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On the Menu: Pumpkin Cheesecake Squares with Toasted Marshmallow Frosting

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Thanksgiving is by far my favorite holiday. What could be better than getting together with friends and family and eating all day? Since I am hosting Thanksgiving this year I have started planning my menu and these pumpkin cheesecake bars with toasted marshmallow frosting are front and center. I have been making pumpkin cheesecake for the past five Thanksgivings and without fail, it is always a crowd favorite. This year I decided to adapt the cheesecake into bars giving this tried and true recipe a modern twist.

 

I love the idea of pumpkin especially when paired with warm spices like cinnamon and ginger, but pumpkin pie is sometimes too much pumpkin for me. I think it is the texture that throws me off, as well as the piecrust. This cheesecake solves all of that. It has the best part of pumpkin pie with the warm fall spices but has a silky texture and tanginess from the cream cheese that I enjoy. Not to mention it comes with a gingersnap crust that is out of this world. So as your brainstorming for Thanksgiving make sure this recipe is on your list, I promise your friends and family will love it. ~ Amanda


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Pumpkin Cheesecake Squares with Toasted Marshmallow Frosting 


Ingredients| Sacramento Street


For crust:

Nonstick vegetable oil spray

3 cups gingersnap cookies

1 cup pecans

1/4 cup brown sugar

½ stick unsalted butter, melted


For filling:

2 8-ounce packages cream cheese, room temperature

1 cup sugar

1 cup pumpkin puree

3 large eggs

3 tablespoons all purpose flour

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

pinch of salt

1 tablespoon vanilla extract


For the topping:

4 eggs whites, at room temperature

1 cup sugar

pinch of cream of tartar

1 teaspoon of vanilla extract


Directions | Sacramento Street


1.) Preheat an oven to 350°F. Spray a 9 x 9” baking pan with non-stick spray and line with parchment paper leaving some paper to hang over the sides.


2.) Make the crust by grinding gingersnaps, pecans and brown sugar in a food processor until nuts are finely ground. Add melted butter and combine until the mixture is the texture of wet sand. Transfer mixture to prepared pan; press evenly onto the bottom. Bake crust until set and lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Set aside.


3.) Make the filling by beating the cream cheese and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixture (or with a hand mixer) until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in pumpkin. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating on low speed to incorporate each addition. Add flour, spices, and salt. Beat in vanilla. Transfer filling to crust. Bake until filling is just set in center and edges begin to crack (filling will still be slightly jiggly), about 1 hour. Chill cheesecake in refrigerator until chilled, preferably overnight.


4.) When ready to serve, make the frosting by combining egg whites, sugar and cream of tartar in the bowl of a stand mixer. Using an oven mitt, place bowl over a stove burner. Turn onto medium heat and carefully whisk egg mixture over medium heat until egg whites are hot, about 4 minutes. (Whisk continuously or the eggs whites will cook) Remove from stove top, place on stand mixture and add vanilla. With a whisk attachment whip egg mixture until it becomes white and fluffy and stiff peaks are formed, about 5 -6 minutes. Spread mixture on top of cheesecake bars and toast slightly with a kitchen torch.


Serves: 9 with huge squares or 16 with normal portions.


Recipe tips: This recipe is great to make the day before. Simply make the crust and filling, cook and chill overnight until ready to serve. When ready to serve, pull the cheesecake out of the refrigerator and add topping. Also, if you don’t have a kitchen torch you can use the broiler on your oven, just watch it closely. Place the bars on a rack in your oven. Move the rack as close as possible to the broiler and broil the top for about 30 seconds or until the topping is browned but not melted.


Recipe by Amanda Frederickson for Sacramento Street

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On the Menu: Huevos Rancheros

Huevos Rancheros | Sacramento Street

Huevos rancheros is one of my all-time favorite breakfasts. It is on a short list of dishes that I will always order off a menu if I see it. Warm corn tortillas soaked with salsa and black beans all topped with an egg and some cilantro, it might just be my idea of perfection on a plate.


Here is my take on the traditional dish. I added avocado because I can’t seem to ever get enough avocado, as well as some Cojita cheese for a little tanginess. The recipe calls for making your own salsa but you can certainly buy pre-made salsa and skip a step.


Also, I fry my eggs on the stovetop in a non-stick pan then combine the dish before eating and serving. If fried eggs are not your thing, feel free to prepare the eggs your favorite way – regardless of fried, scrambled, poached or sunny side up, these huevos rancheros will be delicious. Enjoy!


~ Amanda


Huevos Rancheros | Sacramento Street

 

Ingredients| Sacramento Street


Serves 4


– 4 Roma or plum tomatoes, about 1 lb., diced (setting a couple tablespoons aside for garnish)

– 1 onion, divided and chopped

– chopped fresh cilantro plus additional for garnishing

– 1 Tbsp. chopped canned chipotle chiles in adobo (or more if you like your salsa spicy)

– 1 garlic clove, coarsely chopped

– 4 Tbsp. olive oil

– ½ tsp. salt (or more to taste)

– 1 -15 oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed

– 4 large eggs

– 8 corn tortillas, about 5” diameter

– Garnish: Cojita cheese, avocado, jalapeños, lime wedges


Directions | Sacramento Street


1.) In a blender puree tomatoes, half of the diced onion, cilantro, chipotle, garlic, and salt until smooth. Pour salsa mixture into a medium sized non-stick sauté pan and simmer over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until salsa is slightly thickened, about 5 – 7 minutes. Remove salsa from pan and set aside. Carefully wipe out the pan.


2.) In the same sauté pan over medium heat add 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Once the oil is hot, add the onions and sauté until translucent, about 2 -3 minutes. Add the beans and cook for another 3 – 4 minutes or until beans are warmed through. Remove beans from pan and set aside. Carefully wipe out the pan.


3.) In the same sauté pan over medium high heat, add remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Once the oil is hot, carefully crack the eggs, one at a time into the pan. (I often crack into a small bowl then slide the egg onto the pan to make sure I don’t break the yolk or miss any eggshells). Cook eggs according to your preference. I like my whites set but my yolks still runny so it only takes about 2 -3 minutes.


4.) Assemble the huevos rancheros by quickly warming the tortillas in the oven or in the microwave. Place 2 tortillas on a plate, top with black beans, salsa and one egg. Garnish with avocado, Cojita cheese, jalapeños, tomatoes, lime wedges and cilantro.


Recipe by Amanda Frederickson for Sacramento Street

 

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On the Menu: Apple Cider Donuts

Apple Cider Donuts | Sacramento Street


I’d love to welcome Amanda Frederickson as Sacramento Street’s newest contributor. I’ve been thinking a lot about ways to bring back our recipes post, which I know you all adore. Since I can’t manage to do them myself these days, I wanted to find the perfect person to bring on as our food contributor. Amanda has an incredible blog called A Life Well Lived (pop over for more delicious recipes) – when I was first introduced to her site I was in awe of her recipes and instantly thought she would fit right in here on Sacramento Street. Please give her a warm welcome. I guarantee all of you will be drooling over her bi-weekly recipes. They are amazing!


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Thanks for the sweet intro, I’m thrilled to be here sharing some of my favorite fall recipes. I recently got back from a trip to Boston – where I lived during college. It’s one of my favorite cities but honestly, fall in New England can’t be beat. While I was there I had vivid memories of our yearly adventure outside of the city to go apple picking. The air was crisp, the leaves were at the peak of their color, and somehow it was always the perfect fall day. By the end of the day we would have bags and bags of freshly picked apples. One thing that was deadly were the apple cider donuts that were sold at the orchards, by the end of the day we could barely move from eating so many. The taste of those donuts is just so perfectly fall.


Here is my version of the traditional apple cider donut. Apple cider gives just a hint of acid and sourness to this cake donut that has been lightly fried and tossed in cinnamon and sugar. It is not overly apple and has the perfect amount of warm cinnamon.  I dare you to eat one of these apple cider donuts and not dream about leaves changing, comfy sweaters and crisp clear fall days. Plus, when you make your own homemade donuts, you get the donut holes all to yourself, which might be the best part.


Enjoy!


PS. I have no idea if it is donut or doughnut. I grew up on Dunkin’ Donuts so I have always spelled them – donuts.


Apple Cider Donuts | Sacramento Street

 

Ingredients| Sacramento Street


(Makes about 2 dozen donuts)


- 1 cup unfiltered apple cider

– 3 ½ cups all-purpose flour

– 1 tablespoon baking powder

– 1 ¼ teaspoons baking soda

– 1 teaspoon salt

– 2 teaspoons cinnamon, divided

– ½ cup well-shaken buttermilk

– 3/4 stick unsalted butter, melted

– 2 large eggs

– 2 cups sugar, divided

– 2 quarts vegetable oil


Apple Cider Donuts | Sacramento Street


Directions | Sacramento Street


1.) In a small saucepan, boil apple cider until reduced to about 1/3 cup, 12 to 15 minutes, then set aside to cool.


2.) In a medium sized bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and 1 teaspoon cinnamon.


3.) In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix together reduced cider, buttermilk, butter, eggs, and 1 cup sugar until well combined. Add flour mixture and mix on medium speed until a dough forms (it will be sticky). This can also be done by hand if you don’t have a stand mixer.


4.) Turn out dough onto a well-floured surface and roll dough into a 13-inch round (about 1/3 inch thick). Cut out rounds with floured donut cutter, about 2- 3” in diameter and transfer to a floured baking sheet. Repeat with scraps. Reroll the dough only once, as it will start to become tough if it is rerolled too many times.


5.) Meanwhile pour vegetable oil into a 5-quart heavy pot and heat oil over medium- high heat to 370°F. (If you don’t have a deep fat-thermometer, sprinkle a tiny bit of flour into the oil, when it sizzles, the oil is ready.)  Carefully slide donuts one at a time into the oil careful not to crowd pan. (If pan gets crowded with donuts the temperature will drop and you will have soggy donuts)


6.) When dropped into the oil, the donut will sink to the bottom, not to worry it will float to the top after about 20 seconds. When each donut floats to surface, turn over and continue to fry until golden brown, 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Drain on paper towels. Fry all of the donuts, making sure the oil stays around 370°F .


7.) Cool slightly; dredge in cinnamon sugar made from remaining cup of sugar and remaining teaspoon of cinnamon.


Note: These donuts are best right when you make them, but if you want to make them ahead of time, fry them off and do not dredge them in cinnamon sugar. Instead let them cool then wrap them tightly in plastic wrap. Right before you want to serve them, heat them in a 250 °F oven for about 10 to 15 minutes then toss them in cinnamon and sugar. You can make them up to a day ahead.


Recipe by Amanda Frederickson for Sacramento Street

 

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On the Menu: Fresh Fusilli Pasta with Garden Tomatoes & Corn

On the Menu: Fresh Fusilli Pasta with Garden Tomatoes & Corn | Sacramento Street

As you can tell, I’m on a farmers market cooking kick. I find it incredibly inspiring to go pick out different vegetables every week for our meals. It has actually been making me experiment more and more, which I love to do. Last week I made this fresh fusilli pasta with organic early girl tomatoes and corn. The first bite was so delicious I knew I’d have to recreate it to share with all of you. Friends, this pasta is insanely easy and mouth watering. Enjoy!

 

Ingredients:

6 to 8 fresh organic tomatoes (I like Early Girls), large chunks

1 to 2 ears of fresh organic corn

2 cloves garlic thinly sliced

3 T olive oil

sea salt

red pepper flakes

parmesan cheese – grated

fusilly pasta

roughly cut basil

 

Directions:


1.) Put a large pot of water on the stove to boil. Clean the corn.  When water is boiling, place corn in pot for 2 to 3 minutes.  Remove with thongs.  I used the same water for the pasta after removing the corn. Shuck corn from the cob and set aside.

 

2.) In a large sauté pan, place olive oil on a high heat. Add garlic for 30 seconds. Add tomatoes and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes. Add corn.


3.) Remove pasta when it’s to your liking and toss with tomato mix.


4.) Add a generous amount of parmesan cheese, a dash of basil and season with red pepper flakes and sea salt. Serve it nice and hot!


Photo and recipe by Caitlin Flemming

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On the Menu: Marionberry Jam

On the Menu -  Marionberry Jam | Sacramento StreetThis summer I have been trying to make a concerted effort to slow down and enjoy simple pleasures that connect me to friends and family. My mom and I had never made jam before since my grandmother would always make it for us. We realized this summer on a visit to Oregon that we should learn how to continue this tradition. We went to a farm near my grandmother’s house and got a flat of marionberries. Over the course of an evening we made 24 jars of jam and several bottles of syrup. Now that we’re back in California, we’ve already made another batch of blackberry jam!

 

You may want to consult a recipe as we chose to make our jam with considerably less sugar. Test it out –  I just couldn’t imagine using 7 cups of sugar!


Ingredients:

– 1 flat of berries (blackberry, marionberry, or raspberry)


- 3 cups sugar


- juice of one lemon


- 1 granny smith apple in 6 pieces


- 1 box of pectin


Directions:

1.) Buy one box of 8 ounce jars and lids.  Wash jars in a dishwasher.  Place lids in hot water prior to filling with berry mix.


2.) Rinse berries and place in a bowl with ½ cup sugar.  Mix well and let sit.  The berries will begin to macerate and you can then pour them into a large pot (5 to 6 quarts). Turn on heat and bring to a boil.  Add one box of pectin, lemon juice, and granny smith apple.  I let it boil for a bit and the berries naturally broke down. (With the blackberries, I also put them through a food mill as they didn’t break down). Remove apple.


3.) Using a wide-moth sieve, spoon into jars leaving a minimum of ¼ inch space from top of jar.  Place lid tightly on jars. Once you are finished filling the jars, boil water in a large pot with water that reaches over 2 inches above the jars.  Boil for 10 minutes.  Carefully remove jars with jar lifter tongs.  Cool jars on a towel on the counter for 12 hours.  At that time check the seal (a small circle will indent if sealed).


If you would like more detailed instructions and information on equipment, I found this site helpful!


Happy jamming!


For further instructions on canning jam I used this reference.


Photo by Caitlin Flemming

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