Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars

The Recipe: Cheesecake bars with four pretty layers, one cheesecake, one pumpkin and one whipped cream, all atop a graham cracker crust. Positively addictive!
"It's very yummy." ~ Anonymous
"... now a family favourite." ~ Anonymous
"Made for Canadian Thanksgiving dessert four years in a row." ~ Michelle Oh dear, this is gonna date me. Who else remembers that layered concoction of pudding mix, cream cheese and Cool Whip? As a teenager in the 1970s, it felt naughty to call it "sex in a pan" cake and "better than sex" cake. Even the more polite "Robert Redford in a Pan" warranted a titter or two. The cake was a favorite at church suppers – take that, church elders! – and neighborhood potlucks.Well, this is the very same cake, just gussied up a bit with fresh ingredients. It’s not complicated to make but does have several moving parts. Diet alert: it’s positively addictive.The recipe comes from my dear, dear Aunti…

Perfect Make-Ahead Mashed Potatoes
(Party Potatoes Recipe)

The Recipe: How to make smooth, rich and fluffy mashed potatoes – sure, serve them right away but these mashed potatoes are especially designed for cooking ahead of time to serve later. This makes them great for serving a crowd and perfect for parties and family gatherings. Trust me, making the potatoes ahead of time takes so much pressure off the cook. Hooray! No more making potatoes at the last minute! The Story: Memories of my dad making mashed potatoes. He was such a ham! When I was a child, Dad was in charge of mashing the potatoes at Thanksgiving, Christmas and Sunday Dinner, a stage-worthy performance of dramatic flourish and culinary tension.Act One: Dad smashed the potatoes with a hand masher, but just so far. “You want lumps,” he admonished. “This isn’t Hungry Jack.”Act Two: He swiped a tasteful of potatoes with the tip of his little finger, then air-smacked his lips, tasting in turn for smoothness, creaminess and saltiness. In the next minutes, he would add what sure looke…