Saturday, May 24, 2008

Peanut Butter Pie

Joe recently had a potluck at work and, in typical Joe fashion, he asked what I was making for him to take. Never mind the fact that I just had a baby; no, clearly this potluck took precedence over the care of our newborn. (I'm just kidding, of course; Joe is an amazing father and took wonderful care of Andrew while I was in the kitchen slaving away.) Peanut butter pie was the first thing that came to my mind. Not only is it so easy to make, it's also something I craved throughout my pregnancy and never got the chance to indulge in. So, naturally, I decided to make two pies -- one for his potluck, and one just for us.

The recipe was handed down from my mom, and I have no idea where or who she got it from. This is the most delicious, scrumptious, sinfully decadent peanut butter pie you will ever put in your mouth. Honestly, that's really all that needs to be said about it. It's so easy to make -- the only thing that requires baking is the crust -- so you have no excuse for not making this dessert immediately.

Peanut Butter Pie
Source: my mom

For the crust:
1 1/4 cups peanut butter Oreos, finely crushed (about 20 cookies)
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter, melted

For the pie:
1 package cream cheese, softened
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup heavy cream, whipped

1. Combine crust ingredients; press into a 9-inch pie plate. Bake at 375° for 10 minutes; cool.

2. In a mixing bowl, beat cream cheese, peanut butter, sugar, butter and vanilla until smooth. Fold in whipped cream. Gently spoon into crust. Garnish with cookie crumbs if desired. Refrigerate before serving.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

A couple of announcements

I know I haven't posted here for a while, but that's because I've just finished cooking something I've had in the oven for the past nine months:

That's Andrew, and he's been taking up most of my time lately, so I haven't had too much of a chance to be in the kitchen.

I'd also like to mention that I'm honored to have joined The Foodie Blogroll, hosted by Jenn (a.k.a. The Leftover Queen). As soon as things settle down around here, I'm excited to start exploring this wonderful forum, and to resume my adventures in the kitchen!

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Strawberry Margarita Cake

¡OlĂ©! My office celebrated cinco de mayo on Friday with a Mexican-themed potluck, complete with tacos and fajitas and all the fixins. I knew I wanted to make something, but I kind of had a lot going on last week and I didn't want to commit to anything too labor-intensive (such as the margarita cheesecake I originally signed up to make...I didn't really feel like messing with a "water bath" or any such thing; I'll have to save that one for another time).

Betty Crocker to the rescue! On the very day I needed to do my shopping for the potluck, I got my weekly e-mail from Betty Crocker, which included a recipe for strawberry margarita cake. I couldn't think of a thing that sounded more delicious and festive, and it looked really low-maintenance. And, it was alcohol-free...which meant that little old pregnant me would be able to enjoy it, too.

I'm so glad I decided to go with this recipe! It was so simple to make; I'd forgotten how convenient boxed cake mixes can be sometimes. Everyone at work raved about how delicious this cake was, and it was gone before I could even get picture of it! It offered the perfect balance of sweetness from the strawberry margarita mix and tartness from the lime zest, and it was really moist, just like the cake mix box promised! A definite winner, and one I'll probably be going back to every cinco de mayo!

Strawberry Margarita Cake
Source, recipe and photo: Betty Crocker

3/4 cup bottled strawberry-flavored non-alcoholic margarita drink mix
1 box Betty Crocker SuperMoist white cake mix
Vegetable oil and egg whites called for on cake mix box
1 tablespoon grated lime peel
1 container (8 oz) frozen whipped topping, thawed
Strawberries, if desired

1. Heat oven to 350° (325° for dark or nonstick pan). Grease (or lightly spray with cooking spray) bottom only of 13 x 9-inch pan. Add enough water to drink mix to measure 1 1/4 cups.

2. In large bowl, beat cake mix, drink mix, oil and egg whites on low speed 2 minutes. Pour into pan. Bake and cool as directed on box.

3. Gently stir peel into whipped topping; spread over top of cake. Garnish with strawberries, if desired. Store covered in refrigerator.