Peach Pie

This didn’t last long enough to get a good picture of the finished product
the peaches have been great this summer
beautiful colors
all done
Happy Birthday Jack. 21! He always asks for pie instead of cake.

We have made this twice in the past two weeks. Made two pies yesterday for Jack’s birthday that were gone in 15 minutes.  Both times I also threw some blueberries in also.  I made regular pies instead of the mini pies in the recipe and the strussel topping is y u m m y.

Peach Pie
adapted from America’s Test Kitchen via
2 1/2 lb peaches, peeled pitted and sliced about 7 cups
1 to 1 1/4 cup sugar
3 to 4 tablespoons corn starch (I used 4 as peaches were ripe and juicy)
1 Tablespoon instant tapioca (I didn’t use this)
Juice and zest of one lemon
Pinch salt
Freshly grated nutmeg
Toss the sliced peaches with lemon juice and zest, 1 cup of sugar, 3 tablespoons cornstarch and 1 tablespoon tapoica, salt and nutmeg.  If your peaches are tart add up to 4 tablespoons more sugar.  If they are very juicy add an additional tablespoon cornstarch. Divide filling among  4 mini pie tins or 1 nine inch pie pan lined with unbaked pie crust.
Strussel Topping
Adapted from America’s Test Kitchen
1 cup all  purpose flour
1/3 cup light brown sugar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon fine ground cornmeal.
pinch salt
6 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
In a small bowl, mix all of the dry ingredients together. Drizzle with the melted butter and stir with a fork until roughly combined.
Cover pie(s) with streusel topping and bake in a preheated oven at 425 degrees for 25 minutes.  Reduce heat to 375 degrees and continue baking until the juices are bubbling and the crust is golden brown, about 25 minutes longer. Cool before serving.


Lemon Pound Cake

Everyone’s favorite

Our family has been making this cake for years and years and it is still the best , and simplest cake around.

from the Duncan Hines cake box (with my 2 cents)

  • 1 pkg Duncan Hines Lemon Supreme Cake Mix (any other brand simply will not do)
  • 1 (3.4 oz) pkg instant lemon pudding and pie filling (the small box)
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup water (I juice 1 lemon, and then add enough water to it to make 1 cup)
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • (I also throw in the rind from aforementioned lemon in the batter)


  • 1/2 cup Frosting from can (we always juice 1 lemon, or more, and add enough powdered sugar to get to the consistency you want)
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour 10-inch tube pan.
  2. Combine cake mix, pudding mix, eggs, water and oil in large bowl. Beat at medium speed with electric mixer for 2 minutes. Pour into pan.
  3. Bake at 350°F for 50 to 60 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan 25 minutes. Invert onto heat resistant serving plate. Cool completely.
  4. For glaze, place frosting in microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high power 10 to 15 seconds. Stir until smooth. Drizzle over cake


Mint Ice Cream

What’s better in this  awesome heat than ice cream.  I tried a new recipe for home made mint ice cream on saturday and it was a hit.  I used lots and lots of mint and it tasted great.

even though we recently cleaned up our mint patch as it had gone crazy wild we still have lots of mint in the garden.
making the mint infused cream
such a pretty color
such a pretty color
into the ice cream freezer it goes
I didn’t have a chance to take a good picture of the final product as it disappeared in two seconds flat. I’ll just have to make it again 🙂  We served it with brownies and it was really good.

Recipe from

As you can see I left the chip part out, but followed the recipe pretty much for everything else.

Mint Chip Ice Cream

Makes about 1 quart (1l)

Adapted from The Perfect Scoop (Ten Speed Press)

The bright taste of fresh mint is marvelous with the little bits of bittersweet chocolate. If you are unsure of the quantity of mint leaves, weigh them to the get the exact amount. I just stuck a few mint springs in my rooftop garden box and within a week, they took root and are thriving nicely. It’s not enough to make a batch of mint ice cream quite yet, so for now, I’m buying my mint at the market. Depending on where you shop, you might want to buy two bunches, to make sure you have enough.

For the mint ice cream:

1 cup (250 ml) whole milk

3/4 cup (150 gr) sugar

2 cups (500 ml) heavy cream

pinch of salt

2 cups packed (80 gr) fresh mint leaves

5 large egg yolks

For the chocolate chips:

5 ounces (140 gr) bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped

1. In a medium saucepan, warm the milk, sugar, 1 cup (250 ml) heavy cream, salt, and mint.

2. Once the mixture is hot and steaming, remove from heat, cover, and let stand for an hour to infuse the mint flavor.

3. Remove the mint with a strainer, then press down with a spatula firmly to extract as much mint flavor and color as possible. (You can also use well-washed hands to do it as well, making sure the mixture isn’t too hot to safely handle.) Once the flavor is squeezed out, discard the mint.

4. Pour the remaining heavy cream into a large bowl and set the strainer over the top.

5. Rewarm the infused milk. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, then slowly pour some of the warm mint mixture into the yolks, whisking constantly, then scrape the warmed yolks back into the saucepan.

6. Cook the custard, stirring constantly with a heatproof spatula, until the mixture thickens and coats the spatula. If using an instant read thermometer, it should read around 170ºF (77ºC).

7. Immediately strain the mixture into the cream, then stir the mixture over an ice bath until cool.

8. Refrigerate the mixture thoroughly, preferably overnight, then freeze it in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

While the mixture is freezing, melt the chocolate in a small bowl over a pot of simmering water, or in a microwave oven on low power, stirring until smooth. Place a storage container in the freezer.

9. When the ice cream in the machine is ready, scribble some of the chocolate into the container, then add a layer of the just-churned ice cream to the container. Scribble melted chocolate over the top of the ice cream, then quickly stir it in, breaking up the chocolate into irregular pieces. Continue layering the ice cream, scribbling more chocolate and stirring as you go.

When finished, cover and freeze until firm.


Sugar Cookies

It has become a tradition to make valentine heart sugar cookies to bring over to the Maxwell’s illustrious February party which took place last night.

Lots of butter and sugar is always a good thing.

ready to decorate:

Cookie decorator in training:

Butter Cookies

Christmas from the Heart of the Home,  Susan Branch

  • 2 cups butter, softened
  • 1  1/2 cups sugar
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 2 t. vanilla
  • 4  1/2 cups unbleached flour
  • 1/2 t. salt

Preheat over to 350 degrees.  With an electric mixer, cream together butter and sugar.  Add egg yolks and vanilla and mix well.  Sift flour and salt together and beat into butter mixture until well mixed.  When ready to bake use UNGREASED cookie sheet (we always use silpats) and place cookies 1 inch apart.  Bake for about 8-10 minutes depending on how big/thick of cookies you make, but do not brown them.  Take them out when you see the first tinge of browning on the edges.  Remove cookies from sheet while still warm and cool on cooling rack.

We always roll out the dough and use cookie cutters but you can use a cookie press, make drop cookies or roll them out.  The dough is very versatile.


Brown Sugar Cookies

Josephine Graham

  • 1 cup butter
  • 2 cups dark brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/3 T. cream
  • 2/3 t. salt
  • 1 t. baking powder
  • 2 1/3 cup cake flour, sifted
  • 2 1/3 cup all purpose flour, sifted
  • 2 2/3 t. vanilla

All at room temperature

1. Cream butter alone
2. Add sugar gradually over long time, let it dissolve
3. Add eggs 1 at a time
4. Mix dry ingredients together and add some of this to the mixture
5. Add 1/3 T. cream
6. Add more of the dry ingredients
7. Add 1/3 T more cream
Continue adding and add the vanilla towards the end.

Refrigerate.  Roll out on a floured and sugared surface and cut into shapes using cookie cutters.  Bake in a 350 preheated oven for 8 – 10 minutes.

Blueberry Crumble Pie

Bon Appetit, July, 2011


  • 1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour plus more for surface
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Filling and topping:

  • 2/3 cup plus 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest plus 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 5 cups (1 pound 10 ounces) fresh blueberries
  • 3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons (packed) light brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, cooled slightly

Special equipment: Use a 9″–9 1/2″-diameter glass or metal pie dish. You will need pie weights or dried beans to bake the crust.

For crust:
Pulse 1 1/4 cups flour, butter, and salt in a food processor until mixture resembles coarse meal with some pea-size pieces remaining. Drizzle 3 tablespoons ice water over mixture. Pulse until moist clumps form, adding more water by teaspoonfuls if mixture is dry. Transfer dough to a lightly floured work surface. Divide into 4 equal pieces. Working with 1 piece at a time, use the heel of your hand to smear each portion of dough twice in a forward motion to distribute butter. Gather all 4 dough pieces into a ball. Flatten into a disk, wrap in plastic, and chill dough until firm, at least 1 hour. DO AHEAD: Dough can be made up to 2 days ahead. Keep chilled.
Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface to a 13″ round. Transfer to pie dish, gently pressing dough onto bottom and up sides of dish. Fold overhang under and crimp edges decoratively. Pierce bottom of crust in several places with a fork, then chill until firm, about 30 minutes.
Line a large baking sheet with foil and place on a rack in middle of oven; preheat to 375°F. Line crust with parchment paper or foil and fill with pie weights. Bake until crust is set, about 20 minutes. Carefully remove parchment and pie weights. Bake until crust is pale golden, about 12 minutes longer. Transfer crust to a wire rack; let cool.
Filling and topping:
Whisk 2/3 cup sugar, cornstarch, and lemon zest in a large bowl. Add blueberries and lemon juice; toss gently to coat and evenly distribute. Let filling stand, tossing occasionally, until berries release their juices, 20-30 minutes.
Whisk flour, remaining 3 tablespoons sugar, light brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt in a medium bowl. Add melted butter; mix topping with fingertips to blend.
Preheat oven to 375°. Spoon blueberry filling into crust, then sprinkle topping over. Bake pie until filling is bubbling and topping is golden, about 1 hour 15 minutes. Cover with foil after 30 minutes if browning too fast.
Let pie cool on a wire rack. DO AHEAD: Can be made 8 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature.

Apple Cake

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 t. baking soda
  • ¼ t. salt
  • 2 t. cinnamon
  • 1 t. vanilla
  • 2 cups flour
  • ½ cup oil
  • 4 cups diced apples
  • 1 cup chopped nuts

Cream sugar and eggs together.  Add dry ingredients and mix.  Add vanilla, oil, apples and nuts.  Pour batter in greased 9 x 13 pan.  Bake for 45 -55 minutes in a 350 oven.


  • 1 ½ cups powdered sugar
  • 3 T. butter
  • 8 oz. Cream cheese
  • salt and vanilla

Raspberry Angel Food Cake with Raspberry Amaretto Sauce

The New Basics

Make a regular angel food cake mix according to package directions, but fold in one cup of fresh raspberries before pouring into tube pan.

Serve with following raspberry sauce.

  • 2 cups fresh of frozen raspberries, thawed if frozen
  • ½ cup confectioners sugar
  • 1 T. fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ cup amaretto liqueur

Puree the raspberries in a blender or food processor.  Add the confectioners; sugar, lemon juice, and amaretto, and continue to process until smooth.
Strain the sauce to remove the seeds and serve.

Makes 1 ½ cups