July 12, 2014

Chocolate-Peanut Butter Pie (with Cap'n Crunch Crust)

This piece of pie was the result of playing in the kitchen today with my little girls.  They wanted to help make something---something with chocolate.  That sounded like a good idea to me. :)

We found a recipe for Chocolate-Peanut Butter Pie.  Since we had a big box of Peanut Butter Cap'n Crunch, we decided to use it for the crust.  The filling is simply chocolate pudding and peanut butter.  We topped it off with some cream, lots of chocolate syrup and a little more peanut butter. 

Ingredients (printable recipe)
crust:
6 cups Peanut Butter Cap'n Crunch cereal
6 Tablespoons butter
2 Tablespoons creamy peanut butter
filling:
1 large box (6 serving size) cook and serve chocolate pudding & pie filling mix
3 cups milk
3 Tablespoons creamy peanut butter
topping:
2 Tablespoons creamy peanut butter
Any garnishes you like: whipped cream, chocolate or peanut butter chips, Reese's peanut butter cups, chocolate syrup, etc...
Directions
1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Place cereal in a gallon sized resealable plastic bag. Seal bag and crush with rolling pin.
2. In an ungreased 9-inch deep dish microwaveable pie plate, add butter and 2 Tablespoons of peanut butter. Microwave on high for 30 seconds; stir until blended. Stir in crushed cereal until evenly coated. Press evenly on bottom and up side of pie plate. Bake 10-15 minutes or until edges start to brown. Cool 10 minutes, then place in freezer.
3. Make pudding mix as directed on box for pie filling, except after cooling for 5 minutes, add 3 Tablespoons of peanut butter. Stir a few times until it is melted and marbled throughout. Pour into cool crust.
4. In small microwaveable dish, microwave the remaining 2 Tablespoons of peanut butter uncovered for 30 seconds on high. Drizzle over pie. Refrigerate at least 3 hrs. but no longer than 24 hrs. until filling is set.

Tips: Use a regular table fork to do all the mixing in the pie plate.

Adapted from Betty Crocker

We melted the butter and peanut butter together right in the pie dish.
Crushing the cereal
Stirring the butter and peanut butter together
Baking the crust
We let it cool for 10 mins. before we put it in the freezer.
While the crust was cooling, we started the filling.
After the pudding cooked and cooled, we stirred in the peanut butter. It didn't really marble or swirl for me?
Here is the finished pie! We waited 4 hrs. for this to cool in the refrigerator. It actually could've been colder.

The Results...
Fun!  It was fun to work with my girls on this pie.  They could help with most of the steps.  My 3 yr. old helped crush the cereal.  My 6 yr. old stirred the pudding as it cooked.  Drizzling the peanut butter on top is another job the kids can do.

How did it taste?  If you ask the girls (like I did) they will tell you that this is the best pie EVER!!!  The rest of us liked this pie, too.  It was tasty and it averaged about 3 (out of 5) stars.

Here are some more pies that we've made...
I share recipes at these link parties.

June 24, 2014

Shrimp and Grits

We started 2014 in Mississippi.  We were visiting family for New Year's.  My husband is the oldest of seven children.  When we get together lots of good company and good food are guaranteed.  Not everyone could make it back for the holidays, but there were still a lot of us all staying in one house!  We all pitched in and took turns making dinner or washing dishes.  There was something delicious to eat each night.  Our family made Pasta FagioliBroccoli Salad and Bread in a Bag.  I was lucky to have the best helpers in the kitchen.  My cute nieces along with my girls helped make bread and a Whoopie Pie Cake, too!

My mother-in-law made Shrimp and Grits while we were visiting.  It was my first time eating Shrimp and Grits and it was so good!  Shrimp and Grits is a southern dish that started as a basic breakfast for coastal fisherman and families during shrimp season (May through December).  Simply called 'breakfast shrimp,' the dish consisted of a pot of grits with shrimp cooked in a little bacon grease or butter.  Nowadays, this dish has been dressed up and served in some of the fanciest restaurants.  And it's not just for breakfast anymore, it is also served for brunch, lunch, and dinner (whatscookingamerica.net).    

I took notes while my mother-in-law was cooking, so I could make this again at home.  This is basically her recipe, except that I reduced everything by half.  She made enough for twenty people!  I also reduced the amount of broth that she used because she told me that her Shrimp and Grits came out too soupy.  I hope my Shrimp and Grits are delicious, too!

Ingredients (printable recipe)
Shrimp
4 oz. bacon, chopped
1 lb. Andouille sausage, quartered and chopped
1/2 Tablespoon butter
1 large pepper--green, red, yellow or orange
1 onion, chopped
1 cup celery, chopped
about 3 garlic cloves, minced or pressed

1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning
1 cube chicken bouillon
1 can (14.5 oz.) chicken broth
2 lbs. medium shrimp, *cooked or uncooked, peeled and thawed (I prefer gulf shrimp)
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
Juice of 1/2 a small lemon
Grits 
1 1/2 cups grits
6 cups water (check your grits package, usually it's 4 cups of water to each cup of grits)
1/4 teaspoon Cajun seasoning
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup dry milk
1 Tablespoon butter
4 oz. cream cheese
2 cups various cheeses, grated (provolone, sharp cheddar, mozzarella, etc....) 
Directions
1. Pour 6 cups of water in a large pot and put on stove to boil. This will be for the grits. Meanwhile....
2. In another large pot or Dutch oven, cook bacon over med. high heat until crispy. Drain grease. Add sausage and brown. Drain extra grease again. Add 1/2 Tablespoon butter and peppers, onion and celery. Cook until softened. Stir bottom to keep from burning. Add garlic and stir. *If using raw shrimp add it now. Add cajun seasoning, chicken bouillon and chicken broth. Stir. Cook until shrimp is pink and add lemon zest and lemon juice. Stir.
*If using already cooked shrimp, add rest of ingredients (seasoning, bouillon, broth, lemon zest and juice). Bring to a boil. Then, add cooked shrimp to pot and turn off heat. 
3. In a separate bowl, stir together grits and dry milk. Add to boiling water. Cook according to your grits package directions. Stir in 1/4 tsp. Cajun seasoning and 1/2 tsp. salt. Add 1 Tablespoon butter. Stir.
4. Add cream cheese to grits; stir until melted and mixed through. Then, stir in grated cheeses and turn off heat.
5. Serve in a bowl with grits on the bottom and the shrimp mixture ladled on top. Enjoy!
Serves 8-10
Source Mother in law

Any recipe that starts with bacon, has to be good!
It's difficult to find Andouille sausage where we live. I did find some at one local grocery store.  If you can't find it where you live, a good quality smoked sausage will work and make this dish milder for anyone sensitive to spice like young children.
The grits were rich and cheesy, yum!
The Results...
Not bad.  I forgot to adjust the amount of lemon zest and lemon juice after I had decreased the amount of broth in this recipe.  My Shrimp and Grits were too lemony.  I need to try this again with the adjusted amounts of lemon zest and juice (I've adjusted the written recipe, but haven't made it again).  My son was honest and told me that grandma's Shrimp and Grits were much better.  I agree!  But, I'm not giving up.  This recipe is definitely worth trying again. 

I share recipes at Foodie Friends Friday, the Weekend Potluck, and these link parties. 

March 4, 2014

Banana Bread

I know there are a ton of recipes out there for banana bread.  I've tried some different ones, but I always end up coming back to this recipe.  This is our family's favorite.  It's simple and always turns out great.

After one of my attempts at making banana bread about 13 years ago, my husband suggested I try this recipe.  He had called his mom and asked her for her banana bread recipe.  I made it and it's been our favorite ever since.

Ingredients (printable recipe)
1 cup sugar
1 cup (2 medium) mashed bananas
1/2 cup (1 stick) softened butter
1/4 cup milk OR buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)
Directions
1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease (not oil) bottom only of 9x5 or 8x4 loaf pan.
2. In a large bowl, blend first 6 ingredients. Beat 1 minute at medium speed.
3. Stir in remaining ingredients just until dry ingredients are moistened.
4. Pour into prepared pan. Bake for 50-60 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
5. Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes before removing bread from pan. Remove and cool completely on a wire rack, covered with a clean kitchen towel to keep moist.
Makes one loaf  (I usually double this recipe to make two loaves.)

Tips: 
1.If you're a little low on mashed banana, add some applesauce to make up the difference.
2. While baking, if the top begins to get too brown before the bread is done, make a tent with aluminum foil and loosely cover the top of the bread--shiny side away from bread.
3. Since only the bottom is greased, use a spatula or butter knife to loosen the sides of the bread from the pan before turning it out onto the cooling rack.

Source: Mother in Law


First 6 ingredients. I usually double this recipe and make two loaves instead of one.

blended
Stirring in the dry ingredients
Add some nuts if you like. I made two loaves and poured half of the batter into a prepared pan and added the nuts to the rest of the batter. That way I had one loaf with nuts and one without.


Yum!
The kiddos ate their banana bread with Nutella and candied pecans on top.

The Results... 
This banana bread recipe has always turned out delicious.  My husband usually wants the end piece.  He likes the sweet crust on the outside.  Inside it is moist and full of banana flavor.  The kids put some Nutella on their slices and sprinkled some candied pecans on top.  They are so smart! 



More Banana Recipes:

I share recipes at these Link Parties.