Cheater Mousse Pie

Some years ago (pre-kids so at least 11, but probably more), there was a recipe on the side of Jello pudding for “Five Minute Pie”. I was extremely skeptical. Oh, sure, I thought, they say “five minutes” but that probably only includes the time to put everything in the bowl or something. In my kitchen experience, nothing ever takes less than twice as much “prep time” as indicated by the recipe.

But…it did sound delicious. And easy. So what if it did take 10 or 15 minutes to throw it together? That’s still pretty quick, right? So I gathered everything up and started whisking. I’ll be damned if that pie wasn’t in its crust and ready to eat in 5 minutes, including package opening time.

The next one I made, I took to a party. Everyone was SUPER impressed. What a lovely chocolate mousse pie I had made! I absolutely must give them the recipe! Holy cannoli, this 5 minute pie thing was a huge hit! I started making it for everything. You can fancy it up by piping on the whipped cream or adding chocolate shavings. People will think you’ve spent hours on this thing. And it really is very tasty.

I lost the recipe a while back, but thanks to the interwebs have recently rediscovered this magical, mousse-ical pie.

I’ve been seeing a thing on food blogs lately where it’s a bajillion pictures of the same thing and you have to scroll forever to get to the actual recipe. So I won’t be doing that, ever. BUT, I thought I might try doing some step-outs in the recipe itself. I’m not sure I like it, but let me know what you think!

Cheater Mousse Pie
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
8 I mean, it's a pie. I could probably eat a whole one by myself, but if you want to share cut it into as many slices as you like. 5 minutes (for real!)
Servings Prep Time
8 I mean, it's a pie. I could probably eat a whole one by myself, but if you want to share cut it into as many slices as you like. 5 minutes (for real!)
Cheater Mousse Pie
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
8 I mean, it's a pie. I could probably eat a whole one by myself, but if you want to share cut it into as many slices as you like. 5 minutes (for real!)
Servings Prep Time
8 I mean, it's a pie. I could probably eat a whole one by myself, but if you want to share cut it into as many slices as you like. 5 minutes (for real!)
Ingredients
  • 2 boxes chocolate pudding The regular size, not family size.
  • 1 container Cool Whip The regular size tub, not the giant one.
  • 1 1/4 cups milk I use skim, because that's what we have on hand. Use what you have.
  • 1 pre-made cookie crust I like the chocolate ones, but the Nilla wafer or graham cracker ones are fine, too. The Oreo ones are little too intense for this recipe.
  • Mini chocolate chips optional -- for decor
Servings: I mean, it's a pie. I could probably eat a whole one by myself, but if you want to share cut it into as many slices as you like.
Instructions
  1. Whisk pudding and milk together until fully combined.
  2. Whisk in half of Cool Whip. Mixture will be very thick. Mousse-like, even.
  3. Spoon mixture into crust and spread evenly.
  4. Top with remaining Cool Whip.
  5. Add other toppings as desired
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Creamy Salmon Pasta

Creamy pasta with salmon

This is one of those recipes that is so easy I feel like I’m cheating by posting it. But I figure if I didn’t know about this fast and easy method of making “cream sauce”, you may not, either. And believe me, if you like cream sauce, you want to know.

Tips and tricks: First, any kind of protein (or none!) would be great with this. I happened to use salmon because my dr. told me if I’m not going to take supplements (I’m not, because I feel like crap when I do), I need to eat salmon a few times a week. I think this recipe would also be really great with chicken.  Also, when I made this, I made it for myself to have for lunch, and I mixed everything together (except the tomatoes) as in the recipe below. Next time, I’m going to keep the salmon separate, as by the 3rd lunch, the salmon flavor had completely overwhelmed everything else.

Creamy Salmon Pasta
Print Recipe
Super easy creamy pasta with salmon
Servings
6 ish
Servings
6 ish
Creamy Salmon Pasta
Print Recipe
Super easy creamy pasta with salmon
Servings
6 ish
Servings
6 ish
Ingredients
Servings: ish
Instructions
  1. Boil pasta to al dente and drain
  2. Add cream cheese, Parmesan, and milk to hot pasta
  3. Stir until cheeses are completely melted
  4. Add lemon juice, garlic, and/or basil if desired
  5. Stir in desired salmon or chicken, coating well
  6. Top with grape tomatoes if desired
Recipe Notes

Modified from Chef Michael Smith's Penne with Smoked Salmon & Cream Cheese Sauce.

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Mmmmm….cake

Originally appeared on Tasteful Diversions 11/15/11. It has been FAR too long since I’ve made one of these. Must fix that soon.

Cake with glaze and berries
Cake shown with glaze and berries.

It occurs to me that my practice of linking to online recipes rather than including them here is likely to backfire on me at some point, when  a recipe gets moved or the blog I found it on is gone, or any number of other things. So, from now on, I’ll be adding those recipes to the blog as well as linking to the source. The first one of these is a scrumptious, versatile, and just stupidly easy yogurt cake, which I discovered via the magic of Pinterest. (I’ve also added my go-to bread, blackberry cobbler, and lime cupcakes to the Recipes page, so those are there now.) [Lola note: that was for the old blog. But I’ll get them all moved over here eventually!]

The recipe I found was modified from a recipe found on another site, but I went ahead and modified it even further. I’ve made this recipe twice now, and both times I used the 170ml size yogurt  that’s commonly available here in the US (I used Chobani both times, honey flavor the first time and strawberry the second). I also just used regular ol’ sugar, though the original recipe calls for caster sugar (which is much finer than regular granulated sugar). Finally, the biggest mod I made was, the first time, an accident.

Zacky and I were in the middle of throwing our ingredients into the bowl, and I popped open the fridge to grab the milk…which we were out of. We had already added both wet and dry ingredients, so stopping for a trip to the market wasn’t really an option. I asked myself: what do I have that’s liquid and non-alcoholic? The answer: apple juice. My biggest concern was for the texture of the cake, and I have to tell you, it came out incredibly moist. It was dense without being heavy, had a nice crumb while still being silky on the tongue. I so <3 this cake. That one got eaten without any glaze or anything.

This past weekend, we had another shindig to go to and I decided to bake another one of these cakes, only to take it a step further and go with OJ, which I also used for the liquid in the glaze. As noted above, I used strawberry yogurt this time and also put some lightly macerated berries between the layers and on top. So good. Oh — one more thing: the first time, I baked the cake in an angel food cake pan, and this time I baked two rounds. Both came out just fine.

I’m gonna make another one for the party we’re going to this weekend. I think I have finally found a go-to cake recipe, and I love that it’s so, so easy. Did I mention the best part? You use the yogurt cup for all your “cup” measurments, plus it’s a one bowl recipe. Love. It.

Cuppa Yogurt Cake
Print Recipe
Moist, dense yogurt cake made with a cuppa this and a cuppa that, using the yogurt cup as the measure. Originally discovered on The Boys Made Me Do It, via Pinterest.
Prep Time
10 minutes
Cook Time
40-50 minutes
Prep Time
10 minutes
Cook Time
40-50 minutes
Cuppa Yogurt Cake
Print Recipe
Moist, dense yogurt cake made with a cuppa this and a cuppa that, using the yogurt cup as the measure. Originally discovered on The Boys Made Me Do It, via Pinterest.
Prep Time
10 minutes
Cook Time
40-50 minutes
Prep Time
10 minutes
Cook Time
40-50 minutes
Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Grease a bundt, angel food cake, or two 9" round pans.
  3. Mix all ingredients until smooth. (I know, it's not super specific. Seriously, just dump everything together in a bowl and mix it all up.)
  4. Pour batter into prepared pan(s).
  5. Bake for 40-50 minutes (a toothpick inserted halfway between edge and center should come out clean).
  6. Allow to cool in pans, then remove from pans and top as desired.
Recipe Notes

*If you don't have any self-rising flour on hand, you can make it yourself by combining 1 cup of all-purpose flour with 1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder and 1/4 teaspoon of salt.

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Better-than-boxed Brownies

Yep, another re-publish from Tasteful Diversions. Next week it’ll be a new one, I promise. 

To follow up last week’s lemonade recipe, I give you brownies. Specifically, I’m publishing these two recipes close together because one of my very favorite summertime combos is brownies and lemonade.

I avoided making brownies from scratch for years because not only were they WAAAAY too much effort (double boiler? No thank you very much!) but they also never came out fudgy like I like them. Then I stumbled across this recipe from Cook’s Illustrated which is only slightly more work than making from a box (no double boiler!) AND makes the fudgiest brownies I’ve ever had.

Better-than-boxed Brownies
Print Recipe
These brownies are perfect every time...dense and fudgy on the inside with a lovely crisp top. (Adapted from Cook’s Illustrated, March & April 2010)
Servings Prep Time
12 ? I dunno -- depends on how big you like your brownies 15 minutes
Cook Time
30-35 minutes
Servings Prep Time
12 ? I dunno -- depends on how big you like your brownies 15 minutes
Cook Time
30-35 minutes
Better-than-boxed Brownies
Print Recipe
These brownies are perfect every time...dense and fudgy on the inside with a lovely crisp top. (Adapted from Cook’s Illustrated, March & April 2010)
Servings Prep Time
12 ? I dunno -- depends on how big you like your brownies 15 minutes
Cook Time
30-35 minutes
Servings Prep Time
12 ? I dunno -- depends on how big you like your brownies 15 minutes
Cook Time
30-35 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: ? I dunno -- depends on how big you like your brownies
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Line 13×9 pan with foil; spray lightly with cooking spray.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk cocoa and boiling water together until smooth.
  4. Add in unsweetened chocolate and continue to whisk until chocolate is melted.
  5. Whisk in melted butter and oil. [CI notes at this point that the mixture may look curdled; I have not had this issue.]
  6. Whisk in eggs, yolks, and vanilla.
  7. Whisk in sugar.
  8. Stir in flour and salt [CI indicates a rubber spatula for this part; I use a wooden spoon and it seems to work fine] until all ingredients are fully incorporated.
  9. Fold in chips.
  10. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake at 350° 30-35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted halfway between edge and center comes out clean (or with a few moist crumbs).
  11. Remove from oven and allow to cool in pan on a rack for 1 1/2hrs.
  12. Using foil, remove brownies from pan and place on rack to cool another hour before serving.*
Recipe Notes

*Okay, look, this is 2 1/2 hours of cooling time. I don’t know about you, but there is no chance in hell that fresh brownies are going to get that much alone time at my house. I usually make it about 45 minutes before I start cutting.

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