Pumpkin Cheesecake Pie

“PROMISE YOURSELF TO WAKE UP EVERY MORNING WITH A THANKFUL HEART, AS THOUGH EACH DAY WAS THANKSGIVING DAY.”  kiggundu wilson

Pumpkin Cheesecake Pie | From My Sweet Heart

My apologies to my baking buddies, from the yet un-named, but little baking group that could, for being late in publishing this post.  This month, we decided to make life a bit easy for ourselves around this hectic time, and simply post a favorite side dish or baked good that typically graces our Thanksgiving tables.  I have to give GREAT credit to all those who blog dinner recipes!  I had two ideas to share.  One was of a sweet potato casserole.  But I have to tell you….trying to get that onto my Thanksgiving dinner table while everyone is sitting around starving, and then saying….“wait….I have to snap a picture first!”…..was a bit tricky.  So to avoid a massive food fight, I opted for dessert instead.  (We baking bloggers definitely have it easier!).  I decided that when everyone fell into their food comas, I would photograph this pie.  Suspiciously, though, there was already a slice cut from it!!!  But I couldn’t be upset.  I’m a big advocate of  ‘eat dessert first’!  And it was THAT good.  I couldn’t decide between making a pumpkin cheesecake or a pumpkin pie.  So I combined both into this luscious pumpkin cheesecake pie!  A perfect ending to a lovely day. . . . . [Read more...]

Ginger Chili Caramel Cookies

Pass the Plate.  Share the Love.  Cook for the Cure.

Ginger Chili Caramel Cookies | From My Sweet Heart

The thing I’ve loved most about blogging, aside from the wonderful friendships I’ve made, is the opportunity to bake for a greater good.  I was recently invited by Sandra at Sweet Sensations to take part in a very special event.  Sharon & Denise of  Be Betsy, were inspired by Kitchenaid’s Cook for the Cure® to join the fight against breast cancer.  They purchased a plate specially designed by Jacques Pepin.  The plate is filled with cookies and literally passed from blogger to blogger.  Each time the plate reaches a new destination, Kitchenaid donates $5 to Susan G. Komen for the Cure®I am so proud and honored to be a part of this campaign.

I received these beautiful dipped chocolate sandwich cookies from Sandra at Sweet Sensations.

 

They were amazing!  I literally polished off 2 of them before it struck me that I need to photograph them first!  Many of you who visit here already know Sandra.  I am in awe of her!  She is a working mother who takes such good care of her family, while writing a beautiful blog full of wonderful recipes and fabulous ideas on how to host the perfect party and create a gorgeous tablescape.  (All while nursing a torn tendon!)  When you read about her, you will learn that she is a woman of great strength and courage.  And I wonder if she knows what a great source of inspiration she is to me?!  I am so happy to know her and I appreciate so much that she included me in this awesome event!

So. . . . . from Michigan to Maryland.  Where are the cookies traveling to next??? . . . . . [Read more...]

Black Bean Tart with Chili Crust

MY GARDEN IS MY MOST BEAUTIFUL MASTERPIECE.”  Claude Monet

Black Bean Tart with Chili Crust | From My Sweet Heart

I love creating vegetarian meals.  They sure do make the most colorful masterpieces!  When I moved to my home 18 years ago, I was excited to have several areas of my yard that I could devote to gardening.  Unfortunately now, so many trees on the perimeter of my property have grown so much, that my yard is now too shady for a proper garden.  And I’ve resorted to planting a few peppers and cucumbers.  My deck is the home of my many pots of herbs and my Meyer lemon tree!  Fortunately, I have a wonderful farm market nearby.  And with the exception of the black beans, all of the ingredients for this tart came from local sources.

Not only is this black bean tart vivid in color, but it is bright and bold in flavor as well. A light black bean puree, sweet corn and red bell peppers, spicy jalapenos, mild scallions and the kick of cilantro are bound by melted Monterey Jack cheese. All of this nestled on top of a flaky crust made fabulous by the warm spices of chili powder, cumin and paprika!  And to top it all off. . . . . [Read more...]

Cranberry Cherry Ribbons

“A GUEST NEVER FORGETS THE HOST WHO HAD TREATED HIM KINDLY.”  Homer

Cranberry Cherry Ribbon Cookies | From My Sweet Heart

I never bake (or eat!) so many cookies as I do around Christmas time!  And every season I always try something new.  These cookies were made at Christmas 2011, when Jen at The Three Little Piglets invited me to do a guest post for her Twelve Days of Christmas Cookies series!  Aside from their beautiful color, sweet-tart taste and crunchy-chewy texture, I love these because . . . . . [Read more...]

Pumpkin Pecan Cupcakes with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

“I WOULD RATHER SIT ON A PUMPKIN AND HAVE IT ALL TO MYSELF, THAN BE CROWDED ON A VELVET CUSHION.”  Henry David Thoreau

Pumpkin Pecan Cupcakes with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting | From My Sweet Heart

I often walk this fine line of trying to be creative or walking off of the deep end!  And what I’ve learned is that sometimes you just have to leave well enough alone.  Keep things simple and let the ingredients speak for themselves.  And for me, this applies most of all to baking cupcakes.  Maybe I’ve been watching Cupcake Wars too much!  And if you’ve ever seen that show….they combine some funky flavors in one cupcake! But you will find this pumpkin cupcake recipe to be pretty straightforward.  What works well with pumpkin?  For me, it was the warming spices of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and allspice combined with the cool tang of cream cheese, the toasty crunch of pecans and the sweetness of a drizzle of maple syrup.  If these speak to you then……. [Read more...]

Autumn Fruit Chutney

“THY BOUNTY SHINES IN AUTUMN UNCONFINED AND SPREADS A COMMON FEAST FOR ALL THAT LIVE.”  James Thomson

Autumn Fruit Chutney | From My Sweet Heart

There is a different kind of simplicity that I search for in the fall.  While in spring and summer, I am content to eat some strawberries off the vine, or a fresh peach flavorful all on it’s own; in autumn I look for more comfort.  For a blending and melding of fruits and flavors.  And warmth!  And this union of fruits and spices does not need to be complex.   Crisp apples, pears and cranberries melt together with the warmth of cinnamon and brown sugar and curry.  This chutney takes little time and effort to make, but seems to simmer for the longest hour of my life!  And I could almost be content with the lovely scent which begins to waft through my kitchen.  This fall fruit chutney was created to…… [Read more...]

Orange Nutmeg Popovers

“ONCE YOU GET A SPICE IN YOUR HOME, YOU HAVE IT FOREVER.  WOMEN NEVER THROW OUT SPICES.  THE EGYPTIANS WERE BURIED WITH THEIR SPICES.  I KNOW WHICH ONE I’M TAKING WHEN I GO.”  Erma Bombeck

Orange Nutmeg Popovers | From My Sweet Heart

Well you can’t take it with you.  So you might as well bake with it!

Nutmeg is one of my favorite spices and it combines beautifully with orange to make these popovers something extra special. 

Popovers are really so easy to make because they require only 5 ingredients, all of which are combined in a blender.  Today, I chose to add orange zest, freshly grated nutmeg and freshly cracked black pepper to create such a subtle hint of sweetness and a warmth and heat which permeate each sumptuous bite of this oddly formed, egg-like bread!  I served these orange nutmeg popovers with….. [Read more...]

Pumpkin Bourbon Cheesecake covered with Leaves of Chocolate

“I CELEBRATE MYSELF, AND SING MYSELF.  AND WHAT I ASSUME, YOU SHALL ASSUME.  FOR EVERY ATOM BELONGING TO ME AS GOOD BELONGS TO YOU.”  Walt Whitman

Pumpkin Bourbon Cheesecake with Chocolate Leaves | From My Sweet Heart

HaPpY BiRtHdAy To Me!!!

I LOVE my birthdayIt always feels like such a special day to me, because even though I know that I’m not the only one in the world celebrating a birthday today, I TREAT myself as if I am the only one celebrating a birthday today!  Every year I make myself a different kind of cake.  I have yet to make anything pumpkin this season, so I thought today would be a fitting day for some pumpkin cheesecake!  I added a splash (or two!) of bourbon, cuz I am in celebration mode after all!  And I used a pecan shortbread crust.  But my favorite thing about this cake are the chocolate and white chocolate leaves!  Actually, it was the hike in the woods to pick the leaves that I enjoyed the most!   This upcoming year, I am going to take the time to find something special in every day.  And celebrate more for no reason at all!!!  There are so many good things in life to embrace……this cake is just one of them!  This year for my birthday, I treated myself to ……… [Read more...]

Tequila Mockingbird

Tequilla Mockingbird | From My Sweet Heart

  • 3 ounces of apple cider
  • 1 ounce of white tequila ( I used Cazadores Reposado)
  • 1 ounce of creme de cassis
  • 2 teaspoons of freshly squeezed lemon juice

Fill a shaker 2/3 full with ice.  Add the apple cider, tequila, creme de cassis, and lemon juice.  Shake well.  Place 4-6 ice cubes in an old fashioned size glass and strain the drink over the top.  Garnish with fresh apple slices if desired.

There is one thing I can tell you about myself for sure and that is that I am a HUGE classic literature buff!  Actually, buff may be too kind and nerd like may be more appropriate!  I have read To Kill a Mockingbird 4 times.  Once as a teenager, and once as an adult; and then once each when my boys read this novel in high school.  It has always been one of my all time favorites!  So when I saw the name of this drink…..it naturally caught my eye!  I wanted a sweet fall drink, but was not quite in the mood for the warm ciders and mulled wines just yet.  I stumbled upon this cocktail recipe and at first glance of the ingredients I thought…..how in the world do these work together in the same drink?  And the answer is BRILLIANTLY!!!  This is my absolute new favorite fall drink!  The tequila does something to mellow out the sweetness of the cider.  The cassis deepens the color of the drink. (Look at the color of the pitcher of cider in the background compared to what’s in the glass!)  And the lemon juice adds a bright freshness to it all!  This is extremely refreshing and not overly sweet.  I’ll definitely be drinking this until cider season is over!

So as I was on my deck taking pictures…..look who crashed the photo shoot…..LITERALLY!

This poor little guy tried to enter my family room via a closed window!  He fell to the deck, stunned, and I feared that he was injured.   And he just sat there for the longest time…breathing kind of fast….and unable or unwilling to fly.  I was on my belly right in front of him taking this picture.  He didn’t look hurt…but he wouldn’t move!  So I went inside and got online and got the numbers for the animal rescue in my area.  But just as I began to dial the phone….he turned, got his puffy leg back into position…and flew away!  

So enjoy this drink while listening to a clip from THE DIXIE CHICKSAnd one of my favorite songs  LET HIM FLY.

Sweet Potato Strudel with Brown Butter and Cranberries

“MY DREAM IS TO BECOME A FARMER.  JUST A BOHEMIAN GUY PULLING UP HIS OWN SWEET POTATOES FOR DINNER.”  Lenny Kravitz

Sweet Potato Strudel with Brown Butter & Cranberries | From My Sweet Heart

I am with Lenny on this quote! There is so much I would be willing to give up just to live life more simply.  You know how complicated life can feel sometimes.  The more we can simplify, the better off we are, right?

Well this sweet potato strudel recipe is very simple.  But it doesn’t compromise in flavor.  It’s a simple combination of sweet potatoes, carrots, brown butter, golden raisins, cranberries, pecans, salt and pepper! And that’s it!  All rolled up in puff pastry and it doesn’t get any easier or more satisfying than this! 

[Read more...]