Friday, August 12, 2011

Dishes | Peanut Butter Pie

I've wanted to start a series on this blog for awhile now called Dishes.  A post here and there where I could share family recipes and cooking experiences for Emerson to one day learn (or not learn) from.  But, as it goes with a lot of posts, I put it on my mental check-list, started a draft in Blogger and it sits there for a long time....until this morning.

I don't know Jennie Perillo.  In fact, before this morning I had never even read her blog.  But all the blogs I DO read started posting Peanut Butter Pie recipes and referring to Jennie.  So I did what any good blogger would do, I headed over and read her story.  After reading it, with tears streaming down my face (yes, I went into the ugly cry), I knew I HAD to make my own Peanut Butter Pie today.  You see, Jennie suddenly and unexpectedly lost her husband earlier this week from a massive heart attack.  Just like most of us bloggers, she is a mom and a wife and didn't see this coming at all and I'm guessing she is now completely lost.  Jennie posted this wonderful, heart wrenching tribute to her husband, Mikey, who had a fond love for his wife's peanut butter pie.  She tasked all bloggers out there to make a peanut butter pie for their loved ones and sit down and actually enjoy it with them; because you never know when your last moment with them might be.  So I did just that, I got all my work done early today, headed to the grocery for the ingredients, and then went and picked up my sweet Emerson early from school.  We came home and made Peanut Butter Pie for our favorite guy, who also has a fond love for the combination of chocolate and peanut butter.

Peanut Butter Pie
(since we are trying to be some-what healthy in this house, I went with a slightly lighter version)

Ingredients - mish mosh of lots of recipes from the Internet

1 store bought graham cracker crust (would have preferred Oreo but our store was out)
8 oz. light cream cheese (softened)
1 cup low fat peanut butter (I used Jif)
1 tub of fat free Cool Whip
1/2 cup Half and Half - unfortunately this wasn't low fat, we had some in the house, so no need to buy more
1/2 cup Strevia - natural no calorie sweetener
1/4 cup Sugar
2 squares of candy melting chocolate

Love my IPad for reading recipes while cooking

Combine cream cheese and peanut butter. 

Melt candy chocolate and put a thin layer in the bottom of the pie crust; brush up the sides. Place in the freezer to set-up while completing other steps.  
If you're Emerson, licking the chocolate spoon is the most important step. 

Fold cool whip into cream cheese/peanut butter mixture.  Spread into pie crust.

If you're Emerson again, beg your mom to let you lick the mixer attachments.  
(Mom happily obliges)

We chose Reese's peanut butter cup Magic Shell and mini Reese's peanut butter cups.  

Let set in freezer a few hours before serving.

We had enough left over to make a mini pie

I hope it tastes as good as it looks!!

My two favorite people enjoying some pie!  
Luckily our neighbors, the Hermans, happily took half the pie off our hands....and we got it out of the house!!!

I really couldn't think of a better first post for my Dishes series than this, a tribute honoring a man I don't even know, but out of respect to his wife, who loved him dearly, and just wanted to make him one last peanut butter pie.  I love cooking with Emerson and it's something I need to do more of.  I want her to be involved in cooking and know her way around a kitchen.  I have fond memories of cooking with my grandmother and it's always a treat for all the women in my family to be in the kitchen during the holidays cooking, gossiping and just being women.  As much as society has put a bad rap on food these days, food really does make people come together for fellowship, memories, joy, sharing and time well spent.  If it weren't for my curiosity in Peanut Butter Pie today, I might have never known about Jennie.  My heart's been heavy all day for her and I can't even begin to imagine how she will start to heal from this, but I can assure you, every time she and her kids eat a piece of peanut butter pie....they will have a fond memory of the most important man in their lives.  I'm certainly hugging Emerson and Danny a bit tighter tonight and will try not to take the days with them for granted, as Jennie said, for "today is the only guarantee we can count on".

A great article on CNN about Jennie
The official "Peanut Butter Pie for Mikey and Jennifer Perillo" Facebook event 
Food Network's dedication page to Jennie and Mikey

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