As some of you who visit my blog may already know, the extremely popular and genuinely loved food blogger Jennie, of In Jennie's Kitchen suddenly, and without warning, lost her husband to a massive heart attack last Sunday evening.
The outpouring of love and sympathy amongst the food community to Jennie was overwhelming and so heartfelt. We all
But how? Words seem so empty at times like these. That's when I read this most recent post on Jennie's blog.
Beyond my belief, Jennie was actually reaching out to US in her time of tragedy to remind us all how precious life is and to cherish each moment we have with our loved ones, no matter how small.
Such a brave act of love by Jennie in such a difficult time of sorrow.
Jennie's message was simple, bake this pie and share it with the people you love. The next thing I knew, my ingredients were assembled and ready to go:
Creamy Peanut Butter Pie
8 ounces chocolate cookies
4 tablespoons butter, melted
4 ounces finely chopped chocolate or semi-sweet chocolate chips (I used chocolate and peanut butter chips)
1/4 cup chopped peanuts
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup creamy-style peanut butter
1 cup confectioner's sugar
1 - 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
-Add the cookies to a bowl of a food processor and pulse into fine crumbs.
*Warning - the next few photos aren't for the faint of heart:
-Combine the melted butter and cookie crumbs in a small bowl and stir with a fork to mix well.
-Press the mixture into the bottom of a 9 inch spring form pan.
-Melt the chocolate in a double boiler or in the microwave.
-Pour over bottom of the cookie crust and spread it to the edges.
-Sprinkle chopped peanuts over the melted chocolate.
-Place pan in the refrigerator while you prepare the filling.
-Pour the heavy cream into a bowl and beat using a stand mixer of hand mixer until stiff peaks form.
-Transfer to a small bowl and store in the refrigerator until ready to use.
-Place the cream cheese and peanut butter in a deep bowl.
-Beat on medium speed until lightly and fluffy.
-Reduce speed to low and gradually beat in the confectioner's sugar.
-Add the sweetened condensed milk, vanilla extract and lemon juice.
-Increase the speed to medium and beat until all ingredients are combined and the filling is smooth.
-Fold in 1/3 of the whipped cream into the filling mixture (this helps to lighten the batter and make it easier to fold in the remaining whipped cream).
-Fold in the remaining whipped cream.
-Pour the filling into the prepared spring form pan and garnish the top with melted chocolate or the topping of your choice (optional).
-*Refrigerate for three hours or overnight before serving.
-I highly recommend *freezing* this pie instead, for ease of serving and retaining it's shape.
I honor the memory of your husband Mikey with this slice of pie Jennie, and I pray that you and your family can find strength and courage from the love and concern of others.
I'd also like to take a moment to say how much I wish I could be sharing this slice of pie with my own dad, Bob who lives in Florida with my mom Marlene.
We learned on Tuesday that my dad has been diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer and is going to be in for the fight of his life. We are all so saddened and shocked by the news that it still doesn't seem possible.
My dad is a strong, kind and loving man who has always been there for me in so many ways. I am blessed to have him in my life and I could not ask for a better dad. I love and respect him so very much. Words aren't enough to express the feelings of love I have for my parents, but I think they know.
I promise to be there for my dad too, as he needs me. There is no place I'd rather be than by his side helping through this unbelievable time.
I know my dad would love this pie. He is a nut lover (guess that's where I got it from) and I just know he'd enjoy a slice of this right now. I love you dad and I send you strength and courage. Say the word and I'm there...
And, as if that weren't enough, our dearest friend (of our lifetime) John, was also diagnosed with prostrate cancer, on the same day as we learned the news of my dad.
As I write this through my tears, John and his adorable wife Pam are at the hospital now for testing to see if his cancer is contained in that one area, or if it has spread further.
I can not fathom a worst case scenario and pray to God that the news will be positive.
My husband Mark and I have been the best of friends with Pam and John for over 30 years. They are the godparents for our son Adam. They are who our dogs wait for by the window. They are the kindest and most giving people in the world. They make us better. We need them.
This slice of life and love is also for you, dad and John. I give you my strength to face whatever life has in store. We'll battle together and I hope I can somehow lesson your load. Somehow. Someway.
To all who read this, I ask that you keep them all in your thoughts and prayers as it will be a tough road ahead.
I thank you all so very much! I send you love, and a slice of peanut butter pie :)
If you've also made Jennie's pie and want to share the love, visit here.