Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Pumpkin cream cheese cakes & food & fall in Canada

Oh my!  It's been forever since I've posted.  Please forgive me.  I took a short, much-needed, amazing vacation.

Seven days split between Vancouver & Victoria.  Although Duke & I have travelled far & wide, I must say that this is one of my top vacations, if not the best.  Autumn was in full swing when we arrived.  I couldn't have imagined better, more vibrant colors.  We managed to pack in loads of sight-seeing, but also had nice evenings lounging by the fireplace.  And hours of sleep!  Yay for vacations.

I was excited for time off, but honestly, I wasn't expecting exciting cuisine.  Boy was I wrong!

World-class sushi at Tojo's prepared by Tojo himself.    To die for.

And a four course dinner at Sooke Harbour House.  The seafood was fresh and purchased at local markets the morning of.  For breakfast was continental breakfast(in bed)like I've never seen before.  All freshly baked to order!

Not to mention the open market at Granville Island.  The scents of spices at one end & fresh-baked pies at the other end, the bustling banter between customer and seller, the vibrant colors.  Duke & I were both in heaven.

Naturally, the first thing I wanted to do when I came home was hit the kitchen.  I went to my kitchen & found no milk, eggs, whipping cream.  Bummer.  But then I remembered these little pumpkin cuties that I had book-marked from one of my favorite food bloggers, Kelly from Eat Yourself Skinny.  Bingo.  I had all the ingredients.

These are a no-bake, light, decadent treat.  And when I say no-bake, I mean it.  I tried to bake the crust for a few minutes and smoked the house out.  Ooops.

Happy to be home!

Stay tuned for more fun recipes.

7 graham cracker sheets (I used 4 ounces of graham crumbs)
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
2 Tbsp sugar
4 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
Cheesecake Mixture
8 oz. Cool Whip Free
1 (8 oz) package cream cheese
1/4 cup sugar (or 6 Splenda packets)
2 tsp. vanilla extract
Pumpkin Mixture
1/3 cup pumpkin puree
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/8 tsp. allspice
In a food processor, grind up the graham cracker sheets into fine crumbs.  {If you don’t have a food processor or blender, place the graham crackers into a bag and crush them with a rolling pan or a cup.}  Place the graham cracker crumbs into a bowl and add in the ground cinnamon and sugar.  Melt the butter and add it to the graham cracker crumbs.
Line a cupcake pan with cupcake liners and put one tablespoon of the graham cracker crumb mixture in the bottom of each liner.  Press down the crumbs with your hand.  Set aside.
In a large bowl, whip the cream cheese, vanilla extract and sugar (or Splenda) for a few minutes until fluffy.  Add the Cool Whip and whip until smooth.  To make the pumpkin mixture, combine the pumpkin puree, ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg, ground ginger and allspice.  Add 2/3 cup of the cheesecake mixture to the pumpkin mixture.  Stir with a spatula until the two batters are completely combined and there are no lumps.
Using a cookie dough scooper (or spoon), fill each cupcake liner with 1 1/2 scoop fulls of the cheesecake mixture.  Each liner should be filled almost to the top.  Now place three dots of pumpkin batter onto the cheesecake batter in the liner.  I used a 1/4 teaspoon to scoop the pumpkin batter.  Use a toothpick to swirl the two batters.
Once each cheesecake cup is swirled, placed the cupcake pans into the fridge to chill for a few hours (I chose to keep mine in overnight) until firm.  Serve and enjoy!


  1. Glad you had a good vacation. I like your photos.

  2. Welcome back! These little cheesecakes look amazing. I like individual dessert, they make for such a great presentation. Also these look to have just the right amount of pumpkin, sometimes that flavor is over used and therefore overpowering. Thanks for sharing.