Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Peanut Butter Fudge Freezer Pie

Remember my 1,000 hits giveaway? Well, the winner was a friend, Jim. His wife is Kristi, who I've mentioned in the past as the master mind behind the Cookie Monday idea. The prize for the giveaway was going to be a batch of cookies, but because his wife already makes cookies every Monday we decided to go with something different... and this is it! My Peanut Butter Fudge Pie. Sometimes I call it a freezer cheese cake... whatever you call it just make sure you try it! It is a favorite among those that I have shared it with!

To show you how wonderful it it I'm gonna start with a picture of my littlest man and his first encounter with it! Meet JACK!

(You'll have to click it to get it a little bit bigger!)
"Are you sure about this, Mom? .... Maybe I'll just touch it and go from there. .... Hmmmm, it seems safe enough. .... Mmm. Yep, it's edible. .... Oh my, Mom. .... This is awesome! You're the best mom EVER!"

I'm pretty sure this was just about the best day of this kids life... he got to just sit there & eat the whole slice while I took pictures of him!! LOL

OK - back to business. Here's what you'll need!

Two graham cracker crusts (I usually just buy the regular ones but I thought I'd give the chocolate one a go this time. It really didn't make much of a difference), cream cheese, cool whip, peanut butter, fudge, powdered sugar, milk & Reeses PB cups.

Start out by creaming together the SOFTENED cream cheese (just leave it on the counter for about an hour before you make this) and the powdered sugar.

Add in the peanut butter and the milk. Mix again.

Now go lick the beaters from your electric mixer... you're done with it. Grab a spatula & gently fold in the whipped topping.

Just add it about half at a time. Gently fold it over & over again until it is all incorporated together. You'll only use about 3/4 of the cool whip.

Next step is to heat your fudge in the microwave and spread about two heaping table spoons (like the big cereal spoons from your silverware drawer, not actual measured out Tbsp) into the bottom of the crusts.

Split the filling half/half between the two pie shells.

And then lick the spatula clean! Mmmmm....

Cut the PB cups into wedges - you want 12 per pie. Sometimes I only use 4 cups, so each one gets cut into 6 pieces, today I used 6 cups so each one was cut into 4. Then lay them evenly around the edge of the pie. A tip!? I use a knife to lightly touch the top of the pie - first in half, then into 4's, then I make marks dividing each quarter of the pie into 3 slices. You will get 12 slices per pie - yes, the pieces are small, but you don't need a big slice of this one! It's rich and amazing & a little bit is perfect!

Now heat your fudge a little bit more & use a fork to fling more fudge down over the top of the pie. .... and then lick the fork clean. My goodness, all this yummy tasting along the way. If you want you could call in the kids so they can have special treats along the way - or you can enjoy your Mommy time & keep it to yourself!

I'm sure you can guess what I chose.

Put the covers back on the pies and stick in the freezer for a few hours before serving. When you're ready to have them pull from the freezer for about 15 minutes, then slice. Put any leftovers back in the freezer.

THIS IS SO GOOD! Seriously, you're gonna love it and everybody you share it with will thank you profusely for sharing this with them!

Yep. It's that good.

Peanut Butter Fudge Freezer Pie:

1 8-oz package cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 1/2 cups creamy peanut butter
3/4 cup milk
1 16-oz tub Cool Whip, thawed - but only use about 3/4 of it
2 9-inch graham cracker pie crusts
Hot fudge, for drizzling
4-6 Reese's PB cups

Beat together cream cheese & powdered sugar. Mix in peanut butter and milk, beat until smooth. Gently fold in whipped topping by hand.

Spread some fudge into the bottom of the pie shells. Spoon in pie filling, half in each shell.

Cut PB cups into 24 triangles & evenly put 12 around the outside edge of each pie. Drizzle the top with additional fudge. Cover & freeze for a few hours.

Set on counter for about 15 minutes before serving. Return any uneaten pie to the freezer.

Monday, September 27, 2010

"Trailer Treats" (Peanut Butter Ritz Sandwich Crackers)

Yes, we call these Trailer Treats. It's a rude, stereotype of a name & I mean no offense to any of my friends that live in a trailer! I spent all morning trying to think of something else more appropriate to call them but I just can't get it. Redneck Ritz? Poor Man's Cookie? Zero Skill Sandwich Cookie? Pantry Nuggets? No Bake Delights? TRAILER TREATS! These are a 3-ingredient cookie that require no baking, no mixers, no cookie sheets... I almost feel embarrassed to tell people what they are because they are SO simple and un-culinary-skilled, but I feel it would be a crime against humanity if I kept it to myself because they are just plain & simply delicious.

Here are our ingredients:

Ritz crackers, creamy peanut butter and chocolate almond bark.

Start out by spreading some peanut butter (about 1 tsp) onto a Ritz.

Then top with another cracker.

Now melt your chocolate, according to the package directions, and dip one whole sandwich, turning over to coat completely. Gently tap against the side of the bowl to remove the excess chocolate. I also use a fork to scrape the bottom side of the fork that is holding the cracker to help get all the extra off.

Now, normally when I make these I set them on a piece of waxed paper to set up but I thought I was SO clever when I decided to set these on my cooling rack, thinking the drips would just fall through onto the waxed paper below. DON'T DO THIS! The chocolate dried around the wires and stuck to the rack! I couldn't get them off without taking the whole bottom layer of chocolate off the cookies. :o( FAIL. But, even with most of the bottom chocolate missing, they are still delicious!

Mmm...... so simple but so good!

Do you think anyone would notice if I took a bite?

YUM! Look at that fabulous combination of sweet & salty, soft & crunchy. Trailer treats. Who knew!?

Trailer Treats:

Peanut butter
Almond bark, chocolate flavored

Use 2 Ritz and about 1 teaspoon of peanut butter to make sandwiches.

Melt chocolate according to the package directions. Dip cookies into the chocolate & remove to waxed paper until set.


Wanna see the woops?

Boooooooooo for wasted chocolate!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Asian BBQ Pork Chops

We're starting off with a confession. I cannot cook pork chops in the crock pot. I try. I try all the time. I have tried several different recipes and I have tried several different techniques to keep them moist, but I always fail & get dried out meat. Like the kind that sucks the moisture out of your mouth as you chew it. The kind that you have to have a tall glass of milk to help you get it down. What am I doing wrong!? I don't know... but I will say that these chops, had I baked them in the oven or a couple of hours less in the crock pot, would have been amazing. So, I'm gonna go ahead & share it anyway! If you insist on doing them in the crock pot maybe just go on low for 3 or 4 hours. Not the 6 that I did. Another tip I've heard is if you sear them in a pan on the stove (don't cook them completely, just put some brown on each side) before you throw them in the crock pot it helps retain the moisture... but I failed at that one, too! LOL

ANYWAY! How's that for instilling faith in your cooking blog lady, huh!? I'm just keeping it real. Sometimes I fail!

Let's see the fixings:

Pork chops (excuse the marks from my tongs!), brown sugar, soy sauce, ketchup, honey, pepper, garlic, cornstarch.

Start out by mixing the sugar, ketchup, soy sauce, pepper & garlic (minced up or pressed through a press). Give them a good whisk until they are combined into a good sauce.

Then toss your chops into your crock pot & pour the sauce on top. Flip them over in the sauce to get the coated well.

Now give a good squeeze of honey over the top of each chop, using some tongs to help get the bottom chops.

Then just cover & cook on low for [insert appropriate time here.] I did 4 hours and then moved on to the last step & cooked an additional 2 hours for a total of 6 hours on low for 4 chops. It was too long!

The last step? Take the chops out & set aside. Add in a couple tablespoons of cornstarch & whisk it into the sauce to make it into a thicker glaze-like sauce, rather than a thin, runny marinade. Add the chops back in & go for another 2 hours. I'm thinking the appropriate times should have maybe been 2 hours/2 hours.

And that's it! We served it up with brown rice & steamed broccoli. The flavor was WONDERFUL! Like BBQ meets Asian cuisine. I definitely recommend you try it out... just don't overcook your meat like I ALWAYS seem to do! LOL A bonus of crock pot cooking is that your whole house will smell great as you wait for this to finish up!

And a peek inside... all good and saucy on the outside, but still nice & bright white inside!

Asian BBQ Pork Chops:

6 pork chops
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup ketchup
1/2 cup soy sauce
4 cloves of garlic, minced
pepper to taste
1/2 cup honey
2 TBSP cornstarch

Place pork chops into crock pot. In a separate bowl, combine sugar, ketchup, soy sauce, garlic & pepper. Whisk until combined. Pour over the chops & use tongs to flip the chops around to ensure they are all coated. Squirt honey generously over each chops - again using tongs to reach the bottom ones.

Cook on low for 2 (?) hours. Remove chops & set aside. Add cornstarch to sauce in the crock pot. Whisk to combine. Add chops back into sauce and cook on low an additional 2 hours. Serve hot with extra sauce over the top.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Weekly Menu, 9/20 - 9/26

Monday: (Zac @ work) Tuna Helper (yep, the Betty Crocker box kind), sourdough garlic toast

Tuesday: (Zac @ work) Sloppy Joes, corn

Wednesday: (Zac @ Scouts) Sweet BBQ crock pot chops, brown rice, broccoli

Thursday: Cheddar Ranch Chicken, steamed green beans, silver dollars

Friday: Beef roast, potatoes & carrots, rolls

Saturday: (Me @ R/S Dinner) Daddy's in charge!

Sunday: (Zac @ work) Pancakes, sausage & fruit

Monday, September 20, 2010

Cranberry Double Chip Cookies

Happy Cookie Monday! I thought I'd start off with a pic of my cookie jar lid. My super talented mother-in-law is slowly providing us with a set of lids to rotate through as different holidays & seasons come along. Today, as I was mking these cookies, Nolan very exuberantly exclaimed, "MOM!!! Halloween is coming! We need to change the cookie jar!" So I did! And this is the lid we'll be seeing for the next month & a half. Thanks, Mumar!

(please excuse the poor photo quality!)

OK! Back to the cookies. Here are our ingredients today!

Flour, sugar, brown sugar, salt, baking soda, butter, shortening, eggs, pecans, cranberries, chocolate chips & white chips. (And I managed to remember them ALL for the picture today! Celebrate the small victories with me, folks!)

First step is to cream together your butter, shortening & the sugars.

Then add in the eggs, one at a time, giving a good mix after each addition. Then add vanilla.

Then, in a separate bowl, stir together the flour, soda & salt.
I took pictures of this step but then I thought... that's a boring picture. And I've already shared that exact picture on a past cookie recipe. It's still boring. So I tossed it in the recycle bin. It's not rocket science - you can manage it without the picture! I have faith in you!

Now gradually add the dry mix into the creamed mixture. Again, I had pics of this but... well, see above! LOL

Now add in the chips, nuts & berries!

Mmmm...... isn't that puuuuuuuuuurrrrrtty!

Give it a good mix & then drop by tablespoons onto an ungreased cookie sheet & bake in a 375 oven for 9-11 minutes.

Yes, they smell and taste as good as they look!

Cranberry Double Chip Cookies:

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup shortening
3/4 cup
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 1/4 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup white chips
1 cup dried cranberries
1 cup chopped pecans

In a mixing bowl, bream butter, shortening and sugars together. Add in eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Mix in vanilla.

In a separate bowl, combine the flour, soda & salt. Gradually add to the creamed mixture. Stir in chips, berries and nuts.

Drop by tablespoonfuls, 2 inches apart, onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 375 for 9-11 minutes, or until golden. Cool on the pan for 2 minutes & then move to a rack to cool completely. Giveaway winner!

The lucky winner of the $35 giftcard code is:

Entry #124, Renee, who said:
"My favorite fall comfort food is Chicken & Dumplings."

Congratulations, Renee! I have sent you an email. If I don't hear back within 48 hours a new winner will be chosen! Thanks so much to everyone that entered!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Chicken Noodle Soup

As a lot of my friends know, the sickies found us this week. In a major way.

Early, early Wednesday: Jack got sick.
Middle of the night Thursday: Jocelyn got sick.
Friday morning: Mommy got sick.
Middle of the night Friday: Nolan got sick.
Saturday morning: Daddy got sick.

..... and by sick I mean *sick*. The kind of sick I don't dare name on a food blog!! Gross, several loads of laundry & middle of the night baths kind of sick. Luke is the last man standing & I pray he doesn't get it. However, having a house full of sickies gave me the perfect opportunity to cook up a batch of chicken noodle soup! (it's a faint silver lining, but I'm trying hard to find one so just nod your heads & go with it!)

Here we go!

Reames frozen egg noodles, chicken broth, carrots (you can just slice your own or be a little lazy & get the pre-cut ones), celery, garlic, cooked chicken (however you want to come by it - rotisserie, canned, fresh cooked, leftovers - I cooked up 2 chicken breasts), dried basil, parsley flakes, dried thyme, pepper (not pictured), milk (not pictured) and flour (not pictured). SORRY! I know - a lot of 'not pictured'. Cut me some slack - I'm running on fumes!

Do you know about Reames noodles? They are amazing & wonderful & a busy mom's best friend. You find them in the freezer section, near the frozen garlic bread or rolls. They are just like the thick homemade noodles - but without the hassle! Really, for this recipe you only need the 12-oz bag but all my store carries was the 24-oz bags so that's what I used.

Slice up your celery into little moons (and do you carrots now, too, if you weren't lazy like me).

Now throw the broth, veggies & seasonings into a pot. Either dice up the garlic or push it through a press & add it to the mix. Turn the heat up to high. Let them cook for about 5 minutes.

Add the cooked chicken.

Now let that go for a few minutes on high, until it comes to a good boil. Then add the frozen noodles.

Once it's boiling, cover & reduce the heat to a little above low & let it go about 25 minutes.

Now grab 1 cup of milk & about 2-3 Tbsp of flour. Put them in a container with a lid & shake, shake, shake until they're combined. Yes, I said milk. I know, it seems like it should be a misprint. Milk? In chicken noodle soup? Really? YES! REALLY! Just go with it. It just adds a perfect touch of creaminess to the soup. Doesn't turn it into a CREAM soup at all. Just adds another dimension of richness that is ahhhhh-ma-zing!

Now pour it into the pot & let it go about 5 more minutes to thicken just a bit.

Now just serve it up with some good bread & enjoy! YUMMMMMM! You will LoVe this soup!!

Chicken Noodle Soup:

6 cups chicken broth
2 chicken breasts
3 carrots, sliced
3 stalks of celery, sliced
1 tsp parsley flakes
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp black pepper
2 cloves of garlic
12-oz Reames frozen egg noodles
1 cup milk
2-3 Tbsp flour

Pour broth, veggies, seasonings and garlic to a stock pot. Cook over high heat for about 5 minutes. Add the chicken & bring to a solid boil. Then add the noodles. Cover, reduce heat to med-low & let simmer about 25 minutes.

As soup is finishing it's 25 minutes of simmering, mix milk and flour well. Add to the soup & allow to cook about 5 minutes more, or until it begins to thicken a little bit.

Serve warm with some good bread!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


**** CLOSED ****
Imagine my surprise when I got an email from asking if I'd like to offer my blog followers a chance to win a $35 giftcard to their stores!! I was so excited to pass the opportunity on to you all. Do you know They offer the convenience of shopping at over 200 stores, all in one spot, with just one check out. You can get everything from a gas grill for the patio, a new rug for the family room, a condo for your kitty, a bed for your toddler, shoes, exercise equipment, school supplies, LEGOs.... even a coffee table! It's pretty amazing all the things you can find there!

ANYWAY...... enough of my ramblings! Do you want a chance to win a $35 giftcard code to!!?? Here's how you enter:

Fall is quickly approaching - tell me what your favorite fall comfort food is! Leave your comment on this post - and please include your email so I can get you your giftcard code if you win!

Additional entries:

1.) Become a follower of my blog (if you already follow just say so!)
2.) Mention this giveaway on Facebook or on your own blog.
3.) Visit any of the stores & tell me what you'd buy if you won!

Please leave separate comments for each entry & don't forget to include your email address.

Giveaway closes Monday morning, 9/20/2010, 9:30am PST.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Peanut Butter Pinwheels

This week's Cookie Monday treat: Peanut Butter Pinwheels!

This was a new recipe for me. It was a little more work than your standard drop cookie but they were delicious! They're not a super soft or chewy cookie - they've got a crunch to them, like a Chips Ahoy, but the chocolate stays softer.

Ingredients for this one:

Peanut butter, shortening, sugar, egg, milk, flour, baking soda, salt & chocolate chips.

Start out by creaming together the peanut butter, shortening and sugar. A tip for measuring out the PB? Give your measuring cup a quick spritz with some PAM & the PB will slide right out!

Then add in the egg and milk.

Now use a separate bowl to stir together the flour, soda & salt.
(I usually use a whisk to stir them - it just works really well!)

Now gradually add that to the creamed mixture.

Now dump the dough out onto a piece of wax paper & cover with another sheet of wax paper. Then roll it out into a big rectangle, about 10x12 inches.

Now grab your chocolate chips & melt them in the microwave. Then carefully spread the melted chocolate over the dough, only about 1/2 inch from the edges.

Now, using the wax paper to help you along, roll it up starting with the long edge.

Carefully roll it onto a piece of plastic wrap & roll it up & pop it into the fridge for 1/2 an hour.

wait..... wait..... wait.....


Now pull it out & use a sharp knife to cut the log into slices, 1/2" thick.

Put those slices onto a GREASED baking sheet (or you can just use Parchment paper, which I recommend because when you use PAM on something, anywhere that is not topped with food gets baked onto the pan & becomes really sticky/tacky & it's a bugger to wash off.)

Bake @ 375 for 10-12 minutes & they're done!

Hello deliciousness! And look at these faces... how could you NOT put in the effort! Mmmmm Cookies!

(Jossy & Nolan)

Peanut Butter Pinwheels:
1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1 cup sugar
1 egg
2 TBSP milk
1 1/4 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup chocolate chips

In a mixing bowl, cream together shortening, peanut butter and sugar. Add in egg and milk. In a separate bowl mix together flour, soda & salt. Gradually add to the creamed mixture.

Roll out between waxed paper into a 10x12 rectangle. Melt chocolate chips, cool slightly & spread over dough within 1/2" of the edges. Roll up tightly starting with a long edge. Wrap in plastic wrap & refrigerate for 20-30 minutes or until easy to handle.

Unwrap dough & cut into 1/2" slices. Place 1" apart on a greased cookie sheet. Bake at 375 for 10-12 minutes or until the edges are lightly browned. Cool on wire racks.