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



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



  • 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!


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.


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Taco Layer Dip

I'm not much of a sports fan, but I am a fan of food, so every time there is a huge game and we have friends over I put out a spread that rivals most major holidays. In addition of our main course of chili, hot wings, or pizza we always have an assortment of dips. My favorite is a simple taco layer dip that's made up of sour cream, taco seasoning, sharp cheddar cheese, green onions, black olives, and tomatoes. It's easy to toss together at the last minute, can be modified to suit a variety of tastes, and can be scaled up (or down) to feed a group of any size. Added bonus: you won't need to spend all day in the kitchen to make it which gives you more time for beer and football (if that's your thing.)

If you want my advice you should make a double batch, this is always a crowd pleaser and it's the first thing to disappear.

Taco Layer Dip | Not Starving Yet

Taco Dip

makes 6 - 8 servings


16 ounces sour cream
2 tablespoons taco seasoning
2 cups lettuce, shredded
1/2 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
10 - 12 fresh cherry tomatoes, diced
4 ounces black olives, sliced
2 - 3 green onions stalks


  • In a large bowl combine the sour cream and taco seasoning. Mix well, then spoon into the bottom of a large glass serving container. Top with shredded lettuce, sharp cheddar cheese, diced cherry tomatoes, black olives, and green onions. Refrigerate until ready to serve.


For this recipe I use a 2-Cup Pyrex Divided Dish (which you see pictured above.) You can also use an 8 inch pie plate or 9 x 9 baking dish. Keep in mind that you may need more toppings than what I've listed in the ingredients if you use a larger dish.

The taco dip can be made a day in advance, but often times there will be some liquid separation from the sour cream. You can drain the excess liquid off, but this dip is best when made the same day you plan on serving it.


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



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


  • 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.


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.


Curry Chicken Salad - King's Hawaiian #StarringRoll House Party

First, a quick thanks to King's Hawaiian for the box of goodies they sent for the #StarringRoll House Party I'm hosting on Sunday, 22nd February. In my party pack were several free product coupons I was able to use to help facilitate today's recipe and some great swag I was able to send home with my guests.

It's not every day I get a chance to eat a meal cooked by someone else. I do the bulk of the cooking because years ago I banned my husband from the kitchen.

Best... decision... ever...  Seriously!

Are you wondering what his offense was? It's simple, he never leaves the kitchen in the same sparkling condition he found it. (I also sincerely hope he's not drinking anything while reading this post, because he and I both know that sparkling is one thing my kitchen isn't.) That photo of my kitchen in the About section, it's a complete lie. I took that several days after we closed on our house, which was a three full weeks before we moved in. The kitchen hasn't looked that organized in almost six years. Yikes!

Anyway, due to this ban and the fact that we rarely eat out, it's pretty seldom that I get to enjoy someone else cooking for me. I always love trying other people's dishes, especially when the cooking style is so different from mine.

One of the best dishes I tried last year was the curried chicken salad someone made for my sister-in-law's bridal shower. It was absolutely fantastic. I make a pretty mean Blueberry Chicken Salad, but this was absolutely mind blowing. It took every ounce of restraint not to whip out my journal and start taking notes so I could recreate it once I got home. My family may be accustomed to that type of behavior, but my SIL's family, not so much. After the shower I immediately began developing my own version, which has proven to be a real crowd pleaser. I'll be serving it, as well as my Dr Pepper Pulled Pork, during our #StarringRoll House Party.

Curry Chicken Salad

Curry Chicken Salad
makes 3 - 4 large sandwiches or 12 mini sandwiches


16 ounces chicken breasts, diced
¼ cup chicken broth or stock
¾ cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon Maharajah Curry Powder (see notes)
¼ cup celery, diced
¼ cup raisins
¼ cup walnuts
2 tablespoons shallot, diced
sea salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
arugula or other bitter greens, for dressing
12 Savory Butter Rolls from King's Hawaiian


¼ cup granny smith apples, diced (see notes)


  • Lightly season the chicken breasts with sea salt and pepper, then place in a skillet with chicken broth or stock. Bring the stock to a simmer, cover the skillet and cook for 10 - 15 minutes on medium-low or until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 160°F. Once cooked dice the chicken and set aside to cool. 
  • In a bowl combine mayonnaise, curry powder, celery, raisins, walnuts, shallot, and granny smith apples (optional). Give everything a good stir so the ingredients are evenly distributed before adding the diced chicken. Refrigerate overnight for the best flavor.
  • Serve on a King's Hawaiian Original Sweet Dinner Rolls topped with bitter greens such as arugula or radicchio. Enjoy!


Maharajah Curry Powder is a salt-free blend from Penzeys. It provides a depth of flavor I haven’t found in other curry powders, but it is expensive. Feel free to substitute your favorite curry powder in this recipe.

This chicken salad is very sweet. If you would like to tone down the sweetness try adding granny smith apples. 

This dish is best when prepared in advance and allowed to sit overnight. It can be stored in a sealed container for 3-4 days.


In an effort to be open with my readers I want to let you know that House Party and King's Hawaiian have provided me with free or discounted products that I've used to create this recipe. As always, all opinions are my own.