that time again! Dinner Diva recipe time is here. This months recipe was chosen by Julie at Jewels in the Kitchen. Go check out her blog! When I saw the choices for this month I was excited to see something that I could bring to the dinner party that Nate and I were going to this past weekend. This was my first cheesecake and I must say it was a great first cheesecake to try out. I loved it and it was quite well received.

The only minor snafu that I had with the recipe was how to decide if the center was done. Since I have never made a cheesecake before I didn’t have much to go on. I’ve eaten cheesecake but I was still stumped!! So I did what anyone does when they have a cooking/baking question. I called my mom!! Sadly, she didn’t know how to tell if the center was done either but she thought it would be similar to a pumpkin pie so she suggested putting a knife in the center and seeing if it comes out clean. I did that a few times with no success after giving the cheesecake several more minutes. So my next idea was to consult the all know Internet!! Several sites said to use the knife method but one said to insert a thermometer and the temperature should reach 160 to 165 degrees. Eureka! That worked!

I pretty much followed the recipe to a T with the exception of the way it instructs you to decorate the top of the cheesecake with the pecans. I can’t wait to make this recipe again! These pictures were taken after the party because I forgot my camera. I actually took the pictures a few days later and the cake still tastes great. I confess that I had to clean up the pan a bit but it was worth it!!

Enjoy!

Caramel Apple Cheesecake

source: Allrecipes.com

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 (21 ounce) can apple pie filling
  • 1 (9 inch) prepared graham cracker crust
  • 2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup caramel ice cream topping
  • 12 pecan halves
  • 2/3 cup chopped pecans

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Reserve 3/4 cup of apple pie filling and set aside.
  2. Spoon remaining pie filling into crust. In a large bowl, combine cream cheese, sugar and vanilla. Beat until smooth then add eggs and mix well. Pour over apple filling in crust.
  3. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 35 minutes, or until center is set. Remove from oven and cool to room temperature.
  4. Mix reserved apple filling and caramel topping in a small saucepan. Heat for about 1 minute. Arrange apple slices around outside edge of cheesecake. Spread caramel sauce evenly over. Decorate with pecan halves around edge. Sprinkle with chopped pecans. Chill until ready to serve.
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Pumpkin Waffles

Filed under: Bread, Breakfast, Holiday, Vegetables — Tags: — bettylou79 @ 12:39 pm

I have about 3 cups of pumpkin puree still waiting in the refrigerator and I was in the mood for waffles this weekend. I figured that Pumpkin Waffles would be a great idea. I searched for Pumpkin Waffles online and came up a bit overwhelmed, so I decided to go to what has become my go to site, Cooking Light. These waffles smelled and tasted delicious but were a bit time consuming to cook. I read the comments made by others about the recipe after I made the waffles and really should have done that first. A lot of people mentioned that they had difficulty with these waffles when using their Belgian Waffle maker. I had the same problem. At first I decide to not follow the part of the recipe that says to keep the waffles in the iron until it stops steaming, which is about 5-7 minutes. For the first waffle I just opened the iron when the light switched off and the waffle came apart into two pieces, top and bottom. That’s when I decided that following the directions was a good idea!! They come out a bit brown but still taste great and were nice and soft! Enjoy!

Pumpkin Waffles

source: Cooking Light

Yield

8 waffles (serving size: 2 waffles)

Ingredients

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 cup 1% low-fat milk
  • 1/2 cup Pumpkin Puree
  • 1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • Cooking spray

Preparation

Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine flour and the next 4 ingredients (flour through cloves) in a large bowl, and make a well in center of mixture. Combine milk and next 4 ingredients (milk through egg) in a bowl, and add to flour mixture. Stir just until moist.

Coat a waffle iron with cooking spray; preheat. Spoon about 1/4 cup of batter per waffle onto hot waffle iron, spreading the batter to the edges. Cook 5 to 7 minutes or until steaming stops; repeat procedure with remaining batter.

I’m a winner!

Filed under: Dessert, Fruit, Scooper Hero — Tags: — bettylou79 @ 12:22 pm

This summer when I started this blog I saw a lot of people writing that they were Scooper Hero’s for Blake Makes, a food blog. Basically Blake gets company’s to give him a sampling of their products. In return he puts up a contest on his blog and gives the items away to a certain number of bloggers. Those bloggers in return review the product and also put a link in their blog to the product’s website. So I had to become a Scooper Hero when I found out that he gives away free awesome products!

The first give-away that I won was silicone letter and number molds. I won the number molds. I was so excited and getting anything for free is fabulous! The molds came from this great website called The Spoon Sisters. It is full of super fun products. I definitely could spend a pretty penny here!

Nate and I went to a Harvest Party this weekend so I decided to use my new fabulous molds for Jell-O Jigglers. The first batch of Jell-O didn’t turn out so well, so I will spare you those pictures but the second time around I took the advice of numerous websites and lightly sprayed the mold with cooking oil. The numbers came out great and still looked like numbers. The Spoon Sisters website advises flash freezing the Jell-O for 15 minutes and then putting the tray in the refrigerator to completely harden the shapes. This will allow the numbers/letters to come out of the mold easily. I also found that the molds probably hold about 1 cup of liquid. I used the rest to cut out Halloween inspired shapes such as Frankenstein heads and pumpkins. Here is a recipe for some Halloween shaped Jell-O Jigglers.

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