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Tuesday, February 13, 2018

♥Oreo Meringue Pie♥


Oreo Meringue Pie is similar to pavlova with a sweet crusty top and a somewhat gooey centre with crunchy nuts.  Serve it piled with whipped cream or topping and your favourite fruit. With Valentine's Day around the corner (tomorrow) what could be better than a lovely, sweet and chocolatey dessert. 

Today I made the pie in a heart shaped cake pan.  Don and I will enjoy this on Valentine's Day, but you can too. (Confession time: Don and I actually enjoyed this today.  Who wants to wait until tomorrow?) So easy to make even the kids can help with this one. 

I'm not sure why I have this recipe.  I must have been looking for something to use cookie crumbs or excess egg whites.  But for whatever reason, I did save this great dessert.  You can find the original at cooks.com. The original recipe calls for Cool Whip and while that's certainly a reasonable choice, I find the unsweetened whipped cream a better choice because the dessert is quite sweet.

Oreo Meringue Pie
¾ cup coarse Oreo cookie crumbs (remove icing before crushing)
¾ cup chopped pecans or walnuts
3 egg whites
¾ cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
Pinch of salt
1-1½ cups whipping cream, whipped to medium firm peaks or 2 cups whipped topping
Sliced or whole fresh fruit for topping (strawberries, raspberries, blueberries peaches, etc.)

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.  Grease or pan spray a 9-inch pie plate/pan.

Whip egg whites with pinch of salt until frothy.  Add  sugar gradually and continue beating until firm, glossy peaks are formed.  Beat in the vanilla until combined.

Fold in crumbs and chopped  pecans.  Scrape mixture into prepared pie plate and gently spread. Bake for 35 minutes in the preheated oven. Turn off the oven and open the door a little way.  Cool the pie in the oven.  

Once cooled decorate with the whipped cream and fruit. Pile the whipped cream or topping over the top of the pie. Refrigerate until ready to serve.  Place fresh fruit, plain or sweetened, on top of the cream when ready to serve.

Makes 6-8 servings.



I use generic chocolate sandwich cookies to make coarse crumbs.  First remove the icing as the dessert would be much too sweet.  You could also use a chocolate wafer. I used about 7 double cookies to make ¾ cup of crumbs.  

Measure the crumbs and chop the pecans.  

Beat the egg whites until frothy.  Add the sugar a little at a time and beat until stiff glossy peaks are formed and all the sugar is dissolved.


 Beat in the vanilla until combined.

Thick and glossy.  The meringue isn't actually pink.  That's a reflection of a red shirt I was wearing, ha, ha.


Fold in the cookie crumbs and pecans.


Pile the mixture in prepared pan.  I lined my pan with parchment paper because I want to serve it on a nice serving plate. I'm using a heart shape pan today for Valentine's Day.


Gently spread the mixture evenly into the pan or pie plate.

Bake in the preheated oven for 35 minutes.  Turn off oven and open the door and let the pie cool in the oven.


When pie is cooled decorate with the cream and fruit.  You may leave the pie in the pan as it does not turn out easily but I persevered and was able to turn the pie right-side up on the serving platter.  

I used strawberries but just about any fruit or berry will taste good with chocolate and cream.

Just to be fancy, I melted a few chocolate chips with a spoonful of cream and piped it over the berries and cream.  After all, it is Valentine's Day!

First slice cut!  


A piece for my sweetie.  

 Looks like this is a success!


Have a bite.  You'll find Oreo Meringue Pie full of flavours and textures that tickle the taste buds.  Crunchy meringue and nuts with a gooey chocolate middle topped with whipped cream and strawberries makes a great Valentine dessert.


Happy Valentine's Day!




print recipe

Oreo Meringue Pie
Oreo Meringue Pie is similar to pavlova with a sweet crusty top and a somewhat gooey centre with crunchy nuts.
Ingredients
  • ¾ cup coarse Oreo cookie crumbs (remove icing before crushing)
  • ¾ cup chopped pecans or walnuts
  • 3 egg whites
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Pinch salt
  • 1-1½ cups whipping cream, whipped to medium firm peaks or 2 cups whipped topping
  • Sliced or whole fresh fruit for topping (strawberries, raspberries, blueberries peaches, etc.)
Instructions
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Grease or pan spray a 9-inch pie plate/pan.

Whip egg whites with pinch of salt until frothy. Add sugar gradually and continue beating until firm, glossy peaks are formed. Beat in the vanilla until combined.

Fold in crumbs and chopped pecans. Scrape mixture into prepared pie plate and gently spread. Bake for 35 minutes in the preheated oven. Turn off the oven and open the door a little way. Cool the pie in the oven.

Once cooled decorate with the whipped cream and fruit. Pile the whipped cream or topping over the top of the pie. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Place fresh fruit, plain or sweetened, on top of the cream when ready to serve.
Details
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 6-8 servings

Wednesday, February 07, 2018

Newfoundland Dough Boys...Fluffy Dumplings for Soup or Stew


Fluffy, soft dumplings, floating atop a steaming bowl of soup or stew, make a satisfying and filling meal on a cold winter day.  

We Newfoundlanders love our dumplings.  The fluffy, soft dumplings are often referred to as Dough Boys and are served with soups, stews or even with a cooked dinner.  Just the other day my daughter-in-law, Vicki, was telling me how much she liked Dough Boys with her soup but she didn't know how to make them.  Of course, I told her they were easy to make.  Easy to make right and just as easy to make wrong!  Dough Boys or dumplings can be wonderful soft pillows of steamed dough or heavy, tough globs of glue!  Ha, ha.  I've made them both ways but, fortunately these days, the globby glue days are far and few between.

The secret to fluffy dumplings is in the mixing and in the cooking.  Mix very gently, just enough to bring the ingredients together.  Over-mixing will produce a tough dumpling. When cooking make sure you keep the pot covered and never peek, not even once, while they are simmering.  Lifting the lid will produce a sticky, gluey dumpling.

I find making the Dough Boys about 20 minutes before the soup or stew is finished cooking ensures the vegetables will not become mushy.  I usually add them around the same time I add the potatoes or any frozen vegetables, if using.  


Dough Boys
1 cup flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon butter
½ cup milk or water (+ 2 tablespoons for a softer dumpling)

Mix the flour, baking powder and salt together.  Rub in the butter using your fingers or the back of a spoon.  Make a well in the dry ingredients. Add the milk or water and gently mix until just combined.  Handle gently. The dough should be similar to biscuit dough--not sticky but not totally dry.   Drop the dough by spoonfuls into the simmering stew.  You should have about 6-8` portions.  Cover the pot and lower the heat so the mixture will keep simmering. Make sure the mixture is simmering because a rolling boil will break up the dumplings.  Simmer for 20 minutes. DO NOT lift the cover until the 20 minutes are up.  Remove the cover and let the dumplings sit about 5 minutes.  Serve 1 or 2 Dough Boys with each bowl of soup or stew

Makes 6-8 dumplings.



Mix the flour, baking powder, salt and butter together.  Rub the butter into the flour until it is mealy.


 Make a well in the dry ingredients and add the milk.

Mix all ingredients together to form a soft dough.  Do not over-mix the dough or your Dough Boys will be tough. 


Drop the Dough Boys onto the simmering stew or soup.  Cover tightly and cook for 20 minutes. DO NOT lift the cover during cooking. 

 Fluffy, soft Dough Boys are ready to be served.

I like two Dough Boys with my stew.

A hearty and satisfying meal of Vegetable Stew and Dough Boys.




print recipe
Dough Boys
Fluffy, soft dumplings for soups or stews.
Ingredients
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • ½ cup milk or water (+ 2 tablespoons for a softer dumpling)
Instructions
Mix the flour, baking powder and salt together. Rub in the butter using your fingers or the back of a spoon. Make a well in the dry ingredients. Add the milk or water and gently mix until just combined. Handle gently. The dough should be similar to biscuit dough--not sticky but not totally dry. Drop the dough by spoonfuls into the simmering stew. You should have about 6-8` portions. Cover the pot and lower the heat so the mixture will keep simmering. Make sure the mixture is simmering because a rolling boil will break up the dumplings. Simmer for 20 minutes. DO NOT lift the cover until the 20 minutes are up. Remove the cover and let the dumplings sit about 5 minutes. Serve 1 or 2 Dough Boys with each bowl of soup or stew.
Details
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 6-8 dumplings

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

The Big Ben Veggie Burger


The Big Ben Veggie Burger is a delicious vegetarian copy-cat of the fast food favourite.  Make it  a slider or a single for the little ones or slap on another patty and have a Double Big Ben for the big appetites.

Shortly before Christmas, Ben, our grandson became sick and couldn't eat for almost a week.  The poor child was ravenous by the time he was feeling better.  While he was sick and longing to eat he started drawing pictures of food.  This is his drawing of a hamburger. You'll notice he has quite a sophisticated palate with the lettuce, tomato, pickles and cheese. 



When we were talking to Ben on the phone he asked if I could make him a burger next time we visited.  I knew they were coming during the Christmas holidays so I promised I'd make a special burger just for him and I'd name it after him! 

When Ben arrived at our house, while he was still in the porch taking off his boots, he asked when we would be having burgers for supper.  Fortunately, I had remember that promise made a few weeks earlier and the burgers were scheduled for a dinner during the week. 


As these burgers were a special request and named after Ben he wanted a hand in making them.  The little girls were quite interested in what Ben was making. 


I think we have a chef in training.  Breaking the eggs proved to be an easy task.  It was a busy day in the kitchen.  If you look closely at the table in the background you will see the homemade play dough and cookie cutters that the kids were playing with during the morning.


Ben wanted to play restaurant so he could take everyone's orders. I quickly printed a menu for our pretend restaurant.  Of course, that started a trend for the remainder of the holiday.  The girls each had a turn with their own menu and choice of dinner. *Go to the bottom of this page/post to see the full menu.


Eating at "Big Ben's Restaurant".  Ben had the Big Ben Double Veggie Burger.  Lori and Emily had Big Ben Sliders. 


The Big Ben Veggie Burger
1 cup vegetarian burger (I use Yves Ground Round)
1 cup cottage cheese, rinsed and well drained  (See pictures below.) Do NOT use cottage cheese that has been frozen.
1 cup toasted bread crumbs
½ cup chopped onion
3 eggs
1 teaspoon savoury or sage
½ teaspoon hamburger or steak seasoning
¼ teaspoon salt, or to taste
About ¼ cup oil for frying

Mix together all ingredients except oil for frying .  Form mixture into 6-8 patties.

Heat half the oil in a heavy frying pan.  Place the patties in the hot oil and fry slowly on both sides over medium low heat.  Don’t crowd the patties in the pan. You may have to fry in two batches. Use the other half the oil for second batch or as needed. Use patties in burgers or with gravy for main dish.

Makes 6-8 patties or about 12 slider sized patties.


To make the Big Ben Veggie Burgers you will need:

6-8 burger patties
6-8 hamburger buns, split

Use 2 burger patties for a Double Big Ben Veggie Burger.

Choose what you like to place on your burger.
-Tomato slices
-Lettuce leaves
-Cheese slices
-Chopped raw onion
-Fried onions
-Pickles, sweet or dill
-Ketchup, mustard, relish
-Mayonnaise or burger sauce

Serve your burgers with your favourite sides.  We like French fries with our burgers.


Before you begin to make the burgers get a few ingredients ready.  This may seem strange but rinse the cottage cheese and let it drain dry.  Blot it with a paper towel if it feels very wet.  If you don't rinse and drain the cottage cheese the burger mixture will be too soft.  Now get the toasted bread crumbs ready.


To toast the bread crumbs spread a rounded cup of crumbs on a baking sheet.  Place in a 350 degree oven and immediately turn the oven off.  Remove after 5 minutes. Measure to make sure you have a full cup of crumbs.


I use Yves Ground Round most of the time as it's readily available but any vegetarian burger will work.  Make sure to thaw any frozen products before you measure.  1 cup of Yves Ground Round is about 2/3 of the package.


Place all the ingredients in a large bowl and mix, mix, mix.

Form the mixture into patties using about one-quarter to one-third cup per burger.  Ben gave me a hamburger press for Christmas which I found quite handy for making the patties equal size.  Thanks, Ben!


Fry the patties slowly in the oil over medium low heat.  You want them cooked through and the onions cooked as well.  Flip the patties over, adding more oil if necessary.  Don't crowd the patties in the pan. 


You can see the grill-like marks on the burgers that were made in the hamburger press.


Most of the family had a Double Big Ben Veggie Burger.  I had made large hamburger buns so we sliced them in three pieces to hold the two patties.


This is how the double burger looks before it is dressed.

We put mustard, ketchup, pickles or relish, onions and cheese on the bottom layer. 


The top layer had mayonnaise, lettuce and tomato.  It's up to you what you want on your burger.


Homemade French fries make a tasty side dish with The Big Ben Veggie Burger.


A delicious burger for pretend restaurants or family meals.

***********
Here is the full menu for Big Ben's Restaurant.  We had lots of fun with Bens, Lori's and Emily's Restaurant menus.  I changed the picture and restaurant names and printed off enough for each child to pass out to their customers.  You will notice the prices are quite reasonable!  Ha, ha.






print recipe

The Big Ben Veggie Burger
A tasty vegetarian copy-cat of a fast food favourite.
Ingredients
  • 1 cup vegetarian burger (I use Yves Ground Round)
  • 1 cup cottage cheese, rinsed and well drained (See pictures below.) Do NOT use cottage cheese that has been frozen.
  • 1 cup toasted bread crumbs
  • ½ cup chopped onion
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon savoury or sage
  • ½ teaspoon hamburger or steak seasoning
  • ¼ teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • About ¼ cup oil for frying
Instructions
Mix together all ingredients except oil for frying. Form mixture into 6-8 patties.

Heat half the oil in a heavy frying pan. Place the patties in the hot oil and fry slowly on both sides over medium low heat. Don’t crowd the patties in the pan. You may have to fry in two batches. Use the other half the oil for second batch or as needed. Use patties in burgers or with gravy for main dish.  Makes 6-8 patties or about 12 slider sized patties.


To make the Big Ben Veggie Burgers you will need:

6-8 burger patties
6-8 hamburger buns, split

Use 2 burger patties for a Double Big Ben Veggie Burger.

Choose what you like to place on your burger.

-Tomato slices
-Lettuce leaves
-Cheese slices
-Chopped raw onion
-Fried onions
-Pickles, sweet or dill
-Ketchup, mustard, relish
-Mayonnaise or burger sauce

Serve your burgers with your favourite sides. We like French fries with our burgers.

Details
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 6-8 patties