Spiced Pumpkin Ravioli with Creme Fraiche and Chili Oil

One can only imagine the amount of canned pumpkin sold during October and November.  It’s a bit of a pumpkin craze when it comes to this time of year.  And let’s not even get started on all things pumpkin spice.  While pumpkin pie and pumpkin bread might take the lead in ways to use up that orange purée, pumpkin ravioli isn’t far behind.  Most recipes feature sage, or thyme, and lots of brown butter for spooning over the warm pasta.  But we’re going a different direction with ours.  Smoked paprika, cumin and sharp cheddar compliment all those sweet earthy pumpkin flavors in the filling, and the freshly made ravioli gets an easy but delicious topping of crème fraîche and spicy chili oil.

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Croissants

Who doesn’t love a croissant?  Layers of buttery flaky goodness that are somehow decadent simplicity.  And by simplicity, I mean that a good croissant can stand on its own.  No filling or jam or chicken salad needed.  However, it is one of those recipes that requires time, patience and a bit of skill.  Certainly not something you whip up every week.  A treat, a decadence, a labor of love.  But, there is something very satisfying about making your own.  So if you like a good weekend baking project, perhaps it’s time to tackle croissants.  Also included is how to form chocolate croissants and what to do with those leftover dough scraps.

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Basque Burnt Cheesecake

A couple years ago I had Basque Burnt Cheesecake for the first time at this little Spanish restaurant in Portland.  My first thought was, why have I never heard of this?  My second thought was, how can I recreate this?  Deep brown and almost caramelized on the outside, fluffy and creamy on the inside, no crust, this was some kind of cheesecake magic.  It has begun to grow in popularity lately, popping up in food magazines, blogs, and restaurants.  And while it isn’t pretty and looks like, well, burnt cheesecake, your taste buds will thank you for trying it out.

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