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Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecake

Not long ago (i.e. january 17, 2010) I made my first cheesecake.  And I was nervous.  Very nervous.  I was convinced it was going to be horrible, that I would do everything wrong, that the world would mock me.  Instead, it was delicious and nobody mocked me at all.  Well, Dan probably mocked me for being nervous.  The point is, once I successfully made a cheesecake without anyone dying, I was no longer nervous.  I was more willing to experiment, to try things that will probably fail.  And experiment I have.  Which brings us to the final Thanksgiving 2010 recipe.  High off of my past cheesecake successes I tried my hand at a pumpkin swirl cheesecake.  I was mildly successful at the swirl part, but the chocolate/pumpkin combination was delicious.

For more recipes to get you through this holiday season, visit our Guide to Holiday Eating.  Finally, here is a sneak peek at some of the changes to come in the Biscuits & Such redesign.  We’d love to hear your feedback!

Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecake


4 8oz. blocks cream cheese, softened

1 stick butter

1 cup pumpkin puree

4 eggs

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 tsp ginger

1/2 tsp ground cloves

1 tsp cinnamon


1 cup chocolate

1 cup heavy cream


6 graham crackers

1 tsp ginger

1/2 tsp ground cloves

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 stick butter, melted

Start with the crust.  Combine graham crackers and spices in a food processor.  Blend until crumb.  Mix in melted butter.  Rub springform pan down with butter.  Press graham cracker mix into the bottom of the springform pan.  Bake at 350 for 10 minutes. Set aside and let cool.

Next, make your ganache.  Melt chocolate in a double boiler.  Whisk in heavy cream.  Pour 5/8 into the springform pan.  Set aside the rest.

Cream cheese in a mixer on medium.  Add butter.  Add in sugar and pumpkin.  Add spices.  Add eggs, one at a time.

Heat your oven to 350 and boil a teapot of water. Wrap bottom of springform pan in tin foil to prevent leaks.

Spoon cheese mixture into springform pan.  Using a the handle of a wooden spoon, swirl together chocolate and pumpkin.  Add in extra chocolate, in small amounts, to create swirl.

Place the pan in a larger roasting pan. When the water is boiling, pour around the springform into the roasting pan, surrounding the cheesecake with 2 inches of water.

Bake at 350 for 1 hour & 5 minutes (65 minutes). Take out while the center is still soft, it will set later. Let cool and chill overnight.

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Butter Beans

The hardest thing about being a vegetarian in the south is that everything, especially the vegetables, has pork in it.  I’m not kidding.  It’s hard to find a dish that hasn’t been slow cooked with ham hocks, started with drippings, or sprinkled with bacon.  When I was a vegetarian it drove me up the wall.  These days I’m more accepting of the pork life but I still find that I save those vegetables- ones that have been cooked to oblivion in a ham bath, for special occasions.  And while some people I know would have you believe that a green bean can’t be cooked any other way, I tend to disagree.  Until the holidays, that is.  So, for my last savory recipe of Thanksgiving 2010, I bring you a family favorite- butter beans. Cooked with love and bacony goodness, these are butter beans done right.

For other holiday recipes, see our Guide to Holiday Eating.  And with that, I’m off to take care of my face, which is less its wisdom teeth and experiencing all sorts of discomfort.

Butter Beans

2 tbsp butter

1 lb bacon

1 large yellow onion

2 garlic cloves

1 lb butter beans, shelled

2 cups vegetable stock

Salt & pepper to taste

Cook your bacon until cooked through, but not crisp.  In a medium pot melt butter. Dice onion and garlic.  Saute in butter until translucent.  Add butter beans.  Stir in vegetable stock and bacon.  Season with salt & pepper.  Allow to cook, over low heat, for at least 2 hours, stirring occasionally.  Cook until soft, add more stock if necessary.

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Twice Baked Potatoes

For better or for worse, I love the potato. Such a versatile food that can be mashed, roasted, fried, baked.  They’re delicious in everything from soups to pizza, bread to shoestring fries, the perfect starchy blank slate for pretty much any meal.  And, like green beans and pecan pie, they’re a staple on every holiday table.  This year, for Thanksgiving 2010, we’re taking them twiced baked.  In my humble opinion, twice baked is one of the best ways to eat a potato.  Combining everything delicious about a baked potato, mashed potato, and potato skins, this dish is often the main course in our post-Holiday binge.

Though this is only the third recipe of this year’s Thanksgiving line up, you can now enjoy our entire “Guide to Holiday Eating.”  Miles bigger, broader, and more varied than last year’s roundup, this list will have you covered throughout the eating season!  Also, I can now be found writing monthly as the “Southern Food Expert” (a title I did not award myself) on Menuism.  My first post, about the difference between barbeque and cookout, went up last week and had some, well, interesting responses.  Finally in the news category, you’ll notice that Biscuits & Such is undergoing some changes in appearance.  We (Dan) will be slowly modifying the way the site looks.  We’d (I’d) love feedback/suggestions, etc.  We’re so excited for the end result!  And with that, I’m off to take more painkillers, recover from having my (completely sideways and impacted) wisdom tooth out, and work on my tshirt quilt.  I’ll leave you with a picture of the adorable, ADORABLE, birdies my dear Emilie and I made this weekend.

Twice Baked Potato

(serves 8)

4 russet potatoes

1 cup mayonaisse

1 stick butter (room temperature)

Salt & pepper to taste

1 cup cheddar cheese

1 lb bacon

Bake your potatoes for 2 hours in a 350 oven.  Remove and let cool.

Cook bacon and let cool.

Gently scoop the insides of the potatoes out, leaving the skin in tact.  Whip the potatoes, mayonnaise, butter, and salt & pepper together.  Scoop the mashed potatoes back into skins.  Sprinkle with bacon and shredded cheese.  Bake for another 20 minutes at 350.  Serve!

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