Sunday, October 28, 2012

Pumpkin Cheesecake (Gluten Free)

This is a rich and creamy fall dessert -  the perfect marriage of New York style cheesecake with spiced pumpkin pie. Pumpkin cheesecake is one of my all time favourites. This simple, luscious dessert is worthy of being added to any Thanksgiving holiday menu.


2 cups graham cracker crumbs (I used gluten free graham squares)
2 tbsp organic cane sugar
1/4 cup salted butter, melted
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg

1 3/4 cups pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filing)
4 packages (8 oz each) cream cheese, softened
1 cup packed brown sugar
2/3 cup organic cane sugar
6 eggs
2 tbsp cornstarch
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
2 tsp pure vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 325 F. Grease a 9-inch springform pan with butter.
2. Pulse graham crackers in a food processor until they resemble fine crumbs.  In a small bowl, mix graham crumbs, melted butter, 2 tbsp sugar, 1 tsp cinnamon and 1/2 tsp nutmeg. Press the crumb mixture into the bottom of the pan. Bake for 8 minutes or until set. Cool on a wire rack at room temp.
3. In another bowl, mix pumpkin puree, remaining cinnamon and nutmeg, 2 tbsp cornstarch and set aside. 
4. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese, 1 package at a time until smooth. Beat in sugars, then gradually beat in eggs, one at a time. Add the pumpkin mixture and beat until smooth and creamy. 
5. Slowly pour the cheesecake filing over the crust. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Cheesecake should be set but still a little jiggly in the centre when the pan is moved. Turn the oven off, and open the door 4 inches. Let me the cheesecake remain in the oven for another 30 minutes, then remove and let cool in the pan on a wire rack. Refrigerate for several hours before serving.

Additional Notes:
If you really enjoy the graham crust on cheesecakes, double the crust ingredients for a thicker graham crust. 

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Creating a Beach Inspired Front Porch

Whether you live steps away from the shore or miles away from the seaside, a beach inspired front porch brings the feel of a coastal retreat right to your front door.  Our front porch make-over was inspired by the colours and textures of the elements. Below is a collection of my inspiration.

1. Decorative accessories that add a coastal touch and create a sense of calm - nautical lighting, colourful weatherproof cushions and a hammock for afternoon siestas.

2. Comfortable seating - adirondack chairs, rocking chairs, or loungers in natural wood or wicker/rattan. 

3. Colour reminiscent of the sea, sand and lush palms.

Collage: ceiling fan and white nautical light, Lowes; lantern and black port side light, Destination Lighting; blue cushion collection, Restoration Hardware; lanterns, hammock and remaining cushions, Pottery Barn

Image 2,; Image 3, Pottery Barn; image 4, Coastal Living; image 5, Pottery Barn; image 6, Southern Living; image 7-10, Coastal Living 

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Painted Front Doors - Beach House Style

There is nothing more welcoming than a beautifully painted front door. As soon as our porch is stained, the door is next on the list. Maybe after it dries up a bit. I adore bright and cheery front doors.

But first I really need to chat with Mr. Weatherman. Could we please have a talk about this whole rain thing? There's been lots. We're good here. Many thanks.

From House of Turquoise, a gorgeous front door (originally posted on Hiya Papaya blog) painted in Benjamin Moore's Wythe Blue.

Image 1-5, Coastal Living; Image 6, House Beautiful; Image 7 and 8, House of Turquoise

Monday, October 15, 2012

Fall Wreath Inspiration

It's a bit of a disaster zone here at the moment, but that's fine. It makes for an adventure. Our porch is completely tarped off because of the incessant rain.  Maybe I should take out my contacts and call this my ocean view. So needless to say, finishing a wreath isn't on the agenda… until next fall, y'all.

This fall nut wreath is so cute (from House and Home)

Starfish Cottage created a beachy "welcome basket" instead of a wreath. This definitely says "welcome home."

I love this gorgeous hydrangea wreath from THIS wonderful Etsy shop.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Keeping Warm This Fall

We are thinking of getting a fire pit for the backyard. As long as we are using it for warmth or to cook food (hellooooo homemade marshmallows!) it is legal to have one. As cool autumn temperatures settle in, I think it would be a cozy way to continue to enjoy the beauty of the outdoors.

House Beautiful

House and Home

Decor Pad

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Sandbanks Beach, Prince Edward County

I just spent a beautiful weekend celebrating Michael's 35th birthday in Prince Edward County. The weekend entailed a private limo-driven wine tour, a beach house rental, and absolutely gorgeous views.  Linda over at Seaside Style also posted about her beach getaway to celebrate her husband's birthday. While she was wishing it would cool down from the 90 degree heat, I had our fireplace running all night to keep warm. Even though I'd trade the cold for the heat in a heartbeat, there is something unbelievably cozy about combining the beach with toasty fireplaces, cozy knits, and a glass of cab. My camera only emerged for the scenic shots. During the tour, our guide, Gilles, kept our hands full with a tasting or four of vino. Good man.

This photo was taken on our beach house back deck. Gorgeous!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Fall Favourites

1 The warm glow of candles. I'm loving these easy centrepieces from House and Home.

Cozy knit throws for warm toes.

The beauty of the landscape.

Sweet autumn treats with apples, pumpkin and cinnamon.

Coastal pumpkin carvings from Coastal Living Magazine

Fall crafts such as this vintage paper leaf wreath from Martha Stewart.

Pumpkin spice lattes.

Outdoor fire pit (with homemade marshmallows).

I'm hoping to finish a fall wreath before we head off to Prince Edward County this weekend. Long weekends are a blessing, aren't they? Happy Friday!

Image 2 Blankets - Pottery Barn; image 3, Pinterest; image 4, BHG; image 7, Starbucks; image 8, Coastal Living. 

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