Posts Tagged Pumpkin Cheesecake

Coo-Coo Pumpkin Crack Addict and The Dempsey’s Green Bean

16 November 2009
“Coo-Coo Crack Addict” – THAT is how Jeffrey describes himself in relation to the pumpkin pancakes I made Saturday morning.  I love it, love it, love it!  He took a whole stack of them down to San Jose with him today – and apparently only has one left.
there’s nothing like homemade pumpkin pancakes made with homegrown, fresh pumpkin!
My Coo-Coo Pumpkin-Pancake Crack Addict husband has been my #1 supporter for quite a while now – and even when I’ve done things that aren’t exactly smart…like once when I was working for Patrick Dempsey…………
Having just met Jeffrey , and still desperately wanting to see each other as much as possible, we were constantly figuring out ways to meet up even during work hours.  As a nanny, this was pretty easy: T-loo and I would go to lunch; Jeffrey would meet us there.  T-loo and I would go to the park; Jeffrey would meet us there.  One of Talula’s favorite parks was near where Jeffrey was working, and it was an easy walk for him to visit.  So on this particular day, T and I headed out to play, parking the Dempsey’s car on La Cienega Blvd.  I paid my meter, and recorded when I would need to return to feed it.  Hand in hand, Talula and I made the trek over to the play structure and soon Jeffrey walked up and sat with me as we watch all the kids playing and doing the things kids do at a park.  Time went by quickly, and glancing at my watch, I exclaimed, “OH DEAR! We need to go!”  It was 4:05 and my meter expired in 5 minutes.  I hurriedly gathered T’s toys and swooshed her up into my arms.  We jaunted over to the corner, and glanced up, half expecting the meter maid to be writing a ticket. But there was no meter maid; in fact, there was no car.  I looked at Jeffrey –
“Um. The Rover used to be right there.” Panic set in. “Oh my god, what am I going to do???” I stared at the street sign.
“NO PARKING 4 – 7 pm Tuesdays” CRAP! CRAP! CRAP! CRAP!
Talula started crying.
“Where’s the Green Bean????” she hollered, asking about her favorite car.  With a knot in my stomach and tears in my eyes, I made the call to my employer.
“So, Um. Yeah. Your nanny is an idiot.”
After much worry, stress, embarrassment and complications, Jeffrey headed back to his office.  T and I waited on the street corner for mommy to come pick us up in her car, and we headed down to Beverly Hills City Hall to pay the $150 ticket.  Jeffrey met me there.
“So, um, this is my good friend Jeffrey. He works up the street from here.” I gave no mention that he had been with me at the park.
“HEY JEFFREY!!!!!!!!!” Talula blurted out.
“Nice to meet you,” Jeffrey responded, dutifully guarding that we had just seen each other.
T went home with her mommy, and my future husband and I braved the traffic to Santa Monica Impound Lot to retrieve the Dempsey’s car.  That, my friends, is a good man…I didn’t lose my job, but you better believe I never lived it down.
It was the constant joke: “Have fun at the park, but PLEASE don’t get the car towed!” I’d always turn bright, bright, blotchy red in embarrassment, and leave as quickly as possible with the sound of their laughter and giggles following me! I think I might even be blushing as I write this!!! 

Oh, and one last thing…after having met Jeffrey at BH City Hall, Jill asked me, “So, hey, why don’t you date him?” And then she caught herself and said, “Oh, wait. Is he gay? Yeah, he’s probably gay! He’s way too fit and well dressed.”

Aaah, memories.
Frank is doing spectacularly. He’s gained weight, isn’t swollen, and has only a tiny edema left on his belly.  I couldn’t be more thrilled – so I’m just going to keep doing what I’m doing.  I may need to actually cut DOWN on his food soon or he’s going to be a fatso!




I managed to pump out a pumpkin pecan cheesecake that I’ll freeze and put out on the buffet table for Thanksgiving next week.  It kinda goes along with the celebrity story of today…one picture looks great, another tells the truth! Yeah, even the nuts couldn’t hide the damage – but with the right angle, TAH-DAH beauty!
RANDOM PHOTOS OF THE DAY
Boots on his way to see Frankie and Avdoo


It was WINDY today!

P.S. Jeffrey’s worried that I’m going to sound like an irresponsible nanny.  The Dempsey’s knew that I met up with friends, I just wasn’t ready to tell them I was dating him.

My husband is retarded

14 November 2009
Seriously, what is up with my husband?!?! Tonight I was struggling to figure out our schedule for the weekend. Jeffrey and I discussed a few options about getting friends and family together for a tiny celebration for my birthday.  We also briefly discussed that I wanted to head downtown to see a friend tomorrow night.  A few hours later, I picked up the same conversation, and he looked at me with a blank face and said, “What are you talking about?” My eyes bulged.  My jaw clenched.  I was about to bite my tongue and choose my words carefully, but before I managed to, out spewed, “WHAT THE HECK??? Weren’t you listening?!?”
He smirked, knowing he’d done something that pissed me off, but seemingly had no idea WHAT: “Listening to what?” His cute, defiant little smile definitely saved him from a tirade from me… “OOOOOH,” he said, “I just registered that whole conversation incorrectly, I thought you were talking about something ELSE.”  Um, yeah, ok…what’d you think I was talking about: waxing?!?! Dumba**.
ARGH!  Jeffrey. I love him, but he’s a butt head.
ANYWAY…moving onward.  I got a text message late this evening from my good friend Jason Boots who is going to be in town for a quick 24 hours. He is playing at Dantes tomorrow in downtown Portland.  Boots (no, I didn’t name my dog after him; my dog was named when I got him) was part of our LA group years ago, and like all the rest of us, has followed his own path.  For what seems like ages now, he has toured with Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers – a band from Arizona that has a crazy cult following.  He comes fairly frequently to the Portland area, so I get to see him every so often.  We’re trying to work out  a way to have them all visit the farm, as Boots wants them to see our little piece of heaven.  At the moment, transportation is a bit complicated for them, so we’re not sure if it will happen.  Just in case, I’m rolling some menu ideas around in my head!
Since Jeffrey was home today, I actually made lunch…well, I TRIED to make him lunch.  I had planned to make pork chops, broccoli, and some kind of carb, but just as I started the honey pecan sauce, Jim and Annette Neely came to the door.  They had brought a load of Frank’s new hay and were dropping off the bill.  Of course, I had to give them an update on the Frankster, and Annette had to meet the dogs and see all their scars, as well as have a looksie around the garden (that is now mulched and ugly).  We had a nice visit and I headed back in.
Lower Rose Garden

Looking up into the main rose garden

Returning to the kitchen, I was greeted by the stench of burning honey, pecans, and pork chops.  CRAP!!!!! I ran to the stove, hoping to save whatever was left, but nothing much had escaped the charcoling process.  I somehow managed to salvage the chops (by slicing off their burnt side), and Jeffrey said they were still incredible.  I was disappointed to not have a complete photo to accompany the recipe, but it was nice to see that he still loves that dish after all these years!
The sauce before the Neely’s visit

The sauce AFTER the Neely’s visit

The salvaged lunch *yes, that broccoli is from our summer garden – I froze it*
Ellie still isn’t 100% herself.  She’s just “off” – I’m thinking she might have a little bit of the scratchy throat that I have been fighting.  You can hear the rasp when she yells, “Uppp- Peee!!!” Her little voice calling out, “Mama” is just so darn cute; she rarely calls me, so when she does it makes me grin fro

m ear to ear.  I think she might be having a little bit of a love affair with her pajamas.  She goes to her pj drawer, pulls all of them out, and attempts to put one set on while carrying the others in her hand or thrown over her shoulder or over her head.  It’s become an obsession.  Some kids have their blankies; some kids have their stuffies; but my daughter has her pajamas!

See! She’s wearing them over her clothes!
With EG taking two naps today (well, one nap and one quiet time), I had plenty of time to filter and bottle more of my crazy infusions: Blackberry, Original Pear and Wild Cherry.  I have the most of the Blackberry, which happens to be one of the slowest to filter.  If I don’t filter it enough, it can get rather “syrupy.” I don’t know about you, but I don’t like drinking syrup.
The fourth and last filtering for the blackberry vodka

Three of the bottles waiting for labels!
Jeffrey took Ellie Graye with him when he took Victor and Lorena home, giving me a chance to make dinner.  Things were nearly done when they returned, but the last minute touches needed to be done.  Ellie loves helping, and sat patiently on my hip as I finished up.  If she pays attention, she’ll be a top chef before she’s 5 years old! Go ELLIE!
I didn’t realize the knives were within her reach until I saw this picture! I need to be more aware!!!

Chicken with a mushroom balsamic reduction sauce and spinach orzo
We had dinner, and then continued to be together as a family – a treat that is rare!  EG didn’t let Daddy have a minute’s break, but I think he may very well have loved every second!
First they built towers

And Ellie Graye knocked them down

then they did some upside down swinging…

and she asked for more!

when that was over, they did some flying…

and she asked for more!

when sign language didn’t work, she tried tears…
but he was just too worn out!

so it was off to bed for Ellie Graye! Goodnight, Moon!
After putting “la preciosa” down (as Lorena calls her), Jeffrey headed into the TV room to watch a movie, and I headed to the kitchen.  You see, I have this fear that the pumpkins from my garden don’t taste like pumpkins. Yeah, I know, stupid, right?  But seriously, what if I had grown pumpkins that weren’t really pumpkins.  I’ve never done this before, and I have been suspicious that the people who sell pumpkins to grocery stores have this big huge secret – besides using pesticides, and herbicides, and genetically modified seeds.  I had made pumpkin bread the other day, and thought it tasted great, but I don’t trust my taste buds – not one bit.  In the back of my head, I have been thinking, what if this pumpkin bread is just good because of the nutmeg, the allspice, the cinnamon, the sugar…what if the spices tricked my brain into thinking that this bread tastes like the pumpkin bread I make from canned pumpkin? I’d be mortified if I gave it to a friend and they couldn’t taste the pumpkin!
Constant doubting of my gardening, cooking and baking ability is why I married my husband – yep, the one and only reason! I needed a brutally honest taste tester, who will try anything.  That’s what I got: a husband who is always blunt about what is crap and incredibly complimentary if it’s good.  So, as I handed him the pumpkin bread, I fully expected him to say, “Hmmm. Doesn’t really taste like pumpkin.”
“How is it?” I asked.
“It’s pumpkin bread. I like pumpkin bread.”
“But does it taste like pumpkin?”
“Uh, yeah.”
“Are you sure.”
“Yeah.”
“Are you REALLY sure?”
“YES!”
“You’re not lying to me because you want me to be happy?”
“Oh My God, Melissa. It’s GOOD!”
“Damn it, you don’t sound convinced. I’m going to try another recipe.”
And soon I was slaving away over a layered pumpkin cheesecake – maybe not “slaving,” but certainly going at it.  I do “cheat” on some recipes sometimes, and this was one of those cases.  I had bought mini-graham cracker crusts when they were on sale, and it was the perfect time to bring them out! Because this was a test run of the recipe, having many individual cakes meant that I wouldn’t ruin the visual of a full-size cheesecake by removing a single slice!  I’ve made this cheesecake many, many times, so I had a good reference as to what it should taste like.
First layer: plain cheesecake

folding in the roasted pumpkin

Second layer: pumpkin – I was worried because of the lack of the usual glowing sunset color

Coolin

g…

As it turns out, the first bite of these simple looking cakes nearly my knocked both Jeffrey and I off our feet. They were INSANELY delicious.  Jeffrey took it so far as to say that they’re the best thing that has ever come out of my oven – THAT, my dear friends, is saying something.  Over the years, I’ve baked some kick-ass delectables, and there’s no denying that these are at the top of my “Scrummy Yummy” list. YUM, YUM, SCRUMMY YUM!!!! All my fear about not using canned pumpkin? For naught. Never again will I bake with canned pumpkin – from here on out, it’s Deer Park Pumpkins all the way.
RANDOM PHOTOS OF THE DAY
one of my favorite things about my kitchen…

Easy in, easy out; no plugging and unplugging, no heavy lifting; no ugly appliance on the counter

Roasted Pumpkin bagged for freezing; each bag is about the equivalent of a small can of pumpkin – if you want to buy some from me, let me know! It’s the best!