Monthly Archives: October 2013

Pumpkin Cheesecake

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Pumpkin Cheesecake

Autumn is upon is.   A crisp wind blows and our thoughts turn toward Thanksgiving, apple cider, roasting turkeys, and of course pumpkin pie. Fall is unequivocally my favorite season.  Finally a new chill in the air, a respite from the summer heat.  I love the day, which comes each year, when I wake up, partake in the morning routine, I stick my head out the door to check the weather . . .  inhale.  The air for the first time, is cold, and it just feels good.  Next thing I know I am standing outside just to feel and breath the crisp air.  It feels clean . . . fresh.  I should get a jacket, but I don’t, I want to relish in the crisp chill in the air, at least the first day. Love that.

This recipe, developed in honor of the fall, is not quite a cheese cake and not quite a pumpkin pie, although it has elements of both.   When I created it I did not know what to expect and quite frankly I’m not sure technically  what it is, but I know it’s good!

Until next thyme,

Jason

 

Pumpkin Cheesecake

Ingredients

For the Crust

2 cups graham cracker crumbs

5 tablespoons melted butter

2 tablespoons sugar

 

For the Filling

16 ounces cream cheese, allow to soften at room temperature a bit

15 ounces (one can) pumpkin puree

6 eggs

2 ½ cups sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

½ teaspoon maple extract

½ teaspoon nutmeg

½ teaspoon cinnamon

 

For the topping

2 cups sour cream

½ cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

 

1.       Preheat oven to 300f and get your 9 by 13 pan at the ready.   Spray the pan with pan spray.

2.       For the crust combine the graham crackers and the sugar together then rain in the butter and mix well.  Press this into the bottom of your 9 by 13 pan.

3.       For the filling you will need to whisk you softened cream cheese in a mixer when nice and soft add the pumpkin puree and mix.  Add the eggs one at a time, then add all remaining filling ingredients.  The goal is to mix everything well but not necessarily to whip everything and add a bunch of air, so don’t over whisk.

4.       Pour the filling on top of the crust and bake at 300 for about 50 minutes.

5.       Remove from the oven and let sit at room temperature for 10 minutes.  At that time prepare the topping ingredients by whisking everything together.

6.       Pour the topping on top and spread evenly, return to the oven for 10 minutes.

7.       Chill at room temperature for ½ hour and then put in the refrigerator.

 

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The Family Cheesecake

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The Family Cheesecake

There was a great battle of baking titans that took place around the year 1970.  The combatants, masters of cheesecake: the battlefield, Ann Arbor Michigan.  The coveted tile of “Strawberry Festival Prize Winner”, hung in the balance.  Tensions, I am sure, were high as the contestants attempted to whisk and bake their way into the annuals of Strawberry Festival glory.   Each with A spatula and a dream.  The dust settled, one contender is left standing – Phyllis Legg.  Her cheesecake, was light, had wonderful flavor and a vanilla scented sour cream topping that set it apart from the pack!

The rest of the story of this legendary cheesecake is as follows.  The recipe was originally my grandmothers, Margaret Maltby, who naturally passed it onto my mother, Karen Weaver.  After relocating to Michigan, my mother passed the recipe to my aunt, Phyllis Legg.  Aunt Phyllis did indeed enter it into that contest. . .  The rest, as they say, is history (original clipping from the paper is below).

Family recipes comfort us like no others.  One bite of this cheesecake immediately takes me back 30 years.  I hope you and your family enjoy this as much as we have.

For old thymes sake,

Jason

 

The Family Cheesecake

Ingredients

Crust

2 cups graham cracker crumbs

4 tablespoons melted butter

2 tablespoons sugar

Filling

24 ounces cream cheese (3 – 8 0z packs), softened at room temperature a bit.

5 eggs

1 cup sugar

1 ½ teaspoons vanilla

Topping

3 cups sour cream

½ cup sugar

1 ½ teaspoons vanilla

  1.  Spray a 9 by 13 pan with non-stick coating, pre-heat oven to 300 f
  2. To make the crust combine the graham cracker crumbs with the sugar, then mix in the melted butter.  Press into your pan.
  3. To make the filling, soften cream cheese in a mixer.  Add the eggs one at a time.  Add sugar and vanilla.  Pour over the crust and bake at 300f for about 45 minutes, the center will jiggle slightly.  Remove from the oven and let sit five minutes.
  4. Wisk together the topping ingredients.  Pour on and evenly spread the topping over the cheese cake and return to the oven for 10 minutes.  Remove and chill before serving.

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The Hotel Opening Bug

The Hotel Opening Bug

I have identified a peculiar virus that, every so often, makes its way into the back hallways of hotels.  The virus targets an area of the brain, causing a confusion, resulting in the unsuspecting victim agreeing to participate in the opening of a hotel.  Interestingly enough it only seems to strike certain people, over and over again. The symptoms that rapidly follow are at the very least abnormal and very often not rational. As of yet there is no cure.  If you have one or more of the following symptoms seek help immediately or you may be opening a new hotel soon:

  1. You feel like your normal, very busy, 12 to 14 hour days are just not cutting it.  You want 15 to 24 hour work days.  You don’t want to be busy, you want to be in a sheer panic.
  2. You begin to loathe the fact that people you work with have been doing there jobs in the same area for a while and are therefore organized, prepared, and ready to help.  You dream of a day when everyone is desperately trying to figure it out at the same time, depending on each other but not completely knowing what to do and when.  That way you can add to the sheer panic of bullet point one, and that sounds good to you.
  3. You look around the area you work at and realize you know where most things are, and where to get them.  You hate that.  You want to search for hours for things like a slotted spoon or a sheet pan.  Knowing for sure that there are 4000 of them somewhere.  If there are several floors to search on… all the better.  Awesome!
  4. You realize that most days you know at least 85 percent of what is going to happen, you have a good game plan and can handle most things with grace.  That sounds terrible to you, you want to go into each day with only the vaguest of plans, you want to shoot from the hip with little ammo, which you cannot find, and an untested gun which may or may not have even arrived yet.
  5. Your feet feel fine, no good! You feel the overwhelming desire to wear out a pair of shoes that are supposed to last for a year in 14 days.
  6. You feel that even at the worst state of exhaustion you will be ready to go out for a few drinks.  If someone could carry you there and back… all the better.
  7. You long for the day when you and your fellow “affected comrades” have the appearance of well weathered tombstones and the gaze of someone who has seen a terrible future.  Dusty, worn out and tired, you want to limp through the halls …trying to find things.
  8.  You hate it when people make schedules and stick to them.  You need chaos and uncertainty.  The more people that can interrupt your hard and very important work for training classes and meetings the better.
  9. You begin to abhor your normal meal schedule.  You long for a time when you work all day long, but are so busy you forget to eat.  You envision yourself late at night, hungry, eating a chicken skin and butter sandwich on stale bread because it’s the only thing you can find.
  10. You don’t want to do things once!  No! you want people to change their minds so you can do then several times!  Yes, now you’re talking!

My friends, again I tell you, if you are noticing these symptoms there may be a hotel opening in your future!  Get some good shoes and some rest because you are in for a wild ride.  However after it’s over you will always be able to look at that magnificent structure and know you were there!  Grand Opening!

Congratulations Omni Nashville!  It was an honor to be there with you!

To the Families of those affected.  Much Love for the support and understanding!  You are the best.

There is no Thyme like the present,

Jason