Key West Key Lime Pie

Best Key West Key Lime Pie

I have vacationed in Key West many times. It’s my favorite city in Florida. Love the food, the history, the art galleries and overall everything about the city. A very fun place to visit. I am really not a pie fan but I do love Key Lime Pie. A lot. Key West makes the best. Now you can make your own and feel like you just visited The Keys.

Here is a picture of a key lime compared to a regular size lime.
The best way to juice a key lime is with a garlic press. It’s like it was made to juice!
As you can see, it works like a charm. Garlic press, my top secret weapon to juice key limes.

Ingredients Pie Crust:

2 cups graham cracker crumbs

1 stick of butter, melted

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1 pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix together graham cracker crumbs, sugar, salt and butter in a bowl. Form crumbs into a deep dish pie pan. Bake for 8 minutes and cool completely before adding filling.

Whip it good!
Strain your key lime juice, I found seeds and it also removes the pulp.
Zest of a regular size lime added to the filling.
Baking away in Margaritaville 😉
She loves my Key West Key Lime Pie
Proudly modeling pie

Key Lime Pie Filling:

2 cans of sweetened condensed milk

8 egg yolks

1 cup of fresh key lime juice, strained,* (2 one pound packages of key limes)**

Zest of one regular lime

Beat sweetened condensed milk and egg yolks until thickened. Add lime juice slowly and lime zest. Add pie filling to completely cooled pie crust. Bake in oven for 12 minutes. Do not let your pie get browned, it will have a jiggle but the pie will solidify after it’s cooled and chilled. Chill pie for minimum 3 hours, or longer. Garnish with fresh whip cream and a lime slice. Enjoy!

Simply the best!
*I have never used bottled key lime juice for anything. I know some of you may have trouble finding key limes. From research, I understand this is a good product but fresh juice is always best. This juice can purchased at grocery stores, Sam’s Club and ordered on Amazon.

**Before juicing limes, microwave them for 1 minute per pound. The heat will making juicing easier and yield more juice.

Strawberries and Cream Overnight French Toast Casserole

My sweet family invited me to an Easter brunch. My daughter in love Danielle asked if I would bring Strawberries and Cream French Toast Casserole. I agreed. This is similar to my Peaches and Cream French Toast Casserole on my blog, but this one is made a little different.

Ingredients:

1 loaf Brioche bread, day old or 2 even better, sliced and cubed

4 ounces of cream cheese, cut into cubes

8 eggs

2 1/2 cups of heavy whipping cream

2 teaspoons vanilla

2 quarts of fresh strawberries, sliced

Powdered sugar for dusting on top of casserole

Maple syrup if desired

Spray a 13 x 9 inch pan with nonstick spray. Place cubed brioche bread in the bottom of the casserole pan. Add cream cheese cubes between bread cubes. In a blender or mixer, blend eggs, heavy cream and vanilla. Pour custard mixture over bread and cream cheese in casserole dish. Cover tightly with foil and place in fridge overnight.

In the morning, take out casserole dish. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Slice strawberries and cover the top of the casserole. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until custard is set. Garnish with powdered sugar and pour on the maple syrup if desired. Enjoy!

Everything But The Bagel BLT

It’s no secret that BLT’s are one of my favorite sandwiches. I really love adding avocado and pickled onions to my sandwich too. I recently saw Katie Lee from Food Network make this sandwich and all the credit for the bacon goes to her.

Ingredients:

Bacon (do not buy thick slice) pork, turkey or chicken bacon works

Ketchup

Everything But The Bagel Seasoning*

Bread, toast it if desired

Mayonnaise

Lettuce

Tomatoes

Pickled onions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a pan with foil if you want easy cleanup. Place a baking rack in your baking pan, I used a cooling rack (like what I cool cookies on). Lay bacon on the rack. Lightly brush bacon with ketchup (this makes the seasoning stick and it adds a tomato flavor to the bacon). Sprinkle Everything But The Bagel Seasoning on the bacon. My jar had a shaker top but I applied the seasoning using my fingers so I would not waste it. Bake 15 to 20 minutes. I like my bacon crispy do I baked mine 20 minutes. Thick bacon takes a long time to crisp up in the oven so that is why I suggested to use regular sliced bacon. Let rest 5 minutes and assemble your delicious sandwich. Enjoy!

*Everything But The Bagel Seasoning can be purchased at Trader Joe’s, Amazon and my grocery store also sells it.

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Red, White And Blueberry Cupcakes

Red, White And Blueberry Cupcakes
Everyone in the pool!
Baking to perfection.

Ingredients:

1 1/4 cups a flour

1 cup sugar

11/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup whole milk

1/4 cup vegetable oil

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 egg

3/4 cup fresh blueberries

2-3 Tablespoons cornstarch to toss blueberries in

Maraschino cherries for garnish

Blueberries for garnish

Willow’s best friend Maggie. ❤️❤️❤️
My babygirl Willow ❤️

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake pan with cupcake liners.

Add dry ingredients to your mixing bowl and whisk. Set aside.

Add milk, oil, vanilla and egg in a medium size bowl. Blend together. Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until combined.

Toss blueberries with cornstarch. Stir blueberries into cupcake batter. Fill cupcake liners 1/2 full. Bake 15-17 minutes or until done. Remove cupcakes from oven. Cool in pan for 5 minutes. Remove from cupcake pan and cool completely before frosting.

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

1 stick of butter, softened*

1/2 cup of Crisco shortening

4 cups of powdered sugar

2 teaspoons of vanilla

2-3 teaspoons milk

Blend butter and shortening together. *If you are using salted butter, you do not need to add anymore salt. If you are using unsalted butter, add up to a teaspoon to the butter shortening mixture. Slowly add powdered sugar to the butter/shortening mixture. Blend to combine. Add vanilla and milk according to the desired consistency for piping on cupcakes. As always, I used a Wilton 1M tip to decorate my cupcakes. Garnish with a stemmed maraschino cherry and blueberry. Enjoy!

Sign of a delicious cupcake. That’s a wrap!

Peaches And Cream French Toast Casserole

This is an overnight casserole. You must make this the night before. While your oven is preheating in the morning, let casserole sit on the counter. It will bake better if the dish and contents are not ice cold out of the fridge.

Brioche and cream cheese

Ingredients:

8 eggs

2 1/2 cups of heavy whipping cream

2 teaspoons vanilla

1 loaf of Brioche bread, day old and cubed

4 ounces of cream cheese, cubed

6-8 peaches, sliced (enough to cover the top of of the casserole

Fruit fresh (found in the canning department of your grocery store)

Powdered sugar for garnish

Syrup if desired

Brioche, cream cheese and egg mixture
Ready to go in the fridge till morning

In a blender, purée eggs, heavy whipping cream and vanilla. Set aside. ***

Butter a 13 x 9 casserole dish. Place cubed brioche bread in the bottom of the casserole dish. Place cubed cream cheese inside and outside of the brioche cubes. Toss sliced peaches liberally in Fruit Fresh. (This will keep them from browning). Pour egg mixture over the bread and cheese in the casserole dish. Place peaches on top of the casserole dish. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Baked and ready to eat.

The next morning, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Remove cover and bake for 30 to 40 minutes until custard is set. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and pour on the syrup if desired.

***This is not a sweet breakfast casserole. If you are looking for sweet, add some sugar to the egg mixture and definitely garnish with powdered sugar.

Crockpot Olive Garden Chicken

My grilled Olive Garden Chicken is a huge success on my blog. So when it’s too hot to grill, to rainy or you run out if propane, make my Olive Garden Chicken in the crockpot. use frozen or thawed chicken breasts, cook, shred the chicken and serve over pasta or rice. Easy and so delicious.

Ingredients:

1 1/2 – 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, thawed or frozen

16 ounces or more of Olive Garden Salad Dressing

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese (dry kind you shake on)

Plus an additional 1/4 cup to sprinkle on when done

1/2 teaspoon of black pepper

8 ounces cream cheese, cubed

Spaghetti or rice

1/2 cup pasta water

Parmesan Shreds, optional

Spray crockpot (slow cooker) with non stick cooking spray. Add chicken breasts to the crockpot. Pour the dressing over the chicken. Sprinkle the Parmesan cheese on the chicken. Place cubed cream cheese in the crockpot. I used frozen chicken and I set my timer on high for 4 hours. if you are cooking on low, cook for 5 to 6 hours. Right before your chicken is done, prepare the pasta or the rice. Remove the chicken when done and shred it. Place back in the crockpot and add pasta and 1/2 cup pasta water to the mix. Add black pepper and sprinkle on more Parmesan cheese. Serve with a Caesar Salad and garlic bread for a delicious dinner. Enjoy!

Disney’s Chocolate, Peanut Butter, Banana French Toast

This is not a copycat recipe but a recipe from Disney’s PCH Grill at the Paradise Pier Hotel at Disneyland. I would like to thank my sweet friend Elizabeth Sausville for finding this recipe and sharing it with me. When I first read the recipe, I thought it would be more like bread pudding but I changed my mind after I ate it. Definitely breakfast. And don’t make the powdered sugar and chocolate syrup optional, use both! I used my Copycat Saunder’s Milk Chocolate Hot Fudge syrup on this recipe. Delish. Decadent. Fabulous.

Ingredients:

Peanut butter, eggs, chocolate milk, cinnamon and salt

8 thick slices of day old challah bread, 1 loaf will do

2 ripe bananas, I used 3 because my bananas were on the small-medium size

1/4 cup chocolate chips, I used milk chocolate, I used 1/2 cup

1/2 cup creamy peanut butter

6 eggs, lightly beaten

3/4 cup chocolate milk

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon salt

Chocolate syrup and powdered sugar, optional (not optional in my opinion!)

Mix gently until bread has absorbed the egg mixture.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9 x 13 pan with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.

Golden brown, right out of the oven.

Cut bread into one inch cubes and place in a large bowl. Slice bananas into 1/2 inch slices and add to bowl. Stir in chocolate chips.

Combine peanut butter, eggs, chocolate milk, cinnamon and salt in a blender. Process until smooth.

Warm right from the oven.

Pour egg mixture over bread mixture. Stir gently until bread cubes have absorbed the egg mixture.

Pour mixture into prepared pan. Bake for 35 to 40* minutes or until top is golden brown. I baked mine for 40 minutes, next time it will only be 35 minutes.

With powdered sugar.

Before serving, drizzle with chocolate syrup and dust with powdered sugar if desired. Enjoy!

With powdered sugar and chocolate topping. Highly recommended!

Copycat Sanders Milk Chocolate Hot Fudge

I have been in love with Sanders Milk Chocolate Hot Fudge Dessert Topping since I moved to Michigan in 1974. The love affair continues to this day as I continue to mail order this dessert topping. In January of 2020, I celebrated my birthday at Outback and had the Chocolate Fondue Flight. A new dessert on their menu. As soon as I dipped my fork in the chocolate, I thought it tasted just like Sanders. I asked the very nice manager if I could buy the boomerang for my new recipe. It was a yes and here is the Copycat Sanders Milk Chocolate Dessert Topping and my Copycat Chocolate Flight Fondue from Outback Steakhouse.

Ingredients:

2 11 ounce bags of caramels

1/2 cup half and half

1 12 ounce bag milk chocolate chips

1 teaspoon vanilla

Peel caramels and place in a large bowl. Microwave for one and a half minutes. This will soften the caramels. Place bowl over a pot of boiling water, creating a double boiler. Melt the caramels, stirring occasionally until they are smooth in consistency. Once caramels are smooth, slowly add half and half and stir to incorporate the liquid into the caramels.

Next add the milk chocolate chips. My chips had melted in my move but they were still fine to use in the recipe. Stir until chocolate has completely melted into the caramel mixture. Once that is done, remove from heat and add the vanilla. Store in jars or air tight containers in the refrigerator. Microwave at 30 second intervals to re-warm, stirring between the intervals. This topping is great over ice cream, fruit, on a spoon 😉, or whatever you like dessert topping on. You will not want to buy the jar stuff at the grocery store anymore. Enjoy!

For my Chocolate Flight Fondue, I used brownie bites (from homemade brownies), fresh pineapple, sliced bananas and strawberries. Any fruit is great dipped in chocolate. Outback used strawberries, pineapple, brownie and pound cake. They also had a cup of whip cream which I omitted from mine. Nothing against whip cream, I prefer another option for dipping.

Sausage and Pepper Baked Ziti

My family loves baked ziti and I was craving comfort casserole. This recipe feeds many so cut in half or make 2 portions and freeze one. Make it meatless and leave the sausage out.

Ingredients:

2 pounds of ground italian sausage, I used sweet

1 package of chopped peppers, I purchased these in the produce department

1 cup onion, chopped

1 16 ounce box of ziti

2 jars of your favorite marinara (spaghetti) sauce, use what you need. I had about a half a jar leftover

1 32 ounce container of ricotta cheese

3/4 cup Parmesan cheese (the dry kind that you shake out)

3 Tablespoons chopped parsley

3 eggs

1 package/container Parmesan shreds (grated)

2 pounds grated mozzarella cheese

In a skillet, brown sausage with peppers and onions. While your sausage is cooking, you can boil the ziti noodles. Cook according to package directions. Drain grease from sausage and drain pasta. Put pasta in a bowl and toss with a small amount of marinara sauce. Set both aside.

In a medium size bowl, add ricotta, eggs, dry Parmesan and parsley and mix thoroughly.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

I used a large 9 x 15 casserole dish, prepare with nonstick cooking spray. Spread some marinara sauce on the bottom of casserole dish.

Layer half of your ziti in the bottom of your pan. Add a layer of the ricotta mixture and top ricotta with the sausage and peppers.

Top sausage and peppers with marinara sauce and grated Parmesan.

Add half of your mozzarella cheese on top of the Parmesan cheese.

Repeat layers. Bake 30-40 minutes until hot and bubbly.

Serve with a salad, garlic bread and glass of vino. Manga! Enjoy!