Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Williams-Sonoma Chocolate Pudding Pie

I love this pie! As most of you know, I am a preschool director.  We have a monthly birthday lunch where we all eat way yummy food and we eat way too much.  Susan is one of my four year old teachers. She made this yummy pie last month for Julie's birthday.  I LOVED it.  Some of the teachers thought it was really rich - not me!  I could have eaten half the pie but I did limit myself to a few bites.  I made it a few weeks ago when my girls were home from college.  They loved it too. This would be a great pie for your next family gathering or holiday!

Please visit the Williams-Sonoma website  - their pie is way prettier than mine!

Williams-Sonoma Chocolate Pudding Pie

For the Cookie Crumb Crust:

1 1/4 cups cookie crumbs, graham crackers, chocolate wafers or ginger snaps (I used Oreo crumbs)
5 Tbsp.  unsalted butter (I used salted - it is what I had)
3 Tbsp. sugar

Preheat oven to 350.  In a bowl, combine crumbs, butter and sugar.  Stir until crumbs are well moistened.  Pat the mixture firmly and evenly into the bottom and all the up the sides of a 9-inch pie pan or dish.  Bake until the crust is firm - about 5 minutes.  I like a crunchy crust.  For a firmer crust, bake 5 minutes more.

For the Filling:

2 1/2 cups milk
5 oz. semi-sweet chocolate, chopped into slivers
4 egg yolks
3/4 cup sugar
3 Tbsp corn starch
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

In a heavy non-aluminum saucepan over low heat, warm together the milk and the chocolate, whisking until the chocolate is melted; the mixture will be speckled.

In a bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar.  Add the cornstarch and salt, then vanilla - whisk until well blended.  Slowly pour the warm chocolate mixture into the yolk mixture, whisking constantly until well blended.  Return the mixture to the saucepan and cook over medium heat until it thickens and begins to bubble slowly, at least 6 - 8 minutes.  Remove from heat and stir until smooth, about 1 minute.

Pour the filling into the crumb crust and smooth with a spatula.  Cover with plastic wrap, pressing it directly onto the surface, and refrigerate until completely cold and firm, 2 - 3 hours.

For the Topping:

1 cup heavy cream
1 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract

Using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat together the cream, sugar and vanilla until a stiff peak forms.  Spread the whipped cream on top of the pie.  *Decorate with chocolate curls. Refrigerate until ready to serve, but let the pie stand at room temperature for 20 minutes before serving to take the chill off.

*To make decorative chocolate curls, wrap a medium-size chunk of semi-sweet chocolate in plastic wrap.  Rub the wrapped chocolate between your hands for 1 -2 minutes to warm it; the chocolate should not melt.  For large chunks, microwave on low 5 seconds.  Unwrap the chocolate and, using a vegetable peeler, slowly and evenly scrape the edge of the chunk until curls form.  If the chocolate is cold, the peeler will make ragged shavings rather than curls.

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Monday, September 21, 2015

Crab Canapes

Some girlfriends and I hosted a wedding shower yesterday for another girlfriend's daughter.  It was such a lovely day!   I am blessed to have these amazing ladies in my life.  They are friends from church.   I have known them since right after we moved to Omaha.   They are such talented, loving, fun, Christian women!

They shower was such fun.  We had a simple menu but it was perfect for a Sunday afternoon.  Our friend, Sue, is amazing at presentation.  We had simple food... but her presentation was beautiful!

We had veggies, fruit, a variety of gourmet cupcakes, Fruit Tea and these Crab Canapes. The fruit tea is a tasty recipe - perfect for showers or any gathering.  I made it ahead and stored it in gallon water jugs.  

I have had this recipe for years.  Nancy is a friend of my moms....and a great cook.  She served these at a shower for me years ago.  The best part about the Crab Canapes is you can make them in advance and keep them in the freezer. They are perfect to have on hand when you need a quick appetizer.

Crab Canapes

1 can fancy or lump crab meat
1 stick butter, softened
1 small jar Kraft Old English cheese spread
1/2 tsp seasoned salt
1 1/2 tsp mayonnaise
6 English Muffins, split open

Mix first five ingredients and spread evenly over the 12 muffin halves.  Freeze muffin halves on a cookie sheet for an hour or so or until frozen.  Take muffin halves out and cut each half into fourths. Put the quarters in a sealed container and store in the freezer until ready to use.  Broil five minutes or bake ten minutes at 375.  *I have even done a bake/broil combination.

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Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Confetti Pasta Salad

YAY - another yummy pasta salad!  I planned on making this before taking my girls to college but I just got too busy.   My talented hubby grilled ribs for yesterday so I made this pasta salad.  I think it is the first thing I have made since taking the girls to college.  Chris and I just don't eat a lot.  I think I have roasted asparagus, made a few salads, microwaved some rice - to go along with grilled meat, etc. Kind of boring cooking these days!

I loved this veggie filled salad.  The dressing and the added dill made for a delightful side dish! 

Confetti Pasta Salad (adapted from Southern Living

8 oz uncooked small shell pasta
1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
2 cups coarsely chopped spinach
1 yellow bell pepper, chopped (I did some yellow and orange)
1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
3 Tbsp chopped fresh dill (or less to taste)
4 oz crumbled feta cheese

Lemon Vinaigrette

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 tsp dijon mustard
1 large garlic clove, minced
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 cup oil ( I used olive oil)

Mix dressing and set aside.  Cook pasta according to directions, drain and cool.  I usually toss my hot pasta with a little olive oil to keep it from sticking.  Toss cooled pasta with all chopped ingredients. Cover and chill up to 8 hours.  Add feta cheese just before serving.  

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Caramelized Onion Dip

What a great summer!  I loved having all three of our girls home!  We just took all three to Baylor this past weekend.  Annie is a senior, Jenna is junior and Meg is a freshman.  I love that they are all at Baylor and I love that they are together.  I was telling friends today that I have a serious case of FOMO - "Fear of Missing Out".  I love they are together.  Annie cooked everyone dinner Sunday night before they walked to find their classes.  As a mom, I LOVE that!  I am just so excited for them and I know God has amazing plans for all three!

Meg in her dorm room at Baylor 

I enjoyed cooking different fun, new recipes this summer.  I didn't think we had as many family "sit-down" meals as I had hoped but it was all good.  I will try to keep posting on occasion.  I need to eat healthier so I will try to find some new, yummy, healthy recipes to share.

We were going to a friend's pool to swim the week before the girls left.  I didn't have much time and needed a quick appetizer.  I had all of these ingredients on hand.  And wow, we loved it.  This Caramelized Onion Dip from was the bomb.

Caramelized Onion Dip (adapted from

2 Tbsp butter
2 medium onions, thinly sliced
kosher salt and black pepper
1  8 oz. bar cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup sour cream
2 Tbsp chopped fresh chives
Potato and vegetable chips for dipping

Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-low heat.  Add the onions and 1/2 tsp kosher salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until deep golden brow, 30 - 35 minutes.  Remove from heat and let cool.  In a medium bowl, mix together the onions, cream cheese, sour cream chives, 1/4 tsp salt and 1/8 tsp pepper.  Serve with chips.

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