Sunday, August 13, 2017

LIGHT AS AIR PEANUT BUTTER PIE

Most peanut butter recipes like this are way to "heavy" and way to sweet, but this one is PERFECT, it's more like a light mousse. 

Double the ingredients and put it in a 9x13 dish and it will disappear from ANY buffet table in a wink, followed by lots of requests for the recipe. IT IS LIGHT AS AIR !!!!!




9" Pie or double the ingredients and
make a 9" x 13" size for a crowd 


CRUST
2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup melted butter

Combine all crust ingredients and press into a 9" pie pan (pushing up the sides) sit it in the fridge while you are making the filling.

FILLING
8 ounce package of cream cheese, room temperature
1 cups creamy peanut butter  (I use Jiff)
1 cups sugar
1 tablespoons soft butter
1 teaspoons vanilla
1 cups whipping cream

Beat the cream cheese until it is smooth, then add the peanut butter, sugar, butter and vanilla.  Beat on high until the mixture is very well mixed and smooth.

In a separate bowl, whip the cream until you get stiff peaks, then gently fold it into the peanut butter mixture by hand, making sure that it is well mixed and you don't see any streaks of white.

Spoon filling into the crumb crust. Chill the whole thing for 3-4 hours or overnight.

NOTE: For the chocolate decoration on this pie, I heat 1/4 cup of milk to boiling, then pour it over 1/2 cup of chocolate chips. Stir until well melted and smooth. drizzle over the finished pie and then sprinkle with a few graham cracker crumbs and chopped peanuts for decoration....(not  necessary, but fun).

NOTE: OK......here's a warning.... if you are like me and you like to lick the beaters and spoons, you will notice sugar grains in the filling.....don't freak out. After it chills in the fridge for a couple of hours, they will totally disappear and the filling will be SILKY SMOOTH!! I promise!!!



This stuff is totally addicting!!

ENJOY !!!


Tuesday, August 1, 2017

BREAD and BUTTER ZUCCHINI PICKLE RELISH


This time of year, there is an abundance of fresh zucchini to make Bread and Butter pickle relish out of it. It is absolutely delicious and we use it in everything from tuna fish, to potato salad, to hot dogs, you name it.........NO ONE has EVER guessed it is made of zucchini, it just tastes like the BEST bread and butter pickles.



12 cups unpeeled zucchini (chopped small)
3 cups sweet onion (chopped small)
1 cup celery (chopped small)
2 large red bell peppers (chopped small)
2 cups peeled carrots (chopped small)
1 cup pickling salt (see important note)
3 cups white vinegar
3 cups granulated sugar
2 teaspoons turmeric
2 teaspoons DRY mustard powder
1 tablespoon celery seed
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon corn starch


Wash and dry the vegetables before cutting them (the only one you should peel is the carrot).  Coarsely chop the vegetables, then put them in the food processor (2 or 3 cups at a time) and pulse them a few times to get them small enough for a good relish (but not too small). The chop size should look like the next photo.

Measure the vegetables AFTER you chop them in the food processor.

Mix the small chopped vegetables and 1 cup of pickling salt. Place this mixture (covered) in fridge overnight (The salt will draw excess moisture out of the veggies).


IMPORTANT NOTE: After the vegetables have chilled overnight, it is VERY IMPORTANT that you rinse the salt off of them. I rinse the chopped veggies three times (in small batches).


Whatever method you choose to rinse the salt off, just make sure you rinse, rinse, rinse then squeeze as much water out of the chopped veggies as you can(I use my salad spinner). Set aside.

In a large, non-aluminum, pot, mix the vinegar, sugar, celery seed, spices and corn starch. Bring to a boil (to dissolve the sugar). Add all of the rinsed vegetables to the pot and bring BACK to a boil. Once it is boiling well, turn heat to medium low and gently boil everything for 20 minutes, stirring every five minutes or so.

While the relish is simmering, sterilize 7 pint jars and 7 (two piece) screw on lids. I do this by putting the jars through a hot cycle in my dishwasher (but I don't put the lids in there). Keep the jars in the (unopened) hot dishwasher after the last cycle.


For the lids, I just wash them with hot soapy water, rinse them well and then pour boiling water over them in a large saucepan which I keep warm on a burner.


Also, while the relish is simmering, bring your  hot water bath to a boil, here's how: Place a rack on the bottom of a large stock pot (or something to keep the jars up off of the bottom of the pan) and fill the pot with water (water should be deep enough to cover the jars by 2". Bring to full boil.

Now that your relish has boiled for 20 minutes, remove it from the heat and place it in the hot jars, leaving 1/4" space at the top of the jars (make sure there are no air pockets in the relish). Wipe the rims of the jars with a clean, hot, wet kitchen towel and screw on the two-piece lids fairly tight. Lower the jars into the already boiling water and keep them in there  10 minutes for half pint jars and 15 minutes for pint jars.


Remove from boiling water and let cool to room temperature on your kitchen counter. As they cool on your counter, you will hear the lids "pop" when they make the correct seal.  If they don't "pop", just keep them in the fridge.




NOTE: Do not use regular table salt for this recipe because the anti-caking agents in table salt cause the relish to discolor.  If you don't have pickling salt, the next best thing to use is kosher salt (but I highly recommend pickling salt).

NOTE: The recipe calls for 12 cups of chopped up zucchini. I have found that if I am a cup short of zucchini, I just add an extra cup of chopped carrots. Works well.

NOTE: This recipe makes 7 pints of relish.



ENJOY !!!

Monday, July 3, 2017

EASY CHEESECAKE BITES

Easy to make and delicious to eat, COLD AND CREAMY cheesecake bites.


CRUST
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup chopped pecans
1/4 cup melted UNSALTED butter

Mix well and press into a PARCHMENT LINED* 8" X 8" baking pan then set aside.

16 ounce regular fat cream cheese (room temperature)
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons corn starch
1/4 teaspoon salt (delete salt if you use salted butter)
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla

Beat the room temperature cream cheese until light and fluffy (takes 1 or 2 minutes). Add the sugar, cornstarch, salt, eggs and vanilla. Beat on low until well mixed but don't over-beat. Spread evenly over crust.

Bake in preheated 325° oven for 30 minutes (*see note at bottom).

Let baked bites sit at room temperature for 45 minutes, then freeze them for 2 hours  before you cut themAt the end of 2 hours, lift out of baking pan and cut into 2" squares.



Melt 1 cup of your favorite flavor chocolate chips in microwave (20 second bursts, stirring in between bursts). Mix well and dip tops of the frozen "bites" into the warmed chocolate.



Put back into the freezer just long enough to "set" the chocolate. Store in refrigerator.  Makes 16.


ENJOY !!!
* Lining your pan with parchment paper is important. It not only keeps everything from sticking, but it allows you to lift out the baked cheesecake without any trouble.

* This cheesecake cooked up very nicely. As far as baking time, the original recipe said 20-30 minutes in a glass pan. I found that it needed another 10 minutes in a metal pan. Just keep an eye on it. If the surface of the cheesecake is still super shiny, then it's not quite done yet. It loses that super shine when it done cooking. Hard to explain, you you'll see it.