Tuesday, November 24, 2009

What's cooking this Thanksgiving?

Holidays are always a time for me to show off my cooking skills and really wow the friends and family. Or, at least, I attempt to. The cooking is really more for me because I thoroughly enjoy doing it. I always like to try something new, but have to return with a few favorites this year. So, here's what's going down in the Pape kitchen this week:

Returning Classics:

Tamale dressing with fresh cranberry salsa

New Attempt: (I have attempted a cheesecake once, and it failed. But...that was a long time ago when I was in college. I will have some kind of cupcakes as my back-up plan.)

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Cheesecake

Graham Cracker Crust:
1 stick melted margarine
3 tbsp. sugar
1 ½ cups Graham Cracker Crumbs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix margarine, sugar and graham cracker crumbs in bowl. Press mixture firmly onto bottom and 1/2-inch up side of 9-inch springform pan. Bake 8 minutes; cool slightly. After removing crust from oven, increase temperature to 400°F.

3 packages fat free cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 cup canned pumpkin
4 eggs
1-1/2 cups Mini Chips Semi-Sweet Chocolate

Beat cream cheese, sugar, flour and pumpkin pie spice in large bowl until well blended. Add pumpkin and eggs; beat until well blended. Stir in small chocolate chips; pour batter into prepared crust. Bake 10 minutes.

Reduce oven temperature to 250°F; continue baking 60 minutes or until almost set. Remove from oven to wire rack. With knife, loosen cake from side of pan. Cool completely; remove side of pan. Refrigerate about 5 hours before serving. Cover; refrigerate leftover cheesecake. Yields 10 to 12 servings.

Snacks and sides:
I'm also providing tamales for our Thanksgiving meal on Friday, as well as some MSU jalapeno cheddar cheese as a pre-lunch snack.

That's my contribution for the year! I'll let you know how the cheesecake turns out!

Happy cooking and happy Thanksgiving!!!

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