Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Peanut Butter Pie

I found myself crying when I read this story posted a few weeks ago by a popular food writer and blogger. Her request to honor her husband's memory by making this peanut butter pie (his favorite dessert) inspired me.

This recipe is a keeper so I wanted to post it here. I made it last week, and I shared it with people I love. I recommend you do the same. I guarantee they'll love you back.


Creamy Peanut Butter Pie

Serves 10 to 12

8 ounces chocolate cookies

4 tablespoons butter, melted

4 ounces finely chopped chocolate or semi-sweet chocolate chips

1/2 cup chopped peanuts

2 cups heavy cream

8 ounces cream cheese

1 cup creamy-style peanut butter

1 cup confectioner's sugar

1 – 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

Add the cookies to the bowl of a food processor and pulse into fine crumbs. Combine melted butter and cookie crumbs in a small bowl, and stir with a fork to mix well. Press mixture into the bottom and 1-inch up the sides of a 9-inch springform pan or a glass pie plate.

Melt the chocolate in a double boiler or in the microwave. Pour over bottom of cookie crust and spread to the edges using an off-set spatula. Sprinkle chopped peanuts over the melted chocolate. Place pan in the refrigerator while you prepare the filling.

Pour the heavy cream into a bowl and beat using a stand mixer or hand mixer until stiff peaks form. Transfer to a small bowl and store in refrigerator until ready to use. Place the cream cheese and peanut butter in a deep bowl. Beat on medium speed until light and fluffy. Reduce speed to low and gradually beat in the confectioner's sugar. Add the sweetened condensed milk, vanilla extract and lemon juice. Increase speed to medium and beat until all the ingredients are combined and filling is smooth.

Fold 1/2 of the whipped cream into the filling mixture. Pour the filling into pie plate/pan. Refrigerate overnight before serving. Serve with remaining whipped cream and chopped peanuts.

Adapted from Jennie's Kitchen.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Chopped Caprese Salad w/ Warm Onion Dressing

My sister Shawnie is an inspiration. Look at this thing! Are ya kidding me?!

When she was 11, she would fake illness to stay home from school. I know that is neither unusual nor inspiring, but her motive was both. She wanted to bake. And not cookies or rice crispie treats. She baked challah bread. Have you ever made it? Me neither. It's too complicated.

Shawnie has an innate ability to cook and bake. She is always coming up with new, delicious recipes, and I was lucky to be over for dinner when she created this masterpiece.

Isn't it breathtaking? I'm thinking of enlarging this photo and putting it on my boring white living-room wall.

It's as delicious as it is beautiful. And a wonderful way to use tomatoes for a late summer dinner.

Thanks for the dinner, Shawn, and for your inspiration.

Love ya-


Shawnie's Chopped Caprese Salad & Warm Pearl Onion Dressing

1 1/2 - 2 cups peeled, fresh pearl onions (here's an easy way to peel them)

Marinate them overnight in:

1/2 c. EVOO
1/4 c. sun dried tomatoes, cut into strips
2 tsp garlic powder
sprinkle of salt
few turns of the pepper mill

Salad fixins (vary amounts based on number of servings):

4 large red tomatoes, chopped into bite-sized pieces
1 pint mixed colored tomatoes (or less, depending on number of servings)
1/2 - 1 lb soft mozzarella, chopped into bite-sized pieces
Your favorite store bought or homemade croutons
Large bunch of basil, chopped

Before serving, pour marinated onions and marinade into saute pan. Cook over med-high heat (stirring frequently) until onions are caramelized.

When ready to eat, arrange salad fixins on platter, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and drizzle warm dressing over the top. Sprinkle with the chopped basil.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Calalou and Basil Soup

It's been too long since I posted. No excuse other than my cute 4-month old. :) Haven't cooked any very interesting foods for awhile. Figuring it was high time I stopped with the excuses and started cooking real food again!

I remember when we had a farm share last year Lora and I had greens coming out of our ears. Kale chips, soups, greens and beans where our go-to recipes for all the excess. Last week a friend shared her favorite "greens" soup recipe and I had to try it. So the great part is this recipe would work with any green you want to cook down and get out of your fridge! I added tomatoes and basil because that's what I add to everything in the summer. Wish I had this recipe last year!

When I went to the market last week I expected greens to be at every stand. It was bizarre, nothing. No spinach, swiss chard, kale... nothing!! Guess its only a spring thing, but our farm last year produced all of it all summer long.

Well, It was the last thing on my list and Abel I were racing to see who could spot green first. Finally, I saw some collard greens and another big huge barrel full of this light large leafed green. The woman behind the bench was watching me, "You know what that is, Honey?"
"No." I replied. "Is it good in soup?"
"Why, yes!" She beamed. "It's calalou."
So there you have it. It's delicious but anything else you have in your fridge will work too.



Calalou and Basil Soup
makes 2 hearty servings so you probably want to double or triple it!

2 large handfuls of any green leafy veggie, deveined and rinsed
7 or so large leaves of basil
1 large onion chopped coursely
3 cloves garlic sliced coursely
olive oil
2 fresh tomatoes chopped into course chunks or 1 can diced tomatoes
2.5 cups chicken broth or more if you like thinner soup
salt and pepper

Saute onion and garlic in about 4 Tablespoons olive oil for 2-3 min over medium heat. Add greens and basil and cook until tender. Add tomatoes and chicken stock, bring to a boil. Cook down for a few minutes and flavor with salt and pepper. Blend in food processor or blender until smooth, add more stock if needed and heat through before serving. A swirl of heavy cream would be great but I didn't have any... was still good. :)