Easter Menu

Easter is upon us.

I am not ready whatsoever. Graduate school is kicking my butt, however I’ll be down to one internship in the summer so I should be less frazzled.

I have been racking my brain for the last few days about what to eat on the day the prodigal son rose. Bryan hates ham so the traditional Easter meal will never happen in this household.

I also wanted to make something easy since it’s just the two of us. Last year I didn’t even remotely got within the same room as what I had planned to cooked. It’s the overachiever in me.

Also, the gluten free thing makes things a wee bit harder. I have like 9 pie crusts and puff pastry in my freezer. So one of the desserts will not be gluten free.

So completely not traditional, and quick and easy,  and remotely gluten free. Sounds complex somehow.

Easter Menu

MAIN
Sausage, beans, and rice
Corn on the cob

DESSERT

Strawberry and creme pie – not gluten free
Greek custard.

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Reindeer Chow (Peanut Butter and Nutella Muddy Buddies)

When I found this recipe last year, Family Christmas had already come and gone. Don’t get me wrong, the Hot Cocoa Ornaments were amazing and everyone loved them. But since two of Bryan’s siblings live 5 hours away, I really wanted to prepare a little snack for them for the ride home.

But that’s okay, because I didn’t know about the gift wrapped pringles can until this year.

Before I made these, Mumika told me something that boiled my blood for two days straight. I couldn’t focus on Christmas Eve and Christmas Dinner, I was so pissed. I mean, who does that and I had showed her what I was making. But when the time came, it was no where to be found.

As it turned out, my mother in law was making a different chex mix for the kids to munch on. A more savory version and forgot to put it out. When she said she had added Worcestershire sauce to hers, I automatically knew which version she was making. Mumika must have misunderstood her or something.

By the time I had made these little mx of awesomeness, I didn’t care that much. Why? Because they came out awesome.

Originally I was going to make two completely different batches and mix them together before putting them in the canisters. But then I realized, that was too much of a hassle and ended up making something completely different.

I made peanut butter and nutella muddy buddies. It was pure and utter genius.

reindeer chow

Reindeer Chow(Peanut Butter and Nutella Muddy Buddies)

10 cups chex mix (corn or rice or a combo)
10 ounces of dark chocolate chips
1/2 cup Nutella
1/2 cup peanut butter
5 tablespoons butter
12 ounces green and red M&Ms
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups powdered sugar

Directions

Melt the peanut butter, nutella, and butter in a microwave safe dish.

Microwave in 15 second intervals until butter is melted. Stir each time

Add the chocolate and continue 15 second intervals of microwaving until all is melted into the mix.

Continue stirring at each interval.

Add the vanilla and stir together.

In a large bowl add the cereal and pour chocolate peanut butter nutella mixture over it.

Mix with a spoon.

In a large paper bag, place the powdered sugar.

Pour the chex mixture into the paper bag.

Close the bag and shake it until the powdered sugar has coated the chex mix evenly.

Add the M&Ms and shake it..

Makes 20 servings. Or Four Canisters. Per serving/canister.

OMG, it tastes amazing. It’s really interesting because when you take your first bite, you taste the nutella and as you keep chewing the peanut butter comes out.

Also I reduced pretty much everything – the powdered sugar, the chex, the chocolate.

By keeping the peanut butter, you get some protein in there.

One of my sister in laws called it crack. Which it is. She would give one of her sons a few pieces as she ate the chex mix. When he popped the first square she gave him, his head moved back in pure euphoria and he said “mmmmm” and demanded more.

Adults and children alike will love this. Both kid and mom tested and approved.

My mother in law later told me everyone loved the gift, which made me happy. Bryan and I don’t have a lot of money to spend on our seven nephews, so I figured food would be the best bet. Just watching that one nephew’s reaction made me feel like I did enough even though he got a BB gun, toys, candy, books, and a skateboard from the rest of the family.

But then again, you’re talking to a girl that went all EEEE! when Mumika gave her a huge box of walker shortbread for Christmas one year.

It really is the little things.

Chocolate Rice Krispie Treats

Last week I bought me a box of rice krispie treats. Not the best thing to buy diabetic wise but it’s only like 90 calories and I have no clue what the carb count is.

Hold on.

17 grams of carbs, 8 grams of sugar. Bloody hell. And I just looked at the ingredients *hangs her head in shame*.

Ingredients: TOASTED RICE CEREAL (RICE, SUGAR, SALT, MALT FLAVORING, NIACINAMIDE, REDUCED IRON, RIBOFLAVIN [VITAMIN B2], FOLIC ACID), MARSHMALLOW (CORN SYRUP, SUGAR, GELATIN, NATURAL AND ARTIFICIAL FLAVOR), FRUCTOSE, MARGARINE (VEGETABLE OIL [SOYBEAN AND PALM OIL WITH TBHQ FOR FRESHNESS], WATER, NATURAL AND ARTIFICIAL BUTTER FLAVOR [CONTAINS MILK], DATEM, ACETYLATED MONOGLYCERIDES, BHT FOR FRESHNESS, VITAMIN A PALMITATE, VITAMIN D), CORN SYRUP SOLIDS, CONTAINS TWO PERCENT OR LESS OF DEXTROSE, GLYCERIN, SALT, NIACINAMIDE, PYRIDOXINE HYDROCHLORIDE (VITAMIN B6), THIAMIN HYDROCHLORIDE (VITAMIN B1), RIBOFLAVIN (VITAMIN B2), SOY LECITHIN.

That’s a mouthful. Why is there fructose if there’s sugar in the marshmallow and the rice cereal? Why do they use margarine and then add an artificial butter flavor? So many questions.

Completely beside the point- where was I?

So bought a box of these evil artificial gooey chalk full of ingredient if you can even call them ingredients more like chemicals I can’t pronounce, and my husband ate 2 of them!

I buy him his own snacks. Snacks that I won’t even touch mind you and without fail he dips into my snacks of applesauce and granola bars. Every. Single. Time. Then he takes chocolate chips and smushes them into the rice krispie treat and proceeds to tell me he wants homemade ones with chocolate chips in them. I double check to make sure he wants the chocolate chips in them and not smushed on top.

And then I go out and buy the ingredients after doing some research on how to make these bloody things.

Then I make them, and the whole thing goes to hell. The recipe I found lied to me so I ended up with chocolate rice krispie treats. That’s right, I just rolled with the punches and was all, I totally meant to do that when I really didn’t and I’m mad that I didn’t catch the lie in time.

Sometimes, I’m forgetful. I blame the blonde in me. I’m a coconut. Brunette on the outside, total blonde on the inside. If putting something that melts in a heated contraption with hot food inside, it’s going to melt. Of course it’s going to melt! What the hell was I thinking?!?!? Oh right, I wasn’t.

So the chocolate chips melted on me. And after completely making the whole thing, I realized A) there was no way I was going to get chocolate chips in the mixture without them melting and B) how on earth do Moms make this shit by themselves? Getting the mixture out of the pot is a two person effort with one of them using insulated gloves. What.The.Hell. It’s madness.

Something tells me, I might not make them until I have kids. And I have 1/4 of the box left. Bryan will totally eat them except we don’t have milk. Damnit! Damn it all to hell.

What this recipe is, in reality, is a good base for when you want you use lucky charms, trix, fruity pebbles, fruit loops, basically any sugary cereal that isn’t rice krispies and make a cereal snack bar out of it.

Other than that, it’s pointless. Unless you have kids. Or a 31 year old who thinks he’s 5.

On the other hand, if you want to make the chocolate version of the vanilla version and don’t feel like paying an extra 10 cents for the chocolate rice krispies and happen to have chocolate chips at home, this recipe is right up your alley. See how I did that, making lemonade out of those evil tart lemons that I want to throw at the wall.
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Chocolate Rice Krispies Treats

6 cups Rice Krispies cereal
40 marshmallow
3 tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

Directions

In a large saucepan, melt the butter on low.

Once butter is melted, add marshmallows and stir until marshmallows are completely melted.

Stir in vanilla.

Dump cereal into sauce pan and mix into the marshmallows.

Add the chocolate chip and mix until well incorporated.

Dump cereal mixture onto a sprayed 9X13 cookie sheet and press down to even the mixture out with wax paper.

Let it cool down before cutting into bars.

Makes 24. Per bar. Calories: 104, Carbohydrates: 19 grams, Sugar: 12 grams.

Not bad considering I added chocolate to the mix. The recipe called for 1 cup of mini chocolate chips. Yeah, that is totally not going to happen. If they were normal sized, maybe, but minis, that is too much.

Next time, which probably won’t be for a year, I’ll make a normal rice krispie treat and smush mini chocolate chips in it. Yeah.

Millionaire Pie

Tuesday was my boss’ birthday and she had one request from me. To make this pie.

I showed her the pie the week before during my random scour the inter webs and Facebook for new recipes. When she asked me what it would taste like and I told her fruit ambrosia, her eyes lit up.

“That’s what I want for my birthday.”

If I cook something I think she will like, I usually bring a sample of it to her. So she knows I’m good. She’s also closed the spa down for her birthday. How could I say no? Besides, I get a slice. I can’t say no to a slice of yummy pie.

She also made me tweak the recipe to her liking. I reduced the pineapple from 20 ounces down to 8 ounces and up the coconut from a cup to 1 1/2 cups.

Right before I put the pie in the fridge, I took a picture of it and texted it to her. “I can taste it already!” was her reply.

The pie is like a fruit ambrosia. Except there isn’t any marshmallows or sour cream. And it is a no bake. No bakes make everything better.

Something tells me this is definitely not a diabetic friendly.

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Millionaire Pie

Graham cracker crust
1 cup maraschino cherries, patted dry and chopped
1 tablespoon maraschino cherry juice
4 tablespoons lemon juice
1 1/2 cups shredded coconut
8 oz can crushed pineapple, drained
1/4 cup pecans, chopped
1 can of sweetened condensed milk
1 1/2 cups cool whip

Directions

Mix together cherries, cherry juice, lemon juice, pecans, pineapple, coconut, and sweetened condensed milk.

Gently fold in cool whip.

Pour filling into graham cracker crust and refrigerate for at least 3 hours.

Makes 12. Calories: 317, Carbohydrates: 39 grams, Sugar: 32 grams, Fiber:  2 grams, Protein: 4 grams.

This is a surprising light pie. It reminds you of summer in every bite. The sweetness in not overly baring. But it is definitely, a one slice is enough. You will not go back for more. And it really isn’t diabetic friendly. So if you want to try it, get a sliver.

I’m happy we lowered the amount of pineapple in it. Everything seems balanced. Each bite becomes a surprise on what flavor or flavors are going to burst through the fluffy sweet whipped creaminess.

Honestly, it sort of tasted like a pina colada with whip cream and a cherry on top that you get in Puerto Rico.

My boss liked it though. That’s all that matters.

No Bake Strawberry Pie

I love it when I ask Bryan if he liked something I make and he says, “It’s okay.” Two seconds later, he’s asking for more.

Why do you want more if it’s merely okay?

I still remember when I was introduced to strawberry pie. It wasn’t this pie, it was one of those baked strawberry pies. One of my best guy friends (who as all teenage girls, I was in love with – my first love actually) was leaving for DC for a week and decided to bring a pie over before he left. We ended up spending 2 hours on the back patio eating this strawberry pie. And it was amazing. The pie was, not the whole scenario because it pretty much was what we did every night for 2 years except we happened to have pie that night.

I still have no clue why he brought the pie. However, ever since that night, strawberry pie is by far my favorite. If there’s a strawberry pie on a menu anywhere (except House of Pies in Houston), I have to try it. My only problem with strawberry pies is that they taste weird when baked. The flavor gets all mushy and muted and a little chemically. In fact, it reminds me of artificial and chemically enhanced strawberry flavors they use in everything – powerade, mio, candy, snow cones, syrup, etc.

I cut the extra sugar down to 1/4 cup. There’s bloody jello in it! And fresh strawberries! Why would I add extra sugar?!?!?! Sometimes recipes do not make sense and I swear the primary purpose is to rot your teeth.

And then I made this pie. It fixed everything baked strawberry pies ruin. So fuck baked, go with no baked…but only with strawberries.

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No Bake Strawberry Pie

A 9 inch pie crust (you can make your own, I just haven’t gotten around making my own)
1 cup water
1/4 cup sugar
1 pint strawberries, sliced and hulled
1/4 cup strawberry jello
3 tablespoons cornstarch

Directions

Bake crust according to directions. Leave out to cool.

In a small saucepan, mix the water, sugar, strawberry jello, and cornstarch under medium heat. Stir frequently to prevent scorching or clumping.

Continue stirring until the glaze starts to boil. Immediately remove from heat and allow to cool.

Stir occasionally as the glaze cools down. The glaze will thicken up a little bit and take on a more translucent reddish pink color.

Dump the sliced strawberries into the cooled pie crust. Pour the glaze over the strawberries. Shake the pie a little to make sure the glaze gets into the nooks and cranies of the pie.

Put in the fridge and refrigerate for 3 hours or overnight.

Makes 8. Calories: 110, Carbohydrates: 15 grams, Sugar: 4 grams, Fiber: 1 gram, Protein: 1 gram. 

This pie is vibrant. The color is vibrant. The taste is vibrant. Everything is vibrant.

The sweetness of the strawberry glaze and the tartness of the strawberries elevates the strawberry flavor. It’s like biting into the most perfect strawberry. You know that strawberry that isn’t overly sweet or insanely tart. The perfect combination of juicy flavors overwhelming your senses. And it’s in every single bite. Bite. Burst of strawberry goodness. Bite. Burst of strawberry goodness. It’s continuous explosion of strawberry brings about a cool refreshing taste. Perfect for the summer.

It’s that pie you take to a picnic be it a family picnic or a company one. Or a family reunion. Or a Fourth of July event. Basically any outdoor event that happens in the summer. If you do take it to an event, it won’t last – be it everyone eats it, or you accidently leave it outside for to long due to the glaze. Promise, you won’t leave it outside. This pie deserves better than that.

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