Sunday, September 30, 2012

Luscious Banana-Brownie Pie

If you have wondered where The Cozy Little Kitchen has been, this month is a busy one for us; but it's also a very good one! 
Mr. Cozy has been on vacation for the past couple of weeks!  In that time we've taken a wonderful trip to Chicago with his family, and my sister got married in the foothills of the Smokey Mountains last weekend!  (That's a whole other post!!!)  It's been a busy and joyous month to remember!

I just wanted to take some time to share with y'all a delicious pie recipe I made recently.  This is a recipe I've been meaning to make for years!  It came out of one of my favorite cookbooks--Keeping Good Company--which is a charming cookbook filled with absolutely delicious recipes and adorable illustrations.  Not to mention, it looks cute on my cookbook shelf!

Back to the pie...YUM!  It starts with a golden crust and filled with layers of brownie, fresh bananas, cream cheese, homemade whipped cream and bits of chocolate toffee bits sprinkled over the top!  It's an easy recipe with a few steps, but all of them are worth it when you have the finished result. 

For the brownie pieces, you can buy 4 brownies at the bakery or just use an inexpensive brownie mix, like I did.  I actually added chocolate chips to the brownie mix to make them a bit richer. 

I recommend making homemade whipped cream for the topping.  It's so easy!  All you do is pour some heavy whipping cream into the bowl of your mixer and add a bit of sugar and dash of vanilla as it's mixing.  Whip on high speed for a minute or so after adding the sugar, or until the mixture is fluffy.  If you mix too long, though, you'll end up with butter.  This extra effort of homemade cream will be what sets this pie apart!

 I made this banana-brownie pie to take to a friend's house, and we devoured it even after the big meal!  It's probably one of the best pies I've ever had!    

 I had to treat myself to a coffee topped with some frothy whipped cream and a dash of cinnamon while I was making the pie....
 Here's some snapshots of my messy kitchen as I was making the banana-brownie pie.  It's a good kind of messy when something so wonderful is at the end of it all!
I'll be back on here soon to share some pictures of the memories we've made the past few weeks!!! 
 Banana-Brownie Pie
1/4 c. Butter
3 oz. Cream Cheese
1 1/2 c. Powdered Sugar, sifted
1/4 c. Heavy Whipping Cream
1/2 tsp. Vanilla
3 Bananas, sliced
1 (6 oz.) can Pineapple Juice
4 Brownies
Cut into 1 in. pieces 
1 Baked Pie Crust
(I used refrigerated crust with egg wash)
1/2 c. Chocolate-Toffee Bits or Chopped Pecans
Whipped Cream, for garnish
(I used homemade.)
Beat butter and cream cheese together until creamy; gradually add powdered sugar alternately with whipping cream.  Stir in the vanilla.  Set this filling aside.
Toss banana sliced in pineapple juice; drain.  Pat sliced dry with paper towels.
I scored my pie crust before I baked it so the crust wouldn't shrink in the pan. 
Spoon half the filling into baked pie shell. 
Arrange banana slices on filling.
Add the cut up brownies around on the bananas.
Top with remaining filling.
Top with fluffy whipped cream and add chocolate-toffee bits or pecans.
Refrigerate until serving.  I recommend no longer than 8 hours.  Enjoy the compliments you'll receive for this decadent pie!
I'm linking up with friends at:

Monday, September 17, 2012

Sweet Potato Fries at "Inspired By Family" magazine


I'm excited to share one of my favorite savory sides with you all today at "Inspired By Family" magazine! I hope you can check out the recipe, and take a look at all the other insightful and inspiring articles in this month's edition. Hopefully these yummy and healthful sweet potato fries will inspire your next autumn menu!!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Faith is Getting Married! Memories, A Shower, & A Recipe

Makenzie Lynn Photography

My sister is getting married!
 This brings on mixed emotions, because I still remember her as just a precious, chubby baby!  I was "the little mommy" being 9 years older.
We've shared in so many unbelievably fun memories, like this pictures of us on our "Girl's Vacation" to the beach for Faith's graduation a couple summers ago! 
What a blast we had with Mom in Florida! 
Now that we're both adults we've become close friends, and that's what I've always hoped would happen!
We love our sister time together, and "Girl-time" with Mom!

We've had the best summer planning, throwing her showers, finding the dress, getting their new place ready, having girl many exciting things!
Soon, I can visit her in her own home and have hot tea at her place!
(It seems as though my hair color changes frequently, while Faith's stays a beautiful, healthy blond....if you didn't notice already!)
 I'm thrilled for her!  She's marrying a wonderful, Christian man who loves her so deeply--it's evident! They make the sweetest couple, not to mention good looking. They both have million dollar smiles!  If her marriage is half as happy as mine is, she'll love being a wife. :)
 Makenzie Lynn Photography
This past weekend I, along with Mom, threw her a shower at my parents house!  It was her personal shower that all the cousins and aunts were invited to.  I had so much fun baking treats and putting my heart in every confection I made.  It is the one and only time I would be giving her a personal shower, so I wanted it to be very special!
(I apologize in advance for the poor quality of some of these pictures. Believe me, it was a magical night....)
The beautiful table was set and ready for everyone to arrive.
 Delicate, pale pink roses were the centerpiece and if there was any sort of theme it would be Delicious and Strawberries & Chocolate!!!
Mom put out her lovely silver flatware--only the best for Faith!  Candles were lit everywhere and the glow was elegant and enchanting!
Mom's chocolate covered strawberries!
Mom's family-favorite, chocolate peanut butter balls sprinkled with chopped pecans!
My best-loved shortbread cookies dusted with cinnamon-sugar since Faith loves snicker doodles!
My chocolate chip cookie dough truffles topped with mini chocolate chips and hearts!
My chocolate-fudge cupcakes with strawberry-butter cream frosting and chocolate ganache!
I topped some of them with fresh raspberries and mini chocolate chips.
Other ones I topped with strawberry frosted, mini-heart, shortbread cookies and beautiful pink pearls.  They looked so sweet!
They were almost too precious to eat.
 We seemed to manage it, though.
My yummy ham and Swiss poppy seed sliders! Can you say, butter?!!
Mom's fresh vegetable platter with some of the best dip I've put in my mouth!!  It's a friend of the family's recipe. This dip is cool and creamy with a little kick, and it tastes excellent with salty potato chips.  I really wish I had an upclose picture of the dip, but I am posting the recipe for it at the bottom!
 I wish I would've taken more pictures.  Mom had the house looking beautiful!  I guess with every one about to arrive, I was good to quickly take these! 
What you don't see in the pictures is also a delicious coffee bar of tiramisu coffee.  Mom and I set things out for everyone to be able to make their own gourmet coffee with whipped cream, cinnamon, mini chocolate chips, and peppermints!  We thought that would be a special treat, especially since it was a cool, rainy night. :)
Also in the kitchen, I had some homemade strawberry lime aide in the punch bowl.  Sooo good! 
Put frozen sweetened strawberries in the blender with frozen limeade concentrate, a little frozen orange juice concentrate, and a little water.  I froze that and when ready to serve, add lemon-lime soda and gently stir.  Oh, my!!
 We had a wonderful time!  Mom had the cutest autumn-decor gifts for everyone who came to the party.  She was so thoughtful!  We all showered Faith with gifts and Godly marriage advice.  We also prayed a blessing over their marriage!  We laughed and laughed and shared and ate and it couldn't have been a more beautiful night!!!   
Barb's Delicious Creamy Vegetable Dip
 2 blocks of cream cheese
1 can Rotel tomatoes, drained
2 green bell pepper, finely diced
2 tomatoes, seeded and finely diced
sea salt & pepper
Put the cream cheese and Rotel tomatoes in a blender and blend until pretty smooth and creamy.  Dump mixture into a bowl and add the peppers and tomatoes.  We added a bit of garlic salt, too.  Add generous salt and pepper ( to taste).  Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hrs. before serving.  This is a wonderful dip with veggies or chips and even better the next day!!!
 Linking up with friends at:

Monday, September 3, 2012

The Best Autumn Apple Crisp & Apple Pickin!

Farewell Summer!
What is it about the this time of year--with the cooler nights and autumn in the air-- that causes us to crave the warm aromas of vanilla, coffee, or cinnamon?  There is just something heart-warming about pulling a steamy apple pie or crisp out of the oven!  What a delicious surprise for the hubby after work, the kids as they come home from school, or on a brisk Saturday after a game of family football. A dessert dotted with butter and brown sugar somehow always puts a smile on my face and extra faces in my house!
Here are a few pictures of our fun apple picking afternoon together!  Mr. Cozy and I love doing seasonal things like this. 
Can you tell I was incredibly happy to on the wagon ride out to the orchard?  It was only my sweet husband and I together for the ride!  How romantic. :)
I'm ready to start pickin!!!
I found a perfect one!
After picking some beautiful Jonathan apples (which are my favorite) at the orchard, I decided it would only be the right thing to do for me to make the very first apple crisp of the season!  Friends, this one is truly the Best apple crisp I've ever had!  It's an easy one to make and calls for staple pantry ingredients plus a special one for making it so delicious--yellow cake mix! 
While my husband is usually more of a pie kind of guy, he could hardly keep his fork out of it!!  With a frosty glass of milk and a big scoop of vanilla ice cream, this crumble apple crisp is sure to satisfy your cinnamon-apple cravings.  Hope you can enjoy it in the upcoming season with your family! 
Autumn Apple Crisp
7 c. Diced Tart Apples, about 7 medium
1 c. Sugar
1 Tbsp. All-Purpose Flour
1 tsp. Ground Cinnamon
Dash of Salt
1/4 c. Water
1- 9 oz. pkg. Yellow Cake Mix (I used Jiffy)
3/4 c. Rolled Oats
1/3 c. Butter, cold and cubed
1 heaping Tbsp. Dark Brown Sugar
1/2 c. Pecans, coarsely chopped
1/4 tsp. Baking Soda
1/4 tsp. Baking Powder
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Dice apples into small bits and place in a medium sized bowl.
Add sugar and the 4 ingredients. 
 Stir to combine and set bowl aside.
 In another bowl, dump the yellow cake mix, oats, brown sugar, powder and soda.
 Stir to combine.
 Add the butter and cut into the mixture, with two forks, until crumbly.
 This is what makes it a Crisp.
 Pour the delicious apple mixture into a greased baking dish.
Sprinkle the crumble topping over the apples. 
 Spread out evenly to all the edges.
Bake uncovered for 45-50 minutes or until apples are tender and top is golden and bubbly!
Serve warm with ice cream. 

 When the ice cream begins to melt is when it's the best!
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