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Sweets for the Holidays Bring Joy, Fond Memories

The best part of dinner is the first to get going in my kitchen.

Happy holidays everyone and welcome to the first special installment of Andre Taylor's Tasty Tidbits!

Today, I'm going to share some dessert recipes that will appear on the table at my dinner Christmas night. To me, the holidays are a great time to get together with family and friends, share a few laughs and stories and do a lot of eating.

But there is nothing that signals the arrival of the holidays like the aroma of a meal being prepared in the kitchen. That smell captures your attention, gets your tummy going and brings back memories of the days of old.

Enough about me, let's get going on this pumpkin pie and eggnog cheesecake!

I'll start with the easiest recipe, the pumpkin pie:

4 cans of pumpkin filling

2 piecrusts

3 eggs

½ cup of white sugar

1 cup of light brown sugar

2 sticks of butter

2 tablespoons of nutmeg

1 tablespoon of cinnamon

2 tablespoons of vanilla flavor

The first thing you want to do is turn on some good Christmas music in the kitchen to get yourself in the mood. Then you want to set your oven to 350 degrees.

Make sure you mix the pumpkin filling with the sugars, vanilla flavor, cinnamon and nutmeg, eggs and butter until the form a smooth consistency.

Once the mixture is done, use it to fill the two pie crusts, and place them into the oven, on the top rack that is, for 45 minutes or until the edges of the crusts are golden brown.

Once the pies are done, turn off the oven, and let them cool on the rack they were baked on. After that, dig in!

And now that the pies are done, let's start on the cheesecake! Here's what you'll need:

4 packages of cream cheese

2 cups of sugar

2 sticks of butter

3 eggs

1 cup of eggnog

2 tablespoons of rum

(For the crust)

2 cups of graham cracker crumbs

3 tablespoons of light brown sugar

1 cup of chopped walnut

2 sticks of butter

Let's do the crust first:

Pour the graham cracker crumbs into a large bowl with the brown sugar and walnuts. Melt the two sticks of butter and pour the melted butter into the bowl and mix everything together.

Grease a 9-inch spring pan with shortening and then pour the mixture into the pan, evenly spreading it around the bottom of the pan.

Now that the crust is made, here's how to get your batter together:

Make sure your cream cheese and butter is room temperature, usually let it sit out in its packaging for about an hour.

Mix the cream cheese, butter, sugar and rum with a mixer in a large bowl. Once the mixture has a smooth consistency, start adding the eggs and eggnog to the mixture until again, it is smooth.

In a large roasting pan, pour six 20-ounce glasses of water into it and place it on the top rack of the oven. This is going to serve as your water bath and will make sure the cake bakes well and doesn't crack while baking.

Pour the cheesecake batter into the spring pan and then place the spring pan into the roasting pan.

Bake for 45 minutes at 350 degrees, and once done, remove the spring pan from the water bath, let cool before placing it into the refrigerator.

Refrigerate for about three hours and serve it to the family!

If you try either of these recipes, let me know how they turned out for you, or if you want to share one of your special dishes with me, send it to andre.taylor@patch.com.

Until then people, have a safe and happy holiday season and remember, keep on burnin'!

Check out more Tasty Tidbits at Falls Church Patch.

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