Nov 162011
Authors: Greg Mees and Erin Udell

Greg Mees- Eat Up

With Thanksgiving just a week away, Erin and I decided to take a break from our reviews to offer up our favorite holiday recipes.

This is my favorite time of year when it comes to food. There is just something about the colder weather combined with the deep, hearty flavors during the holiday season that makes me excited for next week’s big dinner.

Having the major sweet tooth that I do, I love all of the holiday treats. But if you’re looking for a twist this year on the classic Thanksgiving dessert, I have the perfect recipe to share with you.

Pumpkin Cheesecake

Serves 8

2 cups graham cracker crumbs
3 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ cup (1 stick) butter, melted
1/4 cup walnuts, finely chopped

3 (8-ounce) blocks cream cheese, at room temperature
1 (15-ounce) can pureed pumpkin
3 eggs plus 1 yolk
¼ cup sour cream
1 ½ cups granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

In a mixing bowl, combine the crust ingredients with a fork until evenly moistened. Lightly coat the bottom and sides of an 8-inch spring form pan with nonstick cooking spray. Pour the crumbs into the pan and, using the bottom on a measuring cup or the smooth bottom of a drinking glass, press the crumbs down into the base and 1-inch up the sides. Refrigerate for 10 minutes or until the crust becomes firm.

In an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese on low speed until smooth and free of lumps. Add the eggs, one at a time, and continue to beat slowly until well-combined. Slowly add the sugar and pumpkin and beat until creamy. Add sour cream, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, flour and vanilla, while periodically scraping down the sides of the bowl. The batter should be well-mixed, but not over-beaten. Pour the filling into the crust-lined pan and smooth the top with a spatula.

Set the cheesecake pan on a large piece of aluminum foil and fold up the sides around it. Make sure that the foil is tight and the pan is well covered. Place the cheesecake in a large roasting pan. Pour boiling water into the roasting pan until the water is about halfway up the sides of the cheesecake. The foil will ensure that the water does not seep into the cheesecake.

Bake for 45 to 60 minutes. The cheesecake should still jiggle slightly, so be sure not to overcook. Remove from the oven and let sit in the pan for 30 minutes. Chill in the refrigerator, loosely covered, for at least four hours. Loosen the cheesecake from the sides of the pan by running a thin metal knife around the inside rim of the pan. Unmold and transfer to a cake plate.

*To ensure that the cheesecake cuts well, use a non-serrated knife that has been dipped in hot water. Wipe dry after each cut.

This is an adaptation of a recipe from Paula Deen.

Erin Udell, Drink Up

It’s that time of the year again, folks. After a grueling 13 weeks of class, fall break is upon us. And with it come holidays dedicated almost exclusively to stuffing your face with food and watching family members get tanked and wrestle in the front yard.

I, for one, am totally in the holiday spirit — it’s actually what’s kept me going during the final stretch of this semester. So in this edition of “Eat up and Drink up,” Greg and I decided to get lazy and share some recipes.

Greg, being the knowledgeable foodie he is, will probably blow you away with some crazy concoction. After all, he did write a cookbook in high school (I’m not kidding).

I, however, will be sharing a recipe I found on a website tailored to single women (I’m not kidding about this either). So here we go, faithful readers… here is the “Spicy Gingerman.”

Quoting the strong, independent woman who probably originally posted this cocktail, “Every single woman needs a spicy man to heat up holiday season.” Preach it, sister.


1 oz Vanilla Vodka
1 oz Hazelnut liqueur
1/2 oz Butterscotch Schnapps
2 oz Ginger Beer

Cinnamon stick (for garnish)


Combine all vodka, liqueur, schnapps and beer in a cocktail shaker. Pour over ice into a rocks glass and garnish with Cinnamon stick.

Recipe courtesy of

News Editor Erin Udell can be reached at

 Posted by at 5:09 pm

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