Creamy Frozen Fruit Pie

When it is hot in the summer and I want a cool, refreshing dessert (or I want something super easy and quick!), this is my favorite pick.  This recipe only has four (4!) ingredients, but by mixing-and-matching, you can come up with so many possibilities.  It is also a great way to use some of that fresh fruit that didn’t make it into your jams or jellies.

yogurtpie_strawberry

Classic strawberry creamy frozen fruit pie

Graham cracker pie shell – 2

Cool Whip  – 1 carton, 12 oz

Yogurt (Vanilla or flavor to match fruit) – 1 carton, 24 oz

Frozen fruit, mashed – 16 oz

Thaw the Cool Whip and the fruit (in this case I used strawberry yogurt and a box of frozen strawberries from the store).  Mix the Cool Whip, the fruit, and 16 oz of yogurt in a bowl (or about 2/3 of the carton), then divide evenly and spread into both pie shells.  Place in freezer to chill and set.  This can be made a couple of days ahead of time, just remove the pies about 1/2 hour before cutting and serving.  I like to have a little fresh fruit on hand to decorate the pie.

 

 

Fresh peach creamy frozen fruit pie

Fresh peach creamy frozen fruit pie

Peach pie is also delicious.  If you are using fresh fruit, you will want to adjust the sweetness of the fruit when you are mashing it.  I find the Cool Whip and yogurt provide enough sweetness, and I like my pie to be a little tart.  This is a

great dessert that you can change depending upon what fresh fruit you can find.  Berries are delicious!  I also like to use frozen lemon or lime-ade when I want some citrus flavor.

Want to try something wild?  Substitute a chocolate graham cracker crust and add a little decadence!

Red Velvet Cookies

Red Velvet Cookies

Red Velvet Cookies

Red velvet cake mix – 1 box

Cool Whip – 1 8 oz tub

Egg – 1

Powdered sugar – 1/4 cup

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

In a mixing bowl, combine cake mix, egg and Cool Whip and mix thoroughly.  Make a 1 inch ball, drop into powdered sugar and roll until thoroughly coated.  Place on cookie sheet and bake for 12 minutes; allow to cool for a few minutes on the cookie sheet before moving the cookies to a cooling rack.

This is the easiest cookie recipe.  You can substitute any cake mix, but I would suggest using the cheapest cake mixes.  I used an “ultra-moist” and the dough was very gooey (but so were the cookies!).  Have fun and enjoy!

Sarcoxie Creek Sweet and Savory Peanut Butter Cookies

I’m still cooking for our church ladies’ Cookie Walk.  I was looking for something with a kick like a Gossamer Spice Cookie, but I don’t have any ginger or molasses on hand.  Looking through the cupboards, I took stock of what I did have on hand and consulted a few recipes.  The result?  A cookie that is sweet enough to satisfy any sweet-tooth, but not too sweet.  The peppers give it a warm after-glow on your taste buds.  And the dough was so easy to work with…I couldn’t be happier.

Sarcoxie Creek Sweet and Savory Peanut Butter Cookies

Sarcoxie Creek Sweet & Savory Peanut Butter Cookies

Sarcoxie Creek Sweet & Savory Peanut Butter Cookies

Butter – 1 stick

Peanut Butter – 1/2 cup

Brown sugar, packed – 1/2 cup

Maple syrup – 1/3 cup

Egg yolk – 1 large

Pumpkin Pie Spice* – 1 1/2 teaspoons

Ancho chili powder – 1/8 teaspoon plus a pinch

4 Peppercorn Blend, fresh ground – 1/8 teaspoon

Flour, all-purpose – 1 1/2 cups

Salt – 1/2 teaspoon

Baking powder – 1/4 teaspoon

Baking soda – 1/2 teaspoon

Sugar, granulated – 4 tablespoons

Cloves, ground – pinch

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In mixing bowl, cream butter, brown sugar and peanut butter until you have a light, fluffy consistency.  Add egg yolk, maple syrup, pumpkin pie spice, ground peppercorns and 1/8 teaspoon of ancho chili powder; beat well.  Mix in salt, baking powder, baking soda; finally add flour in slowly and mix on low speed just until well blended.  In a small dish, mix granulated sugar, the pinch of cloves and pinch of ancho chili powder; set aside.

Shape dough into 1 inch balls and roll in sugar/spice mixture; place on cookie sheet about 2 inches apart.  Flatten the cookies with the bottom of a glass until they are about 1/2 inch thick.  Use remaining sugar/spice mixture to sprinkle on top of cookies before baking.  Bake for 350 degrees for 12 minutes.  Let cool on baking sheet for a few minutes before transferring to cooling rack.

*I keep Penzey’s Pumpkin Pie Spice on hand for times just like this.  It is the perfect way to add in flavor without having all of the ingredients in the cupboard (cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, ginger, mace and cloves).

Banana Berry Breakfast Cookies

I’m making cookies for our annual Cookie Walk at church.  These cookies are not only delicious, but they are packed with fibre and flavor.  Enjoy!

Banana Berry Breakfast Cookies (This recipe makes about 3 dozen small cookies.)

Banana Berry Breakfast Cookies

Banana Berry Breakfast Cookies

Butter, softened – 1 1/2 sticks

Sugar, granulated – 2/3 cup

Egg – 1

Flour, all-purpose – 1 cup

Penzey’s Pumpkin Pie Spice* – 1 teaspoon

Oats, old-fashioned – 1 cup

Dried berries** – 1 1/2 cups

Bananas, ripe & sliced – 2

Pecans, chopped – 1 cup

 

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.

Place butter and sugar into a large electric mixing bowl and cream on low speed.  Beat in the egg and spices.  Beat in the flour until well blended, then remove from mixer.  Add in oats, berries and pecans until thoroughly mixed.  Finally, fold in the banana carefully so as not to mash them.

Drop onto a cookie sheet using a teaspoon.  Bake for 10 minutes or until the edges begin to turn golden brown.  Allow to briefly cool on cookie sheet before transferring to a cooling rack.

*I grab Penzey’s Pumpkin Pie Spice mix when I want lots of flavor but don’t want to mess with the individual spices.  This mixture has cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, ginger, mace and cloves.  If you don’t have this ingredient, substitute 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger, and 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg.

**Any dried berries will do, but I use 1/2 cup each of dried cranberries, blueberries, and pomegranates.  Experiment with the fruits you like.

Rose Hips

roses5Rose hips (or Rose Haws) are the fruit of the rose that forms following successful pollination after the petals drop.  They are definitely edible although the seeds are held inside by tiny hairs that can be irritating if not removed.  Fresh, they have been compared to cranberries–tart and very fruity-flavored.  They can also be dried or preserved to use at a later time.  One method for making rose hip tea is to grind a little powder from the dried hips and steep it in hot water, straining the dregs before drinking.  Many countries make their own concoctions from rose hips:  nyponsoppa in Sweden, palinka in Hungary, and cockta in Slovenia.

The rose hip contains many beneficial chemicals.  By weight, rose hips contain more Vitamin C than citrus fruits (about 1-2%). The also contain Vitamins A, D and E, as well as iron, carotenoids (including Beta-carotene), lycopene, and flavonoids. Historically, they have been used for laxatives and diuresis.  Present research is looking at the benefits rose hips may have in the treatment of arthritis and depression.

Rose Hips in the Black Forest, 2007.

Rose Hips in the Black Forest, 2007.

When I went to Germany, I enjoyed the roses which seemed to be present everywhere. I was astounded by the size of the rose hips on some of the plants–I never knew they could be so large!  I suspect it is because the newer varieties of roses are chosen for specific weather or disease-resistance.  I have long noticed that the older, more “wild” varieties of roses have the best aromas (and probably the most beneficial phytochemicals, as well!).

 

Frukt Soppa (Fruit Soup)

I inherited my grandmother’s cookbook and found this recipe tucked inside. This fruit soup is good served hot or cold, as a course in a meal or for dessert. Try topping it with whipped cream to make it extra delectable!

Green Apples, 2012.

Green Apples, 2012.

Frukt Soppa

Prunes – 1/2 pound

Raisins – 1 cup

Apricots, dried – 1/4 pound

Orange, fresh – 1 peeled & sliced

Lemon, fresh – 1 peeled & sliced

Tapioca – 4 tablespoons

Sugar – 1 cup

Cinnamon – 1 stick

Apples, fresh – 3 peeled & diced

Cherries, canned – 1

 

In cooking pan, add prunes, raisins, apricots, orange, lemon, tapioca, sugar & cinnamon.  Add enough water to cover and soak overnight.  In the morning, add diced apples to the soup; add enough water to cover again.  Cook on medium until fruit is soft.  Add canned cherries last and heat through.