Monday, August 31, 2009

Peanut Butter Pie

Sunday was the birthday of my daughter's boyfriend. He doesn't really like cake, he's more of a pie kind of guy, so I decided to try my hand at Peanut Butter Pie. I found this recipe in Paula Deen's Dessert Cookbook titled"The Lady & Sons Just Desserts". I just love Paula!! I took my Girl Scout troop to Savannah a couple of years ago and we ate dinner at her restaurant and it was YUMMY! You have got to try her Gooey Butter Cake - every time I make it I get asked for the recipe. It has two entire sticks of butter in it, guess that's why it is so darn good! Anyway, back to the pie. My neighbor, Jane, said that she preferred to use Dream Whip instead of Cool Whip for topping a Peanut Butter Pie, so I took her advice since she has baked a lot more pies than I ever have and it turned out really well. I even had another piece tonight and I think it was even better after it had set overnight.
Peanut Butter Pie
from The Lady & Sons Just Desserts Cookbook
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 T sugar
2 tsp milk
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
3/4 cup confectioners' sugar
1 - 5.3-ounce box instant vanilla pudding
2 1/2 cups milk
1 - 80z. container frozen whipped topping, thawed (I used Dream Whip)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9-inch pie pan. Blend all crust ingredients together in a bowl with a spoon and press into prepared pan. Bake 8 - 10 minutes or until brown. Remove and allow to cool. For filling, using a fork, mix peanut butter and confectioner's sugar until crumbly. Sprinkle peanut butter mixture into bottom of baked pie shell, reserving a tablespoon for garnish. Beat pudding mix with milk for 2 minutes, using a handheld electric mixer. Pour on top of peanut butter mixture. Spread with whipped topping. Sprinkle with remaining 2 T peanut butter mixture. Refrigerate several hours before serving.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Frogmore Stew (Low Country Boil)

I have been wanting to make Frogmore Stew (aka Low Country Boil) forever, so this
weekend I finally did it.
It is such a great summer meal that is so easy to make and it is delish!!
It's so informal too - you just throw everything on a big tray, add some crusty french
bread, grab yourself a glass of wine and you're ready to sit down to a fabulous summer
dinner on your deck.
I have decided that I am going to start making this every summer when we go on our
annual  vacation to Hilton Head Island. We always stay at the Disney Resort on the
Island and this would be a great meal to eat out on the deck of our villa.

Frogmore Stew

5 quarts water
1/4 cup Old Bay seasoning
4 lbs. small red potatoes
2 lbs. kielbasa sausage, cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces
6 ears of corn, halved
4 lbs. unpeeled large fresh shrimp
Old Bay Seasoning
Cocktail Sauce

Bring 5 quarts water and 1/4 cup Old Bay seasoning to a boil in a large covered stockpot.
Add potatoes; return to a boil, and cook, uncovered for 10 minutes.
Add sausage and corn, and return to a boil. Cook 10 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
Add shrimp to stockpot; cook 3 to 4 miinutes or until shrimp turn pink. Drain. Serve with Old Bay seasoning and cocktail sauce.
Makes 12 servings.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Peanut Butter Cup Cookies

I love to bake cookies. They make your house smell all sweet and yummy and they look so pretty all lined up on the cooling rack after they've just come out of the oven. But the best part about baking cookies is that you can eat them right away!
I've been making these peanut butter cup cookies for years using refrigerated cookie dough, but then I noticed the homemade version here and thought wow......I can make these cookies today and not even have to run to Wal-mart. Woo Hoo - it's cookie time!
Peanut Butter Cup Cookies
1 3/4 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 T milk
40 miniature Reese Cups, unwrapped
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Sift together the flour, salt and baking soda; set aside.
Cream together the butter, sugar, peanut butter and brown sugar until fluffy.
Beat in the egg, vanilla and milk. Add the flour mixture; mix well.
Shape into 40 balls and place each into a greased mini muffin pan.
Bake at 375 degrees for about 8 minutes. Remove from oven and immediately press a mini Reese Cup into each ball. Cool and carefully remove from pan. Decorate with nonpareils if desired.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Best Ever Blueberry Muffins

I love, love, love blueberries! I eat them every morning on top of my Quaker Low-Sugar Maple & Brown Sugar Oatmeal. I'm serious - I eat the same breakfast every single morning and I don't get tired of it. If I like something, I stick with it.....guess I'm just wierd like that. I'm not a big breakfast person anyway - I'm more of a lunch and dinner kind of girl.
Anyway, I made these Blueberry Muffins a couple of weekends ago and boy are they yummy.
If you are a blueberry fan you should give them a try too.
Best Ever Blueberry Muffins
adapted from baked perfection
2 eggs
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup canola oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup vanilla or plain yogurt
1 1/2 cups blueberries
1/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup flour
2 T butter, cubed
1 tsp cinnamon
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease 12 muffin cups or line with paper liners.
In a medium bowl mix together flour, salt, baking soda and cinnamon.
In a large bowl beat together eggs and both sugars. Mix in oil, vanilla and yogurt.
Mix dry ingredients into wet ingredients. Do not over-mix, batter will be lumpy. Gently fold in blueberries. Scoop batter into muffin cups so they are 2/3 of the way full.
Combine topping ingredients. Mix with a fork and sprinkle over muffins before baking.
Bake in preheated oven for about 20 minutes.
Enjoy some blueberry goodness!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Wagon Wheel Taco Pasta Salad

I found this great recipe over at Cara's Cravings and thought it would be a nice, refreshing salad to have in the fridge for the weekend. My girlfriends and I enjoyed it by the pool on Saturday, along with some mint mojito's. My husband even liked it too. I found the wagon wheel pasta at our local Farmer's Market in the bulk food section. Sharp Shopper carries it also for my local friends.

Wagon Wheel Taco Pasta Salad
1 lb. wagon wheel pasta (I used about 3/4 lb)
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 - 10 oz. package of frozen corn (I used 3 ears of fresh corn since I had it in my fridge)
2 medium tomatoes, seeded and diced (I used one)
8 oz. shredded Mexican Blend Cheese (I only used half of this)
1 1/2 cups salsa
1/2 cup olive oil (I only used 1/4 cup)
3 T lime juice (I squeezed one lime)
1 T cumin (I only used about 1/2 this)
1-2 tsp. chili powder (I used 1 tsp)
2 garlic cloves, minced (I omitted this)
freshing ground salt & pepper
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 avacado, diced (I omitted this)

Cook the pasta al dente. Drain and rinse with cold water.
In a large bowl, combine the black beans, corn, tomatoes, salsa and cheese. Add the cooled pasta and mix well. In another bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lime juice, garlic, cumin and chili powder. Pour over the pasta salad, add the cilantro and mix well. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Just before serving, stir in the diced avacado.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Cheesy Couscous Stuffed Green Peppers

This is a recipe I make every summer when my Mom & Dad give me lots of green peppers from their garden. Boy am I lucky to have them and their garden goodies!! Most stuffed pepper recipes call for ground meat and I am not a fan, so when I discovered this recipe many years ago I knew I had to give it a try. I am glad I did, because we all loved it, even my picky teenager. Hope you like them too.
Cheesy Couscous Stuffed Green Peppers
6 Green Peppers
1 T olive or canola oil
1/2 C chopped onion
1 C uncooked couscous
1/4 tsp ground pepper
2 gloves minced garlic
1 1/2 C chicken or vegetable broth
1 C zucchini, cubed
2 C shredded cheddar cheese
2 T fresh parsley
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut tops off of green peppers and boil the peppers in water for about 5 minutes. Drain and set aside.
Heat oil in a pan over medium heat and then add onions and garlic. Saute 2-3 minutes or until tender. Add the chicken broth and bring to a boil. Stir in couscous, zucchini, parsley and pepper. Remove from heat. Cover and let stand for 5 minutes. Stir in cheddar cheese. Spoon mixture into green peppers and top with a little more cheese if you like. Bake in a casserole dish covered loosely with foil for 25-30 minutes.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Chocolate Pudding Zucchini Muffins

I am having so much fun finding new ways to use all of the zucchini my Mom and Dad are giving me. It's like a challenge for me.....I don't want any of it to go to waste. My sister-in-law, Michelle, really likes zucchini too so I call her up all excited everytime I find a new recipe for us to try. You know you're getting old when you find zucchini recipes exciting!!! I have never been one to freeze or can, but I recently found out that you can freeze shredded zucchini in ziploc freezer bags. Just squeeze out all the excess water when it thaws before you use it. Now I can try new zucchini recipes all winter - woo hoo!! Anyway, enough talk about zucchini - here's my newest recipe:
Chocolate Pudding Zucchini Muffins
adapted from

2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup applesauce (I used sugar-free)
1/2 cup sugar, plus 2 T
1 small package of chocolate instant pudding
1 cup grated zucchini
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup unbleached flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
Beat eggs, applesauce, sugar, pudding mix, vanilla and zucchini together.
Combine dry ingredients and add to zucchini mixture; mix well.
Scoop into greased or paper lined muffin tins.
Bake 17-20 minutes in a 350 degree oven.
Makes 12 muffins.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Cupcakes for a Co-Worker's Birthday

Today we are celebrating the birthday of my co-worker, Dave. Dave has been on vacation for a couple of days, so I thought it would be fun to decorate his office a little and make him cupcakes on his special day. He was really surprised. I think the personalized cupcake toppers I made turned out cute don't you?