let’s put the cart before the horse, and begin with not one…but three recipes…….
pesto cheesecake……the beginning
1 tablespoon butter-
1/4 cup dry bread crumbs-
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese,
16 oz. softened cream cheese,
1 cup ricotta cheese,
1 tablespoon salt,
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper,
1/2 cup prepared pesto sauce,
1/4 cup pine nuts
1. rub butter on bottom and sides of 9 inch spring-foam pan. mix bread crumbs with 2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese. coat pan with mixture.
2. blend cream cheese, ricotta, salt, cayenne and 1/2 cup parmesan in large bowl until light. add eggs one at a time. beat well. set aside 1/2 of the mixture.
3. blend the other 1/2 with the prepared pesto sauce. pour into the prepared spring-foam pan, smooth the top. carefully spoon the plain mix over the top, smooth. top with pine nuts.
bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for about 45 minutes. loosen sides, release spring, transfer to platter. garnish with fresh basil sprig. serve warm with crackers. yield 16-18 servings.
5 pounds ground beef,
3 teaspoons cumin,
1 large package frozen onions,
6 one pound cans of chopped tomatoes,
6 one pound cans of chili beans,
4 cans tomato soup,
3 tablespoons salt,
1 teaspoon pepper,
2 tablespoons chili powder (do not drain the liquid from the beans and tomatoes)
saute beef and onions. add seasonings. add rest of ingredients. simmer 4 hours. do not add water.
NOTE: the truth of how you do this is make it a few days ahead, open your spice drawer and keep adding spices. add lots more cumin, chili powder, and a ton of lawry’s salt and pepper.
pumpkin somethin……the end
1 cup milk,
1 cup sugar,
1 teaspoon cinnamon,
1/4 teaspoon ginger,
1/8 teaspoon cloves,
1/2 teaspoon salt,
1 large can of pumpkin,
1 package yellow cake mix,
3/4 cup nuts,
1 and 1/2 stick of margarine.
mix well the milk, eggs, sugar, spices, pumpkin and salt. pour in a 13 x 9 inch pan. sprinkle dry cake mix over the top of mixture. drizzle melted margarine over top. sprinkle nuts on top. bake for 1 hour at 350 degrees, or until browned.
my name….sally nilsen….i’m “the appreciator’s” aunt (joan is my sister)
the story…..how does a tradition begin? i know exactly how this one began. my husband and i have lived in california for forty four years. sisters, parents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents on both sides all lived in other states. with no “blood” relatives nearby, our friends became very important, especially during the holidays. we had spent our first five thanksgivings in california with two friends who were transferred to boston. they vowed to always return for the thanksgiving celebration. they kept their promise, and to kick off the weekend together, i decided to have a chili party….easy….could make it ahead, and enjoy our “company.”
about forty years ago we started with about 10 people. now the group has swelled to 75 +. i triple and half the chili recipe. lots of oyster crackers, grated cheese, chopped onions and sliced jalapenos are available.
i throw together some large bags of marie callendar’s prepared corn bread mix (add water, bake, it’s done), buy about $100.00 worth of colonel saunders cole slaw, put it in my own glass bowl..nobody knows (expensive, i know, but easy and goes nicely with the chili) and enjoy my guests. my husband tends the bar, people get their chili dinner whenever they want, some stay a long time, others drop by to have a quick dinner, and say hello. if there are any leftovers we enjoy them the rest of the weekend, along with turkey sandwiches.
i really have to admit that this is my favorite party to give.
it opens up the holiday season and brings good friends together. now the event has trickled into other generations. if a grandparent is in town they come and our children’s friends come with their children. i hear people ask, “are you going to wednesday night before thanksgiving at the nilsens?” and i sit back, relax, and think about how “the tradition” began.