Dessert, Pie, Uncategorized

Peanut Butter Cream Pie

easy-peanut-butter-pie-5I love peanut butter and when a colleague requested a pie I liked the simplicity of this one. It can be completely no-bake if you buy a pre-made graham cracker crust, but I prefer to make my own. Recipe and photo courtesy of dearcrissy.com.

  • 9-inch graham cracker pie crust
  • 1 package cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 container whipped topping, thawed
  • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon peanut butter

Begin by baking your crust at 350 for 10 minutes. After the crust is baked and cooled, beat the cream cheese and the peanut butter in a bowl until well blended and smooth. Add the powdered sugar and beat until well blended. Gently fold in 1 ½ cups of the whipped topping just until combined. Pour into the crust and spread evenly. Spread the remaining whipped topping over the top. To make the peanut butter crumbs, blend together the powdered sugar and peanut butter with a fork until incorporated then sprinkle on top of the pie. Chill for a minimum of 2 hours or overnight.

Cookies, Dessert, Uncategorized

Brown Butter Bourbon Pecan Chocolate Chip Cookies

brownbutterbourbonpecanchocolatechunkcookies-1-of-1I don’t bake with alcohol very often, mostly because I have this notion that you won’t taste the flavor of the alcohol, just the alcohol itself. Well, I’m glad that I put that aside for these cookies because they are delicious. Just be prepared to do some dishes, because while no one step is difficult, you will get a few pans dirty making the different components.

For the Buttered Pecans:

  • 1 1/2 cups pecans, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons butter

For the Cookies:

  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, melted until browned
  • 2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons bourbon
  • 2 large eggs
  • 12 ounces semi-sweet OR dark chocolate chips
  • pecan halves, optional

To begin, melt your two sticks of butter in a small saucepan over medium-heat, stirring frequently until the color turns a rich brown and you have lovely brown bits on the bottom of your pan. This always takes me longer than I think, so don’t be surprised if it takes up to 10 minutes. Also, keep a close eye on it because it can go from perfect to burned very quickly. Once your butter has browned, put it in a heat safe container to solidify at room temperature. You can also rapidly cool it in the fridge. You will know it’s ready when you press on the top and it makes a small indention.

After your butter is ready, toast the pecans in a skillet on the stove. Melt the butter and add the pecans, stirring frequently til they are toasted and smell wonderful, about 5 minutes. Now you are ready to mix together the rest of the batter.

Preheat the oven to 375. In a large bowl combine flour, salt, cinnamon, and baking soda; whisk well to combine then set aside until needed. In a large bowl using a handheld electric mixer, or in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine browned butter and both sugars and beat on medium-speed until light and fluffy; about 2 minutes. Add in the vanilla and bourbon and beat until combined. Add in the eggs, one at a time, beating for 15 seconds after each addition. Turn mixer off. Using a wooden spoon or sturdy rubber spatula, gently fold in the flour, stirring only until the flour begins to disappear. Fold in the chocolate chunks and buttered pecans.  Roll 3 tablespoon sized scoops of dough between your palms to form a ball (they should be big; almost a 1/4 cup), then place on prepared sheets (make sure to leave enough room in between each cookie for inevitable spreading). Continue this process until all the dough has been rolled. Press a pecan on the top of each cookie dough mound, if desired. Place baking sheets in preheated oven, one at a time, and bake for 9 to 10 minutes, or until golden at the edges but still soft in the middle. (Do not over-bake! When you pull them out of the oven they should look a little raw still. I did 9 minutes and they were perfect.) Repeat with all cookie dough. Let cookies cool for 10 minutes on the baking sheet before transferring to a wire wrack to cool completely.

Uncategorized

Dark Chocolate Pecan Bars

1546017389673I found this recipe in the Christmas edition of Food Network magazine. I used to not be much of a pecan person, but as I’ve aged I grow to like them more and more and these bars are so so good. The original recipe called for bittersweet chocolate, but since that’s not really my jam, I used dark chocolate chips instead. Feel free to use bittersweet in your bars if you prefer.

For the Crust:

  • 1/3 cup pecans

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1 1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons) cold butter, cut into cubes

For the Filling:

  • 3/4 cup dark corn syrup*

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar

  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar

  • 4 large eggs

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

  • Pinch of salt

  • 1 1/2 cups pecans, roughly chopped

  • 3 ounces dark chocolate, chips or roughly chopped

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with foil, leaving a 2-inch overhang on two sides; coat the foil with cooking spray. Pulse the pecans in a food processor until finely ground. Add the flour, granulated sugar and salt and pulse to combine. Add the cold butter and pulse until the dough starts clumping together (it will still be crumbly). Transfer to the baking dish and press into an even layer with your fingers. Bake until golden brown and set, 25 to 30 minutes. Meanwhile, make the topping: Whisk the corn syrup, granulated sugar, brown sugar, eggs, melted butter, vanilla and salt in a large bowl until smooth, then stir in the pecans. Spread the topping over the warm crust and sprinkle evenly with the chocolate. Return to the oven and bake until the top is set and no longer jiggly, 25 to 30 minutes (took me 40). Transfer to a rack and let cool completely in the pan. Remove and cut into diamonds or squares.

*If you are like me and don’t always have dark corn syrup, I used 1/2 cup light corn syrup and 1/4 molasses.

Bread, Dessert, Uncategorized

Lemon Blueberry Bundt Cake

I made this cake yesterday to take to my firelemon-blueberry-bundt-cake-1 station for training. It was super delicious and I’m glad that I made the cream cheese frosting instead of the glaze I was originally planning on making because it just made it next level. Recipe and photo courtesy of celebratingsweets.com.

Cake:

  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour*
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda*
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk, (if you don’t have butter milk try ⅔ cup plain or vanilla yogurt mixed with ⅓ cup milk)
  • 2 cup fresh or frozen blueberries

Frosting

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1-2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 3 cups powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a bundt pan by greasing and flouring it. Set aside. In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar for 2 to 3 minutes until fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add lemon juice, lemon zest and vanilla and beat until combined. In a separate bowl combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, mix well. Beat in flour mixture in three additions, alternating with buttermilk. Beat for 2 minutes. Put ⅓ of the cake batter (batter will be thick, you will most likely need to spoon it in) in the bottom of the bundt pan, sprinkle with ⅓ cup of the blueberries. Put another ⅓ of cake batter on top of that and again, sprinkle with ⅓ cup of blueberries, finish by putting remaining cake batter on top and sprinkle with remaining blueberries. Using a butter knife or spoon, push blueberries down into the cake batter a little bit. Bake at 350 for 50-55 minutes or until toothpick comes out of center clean. Let cake cool completely ( I like to do this by putting it (still in the pan) into the freezer for 1 hour, it helps lock in the moisture. You can cool it on a cooling rack if you prefer. When cake is completely cooled run a butter knife around the edges and gently shake cake back and forth to loosen it before inverting it onto a cake stand or plate for frosting.

For the frosting, combine all the ingredients in the mixing bowl and mix on medium speed until fully combined and fluffy. Spread over cooled cake and top with fresh blueberries.

*If you are baking this at altitude, leave out the baking soda and increase the flour to 3 cups.

Entree, Uncategorized

Loaded Chicken and Potato Casserole

loadedI have made this recipe off and on for the past couple of years and figured it was time to get it on the website. Being a one-dish meal means this is the perfect weeknight recipe. Recipe and photo courtesy of stockpilingmoms.com.

  • 1 pound boneless chicken breasts cubed 
  • 6-8 medium red potatoes leave the skin on and cut in cubes or 4-5 large Idaho potatoes
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 2 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoon hot sauce, or to taste
  • 2 cups Mexican blend cheese
  • 1 pound crumbled bacon

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a 9×13 baking dish with cooking spray or olive oil. In a large bowl, mix together the olive oil, salt, pepper, paprika, garlic powder, and hot sauce. Add the cubed potatoes and chicken and stir to coat. Place the potatoes and chicken into the prepared baking dish. Bake the potatoes and chicken for 50-60 minutes, stirring every 20 minutes, until cooked through. The potatoes will be crispy and browned on the outside. Do not cover. While the potatoes are cooking, fry your bacon until crispy. Once the potatoes and chicken are fully cooked, remove from the oven. Top the cooked potatoes with the the cheese, bacon, and green onion. Return the casserole to the oven and bake for 5 minutes or until cheese is melted. Do not cover. You can serve with sour cream or ranch dressing, if desired. This is a great way to bring the heat down and tastes delicious.

Side Item, Uncategorized

Succotash

succotashLast Christmas I had this succotash at my mother-in-laws and I knew I would have to make it myself. It is incredibly easy to make and can be kept warm in the crockpot for hours. Recipe courtesy of Dale Fillmer.

  • 1 bag frozen lima beans
  • 1 bag frozen corn
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 1/4 cup milk
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • chicken broth

Pour the vegetables into the crockpot. In a large skillet, melt the butter and add the flour. Whisk together until the flour turns a nice golden color, about 3-5 minutes. Add in the milk, salt and pepper and stir constantly until the sauce starts to thicken. Pour over the vegetables and add chicken broth to desired consistency. Warm on high for at least two hours before serving.

 

Entree, Uncategorized

Instant Pot Beef Stew

beef stewMy Christmas present to myself was an Instant Pot and I could not be happier with it.
I immediately started scouring Pinterest for recipes and this beef stew was one of the first ones I tried. It was so, so good and so easy. Photo and recipe courtesy of thedomesticman.com.

  • 3 pounds stew beef (or chuck roast or short ribs, see note below), cut into chunks
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 2 tablespoons ghee, or butter
  • 1/2 onion diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 3/4 cup red wine
  • 3 cups beef broth
  • 3 carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 3 parsnips, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 3 celery stalks, cut into chunks
  • 1 1/2 pounds waxy potatoes, cut into chunks
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme or 1/2 teaspoon dried
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 small handful parsley, chopped

Combine the beef, salt, pepper and flour; toss to dust the beef evenly. Plug in your Instant Pot and press the “Sauté” button. Add the ghee (or butter) and warm until melted and shimmering, about 3 minutes. Add 1/3 of the beef and sauté until browned, about 6 minutes, then remove the beef and add another 1/3 of the beef. Continue until the rest of the beef has cooked, about 20 minutes total; set the beef aside. Add the onion and sauté until softened, about 4 minutes, then add the garlic and tomato paste. Sauté until aromatic, about 30 seconds, then add the wine and broth. Bring to a simmer, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pot. Add the beef (and any accumulated juices), carrots, parsnips, celery, potatoes, and thyme. Cover and set the Instant Pot to “Meat/Stew” (high pressure) for 20 minutes. Once the Instant Pot finishes, wait until it depressurizes, about 15 minutes. You’ll know it’s ready when you can remove the lid easily. Gently remove the solid ingredients from the pot (the carrots and parsnips will be very tender) and set aside. Set the Instant Pot to “Sauté” again and simmer the sauce until reduced by half, about 10 minutes. Taste and add salt or pepper if needed. Return the solid ingredients to the pot, stir in the chopped parsley, then serve.