November 2015 Final Issue
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Recipes From A Reader

Time around the table has always been an important time of sharing, celebrating, and connecting for our family. We cherish those times when life slows down enough to sit together, “breaking bread” and sharing with each other, and often a few friends, about our daily adventures. One way I express love to my family is to prepare a favorite meal or a special treat. This cheesecake falls under the category of special treat. I hope you will enjoy it with your friends and family as well. Pumpkin Praline Cheesecake cheesecake Preheat oven to 325. Prepare Crust Finely crush 30 gingersnaps in a food processor. Add in ¼ cup granulated sugar, 1/3 cup pecans,  and 1/3 cup melted butter. Mix well.  Press into bottom of spring-form pan. Refrigerate. Prepare Praline Topping Combine 1 ½ cups chopped pecans, ½ cup packed brown sugar, and 2 tablespoons water in a bowl Mix well. Prepare Cake Ingredients
  • 24 oz cream cheese softened
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar: divided
  • ¾ cup sour cream
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 3 lightly beaten eggs
  • Spices: 1 teaspoon cinnamon, ½  teaspoon nutmeg, ½ teaspoon ginger
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin pie filling
  1. In a large bowl beat cream cheese and ¾ cup brown sugar until smooth. Beat in sour cream and vanilla. Add eggs; beat on low speed until just blended.
  2. In another bowl, combine pumpkin pie filling, spices, and ¼ cup brown sugar.  Stir in 1 ½ cups cream cheese mixture.
  3. Pour 1 ½ cups cream cheese mixture over crust. Gently spread 1 1/3 cups pumpkin mixture over top. Repeat layers. Cut through layers with a knife to swirl.
  4. Place in middle of top oven rack. Bake for 2 hours. Sprinkle the top of the cake with the Praline Topping. Bake for 10 more minutes. Turn off oven. Allow cake to cool in cooling oven with door slightly ajar.
Melissa’s Tips to Making a Successful Cheesecake
  • All ingredients should be room temperature
  • Wrap spring form pan in aluminum foil to avoid leakage
  • Spray pan thoroughly with cooking spray before pressing crust into it
  • Place a pan of water on the bottom rack of the oven (this will prevent cake surface from cracking)
  • Slow bake and allow to sit in cooling oven
  • To remove cake from spring form pan first gently remove the ring of the pan.  Cake will still be “plated” on pan bottom.  Freeze cake for 2 hours prior to adding topping. Place a sheet of wax paper on top of cake and invert. Carefully slip the end of a butter knife between the cake and pan bottom around the edges of the cake. Carefully pry bottom off of cake and return cake to upright position on your favorite serving plate.
  • A well wrapped cheesecake will keep in the freezer for three months.  To freeze, complete cake and freeze. Once frozen remove and wrap in 3-4 layers of plastic wrap. Return to freezer. When ready to serve, unwrap, place on your favorite serving plate, and allow to thaw for 24 hours in the refrigerator.
Three Bean Enchiladas enchiladas Ingredients
  • 8 Medium Flour Tortillas
  • 1 - 15 oz can kidney beans – drained
  • 1 - 15 oz can pinto beans - drained
  • 1 - 15 oz can navy beans – drained
  • 1 – 10.75 0z can cheddar cheese soup
  • 1 – 10 oz can red enchilada sauce
  • 1 – 8 oz can tomato sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Dried Cilantro
  • 1 ½  cups shredded Mexican-mix cheese
  • 1 small can sliced black olives – drained
  • 3 green onions – chopped
Pre-heat oven to 350. Heat tortillas in microwave for 1 minute or until pliable.  Grease 9x13 in pan. In a large bowl, mix beans and cheese soup.  Scoop about ¼ cup filling into each tortilla and roll up tortillas.  Place tortillas seam side down into pan. In a small bowl, stir together enchilada sauce, tomato sauce and cilantro. Gently pour over tortillas. Sprinkle with olives and onions. Bake covered for 30 minutes. Sprinkle with cheese and bake for 10 additional minutes. Serve with yellow rice, chips and salsa.   Berry Berry Trifle trifle Ingredients
  • 4 oz vanilla instant pudding - made as directed on box
  • 8 oz frozen whipped topping (thawed)
  • 16 oz lemon pound cake - cut into inch cubes
  • 1 cup diced strawberries
  • 1 can strawberry pie filling*
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1 can blueberry pie filling*
  • Handful of strawberries and blueberries for decorating
  1. Stir Strawberries into Strawberry Pie Filling: set aside.
  2. Stir Blue berries into Blueberry Pie Filling: set aside.
  3. In a large glass bowl or trifle dish, layer** all of the ingredients: begin with half of the cake cubes, then pudding, fruit mixtures, and cool whip.
  4. Repeat process with the rest of the ingredients, finishing with cool whip smoothed onto the top.
  5. Decorate the top with blueberries and strawberries.
*8 oz jar of preserves can be substituted for pie filling if pie filling is unavailable.  Heat it a little to make it more workable. **Layers will not be smooth but more like clumps of things in each layer. I try to make sure there is a variety of color near the edges so it looks pretty.
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