RZ Cooking

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Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Pumpkin Cheesecake

Tired of your typical, ordinary pumpkin pie? Try this wonderful pumpkin cheesecake. It has a luscious pumpkin taste with the smooth, rich texture of cheesecake. This festive dish is a perfect Thanksgiving dessert and can be served with a dollop whipped cream, or a dusting of confectionary sugar. Enjoy this delicious dish, and Happy Thanksgiving to all of our readers!

1 1/4 cup crushed ginger snaps
1 cup walnuts
6 tablespoons melted butter
2 pounds cream cheese
1 cup packed light brown sugar
6 eggs
1/2 cup half and half
1/2 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/2 cups of pumpkin puree

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. In a food processor or blender, crush the walnuts and cookies so they are a coarse powder. Put in a bowl and mix in the butter.
3. Press crumb mixture into a 10 inch spring-form pan, making sure the crumbs are evenly layed on the bottom. Bake for 7 minutes and let cool.
4. In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese with an electric mixer for 1 minute. Add the brown sugar and beat for another two minutes.
5. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the heavy cream.
6. Mix in the flour, salt and spices. Lastly, add the pumpkin and mix until well blended.
7. Pour the filling into the pan, and bake for 1 hour and 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and with a knife loosen the sides from the pan. Allow to cool to room temperature, and store in the fridge until ready to serve.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

RZ Pizza

For weeks we have been discussing making pizza, but attempting this culinary marvel has always eluded us. Finally, we have succeeded in making a pizza that is amazing in taste and is 100% from scratch. With a simple, yet tasty sauce, and a delicious crust, this pizza is great any time. Also, feel free to put whatever toppings you want on it!

For the Dough:
1 1/4 teaspoon yeast
1/2 teaspooon sugar
2 tablespoons warm water
2 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup cold water
1 tablespoon olive oil

1. In a small bowl mix yeast sugar and warm water.
2. In a large bowl, combine the flour and salt. add the yeast mixture, cold water and oil and form into a dough.
3. On a floured surface, knead the dough for 10 minutes. Place it in a large, oiled bowl and let rise for 1 hour at room temperature.
4. Punch down the dough and let it rest for another 30 minutes (if desired divide the dough to make individual portions).
5. Preheat oven to 500 degrees. Roll out the dough as thin as possible and top with sauce, mozzarella cheese and additional toppings. Place onto a greased pizza pan and cook for 10-12 minutes.

For the Sauce:
1 28oz can of whole peeled tomatoes
1 small onion
2 cloves of garlic
2 tablespoons oil
salt and pepper
pinch of sugar
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano

1. Heat oil in a 2 quart saucepan over medium high heat. Finely chop the onion and cook for 5-7 minutes. Finely chop the garlic and add to the onions. Cook for an additional minute.
2. Add the tomatoes and bring to a simmer. Stir in sugar, basil and oregano. Season with salt and pepper. Let simmer for 20 minutes.
3. Allow the sauce to cool and then pulse in a food processor until smooth. Use about 3/4 cup for the pizza and freeze the rest for future use.