the big day is tomorrow!

i expect everyone is doing the same thing today - cooking, baking, prepping, wrapping.

i finished off my last gift this morning, a shirt for my father in law. stuffing is done, bread is rising, turkey is brining, cranberry sauce is made, chestnuts are roasted & peeled & ready for braising, and i'm just getting to work on the buche de noel (hallelujah for finding chestnut cream, which was sold out at a couple of places!) and the pecan coffee cake for breakfast tomorrow.

tonight, we will go to christmas eve service at first unitarian, then home for fondue by the tree, fruitcake, and egg nog. then, after we've hung the stockings and chased the kiddo off to bed, assembling the coffee cake for its second rise, doing a bit of calligraphy, and getting the table set for xmas dinner. i've already done the flower arrangement (in a vintage salad bowl, so it's low enough to talk over):

green roses, white zinnias, chrysanthemums and berries, cedar and pine boughs - click to enlarge

and then it will be time to relax!


a treat for all!

we just survived our annual tree-trimming party!

the biggest hit turned out to be the cross-cultural dessert: mincemeat (for xmas) hamantaschen (for purim). everyone was saying "wow, best pastry ever" and stunned to learn it was also vegan and gluten-free.

the chocolate-pecan balls (an accidental invention from last year, which i think will become a new tradition) and chestnut shortbread were also a hit.

mincemeat (n.b. this makes lots - make a batch of tarts now, and freeze the rest for more tarts later!

1 lb golden delicious apples, cored and diced finely, peel left on
1/4 cup hazelnut oil
12 oz sultanas
12 oz golden raising
8 oz candied orange peel
12 oz brown sugar
grated zest and juice 1 orange
grated zest and juice 1 lemon
2 oz almonds, chopped
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp cloves

combine all ingredients. let steep together, covered, overnight.

spread in a glass baking dish. bake at 225f for 2 hours.

hamantaschen dough

2 1/2 cups jeanne’s gluten-free flour (and more for rolling out)
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup cold shortening (i used a mix of 2/3 earth balance, 1/3 crisco, but you could use butter)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup orange juice (from about 1 large orange)

combine dry ingredients. rub in shortening with your fingers till it resembles fine breadcrumbs. sprinkle liquids over and stir in with a fork. chill 2+ hours.

when firm, roll out with more flour, till about 1/8” thick. cut in 2 1/2” circles, put a tsp of mincemeat in the middle, and fold up the edges to look like a triangle. pinch to seal. bake 15 min at 350.

chestnut shortbread

1 cup shortening (i used 1/2 crisco, 1/2 earth balance, but you could use butter)
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 cups chestnut flour

cream shortening together with sugar, beat with a wooden spoon till fluffy. stir in chestnut flour. chill.

when somewhat firm, shape into logs about 1 1/2" diameter. chill again until firm.

slice into coins about 1/4" or 3/8" thick. bake 12 min at 350.

chocolate pecan balls

2 cups jeanne’s gluten-free flour
1 cup pecans
1/2 cup cocoa
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup shortening (i used 1/2 crisco, 1/2 earth balance, but you could use butter)
3/4 cup icing sugar (plus more for coating)
2 tsp vanilla

combine half the flour with the pecans & salt in a food processor & chop finely.

cream together shortening, sugar, and vanilla. stir in pecan mixture and remaining flour. chill.

shape into balls about 1" big.

bake 10 min at 350.

let cool for 2 minutes, then roll in icing sugar and cool on a rack.


skyfall: cardigan season

i grew up with james bond, loving the suavity as i imagined myself to be highly sophisticated despite being a kid in a small town (i remember quoting annie hall in my grade 7 class and being surprised that the other kids weren't impressed). so, i am one of those hold-outs who is not so keen on daniel craig. he's a rat-face thug, in my books. so i have not rushed out to see skyfall yet.

this could change all that.

this dries van noten cardigan worn by "q" is taking the internet by storm! and for good reason, there are some clever details: how the striping intersects with the assymetric zippered front, what looks like a garter-stitch stripe going down the shoulder and sleeve. and it looks like slash pockets on the side seam? i want to make this. i guess i'll have to drag myself out to see the movie, and take more notes.

in other news, our big tree-trimming party is tomorrow, and i am so not ready... between being sick, and workload craziness, it's a fiesta of bad timing. argh.


xmas fruitcake: step 2

today we bake!

all of my fruit was smelling lovely and luscious (and tasting pretty good too - you've got to taste as you go, right?) after a night in sherry. tonight, once i got the kiddo fed & in bed, i stirred up the batter and folded in the fruit. recipe is delia smith's dundee cake with a few twists.

then came a tricky bit: arranging almonds on top in concentric rings (ruddy health food store only had with skins on, so i blanched them while i was cooking dinner). it's not precisely symmetrical, but just fine, i think.

and of course i had to do it twice.

then ready for the oven! for 2 or 2 1/2 hours. ugh. and then cooling for 30 minutes in the pan before unmolding onto a rack. double ugh. did i mention i got going on these after the kiddo was in bed? which is to say, tired now. but if i hadn't had to stay up, i might have been tempted to put off fixing the dishwasher, which would not have been good.

and boy, do they smell wonderful!


xmas fruitcake: step one

haven't had fruitcake at xmas since mum died, it's one of the many things i miss a lot. so this year, i'm making my own. i started a couple of months back making candied peel, and then glace cherries. now, it's time to get baking so it has time to "ripen" before the holiday season.

i looked at a lot of recipes, and had a real time deciding which to choose. so many had different twists, different things to recommend them! i've finally settled on delia smith's dundee cake. with a few twists.

first off, i switched out currants for dried apricots (one of the ingredients i found tempting in some other recipes). i also upped the glace cherries content, since i spent an entire bloody week making them. i decided to steep in sherry rather than whiskey as i like sherry for dessert-y things (why yes, i am a middle-aged lady, nothing wrong with that) and also it's slightly less alcoholic and the kiddo is going to end up eating some of this.

and finally, when you dream, dream big: i'm making a double batch, so we'll have one for our tree-trimming party at the beginning of december, and one for christmas eve carolling.


another busy day!

and not over yet.

so far, i've made lentil soup, coq au vin, and the components of lasagna which i am about to assemble. also went to a volunteer appreciation luncheon, and entertained a sick kiddo.

and i put the finishing touches on this wee cardigan which my husband took to a baby shower in the afternoon! half of the lasagnas and coq au vin are also to be delivered to the new parents, whose son arrived a full month before he was expected! yikes. he is doing fine, his parents are a bit tired though.


i almost forgot to introduce myself. my name is stilton, geronimo stilton.

so, the kiddo wanted to be geronimo stilton this year (he's even perhaps given up on being a bug scientist, and wants to be a newspaper editor instead). we started with this...

... then this...

... finally got to this...

... ha, it almost fits me...


now to get to work on christmas.


squash the muffins!

muffins are in the oven!

i used a butternut squash this time, as that's what i had on hand. also, instead of bran cereal, i crushed 4 weetabix, and added a touch extra flour because it seemed a bit gloopy. batter tastes good, i'm sure they'll be yummy. and i do remember when i was little, my mum saying canned squash made a better pie than canned pumpkin.

pumpkin muffins

1/2 cup soft butter
1 1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 egg
1/2 cup milk
1 1/2 cup pumpkin
1 1/2 cup flour
1 1/2 cup crushed bran cereal
1 tbs baking powder
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp allspice
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup chopped pecans + 24 whole pecans

cream butter & sugar. beat in egg and vanilla, stir in milk and pumpkin.

combine flour, cereal, baking powder, and spices. stir into pumpkin mixture until just combined. stir in raisins and nuts.

divide batter between 24 greased & floured muffin tins. top each with a whole pecan. bake at 400f for 20 minutes.

another sick day

i feel like i have had a creature lodged in my sinus cavity behind my eyes for the past week, and it has finally won the battle for supremacy in my head. body aches, mild nausea, sore throat, pick a symptom and i've got it. last night i had a lovely neo-citran and am tempted to do that again but afraid i'll fall asleep and miss picking up my son at lunch!

and today is an important day. for today his afternoon preschool program is having their hallowe'en party! so i will bring his costume & dress him up before i take him over there. pics to follow. i hope the jacket fits all right, i haven't had a chance to try it on him. eep!

meanwhile, we're supposed to bring a snack or something to share with the kiddies. i was going to just bring something prefab, but since i'm home, i've dug up a muffin recipe that looks fairly low-effort. roasting a squash from the garden for it as we speak.

and now, i think it is time to retire to the chesterfield with another episode of brideshead revisited and a pot of tea!


down to the wire, as always

it's the night before the hallowe'en party at the kiddo's preschool, and i'm still sewing. and suffering - feeling flu-ish actually, some creature took up residence in my sinuses last week, and i've held it at bay so far, but i think it's about to win. sigh.

thankfully all that's left to do is a little hand-sewing. the wonderful tg googled solutions to my supermatic's problems yesterday while i was out, and presented me with a printout of solutions. reading it after a nap, it was easy to diagnose the problem: needle inserted at wrong height! fixed and yay.


hallowe'en count down: 8 days

had a semi-productive sick day today. there's only so much you can do witha sinus headache, but i dug out my pattern and fabric and cut out the pieces for geronimo stilton's suit, and picked up where i'd left off with his head.

i'd gotten the idea to use plastic cut from a laundry detergent bottle to stiffen his ears. but i got the idea after sewing them up and finding they were a bit floppy. so today, i took on the mindless task of picking out the stitches, inserting the plastic, and then re-sewing, and then sewing them on to the head.

hand-sewing is good sick-day work. i curled up on the sofa with a glass of milk, a piece of buttered toast, and the trotsky. which i quite enjoyed, despite some awkward lines. i was a little disappointed in colm feore (maybe because my expectations from him are always so high?); genevieve bujold was awesome. as coming of age films go, it was definitely a bit of all right.

anyway i had got the head mostly done on the weekend. actually i'd drafted the pattern and cut out the fabric ages ago, but when the kiddo got sniffy about it not being the right shade of brown, i lost a bit of motivation. also, was busy making thanksgiving desserts, and craft fair stuff (some of which you can see in my etsy shop). hallowe'en kept getting pushed back. next year i'll be smart and do the hallowe'en stuff in july.

note: it is hard to take a picture of oneself wearing a mousehead. just awkward. but soon it will be all done and i can take a proper pic of the whole costume!


finally, five years later... mask stands!

here's a little project that sat around waiting for me to do it for a long time, although it was not difficult at all!

five (yes, five!) years ago we went to zambia for a month, and among the things we brought back were two wooden masks. but we needed a way to display them! i foolishly thought it would be easy to but some sort of hat stand and adapt it, but i was woefully wrong. le sigh. so i had a little think about how one could make such a thing.

i imagined a version of some of the display racks i'd seen in shops for hats (although i couldn't for the life of me find such things in the right configuration and price for me to purchase): a base, an upright, and a knobby bit on top:

fairly simple, right? the wooden bases were cedar deck-components bought at our local hardware emporium - they're meant to cap 4x4 posts, and there's a good variety of them available most places you would go to buy stuff to build a deck. the upright section is simply a length of 3/4" dowel. the top, because i couldn't find wooden ones, is ugly white styrofoam.

i got a 3/4" spade bit and used my trusty old hand drill to drill down through the centre of the wooden bases - almost but not quite all the way through, leaving just under 1/4" thick at the bottom. then, i inserted the dowel with a load of glue, and anchored with a wood screw which i drove up from the bottom. solid. i also screwed a couple of mending plates on the bottom of the base, for added weight and stability.

the styrofoam balls... drilling in styrofoam is a messy unpleasant job. but it got done. those got glued on the top.

now of course, they looked pretty ugly. here's where the papier mache comes in. i made a simple paste of 1/2 cup flour, 2 cups water, cooked for about 5 minutes and then left to cool. i had a bunch of natural brown tissue paper in my collection of tissue and wrapping paper saved from every gift that has ever entered the house, so i used that, and covered the stands in their entirety, from the top down. the styrofoam balls got extra layers, as did the join between styrofoam and wood - my drill holes were messy, the balls were wobbly, all the stability they have now is due to papier mache. layers of it. these don't need to be exceptionally sturdy; the masks are made out of a fairly lightweight wood so they weigh less than you'd guess to look at them (makes sense, considering they were originally made to be worn by people). and, they're going to be sitting out of harm's way, on top of the piano.

i was originally intending to use a dark stain over all, but the natural light brown was sufficiently innocuous that i just left it.

ta dah! i'm feeling a bit pleased with myself now. although the top of the piano is probably getting too crowded for its own good. i should probably rearrange the living room bookshelves to make room for the basket o' sheet music up there, at least.


i did it!

survived my first craft fair!! a bigger turnout would have been nice, but what can you do. it was still a fine day and i met some cool people and made a few sales! unsurprising really, when a doctor who fan approaches a table of bowties. and now that i'm home, i've posted some of what i didn't sell on etsy - more to come - and realized i misspelled my etsy url on the tags. yikes! ah well, best to learn these lessons the hard way on a small scale, rather than a grand catastrophe.


another busy day

thanksgiving is upon us once again! so today i'm making the same as last year: my usual 2 pumpkin pies, and the non-pumpkin dessert is once again sticky toffee pudding. when i asked the beenster what i should make in addition to the pies, he said "pudding" and looked at me like i was crazy for even asking. so, pudding it is! and cheese crackers. my brother-in-law dropped by this morning, and saw a big lump of imperial cheddar in a bowl with some softening butter, and said, "is that cheese? it - wait! you're making - mmmmmmm! happy!" which is pretty much the kind of reaction that makes me want to do more more more. love the appreciation!


getting ready...

so one of the things i wanted to do for the craft fair was t-shirts - they're something easy for people to pick up. but i didn't want to make them all the way from scratch - neckline ribbing is annoying to do, and i didn't see fabric cheap enough to make it feasible. no one is going to spend $50 on a kid's t-shirt.

so on the weekend, i found some cheap 5 for $10 adult-sized t-shirts in chinatown, some light grey heather, some dark grey heather. i started on them yesterday by dying half of them green and half blue:

doesn't show up great in this picture (too early in the day yet for natural light!) but they have a nice heathery look to the colours. next will be chopping them up (preserving the neckline for laziness) and making kids' shirts out of them. scraps will be used for things like lining ties.

finally will come the stencilling. i have (what i think is) a pretty cool idea for an illustration. i'm excited!


the crunch

it's coming. in just 2 weeks, i'm going to have a table at my first ever craft fair!

it's happening at withrow park clubhouse on saturday 13 october, and it's a fundraiser for fair toronto, a group i'm involved with that works to improve accessibility to toronto's parks & rec programs. so far i have a bunch of hats, and a bunhc of fabric to make other stuff, and a desperate need for more time! yikes. also thinking of printing out some knitting patterns for sale. and i'm going to be selling some handspun for a fellow raveller!

ok enough time-wasting. need to get to work!


marvellous moore

about a month and a half ago, i mentioned watching the last time i saw paris and enjoying having a look at the young and handsome roger moore. he's great eye candy. but even better when he isn't trying to act, as in this pattern book from the 1950s, found here via how to become a professional knitter! even better, although the copy of the original pattern which robin linked has now been sold (surprise), the website offering it has lots of other great vintage patterns for sale, and some free patterns too!


piecaken: part 3

this morning i had the task of icing and assembling. i started by making a double-batch of classic vanilla frosting, and then went to the cakes. they were a little sad looking, the chocolate one was awfully sunken in.

when i went to move it to a plate for assembly, i discovered the awful truth - due to the fundamental structural instability of the thing, the middle had glopped right through the rack it was cooling on, and straight onto the counter! argh. i scooped up the overflow, stuck it back where it belonged as best i could, and covered all flaws with frosting. all hail frosting.

didn't have a decent camera at work, so my only photo of the inside is a quite poor mobile snap. but you get the idea! a coworker estimated it's 600 calories a slice. he had two. so did i. then i felt ill.

recipe to come tomorrow once i have recovered!


piecaken: part 2

next time i get one of these crazy ideas, please stop me. i'm always biting off more than i can chew.

so this morning i got up, had a shower, made lunches for the kiddo & me, got breakfast, biked to work by 8 o'clock, left for lunch at 11 o'clock so i could bike over to the school to pick up the kiddo from kindergarten and take him to afternoon pre-school, then back to work for 1 o'clock, found out about a new last-minute horrible work thing i need to get done for monday, worked on that, emailed it to myself at home to work on more, biked to the preschool, picked up the kid, rode him home, did the final step in the glace cherries, made a lasagna from scratch, worked on a jigsaw puzzle with the kid (fine motor skills + hopefully helping with his tendency to make his letters flipped or rotated), ate lasagna with family, started makind cake batter, went upstairs to get the kiddo to brush his teeth and discovered an "accident," got mop, offered encouragement & training in how to mop, re-mopped myself for effectiveness, brushed the teeth, bathed the kiddo, read him a story, finished cake batter, put cakes in oven, dialled in to national conference call for non-profit group, took cakes out of oven, allowed to cool, flipped one out onto a rack and realised that it is still bloody liquidy on the bottom, argh, returned cake to pan (not easy) and thence to oven, texted husband to ask to get sugar at 24-hour grocery since i used it all up on the cherries and don't have any left for frosting, etc. etc. etc...

you can tell the vanilla/peach is the one i flipped onto the rack. sigh. we can fix it in post. aka icing.

piecaken: part 1

i need to bring a piecaken to work tomorrow! and only really figured it out yesterday. oops. so last night, i made pies.

it was a comedy of errors really, since i went out to buy peaches and cherries, and realised i was out of gas, and got gas next door to sobey's and thought "i should just go there but i don't want to," and went to fiesta farms but they didn't have cherries (even though they had them last week!), so went back to sobey's but they didn't have cherries, so i went to loblaws which i hate more than anything and they didn't have cherries, so i said "whatever, i'll get them in a jar or something," grabbed my peaches, was on the way to look for cherries when i remembered i needed smaller pie plates, and loblaws didn't have any! do went back to fiesta farms. hate the world.

but, pie.


still with the cherries, and something more ridiculous

i'm on day five of the glace cherries recipe. soon, soon! just did my first boil of the cherries, here they are waiting for their syrup for a 12-hour soak:

another thing i'm starting tonight: piecaken. i first heard of it from a co-worker, a few months ago. then, he was hit by a car, and injured badly. i promised him a piecaken on his return to work. so today, the buzz in the office was rob's return, and i asked "when is his first day back?" and was told this friday. eep! so pastry for pies is in the fridge resting, after dinner i'll run out and get some cherries & peaches and get the pies baked tonight. tomorrow, the cakes. friday morning, assemble, then drive to work. departmental meeting at 10 o'clock. yikes!



just realised i have never linked the greatest fruitcake website of all time: mondo fruitcake. then of course i couldn't find the link and had to hunt it down. so here it is for posterity, and here is a direct link to the prettiest fruitcake of all.


xmas is in the air

started making these yesterday! glace cherries (to go with my candied peel in a fruitcake, eventually), starting from scratch with fresh local produce. i had worried that i had somehow missed the local cherries, or that the crop had failed entirely due to the freakish spring/summer we've just had. but no! i found ontario cherries, and i am turning them into sweet goodness. slowly.

a word of caution: this is one of those recipes that says "on day five..." so you have to sort of plan your life around them a bit. they don't need much time spent on them each day, just some straining, measuring, boiling of syrup, etc., but it's not something to leave till the last minute, or start when you're going to be terrifically busy.

so far, i am just grateful that i haven't attracted a horde of fruit flies. grateful and amazed.


meatball! meatball!

taking a little break from cooking day. coconut stuff for the coconut chicken is done and in the fridge. tomato sauce is simmering. fabric for craft fair has been bought, washed, dried & folded. candied orange peel and meatballs have another 15 minutes before i have to run.

but speaking of meatballs, i have to share my particular meatball trick. i have a consistency thing. i crave it, but find it difficult to achieve. so i've developed a technique that works for meatballs, or peanut butter cookies, or anything you need to roll into little balls.

the trick is this: in whatever bowl you're mixing the stuff in, prod your stuff with a spoon until it is even and flat on top. then, take a long knife, and cut it into quarters. lift out one quarter of the dough/meat/whatever, and shape it into a disc. cut that in quarters. each quarter can then be rolled into a log, and cut into however many pieces are required. we're three in our family, so i am making the right number of meatballs for 3 people to have 4 dinners (48 meatballs). this way you avoid the annoying "i have 4 people and 7 cookies" problem. maybe i think about this too much.

what i usually think about when i'm making meatballs is this (skip to 1:13):

meatballs (enough for 12, or for 4 dinners for 3, or 3 dinners for 4)
1 tbs olive oil
2 large onions
2 lbs ground beef
1 lb italian sausage
1 tbs oregano
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tbs balsamic vinegar
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1 egg
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 cup dry breadcrumbs

chop onions and saute in oil till soft.

combine with meats, seasonings, and egg.

add cheese and crumbs, work in.

shape into 48 meatballs. bake on a cookie sheet for 30 minutes at 375f. serve on top of spaghetti with tomato sauce. and don't sneeze.

tomato sauce (enough for 12, again)
2 tbs olive oil
4 large onions
2 stalks celery
2 medium carrots
4 cloves garlic
1 tbs dried oregano
1 tsp dried parsley
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp dried basil
1 tbs balsamic vinegar
20 large ripe field tomatoes
salt to taste

chop onions and saute in oil till soft.

chop celery and carrots finely and add to onions. cook till soft and just starting to caramelise.

crush and add garlic along with herbs and vinegar.

chop and add tomatoes. bring to a boil, then simmer till thick and reduced by about half, about 3 hours.

season to taste with salt.

what i like to do is, get 4 empty yogurt containers (the big ones, 750g), put a dozen meatballs in each one, then fill with the sauce, then stick in the freezer until it's time for dinner. defrost/reheat in a covered pot on the stovetop while the spaghetti is cooking. voila!


in a fit of typical biting off more than i ought to be chewing, i've signed up for a table at a craft fair! it's a fundraiser for fair toronto, so a good cause and all, but still. this is supposed to be my cooking day, but i'm half-tempted to take this rare all-by-myself opportunity to go and get some fabric and whatnot. i have a few hats done already, which is good, but i know i can sew faster than i knit, given the time to myself! i figure leftovers will go in my long-abandoned etsy store (i'll link to that when there's actually something to link to), and was thinking of printing up some knitting patterns for sale, too. hmm.


thinking about hallowe'en

can't believe school starts next week - a million things to do, including a craft fair to prepare for, but all i can think about is hallowe'en!

the kiddo is currently crazy for geronimo stilton, and since we discovered him about 3 weeks ago has read literally dozens of books in the series. so when i asked him if he would like to be geronimo stilton for hallowe'en, he was super excited! me, i'm thinking i can adapt the head pattern from his old snapping turtle costume (already started on that), use up a velvety brown remnant that turned out to be too small to make the cushions i was hoping for, and get the kid into a suit. yay.

i am pretty sure i have a boys' suit pattern at home (note to self: check that!), and googling tie patterns, i just found this brilliant printable pattern from purl soho (same place i bought the fabric for the kiddo's quilt!). i bet i have some red fabric that i can use up too!


happy happy birthday, baby

tg turned 38 on the weekend, and requested a cheesecake "with some kind of sweet fruit that doesn't have a lot of tiny seeds in it" for his birthday cake. we agreed on mango. i found a yummy looking recipe in regan daley's in the sweet kitchen for a guava cheesecake that seemed like it would work, except there was a problem - or rather a disappointment. the recipe started with a wonderful description of a cashew & candied ginger crust, but there was no mention of candied ginger in the ingredients or instructions!

i guesstimated a quarter cup of ginger, based on how spicy it smelled, and it seemed to work well.

for the filling, i wanted fresh mangos but strangely couldn't find them! the grocery store had mangos in heavy syrup, but that sounded like more sugar than mango, and i wanted more mango. finally i found organic mango chunks in juice at my health food store, so i could choose exactly how much sugar i thought they needed.

another change i made was to swirl the fruit puree into the cheesecake filling in the pan, to make a pretty fruity pattern, instead of just mixing it in to the batter.

everyone loved it, from the designated spoon-licker to the birthday boy!

mango swirl cheesecake

3/4 cup roasted unsalted cashews
1/3 cup brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup candied ginger
1 1/2 cups flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup cold butter, cut in pieces
1 egg

4 bricks philly cream cheese (1 kg)
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
3 eggs, at room temperature
1 can mango chunks in mango juice (14 oz)
1/4 cup sugar
1 tbs arrowroot flour

pulse cashews and brown sugar in food processor to combine. break the ginger into small pieces, add to food processor with some of the flour, and pulse until the mix resembles fine bread crumbs. mix in bowl with remaining flour and salt.

rub in butter until the mixture resembles coarse meal with a few clumps. beat the egg lightly and stir in with a fork till combined.

press the dough into a 9" springform pan, covering the bottom and going up the sides a bit, making it about 1/4" thick.

chill 2 hours, then bake 20 minutes at 350. allow to cool.

cream the cream cheese with a wooden spoon until creamy. add the 1 1/2 cups sugar gradually with the vanilla, creaming out any lumps, then stir in the eggs one at a time. pour into cooled pan.

combine mango, sugar, and arrowroot in food processor and puree. pour over cream cheese filling, and use a spoon to swirl through.

bake 2 hours at 300f, with a water-filled tray on the rack below. allow to cool at room temperature for an hour or two, then chill overnight. run a knife around the edge before removing the sides of the springform pan.