Awesome Nut Pie

Yep.  you read the title correct.  I made Nut Pie.  I can not take credit for the naming of this dish.  I have been making it for several years.   I found the recipe here on Pinterest.   To me and my Paleo friends, we call it “Cheese-fake cake”.  But Trip HATES it when I call it that.  Something about “it’s not a cake” and “there isn’t any cheese in it”.  Well, DUH!  That’s why it’s called a “cheese-fake cake”!  Moral of the story is….this will now and forever be called “Nut Pie”.

You may ask….why is this called “Nut Pie”.  Well….it’s made 90% of nuts!  Sounds about right for a pie that is called Nut Pie.

Ingredients:

Crust:

  • 3 cups raw pecans
  • 1/4c brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 6 tbsp cubed butter

Filling:

  • 3 1/2 cups cashews (soaked in water overnight)
  • 2/3c agave nectar
  • 2/3c melted coconut oil
  • 1 lemon juiced
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

 

First thing is to soak the cashews in water overnight in the refrigerator.  That’s easy.  This makes them blend up nice and creamy.

Now that the cashews have been soaked, you can make the crust.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Take all the ingredients and put in your food processor.  Pulse until all the ingredients are well mixed.  Then press them into an 8in springform pan.  If you don’t have one, it’s ok.  You can use a regular pie pan.  Make sure that you grease the pan before putting the crust in so it doesn’t stick.

Put crust into the oven for 10-14 minutes.  You want to make sure that the crust is set.

Pecan crust

Pecan crust

 

While the crust is cooking, you can make the filling.  Drain the water from the cashews before putting them back in your food processor.  I like the blend the cashews by themselves for about 30 seconds.  Add the rest of the filling ingredients.  Blend until smooth and creamy.

Cashew Filling

Cashew Filling

 

Make sure that the crust is cooled before you add the filling.

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Put the Nut Pie into the freezer for at least 4 hours.

Remember to take the pie about 30 minutes before you want to eat it.  Slice the pie and enjoy!  You can add fresh fruit, chocolate sauce, or just eat it plain. IMG_2363

This is an almost Paleo dessert.  There isn’t a lot of sugar in it.  There are similar recipes that use dates instead of brown sugar.  But I prefer how the dates tasted in the crust, so I use the brown sugar.  This is my favorite crust to use in a lot of recipes.  It goes great with pumpkin pie!  Can’t wait for Thanksgiving to post my pumpkin pie with pecan crust!  It’s amazing!  But until then….enjoy your Nut Pie!  🙂

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Crock-pot Salsa Chicken

For the longest time, I swore off buying a Crock-Pot.   Part of me was scared to leave a cooking appliance on while I was at home.  The other part of me thought I was buying lazy by just putting something in a Crock-Pot and not doing anything.  Two years ago, my boyfriend’s brother bought me one for Christmas….and it is one of my favorite kitchen appliances.

So shiny!

So shiny!

 

Since getting this awesome Crock-Pot, one of our favorite meals is Salsa Chicken.  It’s super easy and great for leftovers!  I usually make this before my work weekends so I have lunches already made.  In fact, I have made it so often for work lunches, one of my coworkers Kim requested that I blog about this recipe!  Well, here ya go Kim!

Ingredients:

  • 4 thawed chicken breasts
  • 1 lime
  • 1 taco seasonings packet
  • 1 jar salsa (need AT least 18 ounces of salsa for the full recipe)
  • Crock-Pot Liner
  • optional: chopped jalapeno or hatch chili pepper for extra kick if you want

 

First thing to do is put your Crock-Pot liner in your crock pot.  If you have never used, or heard of a Crock-Pot liner, you need to go to Wal-Mart and buy them now.  They will save you SOOOOO much time when it comes to clean up.   This will save you from having to scrub the crock pot when you are finished cooking.

Put your thawed chicken breasts in the bottom of the crock pot.  Squeeze the entire lime over the chicken.  Once you put the lime juice over the chicken, now spread the taco seasonings over the chicken breasts.

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Now, pour the salsa over the chicken.  You want to make sure that the chicken is fully covered with salsa.

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I will normally get a big jar of salsa from Costco and use about 3/4 of it.  I can imagine what you are thinking….wow!  That’s a lot of salsa.   And yes, it is.  But we feel that it is necessary.   When the chicken is finished cooking, the salsa sauce goes perfectly over the chicken and can be used as a taco salad dressing.  There have been times when we didn’t put enough salsa on it, and honestly, the dish wasn’t as good.  So, don’t be stingy with your salsa!  🙂

With the salsa on, you can add the chopped peppers if you want.  In not, put the lid on the Crock-Pot and cook on low for 7 hours.

And 7 hours later…..

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You have flavorful chicken that is able to be pulled apart and eaten for dinner.  Like I mentioned earlier, you can put it on a taco salad, put it over rice, or just add a bunch of the salsa sauce from the Crock-Pot and eat it by itself.  Whatever you decide to eat this with it will be amazing that night or the next day for lunch!  Enjoy!

Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Caramel Awesomeness!

Yep….you read that title correct!  So if you don’t like Chocolate Chip Cookies, Peanut Butter M&Ms, or Caramel….you should probably skip this post.   This cookie bar has everything I mentioned in it!  This by no means is healthy…but it is a CHEAT treat!  You have to have this every now and then.  That being said….this cheat is better suited for a party situation.  That way, you can have some but won’t be tempted every time you walk into the kitchen.  🙂

I have made this for several parties (including a dinner party I am going to tonight), and everyone who has tried it has loved it, so I know you will too!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup butter (2 sticks) room temp
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup light brown sugar packed
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 tsp coarse Sea salt(seems like a lot, but with all of the sugar in this recipe….you need to counter it)
  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 cups peanut butter M&M’s
  • 1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips 1 (14oz) bag caramels unwrapped
  • 1/4 cup milk

 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a 9 x 13 pan.

Cream butter and sugar together.  Then mix in the eggs and vanilla.  Make sure all the wet ingredients are mixed well.  Slowly add in the baking soda, salt, and flour until it is all mixed.  Stir in chocolate chips and peanut butter M&Ms.

Take 2/3 of the batter and spread it in the pan.  Now this can be messy!!  A little tip is to spray your hands first with the cooking spray and then use your hands to spread the dough out.

Dough ready to go in the oven

Dough ready to go in the oven

 

You will bake this for 8-10 minutes.  You want the dough to set, but not golden brown.

After baking for 10 minutes

After baking for 10 minutes

 

Now that the first part is finished baking, you can work on your caramel layer.  Take your unwrapped caramels, put them in a microwave safe container with the milk.  Microwave for 1 minute at a time.  After each minute, stir.  Keep doing this until all of the caramels are melted.  Should take between 2-3 minutes.

Melted caramel

Melted caramel

 

With the caramel melted, gently pour it over the dough in the pan.

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With the last of your dough, you will cover all of the caramel as best as you can.  It might not be perfect, but that doesn’t matter.  The dough will spread.  Try not to leave any major holes.

Ready to go back in the oven!

Ready to go back in the oven!

 

Put the pan back in the oven for 15-20 minutes.   Now you do want it to be golden brown this time.

 

MMM....

MMM….

 

Turned out great!  Except for the part when I accidentally let my oven mitt touch the cookie bar.  Oops!  Oh well….I guess that means that I get to have a sample before the dinner party tonight!  🙂