Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Paula Deen's Pumpkin Cheesecake

For those of you that don't know, I am a pumpkin fanatic; I adore all things pumpkin, including savory dishes. I wanted to try my hand at combining cheesecake and pumpkin, and I had marginal success with a little recipe on the back of a Hershey's Kisses package. The kisses were pumpkin spice flavored, and the cheesecake was decent. In an effort to turn my baking experience around I decided to venture on over to the Food Network website, because I knew that my other cake could be outdone. The beautiful, gray haired-diva, Paula Deen, came to my palate's rescue with her recipe for pumpkin cheesecake. I don't bake worth a damn, and this cake was a success! It is so good, in fact, that I gave Rob Handley (my professor at Absolute) one of the cakes for his birthday. Try it, you won't regret it!



  • 1 3/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 3 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 stick melted salted butter


  • 3 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 (15-ounce) can pureed pumpkin
  • 3 eggs plus 1 egg yolk
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

For crust:

In medium bowl, combine crumbs, sugar and cinnamon. Add melted butter. Press down flat into a 9-inch springform pan. Set aside.

For filling:

Beat cream cheese until smooth. Add pumpkin puree, eggs, egg yolk, sour cream, sugar and the spices. Add flour and vanilla. Beat together until well combined.
Pour into crust. Spread out evenly and place oven for 1 hour. Remove from the oven and let sit for 15 minutes. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 4 hours.

Monday, November 15, 2010


November isn't the only time we should express gratitude, give it a whirl throughout the rest of the year too. With that said:

I am thankful that although I may be impatient, and my temper can boil rapidly, I have people in my life that are cognizant of my imperfections, and they love me just the same. I'm working on it, I promise.

I can't wait to go back to the Gallivan Center for ice skating this year!

Saturday, November 13, 2010


Basically, I have the best boyfriend ever! Ben flew me out to Maui for my fall break from school. He has been gone since September 13th, and the chance to see each other was well-deserved! The vacation was amazing, and words can not describe just how perfect everything was on the trip. We played, and laughed, and ate amazing food. It was the type of vacation I have dreamed of my whole life, and I will cherish the memories forever! It would be impossible to give a play-by-play of the whole vacation, but I'm going to attempt to highlight some of it in the form of a list. Here goes nothin':

1. We went to the Banyan tree at Lahaina on day one. They have booths that sell art under the tree, and we went around to see all of the local art. The tree covers an entire city block, it was awesome!

2. We drove the Hana Highway and went on amazing hikes through a bamboo forest, and up to gorgeous waterfalls. The bamboo forest was one of my favorite parts, it sounded like hundreds of wind chimes while we walked. The absence of snakes in Hawaii made it one of the most leisurely hikes that I have ever been on.

3. Ben bought me snorkeling gear and we went snorkeling a few different times, which included an awesome boat trip to the Molokini Crater on a boat with the Pacific Whale Foundation. I can honestly say that I have never done anything so cool in my entire life, and I can't wait to go back. Ben loves turtles, and I was so excited to see a few up close! The first turtle that we saw was huge! I'm going to unfairly assume the turtle was a male, the poor guy was missing a fin. He was as big as a coffee table, and was covered in mossy looking algae stuff (very technical terms.) We saw an eagle ray, and tons of fish. I showed Ben my boobs underwater, and he thinks those were the coolest things in the Hawaiian waters...I also managed to lovingly/playfully grope him right as we ran into another couple that was snorkeling. Seriously, we had not seen a person in over half an hour, and right as I decide to act like a pervert people appear...just my luck. On our second snorkeling adventure I was stung by a Portuguese Man O' War, which was terrible! Thankfully the sting wasn't too bad, and I was ready to go back into the water in about an hour!

4. We also went to the Paia Fish Market Restaurant and ate some of the best food in the whole world; we saw "The Town" and "Secretariat;" We bought "Connect Four" and played that a bunch; we went to "Kite Beach" and watched the kite surfers; we watched amazing sunsets, and we even trained at Ermin's gym (Ermin is his boss in Hawaii.) Ermin's girlfriend Lisa was our instructor. Lisa is awesome, and I'm very happy that I was able to meet her. We ate Indian Food, and slept in. We cuddled, and kissed, and humped, it was great.

Out of all of the adventures that we had I can honestly say that my two favorite parts were probably some of the simplest. The first was when Ben picked me up from the airport. I had missed him so much, seeing him pull up to the curb was like a bag of concrete had been lifted from my chest. It sounds rather melodramatic, but when you genuinely like someone as much as I like him, it is truly awful going this long without him by my side. I love waking up and drinking coffee with Ben, even though I hate waking up early! Getting to eat eggs with him before work is one of the best parts of my day. When Ben has a long day at work, getting to rub his hands after dinner is one of the best feelings in the world. I miss training with him at the gym, and wrestling with him at home. Just getting to hold his hand during the initial drive from the airport to the condo in Maui was divine.
My second favorite part of the trip was the time we spent inside of the condo. Ben rented the most amazing condo, and we both grew so attached to it that by the end of the trip we called it our "pretend house." We watched an entire season of "The Office." That's right, I was in paradise with my handsome boyfriend, and one of the highlights consisted of eating ice cream and watching Netflix. I love just sitting at home with Ben and watching t.v. When he gets home, there is going to be an imprint of our bodies on his couch, because we are watching every season of "The Office," and it is going to be GREAT!
The day that I left consisted of a lot of crying. I tried so hard to keep it in, but knowing that I had to go another month and a half without doing the simple things with Ben was torture. I tried to change my flight, but it was $300ish dollars to make the change, and we decided that was unreasonable. I think everyone feels the post-vacation blues, but that feeling was definitely compounded by leaving Hawaii alone. I cried all the way through security, and I cried until the plane boarded. I'm surprised they didn't flag me for enhanced searches, I was a mess.
Anyway, all of that uber-personal, and cheesy stuff aside, the vacation was AMAZING! I can't wait to go back! Hawaii does have a law school, I'm just sayin'...