Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Anna Sultana’s Pumpkin Cheesecake, Maltese Style

October 21 was ‘Pumpkin Cheesecake Day’.
Hope you had one to celebrate the day.
Pumpkin seems to be everywhere now.

Pumpkin is a popular ingredient in Maltese cooking, especially in vegetable soups.
In coffee drinks, not so much.

According to an early American legend, leaving a half pumpkin open or exposed in any room, but especially the kitchen, attracts negative energies into your home. 
Right… tell that to the gang carving up the family jack-o’-lantern.
Just don’t say anything while they’re holding knives.

Pumpkins are symbols of the fruitfulness of the earth in Autumn time.
Something about their round orange bodies representing the abundance of the Mother Goddess or Mother Earth. 
And those pumpkin seeds…
Pumpkin seeds, when roasted, are a great low calorie snack.
Pumpkin bread and pumpkin pie are said to bring money and luck your way as well.
Low calorie they’re not. 

About that Pumpkin Cheesecake tradition…
The pumpkin will be cluttering up your kitchen after October 31.
You don’t want bad feng shui.
Follow my Ma’s example and make a Pumpkin Cheesecake.


Check cheesecake doneness by gently shaking the pan. 
If the cheesecake is done, it will be set except in the centre that will be soft. 
Do not insert a knife into the centre.  
This may make the cheesecake crack during cooling. 

Want to make the cheesecake in a 9x13-inch pan to serve as small dainties?
No problem.
Line the pan with foil, with ends of foil extending over sides. 
Prepare the cheesecake batters, then spoon into the prepared pan and swirl. 
Bake in a 350°F oven 45 minutes or until centre is almost set. 
Cool completely. Refrigerate 4 hours. 
Use foil handles to lift cheesecake from pan before cutting to serve.

                        Pumpkin Cheesecake 

Serves 16

Place the oven rack in the middle of the oven.
Butter the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan.
Preheat the oven to 350º F

The Crust

Combine in a small bowl
1 1/4 Cups graham wafer crumbs
1/4 Cup sugar
1/4 Cup margarine, melted 
Press the mixture over the bottom of the prepared pan.
Bake 8 minutes.
Place on a rack to cool.
Leave the oven on.

The Filling

Combine in a large mixer bowl
3 8-ounce packages cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 Cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
Beat at medium speed until smooth.
Add, one at a time
3 large eggs  
Mix well after each egg is added.
Remove 1 cup of the plain cheesecake filling and set aside.

Add to the filling in the large mixer bowl
1/4 cup sugar
1 Cup pumpkin (canned or cooked and pureed)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
Beat at low speed until smooth.  Do not over beat.

Spoon half of the pumpkin cheesecake filling into the prepared pan.
Top with spoonfuls of half the plain cheesecake filling.
Repeat the layers, then swirl gently with a knife. 
Bake for 45 minutes.
The pie should be set around the edges, with a slightly soft centre.
Cool on a wire rack 1 hour.
Keep the cake in the pan, wrap it in foil, and refrigerate at least 4 hours.

About an hour before serving remove the cake from the refrigerator.
Run a knife around the edge of the pan and remove the sides of the pan.
Serve with 
whipped cream
Sprinkle with nutmeg (optional)

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

I'm Turning 60... plus 5 by Margaret Ullrich

I’m still in a bit of a celebrating my blog's Anniversary mood.
Publishing I’m Turning 60... has been such fun!
I’ve really enjoyed doing this blog and I’m so grateful that you’ve been visiting.

We’re enjoying a mild Autumn this year.
I still have a few tomato plants which are still giving us fruit.
A tossed blanket takes care of them on the nights we’ve dipped below freezing. 
It’s such a treat seeing them by the side door that I don’t mind helping them along.

Soon enough everything will be covered in snow.
But, not now.

I made a few changes - just small tweaks - and I hope you like them.
Since the top posts were listed in the Anniversary post, I added the post to the list that’s on the right side called ‘Handy Pages of Grouped Links & Info’.
I also made a post for the ‘Translate Measurements’ chart.
By removing the two lists, their 20 pictures, and the chart the page loads more quickly.
That’s a good thing.
I’ll make a few more posts that will gather links under one topic and add their posts' links to the list so you will be able to find things more quickly.

A friend asked if I’m going to change the title to I’m Turning 65.
I know I’m not turning 60 any more.
I got my letter and the pension forms to fill out from the government.
In a few months I’ll be a card-carrying, pension-collecting, bone fide senior of 65.

As I mentioned in the Anniversary post  visitors use search keywords to find posts.
Sometimes they even use I’m Turning 60.
It would be confusing to change the name of this blog just to reflect my age, which will keep changing.
Folks know and find me as 60 year old lady.
So, I’ll stay blog-wise as 60 year old lady.

It’s like the television show Two and a Half Men.
Alan's son Jake grew up and left the show.
Charlie Harper's daughter Jenny moved in with Walden and Alan.
But the show is still Two and a Half Men.
It makes it easier to find the show in the television listings.

A couple of weeks ago I posted about Thanksgiving, the blood moon, the eclipse and all the other excitement that was happening in the sky.
I’m sorry that I posted about that on the day of the eclipse.
A friend pointed out that she got her e mail about the post on the day after the post had been published.
So, it was day-old news and useless.

From now on I’ll post about time sensitive topics - like full moons, new moons and eclipses - before they happen.
That way, if there is anything special about something happening that week, you’ll have time to prepare.

Speaking of which…
Thursday night there will be a new moon and a partial solar eclipse.
This is a link for what you need to know so that you can enjoy it safely.
The sun, moon and venus will all be perfectly aligned and close together.
What a month for special effects in the sky!!

About Thursday night’s new moon in Scorpio…
According to the folks at astrology.com:
Some of us have a list of hopes that was composed at a different time of our lives.  They no longer align with who we are now. It’s important to occasionally review this list and make sure that everything on it speaks to where we are at present.

It's time to ditch old emotional baggage so you can move forward. Take advantage of this opportunity to step into your power and transform yourself and your life! 
All solar eclipses initiate an important new cycle. For this one in Scorpio, you receive helpful knowledge just as secrets and agendas are revealed. 

Put everything you've got into furthering your goals, and allow the transformative energy of Scorpio to help make your dreams come true.

This being the final eclipse of the year, astrologers feel that as people transition through this fall season, they will begin to have a greater understanding of the struggles they have recently experienced.

At the next full Moon on November 6, you'll have a chance to stand back and see everything you've accomplished!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Happy Five Year Anniversary, I’m Turning 60! by Margaret Ullrich

Happy Fifth Birthday to I'm Turning 60...!!
I want to thank everyone who has been kind enough to visit, whether you have visited on a daily, weekly or occasional basis.

I’m amazed at how quickly the past five years have flown.

I used to send Ma recipes, especially the holiday brochures and leaflets I had found in the baking section of the supermarket. 
I still enjoy sharing recipes, especially Ma's recipes. 

I recently took a look at how this blog’s 802 posts have been doing.
According to the all time top posts, Ma’s recipes are more popular than Carmela’s.
Here are the current all time top ten posts:

During the past month these have been the top posts:
If you haven’t tried the recipes on any of these, I hope you’ll pick one and try it soon (well, not the lion one).

Finding out where you live has also been interesting.
Blogger also keeps track of visitors. 
Since I began this blog, there have been 209,346 visitors.
The United States is still number one.
American readership has gone up from last year’s 76,356 visitors.
And the U.S. is followed by Canada.
By last year 10,581 Canadians had visited. 

Last year the top countries also included: Malta, Russia, United Kingdom, Australia, France, Romania, Germany and Indonesia.

Now the top ten countries and their visitors are:

United States....... 108,408
Canada…………………. 20,729
Malta…………………….. 12,284
Australia…………………. 8,056
United Kingdom……….7,289
Russia…………………….. 6,791 
France…………………….. 4,530
Ukraine.………..……….. 3,513
Romania……….…………. 2,624
Germany…………………. 2,612

During the year there were also visitors from Turkey, Italy, Finland, Poland, Spain, the Netherlands, Macedonia, Mexico, Afghanistan, Thailand, Slovakia, Ireland, Denmark, Bangladesh, Sweden, Israel, Moldova, Malaysia, Ireland, Singapore, Kuwait, Greece, Kenya, Vietnam, Czech Republic, Namibia and China.
I’m amazed at how we have been able to connect!

Your choice of search keywords have been interesting.
I love things like:
60 year old lady stuffed hot cherry peppers recipe
Thank you for finding me!

I'd also like comments.  Really.  
It's easy to do.  Just click on Comments and write. 
Or message me on Facebook. 
Tell me what you want to know about. 
Would you like more holiday recipes, or more easy, cheap, quick meals or…?

Thanks again for visiting!