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Paonia Farm and Home Supply, also known as Paonia’s do-it-yourself center, wants to show your project(s) with pictures to inspire our community to get started with their project.  Please come into the store and share your before, during, and after pictures of your projects, gardens, remodeling efforts, and farm animals.

Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake


My family loves pumpkin cheesecake more than the traditional pie.  It' a tradition.

My family loves pumpkin pie spices in cheesecake more than the traditional pie. It’ a tradition!


1 3/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
3 tablespoons light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 stick melted salted butter


3 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, at room temperature
1 (15-ounce) can pureed pumpkin
3 eggs plus 1 egg yolk
1/4 cup sour cream
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
2 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
For crust:
In medium bowl, combine crumbs, sugar and cinnamon. Add melted butter. Press down flat into a 9-inch springform pan. Set aside.

For filling:

Beat cream cheese until smooth. Add pumpkin puree, eggs, egg yolk, sour cream, sugar and the spices. Add flour and vanilla. Beat together until well combined.  Pour into crust. Spread out evenly and place in oven for 1 hour. Remove from the oven and let sit for 15 minutes. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 4 hours.



Traditional Thanksgiving Dinner Menu/with Recipe Links

The crunchy nut topping adds texture and flavor

The crunchy nut topping adds texture and flavor.  The sweet flavor makes this a great side dish. This is another easy do-ahead recipe.  Just heat for about 30 minutes before serving.

6 Medium sweet potatoes (about 3 lbs) (often labeled yams in the grocery store)
3 TBS butter
¾ cup sugar
3 TBS Grand Marnier, orange liquor, or orange extract
1 tsp grated orange rind, (optional)
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp ground nutmeg
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 (14oz) can sweetened condensed milk
1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1-cup pecans, chopped
1/3 cup flour
1/3 cup butter
¼ tsp ground nutmeg

Cook potatoes in boiling water to cover, 30-40 minutes or until tender; drain. Let cool slightly. Peel potatoes and place in a large bowl. Add 3 TBS butter and mash. Add ¾ cup sugar and next 6 ingredients; mash again or beat on medium speed with electric mixer until smooth. Spoon into a lightly greased 2-quart casserole.

Combine brown sugar and remaining 4 ingredients; sprinkle over sweet potato mixture. Bake, uncovered at 425 degrees for 30 minutes or until thoroughly heated, shielding with aluminum foil after 20 minutes to prevent excessive browning.

Do Ahead Tip:

Sweet potato mixture can be made the night before – spoon into the greased casserole. Remove from refrigerator 30 minutes before baking; add brown sugar topping. Bake as directed above.

Traditional Thanksgiving Dinner Menu with Recipe Links

Cranberry Relish Salad

My family loves the traditional, sweet, tangy Cranberry Orange Relish Jello mold for Thanksgiving.  The recipe probably dates back to my grandmother, but it’s as good now as it was then.   The beauty of the salad is that it can be prepared several days ahead. Scroll down for two versions of this best-loved cranberry relish salad from my friends.

Traditional Thanksgiving Dinner Menu


My friend Michele’s family LOVES this Texas version of the classic jello mold made with COKE.

Cranberry Relish Salad

1 pkg cranberries, chopped
1 orange peel, finely ground
1 whole orange, sectioned & cut into chunks
1 cup of chopped pecans
1 small can of crushed pineapple
1 apple, chopped
1 large box of strawberry /raspberry jello plus small box
2 cups of boiling water
2 cups REGULAR coke (or water)
1 ¼ cup sugar

Pour jello, water, coke and sugar over the rest of the ingredients and stir until jello is dissolved. Pour into pan or, if you like, decorative jello mold. Chill and serve.  Yields 8-10 servings

My friend Marilyn's version uses a can of mandarin oranges instead of the whole orange to save time.

My friend Marilyn’s version uses a can of mandarin oranges instead of the whole orange to save time.


1. Assemble and prepare the following ingredients:

20 oz. can crushed pineapple unsweetened (drain, reserving the juice)
1 6oz red Jello; cherry, raspberry, or strawberry gelatin
1 Cup boiling water
1 Cup fresh, whole cranberries
1 – 11 oz can mandarin oranges
1 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1 TB lemon juice

2. Dissolve gelatin in boiling water. Add lemon juice and reserved pineapple juice.

3. Chill until gelatin begins to set-up about one hour. Meanwhile, coarsely chop cranberries in blender or food processor.

4. Stir in cranberries, oranges, pineapple, celery, and pecans to the thickened gelatin. Place this mixture in holiday jello mold or attractive glass serving bowl. Chill until firm.

Traditional Thanksgiving Dinner Menu

Traditional Thanksgiving Dinner Menu

turkeydinner copyTURKEY WITH GRAVY*
Classic Stuffing
Cranberry Relish Salad*
Mashed Potatoes
Sweet Potato Casserole*
Green Bean Casserole
Dinner Rolls
Apple Pie    Pecan Pie   Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake *

Recipes will be published at our website/blog before Thanksgiving.  Be sure to keep checking for some scrumptious, family heirloom recipes.

Do-ahead recommendations
Here are a few suggestions for planning all the shopping, cooking and baking ahead so that your Thanksgiving Dinner is delicious, memorable, and most importantly, stress free.

Turkeys are usually on sale ahead a few weeks ahead of the big day. Buy the biggest bird that will fit in your freezer and oven. Leftover turkey can be frozen in meal sized portions to
make some of the tastiest and most economical main dishes imaginable.  Remember to thaw the turkey safely.  Here are 2 recommended methods:

Refrigerator Thawing Times

4 to 12 pounds — 1 to 3 days
12 to 16 pounds — 3 to 4 days
16 to 20 pounds — 4 to 5 days
20 to 24 pounds —5 to 6 days

A thawed turkey can remain in the refrigerator for 1 or 2 days before cooking.

Cold Water Thawing- Allow about 30 minutes per pound.

First be sure the turkey is in a leak-proof plastic bag to prevent cross-contamination and to prevent the turkey from absorbing water, resulting in a watery product.

Submerge the wrapped turkey in cold tap water. Change the water every 30 minutes until the turkey is thawed. Cook the turkey immediately after it is thawed.

Cold Water Thawing Times

4 to 12 pounds — 2 to 6 hourswaterthaw
12 to 16 pounds — 6 to 8 hours
16 to 20 pounds — 8 to 10 hours
20 to 24 pounds — 10 to 12 hours

A turkey thawed by the cold water method should be cooked immediately. After cooking, meat from the turkey can be refrozen.

Planning Ahead

1. Purchase as many non-perishable items ahead when they go on sale.  Examples would be stuffing mix, canned pumpkin or cranberries.
2. Pies, rolls and breads can be baked several weeks ahead and frozen.

Week of Thanksgiving Suggestions:

1. Allow sufficient time for the turkey to thaw in your refrigerator. It may take several days for big turkeys.
2. Clean out your refrigerator and use all the leftovers several days ahead of the big day to make room for the turkey and trimmings.
3. Clear your counters of any unneeded clutter to make room for the preparations.
4.  Plan the time to start roasting the turkey so it will be ready about an hour before serving time.  Stuffed turkeys cook slower but makes yummier tasting stuffing and it also helps to save
precious oven space during that last hectic hour prior to serving.
5.  While the turkey rests, (It will stay piping hot for at least an hour on the counter) you will have plenty of time to make gravy, mash the potatoes, heat the vegetable dishes,  bake pies, carve the turkey,  and attend to any other last minute preparations.
6.  Be sure to delegate the work to family and guests so everyone can be part of the action.


Roasted Tomato Marinara Sauce

Roasted tomatoes with onion and garlic makes amazing Marinara sauce.

Roasted tomatoes with onion, basil, and garlic makes amazing Marinara sauce.

The beauty of roasting end-of -the-season tomatoes is that you use what you have left, including any kind of tomato, not just Roma’s, onion, garlic, fresh basil, and other herbs.   Oven roasted vegetables of any kind are extra flavorful and so is this sauce!  Make the sauce by putting the roasted veggies through a blender or food processor.  Fantastic for spaghetti, lasagna, tomato soup, or anything you would use a marinara sauce for.

In the middle of winter, pulling your garden Marinara sauce out of the freezer will remind you of the bounty of summer and remind you that summer is coming!

Roasted Tomato Marinara Sauce:

1.  Using a deep roasting pan(s), drizzle the bottom of the pan with olive oil about 2 Tbsp.  Fill the pan with chopped tomatoes – any kind or combination of tomatoes is fine.

2.  Slice up 1-2 medium onions and arrange over the top of the tomatoes.  Add herbs such as basil, garlic, oregano, thyme, and rosemary to taste along with some hot red peppers if desired.

3. Sprinkle salt over the vegetables. Roast the onions/tomatoes for 2-3 hours or more at 325 degrees F.  Allow the veggies to cool.  Run the tomatoes through the blender and package in 2 – 4 cup portions and freeze what you aren’t using in the next few days.

Roast any kind of tomatoes you have.

Roast any kind of tomatoes you have.

4.  Adjust seasonings to taste.

I enjoy using this sauce in lasagna.  My friends have tried it over buttered spaghetti squash with Parmesan Cheese.  How do you like to use your sauce?