PUMPKIN CHEESECAKE + CLIMBING DAISY

We have so very much to be thankful for this year – and decade.  It has been a time filled with friends, family, color, design, light, laughter, growth, and, of course, good food.

May your celebrations this year be filled with laughter, light, love, and Pumpkin Cheesecake!

xo from Natalie and all of us @ Alabama Chanin

To make pumpkin puree:

Cut in half one sugar pumpkin and scoop out the seeds. Place the pumpkin half-side down on a roasting pan and fill with ¼ inch of water. Bake at 350 degrees for an hour, or until soft. Scoop out the meat and puree until smooth.

I have also used organic canned pumpkin with good results.

For the crust:

1 c. graham cracker crumbs (I have also used crushed shortbread cookies)
1/4 c. chopped pecans
1/4 c. brown sugar
4 T. unsalted butter, softened

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, with rack in center. Assemble a 9-inch nonstick springform pan, with the raised side of the bottom part facing up.

In a medium bowl, mix cracker crumbs, pecans, sugar, and butter until moistened; press firmly into bottom of springform pan. Bake until golden around edges, 10 to 12 minutes.

For the Filling:

4 (8 oz.) packages of cream cheese, very soft
1 1/4 c. sugar
3 T. all-purpose flour
1 1/2 c. pumpkin puree
1 t. ground cinnamon
1/2 t. ground ginger
1/4 t. freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 t. ground allspice
1 T. bourbon
1 T. vanilla extract
1/2 t. salt
4 large eggs, room temperature

Make the filling: With an electric mixer, beat cream cheese and sugar on low speed until smooth; mix in flour (do not overmix). Add pumpkin puree, spices, bourbon, vanilla, and salt; mix just until smooth. Add eggs one at a time, mixing until each is incorporated before adding the next.

Place springform pan on a rimmed baking sheet. Pour filling into springform, and gently smooth top. Transfer to oven; reduce oven heat to 300 degrees. Bake 45 minutes. Turn off oven; let cheesecake stay in oven 2 hours more (without opening).

Remove from oven; cool completely. Cover and refrigerate until firm, at least 4 hours.

Gently lay our Climbing Daisy Stencil over the top of the cooled cake and dust with cinnamon.

 

ROSANNE CASH + KRISTA TIPPETT, THANK YOU

Rosanne Cash has become one our favorite clients, friends, and points of inspiration over this last year. (Yes, thank you, it has been a very good year and we have lots of reasons to be thankful.)

It seems that everywhere I turn these days, Rosanne’s name is attached to another interesting project.  From America: Now and Here (read the NY Times Article about the project ) to Fortune Magazine’s Most Powerful Women Summit 2011, Rosanne seems to be singing, writing, and spreading poetry around the globe.

I made a flight to Berlin this year with her book, Composed: A Memoir, and could not put it down.   There was a moment in the Berlin airport I was streaming tears, book in hand, and oblivious to the other passengers looking my way. Butch leaned over and said, “You okay?”  “Yes,” I replied, “it’s just SO beautiful.”

More on that coming soon…

Today, Nov 17, 2011 (4:30pm CT/5:30pm ET), Rosanne is In The Room with Krista Tippett (who I also adore and follow).

Can’t wait to hear it all…

Watch it here or at In The Room:

*Photo above of Rosanne sporting her Alabama Chanin coat @ Fortune Magazine’s Summit.  Whoohooo…

WHAT’S FOR LUNCH TODAY?

Since my fall garden is finally coming in beautifully:

Organic Arugula

Amish Deer Tongue Lettuce

Red Iceberg Lettuce

Spinach

Hard Boiled Egg

A sprinkle of ground flax seeds

My Favorite Dressing:

1 clove pressed garlic
1/4 c. fresh lemon juice
1/3 c. olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Make in a small glass jar, cover with lid, shake vigorously, drizzle salad with dressing and serve.
xoNatalie

 

CLOTHING + SOUND + COLOR

I love, love, LOVE this clip from the New Dragon Inn that Charty Durrant sent over this morning.

The clip above is from the remake – by Raymond Lee – of a 1960′s classic Kung Fu film.

Her email: “Check out this sequence – the clothing, the sound, the colours… Ahhhhhhhhhhhh.”

Thanks for making my morning Charty!
xoNatalie

BEFORE THE PARTY

Thanks to everyone who came out last night for our first ever Visiting Artist Series.

Our Handmade (the new favorite cocktail) with Jack Rudy Cocktail Co. Small Batch Tonic and Tito’s Handmade Vodka was beloved by all!

And thank you to Jeff Moerchen for being our first…

Get his newly released book – Ligonier: A Photographic Essay.

Stay tuned for more Visiting Artists Series @ The Factory very soon …
xoNatalie


 

SERVING TONIGHT: THE HANDMADE

Made (and Grown) in the USA:

Jack Rudy Cocktail Co. Small Batch Tonic
Tito’s Handmade Vodka
Heath Glass
Lemon Verbena – from my garden (and thanks to Angie Mosier)

My friend John T. Edge – the man who understands everything culinary and loves “liquor and its accompaniments” – wrote yesterday of Jack Rudy Cocktail Co. Small Batch Tonic: “Just told Blair I want some for Christmas…”

Yes, it is that good.

Combine with Tito’s Handmade and drink responsibly…

Also in the picture at top:

Limited Edition Commune DesignHEATH Ceramics Bowl and Clemson Spineless dried okra – from my garden.

xoNatalie

GETTING IN THE MOOD

My daughter Maggie has been decorating the house for Thanksgiving this last week. In fact, she went directly from Halloween to a strange mixture of Thanksgiving and Christmas rolled into one.  (Yes, our holiday tree us up and mostly decorated.) All this festiveness – along with the sound of too loud holiday music and too many left-over pumpkins – has moved us directly from unicorn costumes to Thanksgiving delights.

My friend Stacy orders tamales from Texas to celebrate the holidays. I have an uncle that believes pilgrims would have preferred steaks and potatoes so he spends the day grilling. At the farm, we eat a load of Gulf seafood in Low-Country Boil style off of a wooden board across the tailgate of the truck.  I am also somewhat of a traditionalist at heart and delight in the staples – no Thanksgiving comes without dressing.  (Gulf Shrimp + Dressing – you don’t know what you are missing until you have tried it!)   However, despite the fact that most consider it a staple, I’ve never been one to put a pumpkin pie on my holiday table. I actually have always had a strong dislike for the most revered of Thanksgiving desserts. Then I tried this recipe.

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