Peanut Butter Cream Pie + Giveaway!

I’m extremely excited about this post, so much so that I don’t even know where to begin. It’s been about two years in the making. Although, I wasn’t aware of how exciting this was going to be when we first started. It’s a great day because my friend Joy has released her second cookbook, Homemade Decadence, and I couldn’t be more proud of her! It’s really an incredible book and I think everyone should go out and get themselves a copy right now. If not just for the sheer excellence of the recipes and images themselves, but also because I had the honor of working with her on this book, helping her style and photograph the images. I can’t even begin to tell you about all the fun times we had working on this book together. We literally have countless stories of a very hungry cat trying to eat everything in sight—and I do mean everything, from avocado ice cream to honey cupcakes—and the acrobatics we did, juggling so much in a tiny apartment in Venice, Ca. Sometimes winning at life and sometimes failing miserably, but always having a blast. This book holds a special place in my heart because of those memories. 

But enough about me. I’ve got some great news for YOU all, and it’s not just this peanut butter cream pie either. Well, it’s not only that. Although, to be perfectly honest, this pie is pretty spectacular so that should be great news enough. I didn’t want to stop there though. I decided to go all the way. So I’m giving away a free copy of the book to one lucky winner. (That means you). Yup, it’s the very first contest/giveaway I’ve ever organized here on The Candid Appetite, and I’m glad this gets to be the first one. I kind of feel like Oprah right now and I can’t get enough of it.

So here are the rules: in order to enter the contest/giveaway you need to leave a comment down below telling me about the best dessert you’ve ever eaten. And I want vivid details too, like where did you eat it? Did you make it yourself? What made it so special? What were the ingredients? (You don’t really have to answer all of that, just the name will do, but I’d love to read all about it!) You have until Friday at midnight to enter, and then I’ll randomly select one winner and notify you on Saturday! Disclaimer though, it’s only open to US residents. (I’m sorry international friends, but I’m not made of money and shipping internationally costs too much). Are you going to win this book? I hope you do! You’ll never know unless you enter! Good luck, I’m rooting for you! 

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Mini Pistachio Boston Cream Pies

We’ve finally finished unpacking all of the boxes, putting everything into its proper place and assembling all of the furniture we bought thinking we could totally build everything ourselves. Why did we think this was such a great idea? It isn’t so much all of the difficult instructions made entirely out of hard to decipher pictures that gets us, but more so all of the manual twisting and turning of the screwdriver. We really should invest in a power drill. Thankfully, it’s all taken care of now with only a minor amount of cursing under our breath (not a single one from me, mind you).

We’re currently in that state of not wanting to leave our home because it’s just so nice, and it still seems so unreal to us. Like we’re vacationing in someone else’s house. Do you know the feeling? I’m also currently in the state of making sure nothing is out of place. I’m positive I’ve started to get on Julian’s nerves walking around dusting everything, vacuuming, mopping and sweeping all the time. I can’t help it, I’m a perfectionist. Sue me.  

This is officially the first post I’ve shot in the new place and I have to say that it’s been a fun and exciting adventure, to say the least. It has been a little weird, though, mostly because I have to get accustomed to everything all over again. It’s funny how one can get so comfortable somewhere and feel so out of place the second you find yourself somewhere else. I was moving so slowly making and shooting this, for some reason, trying to adjust to my new surroundings, familiarizing myself with the kitchen and forgetting where exactly I put everything away. “Where did that spoon go?” “What cupboard did I shove that bowl in?” “Is it time for a drink, yet?” The answer to which is always, YESSSSSS! It’s always time for a drink…and chocolate. Luckily for us, this here post happens to involve dark chocolate and pistachios. Two of my favorite things. 

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Dark Chocolate Zucchini Cake Waffles

There’s a fine line between breakfast and dessert, and I never know if I’ve crossed it or not. Muffins, scones, sweet biscuits, cinnamon rolls, and doughnuts, are they breakfast or dessert? I say breakfast, but only because I’ve been known to eat all of those first thing in the morning—and all at once, but that’s a whole other story. Maybe I’m just calling them breakfast so that I won’t feel so guilty eating them early on in the day. Doughnuts double as a dessert for me though, because I love them in the evening just as much as in the mornings. I love them during midday as well. I just love doughnuts in general, have I mentioned that before? This isn’t about doughnuts though. This post is about waffles. Focus Jon, focus. 

Pancakes, waffles and French toast, now those are for sure breakfast items, right? They’re always present at every breakfast I’ve ever been to. So I’m gonna go with, yes. Mentioning the three together of course brings up a very important question, Which do you prefer? Waffles, pancakes or French toast? I’m all about the pancakes…that is when I’m not scarfing down a stack of French Toast, then I’m all about the cinnamon and bread. But then there are the times when I’d kill for a waffle. A thick Belgian style waffle with a mountain of whipped cream (and if my doctor or mother are reading this, fresh fruit, of course). 

What happens though when said waffles are made to taste just like dark chocolate zucchini cake topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream? That’s totally, hands down, without a doubt, 100% still considered breakfast, right? Of course it is. Phew, I’m glad we settled that. I wouldn’t of been able to enjoy the rest of my day without hearing the right answer. Let’s go have dark chocolate zucchini cake waffles for breakfast, with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, of course. Breakfast, I love you. Really, I do. 

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Blueberry Cobbler Biscuits

The thing about biscuits is that you don’t know whether to eat them in the morning for breakfast or devour them at dinner as a roll to sop up all of the yummy sauce left behind. I’m getting off track…what was I saying? Oh, do you lean them towards something sweet or something savory? I don’t really care because just as long as biscuits are involved I’m not complaining. Whoever invented biscuits should get a huge monument built in their honor. Like a big statue or something, at least. I know that in different parts of the world, biscuits are completely different. It’s more of a cookie or a cracker of some kind. But here in the states, for the most part, we’re talking about buttery fluffy quick breads that I just want to stuff my face with. 

These are a cross between a few different desserts. It’s like blueberry crumble meets blueberry cobbler—because cobblers are usually topped with biscuits—meets blueberry streusel muffins meets buttermilk biscuits. I chose blueberries because they’re currently in season and are on sale everywhere I turn. Literally, everywhere. They’re practically giving them away. So I thought it would be a good idea to come up with something sweet to use up all those free blueberries. Here we are now, knee deep in blueberry cobbler biscuits. Not really knee deep, but how cool (and delicious) would that be?! I’m making a mental note right now, as I type this, to make that fantasy a reality. Jonathan Melendez: Making dreams come true since August 2014. 

True fact: My mamma’s favorite berry is a blueberry. She also shares my love (and passion) for biscuits so this recipe actually goes out to her as a BTW, FYI, and P.S. It’s the least I could do after she gave birth to me and fed me and clothed me and provided a roof over my head for all those years. I mean, biscuits pretty much makes us even. Right mom? You don’t have to answer because I know they do. That’s how magical biscuits are. Get in on all this magic. 

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Cinnamon Swirl Cheesecake with Oatmeal Cookie Crust

I realized something horrible the other day when I was looking through all of the recipes on the site. It dawned on me that I don’t have nearly enough cheesecakes on here as I should. As is necessary. I’ve clearly lost my mind because that’s something only a crazy person would do, or in this case, wouldn’t do. So I’m sitting there, pulling out my hair, asking myself, “Self, why do you only have two cheesecake recipes on this entire site?” I’ve been running my blog for almost three years now and I think it’s pretty silly of me to not have this place overflowing with cheesecake recipes by now. After all, cheesecake is the way of life. Cheesecake makes people do some crazy things. Cheesecake is the answer to all of our problems. And that’s the real truth of it all. 

I like to think that I blew up the internets when I unveiled my Bourbon Banana Pudding Cheesecake last year. I sometimes believe that recipe in particular is what’s making me famous (not that Fried Chicken and Waffle Sandwich everyone is talking about). Even if I’m the only one who thinks that. I mean, what’s not to fall in love with? Bourbon and bananas and crushed Nilla wafers all mushed together into one delicious silky  smooth cheesecake?! It’s a match made in heaven. Perhaps it’s taken me a while to come up with a new cheesecake recipe because that one was so hard to beat. I knew bourbon banana pudding cheesecake was kind of a big deal and I didn’t want to give you another one until I thought up something bigger and better. After all, I am my own biggest competition. I need to constantly one up myself, for you guys. Everything I do, I do it for you. Don’t you forget that. (Okay so I took a little help from Bryan Adams just there, sue me). 

If you’ve been following my crazy antics on this blog for a while now, you’ll know that my all-time favorite spice/flavor is cinnamon. I’m kind of obsessed, but in the best possible way—probably not though, it might be bordering on an addiction. Anyhow, like I was saying, I love cinnamon, which is why there are so many cinnamon recipes on this blog. Do you remember this Cinnamon Sugar Coffee Cake? I do, and I never want to forget it. Don’t even get me started on these fun-to-make homemade Cinnamon Brown Sugar Pop Tarts. It was always my favorite pop-tart flavor growing up. It still is. And of course for all those brave and adventurous followers, we mustn’t forget about the ultimate Cinnamon Raisin Bagels.  Not only was have I been severely lacking in the cheesecake recipe department but it’s about time for another cinnamon recipe. (Yes I did just post those Cinnamon Horchata Popsicles recently, but who’s asking?!) So without further ado, I bring to you, the world’s GREATEST cheesecake (you can quote me on that). It tastes just like a cinnamon roll and with all the great flavors of an oatmeal cookie at the bottom. I’m not complaining. I just never want it to end is all. 

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Creamy Cinnamon Horchata Popsicles

My biggest regret in life is not eating more popsicles in these twenty five years of living. When I stop to think of all the frozen pops I could’ve been eating all these years, I get sad. It saddens me. I might even start to cry a little. A single tear from my left eye falls to the ground. In a slow dramatic way, too. Popsicles do that to me. What, have I been living under a rock or something? I obviously haven’t been thinking clearly. My mind has been somewhere else. Perhaps on ice cream. Not that I blame myself, because ice cream happens to be unbelievably delicious. But popsicles, popsicles are even better. Personal frozen treats that you can take with you on the go. Individual chilled desserts that you can use as a microphone while you sing out loud at the top of your lungs, like no one is watching. Like you don’t even care.

I’ve made it a personal goal of mine to make and eat as many popsicles as humanly possible this summer. It’s taken something incredibly awesome like Popsicle Week to deter me from my wrongful ways. Those wrongful ways being, the serious lack of popsicles in my life. But that’s all about to change because I’m on the brink of going full on obsessed with popsicles from this day on. We’re starting with these horchata pops because I’m a sucker for anything loaded with cinnamon. 

For those of you who aren’t familiar with horchata (you really should be), it’s a delicious drink made of rice and cinnamon. Think rice pudding but in drink form without all of the chunky rice. It’s served chilled and over ice. Perfect on a hot summer’s day. I’m not doing the drink justice so I’ll just let you experience the amazing taste of it for yourself with these popsicles. Hint hint. And for those of your who are familiar with it, let’s go out and celebrate with a few of these frozen pops. I promise to share. 

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