Fruit Dip!

I've been making this fruit dip for a LONG time.  I would honestly eat it with a spoon out of the bowl if I didn't like dipping actual fruit in it so much.  Besides being so yummy, it's easy!  Enjoy with green apple slices, strawberries, grapes, or any other fruit that suits your fancy! :)  Flavored cream cheese could be used to change this up if your heart desires it!

Fruit Dip

1 - 8 oz Package Cream Cheese, room temperature
1 - 7 oz Jar Marshmallow Fluff

Mix on medium-high until smooth.  Refrigerate until set (approx 1 hour).  Dip away!


Summer = Pie!

My husband and I went out to Perkin's for dinner a few weeks back - exciting date nights around here, let me tell you! ;)  Their promotion at the time was "Lemon Days" and it included this wonderfully, scrumptious looking Lemon Ice Box Pie!  If my computer wasn't so cranky, I'd have a picture from Perkin's themselves of the pie.(to compare, of course!)  Alas, my computer is cranky and Perkin's is onto another promotion.  I ate every last morsel and then decided I had to recreate it in my kitchen.  Oh and is it ever wonderful!  This recipe could easily be simplified by buying a can of lemon filling for the middle layer and using cool whip for the top - essentially the only thing you would be making by hand would be the first layer.  Because the fillings I made were recipes for one pie all by themselves, this recipe makes two pies with the multiple fillings.  FYI: If you go the fresh squeezed route, you're going to need about 6 lemons for these beauties!


Lemon Ice Box Pie

2 Graham Cracker Crusts (I'm lazy, I buy the pre-made crusts - for under $2 a piece this saves lot of my sanity!)

Layer 1:
1 - 8 oz Package Cream Cheese, room temperature
1 - 14 oz Can Sweet-Condensed Milk
1/2 Cup Fresh Lemon Juice
1 Tbsp Lemon Zest
1 Tsp Vanilla

Mix all ingredients on medium speed until smooth.  Pour half into each pie crust and put in refrigerator.

Layer 2:
2 Cups Water
1 Cup Sugar
1/2 Cup Cornstarch
5 Egg Yolks, beaten
1/4 Cup Butter
3/4 Cup Lemon Juice
1 Tbsp Lemon Zest
1 Tsp Vanilla

Bring the water to a boil in a large, heavy saucepan.  Remove from the heat and let rest 5 minutes.  Whisk the sugar and cornstarch together.  Add the mixture gradually to the hot water, whisking until completely incorporated.  Return to the heat and cook over medium heat, whisking constantly until the mixture comes to a boil.  The mixture will be very thick (almost instantaneously).  Add about a cup of the hot mixture to the beaten egg yolks, whisking until smooth.  Whisking vigorously, add the warmed yolks to the pot and continue cooking, stirring constantly until mixture comes to a boil.  Remove from heat and stir in butter until incorporated.  Add lemon juice, zest, and vanilla - stirring until combined.  Cool filling for 15-20 minutes or more - cover with plastic wrap to keep skin from forming.  Once almost room temperature or only slightly warm, spoon half over first layer and smooth out. 

Put in refrigerator overnight to completely set.

Layer 3:
1 Pint Whipping Cream, very cold

Whip cream, adding sugar and vanilla to taste, until semi-hard peaks form.  Spoon over pies generously!



These little beauties are soooo EASY to make! They remind me of the mini donuts you get at the fair - all hot and wonderful, but much cheaper!

All you need for these is a can of biscuits - I used the little can (not the grands) for a smaller donut...
  • Pull the biscuits apart
  • Poke a hole in the center of each biscuit (I use the end of a wooden spoon) - stretch it out a little bit, otherwise it'll "grow" shut during frying. If you use the bigger biscuits you can use a bottle cap to cut the center out.
  • Fry in about 1/4" or more of HOT oil (I use canola or a canola/vegetable blend) in a frying pan - flip over when slightly browned and brown other side.
  • Remove from oil and let stand on paper towel to absorb any excess oil
Now the fun part...I put mine in a paper bag with cinnamon and sugar, shook them all around and got the yummy result above. You can also shake them in a bag with powdered sugar or make an easy glaze with powdered sugar and milk.



Wacky Cake & Chocolate Frosting

I love this recipe for so many reasons - it's so easy, I usually have everything in my pantry, it's ooey-gooey goodness, and did I mention it's easy?!  Another added bonus it this is egg-free for those with allergies.  I've included my favorite frosting recipe for with this, but you could easily use pretty much any kind of frosting your heart desires!


Wacky Cake

3 Cups Flour
2 Cups Sugar
1/2 Cup Cocoa
2 Tsp Baking Soda
1 Tsp Salt
2 Tbsp Vinegar
2 Tsp Vanilla
2/3 Cups Oil
2 Cups Cold Water

Mix flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, and salt together well. Make three "wells" in the dry ingredients - add vinegar, vanilla, and oil into each well. Pour cold water over everything and mix well. Pour into 9x13 greased and floured pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes.

I usually always heat my ingredients on the stove. Also, depending if I want the smooth (ganache-like) frosting shown in the picture above or a fluffy chocolate frosting changes how I complete the recipe. To make the glossy, thinner frosting above - once butter, cocoa, and buttermilk are heated whisk in (sifted) powder sugar, vanilla, and salt until smooth - pour onto hot cake. If I want the fluffier stuff (which is just as delish) I mix everything in my mixer with the whisk attachment until really smooth and fluffy!

Chocolate Frosting

1/2 Cup Butter
1/4 Cup Cocoa
6 Tbsp Buttermilk (I've used heavy cream with no problems)
2 1/2 Cups Powdered Sugar
1 Tsp Vanilla
1 Tiny Pinch Salt
(optional) 3/4 Cup Chopped Walnuts

Put butter, cocoa, and buttermilk in bowl - heat in microwave until boiling. Pour hot mixture in mixing bowl; add powdered sugar, vanilla, and salt - beat until smooth. Pour over hot cake (right after removing from oven). If using nuts sprinkle over frosting immediately.