Whoopie!!

I'm not sure how in my 44 years I'd never heard of a Whoopie Pie, but they are completely new to me. While searching for pie recipes last week I kept stumbling over Whoopie Pie recipes and then received my latest Costco Connection magazine only to find yet another Whoopie Pie recipe featured.


Maybe I've been unaware of these little pies because they are a New England phenomenon and a Pennsylvania Amish tradition. A whoopie pie (alternatively called a gob, black-and-white, bob, or "BFO" for Big Fat Oreo) is a baked good made of two round mound-shaped pieces of chocolate cake, sometimes pumpkin cake, with a sweet, creamy frosting sandwiched between them. Evidently, it is not uncommon to find roadside farm stands offering these desserts - sounds good to me! I guess in Maine that they are sometimes made the size of hamburgers for several people share.

According to food historians, Amish women would bake these (known as hucklebucks at the time) and put them in farmers' lunchboxes. When farmers would find these treats in their lunch, they would shout "Whoopie!"

I found recipes with chocolate cookies as well as vanilla, pumpkin and banana! Here is the Basic (and traditional) Whoopie Pie Recipe. Scroll down for a link to a website with variations on this classic recipe...oh, yeah...have fun and enjoy!

How to Make Whoopie Pies - Basic Whoopie Pie Recipe

Ingredients
1/2 cup solid vegetable shortening
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 egg
1/4 cup cocoa
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup milk
Whoopie Pie Filling (see recipe below)

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease baking sheets.
2) In a large bowl, cream together shortening, sugar, and egg. In another bowl, combine cocoa, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
3) In a small bowl, stir the vanilla extract into the milk. Add the dry ingredients to the shortening mixture, alternating with the milk mixture; beating until smooth.
4) Drop batter by the 1/4 cup (to make 18 cakes) onto prepared baking sheets. With the back of a spoon spread batter into 4-inch circles, leaving approximately 2 inches between each cake. Bake 15 minutes or until they are firm to the touch. Remove from oven and let cool completely on a wire rack.
5) Make Whoopie Pie Filling. When the cakes are completely cool, spread the flat side (bottom) of one chocolate cake with a generous amount of filling. Top with another cake, pressing down gently to distribute the filling evenly. Repeat with all cookies to make 9 pies. Wrap whoopie pies individually in plastic wrap, or place them in a single layer on a platter (do not stack them, as they tend to stick).

To freeze, wrap each whoopie pie in plastic wrap. Loosely pack them in a plastic freezer container and cover. To serve, defrost the wrapped whoopie pies in the refrigerator.

Makes 9 large whoopie pies.

Whoopie Pie Filling:
1 cup solid vegetable shortening*
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
2 cups Marshmallow Fluff**
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

*Butter may be substituted for all or part of the vegetable shortening, although traditional Whoopie Pies are made with vegetable shortening only
** Marshmallow Creme may be substituted.

1) In a medium bowl, beat together shortening, sugar, and Marshmallow fluff; stir in vanilla extract until well blended.

Visit WhoopiePies.org for more history & recipes.

Eat Dessert First!

I love Pies...easy, sweet, yummy pies! Since we have months before fruit will be ready for picking, here are a few pie recipes that are super easy to make anytime of the year. They are full of fat and creamy deliciousness so you're not going to want to count the calories on these.

Life is short...eat dessert first!


PEANUT BUTTER PIE
Brought to you by: Let's Dish Recipes

This is so easy! Not to mention, smooth and creamy and peanut buttery. I thought it was best after setting up overnight, but it is hard to wait that long to eat it. Light or low-fat cream cheese doesn't usually set up well in a pie like this, but I have successfully used light whipped topping. Enjoy!

Peanut Butter Pie

Ingredients
1 (8-inch) graham cracker pie crust
1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup peanut butter
1 (8 oz.) tub frozen whipped topping, thawed

Directions
With an electric mixer, beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Blend in peanut butter and vanilla. Fold in whipped topping. Spoon mixture into prepared pie crust. Refrigerate at least 4 hours, or until firm.

Easy Banana Cream Pie
EASY BANANA CREAM PIE
Brought to you by: Une Deuxsenses

This pie is simple, easy as hell and delicious. I used my all time favorite go-to custard recipe, which I have also used here and here. I'm not usually one for shortcuts, but this custard is so good and so easy that I don't see the point in attempting to make real pastry cream. One day maybe, but not today. Anyways... bananas, custard, cinnamon whipped cream and pie crust? Yeah I think that definitely qualifies as a winner.

Yields: 1 9-inch pie, serves about 6 - 8

Ingredients
1 9-inch pie crust, fully baked and cooled (I used store bought dough, but you could make your own)
1 large box of french vanilla pudding
1 1/4 cups whole milk
1 3/4 cup heavy cream, split
3 ripe but firm, large bananas, sliced
2 tbsn. powdered sugar, sifted
2 tsp. vanilla extract, split
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/8 tsp. nutmeg

1. To make the custard, combine the pudding mix, milk, 1 tsp. vanilla and 3/4 cup heavy cream and beat for 5 - 10 minutes until thickened and well combined. Set aside in the refrigerator.
2. To make the whipped cream topping, combine the 1 cup of heavy cream, powdered sugar, 1 tsp. vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg and whip until peaks form.
3. To assemble, grab your cooled pie shell and fill with the custard about halfway (there might be some left over but just grab a spoon and shove it in your mouth!), then arrange the bananas in any way, top with the whipped cream and chill for about an hour or more. Enjoy!

If you're feeling on the decadent side, cover the entire thing in whipped cream!

Mini Coco-Chocolate Pies

MINI COCONUT-CHOCOLATE PIES
Brought to you by: The Kitchen Mouse

What I love about these is that they’re fast, single-serving pies with plenty of crust and room for topping. And rather than “accidentally” having 1/5th or 1/6th of a whole pie (I’m sure I’ve never done that. Never!) you get exactly 1/16th but it’s incredibly satisfying.

I decided to try semi-sweet chocolate instead of sweet chocolate and was amazed at the stronger, richer flavor. The sweetness was just perfect.

I still want to try one of the artificial sweeteners in place of the sugar to see if I can get this to a delicious, decadent dessert with one-third less guilt. Maybe next time.

Makes 8 mini-pies

•2 ounces semi-sweet baking chocolate
•2 tbsp (30g) butter
•6 ounces evaporated milk
•3/4 cups sugar
•1 1/2 tbsp cornstarch
•1 egg, beaten
•1 teaspoon vanilla extract
•1/3 cup flaked coconut (sweetened or unsweetened)
•1/3 cup chopped, toasted walnuts
•pinch of salt
•8 Keebler mini-graham cracker crust pie shells
Preheat oven to 375F.

Melt chocolate and butter together using your preferred method. I use the microwave, myself. Stir in evaporated milk and set aside.

Mix together sugar, cornstarch and salt, then add the egg and vanilla. Whisk in chocolate, then stir in pecans and coconut.

Set the pie shells on a baking sheet. Pour filling in to the edge, you should just enough for 8. Bake for 20- 25 minutes. They should be browned and not very jiggly at all. Cool for 2+ hours to room temperature then refrigerate overnight. Serve topped with whipped cream and chocolate shavings.

Eggs...There is No Substitute

Eggs...there is no substitute. Well, that's not exactly true! Actually I use egg substitute quite often with terrific results as well as without the cholesterol. So, you may be wondering why we are talking about eggs. Eggs are a great way to help your grocery bill, that's why! Eggs are still relatively affordable and they can be used in a multitude of ways.

Eggs provides protein so you could substitute some of your expensive meat eating meals with them. Many people think of eggs as just for breakfast; however they can really be used for every meal around the clock! Omelets, fritatas, burritos, salad, scrambles, quiches, pizza, poached, fried, hard boiled and even quesadillas!

I'm not going to get into the difference between brown eggs, organic eggs, hormone filled eggs or about vegetarianism etc....we're just talking recipes here. We have personally replaced a minimum of two meals a week with eggs instead of meat with great results. We both love egg salad sandwiches so we bought a two dozen pack of eggs at Costco and quickly hard boiled half of them. Hard boiling is so simple, just make sure you store them in an air tight container unless you want everything in the fridge smelling like eggs - LOL!

Hard Boiled Eggs for Snacks or Sandwiches

Hard Boiled Eggs

Place the eggs in a pot and cover with cold water by a 1/2-inch or so. Bring to a gentle boil. Now turn off the heat, cover, and let sit for exactly seven minutes. Have a big bowl of ice water ready and when the eggs are done cooking place them in the ice bath for three minutes or so - long enough to stop the cooking. Repeat until totally cooled and then use or place into air tight container.

Fiesta Frittata
Wouldn't this Fiesta Frittata be perfect for dinner? No meat whatsoever and it's delicious!

FIESTA FRITTATA

Ingredients:
8 Eggs (or egg substitute totaling 8 eggs)
1 (8-ounce) carton low-fat cottage cheese
2 cups shredded Mexican cheese, divided
1 tablespoon butter
1 cup coarsely chopped onion
1 teaspoon minced garlic
2 (4-ounce) cans diced green chile peppers, slightly drained
½ cup reduced-fat sour cream, optional
½ cup chunky salsa, optional
Cilantro sprigs, optional

Beat eggs; add cottage cheese and 1 cup Mexican cheese, blend well; set aside. In a 10-inch, non-stick, oven-proof skillet over medium-high heat, melt butter. Add onion and garlic; sauté until onion is tender, about 5-7 minutes. Add green chilies and stir to mix. Pour egg mixture over vegetables in skillet; cook for 2-3 minutes or until mixture looks set around the rim. Keeping mixture in skillet, bake in 350ºF oven until knife inserted in center of dish comes out clean or about 20-25 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining cup of cheese and place under broiler for about 1 minute to brown and melt cheese (watch carefully). Cut into wedges and serve with reduced-fat sour cream and salsa and garnish with sprigs of cilantro, if desired. Hint: To make the skillet oven-proof, wrap the handle with aluminum foil.

Pizza Eggburger
How about a Pizza Burger? My husband loves these and I think they would be a hit with kids too.

PIZZA EGGBURGER

Ingredients:
1 teaspoon butter
1 egg
1 whole wheat hamburger bun
2-3 slices of pepperoni
1 tablespoon mozzarella cheese
1 tablespoon pizza sauce

Heat butter in small skillet over medium heat. Break and slip egg into pan. Break yolk, if desired. When egg is set but still moist on tip, add slices of pepperoni. Turn egg over and sprinkle with cheese. Cook until cheese is melted. Open bun, spread with pizza sauce, and top with cooked egg.

Egg Bundle Appetizers
These Egg Bundles would be perfect for appetizers and look fancy but are really simple to make.

DELICIOUS EGG BUNDLES

Ingredients:
1 package (16 ounces) frozen phyllo dough, thawed
¾ cup butter, melted
½ cup dry bread crumbs
1 package cream cheese, cut into cubes
12 eggs
1 cup ham, diced
1 cup shredded provolone cheese
2 tablespoons minced chives

Directions:
Place one sheet of phyllo dough on a cutting board; brush with butter. Top with another sheet of phyllo; brush with butter. Repeat three times. Cut phyllo in half lengthwise, then cut widthwise into thirds. Repeat process so you have 12 stacks.

Grease 12 muffin cups. Sprinkle bread crumbs into bottom of muffin cups. Carefully place phyllo stacks into cups. Brush edges of dough with butter. Top each with cubes of cream cheese.

Break each egg separately into a custard cup; gently pour egg over cream cheese. Sprinkle with ham, provolone cheese and chives. Pinch corners of phyllo together to seal. Bake at 400°F for 13-17 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm. Serves 12.

Want even more eggstraspecial recipes?

FRITATAS: http://allrecipes.com/Recipes/Breakfast-and-Brunch/Egg-Dishes/Frittata/ViewAll.aspx

FARMER'S MARKET OMELET: http://www.incredibleegg.org/recipes-and-more/recipes/farmers-market-omelets

BACON & EGG QUESADILLAS: http://www.incredibleegg.org/recipes-and-more/recipes/bacon-egg-quesadillas

BAKED CUSTARD: http://www.meals.com/Recipes/Baked-Custard.aspx?recipeid=29738

VEGGIE POACHED EGGS: http://www.eatbetteramerica.com/recipes/breakfast-brunch/eggsegg-substitutes/vegetable-poached-eggs.aspx

Please share your favorite egg recipes in the comments...Happy Cooking!

Southwest Pork Chops

These boneless pork chops have a Southwestern flair thanks to salsa, corn, and Mexican-style chili beans.

Makes: 6 servings
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 9-1/2 hours

Ingredients
8 boneless pork chops, cut 3/4-inch thick (about 2-1/2 lb.)
1 15-ounce can Mexican-style chili beans
1-1/4 cups bottled salsa
1 cup frozen organic whole kernel corn
2 cups hot cooked rice
Snipped fresh cilantro (optional)

Directions
1. Trim excess fat from chops. Place chops in the bottom of a 3-1/2- or 4-quart crockery cooker. Add chili beans and salsa. Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 9-1/2 hours. Turn to high-heat setting and then stir in corn. Cover and cook 30 minutes longer.

Serve over rice. Sprinkle with cilantro, if desired. Makes 6 servings.

Vanilla-Sparkling Wine Pound Cake

Better Homes & Gardens - bhg.com
A delicious twist on the traditional pound cake recipe and it works perfectly in a bundt pan. Enjoy!

Prep Time: 30 minutes; Bake: 50 minutes; Cool: 15 minutes

Ingredients:
3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup sparkling wine or milk
3 Tbsp. sour cream
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup safflower or canola oil
5 cold eggs
2 Tbsp. pure vanilla extract
1 recipe Sparkling Wine Glaze, recipe below

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 10-inch tube pan; set aside. In large bowl mix together flour, baking powder, and salt. Sift mixture; set aside. Stir together sparkling wine and sour cream; set aside.

2. In large mixing bowl beat sugar, melted butter, and oil with electric mixer until well combined. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each. Beat in vanilla paste. Beat on medium to high 3 to 5 minutes or until thicker and lighter in color. Add one-third the flour mixture; beat on low just until combined, scraping sides of bowl as needed. Add half the wine mixture; beat just until combined. Repeat with one-third the flour mixture, the remaining wine mixture, and remaining flour mixture. With rubber spatula scrape batter into prepared pan.

3. Bake 50 to 55 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted near center comes out clean. Cool in pan on wire rack 15 minutes. Turn out on rack; cool completely. Drizzle with Sparkling Wine Glaze. Makes 16 servings.

Sparkling Wine Glaze: In small bowl combine 1 cup powdered sugar and 1 Tbsp. sparkling wine. Stir in additional wine, 1 tsp. at a time, to reach drizzling consistency.

Original recipe from: http://www.bhg.com/recipe/pound-cakes/vanilla-sparkling-wine-pound-cake/

Grilled Asian Pork Tenderloin with Peanut Sauce

FineCooking.com
Pork...the other white meat!

Servings: Serves four to five

Ingredients:
1 cup light coconut milk
1/2 cup smooth, natural peanut butter
1/4 cup soy sauce
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
3 tablespoons brown sugar
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoon ground coriander
2 small pork tenderloins (about 2 pounds)
Extra Virgin Olive Oil for the grill

Directions
In a large bowl, whisk the coconut milk, peanut butter, soy sauce, lime juice, brown sugar, garlic, and coriander to make a smooth sauce.

Trim the pork of excess fat; butterfly the tenderloins by splitting each one lengthwise almost but not quite all the way through, so the halves remain attached.

Open each tenderloin like a book, cover with plastic wrap, and pound to an even 1/2-inch thickness with a meat mallet or the bottom of a small skillet. Put the pork tenderloins in the bowl with the marinade and turn to coat. Cover with plastic wrap, and let sit for 2 hours at room temperature, or overnight in the refrigerator.

When you're ready to cook the pork...heat a gas grill with burners on high. Clean and oil the grate. Remove the tenderloins from the marinade, letting excess marinade drip back into the bowl (don't discard the marinade).

Grill the tenderloins, covered, turning once, until just cooked through, 5 to 7 minutes total (cut into one to check). Transfer to a carving board and let rest for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, pour the marinade into a small saucepan and add 2 tablespoons water; bring to a boil (*WARNING: This liquid MUST be brought to a boil to kill any bacteria from raw meat juices), reduce the heat, and simmer for 3 minutes. Remove from the heat. If the sauce seems too thick, thin it with 1 or 2 teaspoons water. Slice the pork and serve with the sauce on the side.

Serving Suggestion: Serve with steamed jasmine rice and stir-fried snow peas or vegetable mix.

Original recipe from: http://www.finecooking.com/recipes/grilled-asian-pork-tenderloin-peanut-sauce.aspx

Chocolate, Chocolate, Chocolate!

Some people say that the tradition of giving Easter eggs began with the Chinese, who gave eggs as gifts in the celebration of spring. Regardless of its origin, there is no question that most people prefer chocolate Easter eggs today.

Here are a few of my favorite chocolate quotes that you can use in Easter egreetings, postal greetings and invitations, etc. -- or just to enjoy:

1. "Strength is the capacity to break a chocolate bar into four pieces with your bare hands - and then eat just one of the pieces " ~ Judith Viorst

2. "Biochemically, love is just like eating large amounts of chocolate." ~ John Milton

3."Nine out of ten people like chocolate. The tenth person always lies." ~ John Q. Tullius

4. "Exercise is a dirty word. Every time I hear it I wash my mouth out with chocolate." ~ Charles M. Schultz

5."Forget love... I'd rather fall in chocolate!" ~ Author Unknown

6 "Once in a while I say, 'Go for it' and I eat chocolate." ~ Claudia Schiffer

7. "Chocolate makes everyone smile - even bankers." ~ Chocolatier Benneville Strohecker

8."Caramels are only a fad. Chocolate is a permanent thing." ~ Milton Snavely Hershey

9. "There are two kinds of people in the world. Those who love chocolate, and communists." ~ Leslie Moak Murray in ‘Murray's Law' comic strip

10. "Any sane person loves chocolate." ~ Writer Bob Greene

11. "Other things are just food. But chocolate's chocolate." ~ Writer Patrick Skene Catling

12. "Stress wouldn't be so hard to take if it were chocolate covered." ~ Anonymous

13. "Chocolate is cheaper than therapy and you don't need an appointment." ~ Anonymous

14. "Chocolate: Here today...Gone today!" ~ Anonymous

15. "Chocolate is nature's way of making up for Mondays." ~ Anonymous

16. "There's more to life than chocolate, but not right now." ~ Anonymous

17. "If you are not feeling well, if you have not slept, chocolate will revive you. But you have no chocolate! I think of that again and again! My dear, how will you ever manage?" ~ Marquise de Sévigné (French writer and lady of fashion)

18. "Chocolate: the poor mans' champagne." ~ Daniel Worona

19. "The greatest tragedies were written by the Greek Sophocles and English Shakespeare. Neither knew chocolate." ~ Sandra Boynton

20. "Life without chocolate is life lacking something important." ~ Writers Marcia Colman Morton & Frederic Morton

21. "Nothing is more romantic than chocolate." ~ Ted, Queer Eye For The Straight Guy

22. "My therapist told me the way to achieve true inner peace is to finish what I start. So far I've finished two bags of M&M's and a chocolate cake. I feel better already." ~ Dave Barry

I hope these chocolate quotes made you smile. Happy Easter!

Source: http://foodeditorials.com/