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Thursday, December 1, 2016

Easy! Peanut Butter Pie


Oreo Crust
  • 20 peanut butter Oreos (or regular, Double Stuf is ok!)
  • 5 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
Peanut Butter Filling
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 8 ounce block cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 1 and 1/2 cups creamy peanut butter
  • 3/4 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup Reese's Pieces, crushed (I didn't think it needed this much.  I used about 3/4 cup.)


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray a 9-inch pie dish with nonstick spray or grease lightly with butter.
  2. Make the crust: In a food processor or blender, pulse the whole Oreos into a fine crumb. Stir the cookie crumbs and melted butter together, then press into the pie dish. Bake for 9-10 minutes. Allow to cool as you prepare the rest.
  3. Make the ganache: Place chopped chocolate in a medium bowl. Heat the cream in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Once it begins to boil, immediately remove from heat then pour over the chocolate. Stir gently until the ganache is smooth. Set aside and allow to cool to room temperature. During this time, it will slowly thicken as well.
  4. Make the filling: Using a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat the heavy cream on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form, about 5 minutes. Spoon the whipped cream into a bowl and set aside. Using the same mixing bowl (no need to rinse clean!), beat the cream cheese, peanut butter, confectioners' sugar, and vanilla extract together on medium-high speed until combined. Mixture will be thick. Fold in the whipped cream until smooth. be gentle, you don't want to deflate that cream.
  5. Sprinkle half of the Reese's Pieces on top of the cooled crust. Spread peanut butter filling evenly on top, then spread ganache on top of filling. Sprinkle the rest of the Reese's Pieces on top.
  6. Chill the pie in the refrigerator for 5-6 hours or even overnight. Slice and serve cold.
Notes: This pie can be frozen up to 3 months. It's tasty frozen or you can let it thaw overnight in the refrigerator before serving.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Easy! Crock Pot "Ravioli" Casserole

I'm not sure why this blogger calls it "ravioli casserole," but who cares?  It's easy, and I was able to hide veggies for the picky eaters, and it's yummy.  This serves about 8 people, so prepare for leftovers if you're not feeding a large crowd.  Win win!!


1 1/2 lbs. lean ground beef (I have used both ground turkey and ground chicken, but feel free to switch up your choice of can even do a combination!)
1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced

(I also food processed a heaping handful of baby carrots.)
1 15 oz. can tomato sauce
1 14.5 oz. can stewed tomatoes (Supposedly these break up while cooking, but they were huge and scary to me.  I food processed them before adding to crock, however this step is not necessary.)
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
salt/pepper to taste
10 oz. frozen spinach, thawed (I used one HUGE heaping handful of fresh spinach and chopped.)
16 oz. bowtie pasta, COOKED (Don't forget to salt your water!)
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded (Grate your own!)
1 1/2 cup mozzarella, shredded (Grate your own!)


Brown meat with onion and garlic (and I seasoned with salt and pepper while cooking). While meat and onions are cooking, cook pasta according to package directions.  Once meat is cooked and onions are translucent, transfer to crock pot and add (carrots if you're using them), tomato sauce, stewed tomatoes, and seasonings. Cook for 6-7 hours on low.  For the last 30 minutes, add the spinach,  pasta, and Parmesan to crock pot and stir.  Finally, sprinkle the mozzarella on top and turn crock pot on high.    


Wednesday, October 26, 2016

So Easy! Cheesy Garlic Zucchini Rice

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups vegetable broth* (I used vegetable stock and it was totally fine!)
  • 1 cup rice*
  • 2 zucchini, shredded
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

  1. Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium high heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes.
  2. Stir in vegetable broth and rice. Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat and simmer until rice is cooked through, about 15-20 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat and stir in zucchini and cheese; season with salt and pepper, to taste. Cover and let stand until cheese has melted, about 3-5 minutes.
  4. Serve immediately.
*Water can be substituted.
*Brown rice or quinoa can be substituted, but cooking time may have to be adjusted as needed.

Chicken Shepherd's Pie

I wouldn't really call this shepherd's reminds me more of a modern take on chicken pot pie without the crust.  Whatever you want to call it, it's super easy and super good and super allowed for leftovers.  I also halved this recipe, cause it serves a bunch, but if you want leftovers for the next day, make the provided full version.

  • 6 potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks (I used Yukon Gold and I didn't bother peeling.)
  • 2 3/4 cups milk, separated
  • 2 tbsp. butter, separated
  • salt & pepper, to taste
  • 2 onions, chopped (One is plenty.  I only used half of an onion when I halved the recipe.)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 cup chicken, cooked and roughly chopped (I used a rotisserie.)
  • 1 tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp. fresh rosemary
  • 1/2 tsp. curry powder (If you're nervous, start with 1/4 tsp.  I didn't find it too overpowering, but some people are weird about curry.)
  • 1 cup frozen mixed vegetables
  • 1/4 Parmesan cheese, shredded

  1. Boil a large pot of salted water on the stovetop. Add in potatoes and cover, cooking for 15 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Drain. Add in 1/2 cup milk, salt and pepper, and 1 tbsp. butter. Mash until smooth. Set aside.
  2. In a large pan, melt 1 tbsp. butter over medium heat. Add onions and garlic and cook for about 5 minutes. Stir in flour.
  3. Whisk in 2 1/4 cups milk, Dijon mustard, lemon juice, rosemary, and curry powder. Continue to whisk constantly until it reaches a thick consistency. Add in chicken and frozen vegetables and stir for another 3 to 5 minutes.
  4. Spread chicken mixture in a 1.5 quart casserole dish. Spread mashed potatoes on top. Sprinkle on Parmesan cheese. Broil for about 5 minutes or until cheese melts. Serve hot.
*I made this recipe early in the morning so by dinnertime, it had been refrigerated all day.  I reheated at 350 for about 30-35 minutes (didn't bother broiling). The next day, I added a small pat of butter on top of the potatoes and reheated for same amount of time at the same temperature.  


Monday, October 17, 2016

Chicken Parmesan Stuffed Shells


  • 16 jumbo pasta shells
  • 3 cups pasta sauce, divided
  • 1 cup Ricotta cheese
  • 2 oz. finely shredded Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 3 oz. shredded 2% Mozzarella cheese, divided
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1 1/4 cup finely chopped rotisserie chicken
  • 1.5 oz croutons, partially crushed 
  • 1 large handful spinach, chopped (optional)

  1. Cook the pasta shells according to package instructions. Drain and rinse shells and allow them to cool before handling.
  2. Pre-heat the oven to 350. Spread ½ cup of the pasta sauce across the bottom of a 9 x 13 pan and set aside. In a large mixing bowl, combine the ricotta with 1 ounce of the Parmesan, 1 ounce of the Mozzarella, the Italian seasoning, spinach (optional), and a sprinkling of salt. Stir together until well combined. Add the chopped chicken and 3/4 cup of the pasta sauce to the cheese mixture and stir until thoroughly combined.
  3. When the pasta shells are cool enough to handle, use a spoon to stuff them full of the chicken/cheese filling. Lay the stuffed shells in a single layer in the prepared casserole dish, open side facing up. Pour the remainder of the pasta sauce over the top of the stuffed shells and spread it around to coat evenly. Sprinkle the remaining ounce of shredded Parmesan and the remaining 2 ounces of shredded Mozzarella over the top of the dish and follow with the crushed croutons. Place the dish in the preheated oven and bake for 30 minutes.

Blueberry Croissant Puff

  • 3 large croissants, cut up (about 5 to 5½ cups)
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
  • 1 package (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
  • ⅔ cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup milk

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Place croissant pieces in a 9-inch square pan. Sprinkle with blueberries.
  3. Beat cream cheese, sugar, eggs, and vanilla in medium bowl with electric mixer until well blended. Gradually add milk, beating well after each addition. Pour evenly over croissant pieces. Let stand 20 minutes or soak overnight.
  4. Bake at 350°F for 35 to 40 minutes or until set in center and golden brown. You may want to cover it with foil for the last 10 minutes if the tops are getting too browned.
  5. Serve warm sprinkled with powdered sugar.
  6. Variation: Instead of baking in a square pan, you can bake individually. Place croissant pieces evenly in 10 (1/2-cup) ramekins; sprinkle with blueberries and pour cream cheese mixture evenly over croissant pieces. Let stand 20 minutes. Bake at 350°F for 20 to 25 minutes or until set in center and golden brown.

Notes: This can easily be doubled in a 9X13 pan.


Friday, October 14, 2016

Easy! Lemon Chicken and Potatoes in Foil


  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon whole-grain mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 16 ounces baby red potatoes, halved
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 lemon, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves, optional

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. In a large bowl, combine 2 tablespoons olive oil, mustards, thyme, rosemary and lemon zest; season with salt and pepper, to taste. Add chicken breasts to bowl and coat.  Use your fingers or a brush to work the mustard mixture onto both sides of the chicken. Set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, add halved potatoes with one tablespoon olive oil.  Season with salt and pepper, to taste; gently toss to combine.  (I also tossed one clove of minced garlic to the bowl.  If you have garlic-infused olive oil, I would use this in place of regular olive oil...yum.)
  4. Cut four sheets of foil, about 12-inches (I cut them about 16") long. Divide potatoes into 4 equal portions and add to the center of each foil in a single layer.
  5. Top each packet with the coated chicken and then top with lemon slices.
  6. Grabbing the top and bottom parts of the foil, raise them to the center to make a "tent" and fold it shut.  Seal the sides, making sure they are completely closed.  Place foil packets in a single layer on a baking sheet. Place into oven and bake until the chicken is cooked through and the potatoes are tender, about 25-30 minutes.  Check to make sure the potatoes are fork tender.
  7. OPTIONAL: Preheat oven to broil. Open the packets and broil for 2-3 minutes, or until caramelized and slightly charred.
  8. Served immediately with your favorite veggie and garnished with parsley, if desired.