Pumpkin-chocolate Cheesecake Pie

This is my favorite Thanksgiving pie of all time!!! However, it’s so good that I could eat it all year round!!!


Deep dish pie crust

12 oz cream cheese, softened

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1 egg, lightly beaten

3/4 cup finely chopped semisweet chocolate or miniature chocolate pieces

1 (15 oz) can pumpkin

2/3 cup packed brown sugar

2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice (can add more spices to taste)

4 eggs, lightly beaten

3/4 cup half-and-half or light cream

Chopped chocolate (optional)


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. In mixing bowl beat cream cheese, 1/4 cup sugar, and 1 egg on low speed until smooth. Spread cream cheese mixture in baked deep-dish pie pastry shell (see recipe below). Sprinkle with finely chopped chocolate.

In bowl combine pumpkin, brown sugar, and pumpkin pie spice. Stir in 4 eggs. Stir in half-and-half. Slowly pour pumpkin mixture over chocolate layer. To prevent overbrowning, cover pie edge with foil.

Bake 60 to 65 minutes or until knife inserted near center comes out clean. Remove foil. Cool on wire rack. Cover and chill within 2 hours. Top with chopped chocolate. Makes 8 servings.

Deep-dish pie pastry Instructions:

In medium bowl combine 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Using pastry blender, cut in 6 tablespoons chilled shortening until pieces are pea size. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon cold water over part of flour mixture; toss with fork. Push moistened dough to side of bowl. Repeat using 1 tablespoon water at a time, until all flour is moistened (5 to 6 tablespoons total). Form into ball. On lightly floured surface, flatten dough.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Transfer pastry cirle to 9 1/2 to 10 inch dep dish pie plate. Trim to 1/2 inch beyond edge of plate. Crimp edge high. Using fork, prick bottom and sides of pastry. Line pastry with double thickness of foil. Bake 8 minutes. Remove foil; bake 5 to 6 minutes more or until golden. Cool on wire rack.


Dad’s Chicken Enchiladas

My Dad is one of the best cooks I know, which is funny because it’s only within the last few years that he’s actually cooked for us. Growing up I don’t remember him cooking very much. He cooks according to feel and taste, and most of the time just makes things up. These are my favorite enchiladas of all time!

Sauce Ingredients:

1 bunch cilantro (finely chopped)

1 bunch green onions

1 medium onion

2-3 medium tomatoes

3-4 tomatillos

1 each of red, yellow & green bellpeppers

2 limes

4-5 chili peppers

some Jalapenos

1-2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

1-2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1 teaspoon chili powder

1/2 tablespoon salt

1/2-1 tablespoon pepper

2 tablespoons minced garlic


Food process everything, cook on stove 30-45 minutes.

Filling Ingredients:

2-3 chicken breasts 3/4 inch diced

Cream of mushroom or cream of chicken soup

12+ oz grated mexican cheese

corn or flour tortillas


Brown chicken in skillet, add 1/2-1 cup sauce. Cover and simmer 20-30 minutes until cooked through. Add 1+ can of soup (or sour cream). Heat through and add mexican cheese.

Put some sauce in the bottom of a baking dish. Put filling in tortillas and wrap. Fill the pan with wrapped enchiladas. Cover enchiladas with the remainder of the filling and then pour the rest of the sauce on top.

Bake covered with foil at 350 degrees for 1/2 hour. Add 4-8 oz more cheese to cover well, then bake uncovered for another 15 minutes.



2 Cups sugar

1 cup butter or margarine

1 cup corn syrup

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 (13 oz) can sweetened condensed milk

1 cup chopped nuts (optional)



Combine sugar, butter and corn syrup in 3 quart bowl. Microwave, uncovered, on HIGH 5 minutes or until butter is melted. Stir to dissolve sugar; gradually blend in condensed milk. Microwave on HIGH, uncovered, 15 to 17 minutes or until 240 degrees is reached (firm ball), stirring 4 to 5 times and checking temperature in the “last few minutes.”

Stir in vanilla and nuts. Pour onto buttered cookie sheet or 13×9 inch pan. Cool to lukewarm; cut into 1 inch squares as needed. Wrap each caramel in wax paper or plastic wrap. Makes 2 pounds.

Mama Pat’s Bacon Cheese Dip

Mama Pat buys the #lb size of bacon bits at Costco because they are always fresh and will do a lot of recipes. They cost about $7, which in the long run is a lot cheaper than buying a small bottle at the store.


1 Package Ranch Dip (NOT dressing dip)

1 Carton Sour Cream (16 oz)

1 Cup grated cheese (or more if desired)

1 Cup bacon bits



Stir ranch dip into sour cream, stir in bacon bits and cheese. Serve with crackers of any kind and enjoy!

Mom’s Homemade Waffles


1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

2 egg yolks

1 3/4 cups milk

1/2 cup cooking oil or shortening, melted

2 egg whites


In a large mixing bowl stir together flour, baking powder & 1/2 teaspoon salt. In a small mixing bowl beat egg yolks with a fork. Beat in milk and cooking oil or melted shortening. Add to flour mixture all at once. Stir mixture till blended but still slightly lumpy.

In a small mixer bowl beat egg whites till still peaks form. Gently fold beaten egg whites into flour-milk mixture, leaving a few fluffs of white. Do not overmix.

Pour batter onto grids of a preheated, greased waffle baker, close and cook until golden brown. Eat with toppings of choice.


 This recipe is also from my friend Jiyoung. Just experiment with the seasonings to find a good combination of tastes!


 Ground beef

Purple sweet potato starch noodles (from Asian store)

Red/yellow/orange peppers



Soy sauce

Brown sugar


Sesame oil

Sesame seed


Boil the sweet potato noodles. Cook ground beef with salt. Fry onions and peppers separately with salt. Steam spinach.

Drain and cool noodles with cold water and then place them in a large bowl. Cut the noodles with clean scissors into smaller, more manageable lengths.

Add vegetables and seasonings to the noodles to taste. Serve cold.


My sweet Korean friend Jiyoung taught me how to make Bulgogi. However, she cooks according to feel and was unable to give me exact measurements on the ingredients. She goes heavy on the soy sauce, light on the sesame oil, sesame seed and red pepper. You just have to experiment to find a taste you love.


 Beef (roast, sirloin, etc)


  • Onion
  • Green, red, yellow pepper
  • Carrots (matchstick)
  • Mushrooms

Soy sauce (from an Asian store, not any of the American junk)


Sesame oil

Sesame seed

Red pepper powder (also from an Asian store)

Garlic (at least 4 cloves)


Romaine lettuce leaves


Slice the beef into bite size strips and place in a large bowl. Add vegetables and seasonings (to taste) and mix thoroughly. In a large saucepan (or two) cook until meat is done. Do NOT drain the juices. As the meat cooks the juices will be absorbed. If you drain the juices, you will lose the delicious flavors. Serve with rice on a lettuce leaf and enjoy!

Tikka Masala

Tikka Masala

Cook Time: 60 minutes plus prep time (chicken must be marinaded overnight)

Serves: 6


Masala Marinade:
1 cup plain low-fat yogurt
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
Salt and freshly ground pepper


2 pounds chicken breasts (about 3-4 chicken breasts) (Can also be made with shrimp, lamb, and/or vegetables)
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1/4 cup blanched whole almonds
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
1 1/2 tablespoons garam masala (if you don’t want to buy this spice blend, google “make your own garam masala” to check out some homemade versions)
1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (last time the garam masala recipe I found contained a lot of cayenne pepper. In the future I’ll go easy on the cayenne pepper because it was a little bit too much.)
28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
16-ounce can tomato sauce
Pinch of sugar
1 cup heavy cream

Garnish: lots of fresh cilantro


  1. In a large glass or stainless steel bowl, combine the yogurt, garlic, ginger, cumin, coriander, cardamom, cayenne and turmeric. Season with salt and pepper (about 1/4 teaspoon each). Using a sharp knife, make a few shallow slashes in each piece of chicken. Add the chicken to the marinade, turn to coat and refrigerate covered overnight.
  2. In a small skillet, heat 1 teaspoon of the oil. Add the almonds and cook over moderate heat, stirring constantly, until golden, about 5 minutes. Transfer the almonds to a plate and let cool completely. In a food processor, pulse the almonds until finely ground.
  3. In a large enameled cast-iron dutch oven or a large pot, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil until shimmering. Add the onion, garlic and ginger and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until tender and golden, about 6-8 minutes. Add the garam masala, chili powder and cayenne and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes with their juices, the tomato sauce and the sugar. Season with salt and pepper. Cover partially and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, for about 5-10 minutes. While the mixture begins to simmer, remove the chicken from the marinade and cut into bite-sized pieces. Throw the chicken into the pot of simmering tomato sauce. Continue simmering/cooking the chicken, partially covered, for an additional 10-20 minutes until the chicken is cooked through and the sauce has reduced and thickened just slightly. Add the cream and ground almonds and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 10 minutes longer. Serve with lots of fresh cilantro over hot, steamed rice. Can be refrigerated for up to 3 days after making, reheat gently before serving.

This recipe is from: http://www.melskitchencafe.com/2010/05/chicken-tikka-masala-2.html