Apple Pie for Pi Day

Apple Pie

Yay! Get ready for Pi Day! As everyone knows, (does everyone know?) March 14th is Pi Day, a happy coincidence with the number of the month, 3, the number of the day, 14, and Pi, 3.14 (pushing glasses to forehead), the mathematical constant describing the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter. (No, there will not be a test at the end of this recipe). And what better pie on Pi day than the all-American favorite: Apple Pi, er, Pie! Apple pies have history in my family. My grandfather’s farm had an apple tree in the middle of a

samoa pie

Samoa Pie

The birthday of the Girl Scouts is March 12, which brings to mind Girl Scout cookies. This recipe is a wonderful tribute to one of the most popular cookies: Samoas. But this is no cookie recipe, it’s a Samoa Pie. What’s in a name? First, let’s address some lingering confusion. The Samoa cookie is made of a simple shortbread-type cookie smothered in coconut, caramel and chocolate. So good! But, here’s a question: Are you eating a Samoa? Or, is it a Caramel deLite? Perhaps you’ve noticed: Girl Scout Samoas are also called Caramel deLites. The difference in names is because

Oreo Krispies

Oreo Krispies

March 6 is National Oreo day. Now THAT is worth celebrating!! Oreos are my favorite “from a store” cookie. Let’s face it, they’re not easy to replicate at home so I’m not even going to try. Instead, how about combining Oreos with something just as iconic and something made at home such as . . .  Rice Krispie treats! (Cue the peanut gallery: wild applause). Mixing Oreos and Rice Krispie treats makes Oreo Krispies. And after your kids eat them, they’ll be called, “These are FANTASTIC, Mom!” Since this is “their day” let’s look at a few fun facts about

Sweet Cherry Pie

Washington Sweet Cherry Pie

Happy President’s Day! For some, a holiday. But for everyone, a chance to remember the visionary men who founded this country on principles of democracy, which we try to uphold today. And what better way to commemorate this day than with a pie? But not just any flavor, because – I cannot tell a lie – I love Washington Sweet Cherry Pie. Most every school age child has heard the story of six-year old George Washington, who received a hatchet for his birthday and proceeded to cut down his Father’s favorite cherry tree. When confronted, he reportedly fessed up: “I

meringue heart

Meringue Hearts with Raspberry Sauce

Meringue shells, also known as Schaum Tortes, were a staple of my childhood. On our farm we had a steady supply of eggs and cream so when the strawberries were in season these tortes were our go-to dessert. So simple: make a meringue shell and layer that with sweetened strawberries and whipped cream. Easy. And so delicious. I loved them so much I would sometimes just eat the shell, like a big oversized cookie. The shell is extremely light and airy. Beaten egg whites, cream of tartar and sugar. Straight from my Betty Crocker cookbook. It’s the same way you

crust

Pie Crust Baking Tips

Making pies is an art. And learning how to make pies is a trial-and-error process. Take it from someone who’s experienced both the trials and the errors. Crust is a trick in itself. It tends to either burn or undercook. And, it sags, sogs, rips and plain wimps out. Part of the challenge is that there are so many different pies and so many crusts that accompany the pies. For instance, when I posted my pie crust recipe, I was focused on pumpkin pie. Those pies require an unbaked crust which is filled and all baked together. Others require a

keto pecan cluster

Pecan Clusters

Keto/Low Carb Most traditional approaches to losing weight follow a simple formula: eat less, exercise more. But in my case, the more I exercise, the hungrier I get! Sigh . . . So, it’s crucial for me to find snacks that satisfy my urges and stay within my dietary goals. That’s what I love about keto – I get to eat what I love! That includes yummy sweet treats like these Pecan Clusters, found at heyketomama.com. It’s one of the few keto bombs I have found that are not based on cream cheese (like chocolate or strawberry). Just think: crunchy

poinsetiia cookies

Poinsettia Cookies

Tis the season! Cookies and Poinsettias! So why not Poinsettia cookies? This recipe comes from a cookbook I’ve had for a long time called Short+Sweet by Gale Gand.  What caught my eye was a way to make pinwheel cookies, using pastel sugars and popsicle sticks. A cute idea for kids’ parties or any summer get-together. But the note about poinsettia cookies really caught my attention, and I knew this would be a great Christmas cookie. The dough is straightforward: cream cheese, butter, and an egg yolk creamed together. To this, mix in flour and baking powder. Once all the dry

Moscato Truffles

Moscato Truffles

The month of December brings a whole ‘nother level of busy to our lives. In addition to the typical hustle and bustle, we are expected to attend holiday parties, plays, buy presents and bake cookies. Time is at a premium, which makes this recipe for holiday truffles a life-saver. Or, at least a time-saver (So dramatic!) These no-bake treats can be made the night before and kept in the fridge. No one needs to know how little effort they required. The original recipe comes from delish.com. When I read the reviews, it seemed that more than half the people had

crust ready to bake

Pie Crust

Tis the season for holiday baking! There’s a  good chance you’ll want to make a pie for either Thanksgiving or Christmas (In my case, both) For many years I used pie crust  from the refrigerated section of the grocery store. It was reliable, and while it wouldn’t win any awards, it was at least decent. Then, something changed. At first I thought maybe I got a bad batch. I bought some more, still it wasn’t right, something had changed with the texture, the look, even the smell was different. Every time I opened a package, I didn’t like what my

German Chocolate Cake

German Chocolate Cake

November 9 is the anniversary of the demolition of the Berlin Wall, a pivotal event in world history. It seems only fitting to mark this occasion with something German. My first thought was to make a sauerkraut meal (“Crickets, crickets. . .”). Then, I switched directions and got a much more enthusiastic reaction: German Chocolate Cake! (“Massive applause, standing ovation!!!. . .”). Ironically, this cake has nothing to do with Germany. In fact, it’s named after its English-American creator, Sam German. But we’ll go with it, anyway. I found this recipe at recipe-me.com and I like the way it came

Snickers Pie

Snickers Pie

With Halloween approaching, get ready for the fun part: leftover candy! If you’re serious about trick-or-treating, there are going to be extras. No one wants to be THAT house, the one that ran out of candy. For shame! So, stock up, hand out the Twizzlers FIRST, and ration the Snickers bars because you’ve got to try this recipe: Snickers Pie, found at thekitchenismyplayground.com. To start, you’re going to need 1½ cups of chopped Snickers bars. That equates to about 12 so-called “Fun-sized” bars. For the record, I think the LARGE candy bars should be called “Fun-sized,” don’t you? More candy

Monster Eye Cookies

Monster Eye Cookies

October means Halloween, so what better time to make Monster Eye Cookies? This recipe is courtesy of lillune.com and I can certify: THIS IS A KID PLEASER! Plus, it’s super-simple. Here’s the secret: Use cake mix for the dough. That makes short work of preparation leaving more time for the important stuff, like – (say it with me) – “Googly Eyes!!!” YAY! (Cue cheerleaders and University of Wisconsin marching band). To begin, beat together butter, cream cheese, vanilla and an egg until fluffy. To this, add one box of yellow cake mix. That’s it. The basic dough is now complete.

Banana Bread sliced

Banana Bread

Anyone can make banana bread, and everyone should! It’s easy and delicious, and the “best-est” way to use bananas that become a little too . . . “mature.” I am the queen of overbuying bananas. I purchase four planning to have one a day, but by the fourth day the remaining banana is just too ripe for me. Problem: what to do with just one over-ripe banana? Solution: freeze it! Just throw the unpeeled banana into the freezer. Once I have at least three frozen bananas, I’ve got the makin’s for banana bread. (Note: Yukky part ahead.) When you thaw

apple crisp

Apple Crisp

Apple Crisp is the perfect dessert during apple season! All the tastes of apple pie in a fraction of the time. Serve warm with a scoop of ice cream and prepare for the applause!

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Kahlua Mudslide

There are so many recipes for ice cream drinks that use Kahlua. Many use a combination of liqueurs, but I wanted to keep it simple. The following is called the “Applebee’s copycat” by some, which implies that Applebee’s invented it, but I can tell you for certain that I made this Kahlua Mudslide long before I heard of Applebee’s. You see, I was in college (I told you it was a long time ago) and my roommate’s boyfriend went to Mexico for spring break. He came back with many bottles of Kahlua. (Let’s just say, the carry-on restrictions were. .

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Kahlua Chocolate Cake

with Chocolate-Kahlua Frosting August 16th is National Rum Day. Right about now you are probably thinking, “What‘s this got to do with chocolate?” Well, actually, there is rum in Kahlua!! So, it totally counts! Kahlua is a sweet, coffee-flavored liqueur that hints at dark chocolate, at least to me. The drink that always come to mind for me is Kahlua and cream. If you think about it (after a couple of these) it’s just an adult glass of chocolate milk, right? Coffee is a popular additive to baked goods to enhance chocolate flavor, so this Kahlua chocolate cake (found at

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Frozen S’mores Pie

August 10 is National S’mores Day. Now THIS is a holiday I can really get behind! With a s’mores pie! In case you were abducted by aliens for 100 years and don’t know what a S’more is, I will explain: a S’more (short for “some more”, as in I want some more) consists of a roasted marshmallow with a layer of chocolate bar sandwiched between two pieces of Graham cracker. Yum! The Girl Scouts are commonly credited with this campfire treat, but there is at least one other person, a Presbyterian minister, who contributed to the treat because of his

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Frozen Banana Pops

When my granddaughter came to visit this summer, I was looking for fun frozen treats to make. I tried a few Popsicle recipes, but they drew mixed reviews. Then, I struck gold. Or, chocolate. And bananas. Yes! Frozen banana pops! A winner! These pops have the shortest ingredient list ever: bananas and chocolate chips. I got fancy and made half white-chocolate and half chocolate-chocolate, but that is strictly optional. Oh, and the googly eyes. Very important. They’re optional, of course, but really, who can resist watching a 3-year-old place googly eyes on edible objects? Not me! (Googly eyes can be

Strawberry Shortcake Roll

Strawberry Shortcake Roll

Today’s recipe delivers all the wonderful flavors of strawberry shortcake: fresh strawberries, whipped cream and shortcake, in one package. I found this recipe on crazyforcrust.com and to my great distress the cake looked like a complete failure at one point. In the end, I snatched victory from the (hungry) jaws of defeat. Normally I wouldn’t post a recipe before getting it right all the way through, but people from the neighborhood Bridge Club are clamoring (“Clamor! Clamor! Clamor!”) for the recipe, and I am here to deliver! The aforementioned Bridge Club, is not named for a card game, but it

pie

Frozen Tropical Lime Pie

I wanted to bring to your attention an important holiday coming up. One that is screaming for this Frozen Tropical Lime Pie. I’m hoping the day is marked on everyone’s calendar. Every year on the third Sunday in July our nation should set aside time to observe National Ice Cream Day. This year it’s July 21st. Should be a national holiday, right? Clearly, an ice cream pie is in order. This recipe is adapted from Pillsbury.com and features both lime sherbet and vanilla ice cream. The crust was the greatest challenge for me as I couldn’t figure out what kind

pie

Lemonade Pie

Is there anything more refreshing on a hot summer day than lemonade? It’s tart, sweet, thirst-quenching (and I swear it cools body temperature) all at once. I love it! That made this recipe an easy choice: a no-bake pie with the flavors of lemonade. This is another super-easy pie that requires very few ingredients, and the result looks like you labored from dusk til dawn. Note: While this is not a labor-intensive recipe, planning ahead is essential since preparation for this cool confection includes four hours of defrost time for the Cool Whip (I ALWAYS forget this step) and four

pie

Creamsicle Pie

It’s mid-July, which means summer is definitely in full swing and we need some cool and refreshing desserts. But let’s not bake unless we have to; there are plenty of no-bake options to choose from. Everyone remembers Creamsicles, right? Or is it Dreamsicles? One site I found stated that one (Dreamsicle) is made with Ice milk and the other (Creamsicle) with ice cream, another said the word ”Dreamsicle” was created to emulate but not infringe upon the copyright of the Creamsicle. But basically Creamsicle is the brand name used by the makers of Popsicles (and I consider that a VERY

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Frozen Patriotic Torte

A wonderful 4th of July dessert The Fourth of July isn’t one of those holidays associated with a certain food so much as a place: outside. The almost certainly warm holiday means eating outdoors is preferred. And you want something cold and refreshing. Layers of Jell-O? That’s one approach. This patriotic dessert seriously ups the game! This marvelous recipe is courtesy of the folks at wisconsincheese.com and requires no baking, just mixing and freezing. Perfect for a hot summer day! Picture this (or, just look at the photo): A white base of mascarpone cheese, whipped cream and pound cake, accented

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Red White and Blueberry Crumble Bars

An easy Fourth of July dessert Here’s a red, white and blue version of a simple berry-crumble bar. I found this recipe years ago on Allrecipes.com, using blueberries. The notes said that any berry would work, so I thought why not strawberry? Better yet, why not both? You get red, white and blueberry crumble bars! By making this half blueberry and half strawberry, you create red, white and blue all in one 9×13 pan. (I’m counting the neutral-colored crust as white here) Some blueberry factoids Did you know? In 2018, Oregon produced the most cultivated blueberries, recording 131 million pounds (60