Sunday, November 20, 2011

Creamy Pumpkin Cheesecake with Ginger Pecan Crust

Hello everybody! I said I would be mostly absent from my blogs due to Holidays, Family Commitments, etc... But I am here today to post about my baking adventures with my friends from The Cake Slice.

This year we are baking from"The Cake Book" by Tish Boyle . If you LOVE baking that book is a "MUST HAVE"! I really think so!!! I've gotten great recipes from that book and my husband feels like it was money well spent! How wouldn't he? When he gets to enjoy all the wonderful things I bake.

So, this month we voted to bake a delicious Creamy Pumpkin Cheesecake with Ginger-Pecan Crust. It is really, REALLY easy to make! Even if you have never made a cheesecake in your life. This cheesecake is also very forgiving! I had MANY MISHAPS (including having to postpone baking the batter for about 3 hours because I didn't have a roasting pan -which I was sure I did- for the water bath) while baking it and still turned out perfect! Beautiful! and with no cracks!!

The secrets for this cake to avoid cracking are the use of cornstarch in the batter which helps with the structure of the cake, baking it slowly in a waterbath and running a paring knife around it as soon as it gets out of the oven.

I am not going to share the recipe publicly this time! But if you are interested in making this delicious pumpkin cheesecake to impress anybody at Thanksgiving please send me an e-mail to: love.for.coffee@gmail.com and I will send it to you... Here in the blog I am choosing to invite you TO GET THIS WONDERFUL BOOK! Let's support authors and people who make our life sweeter! Don't you think?

So... I will share some pictures of my cake below. I also want to mention that registered it for a contest (There was a Thanksgiving dinner in the apartment clubhouse where I live and all registered desserts would participate in a contest) I didn't win but I didn't feel bad at all... MY dessert was the only one that was completely gone! And ... I lost to a "BANANA PUDDING FROM A BOX" Which was really SHOCKING! This cheesecake definitely should have won the prize! And it's not the fact that I made it why I say so! All the credit goes to the creator of this recipe ... Tish Boyle! ... It truly had no rivals that could compete with it in that contest!!! It was creamy, the flavors were balanced and still deep! The crust was just delicious and like no other crust for a cheesecake I've ever had! it tasted fresh and warm at the same time and to make it even better it was topped with homemade whipped cream and roasted sugared pumpkin seeds with a hint of cinnamon that just took it to a higher level. Just perfect to have with a cup of strong coffee I think.

I wish I could share a slice with you:






© Paloma King

Thursday, November 17, 2011

I'll be MIA

Hello everybody... so I will not be around (consistently) for a little while... you know... with all the holidays and stuff... But I will still stop by every once in a while! Have a Sweet Thursday and keep making desserts to share with us in the future!

For sure I'll be here on the 20th of each month to share about the cakes I bake with "The Cake Slice"

I'll miss you all! Have a great Thanksgiving and Christmas!!!

Give THANKS!!!

© Paloma King

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Sweet Thursday and Peach Pie Recipe!

Hello everyone! It's Sweet Thursday again! Thank you for joining us! Hopefully we'll see you every Thursday! Take this space as a place where you can show off your desserts, get ideas/recipes from others or just enjoy the beautiful sweet treats displayed in the pictures of everyone's posts!

Remember, to join you just need to link up to a post of your creation where the "star" is something sweet (candy, dessert of some sort)  - not your kids or hubby, no matter how sweet they are - and hopefully you can post the recipe too! Please take our "Sweet Thursday Button" if you want to be a member!
The Coffee Shop
I am excited and expecting more people to join us, right now we aren't many but I am sure soon we'll have more people interested to be part of our Sweet Thursdays!


So, here we go with my recipe:

Peach pie:

 

Ingredients:

  • Double Pie Crust (Your favorite recipe or store bought! I will share my recipe at the end)
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup white granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup butter -room temperature-
  • 6 large fresh ripe peaches, pitted, peeled and sliced (I used 4 because that's all I had and I was happy it wasn't a humongous and too filled pie... but you can use up to 10 peaches)
  • 1 egg 
  • 1 Tbsp. water

Directions:

 
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. In a medium bowl, combine flour, sugar, cinnamon and butter. Mix until it looks "crumbly"
3. Place one pie crust into a 9-inch pie plate. Scoop in one layer of peaches. Top with some of the crumbly sugar mixture, layer more peaches followed by the sugar mixture and continue the "layering" until you've used all the ingredients for the filling.
4. Place the 2nd. pie crust on top (you can even do a lattice topping but I just go for the easier route, plus I love my crust recipe so much that I want it to cover all the peaches) Just make sure you cut about 4 slits into the top crust so the steam can go through it. Close the edges together (as pretty as you can).
4. Whisk the egg with the tbsp. of water and brush the top of the pie with it.
5. Bake on the center rack in the oven for 1 hour or until it has a beautiful golden brown color along the crust and the peach filling is bubbling in the center. - to prevent the edges from 'over browning' you can wrap them (just the edges) all around with aluminum foil.
6. Take out of the oven and cool down to a nice warm temperature (warm is best!)

 Now my pie crust recipe:
Ingredients:
2 cups all-purpose flour
I teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
6 tablespoons butter (softened)
6 tablespoons shortening
6 to 8 tablespoons ice water
If this is your first time making this pie crust, you MIGHT want to make a double batch to be sure you have enough crust.
Directions:
Mix in a large bowl:
2 cups all-purpose flour
I teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
Then cut in using a dough blender or fork (but not your hands):
6 tablespoons butter
6 tablespoons shortening
6 to 8 tablespoons ice water - I use 7 - (just until it all comes together, don't add more water because it would be ruined)


Wrap your pie crust in plastic wrap. Then place in refrigerator for 20 or more minutes, while you make the pie filling, then, when your pie crust has had plenty of time to cool, divide it into two, equal halves, roll them out and use them for your pie! Enjoy! 




© Paloma King

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Ham and Potato Soup! Recipe!

So, today, just like last Tuesday instead of our coffee-related Jokes/quotes/facts/news that I usually share on Tuesdays I am going to be sharing a Soup Recipe! This time is the turn for a delicious Ham and Potato Soup! This soup is delicious! My husband never really liked soups until now... each soup I've made lately has been a big hit but this one is now a favorite! I am glad I started making soups even when I knew he was "all against them" I thought I would make him "cross to this side" and he did! And oh! am I happy he did! because I really love soups especially in cold, cloudy days!

So, here is our soup:


Ham and Potato Soup
(About 8 servings)

Ingredients
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 big carrot (or 2 medium/small ones) -peeled and diced-
  • 3 1/2 cups peeled and diced potatoes
  • 1 stalk of celery finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 cup diced cooked ham
  • 3 1/4 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons chicken bouillon granules (or 1 1/2 cubes)
  • Salt to taste (about 1 tsp.)
  • Black pepper to taste (about 1/2 tsp.)
  • 5 tablespoons butter
  • 5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups milk
  •  1 cup of shredded Monterey Jack cheese (for garnish)
  • 4 green onions (for garnish)
 

Directions

  1. In a stockpot warm the olive oil at medium heat, once it's hot add the potatoes, celery, onion and carrots stirring occasionally until they soften (about 8 minutes) -season with some salt and pepper, remember you will be adding the chicken bouillion granules - or cubes - and those will add more salt.
  2. Once the 8 minutes have passed and the vegetables are a little softer add the ham and water in a stockpot. Bring to a boil, then cook over medium heat until potatoes are tender, about 10 to 15 minutes. Stir in the chicken bouillon.
  3. In a separate saucepan, melt butter over medium-low heat. Whisk in flour with a fork, and cook, stirring constantly until thick, about 1 minute. Slowly stir in milk as not to allow lumps to form until all of the milk has been added. Continue stirring over medium-low heat until thick, 4 to 5 minutes.
  4. Stir the milk mixture into the stockpot, stir a little to make sure it combines and cook soup for 3-5 more minutes. Serve immediately garnishing with the shredded cheese and green onions
Enjoy!!!
 

© Paloma King

Monday, November 7, 2011

Happy Monday and a challenge!

Good Monday everyone! It is now starting to become a tradition here at "The Coffee Shop" to begin our Mondays with a happy, positive, grateful attitude, sometimes we are too "whinny" don't you think? And then we wonder why the whole week was so hard! Most times is our attitude that makes it all bad! So... let's stop saying "UGH MONDAY" or "I hate Mondays" and turn it into a Happy Monday... I mean... It's still "going to happen" isn't it? we are still going to have to "go through it" anyway! Plus... think about it! Praise God we still have the chance to be here another Monday!!!! I might be a weird person... but whenever I've "had to" go through something "bad" I've made myself find "something good about it" I've had to make myself find something "enjoyable" because I've realized two things:

1. "If I am still going to go through it, why kick and cry and whine? that just makes it all worse."
2. "I am not the first one nor the last one to "go through this" and if others have been able to go through it then why not me and why not find something good about it?"

And with those thoughts in my mind I have been able to go through "minor things" like Shots, dentists, surgery, headaches, tests in school, etc (I've thought like this since I was 12) and when I learned to stop complaining about the very little things then when bigger things came I wasn't destroyed! (Just a comment! I do not like going through bad things at all either!! nor little! Nor big!). But the sun still rises, the Lord is still with me, others have gone through this (and more) so... can't we do the same about Monday? Can you go this day without complaining? Try it out! I challenge you! It will be like "counting calories" (well... if you are in this blog maybe you are not exactly a "calorie counter") but I challenge you to keep track of yourself and EVERY SINGLE TIME you feel like a complaint is going to come out of your mouth just make a better decision and switch it to a praise, say something you are thankful about, see the good in it or the good that could result from it! This applies for the way we see the "weather, being stuck in traffic, etc" plus... it's just Monday! Come on! We can't live our lifes hating Monday! what a waste of a day! Hopefully there will be many many more Mondays in our lives! So... why not make "the best of them?"

What do you say? Do you take the challenge?

Today I am thankful for the time change! It seems it will help me get back on track with putting my 3 yr. old in bed at 8!!! YAY!

Beautiful Sun Clock
What are YOU thankful for?

© Paloma King

Friday, November 4, 2011

Coffee Friday! Thinking of mom!

Good morning everyone! Today's coffee is being served by my dear friend Jayne! She is a wonderful lady and I saw one of these pictures yesterday and asked her if I could use it today to share it with all of you! Not only she agreed but she even offered a second one for me to use the one I liked best so I am sharing them both!

I am also sharing her closed caption:
My new favorite coffee mug :) Thanks Mum! Love this pottery!


I don't care the kind of coffee you drink out of that cup! Is always going to taste good because it was a gift from her mom! Sweet memories will be evoked and I am sure there will always be a smile when drinking!

Thanks Jayne for letting me use your pictures and for sharing a cup of coffee with all of us!

Now... would you have a cup of coffee with us? If you'd like your coffee pictures to be featured here please just send them to: love.for.coffee@gmail.com   Please include a closed caption too and if you are a blogger add the link to your blog and maybe a small post if you'd like to say something about yourself, your blog, your picture and why you love coffee. Trust me, it will be fun!

Happy Coffee Friday everyone!

© Paloma King

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Sweet Thursday and Pumpkin Brownies!

Hello everybody! Here I am with a new recipe for our Sweet Thursday! Hopefully you'll join us and share a recipe/picture on your blog about some sweet treat/dessert of any kind and then link up with us to show off! ;) how about that?


Won't it be cool when we have many people linking up and making our Thursdays sweeter with their desserts? I think it will be fun and a beautiful Link-Up party, with all those pictures of the most decadent desserts that are so inviting! plus we'll have a place to share our ideas and GET BAKING! So here is my recipe for today: (trust me... you HAVE TO try it!)

(slightly modified from AllRecipes.com)

Spiced Pumpkin Brownies


Ingredients
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 cup natural cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease an 8x8 inch baking pan. Stir the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a bowl.
  2. In another bowl, stir together the melted butter, sugar, and vanilla extract; beat in the eggs one at a time with a spoon. Gradually add the flour mixture, and stir the batter until it's evenly moistened. Divide the batter in half in two separate bowls.
  3. Into one bowl of batter, blend the cocoa powder and chocolate chips. In the second bowl of batter, stir in the pumpkin puree, walnuts, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg.
  4. Spread 1/2 of the chocolate batter into the bottom of the prepared baking pan, and follow with 1/2 of the pumpkin batter. Repeat the layers, ending with a pumpkin layer, and drag a kitchen knife or small spatula gently through the layers in a swirling motion, to create a marbled appearance.
  5. Bake in the preheated oven until the brownies begin to pull away from the sides of the pan, and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes. Cool in the pan, cut into squares, and serve. 



© Paloma King

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Fall is here ... so let's talk SOUP!

Hi everyone! I know I usually post quotes, jokes or facts about coffee on Tuesdays... but... being a Coffee Shop we need to stay "on top of things" and adapt to what people want and would like to see here! So... who doesn't crave a good soup on cold days? Aren't they warming and satisfying? I feel like when you eat soup it tells you "someone loves and cares for you"!  or at least that's what I hope my family feels when I make soups for them...

Here is a very easy and delicious soup recipe, try it! I know you'll love it!

Creamy Chicken and Rice Soup with Vegetables
Ingredients
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil 
  • 1/2 white onion (finely chopped)
  •  1 stalk of celery (finely chopped)
  • 1 big carrot (or 2 smaller ones) -finely chopped-
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups water
  •  Cooked and shredded chicken meat (I used 6 chicken drumsticks you can use 3 chicken breast halves, I just prefer dark meat for soups)
  • 1 (6.2 ounce) package Fast Cooking  Long Grain&Wild Rice with seasoning packet (I use Uncle Ben's)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (plus more to taste for seasoning vegetables)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper (plus more to taste for seasoning vegetables)
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 6 tbsp.butter
  •  1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup of milk 

Directions

  1. In a large pot over medium heat, warm up the olive oil and add the onion, celery and carrots, season them with some salt and black pepper to taste (not too much because you will add more salt later, just a little bit so they are not bland) sautee them for about 9 minutes (until they are softer) combine broth, water and chicken. Bring to a boil turn heat down to medium low and let it simmer for about 5 minutes, then stir in rice, reserving seasoning packet. Cover and remove from heat.
  2. In a small bowl, combine salt, pepper and flour. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Stir in contents of seasoning packet until mixture is bubbly. Reduce heat to low, then stir in flour mixture by tablespoons, to form a roux. Whisk in cream and milk a little at a time, until fully incorporated and smooth. Cook until thickened, 5 minutes.
  3. Stir cream mixture into broth and rice. Cook over medium heat (about 15 minutes) and serve. 
Hubby loved this soup! He even took it to his job for lunch the next day! If you refrigerate it then you just need to add a little water when you re-heat it.

 Enjoy!

© Paloma King