To-Die-For Peanut Butter Pie

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I’ve had an obsession with peanut butter desserts since I was a kid and my Dad would bring home free samples of the most delicious peanut butter cake concoction. I still have dreams of this dessert (seriously!). A few weeks ago, as I was dreaming about this delicious sweet, I decided that I would try and make my own version of this heaven. My sweet tooth was craving a peanut butter pie and that is exactly what I gave it.

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The pie definitely satisfied my craving and I’m already preparing to make it again. Peanut butter and chocolate are simply meant to be together (hello, Reese’s are one of my favorite indulgences).

What are some of your favorite sweet treats? Tell me in the comments below!

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To-Die-For Peanut Butter Pie:

ingredients:

  • 1 stick of butter
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • about 9 ounces chocolate cookies (I used some cats cookies from Trader Joe’s)
  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 and 1/4 cup whipped cream
  • Chocolate chips (optional)
  • mini Reese’s cups (optional)

Instructions for the crust:

Crush the cookies using a food processor or by hand and place into medium size bowl. Melt butter in a small pot over medium heat. Add brown sugar to melted butter. Whisk until sugar is dissolved. Add butter mixture to crumbled cookies and stir until combined. Pour into bottom of greased pie pan and press down with the bottom of a glass, making sure that the crust goes up along edges. Allow to set in fridge for 15 minutes. Bake at 350 for 10-15 minutes.

Instructions for the filling

In a large bowl, combine cream cheese, powdered sugar, peanut butter, and vanilla. Using an electric mixer, beat until fluffy. Gently fold in the whipped cream. Pour the mixture into the pie pan. If you would like to add toppings, you can line the outside with Reese’s and chocolate chips. Place in the freezer for 3 hours. Remove from freezer and store in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Enjoy!

 

 

September Sangria

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Sometimes you just need a really good drink. By sometimes I mean probably several times a week. I love to try out new specialty drinks at bars, but I also love trying out my own hand at tending bar from home. I’m a big fan of Sangria. Most of the time I really prefer a white sangria, but I was really craving something red, so I whipped up this little concoction.

september sangria 03

I like to pretend that sangria is healthier than other drinks because of all the fruit. That’s definitely true, right? This version is even healthier because it’s made with 100% pomegranate juice which is a good source of potassium. So, drink to your health and enjoy a glass (or two or three) of this delicious red sangria.

 

September Sangria:

ingredients:

1 bottle red wine of your choice

1/4 cup sugar

1/4 cup water

1/2 cup brandy

1/2 cup tonic water

1 cup pomegranate juice (I used pom wonderful)

2 lemons

2 oranges

10-12 strawberries (plus more for decoration)

 

instructions:

Combine sugar and water in a small saucepan to create a simple syrup. Bring the mixture to a boil and continue cooking until sugar is dissolved. Allow to cool. Combine simple syrup, wine, pomegranate juice, tonic water, and brandy in a pitcher. Take 1/2 of a lemon and 1/2 of an orange and squeeze juice into pitcher. Slice the remaining orange and place in pitcher with sliced strawberries and 1 sliced lemon. Leave 1/2 remaining lemon to slice and use as decoration. Place in refrigerator and allow flavors of the fruit to infuse for at least 4 hours.

Enjoy!

 

Tomato Pie- A Southern Summer Tradition

tomato pie 01

I know, I know we are at the end of summer, but as much as I love the fall I always get sad when my favorite season is coming to an end. Summer means outdoor activities, trips to the beach, days by the pool, and fun festivals. Not to mention some of my favorite fruits and vegetables are in prime condition during the summer months. Yes, I’m talking about berries and corn but also TOMATOES. I love a fresh, ripe tomato in many different ways– tomato sandwich, tomato and mozzarella salad, bruschetta, tomato sauce.. I could go on.

tomato pie 04

As summer is coming to an end, I decided to make the most of this tomato season. Typically, these fruits/veggies (still a little up for debate as to which category they actually belong in) are best through September so we still have some time to enjoy them in their prime; thank goodness. Chances are if you’re from the south you’ve indulged in some tomato pie over the summer. If not, you should absolutely try out this recipe from Stirring Performances for your next meatless Monday or any night of the week, really.

Fresh Tomato Pie: 

ingredients:

  • 1 pie shell, baked & cooled
  • 2-3 large tomatoes, peeled and sliced
  • 2-3 green onions, chopped
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon fresh basil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chives, chopped
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese

instructions:

Preheat oven to 350. Sprinkle tomatoes lightly with salt and drain on a cooling rack for 15-20 minutes. Layer tomatoes, onions, salt, pepper, basil, and chives in pie shell. Blend mayonnaise and cheese together in a mixing bowl. Spread over top of pie. Bake for 30 minutes or until top is lightly browned.

 

Enjoy!

Classic Apple Pie With Crumb Topping

I recently got to cross off a few things on this years fall bucket list, one of them being to pick some fresh apples! It was freezing the day I went, but it was an awesome experience and it gave me tons of apples to make delicious treats with! I shared my quick recipe for apple pie candy apples already, so I though I would share my apple pie recipe. It’s so delicious that I find it hard not to go back for a second slice!

Apple Pie Crumble Top 1

CLASSIC APPLE PIE WITH CRUMB TOPPING

Ingredients:

  • 1 Pillsbury Pie Crust
  • 6 Medium Sized Apples*
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp Flour
  • A Few Dashes of Salt
  • 3/4 Cup Sugar
  • 1 Tsp Cinnamon
  • 1 Tsp Apple Pie Spice

*I used Cortland.

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

2. Peel apples and cut into thin slices. Place in large bowl and toss with lemon juice

3. Add flour, salt, sugar, cinnamon, and apple pie spice to apple and stir until each slice is coated with equal amounts.

4. Roll out pie crust in round pie dish and cut excess off of edges.

Apple Pie Crumble Top 3

Topping Ingredients:

  • 1 Cup Flour
  • 1 Cup Brown Sugar
  • 1/2 Tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/2 Tsp Apple Pie Spice
  • 1/8 Cup Sugar
  • 1 Stick Butter (Room Temperature)

Directions:

1. Cut the butter into four equal pieces and place in bowl. Add flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, sugar, and apple pie spice.

2. Use a pastry cutter or a fork to mash ingredients until well combined and made into small chunks.

3. Spoon topping over pie until completely covered.

4. Cover pie with foil and back at 350 for 30 minutes.

5. Remove cover and continue baking for 15 minutes or until golden brown.

Apple Pie Crumble Top 2

 

Enjoy!

XO

Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes with Cinnamon Frosting

One of my favorite things about fall is the fact that I can embrace my obsession with pumpkin flavored treats! Yes, I am absolutely one of those girls who goes crazy for pumpkin spice lattes every year. When the weather turns chilly and the leaves turn golden I turn into a pumpkin fiend! = )

In honor of fall, I decided to bake some pumpkin spice cupcakes and top them with cinnamon frosting. They are so delicious; the perfect treat for dessert while popping in a scary movie (another one of my fall obsessions)! I’ve shared my recipe below and I hope you will try these delicious cupcakes yourself!

 

Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes 3

PUMPKIN SPICE CUPCAKES WITH CINNAMON FROSTING

(Makes One Dozen)

Cupcake Ingredients:

  • 1 Cup Flour
  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • 1 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1/2 cup Oil
  • 1/2 can Pumpkin

Directions:

1. In a small mixing bowl, combine flour, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, cinnamon, and pumpkin pie spice (all dry ingredients except the sugar).

2. In a separate, large bowl mix the sugar and eggs. Add oil and mix at medium speed for a few minutes.

3. Combine flour mixture with eggs and sugar. Then add pumpkin. Mix at medium speed until well blended.

4. Spoon into lined cupcake tin and bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes 1

Icing Ingredients:

  • 1 Stick Unsalted Butter
  • 1 1/2 tsp Vanilla
  • 3 cups Powdered Sugar
  • 4 tablespoons Heavy Cream
  • 1 tablespoon Cinnamon

Icing Directions:

1. Let the stick of butter soften outside of the fridge, but do not allow it to melt. I took mine out when I put the cupcakes in to bake and allowed it to sit  while they baked and cooled.

2. Beat the butter and vanilla on medium speed for about 3 minutes, until the mixture is creamy.

3. Sift the powdered sugar, add to mixture one cup at a time, and beat.

4. Add heavy cream and beat.

5. Add cinnamon and beat once more.

 

Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes 2

 

I also used molds to create toppings for the cupcakes. I melted dark chocolate chips with cinnamon and placed them in the fridge.

A few notes: you do not have to sift the powdered sugar, but it usually leads to a better consistency. Also, if you do not have pumpkin pie spice you can simply use cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and allspice. I like to add the extra cinnamon and nutmeg to make it more “spicy”.

Enjoy!

XO

Chilled Cantaloupe Soup

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Before my sister’s beautiful wedding last month, I attended a bridal shower with all of the bridesmaids, flower girls, and a few other female family members. It was a fun morning with light and fresh food including savory cheesecake bites, a strawberry salsa, and meringues.  There were two tables, both set with simple and elegant decor and pretty gifts for each of the guests.

I was a little worried when our main course arrived and I saw that it included a chilled cantaloupe soup. I wasn’t sure if it was something that I was going to like, but as soon as I took the first bite I realized I was very wrong; it was delicious! It’s a perfect summertime food and it paired amazingly with our salads. I thought that I would share with you the recipe that my mom (the hostess) used.

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Chilled Cantaloupe Soup with Tarragon Syrup {via Martha Stewart}

(serves 6)

 

1 large ripe cantaloupe (about 4 pounds), seeds and rind removed, cut into chunks, plus thin wedges for garnish

1/4 cup sour cream

2 tablespoons honey, or to taste

4 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

Pinch of coarse salt

3/4 cup sugar

4 sprigs tarragon

1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

  1. Make the soup: Working in 2 batches, puree cantaloupe, sour cream, honey, lemon juice, and salt in a blender until smooth. Press through a fine sieve into a bowl. Refrigerate until cold, about 1 hour.
  2. Make the syrup: Bring sugar and 3/4 cup water to a boil in a saucepan, stirring until sugar has dissolved. Boil until syrup has reduced to 2/3 cup, about 7 minutes. Remove from heat; add tarragon. Transfer to a bowl; refrigerate until cold, 1 hour.
  3. Puree syrup, tarragon, and lemon juice in a blender until smooth. Refrigerate until ready to use; stir just before serving.
  4. Divide soup among bowls. Drizzle with tarragon syrup; garnish with cantaloupe wedges and tarragon sprigs.

 

Enjoy!

 

XO

Couscous Salad

When summer comes around, I love to have a light, fresh lunch that is at least somewhat healthy. I used to love to go to this little deli in Winston-Salem and get their couscous; it was so delicious! This past week I was really craving that couscous salad so I whipped up this concoction and it turned out to be delicious! Since sharing is caring, I thought I would share. 🙂

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Ingredients:

  • Greek Olives
  • Crumbled Feta Cheese
  • 1/4 cup Greek Dressing*
  • 2 cups Couscous
  • Sweet Grape Tomatoes

Directions:

  • Boil and prepare the couscous
  • Cut the grape tomatoes in half; scoop out the seeds and juice
  • Chop the Greek olives into smaller pieces
  • After fluffing the couscous (my favorite part) fold in the olives and tomatoes
  • Add the dressing and feta cheese
  • Refrigerate for at least an hour before serving

*Greek dressing is one of my very favorite dressings and every year I stock up at the Greek Festival. If you don’t have a bottle of Greek dressing, you can easily make your own! Simply combine red wine vinegar, extra virgin olive oil, salt, garlic, lemon juice, and oregano. You may have to adjust a few times to fit your flavor preferences.

Enjoy!

XO

Lemon Raspberry Poppy Seed Bread

Ever since I moved into my current beach house, I’ve been semi-avoiding the kitchen. I really love to cook, but with six roommates, a small kitchen, and very worn-in kitchen equipment, I just haven’t been experimenting much. It’s been almost an entire year and I’ve barely made anything except basic dinners. Last week, when Spring started to reveal itself, I decided that I wanted to bake something fruity. So, I chose to create a Lemon Raspberry Poppy Seed Bread.

lemon raspberry poppyseed bread

I combined ideas from several different recipes that I have seen over time. It turned out pretty delicious, if I may say so myself ; ) This bread was seriously moist and had a very light lemon flavor. In fact, the raspberry stood out the most to me. Here’s the recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder
  • 1 ½ tsp salt
  • 1 box lemon flavored instant pudding & pie filling
  • 1 ½ cups milk
  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  •  ¾ cup oil
  • 3 eggs
  • ¼ cup poppy seeds
  • Raspberry preserves

Directions: 

  • Combine the baking powder, salt, sugar, pudding mix, and flour
  • In a separate bowl, combine the eggs, milk, and oil
  • Add the wet ingredient to the dry and stir until just combined
  • Fold in the poppy seeds
  • Pour into a greased 9 x 5 bread pan
  • Swirl the raspberry preserves onto the top of the mixture
  • Bake at 350 for 1 hour and 15 minutes

lemon raspberry poppyseed bread 2

lemon raspberry poppyseed bread 4

Happy baking! Let me know what you think!

XO,
Jessie