Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake

September 27th, 2016

Cheesecake and pumpkin pie lovers unite! This delectable recipe will be the next big hit at a weekend football party, fall soiree or Thanksgiving dinner, and it combines the spiciness of pumpkin with the creaminess of cheesecake. Dig in!

What you’ll need:

  • 1/2 cup crushed graham crackers
  • 1 cup crushed gingersnap cookies
  • 1/3 cup butter, melted
  • 2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 medium eggs
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

Directions:

  1. In a medium bowl, mix together cream cheese, 1/2 cup sugar and vanilla until smooth. Mix in eggs one at a time, blending well.
  2. Set aside 1 cup of the plain mixture and blend 1/4 cup sugar, pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg and pumpkin pie spice into the remaining mixture to make a pumpkin flavored batter. Place in the refrigerator.
  3. Preheat oven to 350°F. In a medium bowl, mix together crushed gingersnap cookies, crushed graham crackers and butter.
  4. Press into the bottom of a 9-inch spring-form pan, going about 1-inch up the sides. Bake crust for about 10 minutes, set aside to cool.
  5. Once the crust has cooled, spread the pumpkin flavored batter (Step 2) over the crust and dollop the plain batter (Step 1) onto the top. Swirl with a knife to create a marbled look.
  6. Wrap the bottom of the spring-form pan in foil, set in a large roasting pan and fill with an inch or two of water. Bake for about 55 minutes in the preheated oven or until filling is set and slightly browned. Run a knife around the edge of the pan. Allow to cool before removing rim of spring-form pan and chill for at least 4 hours before serving.

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Fall Mantel Decorating: Colorful Chalkboards, Prints and Wreaths

September 22nd, 2016

Fall is officially here, which means it’s time to pull out all the stops when it comes to autumn decorating. Your front door and dining table may be ready for ringing in the new season, but we can’t forget about the fireplace mantel, a focal point (or points) for many homes. Here are some ways to adorn your mantel in the rich colors and decor of fall.

Chalkboards, Prints and Wreaths

The chalkboard is an underrated home accent. Place one in a rustic frame and you can decorate for any season or occasion with white chalk or colorful chalk. On this mantel, the chalkboard is an alluring focal point, bringing our eyes in to focus on the detailed candlesticks, pumpkins and fall flowers.

47 Cozy Fall Mantel Decor Ideas
Photo by ComfyDwelling.comLook for home design pictures

A fall print also draws the eye to a mantel, and creates a seasonal look without a lot of fuss. This space is accented by pumpkins and a leafy garland, which accentuates the autumn look without being overdone.

Living Room Fall Mantle
Photo by Savvy SeasonsLook for traditional living room design inspiration

Wreaths are always our go-to home accent for any season, and is best if complemented by candles and a matching garland. The grapevine pumpkins and accessories shown on this mantel maintain an autumn look while blending in with the stonework as to not take away from the beautiful wreath.

Fall Mantle Display
Photo by Savvy SeasonsBrowse traditional home design photos

Color (or No Color)

These warm tones are not too bright yet not too dull, and offer a warm, cozy feeling that is perfect for surrounding a fireplace. With the exception of the seasonal banner and pumpkins, this is a look that could be carried all year and easily swapped out for the changing seasons.

47 Cozy Fall Mantel Decor Ideas
Photo by ComfyDwelling.comDiscover home design design inspiration

This aqua blue is a great complement to the muted oranges and yellows in this display, and the varying textures and surfaces – of the chalkboard frame, pottery bowl, ceramic planter – adds an extra touch of natural appeal that is quite becoming of the season.

47 Cozy Fall Mantel Decor Ideas
Photo by ComfyDwelling.comBrowse home design ideas
Sometimes the brightest colors do the best job at creating a whimsical fall look, even if the objects are simple. Bright orange and red leaves stand out with the bright orange pumpkin against a pale eggshell blue wall and white home accents on this mantel, leaving no room for doubt that autumn is upon us.
47 Cozy Fall Mantel Decor Ideas
Photo by ComfyDwelling.comLook for home design pictures

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Favorite Party Punch Recipes

September 20th, 2016

Today is Punch Day, but no worries, this particular designation celebrates the delicious beverage served at almost every holiday party, birthday party, wedding and other special events. Here are some of our favorite punch recipes for any occasion, just add the sparkling or alcoholic beverage of your choice.

Cran-Orange Punch

What you’ll need:                                      Directions:

  • 16 fluid ounces cranberry juice             1. In a large punch bowl or pitcher, mix the cranberry juice,
  • 16 fluid ounces ginger ale                         ginger ale, lemon juice and orange juice.
  • 4 fluid ounces lemon juice                    2. Add honey and combine well; serve over ice.
  • 8 fluid ounces orange juice, no pulp
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons honey

LemonsHoneydew Punch

What you’ll need:

  • 4 cups seeded honeydew melon, cubed
  • 1 cup lemonade
  • 3 kiwi, peeled and chopped
  • 1 1/3 cups white grape juice, unsweetened

Directions:

  1. Place the melon chunks and 1/2 cup lemonade in a large blender; cover and blend until smooth.
  2. Pour through a strainer into a large pitcher to remove any pulp and solids.Place the remaining 1/2 cup lemonade and chopped kiwis in the blender; cover and blend until smooth.
  3. Again, pour through the strainer into a large pitcher*.
  4. Add the white grape juice, stir well, and refrigerate at least 2 hours or up to 3 days. Serve over ice.

*Note: Alternatively, you can place all the melon, lemonade and chopped kiwi in a very large food processor fitted with the chopping blade, and process until smooth. Pour through a strainer into a large pitcher, then proceed with step 3.

Beverage Dispenser with Chalkboard Label & Stand

Apple Cider Punch

What you’ll need:

  • 12 cups apple cider
  • 4 cups fresh orange juice
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice, or to taste
  • 1 bottle sparkling white grape juice
  • 1 medium Macintosh apple
  • Cinnamon for garnish

Directions:

  1. Stir apple cider, orange juice, lemon juice and white grape juice together in a punch bowl or beverage dispenser.
  2. Thinly slice the apple vertically and place in the punch.
  3. Refrigerate until serving; pour into wine or champagne glasses or leave in punch bowl. Sprinkle with cinnamon, if desired.

Classic Fruit Punch

What you’ll need:

  • 64 fluid ounces fruit punch, chilled
  • 64 fluid ounces unsweetened pineapple juice, chilled
  • 1 (2-liter) bottle ginger ale, chilled
  • 1/2 gallon orange sherbert

Directions:

  1. In a large punch bowl, mix together fruit punch, pineapple juice and ginger ale.
  2. Using an ice cream scoop, add sherbet into the punch.
  3. Once the sherbet is slightly melted, gently stir and serve.

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