Chocolate Oreo Ice Box Pie

At one point in my life, I was an endless cloud of sadness.. 
There were just… things..going on that didn’t seem to ever get better. 
So I did what most people would do.. I found an outlet to drown my sorrows in. 
They were beautiful, dark, and just simply perfection....it wasn’t until after several weeks that I realized how bad they were for me.... and that maybe they weren't helping my situation.... just making it worse. 
So one day while sitting on the couch, I told them I just couldn’t do it anymore.. I’ll never get out and get myself together if I sat around the house spending all my time with them.

So I got up….

and threw the 2 bags of Oreos in the trash.

Let’s make something….

You might need these:

9in pie pan
1 package of Oreos, crushed (there were 32 cookies in the package)
1/2 cup of butter, melted
2/3 cup sugar
3 tbsp. cornstarch
4 egg yolks
2 cups milk
2 (4oz) bittersweet chocolate baking bars, chopped
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup granulated sugar
For the garnish I used some of the bittersweet chocolate for the shavings. 

Using a food processor, finely crush the Oreo cookies. Then in a separate bowl stir together crushed Oreos and melted butter. Firmly press the mixture to the bottom and sides of a 9in pie pan. Place in the freezer for 30 minutes.

In a heavy saucepan whisk together 2/3 cup sugar and cornstarch. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and milk.. then add to the saucepan with the cornstarch mixture.
Cook over medium heat whisking constantly for about 10 minutes until mixture starts to thicken. Cook for about another minute then remove from heat.

Melt the chocolate bars in the microwave for 1:30 stopping every 30 seconds to stir.
Stir melted chocolate and vanilla into thickened custard like mixture. Then spoon filling into prepared pie crust.
Cover with plastic wrap and chill for 8 - 24 hours.. (The pie in the picture was in the fridge over night, but I've also made it and only had 8 hours to let it chill)

For the whipped topping... Beat whipping cream and 1/4 cup granulated sugar at medium-high speed with an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Top pie with whipped topping and garnish with chocolate shavings or crushed oreos if desired.

Close up on camera 3 please...


Andouille Slider Burgers w/ Caramelized Onions & Creole Mayo…

With the convenience of the every growing mega super markets, more of us tend to move away from those very hard to find butcher shops. As a product of a family that raised pigs and chickens, this is a somewhat difficult concept for me to accept. Mainly because growing up my uncle could tell you what that pig (or chicken) ate from the time it took its 1st breathe to the day before it hit your table. From the daily routines of his "golden egg laying" chickens to the temperament of his best hog. 
Visiting your local butcher or even becoming a member of a CSA that handles meats and poultry can be expensive.

 I know.. 

But as the saying goes, “you are what you eat” and I don’t want to be made up of a chicken that was “produced” by a new robot that can make 100 pound chickens, so these supermarkets can sell them to the masses.

Think about it..

There is a charismatic charcutier that is always at the local farmers markets in Atlanta . His company is called the Spotted Trotter and they have the best Tasso ham and Andouille sausage you can find (in my opinion of course) and don’t even get me started on the Sorghum Cured Pork Belly.  Since I am somewhat of a ‘friendly” person, by that I mean can talk to a complete stranger for hours like I’ve known them my whole life; when first meeting him I was drawn in by his friendly greeting and instant detailed explanations on the best way to cook every single fresh item that was available for purchase that day. We started talking about grilling and burgers and by the end of the conversation I had a bag full of meat and great idea for that nights dinner..

Andouille Slider Burger w/ Caramelized Onions & Creole Mayo… 

The onions and Creole mayo bring all the flavors together beautifully in these little burgers.. Add your favorite toppings to make them your own. Like blue cheese or sprouts and arugula.

You might need these:
adapted from A Spicy Perspective

For Burgers:
8oz Andoullie Sausage Link
1 pound ground beef
1 small shallot, chopped 
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
Pack of Whole Wheat Slider Burger Buns

Caramelized Onions:
1/4 cup vidalia onion, peeled and sliced lengthwise to desired thickness
2 tablespoons of sugar
1/4 cup of olive oil 

Creole Mayo:
 1/3 cup mayo
1 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon hot sauce
1 teaspoon of creole seasoning.. (you can find this in the spice aisle of your local groger)

Add sausage, shallot and egg to a food processor and pulse until ground.
In a large bowl pour sausage mixture,  ground beef, salt and pepper and mix well until all ingredients are combined.  (it's best to use your hands, in my opinon)

Form meat mixture into desired size patties.. and place on a preheated grill for about 2-3 minutes per side. (this time was for my slider size burgers)

Meanwhile, make the Creole Mayo by mixing mayo, creole seasoning, Worcestershire and hot sauce in a small bowl: stir with a whisk until combined.

For the onions:
In a large skillet pan..heat oil over medium heat until hot.... add onions cooking for about 15 minutes stirring often, sprinkle with sugar and reduce heat. Continue cooking (stirring often) until onions are golden brown.

Warm your buns or keep them cold add burger patties, a little cheese (I used muenster..because it's awesome), arugula, and top with the caramelized onions..

These little beauties will be the main attraction at your next backyard BBQ...


Pistachio & Poppy Seed Muffins

In the post for these muffins, I expressed my deep love of poppy seeds..
Well, I also have a somewhat deeper love of pistachios
An even bigger love of muffins..

I also really love Navy School boy Blazers and Polka-Dots
J Crew

Now there is no confusions as to what to get me for Christmas..

There is also no confusion as to where the inspiration for these Pistachio Poppy Seed Muffins came from..

What could be better than savory warm muffins with a hint of sweetness to help you start the day. 

Pistachio and Poppy Seed Muffins

You might need these:
recipe adapted from Cooking Light

1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup packed brown sugar 
1 teaspoon baking soda 
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
1 cup buttermilk 
1 tablespoon agave nectar (maple syrup) 
1/4 cup melted butter
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/3 cup pistachios, chopped 

Heat oven to 375

In a large bowl combine flour, brown sugar, baking soda, and salt. Using a whisk, mix in poppy seeds. In the center of the mixture make a well. 
Combine buttermilk, agave nectar, melted butter and egg in a separate bowl, then whisk into the flour mixture, stir until ingredients are incorporated.

Line muffin tin with muffin cups, then spray with cooking spray. Divide batter evenly among muffin cups, then sprinkle each with chopped pistachios. 

Bake for 15 minutes or until muffins pass the toothpick test. Let muffins cool for 5 minutes before serving... 

I sprinkled the tops with a little powdered sugar... and then I proceeded to eat the whole basket about 2.  

These are really easy to make and are much better for that morning breakfast meal than those poptarts I can't seem to give up....