Easy Peanut Butter Pie

This pie is super easy and always gets rave reviews!  I made it for Christmas Day this year and everyone loved it.  My sister, Lisa, gave this recipe to me years ago.

1 cup peanut butter
8 oz. cream cheese (softened)
2 cups 10x sugar
8 oz. whipped topping (Cool Whip)
9 inch baked pie shell (I have used Pillsbury) OR 9 inch graham cracker crust
Chocolate candy bar (for shaving)

Mix the peanut butter, cream cheese and 10x sugar together with a mixer.  Spoon into the crust.  Refrigerate for a few hours or overnight.  Before serving, spoon the whipped topping on top of the filling.  Shave the chocolate bar with a vegetable peeler on top of the whipped topping for an impressive look!  Store in the refrigerator, but there probably won’t be any leftovers!  I have also spooned the filling into mini graham cracker crusts for individual desserts.




Orecchiette with Mixed Greens and Goat Cheese

As I was recovering from minor foot surgery, I watched a lot of daytime television and enjoyed watching the Food Network.  Of course, every time I watched it, I would get hungry, oh well.  Anyhow, I kept thinking after every episode, hmm, that looks good, I’ll have to try that, but that thought went away quickly.  However, one recipe seemed incredibly easy, so I wrote down the ingredients and went to the store.  I had never purchased goat cheese or sun dried tomatoes, so this was a little foreign to me.  After finding all the ingredients, I waited until a night my husband wasn’t home.  I just can’t imagine telling him that we are having Orecchiette pasta with goat cheese and sun dried tomatoes for dinner (although, it would be fun to see the look on his face).  Anyhow, the recipe was very simple and absolutely delicious.  When Giada DeLaurentiis made the recipe on television, she mentioned how the hot water from the cooked pasta melted the cheese and made it delicious and fragrant, and she was right!  I hope you try this recipe, it’s absolutely wonderful and easy!

1 cup dried orecchiette pasta (means ‘little ear’ in Italian)
2 cups Mediterranean-style mixed salad greens
2 tbsp. sun-dried tomatoes (packed in olive oil) chopped
1 tbsp. goat cheese, crumbled (I used quite a bit more of it)
2 tbsp. grated Parmesan, plus more for garnish
pinch salt, pinch black pepper

Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil, add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain pasta, reserving 1/2 cup of the water.
In medium bowl, mix the salad greens with the sun-dried tomatoes, goat cheese and parmesan. Top with the warm pasta and 1/2 cup of the reserved pasta water. Toss to combine, season with salt and pepper, garnish with extra parmesan.  Yield:  1 serving.



Kandy Kake

Growing up, I always loved eating the Tastykake  Peanut Butter Kandy Kake snack cakes (formerly known as Tandy Kake), which is a vanilla cake, with a layer of peanut butter, then covered in chocolate, yum!  We didn’t have them often, as they were a special treat to buy them in the store, but we had a recipe that tasted just like the store-bought cakes.  Here is that recipe:

Beat 4 eggs until lemon-colored, then add:
2 cups sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2 tsp. baking powder
1 cup milk
2 tsp. melted butter
2 cups flour
pinch of salt
Pour into a greased and floured 11x15x1 pan and bake 350 for 12 to 15 minutes. Test for doneness with a toothpick.  Let cool for just a few minutes and then spread peanut butter on top (use as little or as much as you like).  It will be nice and runny on the top.  Refrigerate until firm.  Melt a large chocolate Hershey bar (7 oz.) in the microwave.  I sometimes use 1 1/2 bars or melt a bunch of the smaller bars and then spread on top of the peanut butter.  Refrigerate until chocolate is set.  You may want to let the cake sit out before cutting,  to allow the chocolate to get a little soft.  Enjoy!


Crescent Cheese Squares

My friend Denise brought these to a church event and they were wonderful!  I think they taste like a cream filled glazed donut, yum!  They are simple and tasty and a nice change from chocolate.  I have added food coloring to the glaze to make it more colorful.

2 8 oz. cans Pillsbury crescent rolls
2 8 oz. pkgs. cream cheese (softened)
1 cup sugar
1 egg yolk
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. lemon juice
2 Tbsp. milk
1 cup 10x sugar

Place 1 can of the crescent rolls in an ungreased 9×13 pan. Press over bottom to form crust. Beat cheese, sugar, egg yolk, vanilla and lemon juice together.  Spread over bottom crust. Place other can of crescent rolls over top. Press to edges of pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes until golden brown.
Frosting:  Mix 2 Tbsp. warm milk and 1 cup powdered sugar. Pour over top as soon as removed from oven. Then cool and cut into squares. Cut diagonally to cut into diamonds. Can be refrigerated until served.

Mom’s Favorites – Baked Beans

This is another easy and delicious recipe from my Mom.  Not sure where she got it, but we use it all the time for picnics!

2 large cans of Great Northern beans (do not drain)
1 large onion (chopped)
1 tsp. mustard
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup ketchup
Chopped red and green peppers (optional)
Cooked bacon or ham

My mom’s recipe doesn’t call for the green peppers, but I like to sauté them with the onions just until soft.  Mix all ingredients together and bake in a roasting pan at 350 degrees for 1 hour and 15 minutes.

Pickled Eggs

This is a family favorite and great for picnics!  Mom always stored the pickled eggs/beets in a very large glass jar.  It was always fun to ‘fish’ out the eggs and beets from the jar 🙂

1 can red beets
Drain juice into small pan
Add:  1 cup sugar, 1 cup cider vinegar
Stir and heat until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat, pour over beets.
Add hard boiled eggs (as many as you like, we always made 1 dozen).
Place in a large container and put in refrigerator for a few hours or overnight, so that the juice can flavor the eggs and beets.  May have to stir them occasionally, so they can absorb the flavor and color.

Mom had the following note on the recipe:  “This is a very good recipe – it is popular at my church, and everyone who eats the eggs and beets, always wants to copy the recipe. I have used this recipe for over 50 years, it came from a schoolmate, from high school.  I graduated from high school in 1949.”



Mom’s Favorites – Lemon Sponge Pie

This pie was certainly one of Mom’s specialties.  Everyone loved it and asked for it.  Recipe makes 2 medium pies.

2 cups sugar
2 Tbsp. butter
4 egg yolks (save egg whites)
juice of 2 lemons (6 Tbsp. lemon juice)
4 Tbsp. flour

Beat together ingredients real well then add 2 Cups milk. In another bowl (with mixer) beat 4 egg whites till stiff, then add the egg whites to the lemon mixture. Pour into 2 unbaked pie crusts. Bake at 425 degrees for 10 minutes, then 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Mom had this note on the recipe:  “This was a recipe given to me by a dear neighbor (Renna) who became very close to our family, while the kids were young. She was a very good cook. When I make this pie for the church, it is a big hit!”