Chocolate Walnut Pie

This year for Thanksgiving I wanted to bake something different. Although my blueberry and pumpkin pie are always a sure winner, they are just so typical.

I recently bought the Hershey’s Kitchen Baking Magazine at my local supermarket, and while browsing through it I stumbled upon the “Innkeeper Pie”. The title of this pie does not give you much insight as to what it actually is, so considering that I made a few modifications to the recipe along the way, I renamed to “a Chocolate Walnut Pie”.

I’ve never been to a Bed and Breakfast, but I’ve heard that the Innkeeper’s food is supposed to be unreal. The recipe seemed easy enough, and I was in the mood to try something new, so I went with it.

This pie is like nothing I have ever baked before and I am glad to report that I am VERY happy with the way it turned out!  I was a little skeptic as to how the chcolate layer would sink to the bottom, and how the cake layer would form in the middle, but somehow it all worked out just fine.

I would highly suggest this recipe if you want to wow your guests with a 3 layer dessert that looks complicated, but is actually quite simple. I am giving you a forewarning though-this is NOT a light dessert. It is rich and decadent, and definitely the kind of dessert that is fit for a holiday or special occasion. Enjoy!

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Have you ever been to a Bed & Breakfast? How was your experience? 
What is your favorite kind of pie? 
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Chocolate Wafer Ice Box Cake

If you are looking for an easy no fuss dessert you have come to the right place! My Chocolate Wafer Ice Box Cake is perfect for the summer because it’s rich and delicious, but not too heavy.

It is loved by all the adults and children alike in my family, and hopefully by yours too! I highly recommend this cake, but don’t be surprised if you end up having to make it over and over again!

Chocolate Wafer Ice Box Cake

Yields 12 slices of cake

Ingredients 

  • 1.5 Cartons of heavy cream
  • 4 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1.5 packages of chocolate wafers

Directions

Whip heavy cream, sugar and vanilla until peaks form (about 4 min). Start to assemble the wafters along the bottom of a 9 inch springform pan. Scoop out some whipped cream and spread it thinly over the wafers so they are no longer visible. Next, assemble the wafers up right along the perimeter of the springform pan. Continue to layer the wafers followed by the whipped cream until you reach the top of the pan. Make sure to finish off with a layer of whipped cream. Garnish with crushed wafer crumbs. Refrigerate for at least 6 hours before serving. Enjoy!

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Chicken & Pine Nut Stuffed Peppers

If your like me, and enjoy putting a healthful spin on some of your favorite not so healthy recipes, then these chicken and pine nut stuffed peppers are definitely for you! This recipe is a healthier and tastier version of typical stuffed peppers because it calls for chicken over beef, and is stuffed with a minimal amount of breadcrumbs. They are soooo delicious and are a great example of how small tweaks and changes can revamp any of your favorite recipes! 

These colorful and and bold peppers are packed with flavor and are great for any occasion! They are easy to prepare and exciting to eat. Bring them to your next get together, and you’ll be sure to have a healthy and satisfying meal that will leave your guests asking for more!

Chicken & Pine Nut Stuffed Peppers 

Yields 6 peppers

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 lb ground chicken breast
  • 1/2 lb ground chicken thigh
  • 6 Italian peppers
  • 1 15 oz. can tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup plain breadcrumbs
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1/3 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts (optional)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Heat tomato sauce for 15 min on medium heat.

Cook onions in a nonstick skillet over medium heat until they become slightly soft (about 4 min).

Add in ground chicken breast + thigh and separate into small bits using a wooden spoon.

Continue to separate meat and add in salt, pepper and pine nuts until the chicken is fully cooked.

Lower heat and add in breadcrumbs. Combine well, add cheese and shut off the heat.

Wash peppers, cut off the top and remove the seeds.

Stuff chicken mixture into the peppers (do not over stuff!)

Place peppers into a tin (or glass) pan and drizzle tomato sauce over each pepper.

Cover pan with tin foil, and bake at 400 degree for 40 minutes.

Switch oven setting to roast, and cook for another 10 minutes.

Serve hot and enjoy!

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What are some methods that you use to healthify your favorite recipes? 

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Easter Bunny Doll Cookies

Hi all! Happy Friday! It’s been a long week around here, so I’m glad the weekend has finally arrived! Easter is just around the corner!  Yay :)

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Every year around this time (give or take a few weeks depending on when Easter falls) my mom’s good friend Diane always brings some Easter Bunny Doll Cookies over to my house for my family to enjoy. Each time that I bite into this delicious dessert, I wish that I could figure out how create it myself! It’s that good.

Well lucky for me, this year Diane invited my mom and I over to her house so that we could learn how to bake the Easter Bunny Doll Cookies with her! All I can say is that I am so glad and thankful that she did! The dolls are fun to make, taste great and are SO adorable! Almost too adorable to eat! I can definitely see the Easter Bunny Dolls becoming a new tradition in my home for many years to come! :)

Easter Bunny Dolls

Yields 6 Bunnies or 2 Bunnies and 2 Wreaths

Ingredients

  • 6 Hard-Boiled & Colored Eggs
  • 1 Stick of Butter (Softened)
  • 1 Stick of Margarine (Softened)
  • 5 Cups of Flour
  • 5 Eggs (Room Temperature)
  • 1/2 Cup of 2% Milk
  • 1/2 Cup of Sugar
  • 1/2 Tsp of Salt
  • 4 Tsp of Vanilla Extract
  • 4 Tsp of Baking Powder
Frosting
  • 2 Sticks of Butter (Room Temperature)
  • 2 Lbs of Confectionery Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup of Milk
  • 1 Tsp of Vanilla Extract
First, color 6 (or more) hard-boiled eggs. Let them rest in a cool place for at least 1 hour before baking.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Cream butter, margarine and sugar together by hand.

Add in raw eggs and vanilla, and stir until all the yolks are broken, and there are no large chunks of butter.

In a separate bowl, mix flour, salt and baking powder. Once they are mixed, beat the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients by using an electric mixture with a dough hook attached.  Gradually add in some milk each time the dry ingredients are poured into the wet doughy mixture.

Once all the ingredients are thoroughly mixed, the dough should be formed. * If you feel like the dough is too dry, add in a tad more milk and continue to mix.

When the desired consistency is achieved, remove the dough from the bowl and kneed it into a log. Cover the log with a damp paper towel, and let it rest for 5 minutes.

Cut the dough into 6 even pieces

Take each piece and gradually roll it until it is about 18 inches long.

Grab both ends of the 18 inch piece of dough, and twist one end around the other twice, to form the ears of the bunny. Make sure to leave a hole in the middle to place your Easter egg into.

Repeat above steps for all 6 pieces of dough, and then place the bunnies onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, or until the bunnies have become slightly golden brown.

To create a “wreath” shape as opposed to a bunny shape, simply cut your log into the same 6 even pieces. Roll out each piece until it is about 18 inches long and wrap 2 long pieces together around each other.

Continue to roll the 2 long pieces of dough until you have formed a circle or a “wreath”. Place an Easter egg at each rounded corner. Bake for the same amount of time.

Once the bunnies and wreaths have cooled for at least 1 hour, prepare the frosting. First mix together the butter and sugar with a mixer, and then gradually add the milk and vanilla into the butter mixture. Once a frosting consistency is achieved, frost the bunnies and wreaths with a knife and add sprinkles!

Enjoy!

Have a wonderful holiday!

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Is there anything specific that you cook or bake for Easter or any other holiday?

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Organization Techniques

Happy Friday! Words cannot explain my excitement for this weekend! Nothing special is going on, I actually don’t really have any plans at all, but you know what? That’s why I’m excited! It’s been a loooong week to say the least, and quite frankly I am really looking forward to some good ole’ down time with this little guy!

Breakfast

This morning I scarfed down the usual B-fast of choice, which is the same as yesterdays, and the day before that, and the day before that! I didn’t bother taking a photo because A) I forgot and B) I’m sure you can call make an educated guess on what it was! If are so inclined to see it, take a look at this post where you will find a few detailed photographs :)

Organization Techniques

Organization is not something that I struggle with, but I wouldn’t say it’s one of my strongest points either. The hardest part for me is usually to just to start organizing. Once I begin decluttering my bedroom, car, closet etc…I won’t stop until I am done, and everything looks perfect. For the most part I try to organize my bedroom 3-4x per week, my closet 1x per season, my car 1x per month, and my desk once every few months.  There’s really no rhyme or reason to the way I organize my things, I have my own method and it works for me!

I generally try to first thoroughly clean out whatever I am organizing by vacuuming, dusting and using disinfectants.  Then I proceed to put everything in some type of order. Sometimes I get frustrated and go on a “throwing away” rampage, where I throw out a bunch of papers, clothes and nick-knacks that I think I don’t need. Months later, I usually ending up re-buying whatever I threw out, because I find out that I actually do need it!  I have my mother to thank for this type of behavior, no hoarders in this household!

When it comes to organizing my recipes, I am at a loss for words. I have tried electronically storing them in a favorites folder on my computer, I have tried printing them out and putting them in a folder and I’ve also tried the whole recipe box thing. All of these methods worked for a little while, but then quickly faded away within a few months. The problem is that I have SO many recipes that I want to try, but I haven’t yet discovered a method to organize them in way that makes them easily accessible and pleasing to the eye. Any suggestions???

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I’m pretty much stumped! I am currently leaning towards creating a “recipe binder” like the one’s pictured below, where I would put my recipes into sheet protectors, and label them by categories. I am hoping that this will work because my current method (or lack there of) is down right BAD!

 

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It’s really annoying when I know I have a recipe that would be perfect for a certain occasion, but when it comes time to make it, I can’t find it! I either forgot the website, don’t know which magazine I ripped it out of or lost the piece of paper that I wrote it on! Any insight that you could give me on you organize your recipes would be much appreciated! Clearly I need some assistance in this area! Thanks! :)

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How do you organize your recipes?

Do you think that you are an organized person?

How often do you organize your room, closet, car, recipes etc ?

Have a GREAT weekend!

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