A Sweet Taste of Autumn

Hi All,

The holidays are approaching, and I am always ready for something a little different than the same old dessert.  Do not get me wrong, as much as I love pumpkin pie and tradition, a little change can be a good thing.  Especially when you taste this cheesecake.  Now I did skip the roasting part and used a cup of canned yams after draining some excess liquid after pureeing them.  The person who brought me the recipe in the form of the actual dessert went for the entire roasting part.  Hers was very good, but my way resulted in a very tasty version.   Whichever way you choose, this will make a lovely addition to your Thanksgiving table.  Hope you like it!

Roasted Sweet-Potato
Cheesecake with Maple Cream

Notes: You can make this cheesecake up to 3 days ahead; cover and chill. Garnish with cream up to 6 hours before serving; cover and chill until serving. Prep and Cook Time: about 2 1/2 hours, plus at least 2 1/2 hours to cool and chill.

2 dark orange-fleshed sweet potatoes (1 1/4 to 1 1/2 lb. total), such as jewel or red garnet (sometimes sold as yams)
1 tablespoon melted butter
2 teaspoons lemon juice
3 packages (8 oz. each) cream cheese, regular or light (Neufchâtel), at room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
4 large eggs
1/4 cup whipping cream
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

Maple Cream (recipe follows)

Pecan Crust (recipe follows)

1. Preheat oven to 375° (convection not recommended). Peel sweet potatoes and cut in half lengthwise. Place in a 9- by 13-inch baking pan and brush with melted butter. Bake until potatoes are soft when pressed, 45 to 55 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, prepare crust. Bake in same oven with potatoes until lightly browned all over, 10 to 12 minutes.
3. Scrape any charred spots off potatoes, then cut potatoes into chunks. Whirl in a food processor or mash in a bowl with lemon juice until smooth. Reserve 1 cup; save any extra for another use.
4. Reduce oven temperature to 325°. In a bowl, with a mixer on high speed, beat cream cheese until fluffy. Gradually beat in granulated and brown sugars, scraping down sides of bowl occasionally, until mixture is well blended and smooth. Beat in eggs, one at a time, until blended. Add reserved sweet potato mixture, the whipping cream, sour cream, maple syrup, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger. Mix on low speed until well blended.
5. Wrap bottom of cheesecake pan with heavy-duty foil, pressing it up the sides. Pour batter over crust. Put cheesecake pan in a 12- by 15-inch roasting pan at least 2 inches deep. Set pans in oven and pour enough boiling water into roasting pan to come halfway up sides of cheesecake pan.
6. Bake until cake barely jiggles in the center when gently shaken, about 55 minutes. Remove pans from oven. Lift cheesecake pan from roasting pan and let cool completely on a rack, about 1 hour, then chill until cold, at least 1 1/2 hours, or up to 3 days (cover once cold).
7. Up to 6 hours before serving, cut around inside of pan rim to release cake; remove rim. With a pastry bag, pipe dollops of maple cream onto cake. Or serve maple cream separately, to spoon onto each wedge.

Pecan Crust: Whirl 1/4 cup coarsely chopped pecans in a blender until finely ground; you should have 1/4 cup. In a bowl, mix pecans, 1 1/4 cups fine graham cracker crumbs, 2 tablespoons sugar, and 5 tablespoons melted butter. Pour into a 9-inch cheesecake pan with removable rim (2 1/4 in. tall). Press mixture evenly over bottom of pan.

Maple Cream: In a bowl, with a mixer on high speed, beat 3/4 cup whipping cream until stiff peaks form. On low speed, beat in 1/4 cup maple syrup just until blended.

Yield: Makes 12 to 16 servings
CALORIES 418 (60% from fat); FAT 28g (sat 16g); CHOLESTEROL 130mg; CARBOHYDRATE
38g; SODIUM 239mg; PROTEIN 6.2g; FIBER 1g
Sunset Magazine, NOVEMBER 2008

Enjoy!!    isolate-fall-leaves-illustration-id164545651 (612×383)


Am I Bleu?

Hi all,


With Fall closing in the taste buds are calling out for “comfort” food.  This recipe is a way to satisfy that voice in your tummy!  I will post the original recipe, then give you my twist on making it a filling one dish entrée.  Just a salad or veggie (or both) and you are all set to eat!



Chicken Cordon Bleu Bake (from Taste of Home)    Chicken Cordon Bleu Bake Exps Sdon16 41654 B06 07 8b 5

Total Time

Prep: 20 min. Bake: 40 min.  Makes 2 casseroles (6 servings each)

I got this easy chicken cordon bleu recipe from a friend years ago. I freeze several half recipes in disposable pans to share with neighbors or for when I’m pressed for time myself. —Rea Newell, Decatur, Illinois



  • 2 packages (6 ounces each) reduced-sodium stuffing mix
  • 1 can (10-3/4 ounces) condensed cream of chicken soup, undiluted
  • 1 cup 2% milk
  • 8 cups cubed cooked chicken
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 3/4 pound sliced deli ham, cut into 1-inch strips

    1 cup shredded Swiss cheese

  • 3 cups shredded cheddar cheese



  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Prepare stuffing mixes according to package directions. Meanwhile, whisk together soup and milk.
  2. Toss chicken with pepper; divide between 2 greased 13×9-in. baking dishes. Layer with ham, Swiss cheese, 1 cup cheddar cheese, soup mixture and stuffing. Sprinkle with remaining cheddar cheese.
  3. Bake, covered, 30 minutes. Uncover; bake until cheese is melted, 10-15 minutes.
    Freeze option: Cover and freeze unbaked casseroles. To use, partially thaw in refrigerator overnight. Remove from refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. Preheat oven to 350°. Bake, covered, until heated through and a thermometer inserted in center reads 165°, about 45 minutes. Uncover; bake until cheese is melted, 10-15 minutes.


  • Chicken thighs taste great in this recipe, and they’re usually cheaper at the grocery store than chicken breasts.
  • Sharp cheddar cheese has been aged longer than regular cheddar. As cheese ages, its flavor becomes more pronounced. Using aged cheese in a recipe can add complexity and rich flavor, even to humble favorites like mac ’n’ cheese.


    Nutrition Facts

    1 cup: 555 calories, 29g fat (15g saturated fat), 158mg cholesterol, 1055mg sodium, 26g carbohydrate (5g sugars, 1g fiber), 46g protein.


    I took the recipe and added noodles directly to the dish.  Instead of layering, put all filling ingredients (not the stuffing)in a large mixing bowl. Increase milk to 1 1/2 cups.Add a partially cooked bag of egg noodles (they will finish while baking) to the mixture .  Stir gently, but thoroughly. Spread into baking dish and top with stuffing and reserved cheese. Follow baking instructions and make your tummy happy!


    We found some shredded cheese blends at the Grocery store in our area. One had 3 cheddars, another had swiss and gruyere, still another had asiago and gouda. Depending on your tastes, you can even shred your own and blend to your liking. Experiment a little. I also halved the recipe so I could try the different blends on a smaller scale.


    Hope this works for your household!


    Enjoy!    Raggedy Anne