Happy Thanksgiving!

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Happy Thanksgiving Everyone! I’ll be back with pictures of food and some cards tomorrow.

In case you’re wondering, this is the English Toffee Pecan Pie I made. The recipe is from Martha Stewart’s recent Pie Contest winner.

Pumpkin Pecan Pie Cheesecake


This cheesecake is even more delicious than it sounds. Recipe is adapted from Pecan Pie Cheesecake in the 2009 Special Issue of Southern Favorites Taste of the South magazine. I had some pumpkin left over from another recipe and thought it would make a great addition to this cheesecake!



  • 1 3/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup butter, melted

Pecan Pie Filling

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup dark corn syrup
  • 1/3 cup butter, melted
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped pecans
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Cheesecake Filling

  • 3-8 oz. packages cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 8 oz. pumpkin puree
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. (Note oven temperature change later in the recipe)

  1. Spray or grease bottoms and sides of a 9″ springform pan and wrap the bottom with aluminum foil (optional step but it protects against leaks in the oven.)
  2. Assemble the crust: In a medium bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and melted butter until incorporated. Press into the bottom and slightly up the sides of the pan. Bake for 6 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool.
  3. Prepare pecan filling: In a medium saucepan, combine all ingredients and set over medium heat until mixture comes to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to low and simmer until thick and syrupy, approximately 8 minutes, again stirring constantly. Remove from heat and allow it to cool slightly, 5 minutes or so. Pour the pecan  filling over the baked crust and set aside.
  4. Lower oven temperature to 325 degrees.
  5. Make the cheesecake filling: In the bowl of a stand mixer, add cream cheese and beat until creamy. Add brown sugar, white sugar, and flour, beating until fluffy. Add in eggs one at a time, beating well to incorporate after each addition and scraping the bowl often. Next, add whipping cream, pumpkin puree, and vanilla extract. Beat until combined.
  6. Pour cheesecake mixture over pecan pie filling.
  7. Bake for 1 hour at 325 degrees. After 1 hour, turn oven off and leave the cheesecake in the oven with the door closed for 1 more hour.
  8. Remove from oven and run a knife around the edge of the cheesecake. Do not loosen springform pan yet.
  9. Allow to cool completely and refrigerate at least 4 hours before serving.


This really is SO good. Maybe it’s because I haven’t had cheesecake in a while, but this pumpkin pecan pie cheesecake hit the spot! The pecan filling sort of seeps into the crust, making a crunchy almost candy/cookie type crust. The cheesecake is creamy with a hint of pumpkin. It’s going to be on my Thanksgiving menu for sure! And despite all the sugar it’s not overly sweet, like pecan pie can be sometimes.


Fall’s First Carrot Cake

I really love carrot cake. The denser the better. And it has to have coconut–an absolute must. I started to bake this very late last night–just before 11 pm. The next day, I was reading another blog (SeriousEats.com) and came across an article titled “Are You a Night Baker?” and it made me laugh because I have always done my baking late at night. It probably started out as a means of relaxing after doing hours of reading and writing in law school. The house was quiet, my husband (fiancee at the time) was asleep; it really was therapeutic. Our neighbors must have either really loved me or really hated me for filling the air with the smell of brownies, butter cookies, and cake at 2am!

This recipe turned out great. I did use pre-shredded carrots (I know, I know) but I didn’t feel like lugging out the food processor, shredding blade, etc. when I had a bag of them ready to go staring at me in the fridge! I hope you’ll forgive me!

Recipe for Fall’s First Carrot Cake

(See the leaves turning colors outside my window?)

  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups shredded carrots (pre-shredded works fine)
  • 1 8 oz. can crushed pineapple, drained
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 cup flaked coconut


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray or grease a 9″ Tube pan. A deep Bundt pan will work also.

1. Mix eggs, sugar, vegetable oil, and vanilla extract in a stand mixer with paddle attachment. Beat until well combined.

2. In a small bowl, sift all dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon) together using a whisk until blended.

3. Add dry ingredients to wet mix and beat until incorporated.

4. Add shredded carrots, crushed pineapple, coconut, and chopped walnuts to the batter. Beat to combine.

5. Pour cake batter into the prepared pan and bake for 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes. Test with a wooden skewer (moist crumbs are what you’re looking for) and the cake will spring back slightly when touched.

6. Allow to cool in pan for 20 minutes, then remove the outside ring of the tube pan (if using) and let the cake rest on a rack until completely cool.


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