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.

Get a Slice of This: Hawaiian Pizza #Sponsored by OXO

Before sitting down to develop today's recipe I took a poll among friends, family, and random strangers (because I'm that weird person who talks to everyone I stumble across in life.) What I wanted to determine was which pizza toppings were most popular. I was pretty sure that my favorite combination—roasted red pepper, mushroom, caramelized onion, and pesto—wasn't going to make the list. What I wasn't prepared for was the sheer number of people who like pineapple on their pizza.

And to think I was so sure pepperoni was going to be the winner. 

I never stopped to consider that pineapple could be a pizza topping, much less one with such a cult following. The other surprising thing was how consistent people were with their pairings: ham or Canadian bacon with nary a vegetable in sight. I felt like there was a little room to improve upon everyone's idea of the perfect Hawaiian pizza, which is how today's recipe came about. The pairing of home made pizza dough, a simple tomato sauce, mozzarella, fresh pineapple, hickory smoked honey ham, and a sprinkling of red onion makes for a mouth-watering combination that you absolutely have to try.

Don't forget to keep reading after the recipe for a quick review of some great tools from OXO that will help you on your quest to make the perfect pizza at home.

DISCLOSURE:  Today's post was sponsored by OXO as part of Get a Slice of This: The OXO Pizza Campaign, through the blogger outreach program. They have provided me with a set  tools for evaluation, but no other compensation was given for this post. 

DISCLOSURE: Today's post was sponsored by OXO as part of Get a Slice of This: The OXO Pizza Campaign, through the blogger outreach program. They have provided me with a set  tools for evaluation, but no other compensation was given for this post. 

Hawaiian Pizza


makes two14 inch pizzas + extra sauce


 

Ingredients

 

for the sauce

28 ounce can of San Marzano whole peeled tomatoes
1 teaspoon sea salt, or more to taste

for the dough

1⅛ cup water + additional tablespoon, as necessary (see notes)
2¼ teaspoons active dry yeast
1 pinch sugar
3 cups King Arthur Bread Flour + additional 1/4 cup
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon olive oil

toppings (double if making two pizzas)

½ cup pizza sauce
1 eight ounce ball of fresh mozzarella, sliced
½ cup fresh pineapple, cut into 1 inch chunks
2 slices hickory smoked honey ham
⅛ cup red onion, thinly sliced
pinch of crushed red pepper flakes, or more to taste

Directions

 

for the sauce

  • In a food processor, combine whole peeled tomatoes with their juices and sea salt. Pulse 4 - 6 times until the tomatoes are broken up, but still slightly chunky. Taste the sauce and add more salt as needed, then use immediately or refrigerate for up to seven days.

for the dough

  • Fill a large glass measuring cup with 1⅛ cup water that is no warmer than 110°F. Add active dry yeast and a pinch of sugar, then stir until everything has dissolved completely. Let the mixture rest for 10 minutes. Your mixture should be slightly bubbly.
  • In a large bowl add 3 cups of flour, 1 teaspoon sea salt, and the mixture of water, yeast, and sugar. Mix by hand until all of the ingredients are combined and the dough is sticky and somewhat shaggy looking. If the weather is cool and dry you may need to add additional warm water, so do it slowly, one tablespoon at a time until the dough comes together easily.
  • Set the mixing bowl in a warm spot, cover with a towel, and let the dough rest for 30 minutes.
  • Dust your work surface with a small amount of flour, then place the dough on top. Knead it firmly and continue to dust with flour until you have a smooth ball of dough. Return the dough to the mixing bowl, cover with a towel, and let it rise on the counter for 2 hours at room temperature (approximately 70°F.)
  • Cut the dough into two equal size balls. If you don't plan on making two pizzas take a small amount of olive oil and coat the inside of a large plastic container, add the ball of dough, then cover and and refrigerate for several days.
  • Take the remaining ball of dough and slowly stretch it into a round, flat disk. If you're having difficulty with it keeping the shape you want or find it tears easily, let the dough rest briefly, then continue to shape the dough. You'll want a circle that is roughly 14 inches in size.
  • Move your oven rack to the lowest setting, then preheat the oven to 450°F

Now build your pizza...

  • Top the crust with pizza sauce and spread it evenly over the top of the pizza. Add slices of fresh mozzarella, pineapple chunks, ham, and onion. 
  • Bake in a preheated oven for approximately 13 - 15 minutes or until the crust is lightly browned along the edges. Remove the pizza from the oven, allow to cool for a few minutes before cutting into slices. Top with a pinch or two of crushed red pepper flakes, then enjoy!

Notes


The extra sauce will keep in the refrigerator for about a week, but you can freeze the leftovers for up to three months that way you'll always have some on hand when you want to make pizza. I like to portion mine out into ½ cup containers so I only need to defrost what is needed to make a pizza.

For the sauce I'm partial to using Cento brand San Marzano tomatoes, but can use your favorite whole peeled tomatoes. If you decide to make this sauce using something other than San Marzano tomatoes you may want to add a pinch or two of sugar. San Marzano tomatoes are naturally sweet and less acidic than many other canned tomatoes you'll see on the shelves and the extra bit of sugar will help compensate for the added acidity.

If you have refrigerated one of your balls of dough leave it on the counter for an hour or two, until it has reached room temperature, before use. Once it has warmed up you can stretch it out to fit your pan. If you try to work with cold dough it won't stretch easily and may tear.

Don't forget to keep reading for our review of the products we used for today's recipe.

Review

 

OXO Good Grips Non-Stick Pro Pizza Pan: I've tried quite a few different methods of making pizza over the years and I'll fully admit to having a preference when it comes to the pan vs stone debate—I do love my pizza stone—but there are a number of instances where using a pan is flat out more convenient.

Most notable is the fact that the prep time for putting together a pizza decreases significantly because you don't need to wait an hour for the pizza stone to reach 450°F. This is great for those times when you want pizza in a hurry and even better when you don't want to warm the house up by keeping the oven on for long periods of time. I rarely make pizza in the summer because it means I'll have the oven on for at least 90 minutes, but by using a pan instead I'm down to 30 minutes tops. For those of you who live up North in the land where houses don't have air conditioners, this is a real plus.

The other thing I really like about this pan is that absolutely nothing sticks to it. This means I don't have to spend time after dinner scrapping off baked-on cheese or sauce, which is a common occurrence with my pizza stone. A quick wash with soap and water is all this pan needs, everything slides right off. The downside to this is that the pizza does tend to move around if I cut it directly on the pan, so I have to make sure I'm twice as careful while I'm slicing up my pizza.

Where to Purchase


OXO Good Grips Non-Stick Pro Pizza Pan: Find it on Amazon or purchase it directly from OXO

OXO 4" Pizza Wheel and Cutter for Non-Stick Pans: I have an OXO Pizza Wheel that was given to me as a wedding gift and I absolutely love it. Over the past nine years it has sliced its way through hundreds of pizzas and still works great. So, being so highly satisfied with my current wheel I was curious to see how the plastic version that is designed for use with non-stick pans would hold up. I was a little skeptical at first, but it sliced right through my thick crust pizza without a problem and the cheese hardly stuck to it, something I can't say about my trusty metal pizza wheel. If you own a set of non-stick baking sheets or pizza pan this is definitely a piece of equipment you'll want to take a closer look at. 

Where to Purchase


OXO 4" Pizza Wheel and Cutter for Non-Stick Pans: Find it on Amazon or purchase it directly from OXO

OXO Good Grips Complete Grate & Slice Set: Last but not least, I had a chance to try out OXO's Grate & Slice set, which couldn't have come at a better time. I have good knife skills, but I also have arthritis, so all this rainy weather we've been having has been making my hands ache. It's been difficult to hold on to my knife, but with the Slice & Grate's large handle I was able to produces perfectly uniform slices every single time, with hardly any effort. This nifty tool has been a real asset in the kitchen and it makes short work of putting together the perfect pizza or salad.

The four removable plates give you the option for a coarse or medium grate, as well the slicing surfaces that give a straight or julienne cut. Since the cutting surfaces are removable you have the option of slicing or grating directly over a bowl or you can use the bottom of the container to collect and measure your ingredients as you slice away. When you're done all the pieces, including the handle, fit inside the box. That means there is no chance you'll cut yourself as you're taking it out of the drawer, which is something I've done several times with the blades to my mandoline.

Whether you're just learning how to cook and haven't developed your knife skills yet or you're starting to find holding a knife is becoming increasingly difficult, this is one tool I'd definitely recommend you check out.

Where to Purchase


OXO Good Grips Complete Grate & Slice Set: Find it on Amazon or purchase it directly from OXO

OXO Grate and Slice

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.

Today's post was sponsored by OXO as part of the Get a Slice of This: The OXO Pizza Campaign through the blogger outreach program. They have provided me with a set of tools for evaluation, but no other compensation was given for this post. 

Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Have you ever asked yourself why we need so many recipes for chocolate chip cookies on the internet? Every food blogger out there has posted at least one, but the good news is that you can do no wrong with variations on the chocolate chip cookie. Whether they're thin and crispy or thick and chewy it's pretty much guaranteed that as soon as you bite in to one it will be heavenly, because hey, it's chocolate. So even though I already have a dozen or so recipes for cookies on the blog I want you to humor me and give these a shot. They have chips and chunks—two types of chocolate make them superior to every other chocolate chip cookie recipe out there. Oh and did I mention they have pecans too? Stop making me twist your arm and try them already!

Chocolate Chunk Cookies | Not Starving Yet

Chocolate Chunk Cookies
makes approximately 24 cookies

Ingredients

2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
¾ cup white sugar
¾ cup dark brown sugar, packed
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs
2½ cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1½ teaspoons sea salt
6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
6 ounces dark chocolate chunks
½ cup unsalted pecans, chopped
additional sea salt for sprinkling on top

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 375°F. In a mixing bowl cream together room temperature butter, white sugar, and brown sugar. Add vanilla and eggs, then mix until well incorporated.
  • Slowly add baking soda, salt, and flour, continue to mix until dough forms.  
  • Add semi-sweet chocolate chips, dark chocolate chunks, and pecans to the dough, then mix until they are evenly distributed.
  • Using a spoon or cookie scoop, form balls of dough and place on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Make sure to leave plenty of space as these cookies tend to spread out while baking.
  • Bake for 9 - 11 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Let stand for 2 minutes before transferring cookies to wire racks to cool. Enjoy!

Notes

I usually make these with Guittard 46% semisweet chocolate chips and Scharffen Berger 70% dark chocolate chunks, but you can switch it up to use your favorite chocolate.

Fettuccine Alfredo with Broccoli and Crab

My cooking style has changed quite a bit over the years, but there are a handful of dishes I've been making forever that never seem to get old. One of those just happens to be Fettuccine Alfredo. It was always my favorite dish to order on the odd occasion we ate out as a family, so it shouldn't come as any great surprise when I say it went to the top of the list of things I wanted to learn how to make once my parents put me in charge of making Saturday night dinner at the tender age of 9. 

As the years went on I began to put my own spin on the dish by adding chopped broccoli, imitation crab meat, and a ton of extra garlic. It was, and still is, my go-to recipe whenever I want to impress someone with my badass cooking skills, yet don't want to spend all night in the kitchen.

I still remember the first time I made it for my husband—he officially dubbed "Awesome Pasta." It still makes me chuckle every time he asks when I'm going to make that awesome pasta again. He's lucky it's one of my favorite meals since that means I'll make it every time he asks.

Fettuccine Alfredo w/ Crab aka Awesome Pasta | Not Starving Yet

Awesome Pasta

 

makes 6 - 8 servings

 

Ingredients


¼ cup salted butter
3-5 garlic cloves, minced (or more, you can never have too much garlic)
2 cups whipping cream
1 cup frozen broccoli, chopped
8 ounces imitation crab meat, shredded
½ cup Parmigiano-Reggiano, freshly grated
freshly ground pepper, to taste
18 ounces refrigerated fettuccine noodles


 

Directions

 

  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil. While waiting, place butter in a saucepan and allow it to melt over medium heat. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, approximately 5 minutes. Add whipping cream, then reduce heat to low and simmer until the mixture reduces slightly and starts to thicken; approximately 15 minutes. While the sauce is cooking, make sure to stir frequently so the bottom doesn't burn.

  • Once the sauce has thickened add broccoli, shredded crab meat, and freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano. Cook until the broccoli has warmed through, then season with freshly ground pepper.

  • Add pasta to the boiling water and cook according to package directions, usually 2 - 3 minutes. Once cooked drain the pasta well, cover with sauce, and serve immediately (topped with plenty of extra cheese.)