The Way to My Heart

I used to primarily crush on the five members of *NSYNC.  I memorized their favorite colors and their birthdays, and I probably still know them by heart.  If it wasn’t *NSYNC it was another pop star or professional athlete.  Now the times are changing, and I’m changing with them.  Chefs are the new celebrities and I’ve got my eye on a few.  My culinary equivalent to *NSYNC is:

1. Tyler Florence

2. Tom Colicchio

3. Michael Symon

4. Fabio Viviani

5. Dale Talde

I know that they are lacking the creative hairstyles of the boy bands of the past.  But these guys can cook!  And they’re really funny!  It’s a good thing I’m back in school because I have some new names to start doodling in my notebook…

What chefs are your favorites?

Traveling to Tuscany in a Bowl

During the Lenten season, my church has soup suppers on Wednesday night.  I usually bring a pot of soup to church twice a year for this event.  One of my favorite things to do is to take a recipe and adapt it in order to please the masses.  I went on the Food Network website and found a delicious recipe for Tuscan Bean Soup by Emeril Lagasse.  It sounds delicious but there were a few things that I needed to change.  I didn’t think the general population at my church would enjoy chickpeas and I wanted to cut down the cost by eliminating the pancetta.  I knew I needed to make a larger batch than what the recipe provided so I kept that in mind when I went to the grocery store.  While there, I saw that Bob Evans sage sausage was on sale for $1.99 so I knew that would sub out the pancetta and save me money.  Here’s how I made the soup and it is sure to please.

Ingredients

1 package Bob Evans sage sausage, 2 yellow onions (diced), 3 stalks celery (diced), 3 carrots (diced), 4 cloves garlic (minced), 28oz canned diced tomatoes, 3 15 oz cans cannellini beans,  1 15 oz can kidney beans, 2 1/2 quarts chicken stock, 2 sprigs rosemary (minced), 5 sprigs thyme, 2 bay leaves, sprinkle of crushed pepper, 1 head kale (cut into bite size pieces)

Directions

1. Brown sausage in the bottom of a large stock pot. 2.  Add onions, celery, carrots, and garlic and cook until tender. 3. Add diced tomatoes, beans, and stock.  Let it come to a simmer. 4. Add rosemary, thyme, bay leaves, and crushed pepper.  When the soup is complete, be sure to pull out the thyme sprigs and the bay leaves.  Continue cooking until the beans and vegetable are tender. 5.  Add the kale and cook until tender.  Enjoy!

Peanut Butter Pie: Enough Said

I’ve never made Peanut Butter Pie before, until now.  After making it, I have no idea why I never made it before.  It’s so easy.  Especially when you buy a pre-made graham cracker crust.  Delicious.  Make it now, you will not regret it.

Creamy Peanut Butter Pie

Adapted from: Running with Tweezers

Ingredients

  • 1 store bought graham cracker or chocolate cookie crust
  • 1 (8 oz) package of cream cheese
  • 1 cup of creamy peanut butter
  • 1 Tbs butter
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream

Garnish

  • 1 cup mini chocolate chips
  • heavy whipping cream and sugar to make whipped cream

Method

1. Use electric mixer to mix together room temp cream cheese, butter, peanut butter, sugar, and vanilla.

2. In a separate bowl, whip the 1 cup of whipping cream.

3. Fold whipped cream into peanut butter mixture.

4. Put a layer of mini chocolate chips on the bottom of pre-made crust, and add filling on top.  Put another later of mini chocolate chips.  Allow filling to set in the refrigerator.

5. Whip up extra whipping cream and sugar to taste.  Top pie with a layer of whipped cream.  Store in fridge.

Could it be any easier?  Mix, refrigerate, enjoy!

PS- Remember how obsessed I am with monograms?  I’m adding this to my want list!