Tackling the Green Monster

I’ve spent my fair share of time browsing blogs from runners and health fanatics, and I have often come across writers swearing by their morning spinach smoothies. In theory, I loved the idea of a nutrient-packed easy breakfast to start my day. But even though every proponent of the smoothies swore they didn’t actually taste like spinach, I was skeptical. Then I talked to my friend Jess, who assured me the shakes were delicious. She pointed me in the direction of a basic recipe, and I decided to take the plunge. After my experience with the juice cleanse, I was pretty certain I’d hate the spinach. But even if I ended up hating it, I’d only be out a few dollars for the ingredients.  Continue reading

Advertisements

Chocolate Peanut Butter Nutella Pie

I always struggle when it comes to cooking for my family. It’s a good opportunity to try out a new recipe, but everyone is a picky eater, so it’s not the easiest thing to come up with a dessert that pleases everyone. Luckily, my new obsession with Pinterest  helped me out this year. I was short on time, so I decided a pie would do the trick, rather than dealing with leveling, cooling, and icing a cake. And when I came across a pin for chocolate peanut butter pie, I knew nobody could argue with that. The peanut butter filling recipe came from In Jennie’s Kitchen, and it was absolutely perfect. Not too sweet. I actually used a pre-made graham cracker crust since I was short on time and patience after a long season of holiday baking. To make up for the lack of chocolate in the crust, I melted 1/3 cup of nutella and poured it over the crust. I added some bananas (which I roasted on a baking sheet to get a little bit of a caramelized flavor on them) on a single layer over the nutella. Happy eating!

Creamy Peanut Butter Pie

8 ounces chocolate cookies
4 tablespoons butter, melted
4 ounces finely chopped chocolate or semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup chopped peanuts
1 cup heavy cream
8 ounces cream cheese
1 cup creamy-style peanut butter
1 cup confectioner’s sugar
1 – 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Add the cookies to the bowl of a food processor and pulse into fine crumbs.  Combine melted butter and cookie crumbs in a small bowl, and stir with a fork to mix well.  Press mixture into the bottom and 1-inch up the sides of a 9-inch springform pan.

Melt the chocolate in a double boiler or in the microwave.  Pour over bottom of cookie crust and spread to the edges using an off-set spatula.  Sprinkle chopped peanuts over the melted chocolate. Place pan in the refrigerator while you prepare the filling.

Pour the heavy cream into a bowl and beat using a stand mixer or hand mixer until stiff peaks form.  Transfer to a small bowl and store in refrigerator until ready to use.  Place the cream cheese and peanut butter in a deep bowl.  Beat on medium speed until light and fluffy.  Reduce speed to low and gradually beat in the confectioner’s sugar.  Add the sweetened condensed milk, and vanilla extract. Increase speed to medium and beat until all the ingredients are combined and filling is smooth.

Stir in 1/3 of the whipped cream into the filling mixture (helps lighten the batter, making it easier to fold in the remaining whipped cream).  Fold in the remaining whipped cream.  Pour the filling into the prepared springform pan.  Drizzle the melted chocolate on top, if using, and refrigerate for three hours or overnight before serving.