Pumpkin Cheesecake Mousse

pumpkin cheesecake moussePsst!

Still need a dessert for your Thanksgiving meal?

Do you have a hankering for a little more pumpkin wonderfulness – but really don’t want to make a pie crust?

Maybe you’ve got a can of pumpkin left that’s needing to be used?

Here’s the perfect recipe for you!

Creamy pumpkin wonderfulness that can whipped up in a flash.

Angel Girl and I are addicted. We just finished our third batch this month – but who’s counting. 🙂

Pumpkin Cheesecake Mousse

8 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 cup pumpkin puree (or 1 can of pumpkin)
2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
3/4 cup of sugar (or1/3 cup Truvia )
1 cup whipping cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Cream together the cream cheese, pumpkin and spice. Add sweetener.

In a separate bowl whip the cream with vanilla until soft and fluffy.

Gently fold the whipped cream into the pumpkin mixture.

Spoon into individual serving dishes, or into a graham cracker pie crust for a pie.

Serve it with a dollop of whipped cream and some freshly grated nutmeg.

You could take a short cut and use Cool Whip – but why? The real whipping cream takes just a few minutes and is so amazing!

Want to take it to the next level? Whip up a batch of Bavarian Cream to dollop on top.

Bavarian Cream

8 ounces cream cheese
2/3 cup brown sugar (1/4 cup Truvia)
1 teaspoon vanilla
pinch of salt
1 pint of whipping cream

Mix cream cheese, brown sugar, vanilla and salt. Set aside. Whip cream. Fold whipped cream into cream cheese.

This will stay stable and keep in the fridge for about a week if well hidden from the children.

<happy sigh>

No wonder we’re addicted!

Enjoy!

Crepes

DSC_0004The work load increases on the farm as the weather warms up.

The hours of daylight in the evening after school and work are the busiest, making it hard for the family to sit down for a meal.

One of my favorite meals for nights like these are crepes.

What’s a crepe? It’s a fancy word for a thin pancake that acts like a tortilla shell.

The batter can be mixed up in advance.  Then I stand at the stove and fry up fresh crepes to serve the troops as they file in from gardening, mowing, fixing fence, or bringing in the laundry.

For fillings I’ll set out whatever I can find in the fridge – left-over meat, cheese, rice, beans, lettuce, veggies. You can be creative with this and use up those bits of left-overs.  It’s always first come – first served on crepe night.

When they’ve had their fill of savory crepes – they can move on the sweet ones. I use the same batter but we fill it with fruit or pudding.

Combinations like strawberries, sour cream and brown sugar are favorites here.  Chocolate pudding and whipped cream is yummy, too! No pudding? Just throw some chocolate chips on your whipped cream and wrap it up!

Crepes

2 large eggs
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup water
1 cup flour
3 tablespoons melted butter

Combine all the ingredients in the blender. Place the batter in the fridge for 1 hour. (You can skip this step – but the batter may tear some when you try to flip the crepes.  If I’m in a hurry – I just cook them since my crew doesn’t really care how they look!)

Heat a small non- stick pan. Add some butter and pour a spoonful of batter in the middle of the pan. Swirl it around to coat the pan. Cook for about 30 seconds and flip carefully with a spatula. Cook another 30 seconds and serve hot to hungry family members!

If you have batter left when the troops are fed, it can either be refrigerated for a few days to use later, or you can fry up the extra crepes and keep them in the fridge up to a week or the freezer up to a month.

Enjoy!

Pots de Creme – Chocolate of Course!

Pots De CremeOne of the perks of hosting Easter dinner is enjoying the amazing left-overs!

Which we did. All last week.

When I finally got to the bottom of the refrigerator, I discovered a surprise – two containers of egg yolks. One from the dozen egg whites I used to make our traditional homemade angel food cake.

The second was from the other dozen egg whites I used in my attempt to make a gluten free angel food cake to honor one of our guests. (And you know – it was surprisingly tasty- even if it did fall in the middle!)

So – what does one do with 2 dozen egg yolks? I hid them in scrambled eggs and used them in pancakes but I still had a dozen waiting in the fridge.

It was time to call in the heavy guns – chocolate pots de creme.

The real stuff – thickened with egg yolks. Six eggs yolks.

Super easy. Super rich.

So good – it makes me want to make another angel food cake.

Chocolate Pots de Creme

1/2 cup heavy cream (ideal – but I used whole milk and it worked)
5-8 ounces of chocolate chips (you can use whatever kind of chocolate you have – we used dark – but milk or semi-sweet would work 0r any combination of them. I’ve even been known to melt left-over candy bars – but don’t tell my children!)
6 egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla

Place the chocolate and cream in the top of a double boiler over boiling water. Stir until melted and blended.

In separate bowl beat the egg yolks slightly. Add about 1/2 cup of the chocolate mixture to the eggs and mix well. (This will bring the eggs to the temperature of the chocolate so they don’t turn to scrambled eggs when added. It’s called tempering.)

Then slowly add the egg mixture into the chocolate and milk mixture, whisking as you pour.

Continue to stir until the mixture begins to thicken. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.

Pour into 4 pretty serving cups.(It’s the prefect time to use those pretty stemmed dessert glasses!)

Refrigerate until set and serve with whipped cream.

I told you it was easy!

And so yummy!

Enjoy!

Chocolate Bavarian Cupcakes

Test 2My sister-in-law introduced me to the wonders of Bavarian Cream recently when she brought some Chocolate Bavarian Cupcakes to a family gathering.

I must admit that I wasn’t too excited at first. After all, I’m really not a cupcake person.

But one bite of my husband’s cupcake and I was hooked.

I finished it for him.

So he went to get another one.  I finished that one, too.

I’m so glad he loves me.  🙂

Of course I got the recipe! I made a batch – shared them with the family – then hid the rest in the freezer where it’s easy to grab one for Jan’s lunch (I owe him a few!) or when I need a treat.

Come for tea and I just might share!

The best thing – you use a cake mix. It doesn’t have to be a fancy one – the cake is just the socially acceptable way to get that amazing cream in your mouth.

My sister-in-law actually used a gluten-free cake mix and they tasted great.

Chocolate Bavarian Cupcakes

1 devils food cake mix
whatever eggs and oil or butter is needed to make the cake mix
1 – 8 ounce package cream cheese, softened
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
pinch of salt
1 pint whipping cream
2 tablespoons sugar
Hershey’s chocolate bar (for shavings – you won’t need the whole thing – so plan to eat the rest!)

Make the cake mix as directed for cupcakes and bake.

Remove from the cupcake tins and let cool completely.

Mix the cream cheese, brown sugar, vanilla and a pinch of salt together until creamy. Set aside.

Whip the cream with the sugar to make whipped cream. You can add a touch of vanilla if you wish.

Slowly fold the cream cheese mixture into the whipped cream.

Then cut each cupcake into thirds, put a layer of Bavarian cream on each layer, and sprinkle with shaved chocolate.

Refrigerate.

If you’d rather have a full-size torte –  just make the cake mix as directed for 2 round cake pans.

When the cakes have cooled, cut each one in half and spread the Bavarian cream and chocolate sprinkles on each layer while assembling.

Enjoy!

Frozen Pumpkin Dessert

PumpkinJust as soon as I turned the calendar page to November I started craving pumpkin.

Pumpkin pie, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin bars…

…and this yummy pumpkin dessert that my mother-in-law makes.

Even with three different layers, it was pretty simple to put together. And then it just sits quietly in the freezer out of the way until we need it – making it perfect for the holidays!

Frozen Pumpkin Dessert
Recipe from Jan’s Mom

Crust:

2 1/2 cups Rice Chex, coarsely crushed (we used Crispix)
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup melted butter or margarine
1 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup chopped nuts

Filling:

30 large marshmallows
2 tablespoons milk
1 cup pumpkin
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
8 ounces Cool Whip
1 quart vanilla ice cream

Mix together the ingredients for the crust and press up to 2/3 into a 9 x 13 pan, saving the remaining mix for a topping.

For the filling, melt the marshmallows with the milk in a double broiler over boiling water. Stir in the pumpkin,  cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg. Let it cool.

Fold in Cool Whip.

Spread 1 quart vanilla ice cream over crust, then the cooled pumpkin mixture and reserved topping.

Freeze.

It cuts better if removed from freezer 15 minutes or so before serving.

Enjoy!