Friday, May 9, 2014

April Showers...

...Bring May Flowers.  :)

I hope everyone is having a lovely Spring so far...I know I'm enjoying watching the leaves unfurl and the grass turn green again.  These little violets pop up in a corner of our yard every year, and they always bring a smile to my face.  I hope this one made you smile too.

Happy Friday!  :)

Sunday, April 27, 2014

No Bake Creamy Nutella Cheesecake Pie

If you're a fan of Nutella, then you may enjoy this recipe - it's quick, delicious, and SUPER easy!  In fact, it's so easy that you may only need to look at this recipe once or twice before you get the idea.  :)

Here's what you need: 

-Pie Crust (I used graham, but any kind you like)
-One 8-oz. brick Cream Cheese
-One 8-oz. tub Whipped Topping
-One jar Nutella (I believe the jar is around 13 oz.)

For a garnish, you can pick from the following options: more whipped cream (pictured), hazelnut truffles (pictured), ice cream, drizzled chocolate, drizzled Nutella, whole hazelnuts, chopped hazelnuts, chocolate chips...need I go on?  :)

Soften the cream cheese in the microwave.

Add the Nutella - the whole jar!!  You have my permission to lick the spoon.

Mix the cream cheese and the Nutella together, using a hand or stand mixer, until smooth and creamy.  You can lick the beaters, too - although I recommend detaching them from the mixer first.  ;)

Plunk in the whole tub of whipped cream and fold it in.  Folding in the whipped cream will take a couple minutes; when it's done, it'll look like this:

Spread the mixture into a pie crust.  I used a store-bought graham crust, which was very good.  I think that an Oreo crust would also be yummy, and undoubtedly a homemade crust would be even better, if you don't mind making one.

Cover the pie and refrigerate for at least a couple hours or overnight.  It will firm up a bit (I cut the piece below before the pie was chilled, and you can see that it was NOT firm!), and the flavors will all blend together nicely.  I do think it's better the second day.

 Yummy!  The pie turned out extremely rich, creamy and decadent.  You'll want to start out with a SMALL piece of this stuff - it's powerful!

So there you have it - Creamy Nutella Cheesecake Pie!  :)  

One really nice thing about this recipe is its adaptability - last week, I used the same formula, except that instead of Nutella, I used a jar of Pumpkin Caramel sauce, which was also an amazing pie.  Probably you could substitute any number of other things - peanut butter, pumpkin puree, raspberry jam, etc. I want to experiment more!  :)

Well, I hope I've given you some food for thought (Ooh, a pun!  No applause necessary, thank you).  Until next time, happy baking!!

*Note - I am not affiliated with whoever makes Nutella; I'm just using their product.  :)

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

A Coconut Treat: Grandma Inez's Impossible Pie

I've made this recipe two or three times - if you're a coconut fan, you'll really like this!  It's similar to a coconut cream pie, but SO much easier!

To give credit where credit is due, I got this recipe from Tasty Kitchen - follow this link to see the original.

I do make one slight modification - I add quite a bit more coconut than the recipe calls for.  You'll have to experiment and see which way you prefer it.  :) are the ingredients probably have most of these already!  Eggs, sugar, butter (or margarine), vanilla, milk, Bisquick (or generic baking mix) and sweetened coconut flakes.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F, and mix all the ingredients together.  

Pour into a greased 9" pie plate (my pie plate was 9.5").

Bake for 30 minutes.  It shouldn't be jiggly, and a knife should come out clean.  Broil for 2-3 minutes if you want the top to be toasted. 

This is yummy eaten right away, but a zillion times better the next day.  (I know, because I tried it both ways!)  It has a slightly creamy, custardy texture that goes super well with whipped cream.

So, the main modification that I made was to add more coconut than the recipe calls for.  I put in 3 cups, and it may have increased the baking time and made the pie not keep its shape as well - but it was still absolutely delicious!

Here's the full recipe:

Grandma Inez's Impossible Pie

2 eggs, beaten
1 c sugar
3 T butter, melted
1 tsp. vanilla
1 c milk
4 T Bisquick
3 1/2 oz. sweetened coconut flakes (I used 3 cups)

Mix ingredients well.  Pour into a greased 9" pie plate.  Bake at 350 deg. F for 30 minutes, then broil for 2-3 minutes if desired.  Cool and serve with whipped cream.

Enjoy!!  :D

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Our Family's #1 Cookie Choice: Outrageous Chocolate Chip Cookies

Are you sick and tired of the same old chocolate chip cookie recipes?  Yearning for a cookie that has a peanut-buttery depth to it and a solidity that only oats can bring, tied together by plenty of chocolate chips?  Well, my friends, you've come to the right place...this recipe will keep you busy sneaking back to the cookie jar for, time to bake some more Outrageous Chocolate Chip Cookies!!!

Anyway, moving on from the melodramatics, this recipe has been in our family for years, and it is definitely the number one choice if we're in the mood for cookies.  These cookies are moist and chocolatey, and the peanut butter and oats give them a little something extra special.

  To give credit where credit is due, I should note that we did not develop the recipe - my Mom says that she got it off the back of a bag of flour.

*Disclaimer: In this post, I do not intend to cast aspersions on normal chocolate chip cookies, which certainly have a well-earned place in life!'re waiting to find out how to make these delectable on, and I'll show you the process!

Below, you can see the ingredients: sugar, brown sugar, margarine, peanut butter, vanilla, egg(s), flour, oats, baking soda, salt and chocolate chips.

First, preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Then melt your margarine.

Add the peanut butter...I have to say that, taken out of context, this photo would probably look really gross!

Followed by the vanilla.  I feel like I should point out that I don't normally bake left-handed, but it's nearly impossible to use my camera left-handed, so I made it work.  :)

The egg(s) come next.  I always put them in a separate dish first to make sure no shell bits get into the baked product...there's nothing worse than finding a crunchy bit in something that's not supposed to be crunchy!

That's all the wet ingredients...stir 'em up!

In a separate bowl, Mix together the dry ingredients.  First, the sugar.

 Next, add the brown sugar.  I love adding the brown sugar - it's so fun how it keeps its shape.  :) 

Then the flour...

...and the oats...

...followed by the baking soda...

...and the salt!

Mix the dry ingredients together.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet.  I'm glad I used the very large white bowl - I don't always have such foresight.  ;)

Mix the dry and the wet ingredients together.  

And finally, the part you've been waiting for all this time - add the chocolate chips!!  If you're a chocoholic like me, feel free to toss a few extras in for good measure!

Stir the chocolate chips in, and your batter is ready!

Scoop them onto a greased cookie sheet, and bake for 10-12 minutes.

These are spectacular while warm, and nearly as amazing after they cool...they will keep for several days in a sealed container - assuming they don't all get eaten before then.  :)  

You will find the complete recipe below.  Please note that I tripled the recipe when I made it for this blog post, so the amounts you see in the photos will be a little different than the recipe.

You can also find a printable version of this recipe by following this link to my post on Tasty Kitchen.

Thanks, as always, for stopping by my blog!  :)

Outrageous Chocolate Chip Cookies

1/2 C sugar
1/3 C brown sugar
1/2 C margarine, melted
1/2 C peanut-butter
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 egg
1 c flour
1/2 C quick oats
1 tsp. B. soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 (6 oz.) pkg. chocolate chips

Pre-heat oven to 350.
Melt margarine in a bowl and then add all other wet ingredients.  Mix thoroughly.  Mix dry ingredients separately and then add to wet ingredients.  Mix.  Stir in chocolate chips.

Place by spoonfuls onto greased cookie sheet.  Bake for 10-12 minutes.

Tip:   When a recipe is doubled or tripled you may find that you need more flour than the recipe calls for.  If your first batch spreads out too thin, add more flour before spooning out the next cookie sheet full.

Monday, February 3, 2014

My Top 5 Most Viewed Posts...Hmm...Can You Sense a Theme?

It's been a very long time since I've done a blog post...sorry to anyone who's been lurking out there in the internet waiting impatiently for my next post.  ;P

I've found it very interesting to view the statistics for my blog and notice which posts have had the most views.  I suppose that I shouldn't be surprised by the results, but with just one or two exceptions, the posts that get the most views are recipes.  

So...due to the apparent popularity of food-oriented posts, perhaps I'll try to have my camera handy more often when there are cooking/baking things going on around my home, and share some of the deliciousness with you!  :)

Now that I've told you these posts are so popular, I thought I'd share my TOP FIVE MOST VIEWED POSTS...OF ALL TIME!!!  (Well, since I started this blog in 2008, anyway...)

All right, are you ready?  Here we go!

In the Number 5 position, with a total of 58 views, we have...Peanut Butter Cake!!!

I've actually posted this one on my blog twice, it's so good!  It's creamy, moist and peanut-buttery, without being overwhelmingly rich (in my humble opinion).  

Moving on to our contender in 4th place, with a grand total of 78 views, we have...Microwave Custard!

This recipe is simple and quite yummy, and has been a family favorite for many years!

In the Number 3 position, with a jump up to 190 views, we have...Orange Chocolate Chip Cookies!!!

These cookies may be pale, and they may take more time to prepare than your average chocolate chip cookies...but one bite may change your entire life from this day forward.  Make these - today, if possible.  You will not regret it.

Number 2, with 194 views, brings us to the famous Coffee Toffee Bars!!

These bars are rather unique, with almond extract and instant coffee bringing in some different flavors than your typical chocolate chip cookie kind of recipes.  They're super easy, too, making this one of my family's go-to recipes when we're in the mood for something baked!

Finally, in the Number One position on my blog, with a total of 212 views...we have Applesauce Bread!!

I have to admit that I was surprised that this recipe has the most views...I think it's partly because it's one of my oldest posts, and therefore more views have accumulated over time.  In any case, this is a basic, yummy quickbread recipe that can undoubtedly be adapted to fit many different things you have around your house - applesauce, banana, pumpkin, chocolate chips, etc.  :)  Let me know if you come up with any creative ways to adapt this recipe!

I should add that I did not personally come up with any of these recipes, though I (or my family) may have adapted them from their original state.

I'll try to post some new recipes soon, so keep your eyes open!!  :)

Thanks for stopping by!