Monday, August 15, 2011


Wow, the first thing I notice about this pic is, the plate color doesn't blend with the pie AT ALL! Must have been in too much of a hurry that day! And I didn't garnish! How dare I? But... the pie was DEElicious! This is one of those easy, peasy, make-ahead pies that you can throw in the freezer days before your event! Love recipes like that! The only mistake I made with it, was not getting it out at the beginning of dinner, so it could thaw a bit before I served it. Trying to cut a frozen, rock solid pie is no small feat! Especially when the coffee is done brewing and you have waiting dinner guests at the table! Lesson learned! This recipe could be a bit versatile though. As I mixed together the ingredients, my husband and I dipped a spoon in to taste test. I realized then that it could also be served as a mousse. It's so yummy! I suppose you could also switch out the fruit in the basic recipe. You could probably sub fresh raspberries or blueberries for this pie .... OR a mixture of berries would be delightful too!


1 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
4 cups chopped, fresh strawberries
1 (12 oz) container, frozen whipped topping, thawed
1/2 cup chopped pecans, toasted (optional)
2 (9") chocolate crumb crusts (I used graham cracker crusts)

  • In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Add the vanilla.
  • Beat in the strawberries.
  • Fold in the whipped topping (and pecans if you are using them).
  • Divide & pour evenly into the 2 crusts. 
  • Cover and freeze for 3 - 4 hours or until firm.
  • Remove from freezer 15 - 20 minutes before serving.
  • Garnish with chocolate curls or shavings if desired.
Yield: 2 pies - 8 servings each.


Recently we hosted a Revival meeting at our church. My husband's brothers and lots of other family members traveled in from other states to do the special music and the preaching. Many of them stayed with us for several days. I wanted to be "on the ball" with meal plans this time! I knew coconut cream was a favorite pie choice for a few of them, so decided on this one. Then I asked my husband of 31 years what his favorite pie was. I thought it would be nice to make his favorite as well. What a surprise it was to me, to hear him say COCONUT CREAM! 31 years.... How did I not know that? I would have said Pumpkin! Wow, you learn something new every day, I guess! I have to confess, coconut cream pie is my LEAST favorite pie. So all I had to go on for a review was the truthfulness of our dinner guests! The pie got cleaned up, so it must have been pretty good! They all gave it a thumbs up! So if you have a hankerin' for coconut cream pie and want something a little different than the normal "pudding" type variety - this one is a real keeper!


1 pkg graham crackers, crushed
1/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup butter, melted

1/4 cup sweetened, flaked coconut

1 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese, softened
1 cup cream of coconut (sold in beverage flavoring section)

1 (3.4 oz) pkg cheesecake flavor, instant pudding mix
1 (6 oz) pkg sweetened, flaked coconut
1 (8 oz) container, frozen whipped topping, thawed
1 cup heavy whipping cream

Preheat oven to 350.
  • Stir together (first 3 ingredients) graham cracker crumbs, sugar and melted butter. Press mixture into bottom and up the sides of a 9" pie plate. Bake at 350 for 8 minutes. Remove to a wire rack and let cool completely. 
  • Meanwhile, bake 1/4 cup sweetened, flaked coconut in a single layer in a shallow pan for 6 - 8 minutes or until lightly toasted, stirring occasionally. Remove from oven and set aside for garnish.
  • Beat cream cheese until creamy. Add cream of coconut and continue beating at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth. Add dry pudding mix, beating until blended.
  • Stir in the 6 oz portion of flaked coconut. Fold in thawed, whipped topping. Spoon into prepared, cooled crust. Cover and chill 2 hours or until set.
  • Beat heavy whipping cream at high speed until soft peaks form. Spread over top of pie. Sprinkle with toasted coconut.

Saturday, August 13, 2011


This is a lovely recipe! A few weeks ago we were invited to accompany a family from our church on a 2 night get-away, to go rafting and stay in a Bed & Breakfast. We drove about 5 hours South, down to the Ozarks. It is beautiful down there! We took a small detour and stopped off at Lamberts for lunch, before we made our way down into Eminence. Lamberts is home of the "thrown rolls!" They were DEElicious too! Well worth the 1 hr wait to get in! Late in the afternoon we arrived at The Hawkins House Bed & Breakfast in Eminence, MO. Miss Patty is a FINE hostess and made our first ever stay in a bed & breakfast just delightful! It felt just like home! The morning we left she made this wonderful Peach French Toast for breakfast. We were all proclaiming how wonderful it was and talking about trying to finagle the recipe out of her. Next thing you know, out she walked from the kitchen with a smile and plopped the recipe down right in front of my plate! I was so happy and couldn't wait to get home and experiment on family and friends with a new recipe! I made it for my family when they were all gathered here last week for a Revival meeting with the Tharp Brothers. Then I made it for the Saturday morning soul winning crowd today. Both times it has gone over with a bang! Everyone loves it!
The only difference between Miss Patty's recipe and mine is, I have to make everything on a LARGE scale! Other than having to add a little extra cooking time, it still turns out MAHvelous Dahling! I know you'll enjoy this one!


1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup butter
2 Tblsp water

1 (29 oz) can sliced peaches
5 eggs
1 1/2 cups milk
1 Tblsp vanilla
1 loaf french bread, sliced about 3/4" thick

Drain peaches. Heat brown sugar and butter on medium heat until melted. Add water and continue cooking until sauce foams up. Pour into 6 individual buttered baking dishes and cool 10 minutes.
Place peaches on cooled sauce and cover with slices of bread placed close together. In separate bowl, beat eggs, milk and vanilla until mixed. Pour over bread, cover and refrigerate overnight.

In the morning, remove from fridge and bake at 350 for 40 minutes. Loosely cover with foil the last 10 - 15 minutes if browning too fast. Remove from oven and loosen from edges of dish. Invert each dish onto serving plate to serve (so it is peach side up!)


Make caramel sauce from peach french toast. Pour into 6 buttered baking dishes and cool. Add chopped or whole pecans. Cover with slices of bread placed close together. Pour egg mixture over, cover and refrigerate overnight. Next morning bake at 350 for 40 minutes.

*TIP* I skipped the cooling time on the caramel sauce and it didn't affect the recipe at all. Actually placing the room temp peaches on the sauce probably helped cool it down faster. Also, since I frequently cook for a crowd, I doubled this recipe to fit a 1/4 sheet cake pan (lasagna pan). I think I fit 16 slices of french bread in the pan. You can get 16 slices out of one loaf if you slice it down the middle and slice each half into 8 equal portions. I also added 10 - 15 minutes of extra baking time to allow the custard laden bread to cook through all the way. The tricky part to making this in a large batch is inverting it when it is done baking. I use the 1/4 sheet cake pan because it doesn't have handles on the edges and I can fit my 1/4 sheet cookie pan over the top and then invert it right onto the cookie sheet. You still have to be very careful for two reasons: 1) it's VERY hot and 2) remember there is sauce in the bottom of the pan and when you invert it, if you are not flush against the bottom of your cookie sheet, the sauce may splash out. I did it over the sink. You may want to wrap a towel around it just to be sure you don't splash or burn yourself. If you do it quick though, you should be alright. I was, but still, please be very careful when you invert it.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

If you ever get a chance to travel down to the Ozarks, I encourage you to look up The Hawkins House Bed & Breakfast! Each bedroom has it's own private bath. Very clean and beautifully decorated. And a HEAVENLY wrap around porch with all sorts of swings and bistro sets and wicker furniture! We stayed in Annabelle's room - it has a partriotic theme - just lovely!
Tell her the preacher and his wife from Independence recommended her!

Monday, August 1, 2011


I knew my kids and grandbabies were all coming home to spend a few days over the 4th of July holiday. So I busily perused cookbooks and magazines for tasty new treats and snacks to serve while they were here. I ran across this one and it sounded so delicious and filling. They were a bit time consuming, but well worth the effort. Tons of flavor! I had never cooked with Chorizo sausage before - it had a very different texture than sausage as we Americans know it. Also, it's very greasy, so you have to drain it well. I also had never cooked with  queso fresco. It was very different from any other cheese I have ever used - but very delicious and it was amazing how it cooked right up into the meat and thickened it. And what can you say about puff pastry? What's not to love about that stuff?! Add these to your next family get together or fellowship. They are sure to be a hit!


1 Tblsp extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 of a yellow sweet pepper, seeded and chopped
5 oz of uncooked chorizo sausage
1/2 cup chopped tomato, fresh or canned
1 tsp. dried oregano, crushed
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
4 oz grated queso fresco
1 (17 oz) pkg frozen puff pastry sheets (2 sheets) thawed
1 egg yolk, slightly beaten
1 Tbsp. milk
Salsa, taco sauce, sour cream (all optional) for garnish or dipping

For filling: In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, and sweet pepper. Cook 7 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Add Chorizo. Cook 5 minutes or until no longer pink, breaking up sausage and stirring occasionally. Drain fat. Return to heat. Add tomato, oregano and cumin. Simmer uncovered 5 - 8 minutes or until liquid is evaporated. Season with salt and pepper and let cool. Add the queso fresco and stir to combine.
Preheat oven to 400. On a floured surface with a floured rolling pin, roll puff pastry sheet to 1/8" thick. With a 3 1/2" round cookie cutter, cut 24 circles. Place 1 Tblsp filling in center of each circle. Combine beaten egg yolk with milk. Brush edges of half the circle with egg wash. Fold circle over to enclose filling; pinch edges together to seal. Brush tops with egg wash. Place on an ungreased baking sheet (I used my PC stone and it worked wonderful!); Bake 12 minutes or until golden brown.
Serve warm with toppers and dips of your choice.

Make ahead: Unbaked or baked hand pies can be made well in advance and frozen. Remove from freezer; place on ungreased baking sheets in single layers. For frozen unbaked pies, bake 17 - 19 minutes. If baked before freezing, reheat 5 - 6 minutes on top rack of 400 degree oven.

Yield: 24 pies


Here's a sweet treat for you! Found this recipe in a random ladies magazine, as I waited in a Dr's office. I love raspberries, so was excited to try this. It's just the right balance of fruitiness from the berries, tartness from the lemon zest and creaminess from the cream cheese. And the tender shortbread crust just adds to the yummy factor! I would imgaine you could substitute whatever berries you like best in this. Seems like it would be equally delicious made with blueberries. I'm thinking once Fall comes, you could even make this with apples, cinnamon and caramel!! I'm totally going to be experimenting with this one! It's a keeper!


1 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/2 tsp. salt
2 cups flour
3/4 cup seedless raspberry jam or preserves
2 cups fresh raspberries
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 Tblsp. flour
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
2 Tblsp. fresh lemon zest
2 Tblsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 tsp. vanilla
Powdered sugar (for garnish)

Preheat oven to 350. Line a 13 x 9 baking pan with foil - extending extra foil over ends of pan (to lift bars from pan later). Set aside. In a large bowl, beat the butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed until it just begins to blend and soften slightly, about 30 seconds.
Add brown sugar and salt. Beat on low speed until incorporated - 30 seconds or so. Add the 2 cups of flour and beat on low speed until the flour is incorporated. Don't undermix it, or it will be too crumbly. Break dough into small chunks and place in prepared pan. With your fingers, pat dough into an even layer. Bake 20 minutes or until dough has begun to puff and is just set. Cool for 5 minutes.
Lightly brush exposed sides of foil with softened butter to keep filling from sticking.
Spread jam over cooled crust.
Sprinkle evenly with fresh raspberries.
With a lemon zester, remove peel from lemon, making sure to avoid the bitter white pith. Don't try to do this ahead of time - do it right as you are baking.
In a large bowl beat cream cheese with electric mixer on medium high for 30 seconds or until creamy. Mix in granulated sugar and 1 Tblsp of flour until blended. With mixer running, add egg and egg yolk, lemon zest, lemon juice and vanilla. Beat until smooth.
Pour custard batter evenly over berries. Tilt pan back and forth to distribute the custard evenly. Bake at 350 for 20 - 30 minutes or until barely set. Cool on wire rack for 1 hour. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours. Top will crack slightly as it cools.
Use foil to lift the bars from the pan. With a knife or metal spatula, support the sides of the bars while you gently peel the foil downward and away from the sides of the bars.
Cut into long bars. Peel foil from bottom and transfer to cutting board using side of a long knife or spatula. Cutting first on the foil results in cleaner edges. Cut into 24 squares.
Sprinkle very lightly with powdered sugar

Yield: 24 bars