You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch Pie

Sunday, November 30, 2008

I never posted an update on my blog but I actually won last month’s pie challenge with my Tie Dye Fashion Pie, how crazy is that! As the winner I have to pick January’s pie theme which is a lot of pressure so let me know if you have any good ideas! December’s pie challenge theme is holiday music, make a pie inspired by your favorite holiday song.
Yikes! I was at a loss of ideas for this one but my brother-in-law Chad suggested “You’re a mean one, Mr. Grinch” so I have to give him the credit and kudos for the idea! I wish I would have had more green food coloring on hand so it would appear even more Grinch-ish, but you get the idea. This green pie is a twist on a Grasshopper Pie, it has an Oreo crust, layer of hot fudge, and a mint marshmallow filling.

Oreo cookies (about15 cookies)
2 tablespoons butter
1 package of marshmallows
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon mint extract
1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
6 drops green food coloring
1 jar of hot fudge

Chop cookies finely in a food processor and mix with melted butter. Press cookie mixture into the bottom of a pie tin or spring foam pan. Microwave the jar of hot fudge and pour on top of the cookies. Place crust a in freezer to harden while making the pie filling. In large saucepan combine marshmallows, milk, and mint extract. Stir over medium heat until the marshmallows are completely melted. Chill until mixture holds its shape when dropped from a spoon. Beat the whipping cream in a chilled bowl until it forms stiff peaks. Fold whipping cream into marshmallow mixture, mine didn’t fold so easily so I beat them together for a couple seconds with the mixer. Spread into pie crust. Cover and refrigerate or freeze. My pie seemed to melt (as you can see in the picture) so I would suggest serving it semi-frozen at least.
You're a mean one, Mr. Grinch.
You really are a heel.
You're as cuddly as a cactus,
You're as charming as an eel.
Mr. Grinch.

You're a bad banana
With a greasy black peel.

You're a monster, Mr. Grinch.
Your heart's an empty hole.
Your brain is full of spiders,
You've got garlic in your soul.
Mr. Grinch.

I wouldn't touch you, with a
thirty-nine-and-a-half foot pole.

Corn Casserole

Friday, November 28, 2008

This casserole is a classic family favorite served at potlucks for as long as I can remember. Justin now prefers cheesy corn but I still like the good ole corn casserole. Through the years I started getting lazy and mixing all the ingredients in the same 9x13 dish it would cook in. Let me advise against that! If you mix this well in a separate bowl and pour it in the cooking dish it yields a much better product! This was my contribution to our Thanksgiving meal yesterday, yummy!

1 box of cornbread muffin mix
1 can creamed corn
1 can whole kernel corn (drained)
1 egg
1 cup of sour cream,

Preheat oven to 350. In mixing bowl combine ingredients and stir well. Pour mixture into a baking dish and cook for 45 minutes - 1 hour, or until it gets golden on the top and knife comes out clean.

White Chocolate Rice Crispy Treats

Monday, November 24, 2008

Justin didn’t like the idea of this recipe “you can’t improve upon perfection” he said to me (about the rice crispy treats, not about me personally) but he ate his words! I only used a 1/2 cup white chocolate chips and it added a subtle sweetness. You wouldn’t taste the white chocolate unless someone pointed it out to you but they are delicious!

1/4 cup butter
16 ounce bag miniature marshmallows
7 cups rice crispy cereal
1/2 cup white chocolate chips

In a large pan on medium heat melt the butter. Stir in the bag of marshmallows until they are almost melted and then add the white chocolate chips. When everything is melted add in the rice crispies and mix well. Press the mixture into a buttered 9x13 pan, the trick is to dampen your hands with water and press down on the mixture (it won’t stick to you hands this way). Let cool and serve!

Creamy Mashed Potatoes

Friday, November 21, 2008

These are the best mashed potatoes I’ve ever had! Last year Justin’s Aunt Nancy made these for Thanksgiving and while I was waiting for the gravy I snuck a quick bite and about fell out of my chair! On my list of Top 10 comfort foods these potatoes are near the top!

Beware… this recipe uses a 5 pound bag of potatoes and feeds 4 people. My boys have 3rds of these potatoes and then come back for dessert potatoes later on! These are heavenly on their own and cross over into dangerously good when topped with gravy. You run the risk of only eating potatoes at that point (which is why I use Grandma’s Chicken and Noodle gravy and call it “dinner”).

5 pound bag of russet potatoes
8 ounces cream cheese
1 cup sour cream
1/4 cup butter, cut in pieces
salt and pepper

Peel potatoes and boil in a pan until fork tender. Drain potatoes well and add cream cheese, sour cream, and butter. Mix until smooth with an electric mixer. Mix in salt and pepper (stop to taste and add in more salt and pepper). Serve quickly before you eat them all while tasting the salt and pepper!

Reaheating Directions
Who are we kidding, you aren’t going to have any leftovers… but in case you made these the night before here are directions for reheating (the potatoes are just as good reheated)!
Put mixture into a buttered 9x13 pan, dot with butter and cover. At this point, potatoes can be refrigerated for up to three days (the longest 3 days of your life). Bring to room temperature before baking. Bake in a preheated 400 degree oven until heated through, about 30-45 minutes.

Italian Cheesy Spinach Pasta

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Ok, I know this isn’t the most appetizing picture we’ve ever taken, and to be honest this isn’t really an inviting looking dish but… this was good, sinfully good (although it has spinach I am sure it is quite fattening). Justin and I continuously popped cheesy bites of spinach shells into our mouths while we read our Twilight books (for the second read this month, it’s an awesome book). We both ate so much we feel like we’re going to be sick!

1 (12 ounce) package medium seashell pasta
1 (8 ounce) package frozen chopped spinach
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 minced garlic clove (I was out of garlic today so I used 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder)
2 eggs
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs
1 jar tomato pasta sauce
1 (8 ounce) package shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook pasta in boiling water for 8 to 10 minutes, or until al dente and drain. Rinse the pasta with cool water and drain again (so when you add the egg it doesn’t cook it). In a small pan saute the spinach, italian seasoning, and garlic until warm and tender. In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs and oil. Toss the pasta with the cooked spinach, egg mixture, and bread crumbs.

Cover the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking dish with 1/3 of the pasta sauce. Pour the pasta mixture into the baking dish and cover with the cheese. Pour the remaining sauce over the cheese and bake for 40 minutes in the preheated oven, or until bubbly and lightly browned.

Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal

Sunday, November 16, 2008

I love oatmeal! We eat pre-packaged oatmeal all the time but in the assorted flavors box there are always those 2 packets of regular leftover. Usually I just mix in some maple syrup or brown sugar but since it’s fall I thought I’d get creative!

2 packets of plain instant or quick oats oatmeal
2/3 cup of boiling water
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup canned pumpkin puree
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

Add boiling water to oatmeal and let it sit while you pull out all the other ingredients (about 2 minutes). Stir in the pumpkin, sugar, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon and nutmeg. Warm for a minute in the microwave and enjoy!

Lemon Honey Garlic Chicken

Saturday, November 15, 2008

We love overnight marinades! When you get home late from work it’s great to be able to pull marinated chicken out of the fridge and have it cooked and on the table in 20 minutes. This is the first time we’ve tried this particular marinade and I have to admit it wasn’t my favorite. After cooking it didn’t have a lot of taste so we poured some honey over the top to give it some extra flavor.

4 chicken breasts
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup honey
3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 garlic cloves, minced

In a bowl or resealable plastic bag, combine lemon juice, honey, Worcestershire sauce, garlic and chicken. Refrigerate 2 to 24 hours. Remove the chicken from marinade and cook on high heat in a skillet, 5 minutes on each side until cooked. At this point we tasted ours and poured an additional 1/4 cup honey on the chicken and cooked for an additional 2 minutes for the honey to glaze.

Jalapeno Cheese Soup

Monday, November 10, 2008

My husband and oldest son practically breathe fire; they are pepper bellies through and through! So when I stumbled upon a Jalapeno Cheese Soup from Chef Tom I knew I had to give it a try. I made some modifications to the recipe which included using less jalapenos than suggested and this soup was still spicy! It was too spicy for me but Justin and Andrew really liked it. They sopped the soup up with crusty bread and were all smiles. It was very cute!

8 celery stalks
1 cup diced onion
1 minced garlic clove
2 lb Velveeta cheese
1/2 cup diced jalapeno peppers

Dice celery stalks, onions and jalapeƱos. In a large pot place the chicken broth, celery, onions, garlic salt, and white pepper. Cook over high heat for 10 minutes, or until the mixture reduces and thickens slightly. In a blender or food processor puree the mixture together until the mixture is smooth. Return the pureed mixture to the saucepan, add in the cubed Velveeta and simmer it for 5 minutes.

Spinach Artichoke Dip

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Justin’s brother Chad makes a spectacular Spinach Artichoke Dip that has been on our minds a lot lately (I think it’s all the spinach I’ve been sneaking into our diet so our taste buds are craving it)! I’ve been sick the last couple days and this dip is one of the few things that has sounded good (I am a strange breed)! We just sat around the bowl as a family and devoured it with tortilla chips, Mmm!

1 (13 ounce) can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1 (6 ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
3 tablespoons diced jalapenos
1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 1/2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 1 quart baking dish. In a medium bowl, mix all ingredients together. Transfer mixture to the prepared baking dish, and sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup of Monterey Jack cheese. Bake in the center of the preheated oven until the cheese is melted, about 15 minutes.

Justin’s Honey Mustard Chicken

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Justin is a honey mustard fanatic! Some people dip everything in ranch (I admit that I am one of these people) but Justin prefers to dip everything in honey mustard. So Justin made us dinner and surprise surprise it was honey mustard chicken! It was delectable and we even used the leftover honey mustard as a dressing on fresh spinach leaves! Y-U-M!

3 chicken breasts
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup mustard
1 tablespoon spicy brown mustard

In a large skillet on high heat saute the chicken breasts for 3 minutes on each side (they will start to brown). Spoon the honey mustard over each of the chicken breasts, turn them and spoon some more (you won’t use all the honey mustard). Stir and flip the chicken while it cooks on high heat for another 3-5 minutes. The sauce should caramelize and stick to the chicken. Serve chicken with remaining honey mustard for dipping (or as a salad dressing).

Sauteed Spinach

Monday, November 3, 2008

I am hopelessly addicted to the TV show “Jon and Kate Plus 8” and although I disagree with Kate on many things (I think she is an anal retentive meany) I like her meal policy of “eat it or go hungry”. My husband Justin is the worst, the only two vegetables he says he likes are corn and potatoes (which technically… I don’t think either are really vegetables, they’re starches). So for years (10 to be exact) I have forgone the yummy green vegetables for plates of prosaic yellow. This has been to the detriment of my children because they too will only eat corn and potatoes. Well not anymore! I am taking Dr. Oz’s advice and we will have something green for every dinner from here on out! Mary’s spinach stuffed shells were such a hit a couple weeks back I decided to try spinach again. I made all three of my boys (yes this includes my husband) take at least 1 bite. Personally I thought this spinach was scrumptious but the boys thought 1 bite was enough, lol! I don’t care though, we will go for another bite tomorrow and even if it takes years I am determined to get my family to eat more vegetables!

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 (10 ounce) bag spinach leaves
2 minced garlic cloves
Salt and Pepper
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Heat the olive oil and minced garlic in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the spinach to the skillet and cover; allow to cook 5 minutes. Stir in the salt and pepper and cover again for another 5 minutes; remove from heat. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese to serve.

Tye Dye Cheesecake

Saturday, November 1, 2008

I joined a new baking group called You Want Pies With That? in which bloggers bake pies with a new theme every month. Sounds fun right?!
This month’s theme “Pies as a fashion statement” was picked by Holly because she is hooked on project runway. In honor of Project Runway and the fashion world in general, she decided that the theme for November would be all about Fashionable Pies, Outrageous Pies, Colorful Pies, Pies with Texture, Pies that are Haute Cuisine as well as Haute Fashion, Pies that are Decked Out, Embellished, and Over the Top! The pie with the most fashion gets the “most creative tart” award.
Being the hippee at heart that I am I immediately thought of tye dye! So I made my cheesecake recipe, divided the batter into 5 bowls, and let the boys dye and stir. We had a blast!
We spooned the batter over the graham cracker crust taking turns putting dollops of the colors on.
After baking, the cheesecake was dark on the top and sides but the center was still vividly bright and just as much fun to eat as it was to look at! Ingredients
15 graham crackers, crushed
2 tablespoons butter, melted
4 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese
1 1/2 cups white sugar
3/4 cup milk
4 eggs
1 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup all-purpose flour

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 9 inch springform pan.
In a medium bowl, mix graham cracker crumbs with melted butter. Press onto bottom of springform pan. In a large bowl, mix cream cheese with sugar until smooth. Blend in milk, and then mix in the eggs one at a time, mixing just enough to incorporate. Mix in sour cream, vanilla and flour until smooth. Pour filling into prepared crust. Bake in preheated oven for 1 hour. Turn the oven off, and let cake cool in oven with the door closed for 5 to 6 hours; this prevents cracking. Chill in refrigerator until serving.