Double Layered Pumpkin Cheesecake

This is, mostly, a recipe my sister got from


1½ c. gingersnap crumbs
¾ c. ground nuts (of your preference, Amanda used pecans)
3 Tbsp. brown sugar
6 Tbsp. melted butter.

Mix together and press into a Springform pan.  It should be crumbly until you start mashing.

16 oz. softened cream cheese
½ c. sugar
½ tsp. vanilla extract
2 eggs
½ c. pumpkin puree
½ tsp gr. cinnamon
pinch cloves
pinch nutmeg

Preheat oven to 325°F

Combine cream cheese, sugar, vanilla and eggs.
Beat until smooth and spread 1 c onto crust.
Add the other stuff and blend well
Spread on top.

Bake 35-40 minutes, until the center is almost set.  Allow to cool.  Garnish with whipped cream to serve.


Chuck’s Kombucha Recipe

Chuck makes a gallon at the time with a scoby that’s a little bigger than my palm. He makes a gallon of black tea and puts a cup of sugar in it. When it is ready, the scoby grows about 1/4 large than it started. And how long it takes depends on temperature other environmental factors.
Don’t seal it up. He uses a gallon pickle jar with a piece of muslin rubber-banded over the top. His first batch took longer than subsequent batches. The instructions said it would take 7-21 days, his usually gets 7-10.
When you decant it, it gets fizzier then longer you leave it at room temp. If you refrigerate it right after you bottle it, it won’t have as much carbonation.
He kept kombucha bottles that he had bought with ‘buch in them before he started making his own and just reuses them.
If you need to put it on hold a little while, you can store the scoby in some ‘buch in a container in the fridge.
Once you feel ready to experiment, flavored teas are not recommended, but you can add fruit juices or herbs or a little cayenne when you are decanting.
Chuck’s answer to “How do you know when it’s done?” is “Taste it. It gets less sweet the more done it gets and it’s really according to your taste.” After a week, check it.
And he uses raw sugar, but any sugar will do.

Garam masala

I have taken to making my own seasoning mixes and garam masala is frequently used in Indian recipes. is a handy website. I found 4 ways to make garam masala there.  One is easy, the others are more complicated and, I suspect have more dramatic flavor.

Here is the easy one:

1 tablespoon ground cumin
1½ teaspoons ground coriander
1½ teaspoons ground cardamom
1½ teaspoons ground pepper
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground cloves
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg

Buying it ready made is easy enough, but if you don’t have any in the house and are in the middle of making dinner, this beats running to the store.  Also, if there’s a part you don’t like, you don’t have to have it.  I leave cloves out because Chuck hates them with the heat of a thousand suns.