philly foodspotting eat-up at franklin fountain – october 2011

Attendance at last night’s Foodspotting eat-up was a bit on the light side but still a great time. I think the intention was to order Mt. Vesuvius sundaes but no one was feeling that bold.

Their seasonal flavor was pumpkin so almost everyone went with a pumpkin ice cream. Foodspotter Melissa went with The Great Pumpkin sundae (pictured above) which is comprised of pumpkin ice cream, homemade hot caramel, salted pecans, whipped cream, and ground cinnamon.

Damn, why didn’t I get that? I was able to snag a couple spoonfuls and it was delicious. I ended up with a simple college ice (one scoop, one topping) of pumpkin and caramel and hot caramel. Still good, but I should have gotten The Great Pumpkin!

Run over to Franklin Fountain now and try their pumpkin ice cream…before I eat it all! Just kidding.

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cooking: pumpkin gnocchi in a gorgonzola cream sauce

I finally had a chance to stop by Severino before dinner and I picked up some pumpkin gnocchi. The pumpkin gnocchi was delicious – pumpkin flavor with hints of cinnamon and nutmeg. Severino was pretty awesome and I’m totally stopping by again to pick up other kinds of pasta.

Pumpkin Gnocchi in a Gorgonzola Cream Sauce
serves 3

-1 lb pumpkin gnocchi
-2 c/1 pint heavy cream
-4 oz. gorgonzola, crumbled
-2 tbsp parmigiano reggiano, grated
-freshly ground black pepper, to taste
-salt, to taste
-italian parsley, chopped

Bring salted water to a boil in large pot.

In 8″ saucepan or saucier bring the heavy cream to a boil, whisking occasionally and continue to boil until reduced by half. Turn the heat to low, add the cheeses, pepper, and salt. Continue to whisk until cheese is all melted and sauce thickens.

Add gnocchi to boiling water and cook until gnocchi floats (about 2-3 minutes). Drain and mix with sauce in large bowl.

Serve on plates with a sprinkle of parsley. Enjoy!

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cooking: pumpkin cheesecake

I came across this recipe while reading through the latest issue of Food & Wine on my way up to NYC this past weekend. Immediately, I knew I had to make it…

Pumpkin Cheesecake
adapted from Jane Tseng – Pulino’s; Food & Wine, November 2010
serves 8-10

ingredients for cheesecake
-8 oz. gingersnap cookies, crushed
-2/3 c & 2 tbsp demerera sugar
-2 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
-12 oz cream cheese, softened
-1 c pumpkin puree
-1/2 tsp vanilla extract
-2 large eggs
-1/4 c ap flour
-1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
-pinch of ground nutmeg

ingredients for pears
-4 tbsp unsalted butter
-3 large, ripe bartlett pears, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/8″-1/4″ slices
-1 tsp demerera sugar (should use white sugar, since crystals are smaller)

Preheat oven to 350°.

Crush gingersnaps, 2 tbsp of sugar, and a pinch of salt in a large plastic bag until fine crumbs form. Next add softened butter and combine until moist. Alternatively, you can do this in a food processor instead of a plastic bag. Butter a 9″ springform pan. Press the crumb mixture into the bottom in an even layer. Bake for about 10 minutes, until lightly browned. Wrap bottom of pan in foil once cool enough to handle.

In large bowl, combine and mix the cream cheese, pumpkin puree, vanilla extract, and the 2/3 c of sugar with a hand mixer until smooth. Add the eggs and mix. Next, add the ap flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, and 1/2 tsp of salt. Mix until well combined. Pour cheesecake mixture into springform pan over the gingersnap crust.

Place springform pan into large skillet or pan. Fill skillet or pan with hot water so it reaches halfway up the side of the springform pan. The crust didn’t turn out as dry as I’d hoped. Next time, I’m just going to place a separate pan with water in the oven while baking. NOT place the springform pan IN the water.

Place in oven for about 55 minutes, until filling is barely jiggly in the center. Transfer pan to a rack and let cool. Once cool, place in fridge for at least 4 hours.

Prepare the pears on serving day. Melt the butter over medium-high heat until brown, about 3 minutes. Add and cook the pear slices, until lightly browned on both sides. Toss in the sugar. Turn and coat the pears until glazed nicely.

Serve pears over cheesecake. Enjoy.

This cheesecake came out well! I’m pretty sure I’m adding this to the Thanksgiving menu this year.

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cooking: chocolate chip pumpkin cookies

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Cookies
adapted from gimme some oven!
yields about 25-30 cookies

-2 1/2 c whole wheat flour
-1 tsp baking powder
-1 tsp baking soda
-3 tsp pumpkin pie spice
-1/2 tsp salt
-1 stick butter, softened
-1 c white sugar
-1 c light brown sugar
-1 1/4 c can pumpkin puree
-1 egg
-1 tsp vanilla extract
-2 c 60% bittersweet chocolate chips

Preheat over to 350°F. Whisk together dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice, and salt until well combined.

Using stand mixer, cream together the butter, white sugar, and brown sugar on low. Next add the pumpkin puree, egg, and vanilla extract until smooth. Gradually mix in the dry ingredients. Add the chocolate chips and turn off mixer once chips have been well incorporated.

Scoop desired dough onto parchment lined baking sheet. Place in oven for 13-18 minutes, until slightly browned and just set (or desired doneness). Place baked cookies onto cooling rack for at least 8 minutes.


In the photo above, the chocolate chips were placed on top of the dough prior to baking since I completely forgot to mix them in.

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