I’m going to take my mind off the elections today, temporarily, to focus on the next major holiday coming up on the calendar, Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is my second favorite holiday because I’m usually in the company of family, and lots of them. I can recall Thanksgivings from the time I was a child and every one of them were special.
For almost twenty years now, my eldest sister has had Thanksgiving at her home. Her five married daughters and their families are always on hand as are some of my other brothers and sisters, often with their grown children or grandchildren. Nobody comes empty handed. The food is served buffet style and there’s usually enough to feed an army. Of course, donations are always made to the food banks at our churches and communities before Thanksgiving to help those less fortunate.
My sister’s home is very cozy and everyone always finds a place to sit and eat. Many hands help prepare the food, set the table and clean up afterward. There’s usually enough time in between or after dinner, watching football games, a movie and dessert to play a board game or two. Scattergories, Pictionary, Trivial Pursuit or Scrabble are some of our favorites.
One of my favorite desserts, provided I haven’t stuffed myself with appetizers or dinner, is cheesecake. For Thanksgiving, I like to make a Chocolate Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecake which, for me at least, combines the best of both worlds! Here is the recipe I’m trying this year which is almost identical to the ones I’ve already tweaked from other cookbooks:
Chocolate Swirled Pumpkin Cheesecake (courtesy of MomsWhoThink.com)
- 1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
- 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, melted
- 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate mini chips, divided
- 3 pkgs. (8 oz. each) cream cheese, softened
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 can (15 oz.) pumpkin
- 4 large eggs
- 1/2 cup evaporated milk
- 2 Tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease 9-inch springform pan.
2. Combine graham cracker crumbs, butter and granulated sugar in medium bowl. Press onto bottom of prepared pan. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup chocolate chips.
3. Microwave the remaining chocolate chips in medium, uncovered, microwave-safe bowl on HIGH power for 30 seconds; stir. If necessary, microwave at additional 10- to 15-second intervals, stirring just until chips are melted; cool to room temperature.
4. Beat cream cheese, granulated sugar and brown sugar until smooth; beat in pumpkin.
5. Beat in eggs, evaporated milk, cornstarch, cinnamon and nutmeg. Remove 3/4 cup pumpkin mixture; stir into melted chocolate.
6. Pour remaining pumpkin mixture into crust. Spoon chocolate-pumpkin mixture over top; swirl.
7. Bake for 60 to 65 minutes or until edge is set but center still moves slightly. Cool in pan on wire rack.
8. Refrigerate for several hours or overnight. Remove side of springform pan, serve.
“A dessert without cheese is like a beautiful woman with only one eye.” ~ Anthelme Brillat-Savarin