Thursday, December 3, 2015

Peppermint Ice Cream & Brownie Pie

Chocolate and peppermint is one of my favorite combinations anytime of the year, but particularly around the holidays. They just pair with one another so well and get me all kinds of holly jolly and in the mood to decorate and celebrate the season with my friends. Or you know, curled up by myself watching a Hallmark Christmas movie. If you are looking for a simple and yummy dessert, this peppermint ice cream and brownie pie is divine and will wow everyone. 

It took me a little less than half an hour to make this and pop it into the freezer, I made it for a party that I was going to last week and only had about a 3 hour notice. I was skimming the aisles trying to think of what to make when I noticed the peppermint ice cream was on sale and voila, this version of my peanut butter ice cream pie was the first thing I thought of. 

It is now officially one of my favorites and I am already looking forward to making it for another gathering this weekend. Can you believe we are already in December?! I can't get over how time flies. I am not even close to being done with my shopping so having a simple dessert that I don't have to spend a lot of time on is perfect for me right now!

Peppermint and Ice Cream Brownie Pie

1 pint peppermint ice cream
2-3 cups chopped brownie pieces
oreo pie crust
chocolate sauce

When you are ready to make, set out the ice cream for about half an hour. While you are waiting for the ice cream to soften, go about chopping the brownie pieces. The first few times I made a pie with brownie pieces, I made my own brownies and chopped them up. The last two times I didn't have the available time to make my own brownies so I purchased pre made brownie bites ( you can usually find them in the bakery area of your grocery store) If you do make them yourself, if you are as big a fan of peppermint as I am, you may want to add peppermint andes or some form of peppermint to give your pie even more flavor. 

Once you have chopped the brownies and the ice cream is softened, you are ready to go.  Lay the brownie pieces into the bottom of the oreo crust, reserving some for the top of the pie. You can add chocolate sauce here if you would like. Using a spoon, scoop large amounts of the ice cream on top of the brownie pieces. Use a small spatula to smooth the ice cream and fill to edges. Sprinkle the remaining brownie pieces on top of the ice cream and finish the pie with the sauce. 

Place in the freezer for 2 to 3 hours or until frozen through. 

Friday, November 27, 2015

Prosciutto, Apple, Goat Cheese & Cider Sauce Flat Bread

The name may be a mouthful, but since it will be a rather delicious one, it shouldn't be a problem. I just love the combo of prosciutto, apples, and goat cheese. I made a grilled cheese with these ingredients last year and I knew I wanted to make a similar flat bread version this year. I was not disappointed. 

This flat bread is super simple to put together and every bite is packed full of flavor. These ingredients just pair so well with one another. This could be a simple week night dinner or you could whip one up as an appetizer when you have company. 

I made this with puff pastry, but you could easily swap it out for pizza dough. 

Puff pastry (thawed)
1 granny smith apple (sliced)
4 -6 oz goat cheese 
4-6 pieces of prosciutto (sliced thin)

Whiskey Cider Sauce
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup apple cider
1 oz bourbon
1 tbsp spicy brown sugar
1 tsp chili powder

On a pizza pan, lay the puff pastry. Use your fingers to smooth it out. Liberally top the puff pastry with the prosciutto, apples and, goat cheese crumbles. Pre heat the oven and start the sauce.   In a small sauce pan, place all remaining ingredients. Turn heat on high and whisk continuously, until sauce begins to bubble. Lower heat to medium and continue to whisk until it begins to thicken. Once it has thickened, using a spoon, ladle the sauce over the top of the pizza. 

This is a dish that you need to pay attention to. I have made in three separate stoves and each stove had a completely different baking time. I would say about 15-20 minutes. Just make sure to put your eyes on it at about the 15 minute mark to make sure it hasn't begun to burn. Once the pastry is a nice golden brown, the flat bread is ready. 

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Pumpkin Spice & Butterscotch Monkey Bread

I am sure most of you have seen the videos going around on facebook for monkey bread. Every time I see one my mouth begins to water. Doesn't matter how many years I have been making these. Doesn't matter if I had just eaten one the night before, every. single. time. I see the videos I must have monkey bread. It is so easy to make. It is so delicious. It always looks incredible. Heck, it always tastes incredible. Plus, you can make so many versions. One version I have for you today is pumpkin spice monkey bread with butterscotch sauce and heath bar bits. It is so delicious and was a complete hit at the birthday party when I served it. 


3 to 4 tubes refrigerated biscuits

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 tbsp pumpkin spice

1/2 tbsp cinnamon

1/3 cup butterscotch sauce

1/2 cup heath bar bits

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a bundt pan. Cut each biscuit into quarters.  Dump the sugar, pumpkin spice, and cinnamon in a large ziplock. Add in the biscuit pieces and shake to coat. Drop the pieces in the coated bundt pan and fill about a third the way full.  Cover with half the heath bar pieces and butterscotch sauce. Fill the pan with the rest of the biscuit pieces, aiming sure to not fill more than 3/4 of the way full. Then use remaining heath bar pieces and pour the remaining butterscotch sauce over the biscuits, doing your best to cover as many pieces as possible.  You can always use more butterscotch sauce if you feel it needs it. This is a recipe that you really can't mess up. Do your thang now. 

bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes until edges are a nice and crusty and don't forget gooey!

After it cools for about half an hour, place a plate over the bundt pan and slowly turn over to release the monkey bread. This is when you sneak a few bites in when no one is looking. Go ahead, I won't tell. 

Also, am I the only one who thinks of My Big Fat Greek Wedding every single time I type bundt pan? There is a new one coming out in the spring, I can't wait to watch it. Preferably while I am eating this;)

If you can't get enough of the butterscotch, pumpkin, and heath bar combo, check out my other blog for this yummy donut hole recipe. 

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Dark & Stormier

One of the few cocktails that my husband and I both enjoy are Dark & Stormys. They are very simple to make and while you can enjoy them all year round, I particularity like them in the fall. The spice just seems to warm you right up. 

I began trying to think of ways to put a twist on this classic and there really wasn't too much I wanted to do differently as it's quite delicious on its own. This cocktail only consists of two ingredients: ginger beer and spiced rum. What exactly can you do to mix it up? Enter Ginger cider and it keeps what makes it so delicious with just the slightest differential. 

If you can't find ginger cider, you could just use equal parts ginger beer and apple cider. I really like how the ginger cider tastes though. It isn't too overwhelming and you get the perfect balance of apples and ginger, two of my absolute favorite flavors. 

I made these for a get together and my pictures really didn't turn out and my friends really didn't want to wait for me to get that perfect shot. Blogger fail or a sign of a good time;) But I wanted to include a photo of a proper Dark and Stormy just so you could get an idea of what the layering effect looks like. I took this photo at my birthday dinner at one of my favorite local places, Driftwood Southern Kitchen. 

The ingredients may be a little different but the premise is really the same. I hope you try this cocktail and love it as much as I do.

Dark & Stormier

4.5 oz ginger beer
1.5 oz Dark Rum
lime wedge

You can totally just dump these in a glass and enjoy or to get the layering effect, pour the ginger beer in first and then add in the rum. 

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Pumpkin Chicken Chili

Chicken chili is one of my favorite meals. It is so simple to put together, there are so many different versions you can make to mix it up. lets me use my favorite kitchen appliance: my crockpot! I will take any excuse to use the crockpot. I love coming home from a long day out and the aromas of dinner greeting me as I open the door. 

This particular version is great for fall and I actually have made it a couple different ways (mainly due to not always being able to find the different ingredients) and I will list my favorite first and then give you the substitution ideas in case you can't locate them all.  Pumpkin just adds a layer of flavor that takes this dish to another level. 

I stock up each September when the salsas come out just so I can make this year round. I love it that much. 

Pumpkin Chicken Chili

1 lb boneless chicken breast
1 jar pumpkin salsa
1 can black beans
1 small bag frozen corn
1 packet chili seasoning
6 oz pumpkin beer
2-4 oz chicken stock

avocados/sour cream/cheese and anything you like to top your chili with.

Place the chicken, salsa, beans and corn in your slow cooker/crockpot and then top with the packet of chili seasoning. Pour the beer and chicken stock over the ingredients and stir together, just to combine. Cook on low for 6-8 hours. 

And depending upon how long you will be away from home and how much liquid this soaks up, you may want to add more beer or chicken stock. Just eyeball what you think. I have used as much as a whole bottle of beer and as little as 5 oz. So much of this depends upon the type of cooker you have, more liquid will always be better than burned!

If you can't locate the pumpkin salsa ( I have found it at Aldi, Trader Joes and Fresh Market) Use 1/2 cup pumpkin puree and any kind of salsa you prefer.

linking up with freedom fridays

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Big Apple Bites

Every few years my husband sends me to NYC for culinary classes. This year it was at the famed International Culinary Center. After going back and forth for months over which class I was going to take, I chose french pastries and the class was held the last weekend of July. 

The city is one of my absolute favorite places and I think I probably know it better than Raleigh. There is nothing better to me than being able to go and really have no set plans (minus the obvious reason I came, but that was only for 6 hours out of 5 days;) and just being able to wander and find spots to stop in when the urge hit me. 

This trip I stayed with one of my good friends, Allie at her apartment in the East Village. It was really fun to experience the city though her eyes this time because just four years ago I played tour guide for her and took her all around on her first trip to the city. We did no touristy things because she lives there and I have done them all ten fold. So we basically ate our way through the city and these were my favorite goodies from the weekend. 

 an amazing cinnamon sugar donut from Dough. Oh my gosh! So tasty!
A pork taco from Los Tacos in Chelsea Market. 
These came! That's right, these are what I made in my class. it was such a cool experience and I can't wait to try my hand at making them on my own here at home!

 No questions asked...other than Italy, best pasta I have ever had. And I am still not over the shock that it cost 26 bucks for this, a pitcher of sangria and a fried eggplant appetizer. Hello, EV. I heart you. This was at San Marzano. I will be back!
Fried Cheese curds in buffalo sauce. Look at that view! Smorgasbord festival was beyond what I imagined!
 Yummy taco! It was one of the better tacos I have ever had! I want one now.
 This was some fried macaroni and tomato sauce concotion. It was ok, not my favorite, but other people were falling over themselves for it so I think it was just me. hahaha
 This place was such a good find and let me tell you about their truffle macaroni...Yum!
 I had to have Korean Fried Chicken as it is one of my favorite things. I found this cool spot in Koreatown called Turntable and I had to climb the darkest, seediest staircase I have ever been on to get upstairs. It was really cool. I thought it was good but quite honestly...the one in Raleigh is still the best I have been to in the country;)
 Happy hour and a rooftop bar are bacically the quickerst way to my heart. I really liked this small pub in midtown. When we are back next month for a wedding, I discovered this place is about 2 blocks from our hotel. 

 My last stop in the city was to meet up with a friend to have drinks and chat, she chose this place near her office. I got to play Ms Pac-Man so basically my life was complete. 

There was also the best bagel of my life (with birthday cake cream cheese) macaron ice cream sandwich, and a bar that specialized in pretzels...all not shown because I was too busy stuffing my face to snap good pictures. 

linking up with Wanderlust Wednesday

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Red Velvet Mudslide

If there is one drink that I am known for making (other than anything involving bourbon!) it is probably a mudslide. I've made a caramel one, a butterbeer one and the list could go on. It is pretty much one of my favorites. This particular version I made the first time a few years ago. After a few go rounds, I think I have perfected it. 

Or at least perfected it to my taste...and isn't that what matters;)

I figured that Valentine's was the perfect time to debut the final go round. or really, 365 days a year is probably just as good a time as any to indulge in anything with the name red velvet it it. 

It is rather sweet and adding the baileys and kahlua do nothing to help out with this. So, if you are not a lover of the sweets, save yourself and do not attempt to drink this delicious concoction at all. 

That just means more for me!

Red Velvet Mudslide

2 large scoops Red Velvet Ice Cream

1 oz Baileys

1 oz Kahlua

1/2 oz whipped vodka

Place in a blender with a small amount of ice and blend. I have discovered that sometimes I need to add ice cream to make it thicker or add some cream (or more booze!) to make it more of a drink. 
This is soley based on your discretion and you really can't go wrong. 

Also, the second time I made this I used bourbon instead of vodka. 

All I can say is "Come to Mamma!"

and I used Ben and Jerry's red velvet.

linking up with Kristin