Big Belly Deli – Sykesville, MD

I was not originally planning on putting up a post today, but sometimes good things happen and I want to share them.

Today was expected to be a low-key type of day. I was getting a haircut and running a few errands, but planned on being home early and making myself something for lunch. I went to HeadMasters for my haircut and it went well. My stylist asked me if it was warming up outside since I was wearing shorts (jean shorts, to be exact) and a t-shirt. I said it wasn’t any warmer, but since it was in the 50s, it was still shorts weather to me.

I walked over to French Twist Cafe and ordered a small Pumpkin Mocha Frappe. It was delicious, and I’ll get it again. The Pumpkin Frappe is a vanilla base, but the Mocha base adds a different flavor dynamic, which I enjoyed. I ran a couple more errands and then decided to check and see what Big Belly Deli was serving for lunch. They had a chicken pot pie soup on the menu, so I knew I would not be making something at home for lunch.

I had confirmed beforehand that there were no mushrooms, which was a sigh of relief for me. The base was very thick and creamy. This is something that can be tricky with cream based soups, but they managed to keep the soup at the proper temperature, so there was no break-down of the liquid. The chicken had good flavor, and the variety within the bites made it easy to see that this was fresh chicken that was pulled and then chopped (not basic chicken breasts or thighs that are uniformly sliced). There was corn, carrots, green beans, peas and potatoes in there (might have been other vegetables, but those were the ones I could tell). The flavor of this soup really hit the spot. Even though I enjoy the outside temperatures when they are in the 50s, it’s still nice to have a good, hearty soup.

Before I ordered my soup, I was checking out the sweets. There was a Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie that caught my eye, so I ended up buying that as well. The pie is 5″ across, just for some perspective.

The crust on the bottom and sides is a chocolate crust. It’s very crumbly, but it works well with this type of pie. The peanut butter filling was very thick and very rich. This is why I feel that the crust worked well with this. Chocolate drizzle and peanut butter cups topped it off, and was a nice finishing touch.

Right before I left, there were some people who were staring at the menu. They asked me if I had any recommendations. Just like something that happened to me previously at French Twist Cafe, I was very happy to share with them about all of the goodness on that menu. I let them know that I never had a bad experience, gave them some 5 or 6 sandwich options as well. The regular Friday special includes a chicken curry sandwich, and I made sure they had a heads up on that one. Really good flavor, really big portions. Two of them planned on splitting, which is definitely a good idea. Big portions for a good price is nice, but when you add in the quality flavor, it makes it even better. I also let them know to check out all the sweets as well. I’m sure they enjoyed their meal, no matter what they ended up ordering.

A light, easy day turned out to have some moments that compelled me to write a little today. I’m planning on a fun-filled weekend, so hopefully I will have some more Positive moments to share.

Quick and Easy White Chocolate Pumpkin Pudding Pie Recipe

I am sharing a twist to a recipe that some of you might be familiar with. You might have seen the traditional pudding pie recipe on places such as the back of the label of a graham cracker crust, the side of a pudding box, or somewhere else. White chocolate and pumpkin occasionally go together in recipes, which is the reason I wanted to try this twist today.

The total prep time for this was less than 20 minutes. Once it’s put together, it should still be refrigerated for at least an hour or so, but at least the prep work can go by fairly quickly. The ingredients I used for this are as follows:

4 cups of milk split into two equal portions (I used 2% milk)

1 small package instant pudding – Pumpkin Spice

1 small package instant pudding – White Chocolate

1 Graham Cracker Pie Crust

1/2 – 3/4 of an 8 ounce container of whipped topping

The first step is to make the instant pudding packages as directed (usually 2 cups of milk and the pudding mix mixed together for about 2 minutes). If you happen to have a 32 ounce Blender Bottle around, this works really well for mixing each of the puddings. Once the puddings are in their bowls, they should take about 5 minutes to set.

I put the puddings into the Graham Cracker Pie shell side by side.

I then used a fork to swirl them together. I didn’t want to have them completely mixed together, but wanted there to be a distinction between the white chocolate pudding and the pumpkin spice pudding.

The final step was to put the whipped cream topping on top. If you want to use the entire container, then go for it. I only used slightly more than half the container, since I didn’t think it would need a heavy amount of the topping, and it would be harder to use the lid to seal the pie if there was too much.

It is now ready to dig in. I hadn’t tried this before, but I like how the flavor turned out. The white chocolate pudding is a very smooth, mild flavor. The pumpkin spice pudding gives it a little kick that it needs. The graham cracker crust adds another layer of flavor as well as some much needed texture. The whipped topping adds some creamy sweetness to round it all out.

I have tried different variations before, but usually with chocolate pudding – layering with ganache, combining the pudding and whipped topping together, etc. It was nice to try something I hadn’t done before and have it turn out to taste good, too.