fabulous fall dinner

So, I’m posting some pictures as a break from the essay monotony. This was from our fall dinner last Sunday. And in case you’re wondering; no, I didn’t take a single picture of people.

Emily brought yummy potato soup. Bread bowls provided by Sarah. And Kelly brought salad that I neglected to photograph.

Tuscan Bean Soup
Brought by Candice
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 3 cups low fat low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup canned tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 cup Kidney beans
  • 2 teaspoons chopped thyme
  • 1/2 cup chopped spinach
  • 1 cup seashell pasta
  • black pepper

Combine oil, onion, garlic saute for five mins. Add bell pepper and saute. Add broth, tomatoes and beans. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 mins. Add thyme, spinach and pasta. Cook until pasta is soft. Serve.

In case you’re wondering, while I did over bake them, the brown on top is actually caramelized sugar. Some of it is more caramelized than the rest.

Miniature Pumpkin Cheesecakes (brulee)
with Cinnamon Crust
stolen from the Williams-Sonoma website

These fanciful little desserts are perfect for entertaining and are ideal for an autumn buffet. The graham cracker crust is seasoned with a touch of cinnamon, echoing the warm spices in the pumpkin filling.


For the crust:

  • 1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 1 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 2 Tbs. unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 Tbs. sugar

For the filling:

  • 1 cup pecan pumpkin butter
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
  • 14 oz. cream cheese
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract


  • Have all the ingredients at room temperature. Preheat an oven to 325°F. Lightly butter the wells of a miniature pumpkin cheesecake pan.
  • To make the crusts, in a small bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs, cinnamon, butter and sugar and stir until blended. Divide the mixture among the prepared wells. Using a shot glass or other small glass, press the mixture evenly into the bottom of the wells.
  • Bake until the crusts are set, about 10 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool completely. Reduce the oven temperature to 300°F.
  • To make the filling, in a small bowl, stir together the pumpkin butter, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg. Set aside.
  • In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the flat beater, beat together the cream cheese and sugar on low speed until smooth, about 5 minutes, stopping the mixer occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition and stopping the mixer occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl, then beat in the vanilla. Add the pumpkin mixture and beat until completely blended, about 1 minute. Pour the batter into the crusts, dividing it evenly among the wells.
  • Bake until the filling is set and puffed but not cracked, 23 to 25 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool to room temperature. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours before unmolding.
  • To unmold, press an index finger through the hole in the base of each well and push up to remove the cheesecake and the metal disk. Carefully slide a small spatula underneath the cheesecake to remove it from the disk, then transfer to a platter. Makes 12 miniature cheesecakes.
  • If you are feeling a little ambitious and own a torch, I recommend adding a little brulee topping to the cheesecake. It gives this great little crunch and a bit of a caramel flavor!

12 thoughts on “fabulous fall dinner

  1. You should publish a cookbook…those pictures make all of the food look really yummy. And everyone knows the best cookbooks have great pics.

  2. oh my yum!!posting all these delicious food photos is just mean. i skipped breakfast this morning (because i’m too lazy to go grocery shopping and had no food) and now i’m starving!

  3. Those pumpkin cheesecakes look SO good at 8:30 in the morning…then again, everything you post looks so good at any time of the day.

bueller?... bueller?... bueller?

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