Thanksgiving Countdown: Day One

We are within a week to Thanksgiving, one of my absolute favorite holidays.  I love the days leading up to Thanksgiving because they are the official start to the holiday season.  My favorite time of year that always seems to last for just a second.  These are the days I wish I could freeze.  The excitement of all my family and friends gathering together, the anticipation of the delicious food, the additional desire to help those in need, and just the overall sense of joy surrounding the holidays; I love everything about this time of year.

I do always miss getting to share this time with my friends and family in Canada.  Although I probably would never leave the house during the winter in Saskatchewan, a part of me is always a bit sad about not getting to see everyone. Can someone please invent a teleportation device already?

As part of my countdown to Thanksgiving, I am going to feature a recipe a day that I think you should absolutely include on your holiday menu.  They are in no particular order, as I’m starting today off with one of my favorite dessert recipes.

Every year I say I don’t really like cheesecake. And I don’t.  It just isn’t my thing. Something about the texture and the tangy taste just throws me off a bit.  But then every year I make this pumpkin cheesecake, and my mind is instantly changed.  So, for one week out of the year, I love cheesecake. In fact, I can’t get enough of it.  Yesterday started my annual week of cheesecake loving.  We had our second “friendsgiving” last night and I brought this as one of the desserts.

Creamy, gingerbready, perfection. Not too tart, not too much pumpkin, just the right amount of cream cheese. This recipe will be one I make every year. 

Sure pumpkin and pecan pie are a must for every Thanksgiving celebration, but see if you can’t find a way to sneak in this recipe as well. Your guests will be extra thankful for you if you do.

Trust me.

Pumpkin Cheesecake

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SlightlyModified from this recipe

30 Gingersnap Cookies, pulsed
4 Tbsp Brown Sugar
1 tsp Ground Cinnamon
1/2 teaspoons Salt
5 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter, Melted

3 packages Cream Cheese, softened, 24 ounces total
1 can pumpkin puree (15 ounces)
4 whole Large Eggs
1/3 cups Sour Cream
1 1/2 cup Sugar
1 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
1/2 teaspoons Ground Ginger
1/2 teaspoons Ground Nutmeg
1/2 teaspoons Ground Cloves
1/2 teaspoons Salt
2 Tablespoons All-purpose Flour
2 teaspoons Vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

In a food processor, add in cookies, sugar, cinnamon and salt. Pulse until the mixture is in crumbs. Add in butter and pulse until it is combined.

Grease a 9 in Springform pan. Press gingerbread crumbs into springform pan.  Bake for 8 minutes.

While gingerbread crust is baking, combine cream cheese and pumpkin in a bowl.  Mix together. Once combined, add eggs one at a time. When eggs are completely mixed in, add in remaining ingredients and beat until just combined.

When crust is done, remove from oven and place on a large sheet of aluminum foil.  Carefully wrap foil up around the sides of the springform, making sure to carefully seal all edges.  Pour cheesecake batter into the springform. 

Prepare a water bath with luke warm water.  If you don’t know what a water bath is, check this out.  It will help keep your cheesecake from cracking.  Although, mine still cracked slightly.  No one will care once they bite into it though, so don’t stress too much!

Bake for 90 minutes.  Once done, carefully remove from springform and let cool.  Serve with homemade whipped cream. Or, if you are in a rush like I was last night, use the canned stuff.

Try not to eat it all yourself.  I realize this could be difficult.

 Lizzie is such a good sport with all the picture taking. Since I already had such a tiny bite ready to go, I thought she deserved a little taste of the cheesecake.

Yes, she is spoiled.

Our Friendsgiving was delicious. I feel very lucky to have such a great group of friends to celebrate holidays with, and am extra thankful that they are all great cooks.

A few people couldn’t make it last night, and they were missed dearly. Hopefully we will be repeating our dinner for the Christmas holiday and everyone will be able to make it.

Stay tuned for 5 more countdown to Thanksgiving recipes throughout the next few days!

And of course, here is your daily reminder to vote for the Healthy Food Fight fan favorite. Tomorrow I am coming at you with a healthy and delicious appetizer/salad that would make the perfect addition to the holiday table.

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