Chocolate Peanut Butter Moose Cake

Chocolate Wafer Crust
1 1/2 cups (6.3oz) Nabisco Famous Chocolate Wafer cookie crumbs
4 tbsp (2oz) unsalted butter, melted

Peanut Butter Mousse
5 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 tbsp (1oz) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup (4oz) confectioners’ sugar
3/4 cup (7oz) creamy peanut butter
1/4 tsp salt
2 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream

Chocolate Mousse
5 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
3 ounces milk chocolate, coarsely chopped
1/3 cup whole milk
3 tbsp granulated sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

To make the crust:

  • Lightly butter the bottom of a 9×3 inch springform pan.
  • In a bowl, stir together the cookie crumbs and the melted butter until combined.
  • Press the crumbs onto the bottom of the pan in an even layer.
  • Refrigerate the crust while you make the PB mousse.

To make the PB mousse:

  • In the bowl of a standing mixer using the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese and butter until creamy.
  • Mix in the confectioners’ sugar.
  • Add the peanut butter and salt and mix until well blended.
  • Remove the bowl from the mixer and set aside.
  • In a clean mixer bowl, using the whisk attachment, beat the heavy whipping cream at high speed until soft peaks form.
  • Fold 1 cup of the whipped cream into the peanut butter mixture until almost blended.
  • Fold in another 1 1/2 cups of the whipped cream until completed blended.
  • Scrape the peanut butter mousse into the prepared pan and spread evenly over the crust.
  • Refrigerate while you make the chocolate mousse.

To make the chocolate mousse:

  • Place both chocolates in the bowl of a food processor and process until finely ground.
  • Leave the chocolate in the bowl.
  • Combine the milk and sugar in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat.
  • With the food processor running, pour the hot milk mixture through the feed tube and process until the chocolate is completely melted.
  • Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the vanilla, and process until blended.
  • Scrape mixture into a large bowl.
  • Gently fold one-third of the remaining whipped cream into the chocolate.
  • Fold in the rest of the whipped cream until completely blended.
  • Scrape the chocolate mousse over the peanut butter mousse layer.
  • Loosely cover the cake and freeze for at least 1 hour, until firm.

To serve:

  • Run a thin-bladed knife under hot water and wipe dry, run the knife between the cake and the side of the pan to release the cake.
  • Remove the sides of the springform pan.
  • The cake is ready for serving.
  • Store in refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Makes 12 Servings

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Madison County Chicken

6 boneless skinless chicken breast halves
3/4 teaspoon seasoned salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
6 teaspoons honey mustard
1 1/2 cups mushrooms, sliced
6 slices bacon, cooked
4 1/2 cups Colby/Jack cheese blend, shredded

  • Preheat oven to 350.
  • Rub chicken breasts with seasoned salt.
  • In a skillet, heat the olive oil over medium high heat.
  • Brown the chicken on both sides.
  • Cook until chicken is done, but still quite tender.
  • Remove chicken from skillet and spread each piece with honey mustard and place in a 9 x 13 baking dish.
  • Cover each piece of chicken with a layer of mushrooms and then crumble one slice of bacon on top.
  • Cover all with shredded cheese and bake at 350 degrees or until cheese is melted.

Makes 6 Servings

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Easy Peach Cobbler

29 ounces canned sliced peaches in light syrup
18 ounces yellow cake mix
6 ounces cream soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons butter

  • Warm a Dutch oven, but do not get it too hot.
  • Pour peaches into the bottom of the dutch oven.
  • Open the can of cream soda and pour it gently over the peaches.
  • Dump cake mix evenly on top of the peach and pop concoction.
  • Poke the stick into the mix but don’t stir.
  • This is very important.
  • Sprinkle the cinnamon on top of the dry cake mix.
  • You want a dry top and a soggy bottom.
  • Put small pats of butter evenly on the top of the dry cake mix.
  • Put the lid on the oven
  • Cook at 350 for about 45 minutes
  • The bubbling of the liquid will mix the cake and liquid and produce a nice brown crust with gooey bottom.

Makes 6 Servings

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Cheddar Bay Biscuits like Red Lobster’s

2 cups  baking mix
2/3 cup milk
1/2 cup shredded mild cheddar cheese
1/4 cup butter
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
parsley flakes – as needed

  • Combine baking mix, milk, and cheddar and beat with a wooden spoon for about 30 seconds.
  • Spoon onto a lightly greased cookie sheet.
  • Bake in 450 degree oven for 8 – 10 minutes.
  • Combine butter and garlic powder and pour over hot biscuits; sprinkle with parsley.

Makes 8 Servings

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Hummus

1 can chickpeas or garbanzo beans, drained, rinsed and towel dried
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
3 tablespoons sesame oil
2-3 tablespoons warm water

  • In a food processor, blend chickpeas, lemon juice, and olive oil.
  • Add garlic and spices, then sesame oil and water and blend to a smooth paste.
  • Add 1-2 tablespoons of water if mixture is too dry.

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Spinach and Potato Frittata

1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon olive oil
4 small red potatoes, sliced
2/3 cup torn fresh spinach
1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon sliced green onions
3/4 teaspoon crushed garlic
salt and pepper to taste
4 eggs
3 tablespoons and 1-3/4 teaspoons milk
1/3 cup shredded Cheddar cheese

  • Heat olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat.
  • Place potatoes in the skillet, cover, and cook about 10 minutes, until tender but firm.
  • Mix in spinach, green onions, and garlic.
  • Season with salt and pepper.
  • Continue cooking 1 to 2 minutes, until spinach is wilted.
  • In a medium bowl, beat together eggs and milk.
  • Pour into the skillet over the vegetables.
  • Sprinkle with Cheddar cheese.
  • Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook 5 to 7 minutes, or until eggs are firm.

Steak au Poivre

4 New York strip or sirloin steaks (6 to 8 oz. each), 3/4 inch thick, patted dry
Salt
3 Tbs. coarsely ground black peppercorns
Olive oil for the pan
1 cup red wine (Cabernet Sauvignon or Pinot Noir)
4 to 6 Tbs. butter, sliced

  • Heat the oven to 500°F.
  • Sprinkle the steaks with salt on both sides, and then press the ground peppercorns into the steaks on both sides.
  • Set a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat and add just enough olive oil to make a light film.
  • When the oil is very hot, add the steaks, cooking until nicely browned on one side, about 3 min.
  • Flip the meat over and put the skillet in the oven.
  • For medium-rare steaks, roast for 3 min. for 6-oz. steaks; 4 min. for 8-oz. steaks.
  • Check for doneness with the tip of a knife or by pressing with your fingertips, keeping in mind that the steaks will cook a bit more as they sit.
  • Transfer the steaks to a warm plate and tent with foil.
  • With a spoon, remove any fat from the skillet.
  • Put the skillet back on the burner and heat to medium high.
  • Add the wine and cook until it’s reduced to 1/4 cup, about 7 min., scraping up the browned bits with a wooden spoon.
  • Whisk in the butter a slice at a time, whisking until completely melted.
  • Taste and adjust the seasonings.
  • Drizzle the sauce over the steaks, and serve immediately with more sauce on the side.

Makes 4 Servings

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Peanut Butter Cup Pancakes

Peanut Butter Cup Pancakes

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup miniature semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 eggs
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup peanut butter
1 1/3 cups milk

  • In medium bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  • Stir in chocolate chips and set aside.
  • In small bowl, combine eggs, oil, and vanilla and milk.
  • Add peanut butter to the egg mixture and beat until smooth.
  • All at once, add to dry ingredients.
  • Stir (do not beat) only until ingredients are well-combined.
  • Cook pancakes on griddle until done.

Makes 12 medium-sized pancakes

This recipe was created with the help of my friend Phil during graduate school while living at a co-op in Texas.