Perfect Party Cake

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Yesterday was my birthday and although I love the ice cream cake Justin and the boys get me each year this year I wanted to try something a little different. I wanted to bake my own cake and I knew exactly what cake!! Dorie Greenspan’s Perfect Party Cake, from her outstanding cookbook, Baking: From My Home to Yours. This cake is legendary amongst baking bloggers and I’ve been dying to try it for awhile now! I am so glad I made it. I had a blast, especially getting to use all the new kitchen gadgets Justin got me for my Birthday! The cake is delicious although too tart to eat very much. I will definitely, let me repeat… I will DEFINETLY make this cake again, but I am going to play around with the flavors. The swiss buttercream frosting has the same texture as our favorite Swiss Confiserie, Andre’s in Kansas City. So I can't wait to make it again and I will try substituting chocolate for the lemon!

Ingredients For Cake
2 1/2 cups cake flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
4 large egg whites
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
For Buttercream
1 cup sugar
4 large egg whites
3 sticks (12 ounces) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For Assembly
1 cup raspberry preserves, stirred until spreadable
1 1/2 cups shredded white chocolate flakes

Directions
Prepare the cake layers: Preheat the oven to 350F degrees and place a rack in the center. Butter two 9-inch cake pans and line the bottoms with parchment paper. Wisk together buttermilk and eggs and set aside.
In a large bowl sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Use an electric mixer to mix in the sugar and the lemon zest until well-combined and fragrant. Beat in the butter and extract. While mixing gradually pour in the buttermilk mixture and mix for a good 2 minutes. Divide the batter between the two pans and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the center emerges clean.
Transfer the cakes to a cooling rack and cool for 5 minutes. Run a knife around the sides of the cakes, unmold them onto the rack, and peel off the parchment. Cool completely.

Prepare the buttercream: Place the sugar and egg whites in the bowl of an electric mixer or another large heatproof bowl. Fit the bowl over a pan of simmering water and whisk constantly until the sugar dissolves and the mixture feels hot to the touch, about 3 minutes. Remove the bowl from the heat.
Using the whisk attachment, beat the mixture on medium speed until it has cooled, about 5 minutes. Switch to the paddle attachment and add the butter, one stick at a time, beating until smooth. Once all of the butter has been added, beat the buttercream on medium-high speed until it is thick and very smooth, 6-10 minutes. During this time, the buttercream may curdle or separate--just keep beating and it will come together again.
On medium speed, gradually beat in the lemon juice and then add the vanilla. The buttercream will be smooth and velvety. You will know it’s done when it stiffens up. You will notice the mixer beaters going through the icing and the icing will stay in the stiff peaks and not fall. Just keep mixing it, it will eventually stiffen up!
Assemble the cake: Using a sharp serrated knife, slice each layer horizontally in half. Put one layer, cut side up, on a cardboard cake round or cake plate. Spread it with 1/3 of the raspberry preserves. Cover the jam evenly with 1/4 of the buttercream. Top with another layer, spread with the preserves and the buttercream, and do the same with a third layer. Place the last layer, cut side down, on top of the cake. Use the remaining buttercream to frost the sides and the top. Press the white chocolate flakes into the frosting, patting it gently on the sides and the top. Store in the refrigerator up to 2 days or in freezer for up to 2 months.

Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Thursday, January 29, 2009

I’ve tried making garlic mashed potatoes before but I used raw garlic and it was so strong the potatoes were almost inedible. So, while watching Emeril Lagasse on FoodTV roast garlic this week it occurred to me that roasted garlic is probably the kind of garlic that goes in mashed potatoes. Which is probably why I always see “roasted garlic mashed potatoes” on restaurant menus… it takes me awhile to catch on ;-)

Random Note... I did Pilates with Kathy the drill sergeant last night. Kathy had us do this balancing act while pumping our arms; it sounded something like this…
Carrie: I’m dying
Kathy: Only a couple more ladies
Carrie: How many more?
Kathy: forty
Carrie: FORTY!!! How about four!!
… this morning I woke up, inspected my body and told Justin that I think I have a hernia, he laughed and said “exercise has been known to make you sore, I think you’ll live Carrie”. He was right, I “lived” but I think I’ll stick to the elliptical; my stomach muscles don’t feel like they are residing outside my body when I use the elliptical, lol!

Ingredients
1 head of garlic
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 pounds potatoes, peeled and diced
1 stick butter, cubed
1/2 to 3/4 cup heavy cream
Salt and pepper

Directions for roasting garlic
This was my first attempt at roasting garlic and I can honestly say that it was very easy and anyone can do it (yes, even you)! You take the whole garlic bulb and chop off the top. Lay a piece of foil out and place the garlic in the middle and drizzle with olive oil. Then wrap the foil around the garlic covering it (I just wrapped my foil around the garlic like I was wrapping a present). Place in a 450 oven and roast for 35 to 40 minutes, or until tender and golden brown. Remove from the oven and cool. Squeeze or remove the garlic cloves from the head and place in a small bowl. Using a fork, mash the garlic until smooth.

Directions for mashed potatoes
Place the potatoes in a pot of salted water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook the potatoes until fork tender, about 12 to 15 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and drain. Place the potatoes back in the pot and return to the heat. Stir the potatoes, constantly, for 2 to 3 minutes to dehydrate the potatoes. Remove the potatoes from the heat. Add the garlic and butter. Using a hand-held masher, mash the butter and garlic into the potatoes. Add enough cream until desired texture is achieved. The potatoes should still be sort of lumpy. Season the potatoes with salt and pepper.

Twilight Pie

Monday, January 26, 2009

This month's You Want Pies With That theme is "Literary Pie" chosen by Mary the Food Librarian (really, what did you expect from the Food Librarian?). So we had to bake a pie inspired by a book. Even though I am an avid reader this was too easy a decision for me! I knew I needed to make a pie inspired by the book Twilight by Stephanie Meyer! Yes, I am obsessed with Twilight and so is my husband! We read them over and over again, they are truly magnificent books and I would suggest Twilight to anyone of any age or gender!
So for this Twilight Pie I used the Marshmallow Mermaid pie recipe (I thought the white cream with chocolate flakes would appear like the inside of an apple... white with black seeds), a mini graham cracker pie crust, red sprinkles, and a pretzel for the stem of the apple.
"Take care of my heart - I've left it with you"

Marshmallow Mermaid Pie

I love the movie Waitress, if you haven't seen it yet you should rent it immediately! In the movie, Kerri Russell's character, Jenna, is known for her pie-making skills. She creates pies based on her current mood, some of my favorites are... I Don't Want No Earl's Baby Pie, Falling In Love Pie, and Marshmallow Mermaid Pie (which happens to be the first pie she ever created as a child when she was in her mermaid phase). The DVD came with pie recipes and the marshmallow mermaid pie was one of them. I was SO excited to try it! I didn't know what to expect but I was very pleased with the outcome. It's like a chocolate chip mouse! I didn't have any unsweetened chocolate on hand and I thought about using sweetened chocolate but I sucked it up and ran up to the grocery store. I am so glad that I did!! This pie is perfect with the unsweetened chocolate, don't try using regular sweetened or it will be too sweet. In fact it was so sweet as is that I didn't even add any marshmallow decorations. Everyone loved it! Justin thinks the filling would make an excellent "chocolate chip frosting" for a cake and I would agree... maybe I will play around with that! I will definitely make this pie again!

Ingredients
9 graham crackers
1/2 C. sweetened, flaked coconut, toasted (I omited this since my family doesn't like cocconut)
5 Tbs. butter or margarine, melted
34 lg. marshmallows (8 oz.)
1/2 C. whole milk
1 1/2 C. heavy or whipping cream
1 oz. unsweetened chocolate, grated

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine coconut and graham crackers in food processor until coarse crumbs form.
2. Combine crumbs and butter with fork. Press to bottom and side of 9-inch pie plate. Bake 10 minutes and cool on wire rack.
3. Heat marshmallows and milk in 3-qt. saucepan over low heat until smooth, stirring constantly. Remove saucepan from heat. Cool completely (15-30 minutes.)
4. In large bowl with mixer at medium speed, beat cream until stiff peaks form. Fold marshmallow mixture into whipped cream with grated chocolate. Spoon filling into cooled crust. Refrigerate pie at least 3 hours or overnight.
5. Top with mini marshmallows, maraschino cherries and rainbow sprinkles

Spicy Honey Chicken

Saturday, January 24, 2009

This recipe is from Your Home Based Mom, she has a lot of really good recipes! The “rub” makes enough for 4 times the amount of chicken in the recipe so you might want to save the extra. This isn’t one of our absolute favorite’s chicken recipes but it is a good change. I used 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper and next time I will use 1/2. The honey glaze is very sweet so you need a hot and spicy chicken beneath it! I think we’ll like it much better next time with the added cayenne pepper!

On a separate note please pray for my school. A pipe burst last night and there is extensive damage. I should be happy school is canceled for awhile but I feel terrible that such an awful thing happened at such a wonderful place!

Ingredients
The recipe called for 8 boneless skinless chicken thighs, but we used 4 skinless boneless chicken breasts

Rub:
2 teaspoons Garlic Powder
2 teaspoons Chili Powder
1 teaspoons Salt
1 teaspoons Ground Cumin
1 teaspoons Paprika
1/4-1/2 teaspoons Cayenne pepper (depending on how hot you like it)

Glaze:
6 Tablespoons Honey
2 Tablespoons Cider Vinegar

Directions
Combine first 6 ingredients (all the spices) in bowl and mix well. Use kitchen shears (or a pair of clean scissors) to trim off any excess fat from the chicken pieces. Toss chicken with spice rub to coat all sides well. Brush grill surface lightly with oil. Grill chicken a few minutes on each side, until cooked through.Combine honey and vinegar in a small bowl, stirring well until combined. Brush mixture on chicken (both sides) in the final moments of grilling. Now because the glaze is sugar-based, you’ll want to turn the heat down so it doesn’t burn, but let it cook for a few minutes to caramelize. You can also cook this under the broiler if you don’t have a BBQ or the weather is bad.

Kandy Kakes

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

As I see recipes that look good I email them to Justin and myself; then before we go to the grocery store we pick out a couple new recipes from my list. Sure we have our staple meals but I try to mix in a couple new recipes each week, it keeps me excited about cooking! As Justin looks through my list of new recipes he always picks out anything with peanut butter and chocolate. I swear he has some kind of peanut butter and choco-holic disease! These Kandy Kakes caught his eye immediately! I’ve never heard of a Kandy Kakes before but from the little research I did on the internet it sounds like they are a snack cake sold at convenience stores on the east coast (I can’t criticize because I myself have an unhealthy love for convenience store Hostess SnoBalls). I didn’t have the large jelly roll pan suggested so mine are a little thick and brown on the edges but they were delicious! The cake wasn’t too sweet so the peanut butter and chocolate was perfect, not too rich.


Ingredients
4 eggs
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup scalded milk (2 1/2 mins in microwave)
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons butter
2 cups flour
12 ounces creamy peanut butter
16 ounces milk chocolate

Directions
Beat together all ingredients but chocolate and peanut butter. Pour batter into greased and floured jelly roll pan (17x10 3/4). Bake 20-25 mins in preheated 350 degree oven. Spread peanut butter over hot cake. Refrigerate until firm. Melt chocolate in double boiler. Spread over peanut butter. Refrigerate again until firm. Bring to room temperature and cut into squares.

Parmesan Scalloped Potatoes

Monday, January 19, 2009

We really like scalloped potatoes, but we’ve only ever eaten the boxed kind (kind of pathetic, I know). So I searched online and found Tyler Florence’s Scallop Potatoes recipe, which I modified to fit the ingredients I had on hand. These potatoes were good but not what we are used to. We didn’t care for the parmesan flavor (to us it tasted like Alfredo potatoes); we really missed the usual cheddar flavor. So I think next time I will substitute cheddar cheese for the parmesan cheese.

Ingredients
2 lbs. russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/8-inch slices
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
2 minced garlic cloves
1-2 tablespoons butter
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup gated parmesan

Directions
Preheat oven to 375. In a saucepan, heat cream with Italian seasoning, and garlic.
While cream is heating, butter a casserole dish. Place a layer of potato in overlapping pattern and season with salt and pepper. Remove cream from heat, then pour a little over potatoes. Top with some grated Parmesan. Make 2 more layers. Bake, uncovered for 45 minutes.

Hawaiian BBQ Chicken Sandwich

Saturday, January 17, 2009

So this is my favorite chicken sandwich! The sweetness of the pineapple and spiciness of the BBQ sauce is irresistible! I don’t put any cheese on mine but you could add a slice of cheese if you want. Speaking of spicy, I have a funny story! We took the boys to get ice cream at ColdStone, their favorite ice cream shop! When we parked I told Justin I would just wait in the car, I wasn’t going to get any ice cream. Justin leans over to kiss me bye and Abbott (our 7-year-old) says “So, are you guys going to make out or are we going to go get ice cream?”. Abbott is one spicy guy, he cracks us up!

Ingredients
Buns (we prefer Sara Lee White Bakery Buns found in the hamburger bun aisle at our supermarket)
Skinless boneless chicken breast
Olive or vegetable oil
Salt and pepper
BBQ sauce
Pineapple slices

Directions
Follow the same cooking directions as the Cajun Chicken Sandwich. Flatten the chicken breast and salt and pepper both sides. Put a tablespoon of oil in a skillet on high heat. When the skillet is hot add the chicken and let it cook 2-4 minutes on each side. When the chicken is done take it out and smother it with BBQ sauce. I put the pineapple slices in the hot skillet to warm them. Put the BBQ chicken and pineapple slices on toasted buns and serve!

Cajun Chicken Sandwich

Thursday, January 15, 2009


We love eating chicken sandwiches! Over the next week I am going to post our favorites. Cajun Chicken Sandwich is Justin and Andrew’s favorite (I have to admit that I love it too)! I am sure you have gone to a grill and bar and ordered a chicken sandwich for $5-$10, it’s crazy! You can make the same sandwich at home in 10 minutes for much cheaper, and if you follow these directions it will taste just as good, promise!!

Ingredients
Buns (we prefer Sara Lee White Bakery Buns found in the hamburger bun aisle at our supermarket)
Skinless boneless chicken breast
Cajun Seasoning
Salt (most important ingredient, don’t forget it!)
Butter spread
Olive or vegetable oil
Sliced cheese (we prefer provolone slices)

Directions
Loosely wrap the chicken breast in plastic wrap and beat it flat with a rolling pin (Carrie’s preference) or skillet (Justin’s preference). I have no sense of measurement but you want the chicken about 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick.

Put a tablespoon of oil in your skillet and set your stove on high heat, you want the pan really hot before you put the chicken in so it will give it a nice sear. Unwrap the beaten chicken and sprinkle Cajun seasoning and salt on both sides. When you see steam/smoke rising off the oil in the skillet it’s hot enough to add the chicken.

Put the seasoned chicken in the skillet. Leave it alone while it cooks, letting it cook for 2-4 minutes on each side.

While the chicken is cooking smear the butter spread on the inside of your buns and place them butter side up on a cookie sheet. Now you need to toast them in the oven. I set the oven to broil and they toast up in 1-2 minutes. I then add a slice of cheese to one side of the buns and stick it back in for 30 seconds to let it melt.

Since the chicken is so thin it will be done in 5-10 minutes, it will be very juicy with a beautifully colored sear. As soon as the chicken and buns are ready assemble your sandwich and eat immediately. The sandwich is very good just like this but you can also add a condiment. Justin mixes mustard, spicy brown mustard, and honey creating a spicy honey mustard, he likes on his Cajun Chicken Sandwich. I like my Cajun Chicken Sandwich with some lettuce and tomato. Andrew likes his plain. It’s all personal preference at this point!

Now… what do you do with your leftover buns? We make more chicken sandwiches of course! Check back on Saturday, I will make my favorite chicken sandwich ;-)

Bombsicle

Monday, January 12, 2009

God has blessed me with two new amazing friends, Dawn and Mary. I love them and I love going out with them! As much as I love going out with friends I can’t stand the taste of alcohol so my drink of choice is usually a Mudslide (chocolate milkshake with a little Baileys) or Malibu (coconut rum) and pineapple juice. Well Dawn got me started on a new drink called a Bombsicle and holy moly is it good! I can’t taste any alcohol it really does taste like a melted bomb popsicle! Be careful though, just because you can’t taste the alcohol doesn’t mean there isn’t a lot in there.

**Hiccup**


Ingredients (my measurements aren't exact, do what tastes good to you)
1/4 cup UV Blue Raspberry Vodka
1 cup lemonade
Ice cubes
Optional- blue sprinkles

Directions
Pour the UV Blue and lemonade into a glass with ice, stir and serve. Cover the rim with blue sprinkles for garnish.


Betty Crocker’s Macaroni and Cheese

Saturday, January 10, 2009

In our quest to find that perfect potluck macaroni and cheese I couldn’t go without trying Betty Crocker’s Macaroni and Cheese! We were all excited because we knew it had to be good! I learned my lesson from The Lady’s Mac so I put this macaroni and cheese in a much deeper dish. It was very gooey and creamy and after the first bite we looked at each other and laughed. This macaroni and cheese tastes exactly like Stouffer’s Macaroni and Cheese.

Seriously, if you took a blind bite of each you wouldn’t be able to tell the difference! The boys were thrilled because they love Stouffer’s Mac and Cheese, Justin and I love it too but personally I would prefer to stick a frozen box in the oven to cooking in the kitchen for an hour. So this isn’t a recipe I will make again because I’ll buy the easier Stouffer’s version in the freezer section of my grocery store, but I would suggest this macaroni and cheese to anyone who doesn’t have Stouffer’s! It truly is THE BEST macaroni and cheese!

Ingredients
2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni (7 ounces)
1/4 cup butter or margarine
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground mustard
1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
2 cups milk
2 cups shredded or cubed Cheddar cheese (8 ounces)

Directions
Cook macaroni as directed on package. While macaroni is cooking, melt butter in 3-quart saucepan over low heat. Stir in flour, salt, pepper, mustard and Worcestershire sauce. Cook over medium low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture is smooth and bubbly; remove from heat. Stir in milk. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly. Boil and stir 1 minute. Stir in cheese. Cook, stirring occasionally, until cheese is melted. Drain macaroni. Gently stir macaroni into cheese sauce. Pour into ungreased 2-quart casserole. Bake uncovered at 350 for 20 to 25 minutes or until bubbly.

Easy Buttercream Frosting

Thursday, January 8, 2009

My friend Colleen got married yesterday (congratulations Colleen and Mark!!) so today was the perfect opportunity to try out my new cupcake courier! I got it for Christmas and it is one of the greatest inventions ever! Seriously, I’ve always struggled to travel with cupcakes! I can remember carrying in Andrew’s cupcake birthday treats in 4 cereal boxes! The cupcake courier is just awesome, it held all 36 cupcakes perfectly! Next up I want to get a set of individual cupcake holders to send in the boys lunches, how cute would that be!
Don’t let my excitement for my cupcake courier distract you from this frosting. It is easily my favorite frosting and dangerously delicious! I made the frosting and iced the cupcakes last night but it was just as yummy today as it was yesterday unlike the disappointing Marshmallow Frosting (which was only good for a couple hours). The cupcakes were just Duncan Hines White Cake, and the cake and icing went perfectly together!

Ingredients
1 cup (2 sticks) butter (room temperature)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 pound powdered sugar
1-3 teaspoons milk

Directions
Using a mixer, cream softened butter and vanilla until smooth. Add sugar gradually, allowing butter and sugar to cream together before adding more. If you want your frosting a little creamier, add a teaspoon of milk at a time and beat on high until you get the right texture. Then, just use icing colors to tint the frosting the color of your choice. This is just enough for a 2-layer cake (or 24 cupcakes). I had to double it for my 36 cupcakes.

Broccoli Cheese Rice

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

I have a long standing love affair with broccoli cheese rice! Growing up it was sometimes called green rice or broccoli cheese rice casserole but by any name it’s one of my absolute favorite side dishes! This is Justin’s Aunt Nancy’s recipe and I love how easy it is to make! Since I’m the only person in my family that eats broccoli (what’s wrong with these boys) I make it and keep it in the fridge to snack on for days. It is just as good reheated as it is the first day!

Ingredients
2 pounds frozen chopped broccoli
2 cups minute rice
1 (15 ounce) jar Cheez Wiz
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 chopped onion
1 stick of butter
1 cup water

Directions
In a large skillet/saucepan cook the butter and onion on medium heat for 5-10 minutes until the onion has softened and is almost translucent. Add the broccoli, cheez wiz, soup, and water (if your broccoli is frozen then cook it with the butter/onion until it’s thawed before adding the cheez wiz and soup). Cook and stir until everything is warm and mixed together. Stir in the minute rice and pour into greased casserole dish. I use a 2 quart casserole dish and it fills it to the brim perfectly. Cover with foil and cook at 350 for 30-45 minutes, the top will be starting to brown and it will be hot and bubbly. Yum Yum!

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Pie

Sunday, January 4, 2009

It was up to me to decide this month’s “You Want Pie With That” challenge theme. It was a lot of pressure but I decided on a pie to break New Year’s Resolutions (I know I am a meany). I am hoping the gals pull out all the stops to make the most decadent calorific pies ever!

I am not a dessert person so it would be easy for me to pass up an Ice Cream Pie, Chocolate Pie, or Cream Pie. However there is one dessert I can’t pass up, no matter how devoted I am to my diet! The chocolate covered strawberry! I don’t know what it is about that tiny treat but the mix of tart and chocolate is irresistible! So I decided to try a chocolate covered strawberry pie and goodness gracious it didn’t disappoint! It tasted just like a chocolate covered strawberry!

Ingredients
1 (9 inch) frozen deep dish pie crust
3 cups of fresh strawberries
3/4 cup white sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 tablespoons butter (cut into small pieces)
1/2 cup cornstarch
2/3 - 1 cup chocolate chips (milk or semi-sweet)
Optional- 1 rolled refrigerator pie crust (if you want to put a top crust on your pie)
Optional- Fresh strawberries, chocolate, and whipped cream to top pie (this is what I did)

Directions
Rinse strawberries and dry them well. Remove the greenery, stem, and "belly button" from strawberries; then cut the strawberries into bite-size chunks. They need to be relatively the same so they'll cook evenly. In a large bowl, combine the cut strawberries, vanilla, and sugar. Mix until the sugar is all wet. Mix in the salt and cornstarch and stir until the cornstarch is thoroughly wet. DO NOT add any other liquid. Finally, lightly mix in butter and chocolate chips. Dump the entire mix into the deep dish pie shell. If you want a top you can use the rolled crust to cover in your favorite way. (lattice-top, etc.) I left mine uncovered but topped with more fresh strawberries and chocolate. Cover the rim of the pie crust with foil so it doesn’t brown and cook at 400 for 45-60 minutes. You will want the filling to be bubbling and the crust to be brown. Cool pie for at least 45 minutes (an hour to hour and a half is better) before cutting.

Puppy Chow

Friday, January 2, 2009

Besides homemade peanut butter cups, Puppy Chow is Justin’s favorite comfort dessert; and poor Justin needed some comfort food. We’ve all been off of work and school for the last 14 days and Abbott has wrestled around with Justin every day (almost all day). Once Justin was napping on the couch and Abbott woke him up and said “let’s wrestle”. Justin laughed and said “No bud, I am napping” but Abbott replied “Just level one, come on”. To provoke Justin last night he named his own team “Team Amateur Winner” and Justin’s “Team Loser”, ha! But Abbott’s too smart for his own good; he read the word noob (which is an online gaming term for new player) and was calling Justin one while brawling but pronounced it “nub” it was so cute… “You’re going down nub”!

Ingredients
9 cups Chex Cereal (I use corn or rice chex)
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup butter
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

Directions
In a large pot melt the butter and peanut butter until smooth. Turn off the burner (to prevent you from burning your chocolate) and stir in the chocolate chips and vanilla. When the chocolate is all melted, stir in the chex cereal until all the chex are coated with the chocolate mixture. I put the powdered sugar in a sealable baggie and add the chocolate cereal and shake, but I know people who just add the powdered sugar to their pot and stir. Either way, you need to cover the chocolate chex with powdered sugar. Now the chex need to lay out to dry for a couple of hours, if you put them in a baggie right away they will get soggy (we know from personal experience). So I suggest you spread the puppy chow out on some foil or a cookie sheet. It doesn’t need to be a single layer they just need to be able to breathe. After a couple hours of drying put in a sealable plastic baggie for storage.

Abbott's First Kiss Pie

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Abbott had his first kiss and we are celebrating by creating a pie! He kissed a girl in his class who has been his off-and-on girlfriend since school started. He said they both decided to kiss three times (since three is their favorite number) so they went to hide behind the garbage bins at recess and kissed three times. Abbott was quick to note that he "didn't use his tongue and he wasn't chewing gum... because that would be gross because then the gum would be in her mouth". When Justin and I came home from work that evening Abbott was proud to tell us of his accomplishment but we haven't had time to celebrate until now (he kissed her two weeks ago).

Like first kisses, this pie is simple, sweet, and strangely addictive!!! No joke, this pie is absolutely fantastic! The chocolate mousse melts in your mouth and the whipped topping is so delicious, in the future I will cover the entire pie with it! Abbott helped come up with the ingredients, make it, and is VERY proud, he calls it "My Kiss Pie". I am actually really glad this pie turned out to be so tasty because we will definitely make it again in the future and can remember and celebrate Abbott's first kiss!

Ingredients
1 (9 inch) frozen deep dish pie crust
1 (7.5 ounce) jar marshmallow creme
1 cup milk chocolate chips
1/4 cup butter
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate squares
2 cups heavy whipping cream, whipped
1/4 cup powdered sugar

Directions
Bake the pie crust according to directions. Meanwhile, in a heavy saucepan, combine the butter and marshmallow creme until they are melted. Stir in the chocolate chips and unsweetened chocolate; cook and stir over low heat until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth. Take it off the burner and set it aside while you whip the cream. In a large mixing bowl, beat the heavy cream until it begins to thicken and add powdered sugar; beat until stiff peaks form. Keep half of the whipped cream for topping later and mix half of it with the chocolate mixture. The chocolate marshmallow mixture won't fold into the whipped cream easily so I used my mixer to blend it in for a couple seconds. Pour it into the crust and top with the leftover half of whipped cream. Chill the pie for at least 2 hours. Garnish with chocolate curls if desired.