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Pies/Tarts

Dessert/ Pies/Tarts

Blackberry Cobbler with Cream and Pistachio Dust

Spiced whipped cream and some dust.

So you say “I make cobbler all the time”.  I’ve made many cobblers over the years and have made them with pie crust (usually homemade), I’ve used batter topping (not my favorite) and some with puffed pastry. My favorite remains pie crust topping because that’s how my mother and grandmother made cobbler.

When we were visiting my sister back in August she made a cobbler and simply cut prepared purchased pie crust into small squares and covered  the fruit and baked. How easy can it get? And, it was really good.

We had a fish fry one weekend and I wanted a Fall looking, Fall tasting, Fall smelling dessert. So I bought several kinds of berries and decided to use some of my creme de mure (see picture below) I had bought for my Blackberry Bramble cocktail and add it to my cobbler. It couldn’t be just any cobbler it had to look and taste like Fall and not a summer berry desert.

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Dessert/ Desserts/ Pies/Tarts

Blackberry Peach Bourbon Cobbler

End of the summer fruits…

Even though summer officially ends on September 22 I feel like we are getting to the end of our fresh berries and peaches and for the rest of the year will just have to take our chances getting a good ripe peach or plump sweet berries of any type.

I love blackberries, I love fresh peaches and I love cobbler. The way my mother and grandmother made cobbler was with pie crust strips on the bottom of the pan, then the fruit and on top of the fruit more pie crust strips and then baked until crisp, no ice cream or whipped cream, just fruit and crust.

While visiting New Orleans a couple of years ago I saw an article hanging on the wall at Willa Jean’s Restaurant about Kelly Field’s Blackberry and Bourbon Cobbler and I knew once again I was going to be searching for that recipe and guess what, it was in one of my old Southern Living magazines.

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Dessert/ Pies/Tarts

Chocolate Peanut Butter Tart

Chocolate and peanut butter, what more to say.

So you have match ups like Tom & Jerry (if you are old enough), Batman and Robin, Macaroni & Cheese, Micky and Minny, Romeo and Juliet, Bacon & Eggs; need I go any further before adding peanut butter and chocolate.

I’ve never been a peanut butter and jelly person (don’t think I have ever eaten it); but I can’t imagine peanut butter in a sentence without adding chocolate along with the description of a yummy, sweet, chocolatey, peanut buttery dessert.

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Dessert/ Desserts/ Pies/Tarts

Chocolate Mint Brownie Dessert

In honor of St. Patty’s Day!

How do I describe St. Pat’s Day at UMR (Univ. of MO.-Rolla) where my husband went to college and where I showed up for every St. Patrick’s day to help celebrate the holiday.

Well, green food from the frat house, green mashed potatoes, milk, beer, all the guys sporting beards (or trying to – took my husband all year to grow one) and helping to build (or add the paper) to the floats that were all mechanical and unbelievable; but what would you expect from an engineering school.

So, when bunco rolled around this month and the hostess said “think green” for St. Patrick’s Day my first thought goes back to Rolla and where we spent the first year of our married life; and I have to say, living next door to the frat house was fun, and I remember a few guys showing up all the time for food; I guess I have always liked feeding people.

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Dessert/ Pies/Tarts

Raspberry and Pistachio Cobbler

Finished off all those raspberries.

With summer almost here and all those berries starting to come in season, ya need to put this on your list of things to try; especially if you need a good cobbler type dessert to throw together to take to a gathering of friends.

I love to pick my own berries and hoping timing is right this year for us to be around when blackberries, strawberries and raspberries are in season for the picking. I’ve given up on picking blueberries or at least to freeze them because I don’t care for them once they are frozen. I guess they are ok in blueberry muffins or bread or cobbler but I don’t like to eat them frozen like I do the other berries.

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Dessert/ Pies/Tarts

Tropical Rum Cream Pie

A smooth and creamy pie with colorful fruits.

How is it possible to have a recipe that I have forgotten for 30 years. Years ago my sister and I put together a cookbook of our favorite recipes and then a few years later we did another one (Two Peas In A Pod). This recipe for Rum Pie was in our first book that we called “Double Delight” (after all we are twins, so a fitting name.)

Recently I was looking through one of our book for a particular recipe we both use to cook and decided to revisit our dessert section and when I saw this recipe I thought “ohhh, I forgot all about you” and how creamy and rummy you tasted; and how good you would be with some beautiful tropical fruits.

We eat a lot of fruit and I’m always looking for different ones to try but always go back to my favorites which are raspberries, kiwi, pineapple, and mango just because the colors are so beautiful together. My first though on what fruits to garnish this pie with was to use tropical fruits but when I looked up the list of tropicals, raspberries didn’t show up and after making that salsa to go with my Spicy Tuna Bowl that had passion fruit and pepino melon (it was good) I didn’t want to go out on a limb again and try a “new” fruit. Some of those tropical fruits, in my opinion, have soft mushy taste that I don’t care for. Ya can’t go wrong with anything with raspberries, mango, pineapple and kiwi.

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Dessert/ Pies/Tarts

Chocolate Tacos

A big hit with my bunco group.

Since our May bunco fell the day before Cinco de Mayo we were asked to bring a Mexican themed food. So I did, in dessert form.

Everyone loves tacos, right? We were married when my husband was in his last year of college and I remember we would go and buy tacos for 25 cents each. Were they ever good! And I always served tacos to my kids when they were still at home. What’s not to love — crunchy shell, spicy ground beef filling, some shredded lettuce, tomato and cheese with a spicy taco sauce drizzled over the top.

Have things ever changed. My first fish taco was in LaJolla, CA at a place called George’s at the Cove and since then I have become a taco aficionado. Experimenting with all kinds of fillings, I have made a Pork Belly Taco, Pulled Pork Taco, Fish Tacos, and one of my favorites, Grilled Salmon Tacos with Schirarch Cream. So, you see I have been experimenting with a lot of things other than ground beef; so why not a dessert version.

A few years ago a friend told me about this bed and breakfast she went to in California, the Oak Knoll Inn in Napa (Looks like the Inn has been sold, shucks, we never made it there.) and how beautiful the food was and the owner had a Chocolate for Breakfast Cookbook by Barbara Passino. The book is full of wonderful breakfast items and many, many chocolate recipes. I fell in love with a chocolate taco picture (is that possible?) of a taco full of fruit and topped with a pansy and a big scoop of raspberry sorbet.

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Dessert/ Morning Foods/ Pies/Tarts

Rustic Citrus Almond Tart

Rustic and beautiful citrus tart.

All I can say is “wow”, this was one beautiful tart. Not too tart and not too sweet, as Goldilocks said “it was just right” and I think all the ladies that tried it at my craft circle enjoyed it.

I’m sure you have all heard that snapping turtles bite and don’t let go. In Alabama they use to (may still do) call a snapping turtle “thunder turtles” because they believed that once bitten by the ST that it would not let go until it thundered. So, what does a snapping turtle have to do with this recipe.

Well, I have a problem letting go of an idea for a recipe I’ve seen or a product I have not used before. See the chunky sugar on the above tart. Well there’s even a story there. While in France back in 2012 (see, I told you I hold on to an idea for a long time) we spent a week in Provence after doing Paris (liked Provence much better) and we stayed in Eygalières in Provence area. This little commune, town, or whatever they call a town less than 1,700 actually had two bakeries a couple of grocery stores (very small, one English-speaking the other not) and one very good restaurant, sous les micocouliers which we ate at our first night there. I still get emails from them with their menus and I can’t read a word of it. (I just looked at their website and I never noticed they have “English” version.)

So, back to the story about the sugar. Every morning we would walk down to one of the local bakeries and buy some beautiful and delicious pastries (see below) for breakfast before heading out for the day. Usually at least a couple of the things we purchased had this sugar that stayed chunky. I couldn’t find it in the small local market but when I came home I looked until I finally located it I think on Amazon (of course). The sugar has been sitting in my pantry since then just waiting to be used for something special. This sugar will not melt and disappear as normal granulated sugar does at baking temperatures. I want to try it on some cinnamon elephant ear pastries sometime soon.

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Dessert/ Desserts/ Morning Foods/ Pies/Tarts

Very Berry Breakfast Pudding

Very Berry Breakfast…..

Could there be anything better than a bread pudding for breakfast? This isn’t called a bread pudding probably because who would eat bread pudding for breakfast? Call it Very Berry Breakfast Pudding and it has one drooling over the name alone and you don’t have to wait for dessert to eat it.

The making of bread pudding can be traced back to the 11 and 12th centuries and is popular in many countries with each one having their own twist to the recipe. I’m sure bread pudding came about when there was leftover stale bread in the house and not wanting to waste anything the homemaker added this and that to it and came up with a scrumptious dessert; in this case a breakfast treat.

There are two kinds of websites I like to look to for recipes, Bed and Breakfast sites and Winery sites; I have found delicious recipes from both sites; and this “pudding” will be a welcome breakfast treat any time.

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Dessert/ Pies/Tarts

Angel Mango Pie

Luscious and delicious mangos.

Growing up in a small town (Caruthersville, MO) you can’t help to know who some of the best bakers are. Of course, our mother was a great baker but everyone knew that Mrs. Johnson’s (also know as Froni short for Veronica) pies and cakes were the best. If you wanted one of her delicious desserts, all you had to do was give her a call and place an order. She was known for her fresh coconut cake, from scratch angel food cake, Angel Pie (meringue only, no crust) and also her Angel Food Pie was a favorite with many of her 11 children. Her daughter, Aggie, told me that some of her siblings wanted peaches, some wanted fresh strawberries and another brother wanted no fruit at all for this Angel food pie. I think her original recipe for Angel food Pie was made with Peaches.

I’m sure when my sister and I first started making this pie she got the recipe from Mrs. Johnson because she and her husband use to go play pinochle at the Johnson’s house and I’m sure they were served many wonderful desserts. I hope I haven’t changed it from the original. Can you imagine growing up in a house where something yummy was coming out of the oven probably every day. With 11 children, I’m sure she spent most of her time in the kitchen or doing laundry. And, I only had 3 and that seemed to be a lot of work at the time.

I use to use can peaches for this pie. Can’t believe I would have done that but I did. I’ve made it also with fresh peaches; never tried strawberries but sounds wonderful. I’m using fresh mangos for this version since we get some beautiful ones here in Texas. You can try whatever fruit you want; it’s up to you. I think mixed berries would be yummy also.

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Dessert/ Pies/Tarts

Kentucky Walnut Pie

And……they are off and running!

There is no mint in this pie, only for garnish, but if you are at a Kentucky Derby Party this weekend you will probably be drinking mint juleps.

I’m sure almost everyone makes Derby Pie or at least has tasted it, but I have never shared my recipe.

The name Derby Pie is trademarked by Kern’s Kitchen in Louisville and they invented it or came up with the recipe back in 1950 at the Melrose Inn in Prospect, Kentucky.

I have been making Derby Pie which I have called Kentucky Derby Pie since we lived in Louisville back in the 70’s. If you look at the picture of their pie in the above link, mine looks nothing like their’s. Also, a lot of recipe call for pecans and bourbon. I don’t remember who gave me this recipe back in the 70’s but it had walnuts, no bourbon and definitely a homemade pie crust not a store bought one. According to what I have read on the web the family of Kern’s Kitchen is going after anyone I guess that calls their pie “Derby Pie” so, after years of calling mine Derby Pie, I’m calling it Kentucky Walnut Pie just so I don’t get sued. That seems kind of nasty if you ask me, to sue someone even if they change the ingredients. And, I have to say mine looks way more appetizing.

Both our sons were born in Louisville in the same hospital with the same doctor and I feel like if I ever want to talk about our years living in Louisville and going to the Kentucky Derby then I had to make a Kentucky Derby Pie.

Each year, I could not wait to go to the Kentucky Derby. No, we were not one of the beautiful people with gorgeously outrageous hats sitting up in the box seats or even the bleachers. We were one of the “infield crowd”; the ones that would carry coolers of booze and try to get in with it or make something called spoliolies that taste like lemonade but was full of vodka and lemon juice. We always did manage to sneek some concoction into the races.

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Cake/ Dessert/ Pies/Tarts

Mocha Chocolate Icebox Cake

What would the world be without chocolate chips?

What would the world be without chocolate chips you say? Definitely not as sweet for sure.

I have to admit to occasionally buying chocolate chip cookies for my kids when they were young and they would probably have been Chips Ahoy by Nabisco. But, 99% of the time they would have had homemade, warm out of the oven, cookies waiting for them when they returned from school with a tall glass of milk.

When we lived in Chicago back in the 80’s and my daughter was in pre-school, I was guilty of talking her out of going to pre-school one day so we could go to Woodfield Mall. At the time, I think that was one of the largest malls in the U.S. and they had a Mrs. Fields Cookie shop which I absolutely in love with their Macadamia Nut White Chocolate and Chocolate Chip Cookies. These cookies were always warm out the oven. So on our little outing that day, which was a cold, snowy day, we checked our heavy coats into a locker and took out for a little shopping excursion. Ummm, I can still taste those warm cookies with large pieces of macadamia nuts along with all those chocolate chips. We didn’t make a habit of skipping school but that was one nice mother/daughter day.

I was looking for a dessert to make for our bunco group and wanted something memorable. I seldom sign up for dessert because there are always so many appetizer recipes I want to try out on everyone. While out to dinner one night, my friend, Peggy told me about this dessert she had seen on one of Ina Garten’s shows. I remember seeing this show in the past but the only thing I remembered about it was her talking about going to Tate’s Bake Shop to buy their chocolate chip cookies for this recipe. Since my cc cookies are not nearly this flat and crunchy I decided to try Tate’s recipe that was printed on Food.com’s website.

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