Thursday, November 29, 2012

White Chocolate Pumpkin Cheesecake Pie

            Happy late Thanksgiving! I hope everyone had a fantastic holiday and got to spend it with your family and friends.
            I did a whole lot of baking for the holiday, even though I also had to work on Wednesday, Black Friday, Saturday and Sunday (oh, the joys of retail). We celebrated Thanksgiving with my boyfriend’s family and my dad’s side of the family on Thanksgiving and my mom’s side on Sunday. Lucky for you, I made a million pies for the big days, two of which you have already seen on my blog, the White Chocolate Banana Cream and the Creamy Apple Crumb. Now, I have two variations of pumpkin pie to share with you.
            The first is White Chocolate Pumpkin Cheesecake. I have really been on a pumpkin kick this fall, and I am always willing to try a cheesecake. I thought these two married perfectly. I found the original recipe here.

·         Easiness---9---For a cheesecake, this is as easy as it gets (unless you use a box mix, of course).
·         Yumminess---8---It needs more spice in my opinion, but that could just be me.
·         Repeat---10---Next year!!!
·         Make the crust I used in this recipe, bake at the same time as the cheesecake
·         2 (8 oz.) packages of cream cheese
·         1 cup sugar
·         3 eggs, beaten
·         1 tsp vanilla extract
·         5 ounces white chocolate, melted
·         ¾ cup canned pumpkin
·         1 tsp ground cinnamon (could use 2)
·         ¼ tsp ground nutmeg (could use ½)
·         Beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Add eggs and vanilla, beat on low until combined
·         Add in pumpkin, spices and melted white chocolate. Beat on low until combined.
·         Pour filling into the crust. Bake at 350 for 50-55 minutes, or until center is set.
·         Cool for at least an hour before serving.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

White Chocolate Banana Cream Pie

          I think it is safe to say that the best part of Thanksgiving is the pie. Actually, dessert is really the only part that sparks my interest that day, because I am not a big fan of turkey.  I wanted to share this recipe with you ASAP, just in case you want to try it out next Thursday!
          Some of you may have heard of the restaurant The Blue Owl, a restaurant in Kimswick, Missouri that has some of the best recipes that even Oprah had to give them a visit. My mom’s favorite dessert from there is the White Chocolate Banana Cream Pie. I am not much into cream pies; I prefer apple or cherry, but my mom really likes this one. She actually likes it so much that she was contemplating ordering one from the restaurant to serve on Thanksgiving! Um…no. Not acceptable. I will be making the pies. J
          I ended up stopping by the Blue Owl to pick up their cookbook the other day, but I used a different crust than the one in the cookbook because I didn’t have any Crisco. And, I’m sorry, but crusts made with Crisco are never a good idea.
My poor attempt at a slice of the pie. I clearly cut
into it way before it was set... so be careful to let
it set overnight preferably
·         Easiness---5---This is time consuming, and the pudding is difficult to get to the right consistency. However, it is worth the trial and error!
·         Yumminess---9---I should have used more banana and white chocolate, but my family disagrees…so you better stick to the recipe
·         Repeat---10---Yes, I am planning to make it for Thanksgiving!
          Here is my version of the best banana cream pie you will ever try!!!

Adapted from the Blue Owl

Pie Crust—No Rolling Involved
·         3 cups all-purpose flour
·         2 tsp. salt
·         4 TBS sugar
·         2 beaten egg yolks
·         1 cup vegetable oil
·         4 TBS cold milk
Pudding Filling
·         ½ cup sugar
·         ¼ tsp. salt
·         ½ cup cornstarch
·         4 cups milk (I used 2% and it was fine)
·         1 TBS butter
·         1 tsp. vanilla
·         4 oz. white chocolate chips (You could use up to about 6-8 oz. if you prefer)
Garnish and Assembly
·         2 bananas
·         2 oz. white chocolate melted
·         2 oz. dark chocolate melted
·         1 cup heavy whipping cream
·         ¼ cup (more or less depending on taste)
·         1 tsp. vanilla

·         To make crust, sift flour, salt and sugar in your pie pan (9”). Combine oil and milk in a separate bowl and whip with fork until combined. Pour all at once over the flour mixture. Mix with fork until flour is completely dampened. Press evenly and firmly to line the bottom of pan, then press dough up to line the sides and partly cover the rim. Bake at 425° for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown. TIP: Cover lightly with a sheet of foil to prevent edges from burning.
·         For the pudding, in a saucepan, combine sugar, salt and cornstarch. Stir in milk and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until mixture begins to thicken (Bring to a light boil, then reduce heat and keep stirring until thick). Pour ½ cup of the hot mixture into beaten egg yolks while stirring to keep eggs from cooking. While stirring milk mixture in saucepan, slowly blend in egg yolk mixture and stir well. Continue cooking until pudding is think and bubbly. Remove pudding from heat and stir in butter, vanilla and white chocolate. Pour into a glass bowl, cover and chill for at least 2 hours.
·         After the pudding chills, thinly slice bananas and fold 1 ½ bananas into the pudding. Pour the pudding into the pie crust. Top the pie crust with the remaining ½ banana.
·         To make the whipped cream, beat heavy whipping cream on high for about 1 minute. Slowly add sugar while beating. Be sure to not add too much sugar, depending on your preference. Add vanilla. Keep beating the mixture until it is firm and fluffy.
·         For the topping, melt white and dark chocolate separately and spread on a flat plate. Chill until it is hard. Scrape off shavings for decoration. I tried to make the curls, but was unable to get it to work. Maybe someone can teach me! J
I melted my chocolate on a plate, but feel free
to do it however you like
·         Top the pudding with the whipped cream and sprinkle with the white and dark chocolate shavings. ENJOY!!!
I think it is the best looking pie!!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Crispy Veggie Flautas

         My birthday was on October 12th, and to celebrate I went to Food Truck Friday in St. Louis.  It was my third time going to the event, and I absolutely love it. I like to try something different every time I go, so this time I went with LuLu’s LocalEatery Food Truck, and I had a delicious wrap filled with sweet potato, rice, black beans, corn and a yummy avocado sauce. I had been thinking about trying to make something similar to this when I saw this recipe on Pinterest. I couldn’t believe how similar it was, so I knew I had to give it a go.
          It is the perfect amount of spicy, and it is meatless, so it works for an array of different diets.  You could also easily make it lactose free, I believe, by just removing the small amount of cheese.  I hope you enjoy this as much as I do (I’ve already made it a second time so that I could freeze them and take them to work for lunch!).

·         Yumminess---10---These are melt in your mouth good, and are a completely guilt free meal if you are trying to count calories or eat healthy like I am.
·         Easiness---10---Really a pretty simple recipe. The sweet potato cooks easily in the microwave, then you just have to mix everything together and fill your tortillas and bake them!
·         Repeat---10---Already made it again! It worked out great; I made about 30 of them, and then I froze them in packs of 4-5 so I could take them for lunch!
·         1 can Mexicorn
·         1 can Black Beans Original Flavor
·         2 Sweet Potatoes medium size
·         ¼ Cup Diced White Onion
·         ½ tsp Chili Powder
·         ½ tsp Garlic Powder
·         ½ tsp Fresh or Dried Cilantro
·         ½ tsp Cumin
·         ½ tsp Cayenne Pepper
·         3 oz. Cream Cheese (I used fat free and that worked just fine)
·         ¼ cup grated cheese (I like something spicy like pepper jack)
·         About 20-30 small size tortillas (6-8 inches)
·         Spray Pam

·         Microwave your sweet potatoes for 8 minutes. Use a fork to poke a few holes in the potato, and wrap in a damp paper towel to keep the moisture in them.
·         De-skin the potatoes and mix with the cream cheese with a spoon until it is a nice creamy texture.
·         Mix in the rest of the ingredients.
·         Spray a cookie sheet with Pam and preheat your oven to 400°
·         Fill your tortillas with about 2 TBS worth of the filling and roll into a flauta.
·         Spray the flautas with Pam and bake for about 10 minutes or until golden brown and crispy.

If you have any questions about this recipe or any other, please feel free to comment or ask!