Pumpkin Cheesecake.

I’ll be making this later today…  This has become a Thanksgiving (and sometimes Christmas!) tradition…

I thought it was posted here, but it was on the old 2sparrows site…

Pumpkin Cheescake

(From Emeril)

  • 1 3/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/4 cup finely ground pecans
  • 1 tb light brown sugar
  • 1 tb ground cinnamon
  • 8 tb (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • three 8 oz. packages of cream cheese at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 tb cornstarch
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • one 15 oz. can of pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream

Preheat the oven to 350 F.

Combine the cracker crumbs, pecans, brown sugar, and 1/2 tsp of cinnamon into a medium bowl.  Mix in the melted butter.  Press the mixture firmly into a 9 inch spring form pan.

Beat the cream cheese, sugar, cornstarch, vanilla, the remaining 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, and the nutmeg in the bowl of an electric mixer on low speed until smooth and fluffy, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.   Add the eggs and yolks and beat until just blended.  Mix in the pumpkin and cream.

Spread the batter in the pan and place it on a baking sheet.  Bake until the center is nearly set, about 60 to 70 minutes.  Cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes.  Run a sharp knife between the cake and the sides of the pan.  Remove the sides of the pan.  Cool completely on a the rack before covering tightly with aluminum foil or plastic wrap.  Refrigerate until well chilled, at least 4 hours or up to 2 days.

Taco Soup.

This is a quick, easy, and yummy recipe.

1 lb ground beef (browned)  — we omit this.  🙂
1 can diced tomato
1 can white corn
1 can pinto beans
1 can light red kidney beans
1 can Busch chili beans
1 pack HiddenValley Ranch mix
1 pack mild taco seasoning

  • Empty all cans (do not drain them) into a large pot
  • Empty the ranch mix and taco seasoning into the pot
  • stir and add the browned ground meat
  • Bring to a slight boil and turn on simmer for about 20 minutes
  • Serve ith Tosito chips or bread

Summer Favorites: Orecchiette Puttanesca

I think this was from Health magazine, but when I searched their archives, I could not find it.

  • 1 pound uncookted orecchiette (“little ears”) pasta (we used bow tie)
  • 1 tbsp capers
  • 1/4 cup pitted kalamata olives, halved (we at least triple this!  🙂  )
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp grated lemon rind
  • 3 tbsp fresh lemon juice (too much!!  definitely use less than this to start and add to taste)
  • 2 canned anchovy fillets packet in oil, drained
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 pounds plum tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 tbs chopped red onion
  • 2 tbs chopped fresh basil (and/or oregano)
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2 cup grated fresh parmesan cheese
  • We also like to add cubed buffalo mozzerala

Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat.  Drain.

While pasta is cooking, combine capers and next 8 ingredients in a bowl.  (capers – pepper)

Return pasta to pan, stir in caper anchovy mixture, tomatoes, onion, basil, and parsley.  Sprinkle with Cheese.  Enjoy!

Summer Favorites: Sauerkraut Salad

From Patti and John: 


 One bag of Sauerkraut, found in the deli or packaged meat area

Green pepper


Cider vinegar



Black pepper

Celery seed

Drain the kraut well and rinse. Add chopped onion and green pepper. Something red like Vern suggested, pimento and/or red pepper would be good too. Other vegetables added would be good in this salad.

I used maybe a third cup of sugar to same amount of grapeseed oil and 2/3 cup vinegar. Need to adjust the sugar according to your taste.

Summer Favorites: Squash Appetizer

From Patti and John: 


Sunburst squash or yellow squash cut into ½ thick bite-size sections



Fresh lemon juice*

Herbs; flat leaf parsley, basil, oregano

Black pepper

Cheese, goat or mozzarella

Grill or roast the squash until almost tender. Finely chop the tomatoes and garlic and add lemon juice, herbs and pepper. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Top each squash with a small amount of cheese and using a slotted spoon, top with the tomato mixture. Bake at 350 for about 10 to 20 minutes, depending on your cheese and if your squash was refrigerated for a period of time. I added the lemon juice when I used the goat cheese. I did not use it with mozzarella. Enjoy!


(Note: These were fantastic! Like Bruschetta on Squash…)

Summer Favorites: Cucumber Soup with Seared Tuna Tartare

We met again for Cooking Club, this time with a theme of “Summer Favorites.”



Our friend Cole made this for us, without the tuna, a few years back on a trip to the mountains. It may have been from Food and Wine but I’m not sure.

Ingredients (4 servings)

  • 1 large european cucumber, peeled, seeded, and coarsely chopped
    • plus 1 tbsp finely diced
  • 3/4 cup plain low fat yogurt
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1/8 tsp mild cury powder
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper (or more for a nice little kick!)
  • 3 tbsp fresh lemon juice (we halved this)
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 1/2 lb tuna steak
  • 3 tbsp binely diced tomato
  • 1 small shallot, minced
  • 1 tbsp snipped chives
  • 1 tsp finely chopped parsley

In a blender or food processor, puree coarsely chopped cucumber with yougurt, water, curry, cayenne, 1 1/2 tbsp lemon juice. Season with salt n pepper then refridgerate.

Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in small skillet. Add tuna and cook over high heat for 2 minutes, turning once. (Note tartare is supposed to be 100% rare, no??) Cut into 1/4″ dices. Toss with diced cuumber, tomato, shallot, chives, parsley, and 2 tsp olive oil, 1 1/2 tbsp lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper.

Pour soup into bowls, top with tuna mixture.

Mahshi Filfil — Stuffed Peppers with Feta Cheese Sauce

This is from Sunday’s at Moosewoods. I had made this once, years ago, and it was quite good. And even though we normally try to make something new for cooking club, I figured this would be ok since it had been so long.

I 2-3 X’d the recipe since cook club has 10 people, and htis serves 4:

4 large peppers — red, yellow, or green

1 cup chopped onion
3 garlic cloves, pressed
2 tsp dried dill weed
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup pine nuts
3 tomatoes, chopped
3 cups cooked short grain brown rice
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 1/2 tbs chopped fresh mint
freshly ground black pepper to taste

1/2 cup tomato juice

creamy feta sauce
1 3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup unbleached white flour
1/2 tsp dried dill weed
1 – 1.5 tbs chopped fresh mint
3/4 cup grated feta cheese
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

4 fresh mint leaves

1. Saute onion, garlic, and dill in the olive oil until the onions are translucent. Add the pine nuts, and when they begin to color, add the chopped tomatoes and simmer, covered, for 3 minutes. Add the rice and mix well. Stir in the parsley and mint. Add salt and pepper to taste. Remove the pan from the heat.

2. Cut the peppers in 1/2 length wise and remove seeds. Leave the stems on, so the pepper halves will hold their shape better during baking. Stuff the peppers with the rice mixture and place into an oiled baking dish. Pour tomato juice into the bottom of the dish. Tightly cover and bake at 375 for 30 minutes.

3. To make the sauce, heat the milk in a small sauce pan and stir occasionally to prevent scorching. In another sauce pan, melt the butter. Stir the flour into the butter and cook it for a few minutes. Pour in the hot milk, stirring continuously, until the mixture thickens. Add the dill, mint, and feta. Heat gently until the feta melts. Season with pepper.

4. Serve the stuffed peppers with the sauce drizzled over the top. Garnish with mint leaves.