Mile High M&M Pie - No Baking Required!

A few weeks ago my little guy and I were out having brunch when he dropped a bomb on me—he didn't want a cake for his birthday, he wanted pie. Of course he didn't want just any pie, he wanted a pie like the one he was currently munching on from our new-favorite diner in Verona.

As heart broken as I was not to make a really cool looking cake like I usually do, I realized that I could absolutely get behind making pie because they're generally less time consuming to pull together. This one takes about 20 minutes as long as you have a food processor handy, which makes it the perfect last minute take-along for one of the many holiday parties in your future. It's also a great way to use up any leftover Halloween candy you have around the house, if you haven't already devoured it all—which we all know would never happen in my house. I have absolutely never eaten all the candy before Halloween, then had to rush out and buy more.

You believe me, right?

Didn't think so... you all know I'm a glutton.

At age 6 we have officially entered the geez mom, not another photo phase... he'll outgrow it eventually, right?

At age 6 we have officially entered the geez mom, not another photo phase... he'll outgrow it eventually, right?

M&M Pie

 

Ingredients


for the crust

30 Oreo cookies
¼ cup salted butter, melted
deep dish pie plate
parchment paper

for the filling

16 ounces cream cheese, softened
⅓ cup sugar
2 cups Cool Whip, thawed
plain m&m candies
6 Oreo cookies, crushed

for the topping

4½ cups Cool Whip, thawed (see notes)
plain m&m candies
oreo cookies, crushed

Directions

 

  • Line your pie plate with a piece of parchment paper cut in to a circle or a pre-cut parchment round (see notes).
  • Using a food processor, crush 30 Oreo cookies (including their creme centers) until they are finely crumbled. Empty in to a mixing bowl, add melted butter, then stir well. Transfer to a parchment-lined pie plate, then press firmly in to place.
  • Using a food processor crush 6 more cookies and several handfuls of m&m candies, then set aside.
  • In a bowl combine cream cheese, sugar, and Cool Whip. Mix until well incorporated, then gently fold in the crushed m&m candies and Oreos. 
  • Transfer filling to the pie plate, top with remaining Cool Whip, then garnish with additional crushed m&m candies and Oreos. Serve immediately, or refrigerate until ready to serve. Enjoy!

Notes


I purchased a 16 ounce container of whipped topping, used 2 cups for the filling, and the remaining amount went on top of the pie. It should measure out to be approximately 4½ cups, although you don't really need to measure—pile it on top and be done. 

Don't skip the parchment paper! I really can't emphasize this enough. Your pie crust will be next to impossible to remove when it's time to serve, especially if you've refrigerated your pie for any length of time before serving. Cut out a circle of parchment paper or buy some pre-cut parchment rounds to make things a little easier. You can find them on Amazon, I'm partial to the 9 inch parchment rounds from Regency and use them any time I make a cookie pie crust or bake a cake.

The gummy worms were a last minute addition brought on by the fact that I had some sitting on our kitchen counter at eye-level for all of my son's friends to see. They're optional, but the kids loved them and ended up devouring most of the bag while I was trying to figure out where the birthday candle had wandered off to. I didn't find that stupid candle until the day after the party—go figure.

Disclosure


This post contains my Amazon affiliate links. I try to keep advertising unobtrusive and to a minimum in order to provide you with the best experience possible. Purchases made through these links provide me with a small income and ensure I can continue providing you with quality content.

Quick & Easy Sugar Coated Pecans

There are a handful of recipes that I've made for years that are so easy I've never bothered to write them down. I think everyone has a recipe or two like that, but I've been making an effort to post them to the blog as I think of them, that way after I'm gone my friends and family can still enjoy them. There is nothing that makes me more sad around the holidays than knowing that my favorite relative has departed and not left behind the recipe for their signature dish.

Case in point: It's been over ten years since my Great Aunt decided to join the giant cocktail party in the sky and I'm still trying to recreate her cheeseball. It was a staple at family gatherings and I still can't figure out what I'm doing different.

This recipe for sugar coated pecans is one of those quick and easy things I've always tossed together when I need something to bring to a party or family gathering, it's my equivalent of Aunt Helen's cheeseball. This recipe takes less than 10 minutes to make, only uses three ingredients, can be made days in advance, travels well, and is always one of the first things to disappear. In my mind this makes it the perfect party food (or last minute holiday gift.)

Quick & Easy Sugar Coated Pecans | Not Starving Yet

Sugar Coated Pecans
 

makes 6 - 8 servings

 

Ingredients


1 pound pecan halves
2 tablespoons salted butter
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
 

Directions

  • In a large skillet set over medium heat, melt butter. Add pecans, then continue cooking until the pecans are lightly toasted and have been throughly covered with butter (approximately 5 minutes.) 
  • Remove pecans from the skillet and allow them to cool slightly before tossing them with sugar. Once cool the pecans can be stored on the counter in a sealed container and should stay fresh for at least a week.

Notes


These pecans are tasty on their own, but you can jazz them up a bit by adding a teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice or another seasoning of your choice.
 

 

Banana Split Bread

This recipe came about after someone somewhere posted a really tasty looking recipe for banana split pancakes. How did I make the leap from pancakes to bread you ask? Well that's simple, I forgot to save the recipe and couldn't for the life of me remember where I had seen it.

Talk about a major DOH moment.

This is the point where inspiration struck, I was standing in the kitchen contemplating what I was going to make for breakfast since it wasn't going to be a nice fluffy stack of banana split pancakes when I noticed that I had a bunch of brown bananas sitting there. Hmm... I'll just make banana bread, no wait, what about banana split bread?

Genius you say? Why yes I am!

When I first started developing this recipe I remember mentioning it to my taste tester, who looked at me oddly and said, I didn't realize Banana Split Bread was a thing. My response of course was something along the lines of, well it's not, but I'm going to make it a thing, the next best thing since sliced bread (insert groan here.) After weeks of hard work it is now a thing, a truly amazing thing, so I hope you try it out the next time you have a bunch of bananas starting to brown.

BananaSplitBread.jpg

Banana Split Bread
makes a single 1½ lb loaf or 4 mini loafs

Ingredients

¼ cup unsalted butter, room temperature + extra for greasing pan
½ cup white sugar
1 egg
3-4 medium sized over ripe bananas
2 cups all-purpose flour
1½ teaspoons baking powder
1t salt
½ cup chopped walnuts
½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 8oz jar maraschino cherries, cut in half
1 8oz can pineapple tidbits, drained *see notes

Directions

 

  • Preheat oven to 350°F and grease loaf pans with butter.

  • In a bowl cream together softened butter and sugar, then add egg and mix until well incorporated.

  • In a separate bowl combine flour, baking powder, and salt, then add to wet ingredients.

  • Mash bananas, drain pineapple, dice cherries, and add to mixture. 

  • Fold in chocolate chips and walnuts, mix well before pouring into greased loaf pan.

  • Bake for 60 - 70 minutes for a full loaf or 35 - 40 minutes for mini loafs. Check for doneness by inserting a toothpick in to the center of the bread. If it comes out clean the bread is ready to be removed from the oven.

  • Allow to cool for 10 minutes before serving. Enjoy!

Notes:

If you are unable to fine pineapple tidbits you can also cut pineapple chunks into smaller pieces, but do not use crushed pineapple, it will affect the texture of the bread. 

Recipe Inspiration:

This is an altered version of my mother's banana bread recipe (which puts most banana bread recipes to shame, it's just that good.)

Caramelized Onions

I know that people say that bacon makes everything better, but I think that caramelized onions will take a dish to a whole new level. Consider this, would you rather have a boring old hamburger, or a patty melt, covered in caramelized onions? I can tell you that I would pick a patty melt every single time, but then again, I'm prone to eating caramelized onions straight out of the pan. In fact, I had to make a second batch because by the time they were done cooking I didn't have enough left to photograph (whoops!)

Another thing I love about caramelized onions is that, while they do take a lot of patience to make, they don't need to be closely supervised. If you're going to be busy in the kitchen this weekend getting ready for the superbowl, consider making a batch of caramelized onions. I'll be posting my recipe for caramelized onion dip this weekend, it's the perfect game time snack and worlds better than store bought dip. 

Caramelized Onions

Caramelized Onions

Cooking Time: 45m - 1 hr

Ingredients

2 Tablespoons unsalted butter (you can use oil, but butter tastes better)
2 or more yellow onions
¼ Cup water

Directions

  • Trim the tops and bottoms off the onions, then slice into uniform pieces and set aside. 
  • In a cast iron skillet set over medium-low heat, melt butter. Once butter has melted add onions and stir to coat, then leave the onions alone. 

The key to this recipe is patience, over stirring the onions will cause them to take longer to caramelize.

  • Check onions every 10 minutes, giving them a good stir to keep them from sticking to the pan. If any of the onions look like they are getting really dark, move them to the outer edge of the pan away from the burner, this will slow down the cooking process since the pan isn't as hot along the outer edge. You can also lower the heat as necessary to keep the onions from burning.
  • About 30 minutes into your cooking process, before stirring, add ⅛ cup of cold water to the hot pan. Give the onions and water a good stir, making sure to scrap the bottom of the pan. This will loosen the onions from the bottom and pick up any of the dark bits that have started to form (you want these in your onions, they contain a lot of flavor.) This technique is called deglazing.
  • Repeat the previous step around the 45 minute mark, then continue cooking until your onions have reached a deep golden brown color.
  • Remove from heat and let cool before storing, or use immediately for best flavor.

Notes

Caramelized Onions will store in the fridge for up to a week.