“Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.” (and a sinfully sweet Peanut Butter Dream recipe)

What do you do when someone hurts your feelings?

I mean really hurts your feelings. The kind of hurts-your-feelings that goes so deep that only your best friend can see it because you’re that damn good at hiding it. The kind of hurts-your-feelings that causes you to walk to the car and melt into a puddle of tears in the passenger seat. The kind of hurts-your-feelings that leave you asking, “Seriously? What did I ever do to you?”

My soul is of the sensitive sort, I will admit that… I take EV-ER-Y-THING the wrong way. Tell me that my hair looks nice curly, and I’ll assume that you prefer curly over straight and convince myself that you hate it when my hair ISN’T curly. I have this awful, awful ability to manipulate words meant to be complimentary and twist them into this derogatory mass — and I let my feelings get hurt in this way ALL. THE. TIME.

But there is a difference.

Somewhere deep in my confusing, all-over-the-place psyche, I know that regardless of the crap I’m taking from the words my friends are saying… they love me, and the words they are saying are never meant to hurt me.

And then there are the words that cut way deep. The ones that are meant to hurt.

I have to ask, friends… why do so many people want to view the world as glass-half-empty? Why is there such a desire to stomp on dreams, to squelch hope, to make people view life in a “realistic” manner? Isn’t living in the reality enough?

I am a dreamer. A big-time dreamer. A planner and schemer of a million ideas that will never come to fruition and quite honestly, I know that and I’m okay with that. Dreams are meant to be dreamt in order for us to reach our highest potential. They are the things we seek. They are the paths we take. They are the lives we pursue. Dreams keep me going.

Try as I might, I can’t see why it’s a problem to look at the world as a glass half-full. Maybe it’s not “realistic” — maybe the world isn’t this lovely place that I strive to see it as — but what makes it so wrong to see the light?

My feelings got hurt recently. They really, really, really got hurt. But I think that even in the mess that is a hurt heart, one can learn so much… and maybe, just maybe, the best way to cope is to pull a Rhett Butler and move on. “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.”

If ever an iconic line there was…

On a much more cheerful topic, today’s recipe is a little something I whipped up for my coworker Rusty’s birthday last week. Upon asking what he liked, I was told, quite simply, “chocolate and peanut butter.”

Well. Reese’s Cup Cheesecake had already been done and I wasn’t really feeling any of the recipes I found… so a rummage among my cupboards and a quick trip to the store later, my kitchen counter was covered with a multitude of chocolatey-peanut buttery-goodness — and from that mess came this delectable little sucker (fondly titled “Peanut Butter Dream”).

Rusty’s No-Bake Peanut Butter Dream (feeds ~20)

One package ~30 chocolate sandwich cookies (give or take a few)
1/4 cup butter (melted)
One cup heavy whipping cream
One cup smooth peanut butter
One 8 oz package cream cheese
One teaspoon vanilla extract
One cup confectioners sugar
One package sugar-free chocolate Jello pudding mix
One cup milk
One package semi-sweet chocolate chips
Canola oil
Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups (your choice on big or small, but I prefer the small ones)

Food processor (or) gallon bag/hammer
9×13 casserole dish

1. Make your crust using the Oreo cookies and butter. Although it would be easier to use a food processor, this poor college student hasn’t made that purchase yet — so I use the good old-fashioned method of cookies-in-bag and pound with a hammer to properly crush them. You want them smashed to smithereens (and leave that cookie filling in there!), but it’s okay if the size of the cookie crumbs vary. This is easy.

2. Once you’ve properly demolished your bag of Oreos, spread them over the bottom of your casserole dish, then carefully drizzle the melted butter over the top. Try to get the butter spread as evenly as possible over the Oreos — this acts as a holding agent to make the crust less crumby and more crusty. Once the butter has been evenly distributed, you can gently shake the dish to help your crust form.

3. Now it’s time to make your peanut butter layer. I know this sounds a little weird, but I promise it’s worth it. First, whip your heavy whipping cream until peaks form (I always second guess myself and think that I’ve done it wrong, but remember that whipping cream takes time… if it’s not whipping well, it just hasn’t had enough time! Give it a bit).

4. In a separate bowl, combine one cup of smooth peanut butter, 8 oz of cream cheese, and one teaspoon of vanilla. Whip until smooth and creamy (no lumps), then start adding in the confectioners sugar. Do this a bit at a time (I recommend in quarter cups). Continue whipping until the consistency is smooth and the flavor is a perfect peanut-buttery goodness (…you best have been taste-testing as you went!).

5. Carefully — carefully — fold the peanut butter mixture into the whipped cream. This is a wee bit tricky, but if I could do it, you can too! Never ever ever use your mixer to blend these two together… too much mixing can lead to your whipped cream falling. Once you’ve reached a smooth, fluffy texture, layer this peanut butter mixture on top of your Oreo crust.

6. Time for pudding! Now, I know the box calls for two cups of cold milk… but I want you to use one. Whip the pudding mix together with a dash of cinnamon and one cup of cold milk (preferably Cruze Dairy Farms!) for two minutes, then allow it to set in the refrigerator. In the meantime, crush 10 Reese’s Cups.

7. Once the pudding has set, mix in the crushed Reese’s Cups and spread in an even layer over the top of your peanut butter mixture. If you have any left over Oreo crumbs, now is the time to sprinkle those on the top of your pudding.

8. Carefully melt your chocolate (I use the double boiler method, but microwave is fine too) and mix in a VERY small amount of canola oil (this will keep it from setting too quickly). Drizzle the melted chocolate over the top of your dish.

9. Finally, cut ~15 Reese’s Cups in half and place as you wish on the top of the dessert. For best results, chill for at least two hours before serving. Enjoy!