PHILLY THREE-STEP PUMPKIN CHEESECAKE
`For those who cook a lot, you can make your own graham cracker crust. I even put marzipan in mine,' says Lora Brody. 2 (8 oz.) packages high-quality
cream cheese, softened 1/2 cup canned pumpkin 1/2 cup sugar 1/2 teaspoon vanilla 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon Dash each ground cloves and nutmeg 2 eggs 1 graham-cracker-crumb crust
(6 oz. or 9 inch) Whipped topping and pecans for garnish
Mix cream cheese, pumpkin, sugar, vanilla, and spices at medium speed with electric mixer until well blended. Add eggs; mix.
Pour into crust. Bake at 350 degrees F. for 40 minutes or until center is almost set. Cool. Refrigerate three hours or overnight. Garnish with whipped topping and pecans, if you wish. -From forthcoming `The Entertaining Survival Guide' (William Morrow). SUN-DRIED TOMATO DIP
`The sun-dried tomato dip is a real breakthrough,' writes Barbara Kafka, in `Party Food.' At a recent party, `seven guests demanded the recipe.' 1/2 pound sun-dried tomatoes (not in oil) 10 medium cloves garlic, smashed and
peeled 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano 1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme 1 1/4 cups olive oil 1/4 cup vegetable oil
Combine tomatoes, garlic, oregano, thyme, and two cups of water in a 13-by-9-by-2-inch oval glass or ceramic dish. Cover tightly with microwave plastic wrap. Cook at 100 percent power in a high-wattage oven for 8 minutes. Prick plastic to release steam. Remove from oven and uncover. Stir well. Re-cover and cook for 8 minutes longer. Again, prick plastic to release steam. Remove from oven and uncover. Stir well and allow to stand, stirring occasionally, until cool and most of the liquid has been absorbed.
Transfer to a 1 1/2-quart souffle dish. Pour 3/4 cup of the olive oil and the vegetable oil over the tomato mixture. Cover tightly with microwave plastic wrap and cook for 5 minutes. Prick plastic to release steam.
Remove from oven and uncover. Stir, and allow to stand until cool. Puree in a food processor until smooth.
Stir in remaining olive oil if serving immediately. Otherwise, pack in a refrigerator storage container with a tightly fitting lid. The dip will keep as long as a month, so think about making the whole quantity. Makes five cups. -From `Party Food' by Barbara Kafka (William Morrow, $25)