Monthly Archives

April 2011


Mama Pea’s Funky Monkey Pie

April 29, 2011

First off, Happy Royal Wedding Day! If you’re anything like me, you’ll be drinking coffee by the gallon to stay awake. I’m also going to my second wedding dress fitting over lunch, which makes this day filled with wedded excitement!

On the food front, I can’t tell you how many times I read a recipe on one of my many favorite blogs and am absolutely inspired to make said recipe. However, I rarely ever end up doing so, mainly because I figure if it’s already out there for the internet to see, then why blog about it again?

But some recipes are just too good, and fun, not to share. Take this pie, for example. It’s called Funky Monkey Pie. Could that name be any more fun? And if you’re a vegan like Mama Pea, this pie will make you especially happy. Now that I think about it, this might be the first vegan recipe on Espresso and Cream. But don’t for one second think you have to be a vegan to enjoy this pie. No, this recipe is for all.

Maybe I should let you know this pie has a secret weapon in the peanut butter filling. Or maybe the tofu will scare you away. I guess if it does that means more pie for me. Which, frankly, I’m okay with.

Mama Pea’s Funky Monkey Pie

*1 pre-made graham cracker pie crust
*1 large banana, sliced
*1 (12-ounce) package silken tofu
*2/3 cup natural peanut butter
*2/3 cup powdered sugar
*1 teaspoon vanilla extract
*2 tablespoons non-dairy milk
*1 cup whipped topping
*Chopped peanuts and chocolate chips (optional)

*Layer the banana slices in the graham cracker crust. 
*In a food processor, blend together the tofu, peanut butter, powdered sugar, vanilla extract and milk until smooth, scraping down the sides of bowl as necessary.
*Spoon mixture into pie crust. Top with whipped topping and sprinkle with chopped peanuts and chocolate chips, if desired.

Happy Baking!



Cereal Layer Bars

April 27, 2011

Layer bars like these come in many forms. The only real components necessary to make them are a cookie or graham cracker crust, a mixed ingredient filling full of different flavors and textures and a topping of sweetened condensed milk to bind it all together. Typically, they are sweet to the max. And, in my opinion, lacking depth and diversity in flavor. Unless, of course, we are talking about these bars.

I would like to say they are a stroke of carefully planned out genius. However, they are more a product of photo shoot leftovers than anything else. Instead of graham crackers for the crust, we’re talking a crust made with crushed Cracklin’ Oat Bran (my childhood favorite cereal).

And inside?

Salty peanuts to break up the sweetness of two types of chocolate with crunchy granola thrown in for good measure.

The best part of it all is how easy they are. And tempting, too. The day after making these bars I whisked them off to work to avoid the temptation of eating the whole pan. Proceed with caution.

Cereal Layer Bars

*1 2/3 cups Kellogg’s Cracklin’ Oat Bran Cereal, crushed into a fine meal
*1 tablespoon sugar
*4 tabespoons butter, melted

*1/3 cup salted roasted peanuts, chopped
*1/3 cup mint chocolate pieces
*1/3 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
*1/3 cup Teddy Grahams, crushed into coarse pieces
*1/3 cup Honey Bunches of Oats Just Bunches cereal or other type of granola cereal
*7 ounces sweetened condensed milk (1/2 a regular-sized can)

*Preheat oven to 350°F. In a large bowl, combine the crushed Cracklin’ Oat Bran cereal, sugar and butter. Stir until evenly combined. Press mixture into a 13 3/4 x 4 1/2 x 1 rectangular tart pan (I purchased mine here but I am guessing it would also work to use an 8×8-inch baking pan.), paying attention to pressing mixture up the sides.
*Bake crust for 8 minutes. Remove from heat and cool slightly.
*Meanwhile, combine the peanuts, mint chocolate pieces, chocolate chips, crushed Teddy Grahams and cereal. Pour mixture into the crust and spread evenly. Drizzle with sweetened condensed milk. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown around the edges and slightly bubbly. Remove and cool for at least an hour before serving.

Happy Baking!



April (Wedding) Showers

April 26, 2011

This weekend Joey and I had our first wedding shower! It was thrown by Joey’s aunts on his dad’s side and, as is tradition in his family, the guys were invited, too. We had so much fun playing silly games, eating (of course!) and opening gifts.

Did I mention I’m super lucky to be marrying into this amazing family?

Because I am. They play silly games, laugh a lot and make sure we are never without caffeine.

Our loot included a coffee grinder, French press, coffee mugs, travel coffee mugs and an espresso machine. (!!!) Are you seeing a pattern?


Be Back Soon

April 25, 2011

Regular posting will resume momentarily.

We’ve been out on a three day weekend. Eating tasty treats, planning our wedding, and running gravel roads out in the country.

Now, it’s back to work and the kitchen.

Hope you all had a fabulous Easter!


Rice Krispie Treat Pops

April 22, 2011

First things first, the winner of the cookie giveaway is Jesse who said…

Congrats, Jesse! Please browse Espresso and Cream (or search ‘cookies’ in the Google search box to the top right) and pick out your cookies of choice. Then, e-mail your selection to me ( and I’ll get them in the mail next week! 

You didn’t think I’d let this week slip by without posting a recipe worthy of Easter, did you?

I love this holiday for a lot of reasons, many deeper and more important than food and sweet treats. But, of course, the treats and candy also have a little something to do with how much I love Easter. I could do without most Valentine’s Day candy but Easter candy is a whole different ball of wax.

Cadbury eggs? Sign me up. Starburst Jelly Beans? Dangerous. And don’t even get me started on the peanut butter filled eggs.

So of course when I had some extra baking supplies on hand after a photo shoot at work, I thought of the sweetest, most Easter-worthy dessert I could imagine. Trust me, these little pops are a pure dose of sugar and chocolate mint goodness.

Oh, I forgot to mention that regular Rice Krispies Treats wouldn’t do for these pops. Instead, I jazzed them up with a hit of mint chocolate. Mainly because I had some leftover Andes mint chocolate baking pieces and needed a reason to use them.

Happy Easter, everyone!

Rice Krispie Treat Pops

*1/4 cup butter
*6 cups mini marshmallows
*1/2 cup mint chocolate pieces
*7 cups Rice Krispies cereal
*24 Paper treat sticks 
*1 standard-sized package almond bark
*Rainbow sprinkles

*In a large saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add in the marshmallows and continue to cook and stir until marshmallows are melted and combined. Stir in mint chocolate pieces until well combined. Remove from heat.
*Place Rice Krispies in a very large bowl. Pour marshmallow mixture atop Rice Krispies and stir to combine. If needed, use lightly buttered hands to full combine the mixture.
*Form Rice Krispie mixture into24 (2-inch) balls and stick a treat stick into the center of each ball, pressing the treat mixture around the stick.
*Melt almond bark according to package directions. Dip treat balls into the almond bark to coat completely. Transfer to waxed paper or aluminum foil to cool. Top with sprinkles before almond bark hardens.

Happy Easter!