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Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Creamy Peanut Butter Chocolate Pie

I've been craving Reese's lately.  A LOT.  Or Chocolate Peanut Butter ice cream.  Tonight we have a pie and ice cream social to attend and I signed up to bring a pie.  I originally planned on baking an apple pie using fruit off of our trees, but considering my relentless Reese's craving, I changed my mind.  Peanut Butter Chocolate pie it is!   It might not go as well with homemade ice cream as the apple may have, but we'll just have to deal with that.

You'll need a graham cracker crust and you can either make one or buy one.  Doesn't matter to me.  I made one so I didn't have to run to the store.  A chocolate cookie crust would be delicious as well, but... then I would have had to run to the store.  You can try it that way if you'd like.  OR next time I make this, if there happens to be a sleeve of Oreo cookies that have escaped attention (like THAT ever happens!) I'll try it.  

This filling recipe makes enough for 2 pies.  Therefore you'll need 2 crusts.  If you're making your own, just double the recipe below and press into 2 9-inch pie tins.  If you're buying crusts... buy two. 

Graham Cracker Crust

1 sleeve of graham crackers, finely crushed (I put mine in the blender)
1/3 C. sugar
1 cube butter, melted

Mix all three ingredients together.  Press firmly into a 9-inch pie tin.  Bake at 350 degrees for 7-8 minutes.  It will be puffy when you take it out but will settle into place in a few minutes.  Let cool.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Pie

2 9-inch graham cracker crusts

2 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
2 C. sugar
1 2/3 C. creamy peanut butter
2 tsp. vanilla
4 T. butter, melted
1 C. heavy whipping cream.

Whip the 1 cup of whipping cream until it peaks.  Don't over whip!  Set aside.

Mix cream cheese and sugar until well blended.  Add peanut butter and vanilla and beat well.  Slowly add the melted butter while beaters are going and blend in well.  Gently fold in whipped cream.  Split the filling in half filling both of the pie crusts.  Chill for an hour or more.   Prepare Ganache.

Whipped Ganache

10 ounces good chocolate - milk or semi-sweet
10 ounces heavy whipping cream  

Break chocolate into chunks.  Place in microwave safe glass bowl.  Pour cream over top.  Microwave on high for 30 seconds.  Stir. Microwave another 30 seconds and stir.  Continue to microwave and stir on 20 second intervals until cream is warm enough to melt the chocolate the rest of the way.  If it looks grainy or separated, just keep stirring to smooth it out.  (Do not overheat!  It will be barely warm to the touch)    In a bowl/pan larger than the bowl your chocolate mixture is in, place an inch or two of water and add a good handful of ice cubes.  Set the bowl of chocolate into the ice bath and stir, letting it cool until the mixture thickens up to a thin pudding consistency.  Transfer chocolate to a mixing bowl and using the wire whip attachment (the same as you would whip cream with) beat this mixture until it is light and fluffy.  Do not over beat!  You want the mixture to have peaks when you lift the beater but still be soft enough to spread easily.

Spread half of the ganache over each pie.  Return to refrigerator and cool a few hours more or until layers are firm.   Serve cold!   

Tip:   Cut this pie with a knife dipped in hot water before each cut.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Mexican Corn on the Cob

Yum!  If you live nearby and go to the Eastern Idaho State Fair or if you've gone to the corn maze in Blackfoot, you may have had Mexican Crazy Corn.  It is delicious!  This is similar.  Essentially you're coating corn on the cob with mayonnaise and Cotija cheese.  They offer chili lime and another seasoning to sprinkle on and I love the chili lime...  just a little though.

Our garden still has a few nice ears of corn left in the patch and that's what we used tonight.   If you still have corn on the cob available near you - give this delicious twist a try!

Mexican Corn on the Cob

Husk as many ears of corn as you'd like to serve.  

Boil corn on the cob for about 8-10 minutes.  Remove and pat dry.  

Spread each ear of corn with a generous amount of mayonnaise (not salad dressing!) and then spoon grated Cotija cheese on each ear of corn until it is completely covered.  It should be fairly heavy.  

Sprinkle with chili lime seasoning or salt and pepper if you'd like.

Have plenty of napkins ready as you enjoy this!  Yummmy!   The Cotija cheese is in most grocery stores.  The store I shopped at today had the small rounds of cheese as well as bags of grated.  The grated was actually cheaper per ounce!  Bonus!  Save time AND money!  Right up my alley!

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Quick Cinnamon Sugar Donuts!

At least once a year we make delicious homemade doughnuts. (these are not those!)  YUMMY!  The dough is made from scratch from an old recipe and cutting out and letting them rise, all take time.  Sometimes we want the fun and deliciousness of a homemade donuts without the time and work!  (the original from scratch ones are best hands-down, but there work in a pinch!)   Tonight we had fish taco's for dinner using deep fried fish nuggets.   Since I'd already have oil out and splatters from that I decided to make these quick Cinnamon Sugar Donuts for dessert!

My husband was already planning to press apple cider this afternoon and these warm, sugary donuts went perfectly with a fresh glass of cider.  I posted a few years ago about our homemade cider press and cider pressing day!  You can find that post HERE.  

The ingredients and method for these are so simple!  If you don't love cinnamon, just leave it out and have Sugared Donuts.  Simple!

Quick Cinnamon Sugar Donuts

* can of cheap refrigerator biscuits - these are the 10 pack of the least expensive biscuit dough found in the refrigerator section.  I got the store brand today and they were 2/$1.

*3/4 C. sugar
*1 tsp. cinnamon

*oil enough to fill your pan to at least 2 inches deep

Heat your oil to 350-375.  Open can of biscuits.  Pull each piece of dough to flatten it a little and then pull a small hole in the middle.  Slide the dough into the hot oil.  When the bottom is golden, turn the donut and cook until the second side is the same color as the first.  Remove donut from oil and set on a paper towel to drain.

Mix the sugar and cinnamon.  As each donut cools, roll it in cinnamon sugar and place on a plate until all are ready to serve.   Serve fresh and warm.  

An eager donut tester!                  

Friday, September 12, 2014

Southwest Turkey and Rice

We had turkey for dinner on Sunday.  I know, it's not Thanksgiving, but I had an extra one in the freezer and it was nearing the end of it's freezer life!  Besides, one turkey on Sunday equals several meals for the week!  Monday we had Turkey Pasta Salad (which fed us Monday night and lunches for everyone on Tuesday), and tonight we finished that off with Southwest Turkey and Rice Casserole.    When I make this again I will add a bit more seasoning.

Southwest Turkey and Rice

Turkey (leftover, diced or shredded)
1 C. rice
1 can cream of mushroom or cream of chicken soup
1 1/2 cans broth from simmering the turkey OR water
1 can diced green chili's
3/4 C. diced onion
1 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. salt
dash black pepper
Shredded cheese - Monterrey Jack, or cheddar 

Grease a 9x13 baking dish.  Sprinkle the dry rice across the bottom evenly.  Sprinkle diced onion on top of the rice.  Spread diced/shredded turkey on top of the onion.

In a mixing bowl mix soup, broth (or water), green chili's, chili powder, and salt & pepper.   Pour soup mixture over turkey.  Cover with foil.   Bake at 325 for 1 1/2 hours.  Remove foil, sprinkle with cheese and return to oven to melt the cheese.

Joy's note:   I think I may try sliced olives in this and possibly green or red pepper.  Nice change of pace for leftover turkey at our house!  If I felt so inclined, leftover chicken or just diced raw boneless skinless chicken would work just fine in this.


Thursday, September 11, 2014

Dehydrating Cinnamon Apples! Smells Like Fall!

It is chilly outside.  Cool breeze and overcast.  Tonight it is supposed to drop to below freezing.  It is fall!  Several varieties of our apples are ready to use now and as delicious as they are fresh, we can't eat them all before they'll spoil that way! I've got a few Honey Crisp apples from my trees and some Wealthy apples from Dad's trees.  Dad said his mother preferred Wealthy apples for most of her eating and cooking.  These days you rarely even hear of that variety.   Today I'm drying apples slices in my food dehydrator.   There are several different brands of dehydrators and you can pay a lot or a little.  Mine is probably on the less expensive end of the range and works wonderfully for what I like to do.

Who needs artificial scents when you can dehydrate cinnamon apples and fill your home with the scent of apple pie!

Dried Cinnamon Apples

Peel (if desired), core, and slice several apples and lay out in a single layer on dehydrator rack

Sprinkle lightly with a mixture of 1/4 C. sugar and 2 tsp. cinnamon

Dry as directed for your machine.

Store in an airtight container in a cool, dry, place.

My family loves these cinnamon sugar slices for after school snacks or when we're traveling.  My son took them with us backpacking and mixed with a bit of hot water and a cinnamon instant oatmeal packet for "apple crisp".  It was pretty good! 

Dehydrating these beautiful apples lets us enjoy our harvest all year through!

This is my dehydrator top.  It's a reliable brand and has lasted several years so far.  I would recommend it - however, I haven't tried any other brand recently.