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A website about recipes and family, by Jamie Gates.

Pumpkin Cheesecake

Last weekend we entertained a small group of friends. Our plans were to have a BBQ and a bonfire –a perfect Fall evening. However, when I woke up Friday morning the wind was whipping a million miles per hour and there was a 60% chance of rain forecasted. Not exactly ideal conditions for a BBQ or bonfire. We had to quickly implement a backup plan. Pasta buffet is what first came to mind. And pumpkin cheesecake was going to replace s’mores for our dessert.

I wish I would have snapped photos of the night but I was too busy making sure the food was done and everyone’s tummies were happy and full. Hindsight I guess. As I lay in bed after everyone had gone home it dawned on me that I should have taken pictures of the evening to share with you. Are you good at taking pictures at parties when you’re in the moment? I am not, but from now on it is my goal. This weekend is my daughter’s birthday party, so we’ll see if I do better.

Since I don’t have any food photos from that night I thought I would share a list of what I made. You’ll have to use your imaginations here (sorry!).

The quantities are what I used for our party of 10 adults 2 children

A friend brought a large salad to enjoy while the pasta was cooking.

2 boxes farfalle (for us this was plenty)
1 box gluten free fusilli (this fed 2 male adults with leftovers)

Marinara (recipe coming)
Alfredo (recipe)

2 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts (sliced thinly, seasoned with garlic salt & black pepper)
1 pound white mushrooms, sauteed
1 pound broccoli florets, steamed
1 medium-large eggplant, cubed and roasted
1 1/2 pounds Brussels sprouts, halved and roasted
2 (15 ounce) cans artichoke hearts, drained

2 loaves of store bought garlic bread (this was plenty, we used 1 1/2 loaves)
1 package (containing 4 rolls) Gluten Free ciabatta rolls

This set up allowed guests to top their pasta with any combination of toppings and sauces. I thought it worked out well and it seemed like everyone left full and happy. I hope to have another dinner party like this again soon! A pasta buffet would be the perfect starting point for a potluck. The host could provide the pastas and guests could bring various sauces and toppings. Hmm….I need to do this.

For dessert I whipped up a gluten free pumpkin cheesecake. It was a subtle pumpkin flavor and a great way to bridge the transition between light and fruity summer desserts and the stronger, spicier winter desserts. This would make a wonderful addition to the Thanksgiving dessert table! Your gluten intolerant loved one will thank you. 🙂

I did not use a water bath when I baked this cheesecake. My easy bake (not really easy bake just incredibly small) oven wouldn’t fit a pan large enough to be used as a water bath. The top of my cheesecake cracked slightly so to cover up the imperfection I topped it with a walnut praline.

dinner party, fall, Gluten Free, no water bath, pasta bar, pasta buffet, pecan cookies, pot luck, thanksgiving


  1. Sounds like an excellent meal. Bet our guests were full and happy. A little tip I picked up when surfing the recipe sites in regard to “cracked top” cheesecakes. Instead of putting your cheesecake in a bath, put a pan of water on the second shelf below the cheesecake. Should provide the extra steam needed to prevent cracking. Something to try anyway. The praline topping was also a good idea and sounds yummy.

    1. Thanks Grandma! I thought about putting a pan of water in the oven, but my oven is too small. I was afraid the rack the cheesecake on would have been up too high. I love my house but the range/oven situation is less than ideal 🙂

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