Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Cream Pie (Coconut, Banana, Chocolate)

Recipe Contributed by Rachel Nielson

First of all, why am I the only person who ever posts anymore?  Since when did I become the domestic sister??

My husband and I recently moved from Buffalo, New York, and anyone who is familiar with western New York knows about the grocery store called Wegmans.  It is amazing.  Truly.  We miss it daily.  One of the many amazing things about Wegmans is the phenomenal in-store bakery.  Over the four years that we lived in Buffalo, I became addicted to their cream pies.  They sell small "personal" size ones for $4 (I put personal in quotes because these little pies should probably feed two, but I could easily eat one by myself), and I often found myself eating one after a long grocery trip.  Mmmmm.  Heaven.  My personal favorite was their banana cream, and I've been craving it ever since we moved.  Well, over Thanksgiving weekend, my mother-in-law made a bunch of cream pies, and I think hers are almost as good as Wegmans!!  And guess what??  They're super easy!  You basically make the same "base" (a creamy custard) for all of the pies, but you add different ingredients at the end to make the pies different flavors.  I love them all!

Sally's Cream Pies

5 Tbsp cornstarch
1 cup sugar*
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups milk
3/4 cup half-n-half
3 egg yolks (beaten)
2 Tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
Baked 9-inch pie shell (this can be homemade or storebought)

*For a chocolate cream pie, reduce the sugar to 3/4 cup.

1. Mix cornstarch, sugar, and salt in 3 quart saucepan.
2. Add milk and cream and cook over medium heat until smooth and think, stirring constantly.
3. Pour small amount of hot mixture into beaten egg yolks; blend, then pour back into saucepan.
4. Cook another 2-3 minutes.  (I do a full three minutes because when I've done two minutes, the pies didn't ever set up.)
5. Remove from heat and add butter and vanilla.
6.  Mix in flavoring:

       Coconut Cream: Add 1/2 cup coconut to pie filling.

       Banana Cream: Slice two bananas into the pie shell and pour filling over the bananas.

       Chocolate Cream: Don't forget to decrease sugar when making the filling!  Add 1/2 cup chocolate    syrup to the cooked filling.

7.  Pour filling into baked pie shell and refrigerate at least 3-4 hours or overnight.  Top with whipped cream!

Monday, December 5, 2011

"Guiltless" Alfredo Sauce (Our Best Bites)

This recipe was shared by Rachel Nielson

This is another recipe that I found in the Our Best Bites cookbook. It's very easy and fast.  I love fettuccine alfredo from the Olive Garden, so I was skeptical of this recipe which is a lower-fat version of the old classic.  I was so pleasantly surprised that it tasted so yummy!  (It's not Olive Garden good, but really, what can you expect??  I still thought it was delicious.)

You can serve it over pasta or on a pizza.

Check it out:  http://www.ourbestbites.com/2008/08/guiltless-alfredo-sauce/