Sunday, February 22, 2009

Just Dea-sserts... Chocky-Peanut butter Pie

A RESOUNDING SUCCESS!!! and my husbands idea... When I told him there was a potluck at church this Sunday and we needed to bring a salad or dessert he immediately suggested "Chocky Peanut butter Pie" I had made this once before just for us but it wasn't quite right... it didn't have enough peanut butter... and i put some honey roasted peanuts on top thinking it would add a satisfying crunch. Well the moisture from the pie made the nuts rubbery weird bits not a satisfying sweet-salty crunch and again we wanted a punch of peanut butter... We started talking and planning our next attempt... We'd use more Peanut butter and forget the honey roasted peanuts maybe some chopped peanut butter cups... and a heavy pinch of salt to really make that peanut butter pop up and say hello....and a rich velvety chocolate ganache to top it off... SO here it is...

1 prepared Oreo pie crust ( I bought it if you wanna make it from scratch let me know)
1 8 oz pkg cream cheese, softened
1 cup creamy Peanut butter (crunchy would probably work but beware the rubbery bits!)
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 Tbsp salt ( I know it seems like a lot but the salt really helps elevate the peanut butter flavor!)
1 tsp vanilla
1 8 oz tub Cool Whip
6 oz of good semi sweet chocolate chips ( my fave Ghirardelli 60% bittersweet) 3/4 c. heavy whipping cream
10-12 Reese Peanut butter cups, chopped fine you can leave some whole for garnish if you like

Start by creaming together the cream cheese, Peanut butter, the powdered and granulated sugars, the salt and the vanilla. This mixture should be pretty thick taste it to make sure it has enough Peanut butter flavor for you if not add some more. Also if it isn't sweet enough add more granulated sugar. Fold** 1/4 of the cool whip into the Peanut butter mixture until fully incorporated then fold in another 1/4. Now fold in 1/2 of the crushed Reeses and spread the filling into the pie crust. Cover with plastic wrap or the inverted lid and refrigerate at least an hour. When your pie is chilled take your prepared Chocolate Ganache *** and pour it over the top of the peanut butter filling forming a layer of rich chocolatey goodness refrigerate once again. Before serving fold the remaining crushed peanut butter cups into the remaining cool whip and spread on top of pie.

Peanut butter perfection!!! :)

**For help folding one ingredient into a batter check out this video Fold-Egg-Whites-Into-Batter
***To Prepare the Chocolate Ganache:
In a med size bowl heat the whipping cream in the microwave on high 2-3 min until it is bubbling hot. Pour in the chocolate chips and allow to sit for 1-2 min then whisk the mixture until it becomes a thick velvety chocolate sauce. You can pour this on anything you wanna make rich and chocolatey use it as chocolate fondue pour it on cake ice cream whatever you like! Any leftovers can be put in the fridge for about a week and or frozen for at least 2 months. This is the rich decadent good stuff!!! This is also the foundation for chocolate truffles which would make a great future blog...

What Gobles gobble... Chicken Ra-Mein

We experienced out first financial crisis a month or so ago... the transmission on our car went out... Thankfully we had saved almost all of our wedding money for just such an occasion, although I was hoping we could spend it on something a little more fun like a vacation... So we immediately did what I hope most newlyweds do when they find themselves without savings... we tightened our belts even tighter then they already were and we tried to come up with anything and everything we could to save money... We wanted to replenish our savings account for the next financial crisis... (Thank you God for giving us wisdom, brains and the extra self-control when necessary) One of the ideas that Steve had to cut our grocery budget was to make dinner with Ramen noodles... the snobby gourmet food in me wrinkled my nose... but... I remembered my mom made like a stir fry thing with ramen and it was good and my Grandma Elwell made Fu-mi salad with ramen noodles maybe it wouldn't be sooooo bad... I also have a knack of making things taste good which I'm probably too prideful about... I don't know how cheap this ended up being but I'm armed now with a bunch of ramen noodles in my pantry and a new cookbook 101-Things-Do-Ramen-Noodles
For my first attempt I chose something seemingly simple and safe and I had some extra veggies hanging around I needed to use up... and I added a few tweaks and kicks my foodie brain decided would help elevate it from plain Ramen... I know this is a grocery list of ingredients and isn't quite as simple as previous recipes I've posted but its was really satisfying, flavorful and loaded with good veggies you could put any veggies you have on hand just cut them into bite size pieces you could even use a frozen stir fry mixture. Steve and I try to eat vegetarin 2 nights a week (another effort to save money and be healthy) so i sometimes have bits of this or that on hand i try to throw the leftovers in whenever i can.
Chicken Ra-Mein
1 pkg Chicken flavored ramen
1 pkg Oriental flavored ramen
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into strips
1-2 Tbsp Olive oil
1/2 a green bell pepper, cut into strips
1 head of broccoli, separated into florets
5-7 green onions, chopped into 1 inch pieces
8-10 button mushrooms, halved
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 piece of ginger 2-4 inches long, peeled and grated*
1-2 Tbsp honey
2 Tbsp Corn starch
1/4 cup Soy sauce
1/4 cup water
1 Tbsp sesame oil
Cook the ramen noodles and the broccoli florets until the noodles are tender and separated.
Drain and put aside.
In a small bowl combine soy sauce, water, half of the ginger, honey, corn starch, the chicken and oriental flavor packets mix well to make a sauce mixture.
In a BIG Hot skillet add the olive oil, garlic, remaining ginger and chicken cook chicken til done then add the vegetables and stir fry until the veggies are tender. Add noodles and toss stir in the Sauce mixture until it coats. The Sauce will thicken as it heats through and stick to the noodles giving them that slippery mouth feel. When finished drizzle with sesame oil and serve with chop sticks... :)
*quick tip for grating ginger if you cover the grater with a piece of plastic wrap and grate as normal its much easier the threads of the ginger stay attached and the pure grated ginger paste is easily scooped up. (Ginger is also supposedly a wonderful cure for Morning sickness... )

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Just Dea-sserts

This one is for you Jess... :)

It happens sometimes the evening is wearing on but its not quite bedtime yet dinner is a delicious but faded memory you're enjoying your night time routine and you want dessert...This usually happens when we'recuddling up on the couch watching TV or playing Animal Crossing... Sometimes I'll crochet. Now in all honesty our go to dessert is a cake or brownie mix... who objects to a house filled with the smell of gooey chocolate brownies not me that's for sure. I will put aside all of my snobby foodie airs and admit I love the simplicity of a brownie mix...(I do hate that we can eat a whole pan in a day so I try to avoid this) Sometimes its fun to make something not chocolaty ( can't say why really but sometimes...) So I picked this up from my Aunt Lillian in Texas... I'm not really sure what to call it...

Fruit and dumplings or Stove-Top Cobbler...

1 29 oz can sliced Peaches in heavy syrup (you could use other fruit I just haven't)
Cinnamon and Nutmeg to taste I'd say 1/2 tsp of each would be a good guesstimate
1 cup + 2 Tbsp Bisquick
2 Tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp Vanilla
1/3 cup milk
whipped cream/ice cream on top... if you like...

Pour the fruit into a pot (that has a lid) and add cinnamon and nutmeg to taste you can also add sugar or some butter if you like make it taste like peach pie... bring it to a boil. While that's cooking combine the Bisquick, milk, sugar, vanilla and more cinnamon and nutmeg. It should form a thick paste-like dough ( this is really simple on the fly. I just cut the dumpling recipe on the Bisquick box in half and add sugar and spices) Drop spoonfuls of the dough into the boiling fruit turn the heat down to medium. DON'T STIR!!! Put the lid on and cook for 5 min or so... Spoon into bowls and serve warm with whipped cream or ice cream.

serves 2-4 and I bet leftovers would be great the next morning for breakfast! Ours never last that long... :)

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

borrowed botched lyrics...

I love you, I love you, I love you. That's all I want to say. Until I find a way I will say the only words I know that You'll understand. I need to, I need to, I need to. I need to make you see, Oh, what you mean to me. Until I do I'm hoping you will Know what I mean. I love you...

Yes its random and sometimes my precious Beatles have the perfect way of summing up exactly how I feel even tho its not in order the lyrics mean something to me today they're an expression of something i'm feeling inside...

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

What Gobles Gobble... Goble-mac

My husband poor lactose intolerant man that he is... occassinally needs to indulge to get back to his roots... being so far from home and sometimes having a desire to reconnect he suggests we make Macaroni and Cheese the way his grandma does... Its pretty simple really delicious and different from your standard mac because it kind of is what it says it is cooked pasta with cheese melted on it sticky and gooey not really creamy like ordinary mac and cheese but still uber satisfying... When we introduced it my family (The Elwell's) Kyle promptly dubbed it Goble-mac

The amounts are approximate there's a little bit of an art to it... I've become much better at it now that i'm officially a Goble...

1 lb of cooked pasta we usually use spiral/rotelle pasta
1 lb of cheese we usually use a combination of sharp cheddar and colby-jack
1/2 stick of butter its mac n cheese after all...
1/4 cup milk

Preheat oven to 350 F. Cook your pasta until tender in salted boiling water and drain. Cut cheese into thin slices. Layer pasta with cheese in casserole dish top with butter cut into pieces. Drizzle milk over entire pan. Bake 10-15 min and stir to help spread the melting cheese throughout the pasta. Bake an additional 10-15 min and stir again. Its usually done at this point all of the milk will be absorbed and the cheese should be evenly coating every noodle. It may take some good stirring and mixing but soon its a gooey cheesy noodley dish of decadence my husband can't ever say no to even tho he probably should....

Monday, February 9, 2009

Gobbled Regrets....

So Steve and I were walking around the grocery store the other day bored we didn't really need anything just killing time and well what do poor... er rather cheap skate foodies do for fun... we walk around grocery stores dreaming about thinking about and imagining food.... So we saw this Batter Blaster stuff... I had heard about this on a foodie blog i frequent... and was well intrigued somewhat disturbed and a little curious... so upon finding it at the store we thought well... why not we'll leave the hamburger in the freezer and make waffles for dinner... The Verdict.... Well $6 for one can that made 6 waffles that were mostly air and cooked so super fast they practically burned in my waffle iron were so tough we couldn't cut them with a fork and then had to saw with a knife... not so much... maybe its better for pancakes.. they didn't taste bad but for the money and the just weirdness about them... yeh i think i can probably make my waffle recipe for less than like $1 a batch... So if you want REAL waffles.... please enjoy my Dear Grandma Elwell's recipe... we sure do!
4 Eggs
4 tsp baking powder
2 c milk
2 c flour
1/4 c sugar
½ t salt
¼ + 2 T melted butter
Separate the egg yolks from the whites and reserve the whites. Mix the egg yolks with the remaining ingredients. Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form and fold into batter. Ladle into a hot waffle iron and cook until the steaming stops. If you really wanna try Elwell Waffles the way they were meant to be tho.... cook some bacon in the waffle iron for a few minutes before you put the batter in... butter em up drizzle with syrup... Pray and Thank God for wonderful Grandma's who were such good cooks and enjoy!