Monday, May 8, 2017

Floats and Dreams

If any of you were chronicling my weekend updates on Facebook, you already know I spent Saturday in what I would consider to be my most massive cheat day since college when I ate and drank with the reckless abandon only a 20-year-old's metabolism can survive. Ten years later, eating like this occurs once every equinox or solstice. Between nearly licking the plate clean for brunch, eating my Texan, cattle-loving heart out at a burger battle, and polishing the day off with a pound of froyo with all the fixins, I thought surely I wouldn't grow hungry for at least 48 hours. Imagine my surprise when I awoke at 5 a.m. the next morning to feed the dogs and was immediately met with the pangs of hunger rumbling forth from my apparently insatiable stomach. I've known since I was a child that I'm the only person in the world whose eyes are actually smaller than their stomach. Although I could probably still polish off eight pancakes before becoming physically ill, my adult forethought keeps me from rehashing childhood mistakes. If only my adult body could figure out how to utilize motor functions better than my childhood steps. Literally. So I spent Sunday making good choices (well, dietary ones anyway) and decided to stop the insatiable stomach growling with hearty, healthy foods that wouldn't require stretchy pants or ten hours of circuit training to recover from. One of those choices even included pie. My will to treat myself while also not requiring a two-person team to fit me into my skinny jeans has caused me to craft another low calorie delight: root beer pie.
Solids are usually more satisfying than liquids.
I saw this recipe on a Buzzfeed Tasty video and decided I could hijack the original and make it much, much lower in calories with a few simple tweaks. When I asked my husband if he wanted root beer pie for dessert this week, he was both confused and extremely delighted that this could possibly be a thing. There's this magical occurrence at the bottom of a root beer float; the ice cream has melted and mixed in with the root beer, creating an amalgamation of hopes, dreams, and deliciousness. That is exactly how this pie tastes. It is cold, refreshing, and tingles the taste buds for only 170 calories a slice for 8 servings. Any time I can eat a slice of pie with fewer calories than a mini muffin, it justifies why I believe in eating pie for breakfast. Give it a chance. The only thing stopping pie from becoming a breakfast food is people's inability to think outside the box! I also feel strongly about eating breakfast for dinner, so I'm all about squashing food norms.
It also has fewer ingredients than a mini muffin.
Five minutes is all that stands between you and the creation of this pie. It is the easiest thing you can make all week, and apparently in the world I live in, appropriate for every meal. All you need for life-changing root beer pie is:
  • 12 ounces of diet root beer
  • 1/4 cup skim milk
  • 1 package Jello sugar free instant vanilla pudding
  • 8 ounces of Cool Whip Free
  • 1 reduced fat premade pie crust
  • Optional: root beer concentrate to add into piping Cool Whip

Whisking is a good bicep workout..
Start by adding the root beer, milk, and pudding mix to a bowl. Whisk for 2 minutes until the pudding mix has started to thicken. Then, dump in the 8 ounces of Cool Whip and stir. Things will taste plenty root beer-y, but if you're crazy into root beer for some reason, you could always add a 1/4 tsp of root beer concentrate to the pie mix for extra oomph. Pour the filling into the crust:
Alllllmost spilled over. Would've cleaned up. With a straw.
This was a very full pie, so I placed a baking sheet underneath it before putting it into the freezer to chill for 4 hours. Literally does not get any easier than that. It's more difficult to drive to the store and buy a premade pie in its entirety. There's traffic, trying to find parking, and don't even get me started on generally having to interact with the public.
See, root beer concentrate is totally a real thing. Photographic proof that it is not the Sasquatch of extracts.
Once my pie had frozen through, I mixed a small amount of Cool Whip Free with 1/4 tsp of root beer concentrate and loaded up into a piping bag fit with a #32 tip. I wanted to create a fancy-looking border that wasn't the standard 1M star border or 2D rose border I usually do with pies. I'm trying new things here, people. For someone who plans out an entire week in advance down to the outfits I'm going to wear, this is a small step towards rebellious behavior for me. I realize my OCD planning makes me about as exciting as watching paint dry, but I'm the person you go to when you need a good plan or a good pie, so I got that going for me.
To make the braid, start by piping a small parenthesis --> (
Take your piping nozzle and place it in the middle of the parenthesis. Pipe an overlapping parenthesis that covers half of the one on the bottom.

Repeat for the entire pie. The ending can get tucked away and hidden on the edge of the pie. I do love being able to cover up my mistakes. I mean, who doesn't. It's kinda this thing called human nature, I suppose.
It's glowing for a reason. A pie so good, it is actually heavenly.
 You will want to keep this pie in the freezer until you're ready to serve. About an hour before you might want pie (this is literally every hour of my life), cut your slice and place into the fridge to soften. I made the mistake of cutting our pie last night right after dinner and promptly forgot to put it in the fridge (Bob's Burgers was on. I already told you how much I love things relating to cow). When I went to grab our pie an hour and a half later, it was mostly melted but still tasted absolutely amazing. I consider this to be a testament to the recipe itself. I enjoyed this pie so much I had an actual dream about it; so naturally I woke up really hungry again and wondering when my next chance would be to eat a slice. My husband is working tonight and I don't want to short him on pie servings (I may be boring, but I am at least considerate), so it will be a day sans pie for me. But it doesn't have to be for you! Make the pie and awaken your inner root beer lover. It's still in there--buried since childhood, waiting to relive the glory of root beer float magic. 'Til next time, my fellow eaters!
It will make all your floats and dreams come true. If they involve root beer, anyway.

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