Atlantic Beach Pie

I don’t really recall where I first saw the link to the recipe for Atlantic Beach Pie. But I distinctly remember KNOWING I had to make this recipe.

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The pie is essentially like a key lime pie. But the crust! This crust is where it is at. Instead of a regular boring graham cracker crust, this one is a saltine crust. I rarely have graham crackers on hand, but I almost always have saltines so that is nice as well. You mix the saltines with butter and sugar and that combo with the tart lemon/lime juice is so nice.

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Atlantic Beach Pie, from this site

For the crust:

  • 1 1/2 sleeves of saltine crackers
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) softened butter
  • 3 tablespoons sugar

For the filling:

  • 1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup lemon or lime juice or a mix of the two
  • Fresh whipped cream or Cool Whip for garnish

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Crush the crackers finely, using your hands. Add the sugar, then knead in the butter until the crumbs hold together like dough, using your hands. Press into an 8 or 9 inch pie pan. Chill for 15 minutes, then bake for 18 minutes or until the crust colors a little.

While the crust is cooling (it doesn’t need to be cold), beat the egg yolks into the milk (beat 3 minutes), then beat in the citrus juice for another 2 minutes. It is important to completely combine these ingredients. Pour into the shell and bake for 16 minutes until the filling has set. The pie needs to be completely cold (chill at least 4 hours) to be sliced. Serve with fresh whipped cream or Cool Whip.

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The crust before and after, you just want it to set and brown a bit.

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Before and after. It puffs up just slightly.

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It’s always so hard to wait for it to completely cool!!

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Enjoy this sweet and salty treat. It’s like one last bite of summer!

Posted in Baking, Dessert, Pie | Leave a comment

A weekend in Dickinson

A couple weekends ago, I hopped into the pick up with my Mom and Dad and we headed west to Dickinson, ND to explore. We actually lived in Dickinson for 2 quick years when I was a kid so we were anxious to drive through our old neighborhood and see how things changed. First, we wanted to shop downtown and see what was going on.

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I was kind of surprised that the downtown was so quiet. There were some stores, including this great antique like store with that cute clock, but there were a lot of empty store fronts and there were not many people on this Saturday afternoon. The store above was JP Frame Shop and Western Edge (I think is the correct name). I took the photo above right because they had some goods made from recycled bike parts which I thought was neat.

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The store also had this big turkey downstairs I made friends with. He was nice and friendly. On this block we also visited Greene Drug and Gift and Colors of Health which had a ton of health food, vitamins, organic and gluten free items.

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This collection of cameras was located at Good Olde Days Antiques & Collectibles.

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Dickinson has an Art Ave but so far this lil’ birdie was the only artwork.

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Immediately across from Art Ave was this charming little restaurant called Stix N Twigs. It was so cute inside, friendly staff and the food being served look good and healthy. I grabbed an iced tea for the road and it was delicious. Maybe we will be back to try it again!

At this point we found out some of the stores were closed or minimally staffed as their was an expo going on for women at the expo center. We thought maybe we’d check that out since we were in town. But first, we were hungry. Pizza to the rescue!

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We went to Wildcat Pizzeria just north of I94. Tip: if you are coming in from the south, you will want to park in the north lot as there is no access on the south even though it looks like there would be.

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The place is nice and open and was clean. You seat yourself, look at the menu, take your table number and go up to order and pay. They have New York style pizza with a thin, whole wheat crust, hot dogs, salads, stromboli and a self serve yogurt bar. They have a variety of beer on tap. The pizza is really large, but the crust is thin so you will eat more than you think. We got a half pepperoni and half Greek (red onion, spinach, olives and feta with no sauce) and it was so good! We also got a veggie stromboli and we took home about 3 slices of pie. I’d definitely return and I can see this place in my future on another chill weekend when nothing is going on.

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It wasn’t busy, service was quick and we were impressed with the cooks ability to spin the dough around while making the pie!

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This was the stromboli. Also excellent. After this we headed to the women’s expo which was just so-so but it was fun to do.

Dickinson didn’t seem busy and traffic was fine. It has obviously grown and there is a lot of new stuff but I was surprised at the lack of people! I hope to return to take the husband to this pizza place!

Posted in Feisty Eats, FeistyLife, Misc | 1 Comment

Healthier buffalo chicken nachos

Man I love nachos. They are just the best of all my senses. Crispy chips, melty cheese, spicy peppers, spiced chicken, hot jalapenos, cold served salsa. It just hits all the notes.

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But, in general, if you order these out, they are NOT healthy at all. So, make them at home and you can control the amount of calories in your nachos. Here is what I did.

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Healthier buffalo chicken nachos for one (more is pictured in the photos but I doubled this recipe for my husband)

  • 2 small corn tortillas
  • 1/2 tsp. olive oil
  • dash of seasoned salt
  • 4-6 oz. grilled chicken breast, diced
  • 3 Tbsp. buffalo sauce (or to taste)
  • 1/4 of a red onion, chopped
  • 1 Roma tomato, chopped
  • 1/2 red pepper, chopped
  • 4-6 pickled jalapenos, chopped
  • 1 oz. pepperjack cheese
  • Fresh cilantro and chopped green onions for garnish

Heat oven to 400. Brush corn tortillas on one side with olive oil and season with salt, I used chili-lime seasoned salt. Bake for 5-10 minutes until browned and crisp. Remove from oven and break into bite size pieces with your hands.

Mix your chicken with the buffalo sauce and spread over your chips. Top with veggies and cheese. Stick in the oven for 5-10 minutes until warm and cheese melts. Garnish with cilantro and green onions. Eat!

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Instead of having fried chips, bake your corn tortillas until they are crispy. 2 tortillas and oil is just over 100 calories.

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You can load veggies on your tortillas to keep them healthy. I love these colors.

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Be sparing with your cheese since they is a lot of times where extra calories come into play. And can we talk about that fake cheese sauce places use? I hate that stuff. It just creeps me out! After I took my nachos out of the oven I topped mine with cilantro and green onions. I left cilantro off of the hubs side.

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Enjoy this healthier take on nachos. We have eaten these a few times already. Enjoy!

Posted in Appetizer, Main Dish, Veggie | 2 Comments

South Dakota stops

On the way to and the way home from the sprint triathlon in Hot Springs, we did have some time to check out a few fun places in South Dakota I wanted to highlight real quick!

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Our only stop on the way to Hot Springs (due to time) was in Rapid City. I just love Rapid City, I think it’s such a clean, nice town. We ate here, at Firehouse Brewing. I love the flowers! This is aptly named as it used to be the fire department. They brew their own beer and have a full menu. I can’t say the food was all that great, but the outdoor seating was awesome.

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The restaurant is right in downtown Rapid so we walked to a few shops. They have a lot of boutiques, antique stores, bars and restaurants.

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I had to return to Vita Sana Olive Oil Company to stock up on some more olive oil and balsamic vinaigrette. This cool art alleyway is along the way. Fun.

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I love the Main Street Square in downtown Rapid. This gathering area hosts events, music and more depending on what events go on. There is a fountain behind me and kids were cooling off in it on this warm day. The square is surrounded by shops and I treated myself to a Strawberry Shiver, which was raspberry juice , strawberry yogurt, strawberries and banana all blended together in a refreshing smoothie at Alternative Fuel Coffee Shop. At the place next door my Dad grabbed a coconut ice cream cone.

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One new thing my brother and I noticed was Rapid City B-cycle. This is an automated bike share system for people to use for biking around town. For $7 you get a 24-hour pass to unlimited 30 minute checkouts. Hours are 6am-11pm. There are two stations – downtown and a college. You can be an annual member and skip these steps. Your account for an annual member even tracks your miles biked! You must be 18 to partake in the program and if you lose the bike or key, you will be fined. I do believe Fargo is starting something similar and I think this is just such a great idea. It’s a way to get people moving and an easy alternative to get around town. I love it!

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After a few hour break in Rapid, we traveled on to our final destination of Hot Springs, what a gorgeous little city.

“Surrounded by rugged canyons and pine-covered hills, the town of 3,700 boasts the Mammoth Site, mineral water health spas, Evans Plunge, Wind Cave National Park, Black Hills Wild Horse Sanctuary, lake resorts, history museums, the award-winning Southern Hills Golf Course and unique accommodations, shops and restaurants. Hot Springs is home to the VA Black Hills Medical Center and the State Veterans Home. While relying on the tourism industry, the town’s beauty also lends itself to a growing artist community.”

We crashed at the Super 8 which was very affordable. It is an older hotel but worked just fine. I had a microwave and fridge in my room and they had a small continental breakfast. Be sure to book your room online in South Dakota, not Arkansas. This happened to people behind us. My parents and siblings ate at the adjacent Woolly’s Western Grill. The prices were affordable and food was good.

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After the triathlon, we headed about an hour north to Custer, SD. Custer is in the Black Hills National Forest and is close to Mount Rushmore and Crazy Horse. They are known for the burgers at Black Hills Burger & Bun Co. – locally owned and operated. The wait was an hour but my folks stuck it out. Unfortunately, it didn’t live up to the hype. It is a really small place (above) so expect to wait if you go.

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Us kids quickly found a tasting room for wine and beer. Shocker, right? The tasting room had wines from Naked Winery and brews from Sick N Twisted Brewery from nearby Sturgis. The beers certainly hit the spot. Both the beer and the wines have crazy names!

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After our tasting, we decided we were hungry. We saw an outdoor patio looking out on the main street and made it our mission to check out that place. As we got closer, we found it was the Buglin’ Bull, a family-friendly place with a wide menu including elk, buffalo, walleye, prime rib, salads, apps, pizza and more. As a bonus, they also have microbrews! And above was our view from our table. I have to say our service was quite slow, but the food was good and the server was nice when he came around.

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I got the flight of microbrews and nachos. The beer was good and we had: Buglin’ Bull Wheat, Buglin’ Armstrong Ale, Buglin’ Bull Black Hills Gold and Buglin’ Bull Nut Brown Ale.

With full bellies we were ready for the next city which was Hill City! Hill City is also in the heart of the Black Hills and just a short drive from Custer. They have tons of tree covered mountains in this area. It is beautiful and quite touristy in the downtown. But we were here for another reason on the edge of town.

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Miner Brewing! From their website:

“We craft classically-styled beers of traditional, European flavor profiles, highlighted with local and regional ingredients to make them distinctively “South Dakota.” All of our beers are produced in individual barrel fermenters, allowing us to maintain close attention to microbrew quality and flavor profiles at all times. The results are craft beers that are approachable and distinctive, to be enjoyed by craft beer novices and enthusiasts alike.”


This was hands down the best beer of the day and excellent atmosphere with polite servers. We got a flight and I also got a grower of Miner Light to go. Miner Light is a typical light beer with about 4% ABV. Perfect for sipping at a get together. I’d gladly go back here again!

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The guys aren’t into beer tasting and they grabbed a nap in the pickup while we tasted away. From there we headed about another hour north for a quick stop in Deadwood to try our luck on the slots (no winners) and get some chocolate and ice cream from the Chubby Chipmunk. We were running low on time so we just swung into my favorites: Saloon 10 (they were sadly out of popcorn, ugh!!), Hickoks and the VFW. Deadwood is always a fun time.

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Our final destination for the day was Spearfish. I just love Spearfish, it is so beautiful there. We checked into the Days Inn – excellent hotel, clean and good breakfast. I also liked our doors opened to the outside as it was easy to load and unload our goods. From there, we went to Crow Peak Brewing for a quick drink and then went to eat pizza at Dough Trader Pizza Company. I’d recommend both to anyone even though this time Crow Peak didn’t really have any beer that tickled my fancy. It’s still a neat place. And if you ride bike, they have a fun rack for you to park your bike!

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South Dakota is a fun time. Be sure to check out some of these places if you are in the vicinity!

Posted in Feisty Eats, FeistyLife, Misc | 2 Comments

Thoughts during a run

In honor of the Bismarck Marathon being held today, I thought this would be an appropriate post. While I am not running the full, or even half marathon, I am participating in the marathon relay on my work’s corporate team. I have been training to make sure I can complete the run, and luckily, our group is running for fun and maybe a beer afterwards to celebrate!

My husband asked me the other week if I enjoyed running. I laughed and said no. But that isn’t entirely true. I explained my thoughts during a run and in general, this happens almost every time I go on a longer run. I set up a for example time line below. I don’t know if I am the only person who thinks this way? There is a good chance I am thinking these thoughts during the marathon.

First 5-10 minutes: Oh my God. Why am I doing this? I sound like a drowning rhinoceros. My breathing is so loud. I am so out of shape. This was a bad idea. I should just turn around now. Will this ever get easier? Certainly people in the next town must hear me breathing so hard. I’ll never make it the whole hour.

15-20 minutes: OK I can breath. This isn’t bad. Heck, this is kind of easy. I got this. What was I even worried about? It’s so pretty and nice outside! The birds are so gorgeous, they are so happy and chirping so nicely. The colors outside are wonderful. I love life and fitness! This breeze feels wonderful and the temperature is just great.

30 minutes: I could probably run a half marathon if I wanted to! Wheee!!

35-40 minutes: My God my feet are hot. Why are they so hot? Ugh, I am sweating through this shirt and hat. This hill must certainly be 500 feet long and high. I’m just going to slow down for a bit. Oh my gosh I still have to turn around and get back home. I’m never going to make it. I can use my cell phone and have my husband come pick me up, right?

Running Ecard

45 minutes: Why, no matter which way I go am I going against the wind? I didn’t even think it was windy out? It’s so windy! And it’s hot. The sun is so fiery. I’m too old for this crap. I should have tried this 20 years ago. Who am I kidding? This sucks. My knees are kind of sore. I’m old. I’m not running again after this week. Screw it.

50 minutes: OK, I am almost home/done. Thank you Jesus. I can hardly breathe. My lungs might explode? What if I have a heart attack right here on the sidewalk? I must be running a 15 minute mile at this point for sure. I hope I don’t see anyone I know. How embarrassing. Why do I do this? Why are those birds so loud? Stupid birds. I just want to get to my house and eat and shower. I hate being outside. I hate running. This is dumb.

60 minutes: Oh thank you sweet baby Jesus. I am home/done. I am so tired. I need a gallon of water now. Ugh, I am so sweaty. But I’m done. Yeah for being done and finishing and not having to quit.

65 minutes (after stretching out): Dang. That felt good. That was a good run. I feel so accomplished. I am going to eat something healthy and start planning my next run! Wheee! I love exercise, I love fitness. Let’s do this!! (At this point I totally forget all the bad things above.)

Anyone else? Just me?

Whatever your thoughts – good luck today to all runners!

Posted in Exercise, Feisty Eats, FeistyLife, Misc | 2 Comments

Ham and Brie Cheese Panini

Brie cheese. I had never eaten it until I was well along into adulthood and my previous boss served some for us at work one day. What in the heck? I was missing out on this cheese for way too long! It is so creamy and delicious. It was on sale at Krause’s the other week (it’s a little spendy), so I bought a chunk and decided to make panini’s for supper.

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Crusty bread, salty ham, sweet jam, creamy cheese and a bite of tartness from balsamic vinegar and mustard – this sandwich hits all your taste buds.

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Ham and Brie Cheese Panini – for 2 sandwiches

  • 4 slices crusty bread
  • 1 tablespoon quality olive oil
  • 8 oz. lean deli ham
  • 2 oz. Brie cheese
  • 2 tablespoons jelly or jam (I used strawberry)
  • 1 tablespoon yellow mustard
  • 1 tablespoon quality balsamic vinegar

Lightly brush 4 sides of your bread with olive oil. Flip over two slices and spread evenly with jelly, mustard and vinegar. Add ham and Brie cheese evenly on those slices. Place on panini maker (or make in a skillet like a grilled cheese) so olive oil sides face out. Grill until crisp. Cut in half and serve with veggies.

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Don’t skimp on the cheese!

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Or the ham for that matter. I don’t like a wimpy sandwich!

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Oh my gosh. see that drip of Brie? Yes. And I just happen to know if some of the cheese squeezes out and burns slightly on the panini maker it is also super delicious. Don’t throw it away.

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I had some leftover olive oil and balsamic vinegar. I simply boiled some carrots and then roasted them in both the oil and vinegar to get some color on them and they were so good. Just a tip for a new way to eat boring carrots.

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Enjoy!

Posted in Main Dish | Leave a comment

Browned butter butterscotch bars

Browned butter. It is glorious. It’s a perfect taste for fall. Oh, who am I kidding? It’s perfect anytime of the year. But I thought it paired well with butterscotch chips for a fall treat.

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You could certainly make these bars with chocolate chips, white chips, or any flavor of chips, really. They are versatile. They are also super easy to throw together and don’t have hardly any ingredients.

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Browned Butter Butterscotch Bars, slightly adapted from Bakerita

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) salted butter
  • 2 cups dark brown sugar, packed (light brown sugar would work as well)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 bag (11 oz.) butterscotch chips*

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line an 13×9 inch pan with aluminum foil or parchment paper OR spray with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. Place butter in a medium sauce pan and heat over medium heat. Butter will melt, then begin to bubble and foam. Brown specks will begin to form in the bottom of the pan, with a white foam will appear on top of the melted butter. Stir the butter very frequently to prevent burning. It should smell very nutty and the butter in the bottom of the pan should have brown flecks in it. This process takes about 2-4 minutes. Watch carefully so it doesn’t burn. Remove from the burner and transfer into a bowl and allow it to cool for a few minutes by sticking it in the fridge or freezer.
  3. Add the brown sugar to the browned butter and mix to combine. Add the egg and vanilla and beat for 3 minutes to make it nice and fluffy. Add the flour and stir until just combined, taking care not to over-mix. Fold in the butterscotch chips. Pour batter into prepared pan, smoothing it lightly with a spatula or offset knife.
  4. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the bars are set. The edges will be slightly pulling away from sides of pan. Allow bars to cool for at least 2 hours before slicing. Bars can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week, or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
  5. * You could swap out the butterscotch chips for any other flavor.

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Beat your eggs and butter until the batter is nice and fluffy like on the left. Add your flour and don’t over mix, if anything, mix it in by hand.

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Before and after.

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I thought this view kind of shows how gooey and soft they are in the middle. The outside is crisp so you really get the best of both!

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Enjoy this treat!

Posted in Baking, Dessert | Leave a comment