Low Carb Pumpkin Cheesecake Mousse

pumpkin-mousseI saw this on Pinterest and not only is it quick & easy to make, it is sinfully delicious without being heavy in calories or carbs!  Thanks go to The Sugar Free Mom, Brenda Bennett, for this wonderful, easy to make, treat!

Low Carb Pumpkin Cheesecake Mousse

Instructions

  1. In a KitchenAid or stand mixer blend cream cheese and pumpkin until smooth.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients and blend until whipped and fluffy about 5 minutes.
  3. Taste and adjust sweetener to your liking if needed.
  4. Pipe into serving glasses and top with cacao nibs or brown sugar sub like Sukrin if desired. Best if Chilled about an hour to set and thicken but still fantastic to enjoy immediately!

  5. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.

Recipe Notes

Net Carbs: 4g

Amount Per Serving (0.5 cup)
Calories 280 Calories from Fat 243
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 27g 42%
Saturated Fat 16g 80%
Cholesterol 95mg 32%
Sodium 186mg 8%
Potassium 154mg 4%
Total Carbohydrates 5g 2%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Sugars 2g
Protein 3g 6%
Vitamin A 132.1%
Vitamin C 2.2%
Calcium 7.4%
Iron 3.9%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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Paula Deen’s Pumpkin Gooey Butter Cake

pumpkin-gooey-butter-cake-pauladeenI’m not someone that thinks pumpkin desserts are only for the fall.  I love pumpkin pie and get out of my way if there is a moist pumpkin bread in the building!

I don’t know if you have ever had Paula Deen’s Gooey Butter Cake, but if you haven’t, let me tell you it is a chunk (you cannot call a portion of this merely a piece) of heaven on earth!  Leave it to Paula to springboard off of that delight and create something even more decadent starring pumpkin and, of course, her favorite “heart stopping” ingredient, butter. 😉

Pumpkin Gooey Butter Cake

Ingredients

Cake:

  • 1  box yellow cake mix
  • 1 egg
  • 8 tablespoons butter, melted

Filling:

  • 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin puree (NOT pumpkin pie filling)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 8 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 (16-ounce) box powdered sugar – equivalent to 3 3/4 cups (reserve 3 Tbsp for dusting)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F.
  2. Combine the cake mix, egg, and 8 TBLS butter and mix well with an electric mixer.
  3. Pat the mixture into the bottom of a lightly greased 13 by 9-inch baking pan.
  4. In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and pumpkin until smooth.
  5. Add the eggs, vanilla, and remaining 8 TBLS butter, and beat together.
  6. Add the powdered sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and mix well.
  7. Spread pumpkin mixture over cake batter and bake for 40 to 50 minutes.
  8. Check after about 35 minutes so you make sure not to overbake. The center should be a little gooey.
  9. Let the pan cool completely before you cut the squares.
  10. You could even pop the cooled pan in the fridge before cutting to get extra clean cuts.
  11. Dust squares with powdered sugar before serving.

I like to serve with a small scoop of vanilla ice cream and a sprig of fresh mint.  Yum

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Baked Jameson Cherry Brie Bites

I went looking for something simple but spectacular that would pair equally well with both cocktails and wine before dinner and came across this amazing photo by Spencer Burton for Las Vegas Weekly:

scaled-cherry_baked_brie_by_spencer_burton_h_t1000

It turns out that these are one of the most popular items on the appetizer menu at one of my favorite Las Vegas watering holes: Nine Fine Irishmen, located in the center of the casino at New York New York.

I pulled the dinner menu up on the internet and had to search for it.  I was looking Baked Jameson Cherry Brie Bites but couldn’t find it.  Now that I’ve seen where they have it hidden at the bottom of the appetizers, it’s easy to see how I missed it the last time I stopped in for a pint of Guinness and a splash of whiskey.

They list it simply as “Baked Brie” with an unimaginative description of: “Brie Cheese, Whiskey Marinated Cherries, Puff Pastry, Balsamic Reduction, Toasted Baguettes” and they don’t show the mouth watering picture.  Not a great sales job at all!

I’m much more intrigued by the glowing description that Brock Radke gave in his November 2013 article describing the, then new item as, “the perfect bite-sized delight for the holiday season. Bonus: Irish whiskey is involved.

I’m sold.  Point me to the kitchen!

Jameson Cherry Baked Brie Bites

  • 5-7 squares of puff pastry (5×5 inch, cut into four pieces)
  • 1½ lb. Brie cheese (cut into 1-inch cubes)
  • 1 cup dried tart cherries
  • ½ cup Jameson Irish Whiskey
  • 2 tbsp. light corn syrup
  • 2 eggs, beaten well
  • fresh ground pepper (to taste)

Now it’s time to prep the cherries:

  1. Soak cherries in Jameson overnight.
  2. Cook cherry-whiskey mixture in a small pot on low heat until fruit softens, then add corn syrup and mix well.
  3. Use a hand-mixer or blender to purée the mixture, then chill and let sit for 2 hours.

When your cherry mixture has finished chilling it’s time to assemble the bites:

  1. Heat oven to 425°F.
  2. Gently separate one square of puff pastry dough and spread a fingernail-sized portion of Brie in the middle.
  3. Add a small dollop of cherry purée and season with pepper.
  4. Fold dough so all corners are sealed.
  5. Spray a baking tray with nonstick cooking spray and place bites on tray in rows.
  6. Brush the top of each pasty pocket with egg.
  7. Bake for approximately 10 minutes or until golden brown.
  8. Let sit for two minutes before serving.

The part I’m missing in this recipe is that they don’t mention the balsamic reduction. Based on the picture it appears that they reserve some of the whiskey-cherry purée to add to the top for presentation with a couple of sprout leaves.

Helpful tip:  You can cut the preparation time by buying whiskey soaked cherries online or at your local Total Wine or Bevmo if they carry them.  I keep a jar on hand that are soaked in my favorite bourbon-whiskey, Maker’s Mark, and I’m sure that you can prepare the same a few days ahead and keep them well sealed in your refrigerator so that you can shorten the prep time.

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Easy Turkey Day Appetizer

mb1One of the things I am in charge of this Thanksgiving is an appetizer.  I was going to get fancy and knock myself out with something that would be difficult to keep warm and wouldn’t likely taste that great cold, but I’ve decided to take another tack.

Instead of going in a direction that is completely opposite of the main meal, I thought instead that I would create something that would compliment and whet the appetites of the rest of the guests for the main event, plus I’d be able to incorporate one of my favorite Thanksgiving side dishes from last year, Zinful Cran-blueberry Sauce!

Turkey Meatballs with Zinful Cran-Blueberry Sauce

Zinful Cran-Blueberry Sauce

  • 1 & 1/3 Cups Granulated Sugar
  • 1 Cup Zinfandel Wine (Best Quality you can afford – if you wouldn’t drink it, don’t cook with it)
  • 1 – 12 oz Package Ocean Spray Fresh Whole Cranberries
  • 1 Cup Frozen Blueberries
  • 1 Whole Cinnamon Stick
  • 1/4 tsp Nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp Vanilla
  • Orange or Tangerine Zest

Bring sugar, wine and cinnamon stick to a boil in a medium saucepan.  Add remaining ingredients and return to a boil, stirring constantly.  Reduce heat to low and simmer 15-20 minutes.  You may want to use a splatter shield to avoid splashing when cranberries pop. Remove and discard cinnamon stick. Set aside to pour over cooked meatballs.

Make the Meatballs

  • Canola Oil Spray or PAM
  • 4 Pounds Ground Turkey
  • 2 Cups Bread Crumbs or Panko
  • 4 Eggs
  • 4 Cloves Garlic Chopped
  • 1 Large Granny Smith Apple Grated
  • 1 tsp Crushed Fennel Seeds
  • 8 tsp Chopped Fresh Sage
  • 3 tsp Freshly Ground Salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp Freshly Ground Pepper

Preheat oven to 450°F and spray 2 large baking sheets with non stick spray

  1. Combine turkey, breadcrumbs, eggs, garlic, grated apple, fennel seeds, chopped sage, salt and pepper on a large mixing bowl
  2. Using a 1″ cookie scoop, portion out the meat into balls, roll and put as many as you can on both baking sheets
  3. Bake for 15 minutes until meatballs begin to brown
  4. Remove meatballs from baking sheet and place into serving dish, chafing dish or crock pot (set to low or warm setting) and pour cran-blueberry sauce over until all are well coated.
  5. Garnish with whole sage leaves if desired.

If you are on Facebook and are interested in the things I may not devote an entire blog post to, recipes, food facts, nutritional information, photos and other things that make my mouth water, I have a page on Facebook you can visit too:  https://www.facebook.com/ThisGirlLovesHerFood

Snickerdoodle Pumpkin Chiffon Pie

Don’t get me wrong, nothing says fall, Halloween and Thanksgiving more than pumpkin pie, but the same old pumpkin pie year in – year out can get boring.  I thought I’d shake things up a bit with a curveball and a bit of unexpected flavor that I hope we all will enjoy!

saraleepumpkinpie

I’ll still make a regular pumpkin pie, and if you are planning to make a regular pumpkin pie too, there is a hotline setup to help you in case you get in a bind: Sara Lee Pie Hotline 1-888-914-1247, Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. CST.  The hotline is open Thanksgiving Day from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. CST.

Snickerdoodle Pumpkin Chiffon Piepumpchif

Assemble the Crust

  • 4 TBLS (1/2 stick) Unsalted Butter, at room temperature
  • 1 TBLS Unsalted Butter for greasing the pan
  • 2 TBLS Cinnamon
  • 1/2 Cup + 2 TBLS Sugar
  • 3/4 Cup Flour
  • 1/4 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 1 Large Egg Yolk
  • 1 tsp Vanilla

Preheat the oven to 375°F and generously butter the bottom and sides of a 9″ regular (not deep dish) pie pan.

  1. Combine flour, salt and baking soda.  Set aside.
  2. Whisk together the cinnamon and 2 tablespoons of the sugar.
  3. Sprinkle 1/2 of the cinnamon-sugar mixture into the buttered pie pan and spread it around until the entire pan is well coated
  4. Beat the 1/2 stick of butter and 1/2 cup sugar for about 3 minutes until light and fluffy.
  5. Add egg yolk and vanilla. Beat until combined.
  6. Reduce speed to low and slowly add flour mixture beating just until well combined.
  7. Transfer dough to work surface covered with a very light coating of flour and cinnamon.  Flatten cookie dough into a disc and then press into the bottom and up the sides of the prepared pie pan.
  8. Sprinkle the remaining cinnamon and sugar all over the surface of the inside of the pie crust.
  9. Poke holes all over the bottom of the crust and put into the freezer for 15 minutes.
  10. Bake the crust about 12 minutes or until lightly browned.  Remove from oven and let cool completely before filling.

Prepare the Pie Filling

  • 4 ounces room temperature Cream Cheese
  • 1 Cup Pumpkin Pie Purée
  • 3/4 Cup Pure Maple Syrup
  • 3/4 Tsp Ground Ginger
  • 1/2 tsp freshly Ground Nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 3/4 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1 TBLS Bourbon
  • 1+3/4 tsp unflavored Gelatin
  • 1/4 Cup Water
  • 1/2 Cup Heavy Cream
  1. In small saucepan dissolve gelatin in the water over low heat.
  2. As soon as the gelatin is dissolved, remove from the heat and stir in the Bourbon.
  3. In the bowl of the stand mixer, mix the cream cheese until light and airy. Set aside.
  4. On medium-high speed, mix the pumpkin purée, maple syrup, ginger, nutmeg, salt, and cinnamon and beat until well combined.
  5. Add the cream cheese and beat on high until smooth.
  6. Stir gelatin mixture into the pumpkin mixture and move all into a large chilled mixing bowl.
  7. Clean and dry the stand mixer bowl.
  8. Beat 1/2 cup of the cream on high until stiff peaks form and then stir into the pumpkin mixture.
  9. Pour filling into crust and chill overnight.

To prepare for serving

  1. To prepare for serving, beat 1 cup whipping cream, 1/2 cup sugar and 1 tsp vanilla  until stiff peaks form
  2. Top pie with whipped cream and sprinkle with 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice

Make up to one day ahead and keep refrigerated until time to serve.

If you are on Facebook and are interested in the things I may not devote an entire blog post to, recipes, food facts, nutritional information, photos and other things that make my mouth water, I have a page on Facebook you can visit too:  https://www.facebook.com/ThisGirlLovesHerFood

Spicy Cognac-Mushroom Rice

mushrice

I’m throwing caution to the wind this holiday season and tossing my tried and true recipes out the window.  Well, at least a few of them.  So, out goes the usual wild rice side dish and in it’s place I’m going to add a whole lot more flavor:

Spicy Cognac-Mushroom Rice

  • 4 Cups Cooked Brown Rice
  • 4 Cups Cooked White Rice
  • 1 – 26.5 oz Can Black Beans (drained)
  • 12 oz Sliced White Mushrooms
  • 12 oz Sliced Portobello Mushrooms
  • 8 TBLS (1 Stick) Butter
  • 1/2 Yellow Onion Chopped
  • 1 – 4oz Can Diced Jalapeno Peppers (drained)
  • 1/2 Cup Cognac
  • 3 TBLS Honey
  • 2 TBLS Low Sodium Soy Sauce
  • Freshly Ground Sea Salt (to taste)
  • Freshly Ground Black Pepper (to taste)

Prepare your rice using whatever method you prefer.  I prefer my pressure cooker so I can combine the white and brown rice and do it all at once, but you can do it on the stovetop, use your rice cooker or even do it in your microwave if you prefer.

  1. Using a large skillet, I use my cast iron skillet, melt your butter.
  2. Add in the sliced mushrooms and let brown, stirring, for 10 minutes.
  3. Next add the onion, jalapeño, salt and pepper and let cook for another two minutes.mush1
  4. Add the honey and stir until it’s well incorporated.
  5. Add the cognac and let reduce for 2 minutes.
  6. Add the soy sauce and stir, then add the drained black beans.
  7. Cook for another 5 minutes over low heat until the liquid thickens a bit.
  8. Pour over the rice in the large bowl.
  9. Stir together and then season with more salt and pepper to taste if needed
  10. Pour rice into a serving dish – I am using a disposable 9 x 13 covered cake pan with a lid for mess free transport.

I am using my unsuspecting friends at tomorrow’s USC homecoming tailgate as guinea pigs.  We are deep frying Duck and this seemed like a good way to do a test run.

If you are on Facebook and are interested in the things I may not devote an entire blog post to, recipes, food facts, nutritional information, photos and other things that make my mouth water, I have a page on Facebook you can visit too:  https://www.facebook.com/ThisGirlLovesHerFood

 

Crab Stuffed Mushrooms & Wine

New-turkeysWe all know that the turkey and sides are the stars of Thanksgiving, but there needs to be a little something to nibble on before the feast so people don’t knock each other over like ravenous fiends when the buffet is ready.

Inevitably I end up making too many snacks, but my excuse is that I never know if I’ll have a few people “helping out in the kitchen” for the hours leading up to dinner, or if the entire crowd will be at the house hanging out for drinks and watching football.

I like to assign Thanksgiving appetizers to someone else when I can and ask them to keepturkey-cheese-ball-8 them fairly simple: some type of tray with fruit, veggies, crackers and sliced cheese or a cheese ball.  This year I am not hosting, we get to be the guests, but I’ll be taking a few dishes to add to the spread.

My main goal was to find something that wouldn’t appeal to the kids so they’d be less likely to eat so much that they ruin their dinner.  I’d rather they eat fruit, if that’s there to snack on.  An added bonus: just by saying the word mushroom the kids will come nowhere near them, so their grubby little hands won’t be picking them up and down!

Crab Stuffed Mushroom Caps

  • ¼ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon onion powder
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 – 8oz package softened cream cheese
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • pinch of salt
  • 24 – 30 fresh whole white mushrooms
  • 1/8 cup finely chopped celery
  • 1 can lump crab meat
  • fresh arugula (if desired)
  • fresh rosemary (if desired)

Preheat oven to 375°F

  • Line a baking sheet with a silicone liner or parchment paper
  • Using a fine mesh colander or a regular colander lined with cheesecloth, break up the crab to make sure no shell remains and leave it to drain
  • Clean and dry mushrooms
  • Remove stems, trim rough edges, then chop stems and set aside
  • Place caps (empty cavity up) on the baking sheet
  • Heat oil in a small pan.  Stir in chopped stems, celery, garlic and a pinch of salt. Cook until moisture disappears.  Remove from heat
  • Stir in crab, cayenne pepper, onion powder, black pepper, parmesan cheese, and cream cheese.
  • Use a spoon to fill each of the mushroom caps and return them to baking sheet
  • Bake in pre-heated oven 20 minutes

crabstuffedmushroomsServe immediately on a platter lined with fresh arugula and sprigs of rosemary if desired.

Another great thing about this crab stuffed mushroom recipe is that it is easily matched with the wines you are already likely to be serving with your Thanksgiving feast:

  • Pinot Grigio
  • Champagne
  • Sauvignon Blanc
  • Soave
  • Pinot Noir

If you are on Facebook and are interested in the things I may not devote an entire blog post to, recipes, food facts, nutritional information, photos and other things that make my mouth water, I have a page on Facebook you can visit too:  https://www.facebook.com/ThisGirlLovesHerFood