No-Bake Peanut Butter Pie

Hello! I hope everyone has been enjoying their holiday weekend here in the States. I’ve been staying inside working on a baby blanket for a friend as we’ve had the hottest weather all year the past few days.

Anyway, on to Peanut Butter Pie, because I know that’s what you are all here for!

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A couple months ago, I was disappointed to learn that Kellogg’s was no longer making Gluten-Free Rice Krispies. As I’ve not been able to find another brand with GF rice krispies at my grocery stores, my good friend Joy no longer gets her favorite dessert, Peanut Butter Rice Krispie Treats with Ganache. We’ve tried using rice Chex, but it’s just not the same.

Thankfully, around that same time, I came across a BuzzFeed video on Facebook showing how to make peanut butter pie. I had to watch it a few times to make sure I had all the ingredients and amounts correct, but luckily for you, I have it all written down for you.

Crust
10 oz graham crackers (crushed)*
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup melted butter
*I assumed this must be 10oz by weight, since volume is only 1 1/4 cup, and did not seem like enough crumbs when I made mine. I ended up using just under 2 cups of finely crushed grahams, and it has worked well each time I’ve made the crust.
*For oreo crust, see below.

Peanut Butter Filling
3/4 cup peanut butter
4 oz cream cheese
8 oz whipped topping (thawed)
1 cup confectioners sugar

For Crust: mix graham cracker crumbs and sugar until combined. Stir in melted butter until well combined. Press into pie tin (bottom and sides) to form crust. Refrigerate while making filling.

Graham Cracker Crust

I found my metal measuring spoon worked the best for pressing and smoothing the crust into shape.

For Filling: combine all ingredients in large mixing bowl and beat with electric mixer until fluffy. *I find it helpful to fold the powdered sugar into whipped topping by hand before using the electric mixer to avoid a cloud of sugar flying out of the bowl.

Pour filling into prepared crust and refrigerate at least 1-2 hours. I’ve even frozen it for transport as it (obviously) thaws in the car.

Peanut Butter Filling

To make this gluten-free, you can use GF graham crackers just as you would normal grahams: no adjustments to recipe needed, just a not quite as quick to crumble using the rolling pin method.

You can also use oreos to make a chocolate crust. I’ve only done this with gluten-free “oreo” cookies, but I imagine it would come together pretty much the same using regular oreos. Just add the melted butter in increments, mixing and checking consistency until it looks right. You can always add more butter, but you can’t take it out.

Oreo Crust
21 oreos (finely crushed)
3 tbsp melted butter

21 oreos because that is what comes in the GF package. If you want a thicker crust, feel free to use more.

Top pie slices with a drizzle of chocolate syrup and whipped cream. I like mine from a can for this. (Sorry I don’t have a picture with the toppings. Once you get to that point it’s hard to remember to wait to dig in.)

Sooooooo good! Joy is no longer heart-broken about her lack of peanut butter and chocolate rice krispie treats. In fact, she says she may even like this better.

And of course, since cream cheese comes in 8oz packages, aluminum pie tins come in 2-packs, and you can buy 16oz of frozen whipped topping, I always make two pies. Easier than measuring 4 oz of cream cheese and wasting the rest, and, lets face it: you’re going to need two pies.

Two Pies are Better than One

As always, questions and comments are welcome! And to help make up for my lack of posts these last few months, keep an eye out for my favorite marinade recipe in the coming days.

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Crockpot BBQ Chicken

Happy Saturday!

Have you ever bought something at the grocery store with every intention of making it for dinner that night and then get home and decide you’re too tired/too hungry/too whatever to spend time prepping and cooking it? Well that’s exactly what happened to me last week. I bought a package of chicken breasts that I was going to simply bake with some salt and pepper, and ended up eating left-overs from the previous day’s dinner. Thankfully I had the foresight to throw them in the freezer when I didn’t cook them Tuesday, since I didn’t end up using them until the following Monday.

But that turned out to have been quite fortuitous. Monday (which was Memorial Day), I decided to use up the chicken trying a new recipe. After perusing my Pinterest, I settled on this Crockpot BBQ Chicken recipe from Family Fresh Meals. It didn’t call for many ingredients and allowed me to throw it in the crockpot to cook for a few hours while I planted some flowers.

Photo courtesy familyfreshmeals.com

Photo courtesy familyfreshmeals.com

And it was delicious! We shredded it and ate it on hamburger buns (left over from a cookout the previous night) and had some chips as a side. I think some corn on the cob along with it would have been fantastic, but really didn’t want to run to the store just for that.

I will definitely be making this recipe again! So simple and can easily be increased to cook for more people. Great for summer cookouts as it is easy to keep warm in the crockpot once it’s done cooking.

Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

Tahlia’s Cinnamon Bookbinder Bread

Hello again!

So sorry I haven’t posted in such a long time. I guess I’ve just been too busy with seminars, friends’ weddings, reading, and PLAYOFF HOCKEY. Seriously, I love hockey.

Today’s post is actually thanks to a book I just read this weekend, Stray by Elissa Sussman. I finished it in just over 24 hours – picked it up on the way to work Friday morning, and was done mid-afternoon on Saturday (and I work Saturday mornings). At first I wasn’t sure about the book, but I quickly became engrossed: it has such an interesting take on magic, and I can’t wait to read the rest of the series. Unfortunately, wait, I must – Stray was only published last fall, and the next in this series of four isn’t due to be published until 2016. I hate when I start a series that’s in-progress! I don’t have the patience! Thank goodness I didn’t find out about Harry Potter until they started making the movies. I don’t know what I would have done if I’d had to wait for each of the books to come out.

This cinnamon pull-apart bread is made by a couple characters in the book, and I was delighted to find the recipe provided at the end of the book! Maybe the author will have a new recipe at the end of each of the books 🙂 But, you don’t have go pick up the book if you want the recipe (although I do recommend it for lovers of fantasy): you can check it out here.

Today was my mom’s birthday, so I had thought to make this for breakfast. It ended up taking a bit longer than I had anticipated (so I whipped up some chocolate chip muffins during it’s second rise), partly because I had forgotten to take the eggs out to come to room temp while I did prep work. Since the AC is on in the house with 80 degree days and high humidity, I used the pan of boiling water in the oven trick to help with the rise and it worked just fine.

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I loved the bread! I baked it for just over 35 minutes since the new oven seems to run a bit cooler, but I think I won’t bake it quite so long next time, as some areas seemed a little dry. But the cinnamon sugar crunchiness on top was wonderful, and the soft insides of the bread were heaven. Nothing beats fresh-baked bread! Unless it’s fresh-baked cinnamon bread!

As always, questions and comments are welcome! I’d loved to hear from you!

Tammy’s Blanket

These last few weeks have been so crazy! Between work, baby blanket orders, and vacation, I’m not sure where March went. And yes, I said vacation. Gatlinburg, TN to be exact. With 8 friends and it was a blast. I wish I was still there…just without the scorpion (don’t worry, no one was hurt! Not even the scorpion).

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Just before I left for vacation two weeks ago, I finished off a baby blanket ordered by a grandma-to-be.  She wanted something soft and girly for her new granddaughter, so we went with pastel pink and purple in Snuggly Wuggly, a weight 3 baby yarn. The pattern is Ocean Waves by Red Heart, the same as the one I used when making my niece’s blanket a little over a year ago.

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This pattern is simple, and easy to memorize. Great for working on when watching TV. And it works up fairly quickly, which is nice when you’re on a time crunch. I think I had this done in about a week/week and a half.

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I love the texture created by crocheting into the back loops on the color change rows. It adds another layer of visual interest, but is subtle enough not to conflict with the wave pattern.

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And it’s so soft! Great for wrapping up the little ones!

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As always, I’d love to hear from you! Questions and comments are welcome! Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Funfetti Baked Donuts

Today has been a busy day of baking. Tomorrow is the day two of my favorite people were born – just 47 years apart. My oldest niece is turning the big 13, and my dear co-worker the big 60. So naturally, I must bake something to show my appreciation and love for these lovely people – its what I do!

My niece is getting a deep dish cookie cake using the recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction I posted about a few weeks ago. So good! I couldn’t wait to make it again! And my family couldn’t wait either, since the first one went into work. And there are never any left-overs where my co-workers are concerned.

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For some reason, the frosting doesn’t contrast with this cake as much as the first one I made. Which may be a good thing, since I asked my assistant (aka mom) to decorate the cake so I could start on donuts. I may have left the cake in the oven a big longer because it seemed so soft (I can’t remember how long it baked the last time). Oh well, I’m sure whatever it looks like, it will still taste delicious!

On to the main focus of this post. Donuts! And not just any donuts, but Funfetti Donuts! My co-worker’s favorite dessert is white/vanilla donuts with vanilla frosting and sprinkles. Apparently nothing else comes close to the sugar rush of those little gems. Yet again, I turned to Pinterest for a recipe, and lo and behold, I came out with another of Sally’s recipes: Baked Funfetti Donuts.

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These donuts were so easy to whip up. The only ingredients I didn’t already have on hand were greek yogurt and nutmeg; nothing a quick stop at the store couldn’t fix. (Still not really sure how I didn’t have nutmeg before this, but I do now!).

The funfetti donuts came together quickly, and only take a short while to bake. I did find that mine didn’t really turn a light golden brown (at least not anywhere visible while in the oven), so I baked them for around 11 – 12 minutes, which is a bit longer than suggested in the recipe, but they don’t seem to be over-baked. (You’ll notice a color difference between the above photo of donuts in the pan and the one below. The donuts below are “bottom-side-up” to make it easier to pick up for dipping in glaze.)

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The only part of this recipe I wasn’t completely satisfied with was the glaze. But that right there is the problem I should have foreseen: GLAZE. Not frosting. It was pretty runny, making dipping the donuts a bit messier process, and it just didn’t coat them well. Even after three dips, I could still see the funfetti sprinkles of the donut through the glaze. At that point, I just added more sprinkles to the glaze and called it done. Next time I will pay more attention to the recipe. Live and learn!

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I made a double batch of donuts for a total of 16. I only made up a single batch of glaze because I knew I wanted to have a bit of variety and make some of the donuts chocolate frosted (my favorite!). I used the chocolate glaze recipe from Simply Stacie’s Cake Donuts with Chocolate Glaze.

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This glaze is much thicker than the vanilla glaze. Don’t be tempted to add more than the 2 tbsps of milk initially. Even with the electric mixer, mine seemed very dry and powdery at first, but once I attacked it with a spatula, I could see the milk combining with the dry ingredients. I did add about half a tbsp more of milk once I had thoroughly mixed (by hand and mixer) the glaze.

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The donuts really only needed one good dip and swirl in the chocolate glaze, but after doing the 8 donuts, there was left-over glaze. I couldn’t let it go to waste, so they got an extra drizzle of glaze before the final touch of nonpareils. So cute! And the glaze tastes just like that on the Krispy Kreme donuts you find in the store. Yum!

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I can’t tell you how much will power I’m exhausting waiting until tomorrow to try these beauties. They just look so scrumptious!

As always, I’d love to hear from you. Questions and comments are welcome.

Baked Penne Rigate

If you’re looking for a tasty, easy, weeknight meal, I have one for you.  Baked Penne Rigate from Maryann over at Domestically Speaking.

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Photo courtesy of Domestically Speaking

I just made this for dinner tonight, and it was delicious! And so easy to put together. I added about 6 or 7 strips of grilled chicken (the kind you buy in the frozen foods section) to add some protein, since pasta alone never seems to fill me up. I think I’ll try whole wheat penne next time, to see if that helps with the filling-up.

A few notes:

  • Since the original post didn’t include an amount of pasta sauce, I just bought a 23.5 oz jar of Prego, and it was just the right amount.
  • I used a 15oz tub of low fat ricotta since the other sized tub seemed like way too much, and it was just about 2 cups (it was close, so I just stopped measuring and dumped the rest in the bowl, lol)
  • I recommend using a 2.5 Qt baking dish. I only had a 2 Qt available, and it all fit, but barely. It made dishing the pasta out a little messy.

As always, questions and comments are welcome! Hope you have a great weekend!

JoJo’s Finished Granny Hexagon Baby Blanket

Whew! An entire baby blanket done, from start to finish, in 1 week. And not just a solid, repeating pattern, but 40 plus pieces to make up then piece together. Not to mention all the ends to weave in. I’m actually impressed with myself.

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Don’t get me wrong. I love making this blanket. And it really isn’t that difficult to do. It’s just…1 week! I was really cutting it close. But JoJo’s Granny Hexagon Blanket was ready to meet little JoJo just a few days after she made her first appearance in the world.

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And I’ve been told that the colors match the bedding set perfectly, so all of my searching for just the right shades of pink, green, and yellow paid off!

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For some reason, the yellow looks a little more orange in some of the pictures. Must just be the lighting when I scrambled to take pictures before heading into work. I think the above photo is the closest to the actual colors; they are more pastel and soft than some of these photos make them seem.

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The edging even has a row of the pink, just to give it some subtle interest.

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If you would like to make your own Granny Hexagon Blanket, check out my previous posts to learn how to make a hexagon, make a half hexagon, join hexagons, and how to finish the blanket.

As always, I’d love to hear from you! Questions and comments are welcome.