thanksgiving / halloween all-American (kind of) pumpkin cheesecake

pumpkin pie

Way down here in New Zealand Halloween is only just becoming a bit more of a thing, still not huge, but these days kids do dress up and go door-knocking around the neigbourhood ‘trick-or-teating’ and teenagers have a few themed dress-up parties. Back in the dark ages when I was growing up, Halloween was just something we saw on American TV shows – a distant, foreign, alluring holiday, filled with lollies (that’s candy to some) and crazy horror costumes. Likewise, Thanksgiving is an all-American celebration, and not one that anyone else in the world observes (that I know of!?), but that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy some of the classic festive dishes that are eaten at that time of year. Some of them are just too crazy for me (please – what is this marshmallow-topped sweet potato with savory business?) but some like beautifully seasoned roasted turkey followed by pumpkin pie (or in this case cheesecake) are just the ticket. So even though we don’t keep the same traditions, I thought I would post this recipe, which I put together and photographed for the lovely Dish magazine’s international issue. This is a ‘from scratch’ version of spiced pumpkin cheesecake – no tins (cans) will be harmed in the making of this dessert!It is particularly ironic to be posting this today, a kind of ‘harvesty’ autumnal recipe on what feels like the first actual day of spring in Auckland – the sun is shining, the birds are tweeting (they actually are) and there is a fly buzzing around the window… Whether you are like me, considering exposing your snow-white legs in shorts for the first time in many months, or just fossicking in the back of the wardrobe to find your woollies, I hope you’ll enjoy this recipe, it’s a real family favourite 🙂

750g peeled, de-seeded pumpkin, cut into 6cm chunks
2 tablespoons maple syrup
250g Gingernuts or similar biscuits
45g melted butter
875g cream cheese, at room temperature
2 cups caster sugar
2 tablespoons cinnamon
1/4 tespoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon maple syrup
2 tablespoons custard powder

4 large eggs

Preheat oven to 180˚C (350˚F) and line a roasting dish with baking paper. Put in chunks of pumpkin and drizzle with maple syrup then cover with tinfoil. Bake for 45 minutes or until easily pierced with a knife. While the pumpkin is cooking line the base and sides of a 23cm removable base cake tin with baking paper. Whiz gingernuts in a blender, add butter and whiz a bit more until smooth crumbs. Pour into prepared baking tin and squish down with your hands, then smooth out with the back of a tablespoon.  Refrigerate until ready to use.

Reduce the temperature to 150˚C (300˚F). Chop pumpkin up a bit to get it to cool down faster then put in the blender and whizz until really smooth. Give it five minutes to cool down more then add cream cheese, sugar, spices, salt, maple syrup and custard powder and blend again until smooth. Lastly add eggs and pulse briefly to combine it all, then you can pour it onto the base. Give it a tap on the bench to open up air bubbles then bake for 1 hour until it still has a bit of wobble in the middle. Allow to cool in the oven for at least two hours before removing. Cool further on the bench then pop in the fridge to cool completely. Remove from the fridge half an hour before serving.  Serve with bourbon spiked whipped cream or as is. Serves at least 10.


from Stuck in the kitchen

Go Places Near and Far with Far Reaches Gin


It’s all in the details for Far Reaches Gin. Designed by Chris Moore, the bottle tells a story of the ingredients used—specifically, where they are sourced. Inspired by the journeys taken to get the fragrant botanicals, Moore developed a design that evokes a sense of adventure.


“In August 2016, owner Andrew Whiting and I started our journey together to create an identity for Far Reaches Gin, the packaging being our final destination. The inspiration behind the gin was based on the exotic and wonderful lands the botanicals used to create the gin are found, and the journeys made to discover them. Far Reaches’ unique recipe incorporates thirteen botanicals sourced from across the world. The hand-drawn botanical map on our bottles details the five key botanicals in the gin – each from the far reaches of a different continent.”




“To tell this story I illustrated a complex map of the world created out of each botanical shape, and placed them in their respective continent.
Together, Andrew and myself really wanted to silkscreen directly onto the bottle and make the map visible from both sides (surface of the bottle and through the bottle). In order to achieve this we used a quadruple printing process, as we needed to print the detailed map twice. By printing onto the bottle it created the effect of the map looking like moving water. The pack could also be explored from any angle, just like explorers traveling the globe in search for new lands and discoveries.”




“Far reaches is a fresh, zesty, citrus expression of the classic London dry gin. Distilled in London in small batches using the finest exotic botanicals from remote corners of the world, far reaches is a distinctive and well-balanced dry gin that is perfect for a G&T, a cocktail or for sipping on its own.”



Studio: Chris Moore Design
Client: Crafted Beverages Limited
Description: Alcohol/Beverage Packaging
Creative Director: Chris Moore
Illustration: Chris Moore
Location: Cape Town, South Africa

from The Dieline Package Design Blog – The Dieline | Packaging & Branding Design & Innovation News

Check Out This Super Festive Packaging Just In Time For The Holidays


Robot Food has teamed up with Mr Kipling to redesign their packaging just in time for Halloween and the holidays!

“As part of a wider international refresh launching early next year (2018), Mr Kipling release a new look seasonal range for the Australian market with Leeds based branding agency, Robot Food, leading on design.

Mr Kipling is a brand beloved by Brits and known for its lines of ‘exceedingly good’ cakes and baked goods. Further afield, the brand is typically enjoyed as a seasonal indulgence available during the Christmas period; its heritage and ‘Cherry Bakewell’ allure only truly understood by sweet-toothed ex-pats.”



“But after spotting an opportunity to stand out and establish itself in a growing but otherwise stale cake category, the Premier Foods’ International Team asked Robot Food for a design refresh and reposition that would grab the attentions of international consumers.

But more on that later.

First to launch are Mr Kipling’s Halloween and Christmas treats for the Australian market. Robot Food focussed on simplifying and amplifying the brand, heroing the Mr Kipling name front and centre, and incorporating their beautiful festive products into the design through aerial food photography. Traditional seasonal cues were modernised, with clean shapes set against bold, bright colours that shout loudly from shelves.”



“Stripped back, streamlined and very brand proud; the new range marks the beginning of Mr Kipling’s new international expression as a contemporary brand with plenty of stand out.

Look out for Mr Kipling’s Halloween Chocolate and Slime slices, Toffee Terror Whirls and 8 delicious Christmas SKU’s including favourites such as Mince Pies, Frosty Fancies and Festive Bakewells, arriving this month in retailers across Australia.”



Designed By: Robot Food

Location: Leeds, UK

from The Dieline Package Design Blog – The Dieline | Packaging & Branding Design & Innovation News

Maisel’s Weisse Bajuwarus Is An Elegant Limited Edition Bavarian Beer


Higgins Design created the packaging for Maisel’s Weisse Weizenbock beer. The design features an elegant blue and white color scheme, along with eye-catching typography.



“What is the best way to tell a wonderful, authentic beer story? With just two words: ‘Bajuwarus Weizenbock.’

Apart from a love of Bavarian bock beer, we also took our inspiration for the beverage packaging and the label design for the limited edition of Maisel’s Weisse from the fantasy word ‘Bajuwarus,’ made up of the original name for the inhabitants of Bavaria, and from the final syllable of classic Bock-beers. The result was a highly emotive packaging design. The Maisel’s Weisse limited edition in a presentation box was given away with every crate of Maisel’s Weisse. 100% authenticity with 17.2% beer wort!”





Agency: Higgins Design
Designer: Melanie Krantz
Illustrator: Olav Marahrens
Location: Hamburg, Germany

from The Dieline Package Design Blog – The Dieline | Packaging & Branding Design & Innovation News

Job of the Week: Art and Cook

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We are a unique housewares company searching for a talented packaging designer to join our rapidly growing team. As a senior packaging designer you will work alongside our project managers to develop solutions based on market research and retail strategies. We are looking for a self-starter who is capable of developing multiple packages simultaneously from start to finish using all aspects of the packaging development process. To be able to manage and direct other designers.

Learn More + Apply

from The Dieline Package Design Blog – The Dieline | Packaging & Branding Design & Innovation News

Dissolving the Borders of Jerusalem Through Festival Brand Identity


Tel Aviv based agency Open has designed this uniquely colorful branding and identity for Mekudeshet, a festival that aims to bring people from all different religious backgrounds together.


“Mekudeshet, Jerusalem Season of Art’s festival, is a two-week long event held in one of the most controversial and religiously sacred cities for Muslims, Jews, and Christians alike.  The festival bridges the religions through the collaboration of 250 artists, speakers, and performers from 17 countries worldwide, and proves that the conflict can be resolved; even temporarily, through the expression of art and music.”





“To capture the brand essence of Mekudeshet, we GPS tracked the unique daily lives of 15 religiously diverse residents and peace activists moving throughout various quarters of the holy city.  We created an innovative brand identity for the festival by blending the paths of these people through both generative and computational design elements, thus dissolving the controversial ‘borders’ in Jerusalem.”






Designed By: Open

Location: Tel Aviv, Israel

from The Dieline Package Design Blog – The Dieline | Packaging & Branding Design & Innovation News

Your Packaging Project Should Be Seen By The World


Now in its 9th year, The Dieline Awards exists as a way to celebrate innovation and honor excellence in packaging design around the globe. An esteemed jury of structural packaging, design, branding, and consumer product experts examine each submission with regards to five key elements: Creativity, Marketability, Innovation, Execution, and On-Pack Branding.

The Dieline Awards is one of the most prestigious and competitive competitions in the design industry, and the largest worldwide package design competition. Brand owners, consumers, marketers, agencies, in-house creatives, students, and enthusiasts around the world turn to The Dieline Awards as the benchmark for impeccably-designed packaging of consumer products.

Learn More + Register Today


from The Dieline Package Design Blog – The Dieline | Packaging & Branding Design & Innovation News

The Dieline’s Best of the Week

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Here’s the best of the best packaging design content from last week! Scroll through and get pumped for the rest of the week.

High-end Cannabis Cultivators Canndescent ask, “How Do You Want to Feel?”



This Lineup of Foods from Liberty London Highlights the Suppliers & Makers



This Juice Bottle Comes With a Unique Shape Inspired By Bitten Apples



25 Packaging Designs That Feature The Color Orange



Inside the Studio: Robot Food



COLOURFORM is Changing the Game for Sustainable Packaging



Around the World in Ten Months with Fieldwork Brewing Company



20 Packaging Designs That Feature Skulls



How These Energy Pills Buck Tradition with a Delightfully Unconventional Bottle Packaging

static1.squarespace.png Launches Disruptive Private Label Brand Uniquely J



Celebrate Jose Cuervo’s 222nd Birthday With These Gorgeous Limited Edition Tequilas


from The Dieline Package Design Blog – The Dieline | Packaging & Branding Design & Innovation News