Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecake


Welcome to my favorite dessert! Yes, cheesecake and I have a long history of baking satisfaction. But, I must keep it real and tell you that this is the first pumpkin flavored cheesecake I have ever made. Shocker right?! Because we all know I love pumpkin:) That being said, its super easy to do and you will be having self control conflict about eating the entire thing. I gave away several slices, shared some with my boyfriend, and after realizing I was using a spoon to grab bites off the plate, while standing in the open fridge door at odd hours of the day and night....(so true)..I froze the rest to save myself. At least now, it will have to thaw for me to eat!

pumpkin cheesecake-3B
pumpkin cheesecake-3B

Reasons why you need this cheesecake in your life:

  • Fun and easy to make!
  • You get to smash gingerbread cookies with a rolling pin:)
  • Even if you get a crack it still tastes amazing
  • Your friends and family will be impressed with your swirl skills
  • Perfect dessert for holiday get togethers is how you create this Pumpkin and Vanilla Swirl Cheesecake with a Gingerbread Cookie Crust!!!



2 sleeves of Lars Swedish Ginger Snaps (about 25 cookies)

1/4 cup melted unsalted butter


4 (8oz) packages cream cheese

1 cup organic sugar

4 eggs

1 can of pumpkin puree

1 tsp vanilla

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

1/4 tsp pumpkin spice

pinch of ground cloves


Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line bottom of spring form pan with parchment paper. I cut a circle smaller than rim of pan.

Place gingerbread cookies into a ziplock bag, removing all execs air. Smash cookies with rolling pin until transformed into crumbs. Add crumbs to bowl and stir in melted butter. Spoon mixture onto bottom of pan and evenly press into corners with fingers.

Beat together cream cheese, 3/4 cup of sugar, vanilla and eggs. Once evenly blended, remove 1 1/2 cups of batter and place in separate bowl.

Next add remaining sugar, pumpkin and the spices to mixer bowl. Blend thoroughly.

Now you should have a bowl of pumpkin batter and one with vanilla batter.

Pour half of the pumpkin batter into pan onto crust. Then add half of the vanilla batter in spoonfuls across the top. Gently make lines with knife to create a swirl of colors.

Repeat this step with remaining batter.

Bake cheesecake for 55min. or until there is only a slight jiggle in the very center. It will finish setting while on the cooling rack. Cool completely on rack and then chill in refrigerator for a minimum of 4 hours.

Top with crumbled ginger bread cookies, slice, and serve!

pumkin cheesecake-6BLOGO
pumkin cheesecake-6BLOGO

Pumpkin Oat Muffins

Yes, yes, yes..its pumpkin flavored everything time! I am ready for pumpkin coffee, pancakes, pies, muffins, ice cream, oh and cheese cake, basically all the pumpkin goodies. Fall is the kickoff to baking season and I have been waiting patiently for the markets to start stocking their shelves. This muffin recipe is simple, flavorful, and immediately screams holiday season. I will admit that one muffin went missing prior to taking photos. Its so hard to wait when they smell so good:)


  • 1 cup canned pumpkin puree
  • 1 3/4 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup vanilla almond milk
  • 1/2 cup natural maple syrup or honey
  • 1/3 cup melted coconut oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp pumpkin spice
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/3 cup oats
  • pumpkin seeds and oats for topping


Preheat oven to 325 degrees, line muffin tin with paper liners.

Mix all ingredients together, folding oats in last.

With an ice cream scoop measure out 1scoop per liner for a smaller 12 muffin tin and 2 scoops per liner for a 6 muffin tin.

Sprinkle pumpkin seeds and oats on top of each.

Bake for 25min, cool and then eat!!


Gingerbread Loaf with Poached Pears

Hello Fall Baking Season! Woo hoo!! My windows are open and my kitchen smells like warm cinnamon:) When I was in college living in a tiny apartment, my roommate and I would light spice candles. There's just something about those aromas that makes me want to snuggle under a blanket. Now, I actually take the time to bake! I mean, you can't eat candles and gingerbread must be tasted. I'm definitely a newbie when it comes to cooking and baking anything over simple recipes. However, as a photographer I am challenging myself to create more personal dishes to style. My inspiration stems from binge watching "The Great British Baking Show". The breads, cakes, and desserts are mind blowing, not to mention the fabulous subtle British humor:)

Baking a gingerbread loaf with poached pears was a personal first and it turned out pretty darn good. I found it "absolutely scrummy" without a "soggy bottom". Watch the show, seriously its a "spot on" "top bake"!



Poached Pears

~3 bartlett pears

~1 bottle red wine (I used a red table wine)

~1/2 cup organic cane sugar

~1 cup water

~3 cinnamon sticks

~1 vanilla bean

Gingerbread Loaf

~1/2 cup low sugar maple syrup (can substitute molasses)

~2 large eggs

~2/3 cup brown sugar

~1/2 cup vegetable oil

~1 tsp baking powder

~1 tsp baking soda

~1 1/2 Tbsp grated ginger

~1 tsp ground cinnamon

~1 tsp ground nutmeg

~1/4 tsp salt

~2 cups all purpose flour

~2/3 cups vanilla almond milk

Make Pears

Combine all ingredients into medium pot and bring to boil. Then let simmer 15-20 min until pears softened.  Remove pears and set aside.

Make Loaf

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, line loaf pan with parchment paper.

Mix all ingredients together in large mixing bowl.

Place whole pears into loaf pan and spoon batter around them. Bake for 50-60 minutes until toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan. Then place loaf on cooling rack for another 15 minutes.

Dust loaf with powdered sugar to serve. (optional)

*make sure pears are not too large or they will fall through loaf. Option to slice pears into halves and only use 3 half for better firmness of gingerbread.

Happy Fall Baking Friends!!


Flourless Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies


I don't know about you, but when I'm brainstorming and channeling creative vibes, I want cookies:) Raining here today, so my windows are open filling the house with a lovely breeze. Fall is slowly teasing me with its cool mornings. Soon I will be making pumpkin flavored everything. But, today its chocolate peanut butter yummies topped with walnuts! These cookies are:

  • simple to make
  • moist and soft
  • delish
  • bake fast for the hungry sweet tooth!!



1 cup creamy peanut butter

1 cup organic light brown sugar

2 eggs

1/2 cup unsweetened natural dark cocoa powder

1 TBSP vanilla extract

1 tsp baking soda

1 cup chopped walnuts


Mix all ingredients except walnuts with mixer, using paddle attachment until smooth

Line baking sheet with parchment paper

Spoon one inch balls onto cookie sheet ( I roll them in my hands first)

Mash with fingers into flattened cookie shape

Gently press walnut pieces on top

Bake at 350 degrees for 6-8 min.

Let cool for 10 minutes to keep from breaking





Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirl Bread

When I get into a baking mood, I want to make all the things! Maybe its because a friend turned me on to the Great British Baking Show and I feel inspired. After enjoying the lemon zucchini bread and giving a banana walnut loaf to my dog sitter, the logical next flavor is chocolate. Chocolate with peanut butter is a perfect marriage that no one can dispute. Some dark cacao powder mixed with fresh creamy peanut spread is hard to mess up. Breakfast, dessert, mid day snack, or late night indulgence dipped in a glass of milk. Maybe just dig into the pan with a fork fresh out of the oven:) Whatever floats your boat!

chocolate bread-6CLOGO


1 1/4 cups all purpose flour

2/3-3/4 cup organic cane sugar

1/4 cup honey

8 Tbspvanilla  melted butter

3 eggs

3 Tbsp hot water

3/4 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

3 1/2 Tbsp dar cacao powder

1/2 Tbsp vanilla extract

1/2 cup fresh peanut butter

(can substitute honey for 4 more Tbsp of butter)


Mix all ingredients (except peanut butter)

Pour into greased bread pan

Level top of batter

Gently spoon small amounts peanut butter on top of batter

Take knife and gently swirl peanut butter, do not go deep into the batter

Bake at 350 degrees for 45 min or until center is fully cooked

chocolate bread-7BLOGO

Lemon Zucchini Bread

So..I have awesome neighbors with an adorable box garden:) Living next to like minded foodies is a major plus. Why?..because we share! Anytime I make sweets or a hefty serving too big for two...I mail it to my neighbors. I know you are thinking I'm crazy, but... We all have wild schedules, so in the evening I will leave a tupperware in their mailbox.  Keeps me from pigging out number one, but I also find cooking to be more satisfying when you give it to your friends. Yesterday I received a huge beautiful zucchini ready for culinary creations. With fresh lemons already in the kitchen, their fate was sealed. Lemon Zucchini bread for the win!

**Warning- this is super moist and addictive- do not bake on an empty stomach or you will eat the entire loaf**

lemon bread-1BLOGO


1 1/2 cups All Purpose Flour

1 cup organic cane sugar

1 egg

1 Tbsp vanilla extract

1/4 cup lemon juice

1 cup shredded zuchini

1/2 cup melted coconut oil

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp baking powder

2 Tbsp lemon zest


Mix all ingredients in large bowl, folding shredded zucchini in batter last

Bake at 325 for 50 min or until cooked in center

Add a glaze drizzle of lemon juice and powdered sugar with a sprinkle of lemon zest

*Eat a couple of slices and then pass it around to your friends*

lemon bread-4CLOGO




Chocolate Dipped Pineapple

 I have never traveled to Hawaii but I can go their in my kitchen! Pineapple is my favorite fruit and who doesn't like chocolate? Need a fun afternoon yah go:)
I hope no one is judging my writing or punctuation skills...just stare at the food please.
Cut fresh pineapple into rings, remove core
I dap off some of the juice for easy dipping
Melt chocolate chips on stovetop
Dip or drizzle warm chocolate onto pineapple
Sprinkle coconut and almonds
Place in fridge to chill
YUM!! Fruity, chocolatey, almond crunch and coconut goodness just slaps you in the face:)

Strawberry Crumble with Coconut Cream

 Mondays are better with dessert:) After picking fresh strawberries on Saturday (and eating half of them before I got home) I removed all the stems, then placed in the freezer for safe keeping. Well, today they had a purpose!! Strawberry crumble is just what I needed at the end of a long day.
Cobbler with melted vanilla ice cream is a southern must during berry season. For a healthier, just as scrumptious option..try this recipe instead!
Fruit Layer:
2 pints of fresh, sliced strawberries (go berry picking!! more satisfying when you work for it)
juice from one large lemon
2 tsp coconut sugar
1 1/2 cups old fashioned oats
3/4 cup almond meal
1/4 cup raw honey
2 Tbsp pure maple syrup
2 Tbsp melted butter (hello Kerigold)
1 tsp cinnamon
dash of nutmeg
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup chopped pecans
Coconut Topping;
1 can of full fat coconut milk in can (store in fridge until ready to use) ..sorry vanilla ice cream
Combine fruit ingredients
Evenly spread onto bottom of cast iron skillet (sometimes I use coconut oil to grease skillet)
Mix crumble ingredients
Evenly spread crumble on top fruit
Bake 25 minutes at 350 degrees
Stir coconut milk with whisk
Serve yourself a bowl of Strawberry Crumble
Scoop a spoonful of coconut milk on your hot dessert
Flop down on your couch, kick your feet up, savor your delicious efforts! End your Monday with a smile:)