Vegan Peanut Butter Banana Muffins

Classic comboThis is the first post I’ve done since school started… and it is going to be brief! I made these muffins last minute this morning and shared some with friends. They requested the recipe, so here it is! Makes 12. (more…)

Picnic Pies

meowI used to be mad at blackberries. In the backyard of the house that I previously lived in, I spent a good deal of time trying to fight the blackberry bushes. I would get my battle gear on and attack the bushes with large shears every few months. I’d always work up a good sweat and end up with a bunch of scratch wounds. On top of the constant struggle to keep the bushes from overtaking my backyard, we rarely got to any of the ripe berries before the birds did. I was not fond of the blackberry.

But then I moved into a house with a blackberry bush growing on the outside of my fence in the backyard, into the alley. No need to fight this one! I have let it grow and grow and grow and the blackberries are just starting to get ripe. There are so many of them that I think I’ll be eating blackberries all summer and fall! Blackberries have become my friend.

I was very excited to pick my first batch of berries, but soon after I filled the bowl, I was unsure of what do with them. They were a little too tart (for my liking) to eat raw, but I couldn’t think of something yummy to bake them into. So I posted an inquiry to my Facebook friends, asking for their help. I had many suggestions come my way… cereal, syrup, jam, raw… but Katy got me salivating at the suggestion of PIE. Pie! Perfect use of the first of the blackberries!

I was going to a picnic the next day, so I decided to make individual pies instead of one big one. They turned out adorable and delicious! The crust was amazingly flaky and the filling was a perfect combination of sweet and tart. I based these recipes on ones I found in the “Joy of Cooking.” This recipe makes 4 mini pies, but can be modified to make one regular size pie. Also, this pie could very easily be made vegan by substituting non-hydrogenated vegetable shortening for the butter in the crust!

P.S. Pretty darn good with lime ice cream! (more…)

Rockin Elvis Pie

nannanaanaEvery time I bite into a yummy peanut butter and banana something-rather, I thank Elvis for making such a fabulous combination famous! According to some, the peanut butter/banana combo is only ‘Elvis’ if it includes bacon. While you might be able to swing that on a sandwich, bacon pie for dessert doesn’t sound quite right to me.

But when my friend Wendy introduced me to a recipe on Epicurious, I only had to modify it slightly to create something sinfully delicious. This pie actually tastes lighter that it sounds and is easier to make than it looks. And with fruit and nuts in it, what a great way to get your daily vitamins and protein! (That’s what I keep telling myself, anyway.) This recipe easily serves 10 people. (more…)

Lip Smackin Cheescake

creamy berry yeahI made this cheesecake for a crowd, which is definitely the way to go unless you can happily consume a billion calories without getting sick or feeling incredibly guilty. Yes, cheesecake is rich, but that is what makes it such a treat! The blueberry and lemon in this recipe lighten it up a bit and add depth of flavor- tart, creamy, and sweet. The shortbread crust is absolutely fabulous. I like it much better than a graham cracker or vanilla wafer cookie crust.

You will need a larger-than-usual pie pan to make this dessert as it calls for a 12 inch pie pan (regular pie pans are usually only 9 inches). I imagine you could substitute another type of pan if needed, just make sure it is big enough so the filling doesn’t spill over the sides! This cheesecake will easily serve 10 people. The recipe is based on one by Dave Lieberman. (more…)

Easy Lime Pie

a little sour, a little sweet, a lot goodApparently, key lime pie isn’t a popular winter dessert… but John has been hoping I’d make one for a while, so I decided to not wait for the appropriate season. This recipe is based upon one from a restaurant called Joe’s Stone Crab in Florida. It is surprisingly easy to prepare and easy to eat too! I just love graham cracker pie crust… I could eat it all by itself, but it is a good accompaniment to the creamy lime filling. I couldn’t find key limes, so I just used regular limes and they seemed to work well. It was a little on the sour side, so if you like your lime pie sweeter, you may want to consider adding some sweetener or reducing the amount of lime zest. (more…)

Itty Bitty Punkinny Pies

I volunteered to make a ‘finger-food’ dessert for a work fundraiser and immediately thereafter, my mind went blank… what kind of ‘finger-food’ dessert could I make? All I could think of was brownies or cookies… boring! So, I started thinking ‘Fall’ and, of course, pumpkin came to mind. But mini pumpkin pies? That sounds kinda crazy! Believe it or not, a recipe was hard to find! I had to piece together a couple of different recipes from the internet. One by R.Lynn on is titled ‘Pecan Pumpkin Tartlets’ and the other is ‘Libby’s Famous Pumpkin Pie’ from This recipe makes 24 mini pies.

I topped mine with a simple half pecan, but I think they would be just splendid with a dollup of fresh whipped cream! I couldn’t risk it since they need to sit out for a half a day… and it might be sunny! (more…)