No Bake Peanut Butter Pie

Monday, November 30, 2009

This recipe is RIDICULOUS. Easy. Amazing. Hands down, this was a heavy favorite from all 13 guests we had for Thanksgiving. Which is saying a lot since we also had: Fried Turkey (awesome hubby's recipe), Mashed Potatoes, a TO DIE FOR Sweet Potato Souffle, Cornbread Stuffing, Fresh Cranberry Sauce, Giblet Gravy...etc, etc, etc.

Here's what I used:

8 oz Cream Cheese
1 1/2 cups Confectioners/Powdered Sugar
1 cup Milk
1 cup Peanut Butter (creamy or crunchy -I used Jif Creamy)
16 oz Frozen Whipped Topping (Cool Whip), thawed
2 graham cracker pie crusts

***Note to the health conscious: all ingredients can be subbed for their low-fat or no-sugar counterpart. I.e. - Skim Milk, Splenda, Fat Free Cool Whip, etc. I have heard these also taste very good!!

Here's what I did:

I used my Kitchen Aid electric stand mixer, but a hand mixer works too. First I whipped my cream cheese and powdered sugar together - it helps to let the cream cheese soften on the counter for a bit, so take it out of the fridge early... Then I added the milk and peanut butter and whipped all ingredients together until smooth. Then I tasted some. MMMmmmm. I digress.

Then with a spatula, I gently folded in the whipped topping until all ingredients were incorporated, and poured the mix into the pie crusts.

I made these a day ahead, so I froze them overnight and took them out just before serving. They are the consistency of a very light ice cream cake, so they don't stay frozen for very long. The recipe calls for 3 hours of freeze time though, so it can be made a little ahead of a dinner party, etc.

I can't describe the deliciousness and SIMPLEness of this recipe. It sort of defies logic. Something this good should be VERY hard to least that would make it easier for me to NOT make this every day...

Mustard Crusted Steak with Lemon Asparagus and Brown Rice

Thursday, November 19, 2009

This is another South Beach recipe that I like. Similar to a brisket, round steak is a relatively inexpensive cut of meat that when marinated, cooked and cut properly really has all the appeal as an expensive filet or strip steak.

Mustard Crusted Steak

Here's what I used:

1.5 lb round steak/london broil
2 tbsp whole-seed dijon mustard
2 tsp dry mustard powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground black pepper
2 tbsp worchestershire sauce

Here's what I did:

Mix all wet/dry ingredients together to make a sauce. Place meat on a foil-lined cookie sheet and cover meat surface with a thin, even layer of mustard sauce. Broil steak for 4 minutes per side on 2nd to highest oven rack, then allow to rest for 5 minutes, loosely tented with foil.

After allowing to rest, move steak to a cutting board, and cut into thin (1/8"ish) slices, widthwise. Once sliced, scoop remaining mustard sauce off of the cookie sheet, and spread among the tops of all slices of meat and serve.

Lemon Asparagus & Brown Rice

Here's what I used:

1 bunch asparagus spears, ends snapped off & rinsed
1/2 lemon, juice
1 tbsp butter

2 cups quick-cook brown rice
1 3/4 cups water
1 tbsp butter
S, P & Garlic Powder

Here's what I did:

Following ratio for rice/water on quick cook brown rice box, brought water to a boil and then added rice. Simmered 5 minutes (or as directed) and then added butter and seasoning then fluffed with a fork and allowed to sit away from heat for another 5. *I had to add a little bit more water at the end and let cook another few minutes to get a softer consistency.

While cooking the rice, I added my asparagus and enough water for all spears to float and brought to a simmer. I cooked asparagus spears until barely fork tender, as we like them with a little bite to them. Drained off water and seasoned with S, P, butter and lemon juice.

For plating, I added the brown rice first, then laid 1/2 asparagus spears overtop the rice and drizzled a little bit of the butter/lemon juice over top. Then I added several slices of meat to the other side of the plate.

Reviews. Meat was good, sauce is a little zippy. Asparagus were really yummy. Hubbs went to bed early, but despite feeling sick and tired, I don't think that it had ANYTHING to do with my cooking!! ;)

Spinach and Goat Cheese Stuffed Chicken Breasts & Mashed Turnips

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Life has been crazy lately. Work has blown up, and so creative meals have lately become slim in my home. BUT, this past Saturday I DID put together a recipe and shopping list completely comprised of recipes from my South Beach Cookbook.

The one I made last night was easily one of the most tasty and succulent chicken recipes I've ever made. Sooo juicy and oozing melted goat cheese. YUMM.

Spinach and Goat Cheese Stuffed Chicken Breasts

Here's what I used:

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
4 oz goat cheese
1/2 lb. fresh spinach, stems removed
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 tbsp olive oil

Here's what I did:

Preheated oven to 400 degrees.

First I rinsed my chicken breasts and patted them dry. Then I cut a pocket into the side of each breast with a sharp paring knife, 1" from the back and sides of breast, but deep enough to fit my filling. I seasoned the inside and outside (both sides) with salt and pepper.

Next, I added 2 tbsp of olive oil into a skillet, and added my garlic. I let the garlic cook for about a minute on medium heat, until fragrant, and then added the spinach leaves. I allowed the leaves to wilt and turn dark, about 6-8 minutes, stirring regularly to allow all leaves to heat up.

Once my spinach was wilted, I brought my skillet over to the counter and divided it into two portions. Using my kitchen tongs, I added 1/2 of the spinach to each chicken breast pocket. Then I cut the goat cheese into several 1/8" or so slices, and added that on top of the spinach in the pocket. Finally, I pressed the top of the pocket down firmly over the filling to meld the ingredients together.

Reusing the same skillet as before, I added the remaining 2 tbsp of olive oil on medium-high heat. I carefully added the chicken breasts to the skillet, careful to keep ingredients together in the chicken. Cooked the chicken for 3 minutes per side, and then placed them on a foil-lined cookie sheet. Then placed the sheet in the oven for 8-10 minutes.

If you like to use a thermometer, the chicken breast should register at about 160 degrees. Allowing it to rest outside of the oven, it will still cook a few more minutes, and the juices will remain in the bird.

Mashed Turnips

Here's what I used:

3 turnips, skinned and cubed
1/4 cup mexican cheese blend
1/4 cup fat free (or regular) sour cream
S, P & Garlic Powder

Here's what I did:

Added cubed turnips to large pot of boiling water. Allowed to cook until fork tender, about 15 minutes or so. Drained and set back on stove top to evaporate any remaining water off turnip cubes. Added cheese, sour cream and seasonings and then mashed liberally with a potato masher. Alternately, you could mash with the bottom of a drinking glass or use a food processor to reach desired consistency. I like a slightly chunky texture, so I did about 15-20 good mashes, and then allowed more liquid to cook off. After about 10 minutes on low heat, most of the turnip liquid had cooked off.

I didn't tell my husband what this was. I think he assumed lumpy potatoes. I KNEW if I told him they were turnips he wouldn't eat them!! So instead he said "what is this? its good!" I laughed and told him turnips. He didn't even know what they were - but that would have been enough for him to NOT eat them.

Review wise, this one was strong. We both commented that the moisture in the chicken easily rivalled a great restaurant, and definitely beat most. There is such a fear of undercooking chicken that it is often overcooked, stringy and dry. Not these bird boobs. They were awesome. And the goat cheese oozed out with the delicately garlic flavored fresh spinach. Very, very good.

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