Sunday, October 26, 2014

Happy #Halloween Week from all of us at Mystery Lovers Kitchen!!



BOO!!!

I'm posting on Sunday. It's not a guest blog. It's the kickoff to our HALLOWEEN WEEK! 
Scary!
But there's a non-scary giveaway below, so check it out at the end of the post!


We at MLK love Halloween. We come up with scary ideas; some of us get inspired by the others! I'm a traditionalist. I like candy. Particularly chocolate and caramel. I like things around this season that have those kinds of flavors. So, check out the recipe below.

But first...I'm not big into being scared. My husband says the one thing I DON'T do well is go to scary movies. I remember one of our first dates was seeing Alien, and I sat curled in a little ball in the theater seat. He did not get a lot of kisses that night. Chocolate Kisses or otherwise.

I remember, pre-hubby, going to the movie The Shining. It was a Jack Nicholson movie. I thought, "Comedy, great!" And then the first 5 notes of the movie's theme rang out and, yes, I sat curled up in a ball in the theater seat. Nightmare on Elm Street? Not happening...ever!  I DO like The Twilight Zone, except for that one episode where the little girl rolls into the wall to chase after her dog. Did you see that? Argh!!

Lately, I've been noticing lots of gruesome decorations around the neighborhood. 


Are they more gruesome than ever, or is it just because I'm walking my dog and have more time to "notice" and "assess" them? Ghouls everywhere!!!! Hanging people with chains around their necks. Cobwebs, blood, tombstones. What happened to the cute little pumpkins with glowing smiles?



Anyway, a year ago, inspired by the neighborhood's decor, I wrote STIRRING THE PLOT. It came out September 30 and it has a Halloween theme! And Halloween recipes within.  NOTE: THIS IS NOT A PARANORMAL. IT IS A TYPICAL CULINARY, DELICIOUS COZY.

I had so much fun creating the recipes. I've shared a few in the past month. Popcorn balls, witchy woman cocktail, brittle, and last week (only a few days ago on my regular Wednesday), a chocolate cake (in honor of Black Cats).

Today, I'm sharing a recipe that Bailey - do you know Bailey? Jenna's best friend and now the top sales person at the Cookbook Nook? I adore Bailey. She's flighty but she's coming into her own. Learning what she likes; learning what's good and not good for her future. Anyway, Bailey's mother owns The Pelican Brief diner in Crystal Cove. She's a fabulous cook. Bailey can cook, too. Jenna--not so much! At the end of the book, Bailey shares this recipe, which is in her mother's cookbook. It's dessert and it's breakfast, and the sauce doubles as another dessert.

But I've got to tell you, it's gross looking. It is! I couldn't help it. Anything with nuts in a gooey sauce, well, you can see where I'm going with this. It screams Halloween and guts and gore and, well, curl up in your theater seat, you're in for a bumpy ride!

But it's frightfully delicious!!!




Pumpkin Maple Syrup Cheesecake
(especially good on Halloween!)

1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted
3 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin  (about 1 ½ cups)
3 large eggs
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.

Combine graham cracker crumbs, sugar and butter; press firmly on bottom of 9-inch springform pan. [Note: if you need to eat gluten-free, you can make this crust with a crushed gluten-free sugar cookie.]



In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and sweetened condensed milk until fluffy. Add in the pumpkin, eggs, maple syrup, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and salt, and mix well. Pour the mixture into the springform prepared pan.

Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until the center appears nearly set when shaken. [Don’t shake like crazy; a little nudge will do.] Turn off oven and let stand in oven for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and cool for 1 hour. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours.

To serve, spoon some Maple Pecan Sauce over cheesecake.

Maple Pecan Sauce
      1 cup whipping cream
      3/4 cup pure maple syrup
      1/2 cup chopped pecans

In a medium-sized saucepan, combine the whipping cream and pure maple syrup. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium low, and continue to “boil” for 10-12 minutes or until slightly thickened. Stir occasionally. [Note: this is a candy, so do not let the mixture go past the caramel color stage. If so, it will burn and you’ll have to start over. So pay attention the last 5 minutes.]



Remove from the heat and stir in the chopped pecans.

Truly gross looking!!

Cover and chill the sauce until ready to serve. Stir once before serving.

Note from Bailey: Mom adores sweets. I do, too. Especially cheesecake. I also adore breakfast, and there’s nothing that says breakfast better than syrup. Pancakes and syrup. Waffles and syrup. Even scrambled eggs and syrup. Don’t tell me you’ve never swirled your eggs into that last bit of syrup left after you’ve had a pancake with all the trimmings breakfast. Anyway, put the two together, and this makes for a delicious and not too hard to make cheesecake. Follow the baking instructions. That wait time after the cake is cooked is crucial. By the way, this sauce is fabulous over plain vanilla ice cream, too!


And now for the giveaway! I have a Mystery Lovers Kitchen tote bag to give away! It's good for books, groceries, or travel! And one signed copy of Stirring the Plot. Tell me what your scariest Halloween memory is!! LEAVE YOUR EMAIL IN CASE YOU WIN SO I CAN CONTACT YOU.


A teaser for Stirring the Plot:
Halloween in Crystal Cove, California, is a big deal, involving a spooky soiree where the Winsome Witches, a fund-raising group, gather to open up their purse strings and trade superstitions. But party magicians, fortune-tellers, and herbalists are only the beginning of this recipe for disaster. Jenna Hart has packed The Cookbook Nook chock-full of everything from ghostly texts to witchy potions in anticipation of the annual fund-raiser luncheon. But there’s one unexpected addition to the menu: murder. When the Head Priestess of the Winsome Witches is found dead under mysterious circumstances, there’s no logical answer and plenty of blame to go around. With her aunt, Vera, unable to call on her ability to foresee the future, Jenna will have to use more than just sleight of hand and a few magic tricks to conjure up the truth… 

Other recipes this October and their links:






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