Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie

27 Nov

Also known as THE PIE(tm) on my blog.

– One 9″ prepared pie crust, do not pre-bake/blind bake
– 4 TBSP butter, softened
– 3/4 c light brown sugar, packed
– 3 eggs, beaten
– 3/4 c light Karo (corn) syrup
– 1/4 tsp salt
– 2 TBSP all-purpose flour
– 1 tsp vanilla
– 1 1/2 c crushed pecans
– 1 c semi-sweet chocolate chips
– 2 TBSP bourbon (such as Maker’s Mark)

Cream butter. Add sugar gradually while beating. Add beaten eggs, Karo, salt, vanilla, and flour. Stir in chips and nuts. Stir in bourbon until well mixed. Refrigerate for 20 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally to remix.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Place crust in a glass pie dish, flour the bottom lightly.

Stir batter one final time, and pour into pie crust. Place on the bottom rack of the oven (if you don’t the bottom crust will come out soggy, as I discovered to my dismay) and bake at 425 for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees. If necessary, cover pie crust edges with foil to avoid burning. Continue baking for about 45 minutes, until center is no longer jiggly.

Let cool nearly completely before serving; pie surface will settle considerably during cooling. Serve with Whiskey Brown Sugar Whipped Cream.

Refrigerate leftovers.

(Adapted from a recipe provided to me by Dyskinesia and Taoist Biker, who are officially reserved a special place in Heaven for this.)

Irish Cream Brownies

27 Nov

These brownies are incredibly decadent. They taste fantastic several days later, and refrigerate very well. In fact, I like to cut them into small brownie bites, refrigerate them, and eat them very cold. With some of the leftover Irish Cream liqueur. Or vanilla ice cream. OH MAN, remember when Ben and Jerry’s made White Russian Ice Cream? That would have been so good with these! Ah, well.

This recipe was originally found over at The Wee Kitchen, who found it at Bake or Break. Bless you, ladies!!! BLESS YOU.

– 1 cup butter
– 4 (1 ounce) squares unsweetened chocolate
– 2 cups sugar
– 4 large eggs
– 1 & 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
– 1/2 teaspoon salt

Cream Layer:
– 2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese
– 1/3 cup sugar
– 1 large egg
– 3 tablespoons Irish Cream liqueur (Bailey’s recommended)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Melt butter and chocolate over low heat in a medium saucepan, stirring often. Remove from heat and let cool.

Line a 13×9 inch baking pan with aluminum foil, leaving several inches of overhang on the two opposite sides of the pan. This will come in handy later for lifting the brownies up out of the pan for cutting. Lightly coat the foil-lined pan with a non-stick cooking spray.

In a medium bowl, beat together the sugar and eggs until fluffy (3-5 minutes). Gradually add in the flour and salt and continue to beat until combined. Set the beater aside, and fold in the melted chocolate mixture.

In another bowl, combine cream cheese and sugar and beat until creamy. Add egg and liqueur and continue to beat until combined.

Pour half of the chocolate batter into the pan. Spread all of the the cream layer over the chocolate layer. Pour the remaining chocolate batter over the cream layer and smooth. Create a marbled effect by swirling a knife through the batter.

Bake for 40-50 minutes, until no longer jiggly in the center. Cool completely before cutting.

Whiskey Brown Sugar Whipped Cream

25 Nov

Put this on EVERYTHING. But especially pumpkin pie.

– 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
– 2 TBSP brown sugar
– 1 TBSP whiskey (Maker’s Mark works well)

Put all ingredients in a medium sized bowl. With an electric beater, mix on medium speed until fluffy with soft peaks, about five minutes. Serve immediately. Swoon repeatedly.

Buffalo Burgers

4 Oct

I don’t think I’ll ever use ground beef again. These are SERIOUSLY good.

– 1 lb ground buffalo (bison) meat
– 2 tbsp minced garlic (about three cloves)
– 2 tbsp dried minced onion (fresh is good too)
– 2 tbsp Worcestershire
– salt and pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients together, but try not to handle too much (the meat gets tough). Form meat into three large or four smaller patties. Grill on high heat for 3 minutes per side. Can also be fried or broiled, just keep in mind that buffalo meat cooks faster than ground beef. Serve on buns with your choice of cheese and condiments.

The Best Tuna Casserole Ever. I am so not kidding.

23 Sep

I adapted this recipe from one that I found on We usually just do the stove top tuna and noodles, but lately I’ve found myself completely disinterested in eating it once I’ve made it. Enter this gem of a casserole, which I whole-heartedly assure you will be the best thing you put in your mouth today. Heh.

– 12 ounces wide egg noodles, cooked al-dente, drained and rinsed
– 1 can cream of golden mushroom soup (any cream of mushroom soup will do, but I find that the golden stuff adds nice color and flavor) – use the low fat stuff if you’re counting calories
– 3/4 cup evaporated milk
– 1/4 cup mayonnaise (low fat is ok)
– 1/4 cup sour cream (low fat is ok)
– 1/4 cup water
– 2 five-ounce cans of tuna, drained
– 1/2 packet of dry Lipton onion soup mix
– 1 1/2 cups freshly grated sharp cheddar cheese, separated
– 1 tbsp Worcestershire
– 1 tsp Tabasco
– 1/2 tsp celery salt
– 1 tsp black pepper
– Optional – 1 cup of frozen baby peas or vegetable medley, thawed and drained

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a large bowl mix all ingredients, reserving 1/2 cup of the shredded cheese, and folding the cooked pasta in last after everything else has been mixed well. Pour everything into a greased casserole dish, and sprinkle remaining cheese on top. Bake uncovered in the preheated oven for thirty minutes. Serve hot – serves up to six.

Crock Pot Pinto Beans with Bacon and Potatoes

6 Sep

These are incredibly flavorful, incredibly simple pinto beans that go great with crusty bread or Mexican cornbread. Cooking them on high for five to six hours instead of on low for ten to twelve results in tender-firm beans that, thrown together at lunchtime, are ready by dinner. The beans thicken nicely with the addition of the potatoes. You’ll need to soak the beans and the ham hock overnight, so keep that in mind for your dining plans.

– 1 pound pinto beans
– 1 ham hock
– water

– 2 cups beef broth
– 1/2 sweet onion, chopped
– 1 tsp oregano
– 1 tsp chili powder
– 1 tsp garlic powder
– 1/2 tsp salt
– 1/2 tsp pepper

– 1 15oz can white potatoes, diced
– 1 lb bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled

To prepare the beans and ham hock overnight:

Soak the beans overnight – place in a large bowl and cover with water two inches above the level of the beans. Cover and leave on the counter. Soak the ham hock overnight – place in a small stock pot, cover with water, cover with a lid, and place in the refrigerator overnight.

The next day:

Drain and rinse the beans, and place them in the crock pot. Place the ham hock in the crock pot with the beans, and reserve the soaking liquid. Pour the beef broth over the beans, add the chopped onion, oregano, chili powder, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Pour in the liquid from the ham hock, until the beans and hock are covered (you may not use all of the liquid – if you run out, add water). Stir well to combine.

Set crock pot on HIGH and cook for five to six hours.

In the final half-hour of cooking time, cook the bacon until very crisp, and crumble. Reserve two TBSP of bacon grease, and fry the diced potatoes until golden. Add the bacon and the potatoes to the beans and stir. Continue cooking the beans until they are the desired tenderness (mine are done usually right at five hours, but I let them sit on “keep warm” for another few hours until we’re ready to eat, and they’re just fine).

Remove the ham hock (you can chop the meat up and add it back in – I don’t really care for hock meat myself) and serve the beans with bread, sour cream, shredded cheese, sliced jalapeños, etc. IF there are any leftovers, they keep well in the refrigerator for several days.

Potato Leek Soup

10 May

– 3.5 pounds russet potatoes (about seven medium), peeled, halved, and sliced thin
– 3 medium sized leeks, whites and small part of tender green sliced thin (about 2 cups)
– 3 cloves of garlic, minced
– 3 tbsp flour*
– 10 oz bacon, diced
– 5 cups chicken stock or broth
– 3 cups water
– 3 egg yolks
– 1 cup sour cream
– 1 cup half-and-half
– 2 tbsp fresh basil, chopped
– 2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
– salt and pepper to taste

In a large dutch oven or heavy soup pot, fry the bacon over medium-high heat until crisp, about 8-10 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon to a plate covered with a paper towel.

Sauté the leeks in the bacon fat over medium heat until lightly browned, about five minutes. Add the minced garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the flour, stir well to combine, and cook until lightly browned, about five minutes.

Pour in the broth and water, stir and deglaze the bottom of the pot. Add the potatoes and bring to a simmer. Simmer, uncovered, until potatoes start to break down and soup thickens, about 45 minutes. Stir occasionally.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the sour cream, half-and-half, and egg yolks. Take one cup of the soup broth and mix it in. Pour mixture into soup pot and stir – DO NOT allow the soup to return to a simmer or the mixture will curdle. Add the basil, parsley, salt and pepper. Stir constantly for about five minutes, until soup is thickened and heated through. Stir in the bacon. Serve.

Makes 8 servings.

* For gluten free, replace flour with gluten-free flour of choice.