This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #WalmartMonsters #MiniMonsters #Walmart
It’s October and that means Halloween! We LOVE Halloween in our house and all of the spooky things that come with it. From costumes and decorations right down to food and drinks. My kids are getting older, so my family’s days trick or treating are slowing coming to an end but that doesn’t mean our Halloween fun has to end. I still try to make Halloween special and fun for my boys. Special snacks and treats are definitely the way to the hearts and stomachs. Sweet treats like Ice Cream Floats are perfect for Halloween parties and fun.
Last summer my brother got married and while the reception food wasn’t your typical wedding reception food, it was a crowd pleaser. It was Smithfield’s Chicken and BBQ, a North Carolina classic. This meal also introduced my kids to a new food, banana pudding. Yes, banana pudding.
It’s been a busy few weeks around these parts but I can now say school is out for summer! The craziness that abounds in my house has already started. Who am I kidding, it is crazy around here all the time. This time all I said was that I was going to make a Gluten Free Blueberry Muffin Peach Cobbler.
It is that time of year again, Valentine’s day is coming up. For moms of elementary school age kids this means classroom parties. With one of mine still in elementary school this meant I needed to figure out what I was doing for my daughter and her class. I figured what could be more perfect for a Valentines day party than some Red Velvet Cupcakes, to be exact Gluten Free Red Velvet Cupcakes.
On my fourth day of Homemade Christmas I have a pie for you, a pecan pie!
How this recipe got on my list is a kind of interesting story. I have been married to my husband over 16 years. At this point in our lives we know pretty much all of our likes and dislikes or so I thought. Growing up I was never a big fan of pecan pie but now that i’m all grown up I am discovering that some things I disliked as a kid I now like. So for the last couple years i’ve been thinking about making a pecan pie because what type of southern woman would I be having never made a pecan pie. Well, I told my husband and he was over the moon because surprise, he loves pecan pie! 16+ years and I never knew! He was all about that pie and told me I needed to go to the store now to get the ingredients. So I made him his pie and he loved it. My boys loved it too.
For myself pecans play a part in my childhood. Every time we would go visit my great grandparents us kids were sent outside to pick up pecans from the beautiful and gigantic pecan trees that were in my great grandparents yard. We would pick up buckets of pecans. I was educated on the proper way to say pecan, it is puh-cahn if you are curious. A pee-can was a can you keep next to your bed to pee in. We would be sent home with pecans. Then we learned to crack them to eat them raw, my mom would add them to cookies and I came remember a pecan pie or two growing up. The one thing about pecans from my childhood is I did not like them. I hated them in cookies and would always pick them out. I developed a strong aversion to them.
I don’t know what has happened but now they are one of my favorite nuts. I love them any which way which led me to the idea of pecan pie. I had decided on my recipe a couple years before telling my husband about my idea to make one. It had been sitting in my Allrecipes recipe box just collecting virtual dust. The recipe is not your typical corn syrup laden pecan pie and I loved that idea! Don’t get me wrong the recipe is made with “healthy” amounts of brown and white sugar so it is plenty sweet, the corn syrup will not be missed.
My husband decided it was the best darn pecan pie he had ever had. My boys loved it too. The girl was not a fan, I think I gave her my childhood aversion to pecans but hey 4 out 5 likes is pretty good odds! The boys have been begging me to make it again for Christmas!
Try it yourself and let me know what you think!
Check out my 12 Days of Homemade Christmas for other great ideas!
Country Girl Gourmet
- 1 cup light brown sugar
- ¼ cup white sugar
- ½ cup butter
- 2 eggs
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour (or rice flour if making gluten free)
- 1 tablespoon milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- 1 9inch pie crust
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (205 degrees C).
- In a large bowl, beat eggs until foamy, and stir in melted butter. Stir in the brown sugar, white sugar and the flour; mix well. Last add the milk, vanilla and nuts.
- Pour into an unbaked 9-in pie shell. Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes at 350 degrees, then reduce temperature to 300 degrees and bake for 45 to 55 minutes, or until done.
Recipe adapted from Allrecipes.com
So I have been patiently waiting. It is now September so I think i’m good. I am going to go basic, white girl on you. It is time to bring out the Pumpkin. Pumpkin everything please! Yes, as long as you keep some pumpkin puree around you can have pumpkin anytime you want (and trust me I keep some in my pantry year round) but there is something about pumpkin in the fall and over the past few years I think the rest of the world has realized that. Not every pumpkin spice product out there will be a winner but I have made something that is and i’m excited to share it with you! Are you ready? Easy Pumpkin Pie Mousse, it is what you need this fall.
Pumpkin Pie is a favorite of mine but I don’t always feel like making a pie crust. Add into it being gluten free, I am always looking for gluten free dessert alternatives. This easy, Pumpkin Pie Mouse is perfect and a bit dangerous since it is so easy to make. The recipe uses 5 ingredients, Pumpkin Puree, Milk, Vanilla or Cheesecake Pudding Mix, Pumpkin Pie Spice and Whipped Cream or Topping. From there you can make it as high fat, full calorie or low fat and light in calories as you would like. This recipe works with both regular full fat ingredients as well as sugar free, light and fat free ingredients. Once you decide how you want to make it, mix it up and pour it into individual ramekins and put it in the fridge to chill and set. In just an hour you have a delicious creamy pumpkin dessert. Top with some whipped cream and maybe a drizzle of dark chocolate and enjoy. It is a perfect fall time pumpkin spice sweet treat!
Pumpkin Pie Mouse
Country Girl Gourmet
- 1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree
- ½ cup milk
- 1 (1 ounce) package instant vanilla or cheesecake pudding mix
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- 1 (8 ounce) container whipped topping or cream (regular, lite or fat free)
- In a medium bowl, mix together the pumpkin, milk, and instant pudding mix. Stir in the pumpkin pie spice, and fold in half of the whipped topping.
- Pour into individual ramekins. Chill for 1 hour, or until set. Top with additional whipped topping and favorite toppings.
Recipe adapted from Allrecipes.com
Do you love all things Pumpkin Spice? What is your favorite Pumpkin Spice treat?
It is officially summer, woohoo! I love the warm weather even the 90 degree days. Those extra hot days just mean it is time for frozen treats. My family is all about frozen treats. We each have our favorites. The top of my list is sorbet. I happily will pick sorbet over ice cream. Don’t get me wrong, I love my ice cream but I will choose sorbet first any day especially when it is homemade.
Sorbet is simple, it is fruit and simple syrup that is frozen. Using all the wonderful in season fruits and berries is in my opinion one of the best parts of making homemade sorbet. My newest favorite flavor has been Strawberry Peach. I used some beautiful local strawberries that I had picked and froze for later from my favorite produce stand, Gillis Hill Road Produce. Then I found some early season peaches. Peaches aren’t just for Georgia, we have local peaches here in North Carolina too and they are wonderful! Mix the two together with some simple syrup and you have something special. I had to fight my husband just to get some it was so good and he isn’t a huge fan of peaches.
Try it for yourself and let me know what you think!
Strawberry Peach Sorbet
Country Girl Gourmet
- ½-1 cup white sugar (based on your fruit’s sweetness)
- ½ cup water
- 2 cups strawberries (hulled)
- 1 cup peaches (peeled, pitted and sliced)
- Combine sugar and water in a saucepan over medium heat; cook and stir until sugar is dissolved, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and refrigerate until cooled, about 30 minutes.
- Blend strawberries and peaches in a blender or food processor until pureed. Stir pureed fruit mixture into sugar mixture.
- Pour mixture into a large resealable plastic freezer bag. Seal, and freeze for 45 minutes to an hour. Move the contents around in the bag every 15 minutes while freezing. OR.... Transfer fruit mixture to an ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturer's instructions.
- Transfer sorbet to a one- or two-quart lidded plastic container; cover surface with plastic wrap and seal. For best results, sorbet should ripen in the freezer for at least 2 hours or overnight
Happy pi day! If you haven’t heard this years pi day is perfect! For all of you non math experts out there, Pi is 3.14159265359 and tomorrow is 3/14/15. It’s a perfect pi day! To celebrate pi day what better thing can you do but enjoy pie, right! It is perfectly fitting and a great way to celebrate the day. Cooking and baking has strong roots in math. For instance, you need basic math when increasing or reducing a recipe. Then when serving things like pie they are perfect for a lesson in fractions. This year for pi day my family will be enjoying my favorite pie, Key Lime Pie.
I will be the first to admit I have a small obsession with Key Lime Pie. It is my absolute favorite. Yes, there are all types of pie out there that I also love, they all have their place but Key Lime Pie will lose to them every time. I think this comes from growing up in Florida where I was first introduced to it. My mom never made Key Lime Pie so when I had it while out somewhere it was always a special treat. I also learned I was very picky about my key lime pie. Those pies made lime jello just didn’t cut it, I wanted the real thing if I was going to indulge in my favorite treat.
Moving to New Jersey in 2006 my favorite pie was hard to find. I had to take matters into my own hands and make my own Key Lime Pie. That is when I learned how truly simple this pie is and kicked myself for not making it sooner. Key Lime Pie has 5 ingredients, Sweetened Condensed Milk, Sour Cream, Key Lime Juice, Lime Zest and your favorite pie crust (graham cracker is traditional but shortbread works well also). Simple ingredients for an out of this world pie. The most time consuming part of making the pie is juicing all the tiny key limes. Then it bakes for 15 minutes. The hardest part comes next waiting for it to cool. Once it is cooled and you go to serve it your family/guests, they will ooh and ah and marvel at it’s limey delicious-ness thinking you have slaved for hours creating it. There is no reason to tell them you haven’t. Enjoy your key lime pie glory and a piece of Key Lime Pie for yourself too!
Key Lime Pie
Country Girl Gourmet
Recipe type: pie
- 1 (9 inch) graham cracker crust
- 3 cups sweetened condensed milk
- ½ cup sour cream
- ¾ cup fresh key lime juice
- 1 tablespoon grated lime zest
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
- In a medium bowl, combine condensed milk, sour cream, lime juice, and lime rind. Mix well and pour into graham cracker crust.
- Bake in preheated oven for 10 to 15 minutes, until tiny pinhole bubbles burst on the surface of pie. DO NOT BROWN! Chill pie thoroughly before serving. Garnish with lime slices and whipped cream if desired.
So the other day I made brownies in my mini muffin pan and I overfilled the muffin cups. Have you ever done this? The majority of the brownies were ok but a several were overflowing. What’s a girl to do? Then I remembered a suggestion from a friend from many years ago, make a trifle. Easy enough right? I had the brownies, I had strawberries and a really easy recipe for chocolate pudding in a mug. Oh and of course some fancy sherbet dishes that would be perfect for mini trifles. I could totally make Mini Chocolate Covered Berry Trifles and win some awesome wife points at the same time. So I did and it was awesome.
Making a trifle is easy but when done right it can be quite the elegant dish that is perfect for any occasion. For my mini trifles I started with the pudding. I made the chocolate microwave pudding and stirred in one tablespoon of berry jam (use your favorite strawberry, raspberry, etc.) after it was done cooking. I then set it in the fridge to cool. The freezer will also work if you are in a hurry but don’t forget it is in there! Once your pudding is made and cooled it is time to construct your trifle. I start with the brownies. For each trifle I used 2 mini brownies. If you do not have mini brownies, 2 two inch square brownies should work. Take one of the brownies and break it up and place in your serving dish. I have some pretty sherbet dishes I used. On top of your brownie I then layered 2 chopped strawberries. If your strawberries are small you may want to use 3. Raspberries would work well in this trifle also. Cherries would too! When you are done with the strawberry layer add half of the chocolate pudding mixture, about 1/4 cup.Then you add more brownies, then strawberries and finally your chocolate pudding mixture. My trifles were only 2 layers. I then covered and refrigerated my trifles until I was ready to surprise my husband. They were refrigerated 2-4 hours which allowed the flavors to meld. Before serving I topped the trifles with a sliced strawberry and some leftover berry buttercream but whipped cream would work in a pinch, along with a drizzle of melted chocolate. The end result was a very happy husband. So happy that he ate his trifle and ate mine too! Well he was nice and let me taste it before he took it and gobbled it up and then asked if there was more.
I think I will be making mini chocolate covered berry trifles again. How about you? Are you a trifle fan? What are some of your favorite desserts?
Chocolate Pudding in a Mug
Country Girl Gourmet
- ½ cup milk
- ½ (1 ounce) square semisweet baking chocolate (Chocolate chips will work)
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 dash salt
- 1 dash vanilla extract
- Place milk and chocolate in a 12-ounce microwave-safe mug or a 2-cup glass measuring cup.
- Microwave on High until hot but not boiling, 60 to 90 seconds. Stir to melt chocolate.
- Stir cornstarch, sugar, and salt together in a small bowl; blend into the milk mixture.
- Microwave on High for 30 seconds, stir, and continue to heat until mixture thickens and just begins to boil, about 15 seconds more.
My family has an obsession and today is the perfect day to tell you all about it. My family has a peanut butter problem. I hear it is a common problem to have. There is just something about that creamy or crunchy stuff and January 24th is National Peanut Butter Day!
My family is ADDICTED to peanut butter, we easily go through a large jar in a week. I use to buy it at Sam’s and it seemed the more peanut butter I kept in the house the faster we would go through it. There are much worse things out there so I have no problem fueling my families addiction. Typically we eat peanut butter sandwiches or have it on rice cakes. We are huge fans of fluffernutters, simple peanut butter and marshmallow fluff yumminess. In my gluten eating days I loved fluffernutters made on white bread with sliced fresh strawberries, yum. My one son likes peanut butter sandwiches with grape jelly while another son likes peanut butter and honey. When not eaten in sandwich form there is always the classic peanut butter cookie, in candy like Buckeyes, in savory dishes like thai chicken or just straight from the jar with a spoon. I have discovered something else that is just as yummy with peanut butter for my family, Peanut Butter Blondie Brownies. The recipe is made with regular all purpose flour so I didn’t get to try them but my family loved them!
These Peanut Butter Blondie Brownies are the perfect treat for all the peanut butter lovers out there! Try them for yourself and see how the Blondie got even better!
Peanut Butter Blondie Brownies
Country Girl Gourmet
- 1 cup crunchy peanut butter
- ½ cup butter, softened
- 2 cups brown sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1½ cups all-purpose flour
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Spray a 9x13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.
- Beat peanut butter and butter together in a bowl with an electric mixer until smooth. Gradually beat brown sugar into peanut butter mixture. Beat eggs into peanut butter mixture 1 at a time, beating well after each addition; add vanilla extract.
- Gradually sift flour into peanut butter mixture and mix until batter is well-combined. Pour batter into prepared baking dish and spread evenly in the dish.
- Bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted into the center of the blondies comes out clean, about 35 minutes.
- Cool in the baking dish for 15 minutes before slicing into 24 bars. Remove to a wire rack to cool until just warm.