Being busy has its perks. Like drinking too many vanilla lattes and making really awesome pies late at night. My creativity is buzzing all day. I love being engrossed with a long to-do list. I enjoy being barely able to pencil a hair appointment in. I don’t know what to do with myself if I don’t have an activity, or something pressing. I actually need to stop checking my Blackberry while driving.
Throwing it into the backseat might be the only solution.
I have to remind myself that a little relaxing is good sometimes. A girl needs some time to herself.
Did you know that baking to relieve stress is called ‘stressbaking’? You can find it on Urbandictionary. It’s totally real and happens a lot to me! Another great stress reliever is yoga. I actually went to a yoga sculpt class tonight. You do yoga with weights in a heated room with lots of lunges, squats and sexy ab moves. It was perfect because I think I finally sweated out half the pie I ate the last week. Hehe.
Get over the pie and yoga, serious talk here. A lot of things have happened lately. I started a new job and I’ve been living out of my suitcase for the past month. I can’t wait to have a place to call my own! I’m looking forward to decorating my house, baking for whoever I meet, and more importantly, having a good home for my KitchenAid Mixer.
Life keeps surprising me lately. I’m not used to it! Living someplace new is completely exhilarating. It’s like riding a rollercoaster, except the feeling lasts longer than 90 seconds. I’m saying goodbye to everything that was, and opening up a whole new world of possibilities.
I need to do some things for me for a change besides the baking and yoga. Doing what you love is important. If you want something bad enough, nothing will stand in your way to make it happen. It’s called passion.
Three things that I’d really love to happen in 2012:
- Start my own food business. …Or just strike it big and get on the Food Network. I’m fine with either.
- Become a yoga instructor. After someone called me a human pretzel in yoga class, I figured that meant I was decent enough to teach others. The classes are a little expensive, but probably worth it in the end.
- Have a dinner party for more than six people. The combination of cooking all day and bringing people together with food sounds phenomenal to me. This is serious.
I’ve got to be patient though. I’ll get to these things eventually.
This pie is my favorite. Pecans and Gingersnaps come together to make a lovely spiced crust. Topped with Dulce de Leche… don’t act like you aren’t intrigued.
Phenomenal is what I’m actually saying. BEST PIE EVER!
Had to make sure you know what you’re dealing with. Hope you’ll make!
Dulce de Leche Pumpkin Mousse Pie with Pecan Gingersnap Crust
- For Pecan Gingersnap crust:
- 1 1/4 cup chopped pecans
- 1/4 cup melted butter
- 1 1/2 cup gingersnaps, crumbled
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup dark brown sugar
- For Pumpkin filling:
- 1 1/2 cups canned pumpkin
- 1 pint heavy whipping cream
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 8 ounces of whipped cream cheese
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon milk
- 2 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 3/4 tsp ground nutmeg
- 3/4 tsp ground ginger
- 3/4 tsp ground cloves
- 1 jar store-bought Dulce de leche or caramel sauce (I found some at Trader Joe's)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
To make the crust: Place gingersnap cookies and pecans in food processor and pulse until they become fine crumbs. Add melted butter, dark brown sugar, and sea salt to food processor with crumbs. Pulse again until the cookie crumbs resemble wet sand. Add in flour and pulse a couple of times more until well combined.
- Scrape into 9-inch pie pan and use a spoon or fingers to press into the pan. Make sure it is even, then bake in oven for about 15 minutes or until crust starts becoming golden brown.
- Set on a wire rack to cool. Once the crust is cool spoon 2 tablespoons of Dulce de leche over crust and spread evenly over the bottom; set aside.
- To make the pumpkin cream filling: Place heavy whipping cream and granulated sugar in large bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat until heavy and thick. Take 1 cup of the whipped cream and place in refrigerator -- this will be used as the topping later.
- In separate large bowl, combine the pumpkin, whipped cream cheese, spices and powdered sugar until creamy. Add in milk and stir again. Slowly fold in whipped cream until well combined.
- Pour pumpkin cream filling in pie pan on top of the Dulce de leche layer, spreading evenly.
Place pie in refrigerator for at least 4 hours*.
- Once ready to serve, carefully spread the whip cream evenly over the top of the pumpkin cream filling. Drizzle 1 tablespoon of dulce de leche over the top.
Garish with extra pecans or gingersnap cookies if desired. Serves 8.
*You can also freeze for 2 hours or longer if you desire a frozen pumpkin cream pie (super good!)