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the haas machine: November 2011

Monday, November 28, 2011

Maple Ginger Pumpkin Pie

Oh heavens, do I love pumpkin pie! This recipe was definitely a crowd pleaser this past Thanksgiving & it makes me wonder why I only make it once a year...
Maple Ginger Pumpkin Pie
Ingredients
1 piecrust (you should make your own!)
2 large local cage free eggs
1 15-ounce can pure pumpkin puree
1 cup heavy cream (don't skimp!)
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

Directions
Set oven rack in the lowest position & set the heat to 350. In a large bowl, whisk all ingredients together. Pour mixture into crust & bake 60-70 minutes until center is set. Let cool to room temperature before serving. You can make this pie up to 2 days ahead if you stick it in the fridge loosely covered in plastic wrap.

Recipe taken from Real Simple Magazine

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Pie Crust

This piecrust is my go-to crust for the majority of the pies I make. Why? Because it's easy, quick, & oh-so scrumptious! It takes about 10 minutes of hands-on time & a total of 1 hour, 40 minutes of time. 
Here's all you need to make 1 9-inch piecrust
Ingredients
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, spooned & leveled, plus more for rolling
1/2 cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
3-4 tablespoons ice water

Directions
In a food processor, pulse the floor, butter, sugar, & salt until the mixture resembles coarse meal with a few pea-size clumps of butter. Add 2 tablespoons of the water. Pulse until the mixture holds together when squeezed but is still crumbly (add more water, a little at a time if necessary). Avoid over processing, which will make the dough tough). Place the still crumbly mixture on a sheet of plastic wrap. Shape into a 1-inch thick disk, using the plastic wrap to help. Wrap tightly & refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour & up to 3 days.

Place the disk of dough on a floured piece of parchment/wax paper. With a floured rolling pin, roll the dough into an 11-inch circle. Loosen the dough from the paper & carefully transfer to a pie plate. Fit the dough to the pan with 1-inch hanging over (avoid stretching). 

Voila! It's so simple, I think I will never buy piecrust again!

Recipe taken from Real Simple magazine

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Friday, November 18, 2011

Avocado Cheesecake with Walnut Graham Cracker Crust

Oh me, oh my! This avocado cheesecake sure caught my attention when I saw it & believe me, it does not disappoint! I was a little hesitant because of well, the avocados, but they just add an incredible creaminess. Also the graham cracker crust does not contain butter, so that also peeked my curiosity. I usually don't alter recipes the first time I try them, but I did not use anise seeds (ew) & I used 1% milk instead of skim. I also made them in a cupcake pan for individual servings & thus only baked the crust for 10 minutes instead of 20. So delish!
Avocado Cheesecake with Walnut Crust
Ingredients
3/4 cup shelled walnuts
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar, divided
1/2 teaspoon crushed anise seeds (I omitted)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 envelope unflavored gelatin
1 lemon
1 1/2 cups skim milk (I used 1%)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 fully ripened Avocados from Mexico, halved, pitted, peeled and diced
8 ounces fat-free cream cheese, softened and cut in pieces (I used low-fat)

Directions
Heat oven to 350Ā°F. In food processor, pulse walnuts until finely ground. Add graham cracker crumbs, 1 tablespoon sugar, anise seeds & salt; pulse just until combined. Add 2 tablespoons water; pulse until ingredients are thoroughly combined & resemble wet sand. Press into bottom of an 8 1/2-inch springform pan. Bake 20 minutes; cool completely.

In measuring cup or small bowl, combine gelatin with 2 tablespoons water; let stand for 5 minutes. With vegetable peeler, remove strips of lemon zest (yellow portion only). In saucepan, combine milk, 1/2 cup sugar, vanilla & lemon zest; bring to boil. Add gelatin; simmer until gelatin has completely dissolved, about 1 minute; strain & discard lemon zest. In food processor, combine avocados & cream cheese. Pour hot milk mixture into processor; process until very smooth. Pour into baked crust; cover & refrigerate at least 2 hours or until set. Remove side of pan; cut cheesecake into 10 slices. Serve with raspberry sauce, if desired. I topped with walnuts instead.

Cheesecake is best when served the same day; any leftover cheesecake should be securely covered with clear plastic wrap and refrigerated.

Recipe taken from www.theamazingavocado.com.

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Monday, November 14, 2011

Button Barettes, Wreaths, & Ruby's Tutu

'Tis the season for crafting! Here are a few things that have been filling up my free time. All have been inspired by my beloved new found hobby called Pinterest. You can can follow me on Pinterest by clicking the link on the right hand side of this blog to get instructions on how to make all of the things I've made here (as well as countless other recipes, things Ruby "needs", & sites that I'm interested in).
Extra buttons hot glued on bobby pins
 My first attempt at a yarn wreath with pretty felted flowers... these might be my new favorite things to make!
 Another yarn wreath with dried oranges & lemons (it was supposed to be covered in oranges & lemons, but we over-baked them & they didn't look so pretty, so I settled for just a handful of them)
I made this little tutu for Ruby for Halloween a few weeks back out of some scrap fabric, elastic, & my favorite hot glue. Ruby had the leotard already from her auntie Alison.

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