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Disappearing Act

Hi! Remember me? I pulled a disappearing act over the weekend because I decided to take my own advice. I haven’t been feeling all that well – temperature a little high (but just under emergency room high) and a dry cough. In order to keep it from getting any worse I did nothing but rest all weekend. That included not blogging, not answering e-mails or comments, and completely zoning out to multiple movies on Netflix.

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Highlights included taking Buster for his walks in the 25C heat. It’s like summer up in here!

I also made a giant dessert.

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My dad kind of freaked out that I made such a giant dessert while I was supposed to be resting. In my defence, I needed to get off my butt for a while, and what better way to do that than with the lure of chocolate? The layers go as such: brownies, chocolate peanut butter cup pieces, chocolate pudding, whipped peanut butter cream cheese, whipped cream. My oh my, let me tell you, this dessert is off the charts. I know all the layers seem time consuming, but I used a boxed brownie mix (I’m sick remember!) and whipped up the rest in the 35 minutes that the brownies baked. The taste is ridiculous. So many good things happening in there.

It’s also the dessert for today’s Thanksgiving dinner. I loooove big dinners as it’s an excuse to make dishes that don’t always fit into the everyday lineup. Today however I’ll be taking it easy again. I see my doctor on Wednesday but I’m debating on going in on this holiday day. I definitely need to have a chest x-ray to see if my cough is a symptom of lung toxicity, which is basically when the chemotherapy poisons your lungs. I may pull another disappearing act until I know I’m better. If cancer is teaching me anything, it’s that my health always comes first. Obligations are never as important or demanding as being alive and well. Take care friends!

The Birthday Pie

Hello friends! I’m stopping in for a late and quick update. Just getting in from playing a State of the Union drinking game. I had to take a drink of my Alexander Keith’s any time Obama said “economy” or when Joe Biden fell asleep :P

Tonight I want to share the pie I made for my birthday. It’s become a bit of a tradition that I make my own special treat rather than the more common birthday cake. You can see the carrot cake I made in 2009 and the chocolate beet cake I made in 2010.

This year I decided cake was passé and it was high time the lesser acknowledged pie take the front seat. I spent a lot of mental energy trying to decide what kind to make. I got some fabulous suggestions on Twitter and Facebook. But in the end I went with one of my favourite flavour combinations: peanut butter + marshmallow fluff. And so I give you…

Fluffernutter Pie

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I ended up following this recipe. However I think it could be tweaked a little. I will save my comments for the end so you can feel free to play around with it if you so choose!

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I started with a basic graham cracker crust:

  • 1 1/2 cups crushed graham crackers
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 5 tbsp melted butter

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Sounds easy enough! However, this was my first attempt at a graham cracker crust, and I think it turned out too crumbly. Maybe because I used a pre-crumbled mix. Probably because any good recipe needs a little more butter ;)

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I flattened that mixture into a normal sized pie dish and stuck it in the fridge while I assembled the filling.

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You will need:

  • 1 cup marshmallow cream
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter (I used smooth & natural)
  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese (I used light)
  • 4 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/2 pint whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup milk (I used unsweetened vanilla almond milk)
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    Start by beating together your cream cheese, peanut butter and marshmallow cream.

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    Slowly add in your 35% cream.

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    Then your sugar.

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    Blend all that up, then take a spoon and stir in the milk to get it nice and fluffy.

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    And pour over your chilled graham cracker crust.

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    That’s it! The hard work is done! Easiest pie ever, right? It’s quite literally “as easy as pie.” Now you just need to freeze overnight before eating. The recipe highly suggests you do this to bring out the flavours.

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    If you’re impatient, I recommend licking the bowl to tie you over. 

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    Now, the recipe never said if this should be eaten frozen or just chilled. I tried it both ways, and letting it defrost in the fridge makes a much better pie. Nice and fluffy instead of hard like a frozen cheesecake.

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    Overall, it was a damn tasty pie. Even though the crust was crumbly, it still tasted top notch. And the fluffy pie made for a wonderful light dessert. I did however find that the cream cheese flavours overpowered the peanut butter and marshmallow flavour. And it was a touch too runny.

    SO, if you’re brave and ever try making this. I suggest using a whole jar of marshmallow cream (closer to 1 1/2 – 2 cups) and leaving out the milk. Also, if you’re using natural peanut butter, feel free to bump up the sugar from 4 tsp to at least 2-3 tbsp.

    Clearly, I’ll just need to find an excuse to make this again. Anyone in need of a birthday pie??

    Dreamy Peanut Butter Marshmallow Squares

    It doesn’t matter where I go, but any place I visit over the course of December has a tray of sweets waiting for me.

    Squares and cookies that so-and-so’s neighbour or cousin sent over. Maybe it’s a catered Christmas party with a mountain of sugary goodies on display. If you’re going anywhere this month, chances are you’re showing up with a container full of sweet stuff in tow.

    Christmas brings out the sugar fiend in all of us.

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    Usually I ignore these trays unless there is something I “omgneedtohave.” I’ve had a billion sugar cookies in my life. I know what a date square tastes like. I can pass up on these treats pretty easily. But there is one square I will always go for. One I will seek out. One that I can’t just have one of.

    Peanut Butter Marshmallow Squares.

    Long-time blog readers already know that I love marshmallows. Beyond the point that’s probably normal. Nothing, in my opinion, tastes better with marshmallows than peanut butter. Yes, fluffernutter trumps hot chocolate.

    Despite my love for these fluffy treats, I have never actually attempted to make them. Rather, I would just anxiously scan dessert trays at parties hoping to see my favourite multi-coloured square.

    Needless to say, I was pleasantly surprised when I went looking for recipes and found this one only has four ingredients.

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    • 1/2 cup butter
    • 1 cup peanut butter
    • 1 (300g) bag butterscotch chips
    • 1 (200g) bag mini marshmallows

    I ended up choosing this recipe in particular, simply because it had more peanut butter than the others. You can never go wrong with extra peanut butter.

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    The first step is easy. Melt your peanut butter, butter and butterscotch chips together in a pot on low heat.

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    Slow and steady does it. The more you stir, the more it melts.

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    This is where your kitchen starts to smell like a buttery heaven.

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    Let that mix cool for a little bit so it doesn’t melt the marshmallows. I’m impatient and perhaps did not let it cool long enough (ahem, three minutes). You’ll later see why letting it thicken up is better.

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    Throw in your bag of multicoloured marshmallows. I know these are the fruity ones and seem like an odd choice compared to the regular white ones. But it’s not the same with the white ones. It just isn’t.

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    Try not to jump in there and bathe with the marshmallows. It’s tempting!

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    Once everything is coated and mixed, transfer it to a greased 11×13 baking dish and refrigerate.

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    One of the commenters on the recipe said she put them in the freezer right away, then let thaw slightly before cutting and taking them out of the dish. I tried this method, leaving it in the freezer for an hour, then on the counter for 5 minutes or so. They came right out of the dish with very few bits left behind!

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    You can see here where the warm mix sank to the bottom of the dish. I have a feeling if I let it thicken up, it would have coated the marshmallows more evenly.

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    The final product is nothing short of amazing. Rich, buttery peanut fudge with fluffy sweet marshmallows. I can’t believe how quick and easy they were to make. Clean-up was a cinch too!

    Now, if only I can keep my grubby little hands off them. They’re all wrapped up and ready to give away in the name of the holiday spirit. I highly suggest you add these to your Christmas treat list. For girls like me, who will be scanning the treat trays at parties for them ;)

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