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!

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.

Greek Cucumber & Hummus Appetizer

I love hummus.  At the first Christmas party I attended with my co-workers back in 2005 (yikes! has it really been that long?), I brought these appetizers hoping to impress them.  Unfortunately, not everyone is a fan of hummus.  Plus, after sitting a while, the cucumbers began to sweat and the hummus slid right off.  Well, it didn’t impress them, but it was memorable, so I’ve got that going for me.  I love my co-workers!

My famous (or should that be infamous) hummus appetizer.

My famous (or should that be infamous) hummus appetizer.

Chickpeas, drained & rinsed – 1 15oz can
Lemon Juice –  3 TBS
Garlic cloves, chopped –  1
Tahini  – 3 TBS
Olive Oil –  2 TBS
Cumin  – 1 tsp
Salt – to taste
Cucumber, large seedless – 1
Yogurt, plain or Greek – 1/4 cup
Sesame Seeds, toasted – 2 TBS

 

Toss the chickpeas, garlic, lemon juice,
tahini, olive oil, cumin, salt and 2 TBS water
in a food processor. Process until
the mixture is smooth, scraping down
the sides with a spatula. Wash cucumber
and cut off ends so that it is about the same diameter. Run a peeler down the sides of the cucumber, skipping spaces to create a striped pattern. Slice the cucumber into 1/4 inch slices; pat dry with a paper towel. Spoon a small amount of hummus onto each cucumber slice, flattening the hummus slightly.  Place a smaller amount of yogurt on top of the hummus. Then sprinkle the whole thing with toasted sesame seeds. Plate & serve immediately.