Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Ginger-snap to it!

The freakish cold spell we've had recently has killed the open camillas and kept us inside on the weekends.  Todd has been busy with our new table saw.  He's built shelves in three closets, in the laundry room, and three series of large-scale shelf-like structures for some of his larger collectible items.  I've never thought much about closets before, but I have to admit that adding shelves (and a coat of paint) has really maximized the space.

Before (a dull yellow):

Todd adding some wire shelving to the wooden supports he'd built:

The final product:

There are also shallow shelves for DVDS going all the way up the left wall.  Amazing!

Meanwhile, since I've been doing daily to-do lists, I've discovered endless small projects.  I've done a massive clothing sort, preparing 6 garbage bags-full for Goodwill.  Found:  some moth-eaten hand-knit gloves.


I've tidied up my sewing machine area and threaded the bobbin, which allowed me to complete a large stack of sewing projects.  I've spring-cleaned the house.  I sorted through 20 magazines, taking articles of interest from each one...

...to be filed into my craft binders.

All kitchen baking supplies have been separated into separate plastic binders and labeled.  All candles have been separated out by type, boxed up in clear plastic shoe boxes, and labeled.  All fabric and kitchen linens have been sorted and labeled.  Holiday boxes have been sorted and organized.  I tell you, to-do lists are amazing!

I did find time to complete a puzzle...

...or two.

I've been buying fresh flowers for my favorite new Emma Bridgewater vase:

...and forcing hyacinths, which I love to do in January.

I've also been baking - a lot.  Unfortunately a corrupted memory card means that I can't show you the chocolate fudge brownies with chocolate chip cookie dough frosting and drizzled chocolate, but I did save the much healthier pumpkin gingerbread tart.  It was delicious - so much better than traditional pumpkin pie.  This recipe is a mix of several other recipes, and a lot of the measurements are "eyeballed".  Here goes!

No-Bake Pumpkin Gingerbread Tart
(heavily adapted from Ezra Pound Cake)

Filling Ingredients
1 cup pumpkin puree
8 oz reduced-fat cream cheese
2 tablespoons butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon of cardamon
1/4 teaspoon of ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 - 3/4 cup powdered sugar

Crust Ingredients
3/4 - 1 cup gingersnap crumbs
2 - 3 tablespoons butter, melted

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.  The pie is not baked, but the crust is.

First, crush your gingersnaps.  I used one whole package of Anna's Ginger Thins, but any type would work.  Add your melted butter and mix with a fork until it holds together and can be pressed down.  Then, add the mixture to your 9" tart pan and press evenly across the bottom and around the sides.

Bake at 400 degrees for 6 - 8 minutes.  Remove from oven and let cool. 

Meanwhile, toss all but the sugar into your mixer bowl and beat until smooth.  Slowly add your sugar.  When everything is combined, spoon into your cooled crust.

Smooth it all out, and refrigerate it for several hours.  You're done! 

 I think it's a lovely dessert.

 I found this clearance glass cake stand at a thrift store for $5.  A perfect excuse to use it!

I used the full 3/4 cup powdered sugar in this one, and I calculated 10 servings at 230 calories per serving.  Not bad at all, although I may have - ahem - cut rather generous portions when I served this.  Anyway, I hope you'll give it a try...it's a nice, spicy treat.

Have a great week! 

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