Thursday, May 31, 2012

Dinosaur BBQ Peanut Butter Pie

I got a little ambitious on Cinco de Mayo, figuring it'd be a cinch to whip up two pies and sangria in between a trip to Wegmans, our lunch outing to Alto Cinco in honor of the birthday girl and the million of other things that need to get done on any given Saturday.

Let me back up on how this peanut butter pie came to be, because anyone who knows me knows the closest relationship I have to peanut butter is when my father calls me peanut butter, ironically enough, it happens quite often. 

One Friday afternoon Jared and I took a nice little road trip home so he could meet my parents, bring a car load of belongings home, enjoy a home cooked meal and go to Moonlight. Obviously hitting up all the hot spots of Fairport (our kitchen and moons). Tay had requested a key lime pie for her birthday and my father and I have made Dinosaur's many times so I knew that was the recipe to use. As I'm thumbing through the Dinosaur book, J asks if the peanut butter pie recipe is in there, lo and behold it is. J and I run to Wegmans to grab some things for later that night and we come back and oh look, my mother printed out the recipe for it, looks like J was getting his peanut butter pie.

Thankfully, I had my trusty side kick E to help after lunch because I wasn't exactly looking forward to touching or smelling peanut butter for the next half hour. I'm probably one of the seldom few who hates the smell of peanut butter, I mean really, it's quite disgusting. But thanks to E's help and me sucking up the icky smell, J got his Dinosaur Peanut Butter Pie and was a happy, happy camper and all I made out with was itchy hands. Could have been much worse, I suppose.

(failure to take a nice picture, by the time we were ready to transport all the goodies for the evening to the boys we were a bit rushed and I just snapped a pic real quick)

Dinosaur BBQ Peanut Butter Pie
source: Dinosaur BBQ

for the crust:
20 oreo sandwich cookies
3 tablespoons butter, melted
for the filling:
1 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon vanilla
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 1/4 cups smooth peanut butter
1 cup confectioners' sugar
for the garnish(which naturally, I forgot):
1/2 cup chopped peanuts

1. To make the crust, crumble cookies in a food processor then put them in a bowl with the melted butter. Press crumbs evenly over the bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch pie pan. Chill while making the filling.
2. To make the filling, put the cream, vanilla, cream cheese, peanut butter and confectioners' sugar in a mixer bowl. Mix on low for 1 minute, until blended, then gradually increase the speed to high. Whip until light and fluffy, about 1 more minute.
3. Spoon the filling into the chilled pie shell. Even off the top and sprinkle with peanuts. Pop in the fridge and let chill until set, about 4 hours. Serve chilled, don't leave it out at room temperature for too long because it will soften too much!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Dinosaur BBQ Key Lime Pie and a Birthday

The end of the semester is without fail, always crazy. So much to do, so little time. Things get even crazier when there's a birthday the last real weekend everyone can go out, especially a 21st birthday! Tay was the first of us to turn 21, on cinco de mayo, none the less so that weekend was full of birthday celebrations starting Friday evening.

the birthday girl decked out in her birthday gear

Tay had requested a Key Lime Pie which was simple enough, naturally Mariah and I obliged. Everything was going great until we realize we don't own a pie pan, so half way through the process off I ran to Wegmans to get a pie pan..This little delay in the game caused us to forget half the ingredients in the crust..but like one knows..until now. 

Dinosaur BBQ Key Lime Pie
source: Dinosaur BBQ

for the crust:
About 18 graham crackers
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
5 tablespoons butter, melted
for the filling:
4 extra-large egg yolks, lightly beaten
1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
1 1/2 teaspoons grated lime zest
1/2 cup lime juice (3-4 limes)
the garnish:
Sweetened whipped cream

1. Preheat the oven to 350.
2. To make the crust, break the graham crackers into the bowl of a food processor and process until crumbs. Mix the crumbs, sugar and cinnamon together in a bowl. Pour on the butter and mix until the crumbs are evenly moistened. Press the crumbs into the bottom and up the sides of an 8-inch pie pan. Set aside.
3. Make the filling by whisking together the yolks, condensed milk, zest and juice in a bowl. Pour the mixture into the crumb crust and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the edges and the center are just set.
4. Pull the pie out of the oven and cool to room temperature; then chill in the fridge. Slice into wedges and serve with a dollop of sweetened whipped cream.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Crunchy Honey Chicken

My posts have been far and few between the month of May. This month has been one of the craziest months, I don't think if I had a day with nothing to do until today (minus Susie Sunshine hacking away at my teeth this morning at the dentist, lovely, really.)

Now I know you're probably all anticipating Italy in detail, but figuring I haven't even showed my parents pictures yet or gone in depth with them about my trip, I will catch up on all the recipes from May I've been withholding and then move on to Italy.

I usually planned out our meals for every week but I must admit towards the end of the year, menu planning and meals together became less and less as our lives became busier and busier. This meal is super easy and quick to make and a personal favorite. (Don't mind the bad picture..I was clearly in a rush to eat, per usual.....)

Crunchy Honey Chicken
source: How Sweet Eats

1 pound chicken, thinly sliced
2 egg whites
1/3 cup cornstarch
1 cup broccoli florets
1/2 red pepper, thinly sliced
3/4 cup sugar snap peas
1 clove garlic, minced
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/4 cup honey
salt and pepper, to taste

Serve with rice.

1. Prepare and slice all vegetables.
2. In two separate bowls, add the egg whites (lightly beaten) and the cornstarch.
3. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add veggies with a sprinkle of salt and pepper and saute for about 5 minutes, until softened. Add in soy sauce and garlic and stir until veggies are coated. Remove from skillet and set aside in a bowl.
4. Cut chicken into 1-inch pieces and season with salt and pepper. Heat the same skillet over medium-high heat and add remaining olive oil. Dip chicken in egg whites then dredge in cornstarch. Add to the skillet and let brown for 2-3 minutes, then flip.
5. Once chicken is cooked, add veggies back in the skillet. Add honey and thoroughly mix to combine. Taste and season with salt, pepper and additional honey or soy sauce, if needed. Serve over rice.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Cookie Dough Cheesecake Bars

Kinda sorta on a baking spree over here.

Since today was a test day, that meant no work tonight. T came over for so much needed girl time and we whipped up these bad boys. Lucky for her, the grahams needed a good smashing so she could get all her frustrations out.

I'm usually not really a big fan of cream cheese but like these are so good. And I'm a firm believer chocolate chunks make anything ten times better.

Hope the boys finished the cookies and cream bars I dropped off Sunday because their about to get another delivery!

Cooking Dough Cheesecake Bars
adapted from: My Baking Addiction

For the Crust:
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
5 tablespoons butter, melted

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough:
5 tablespoons butter, softened
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup flour
1 cup chocolate chunks

For the Cheesecake Filling:
10 oz cream cheese, room temperature
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla

1. Preheat the oven to 325. Line an 8 inch square pan with tin foil then spray with nonstick cooking spray.
2. Mix the melted butter and graham cracker crumbs until thoroughly combined. Press the mixture into the prepared pan and bake in oven for 6 minutes. Set aside.
3. Prepare the chocolate chip cookie dough by beating the butter, sugars, salt and vanilla with an electric mixture until smooth. Mix in the flour on low speed, just until combined. Stir in the chocolate chips and set aside.
4. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment cream together the cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Mix in egg and vanilla just until incorporated. Pour the cheesecake batter over the prepared crust. Form clumps of cookie dough and place on top the cheesecake batter. Flatten the clumps and distribute over the top. You will use all the dough and it should cover completely.
5. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the top feels dry and firm and the entire pan looks set if given a gentle shake.