Saturday, November 13, 2010

One Way to Fight the Winter Blues.....

What are your go-to feel-good foods to chase away the blues?  Chocolate?  Sushi?  Merlot?

When we saw our friend Karen Banos's Facebook posting that read:   "Getting rid of the pre-winter, Eastern Standard Time blues with the smell of a pumpkin cheesecake in the oven" we knew she was a kindred soul.  

 Karen graciously shared the recipe and photo of her delectable creation.  You can imagine the FB commentary following her post--lots and lots of friends invited themselves to her home that evening, including one from San Francisco who said she was grabbing a fork and boarding a plane.  (We understand that she never arrived; doubtless she was detained by the TSA for carrying said utensil.)

Should you wish to emulate Karen's culinary anti-depressant, here's how:

 Pumpkin Cheesecake

1 c. graham cracker crumbs
3/4 c. + 1TBS sugar
6 TBS melted butter
16 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
1 16 oz. can of pumpkin
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ginger
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/8 tsp salt
2 eggs
1 pt (2 c.) sour cream
1/4 c. sugar
1 tsp vanilla
Preheat oven to 350
Melt the crumbs with 1 TBSP sugar and butter
Press into thebotom of a springform pan and bake for 8 minutes. Cool the crust
Beat cream cheese + 3/4 c. sugar until well blended
Beat in pumpkin, spices and salt
Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition
Pour into prepared crust
Bake at 350 for 50 minutes and remove...
While pie is baking, prepare topping (mix the topping ingredients)
When you remove the cheesecake after the 50 minutes, raise oven temperature to 400 and pour the topping over the cheesecake.
Bake the pie with the topping at 400 for 8 minutes
Cool overnight.....

Next day, eat, and feel waaay happier.

If any of our male readers are feeling neglected by this stage, we stumbled across this little known fact about Pumpkin seeds, also known as Pepitas: To put a zip in your zipper, consider the magical properties of pumpkin seeds; this wonderfood allegedly has anti-inflammatory properties and may contain cholesterol-reducing phytosterols.  (Thanks to for this information.).   If we're in danger of losing you because we're beginning to sound like a public health service broadcast...more to the point, pepitas are loaded with zinc -- the mineral that is credited with ensuring everything is in working order.  ("Nudge, nudge, wink, wink, say no more...")
If pumpkin seeds aren't your thing, then why not stop by Pearl's Oyster Bar at Reading Terminal Market.  After all, oysters are the food source with the highest concentration of zinc, hence their reputation as an aprodisiac.

How on earth did we get from Pumpkin cheesecake to Oysters?  Via Monty Python of course; the following video is not for the faint of heart.

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