Chocolate Cream Pie

Chocolate Cream Pie

When I feel like indulging myself in chocolate, I tend to rely on this recipe. It’s fast, it’s simple and it’s extremely tasty.

What you’ll need:

2 cups of Whole Milk

2/3 cup of Sugar

1 egg

3 tablespoons of cornstarch

pinch of salt

1/3 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder

2.5 ounces of Ghirardelli Chocolate (60%)

Whipped cream

shaved chocolate

1 deep dish pie crust (the frozen kind is what I use, there’s no shame in doing so)

Our misenplace today will involve baking our premade pie shells. First preheat the oven to 325*. Next fill the empty pie shells with dry beans to stop the pie shells from puffing up. Were going to bake the pie shells for about 15 minutes, being careful not to over bake the pie shells.

After the 15 minutes are up, check the pies, you should notice browning on the crust, that’s a good indicator to tell if the pie crusts are finished or not. Next remove the pies from the oven and pour off the beans, some beans may require some coercing to come out of the crust, but they should come out easy.

For the filling:

In a medium bowl, combine 1/2 cup of milk, 2/3 sugar, cornstarch, cocoa powder, salt and egg.

Mix the ingredients until combined with a whisk.

set the mixture aside.

In a saucepan, add the remaining 1 1/2 cups of milk.

Gently heat the milk on low temperature until you see bubbles begin to form around the edges of the pan.

Pour the heated milk into the milk/cocoa mixture very slowly and gradually, making sure to whisk the mixture constantly.

Pour this mixture back into the saucepan that we used to heat the milk earlier. Cook on medium until the mixture becomes very thick. Again, making sure to constantly stir the mixture to prevent it from burning. When the mixture thickens, turn the heat to low and cook for 2 minutes.

Pour the mixture into the prebaked pie shell and smooth the mixture evenly.

 Press plastic wrap directly onto the chocolate pudding mixture, making sure every inch of covered with plastic wrap.

Allow this to cool completely, You can refrigerate overnight like I chose to do and continue this the next day.

The next day, remove the pie from the fridge and take off the plastic wrap.

the first thing you’ll notice is that the filling has thickened. This is what we are looking for.

Now top the pie with your whipped cream.

You don’t have to smooth it out perfectly, leave it messy, it’s rustic looking. Top this with the shaved chocolate.

Now you can of course place this back into the fridge and wait for dinner to come around or…

You can cut yourself a big slice and dust it with the same cocoa powder you used in the recipe and indulge in a chocolate induced coma.

Mashed Sweet Potatoes

Mashed Sweet Potatoes

This is a simple way to serve what some people consider to be only a thanksgiving side dish. I disagree, of course. Sweet potatoes are very versatile and can be used in many applications. I prove it here, with a sweet potato mash, using sweet fruit flavors to boost it past it’s normal, butter, brown sugar status.

What you’ll need:

6 small sweet potatoes

1/4 cup of crushed pineapples

1 tablespoon of orange zest

3/4 cup of light brown sugar

1/2 stick of butter, softened

1/4 cup of cream

Our misenplace today will involve the sweet potatoes. Peel them the sweet potatoes using a vegetable peeler, try not to use a knife, sweet potatoes are tough and we don’t need to add more scars to our hands.

Cut the sweet potatoes into quarters and slice them 1/2 inch thick.

For the recipe:

Add the potatoes to a large pot of water and bring to a rolling boil, turn down to heat to a simmer and cook until the potatoes are fork tender. If you are unsure what fork tender means exactly, it’s when you stick a fork into something, and the fork releases easily from the something with no resistance.

After approximately 20 to 30 minutes later, your potatoes will be fork tender, remove them from the pan by carefully draining them ino a collander,

Sorry about the steam, I  couldn’t wait for the potatoes to cool down. you don;t mind though, right? It’s what “The Turtle Man” from”call of the wild” would call LIVE ACTION!! ahem, so yeah, potatoes.. return them back to the pot.

Using a potato masher, mash the sweet potatoes with the butter and the cream, once completely mushed and smashed, Add the orange zest, brown sugar and the crushed pineapples.

I used this mash with another recipe.. Pan seared turkey chops with apple pan sauce. 

Chicken Marsala

Chicken Marsala

The “Marsala” part of this recipe actually comes from the wine used to create the sauce, which of course is called Marsala. It’s a sweet wine, most used in Italian recipes.

What you’ll need:

4 chicken breasts

1 cup of Marsala Wine

1 cup of chicken stock

1 cup of mushrooms of your choosing (i used button)

1 small onion

4 small cloves of garlic

4 ounces of heavy cream

3 tablespoons of butter, softened

For the misenplace:

Mince the garlic ( i recently found a food processor work wonders for garlic)

Slice the onions

Using a dry rag (or your hands) wipe the dirt off of your mushrooms, then slice them thinly.

For the recipe:

Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil and 1 1/2 tablespoons of butter in a saute pan until hot.

Season your chicken breasts liberally with Sea salt and cracked black pepper on both sides.

Place into your pan and cook for 4 minutes on each side, making sure to brown thoroughly.

After the 8 minutes are up, remove them to a platter. Drain off all the fat from the pan, reserving it. Place 1 tablespoon back into the pan.

Add the mushrooms, garlic and onions and cook until the onions are soft, and the mushrooms have shrunk in size.

The mushrooms should look like this:

Now add the Marsala wine and chicken stock to the pan. Bring to a simmer, and cook for 10 minutes. Add the chicken breasts to the liquid and cook for 15 minutes.

Once the 15 minutes are up, remove the chicken breasts to a platter and add the 4 ounces of heavy cream and 1 1/2 tablespoons of butter to the pan, cook until heated through.

You can serve it, with rice, noodles or potatoes.  I liked to serve the chicken breasts sliced, with plenty of sauce spooned over top and sprinkled with parsley.

Twinkie Pie

Twinkie Pie

This is a recipe that’s all over the place on the internet, Easily searchable by the term “Twinkie Pie” Now, if you are a regular reader of my blog, you know I love recipes of internet fame, and continue to collect them here on this blog.

This recipe happens to be from the butter maven know as Paula Deen. She does not disappoint with this recipe. It’s almost repulsive, Almost, somehow Paula has found a way to make Twinkies desirable . That’s no easy feat folks.

WHat you’ll need:

2 boxes of  Twinkies (10 count)

2 small tubs (or 1 large) of cool whip

1 large pack of instant vanilla pudding

3 cups of milk (for the pudding)

1 large can of crushed pineapple

1/2 cup of sugar

5 Bananas

Walnuts

For the Misenplace:

Prepare the instant pudding according to the directions and allow to chill.

Defrost the cool whip so it’s easy to spread

Remove the skin from the bananas and slice them into 1/2 slices.

Toast the walnuts lightly by placing them into a saute pan on extremely low heat, the exact moment you begin to smell the oils take them off the heat and set aside.

For the recipe

In a saucepan, bring the 1 can of crushed pineapple and the 1/2 cup of sugar to a boil.

Once the mixture comes to a boil, take it off the heat and set it aside.

Arrange the Twinkies in the bottom of a baking dish, or in the bottom of a deep container.

Slowly and evenly pour the crushed pineapple juice over the Twinkies.

Next, spread the crushed pineapple evenly over the Twinkies.

Now, give the pudding a good stir, and spread it evenly over the crushed pineapple. It doesn’t have to be perfect, but try to get some of the crevices and cracks that the Twinkies created.

On top of the pudding layer, add the bananas, and try to distribute them evenly. (it’s not as easy as you think)

Now top the Bananas with the cool whip, this layer does have to be an even, somewhat nice looking layer, because it’s the last layer we are placing besides the topping.

Place the toasted walnuts on top

You can serve it right now. BUT, I would allow it to get cold,Not just chilled, COLD.

I promise you, you will be surprised at exactly how good this tastes.

Lemon Scalloppine

Lemon Scalloppine

For those who do not know Scalloppine actually refers to a thin cut of chicken, that is floured, sauteed and served with either a Piccata, Wine or tomato based sauce. (I had to look it up myself)

I seem to have a long standing love with anything lemon. So it should not be a surprise to anyone that I immediately fell in love with this recipe.

What you’ll need:

4 thinly cut, boneless, skinless chicken breasts (you can buy normal chicken breasts and pound them thin. )

1 Lemon

1 1/2 cup of white wine

1 1/2 cup of chicken stock

2 cloves of garlic

1 shallot

1 bunch of parsley

1 cup all purpose flour

For the Misenplace:

Thinly slice the lemon, and set it aside.

Mince the garlic and shallot

Wash, clean and mince the parsley

For the recipe:

In a Saute pan, heat 1 Tablespoon of olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the garlic and shallots.

Once the onions and garlic become fragrant, add 1 1/2 of vermouth and the slices of lemon. Turn up the heat and reduce the liquid by half.

When the liquid has been reduced ( cook no longer than 5 minutes) add the 1 1/2 cups of chicken broth and again reduce the liquid by half.  Be careful with this, I decided to cook my longer and I ended up with a very, very bitter sauce. (see notes)

Once the liquid has reduced, add in about 1 tablespoon of cold butter and allow it to melt from the residual heat of the sauce. It will make the sauce creamy, and help bring it together.

For some odd reason, I didn’t take any pictures of the chicken. Sorry in advance.

Mix together the all purpose flour, kosher salt and cracked black pepper. Dredge the chicken into the flour, coating both sides and shaking off any excess flour. Please try to get as much of the flour off the chicken as possible. I just patted the chicken from hand to hand.

Saute the chicken in olive oil, it shouldn’t take any longer than 5 minutes per side.

Now, serve the chicken with the pasta of your choice and pour the sauce over everything, Top with chopped parsley.

Sarap!

Just some notes for you (or me) :

The sauce was bitter, Now, I didn’t follow my own rules, because I was trying to get nicer looking lemon slices and I cooked the sauce way too long. Also, I was always told that the white parts of the lemon are extremely bitter, so why subject ourselves to it?

Next time, I think I’m going to use freshly squeezed lemon juice, and freshly grated lemon zest .  The only trade-off is that you don’t get the cool looking lemons.

This was my first time using flour to coat chicken that I planned on sauteing. I must say, it ended up pretty good tasting and had some decent crunch to it.

Snickers Salad

Snickers Salad

As usual, the internet has peaked my interest in a recipe. (hey, don’t judge me)

This particular recipe is called snickers salad.. But don’t go expecting the normal salad, there isn’t any greens, or vegetables. However, oddly enough there is apple.

I have a very hard time calling anything with pudding, whipped topping and snickers a salad. But I don’t make up the names of recipes people! Besides, the recipe is pretty good tasting.

What you’ll need

1 small package of instant pudding mix (Vanilla)

1 8 ounce tub of whipped topping

2 granny smith apples

1 bag of funsize snickers

Misenplace?

Remove the wrappers from the funsize snickers and try your best not to let any of them fly into your mouth as you are doing so. (I hear they have a tendency to fly into people’s mouths)

Prepare the pudding as directed on the package and chill.

For the recipe:

Roughly chop the snickers, the messier the chop, the better.

Core, and roughly chop the granny smith apples as well

Mix together the snickers and the chopped apples in a large bowl and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, mix together the pudding and the whipped topping

Combine the pudding/whipped topping mixture with the apple/snickers mixture.

Chill the mixture in the refrigerator for about 2 hours.

Once the mixture is chilled, serve into individual bowls.

I think this would really benefit from a Nilla Wafer type of cookie, it needs something else, I just can’t figure out what.

Stuffed Peppers

Stuffed Peppers

I’ve slacking lately on my posts, mostly because I’ve had to use the money that I normally set aside for my blog, on other things. I won’t get into the details of the who and why, but trust me, it was for a really great cause.

Stuffed peppers are a comfort food for me, my mom used to make them often. However for most of my years I refused to eat the pepper and would just request a huge bowl of the filling. Thankfully my preferences have changed and I have no problems eating the entire pepper now.

what you’ll need:

6 peppers

1 onion, chopped

1 cup of Jasmine Rice, cooked

1 16 ounce jar of Classico tomato & basil sauce.

8 ounces of Cheese

1.5 pounds of 85% Ground beef

For the Misenplace:

Take the peppers, remove the tops of the peppers and set aside. Remove the insides of the peppers and blanch the peppers in boiling water for about 3 minutes. Remove the stems from the tops, which will leave you with rings of pepper tops, roughly chop the rings.

Cook the rice and set it aside.

For the recipe:

In a large saute pan, heat your olive oil until it’s rippling and shimmering. Add in about 2 cloves of minced garlic and cook briefly.

Once the garlic turns golden brown, add the chopped onions and the chopped peppers.

Cook on medium low heat until the peppers and onions begin to soften. Add the ground beef, a large pinch of salt, and a few cranks of freshly cracked black pepper.

Cook the meat until it is thoroughly browned. Drain all of the grease from the meat and add 8 ounces of tomato sauce.

To assemble the peppers, were going to place about 6 ounces of tomato sauce into the bottom of a baking dish. Add about 1/2 cup of water to the tomato sauce and place the gutted, blanched peppers into the baking dish.

Fill each pepper to the top with the filling, packing it in tightly and adding more until each pepper is fully stuffed.

Top the stuffed peppers with your cheese (I used a Jalapeno jack cheese)

Bake the peppers in a 400* oven for about 45 minutes, or until the peppers are soft, but not mushy. After 45 minutes, you can check the doneness of the peppers by using a fork to pierce the flesh, if it’s fork tender, it’s finished.

and

This is me showing a bit of restraint, because I normally chop up the stuffed pepper on the plate and gobble it down.

Enjoy!