Tasty Tuesday–Nutella Pie

Just when you think I’ve run out of new pies to try!

Last year, I found a recipe for a Nutella pie, and Turkey immediately decided he wanted it to be “his” Thanksgiving pie. He liked it so much, he decided he wants it again this year, and I don’t blame him…it’s delicious. Of course, I’ve made my own little tweaks in the meantime, so here is my updated recipe!

For the filling:

  • Pre-made Oreo pie crust
  • 8 oz. cream cheese
  • 3/4 cup Nutella
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream

Beat cream cheese, Nutella, sugar, and vanilla until smooth. In another bowl, beat cream until stiff peaks form; fold into Nutella mixture. Add to crust and chill for 30 minutes.

For the topping:

  • 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 Tbsp. light corn syrup
  • 2 tsp. butter
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 2 oz. semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. hazelnuts, toasted and roughly chopped

In small saucepan, bring the cream, corn syrup, butter, and salt to a boil over medium heat. Remove from heat. Add chocolate; let stand five minutes. Stir until smooth; cool to spreading consistency. Spread over pie; sprinkle with toasted hazelnuts. Chill for at least one hour.

Tasty Tuesday–Chris’ Pancake and Dining

I don’t think I’ve ever done a restaurant review focused on breakfast before, but there’s a first time for everything!

When you want to find the best breakfast in St. Louis, Chris’ Pancake and Dining routinely tops the list. The fact that both the Lions and Kiwanis Clubs meet there weekly is an immediate indicator of what a great local place Chris’ is!

I love when restaurants have cool glass:

We went on a Sunday morning. The parking situation was a bit tenuous, and when you see the crowds, both seated at tables and waiting for one, you may wonder if you’ll ever be seated (especially if you’re a group of nine, like we were!). But they’re really good about keeping things moving, and our wait wasn’t long at all!

The sight of these items on the table is familiar and comforting! It reminds me of my favorite childhood pancake house (of blessed memory) in suburban Chicago.

On to the food. I had the corned beef hash, which was amazing. Ryan had the Top of the Hill, which is Chris’ version of a local specialty, the slinger. Ryan liked it, so I’ll leave it at that, because slingers are not my thing. And the kids’ meals, which included pancakes, eggs, and a choice of bacon or sausage, were a huge hit! I was also impressed by their commitment to getting the meals right. Turkey had ordered his eggs sunny side up, and they were concerned that they had cooked them too hard, so they redid it, and quickly, too!

We first went to Chris’ about 15 years ago, but it’s been about 14 years since last we were there. Living in Belleville doesn’t make it very accessible most mornings! But it was just as good as I remembered, and I wouldn’t mind finding a reason to go back!

Tasty Tuesday–Butterscotch Haystacks (Peanut Butter Free!)

One of the first treats I started making after Ryan and I got married was butterscotch haystacks. They came to be a fall staple in our household, but once we learned that Moose was allergic to peanuts, they become less fun to make, because my original recipe contained peanut butter, and he couldn’t enjoy them with us.

I looked into lots of different potential substitutes. SunButter is almost always the first suggestion that comes up, but I never tried to make them using it. Instead, I opted for Biscoff Cookie Spread. The end result was amazing…we like them much better this way!

  • 1 11oz. bag butterscotch chips
  • 3/4 cup Biscoff Cookie Spread
  • 3 1/2 cups mini marshmallows
  • 10 oz. chow mein noodles

Over a double-boiler or in the microwave, melt butterscotch chips. Stir in Biscoff spread until smooth. Toss with marshmallows and chow mein noodles. Shape into “haystacks” a bit bigger than a golf ball. Refrigerate until set. Store any remaining haystacks in refrigerator.

Tasty Tuesday–Salmon Tacos

I love tacos, and I love salmon, but for some reason, I’ve never thought of putting the two together! I happened to watch Ina Garten make salmon tacos on the Food Network earlier this summer, and I knew I’d have to try the recipe. I made some changes to the recipe after the first time we tried them, and I think they’re now one of my favorite dinners…and I finally found a way to prepare salmon that even Bunny and Ladybug enjoy!

Slaw

Salmon

Avocado Smash

  • 2 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

At least an hour before you plan to serve the tacos, prepare slaw. Toss the cabbage, cucumber, vinegar, dill, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper together in a large bowl. Cover and refrigerate, allowing the cabbage to marinate.

When ready to serve, preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Brush a baking dish with olive oil and place the salmon in it. Mix the chile powder, lime zest, and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt in a small bowl. Brush the salmon with 1 tablespoon of the lime juice and sprinkle with the chipotle seasoning mixture. Roast for 12 to 15 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fish, until the salmon is just cooked through.

Wrap the tortillas in 2 foil packets and place them in the oven with the salmon.  While the salmon is baking, roughly mash the avocados with the remaining 2 tablespoons of lime juice, the Sriracha, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper.

To serve, place a dollop of the avocado smash on one side of each tortilla, then some large chunks of salmon, and finally, some of the slaw. Fold the tortillas in half over the filling (they will be messy!) and serve warm.

Tasty Tuesday–A Pioneer Inspired Dinner

Ma had sent them ginger-water. She had sweetened the cool well-water with sugar, flavored it with vinegar, and put in plenty of ginger to warm their stomachs so they could drink it till they were not thirsty. Ginger-water would not make them sick, as plain cold water would when they were so hot. Such a treat made that ordinary day into a special day, the first day that Laura helped in the haying. “The Long Winter” by Laura Ingalls Wilder

Whenever possible, I try to include a special meal as part of  our summer school. Some years, that’s easier than others. Coming up with a pioneer-themed meal wasn’t too difficult, but I can’t vouch for the authenticity of our dinner. I was more interested in having a meal of foods pioneers might have enjoyed, rather than cooking them the way pioneers would have needed to. So tonight’s dinner included bean soup and homemade cornbread, ginger-water (a last-minute addition!), and a pieplant (rhubarb) pie for dessert. It was a very delicious meal, and I think I’ve found some new things to add to the recipe file!

“‘That’s the way I like it,’ he said. ‘If there is no sugar in the pie, then every fellow can sweeten his own as much as he likes without hurting the cook’s feelings.'” “The First Four Years” by Laura Ingalls Wilder

IKEA St. Louis

It has (unbelievably!) already been almost two years since IKEA came to St. Louis. This was a BIG DEAL. Ever since we moved here over 16 years ago, rumors have circulated about a possible IKEA location, and in the end, they always turned out to be false. We almost didn’t believe it when the news finally came out that St. Louis was actually going to get an IKEA store! But in 2015 it opened, and there was much rejoicing. Even so, I didn’t actually make it there until I went with Chickadee earlier this summer.

We have driven by the store and seen it from the interstate lots of times, but that in no way prepared me for how massive the store is when you’re in the parking lot looking at it!

If the store colors aren’t reminiscent enough of the Swedish flag for you, there is an actual Swedish flag outside:

And once you walk in the door, you are warmly welcomed:

Did I mention how big the store is?!? The map was so intimidating, I almost turned around and left!

The store may be intimidating, but it is extremely well-planned and organized:

Did I mention it was intimidating? The self-serve furniture area puts big stores like Walmart and Lowe’s to shame!

The free lockers are an especially good idea:

And given how big the store is, I think having a planned rest area is really smart!

What I was really there for, however, was the food. I’ve heard about the cafeteria style restaurant and the Swedish meatballs, so I had to check it out. It was also extremely well-organized. In addition to the hot food line, there were also cold options, including some amazing looking desserts:

I especially loved the carts for people who might have multiple meal trays!

Chickadee and I had already eaten lunch, so we just got a side order of Swedish meatballs and a piece of Daim torte to share. We also tried the pear fruit water and the lingonberry drink. Everything was delicious (Chickadee LOVED the meatballs!), and it was SO CHEAP!!!

Here’s a look at the full Swedish meatball meal:

The store also has Swedish treats (to enjoy at home) for sale:

Once we had exhausted ourselves walking around the store, we were ready to head out, and we received a very friendly goodbye, as well!

While we were there, we bought some Swedish treats to bring home and share with everyone, so we got to have a full IKEA meal at home…Swedish meatballs with the amazing IKEA gravy, lingonberry drink, and Kakor Choklad:

I loved our visit to IKEA, and I can’t wait to go back with the whole family…it’s one of the few places I can think of where we can all have a nice walk, look at some interesting things, and enjoy a filling meal, all without breaking the bank…as long as we don’t decide to redecorate our entire house while we’re there!

Tasty Tuesday–Dinner by Turkey

Turkey has been wanting to make dinner for us this summer, and he had a great idea for a tri-color pasta salad (he dyed the pasta himself!), and Italian sandwiches. He finally got to make it last night, and it was delicious!

I’m not going to give away his secret recipes, but they were really good, and I enjoyed watching (and tasting!) how he put things together!