Key Lime Pie Ice Cream

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As I’m sure I’ve said a billion and one times, I’m from Houston. And here in Houston, there really isn’t such a thing as Autumn. In my opinion, 80-something degree weather isn’t reminiscent of Fall.

But this isn’t me complaining (…yet, give me a few more weeks) but rather relishing in these last few weeks of warm weather.

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The last few weeks of shimmering, golden sunlight gently falling on your sleepy face, peeking through that tiny slit in your curtains that, if it were not for the sun, you’d never notice. The last opportunities to walk around the flea markets hand-in-hand with your husband as you point out all the fluffy, adorable puppies that you demand he buy you, but he never does. The last chances to simply stand outside, stretch and breathe in deeply, inhale the warmth of the sunlight. The last moments to enjoy wearing your favorite feminine, flowy, flowery (alliteration!) tank top before you sadly (and begrudgingly) have to banish it for a few months.

And the last few excuses you have to make delicious, creamy ice cream that reminds you of far away islands.

This ice cream is creamy, flavorful and chocked full of graham cracker goodness. And it’s super simple to whip up. Make this before it’s too late 😉

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Key Lime Pie Ice Cream
adapted from Cooking Light via Good Life Eats


1 1/2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup lime juice*
1/2 cup heavy cream
Dash of salt
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
4 graham cracker sheets, coarsely crushed

*Note: I used fresh squeezed lime juice but the original recipe states that bottled lime juice can be used. Just be sure that it is as fresh as possible.


In a large bowl, combine milk, lime juice, heavy cream, salt and sweetened condensed milk; whisk to combine.

Pour mixture into your ice cream maker, and freeze according to manufacturer’s instructions. I used my Kitchenaid Ice Cream Maker Attachment and let it run for the suggested 25 minutes and my ice cream was not what you would consider soft serve, so I let it run for another 10 minutes until it became more solid.

Stir in the crushed graham crackers into ice cream. Spoon ice cream into a freezer-safe container, and cover and freeze for 1 hour or until firm. Sprinkle each serving with 1 teaspoon graham crackers. Garnish with lime wedges or lime zest if you wish.

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Ahhhh, who am I kidding? I love ice cream so much that I’m sure I’ll post more in the Winter months. After all, I am the loon who drinks hot cocoa and eats chili in the Summer and craves ice cream in the Winter.


Pumpkin Pasties for Harry Potter

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Unless you have been living under a rock, you know that the last Harry Potter movie is upon us. And I’m SOOO excited. I have recently read ALL the books, seen all the movies (multiple times) and now I am taking it a step above normal obsession: I am making the goodies that Harry and his pals enjoy. (I have a couple more to share this week, so stay tuned!)

I scoured the internet hoping to find some recipes from the Harry Potter Unofficial Cookbook, but sadly I found none. Maybe I just can’t navigate Google as well as I thought. And WHY I don’t own this book yet is beyond me, really. But I’m thinking it’s a necessity.

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Moving on. The first treat I’m sharing are these pumpkin pasties which are essentially mini pumpkin hand pies. You can make these as spiced, small, and simple as you want. I’m a homemade gal so I made it all from scratch but you could easily use pre-made pie dough and canned pumpkin pie filling, if you’re in a pinch. No judgments here!

These are delicious and you can make the separate components and keep in the fridge until you are ready to assemble and bake. They are so good! I mean who says no to a mobile slice of pumpkin pie?? And if you are already looking forward to Thanksgiving, these can tide you over until then 🙂 Win-win-win!!

Grab one of these pasties, your wand and run around pretend stunning your cat. Not that I would do anything like this…

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Pumpkin Pasties
Adapted from here

For the Pie Crust:

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. granulated white sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, cold and cut into small pieces
1/8 – 1/4 cup ice water

Combine flour, sugar and salt in a food processor. Add butter and pulse to combine until resembles course crumbs. Add ice water in a steady stream until the dough comes together, you may not need the entire 1/4 cup. The dough should stick together when pinched. It shouldn’t take longer than 10 seconds.

Shape the dough into a flattened disc, wrap into plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour. (The dough can be frozen for up to a month; thaw overnight in the refrigerator before using.

For the Pumpkin Filling:

3 large eggs
2 cups fresh pumpkin puree OR 1 15-ounce can pure pumpkin
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
3/4 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
3/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
3/4 tsp. ground allspice
1/2 tsp. salt

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

In a large bowl, whisk the eggs lightly. Stir in the pumpkin puree, heavy whipping cream, and light brown sugar, mixing between each addition. Add the spices and salt and stir to evenly distribute. Pour the filling into a buttered casserole dish and bake until a toothpick poked into the center comes out clean, about 30 – 40 minutes.

Cool completely.

Assembling the Paties:

1 egg, yolk and white separated
1 Tbsp. heavy whipping cream
granulated sugar, for sprinkling (optional)

Take the disc of crust dough out of the refrigerator and roll it out onto your floured work surface until about 12″ in diameter. Roll from the center out and rotate your crust quarter turns occasionally to avoid sticking. Using a 4″ circle-shaped cookie cutter, cut out as many rounds as you can squeeze out of it and transfer each to wax paper or parchment paper-lined cookie sheet. You can re-roll out your scrap dough to get more rounds, but be aware that over-worked dough can result in toughness. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Once the pumpkin pie filling has cooled completely, take the dough out of the refrigerator and drop about a tablespoon of the pumpkin filling into the center of each dough round. Using your finger or pastry brush, apply a thin coat of egg white to half of the edge of the round and fold the circle over and press the edges to seal. The egg white will help to keep the dough closed while baking. Crimp the edges with a fork to give a final seal. Set on a parchment-lined cookie sheet, and continue the same way with the rest of your dough rounds.

Lightly whisk together the egg yolk and cream. Brush the tops and edges of the pasties with a soft pastry brush and sprinkle on sugar (if using it). Use a knife to cut three slits in the tops of each pasty. If your dough has gotten considerably warm, refrigerate for about 30 minutes; if not, continue with the recipe. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until golden brown.

Yields about 16 pasties, depending on the size of cookie cutter you use.

Serve with some butterbeer and ice cream 🙂

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TWD – Caramel Pumpkin Pie (Rewind)

Today’s post was supposed to be this amazing (I’m sure) cranberry shortbread cake. And I promise I’ll have that up next week as I’ll be skipping the cranberry galette.

Hey, we all need to cut corners sometimes right?

I have a lot on my metaphorical plate these days:

I have to make a baby shower cake and attend said baby shower this weekend.

I have to prep the blog for a giveaway I’m doing next week.

I have to make about 30 mini red velvet cakes and figure out how to ice them simply but beautifully.

I have to make and personalize 30 place cards.

I have to make 2 mini cakes: a rice krispy treat cake and a chocolate cake.

I have to make and arrange at least 3 floral centerpieces.

Oh yah, and I have to remember to get married on Friday 😉

So as you see, lots to do. So I’ll leave you with this pie which is pretty good, but not my favorite.

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It’s a standard pumpkin pie base with some homemade caramel thrown in for flair. I couldn’t really detect the taste of the caramel, so I may not have let it cook long enough. But it was pretty deep in color so I took it off once it looked as Dorie described.

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Once you have the caramel made, it comes together pretty quickly and bakes up beautifully. But for some reason my pie filling didn’t want to stick to the pie crust. I guess that’s what I get for having the pie crust in my fridge for 2 days before filling it. Oops!

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For the recipe, head on over to Janelle’s blog, Mortensen Family Memoirs or simply click here to be taken directly to it.

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SMS – Crustless Ginger Custard Pumpkin Pie

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Boy oh boy do I loooove pies.

Just not 4 pies in 4 weeks. “Hm, how to make this easier on myself,” I thought. And then it came to me: skip the crust, make a smaller amount and put it in ramekins! Genius!!

And that’s exactly what I did.

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If there are too many flaky, sinful, buttery, pies in your  life right now (as if that could ever be a BAD thing) and the idea of making one more pie makes you want to hurl your pie plate right through your kitchen window… then follow my lead and take it down a notch, or four. Here’s what I did to ensure the safety of my own pie plate:

• made 1/4 of the recipe
• subber ground ginger and cinnamon for the fresh ginger and cinnamon sticks.
• baked in 2 ramekins until set

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See? Easy-peasy lemon squeezey. Even thought lemons have nothing to do with this… but I digress.

This custard filling is SO tasty and I love it SO much that it is going to be the pumpkin pie this year at the Thanksgiving table. Along with 2 other pies, a cake, and cookies that I will be slaving over. But that’s a ramble for another day 😉

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For the recipe, head on over to Debbie’s blog Every Day Blessings of The Five Dee’s. Thanks Debbie for choosing this wonderful recipe!!

Up next week: Strawberry Muffins with Fresh Lemon and Rosemary. And I already have them made! Woohoo for being on top of things!

TWD – Peanuttiest Blondies (and playing catch up!)

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I swear I’ve been baking along. I even have the pictures as proof!! I feel like I’ve been SO busy keeping up with the Jones’ that my blogging suffers. I’ll be posting a double whammy of a post for the next two entries to catch up and get back into your good graces.

Hey, I’m trying to make amends here. You’ll forgive me, won’t you?

How about now?

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These peanuttiest blondies are darn good!! I skipped the extra peanuts, mainly because I’m lazy and I LOOOATHE chopping nuts. I also ramped up the salt to 1 tsp which gave it a nice salty edge to compliment the peanuts wonderfully. I over-baked them just a tad, so next time I’ll take them out 2-3 mins sooner so they’ll be softer. Even if the darn tester still comes out gooey. Sometimes gooey is welcomed, right?

(Recipe here, Thanks Nicole!!)

Moving along…

All American Apple Pie:

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Please don’t laugh (too hard) at my pie. It won’t win any beauty contests, that’s for sure. I think I may have filled the crust with too many apples and the steam holes weren’t sufficient to let enough steam out. And that means that it basically exploded a bit. But not all over my stove, thank goodness! It just looks like an earthquake ravaged my pie leaving giant cracks around the perimeter. Boo for that, but lemme tell you, this pie is DELISH!! Totally helps you to ignore the cracks. Don’t believe me?

Go make this pie. Grab a slice. Sit down to this post, pie in hand. Look at pics again. Now, tell me…. do you REALLY care? 😉

I used tapioca flour instead of the pearls as I couldn’t find them (again) and it worked just fine! I imagine that you could sub equal amounts of corn starch or flour to thicken the filling. PS, You can’t even FIND the graham crackers… believe me, I tried!!

For the recipe, head on over to Emily’s blog, Sandmuffin. Or simply click here.

Up next week: Not-Just-for Thanksgiving Cranberry Shortbread (and Caramel Pumpkin Pie, to catch up!)

TWD – Fold Over Pear Torte Deconstructed (Almond-Pear Galette)

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Wandering into the unknown isn’t something that I was ever comfortable with. For example:

For the first 20 years of my life, I had long (LONG) blonde hair. I dreamt of chopping it all off. I’d have daydreams about cute bobs, and adorable pixie cuts but I was too afraid of the unknown. How would I look? Would it fit my face? Yada, yada. But one day I just lept in and took the chop. And I loved it.

This torte was unknown territory for me as well. There’s no picture, the description is written as well as possible but it still wasn’t clear to me. I decided not to do it. Yesterday rolled around and the idea of a galette popped into my head and I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I’ve never made a galette before but it’s rustic simplicity was calling my name. So I dove in and took to chopping. Pears, that is.

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I used Dorie’s recipe for the suggested pie crust (1/4 of the recipe) and subbed butter for shortening. It worked wonderfully!! I rolled the dough out to about 10″-12″ (rough estimate as I forgot to measure, doh!) and placed it on parchment paper and into the fridge to chill while I prepared the pears.

I just threw things together that sounded great and in the end, the scary unknown territory quickly became delicious, fruit filled territory that I was glad to have wandered. Dorie’s pie crust is PHENOM! Flaky, buttery, delicious! I have three batches of this dough in the freezer and ready to go for the rest of this months goodies and I can’t wait!

For the recipe as it was supposed to appear, head on over to Cakelaw’s blog Law’s of the Kitchen. Click here for the recipe.

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Almond-Pear Galette
Makes one 6″ pastry (serves 1-4, depending on the baker’s generosity)

1/4 Dorie’s Good for almost anything pie crust (recipe here) rolled into a 10-“12″ round, on parchment (chilled)

1/2 large firm pear (I used Bartlett, just eat the other half 😉 )
2 tsp granulated sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ginger

1-1/2 TBSP light brown sugar
6 whole raw almonds, chopped (or sliced would work great)

1 egg (slightly beaten with a splash of water)
Sugar for sprinkling, optional

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

1. Cut pear in half and remove cores with a spoon. Turn the pear horizontally (core would be horizontal) and slice into 1/4″ slices and place in a medium bowl.

2. Add sugar, cinnamon, and ginger to pears and toss until evenly coated.

3. Assemble the tart: place pear slices in a circular pattern onto the center of the crust leaving at least a 2” border. Sprinkle on brown sugar and then almonds.

4. Working your way around, fold the border in towards the center of the galette. Using a pastry brush (silicone brush works fine here) gently brush edges with egg wash and sprinkle with granulated sugar. Place in oven and bake for 30 minutes or until the crust is golden and the pears are bubbly with juices.

5. Let it cool just enough to handle and serve plain, with fresh whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Enjoy!

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SMS – Northfork Peach Raspberry Pie

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Happy Fourth of July everyone! I hope you are all enjoying hamburgers and hot dogs and apple pies. Root beer floats and cakes made to look like the American flag!


J – What was the last thing you ate?
Laura – Calzone.
J – What time?
Laura – Lunch.
J – Spinach?
Laura – Mushroom.
J – You need pie.

You get brownie points if you can guess the movie.

I love pie. It feels like I’ve stated this fact a bajilion times + 3 but I really do love it. I mean, what’s not to love about a buttery, flaky crust encompassing juicy, gooey fruit that falls all over your pie plate as you try to neatly cut a slice? Its heaven in a slice of bubbly fruit.

I never really made pie before this whole baking bonanza took over my life. And I never knew the joys of homemade pie crust. What a sad little life I had growing up.

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But, feel no pity for me as I am now in control of my yummies and I am happy to report that I will never buy another store bought crust again. I won’t jinx it, but I think I’ve got the hang of keeping it cooooold and working quickly. Rolling it out and shaping it…. ehh… that’s fodder for another day.

BUT IT DOESN’T MATTER! I have mastered pie crust. I feel complete. For now. Until the next time I attempt caramel. *scoffs*

Anywho, please don’t judge my photos this time ’round because… well let’s not sugar coat here, there’s enough of that on the pie… they are horrible. We are getting the aftermath of Hurricane Alex and that means dark as night skies and rain rain rain. Which ALSO means natural light? Nil. Honestly I don’t think that sunlight would have saved my pie anyhow seeing as it resembles… you don’t want me to go there… but it just doesn’t look appetizing.

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I followed the recipe as it except I made the all butter pie crust instead because I have great luck with that one (and ran out of shortening because I buy it like, once a year. Ick.) And I added a bit more sugar to the top of the pie crust. Cus you know, life is sweet and all that jazz. 🙂

Thank you to Rebecca of Beurrista (how witty) for choosing this recipe! Head over to her blog for the recipe! Just make sure not to use slightly mushy white peaches as it will end up looking like…..

Oh yah, you don’t wanna know 😉

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SMS – Strawberry Rhubarb Cobbler Pie

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Sometimes when I decide to tinker with the recipe, I forget that there is a different effect to everything I change. Take for example this pie filling: I read two cups of strawberries and two cups of rhubarb and think to myself “thats it?” So, I roughly double the strawberries and don’t bother to think about what that’ll do to the pie.

Just in case you didn’t know, strawberries have a HIGH water content. So high, that when you double the amount of strawberries called for in a recipe, you should expect nothing less than strawberry soup.

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Don’t get me wrong, this pie was SO delicious that I didn’t mind that I had to pour a bit GALLONS of the extra strawberry hued water out or that it made my pie crust soggy, no. I didn’t care because it was sweet and tangy and the biscuits were tender on the inside and crunchy on the outside. Pie heaven!

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Now if only I could have taken more appealing pictures of this pie. I really hate struggling for natural light 😦

I used fresh berries and frozen rhubarb. Houston doesn’t seem to like rhubard. Which would explain the hordes of stores I’ve gone to in order to find fresh rhubarb. With none to be found.

Update: I FINALLY found fresh organic rhubarb…… at $6.99/lb. No thanks. I’ll keep searching 🙂

A huge thank you to my friend Tracey of Tracey’s Culinary Adventures for choosing this recipe and finally getting some of that frozen rhubarb out of my freezer. Head on over to her great blog for the recipe and mass amounts of foods that’ll really get your mouth watering 🙂

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Up next week: Peanut Butter Truffles

SMS – Completely askew Double Crusted Caramel Apple Pie (Minis)

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“I’m going to make minis” I say. “I won’t eat an entire apple pie anyhow. Ok… I SHOULDN’T eat an entire pie” I say. “Pie crust hates me anyhow” I say. “My pie crusts always come out slightly crappy. I’ll half the pie dough and make minis” I say.

Sometimes I wish I would just learn to keep my big trap shut. I decided to make minis mainly because my pie crusts have always been nothing short of disappointing. Always. Not one instance where my pie crust has turned out flaky and delicious. Well, until now. OF COURSE!! I swear the baking gods hate me sometimes.

I can chalk my pie dough up to actually taking care to follow the steps and to put everything in the freezer before it was to be used. Cold butter, cold shortening, cold flour even. I used the maximum amount of water that was listed and although I though I needed more, I stopped. Rolling it was a bit of a pain because it wanted to crack on me BUT I didn’t really care because I thought it would suck anyhow. Psh.

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On to the caramel. HA!! The god bless me once and damn me in the same pie. I tried THREEEEE TIIIIIMES (persistent little thing, aren’t I?) to caramelize my sugar and water. And THREE TIMES it seized. It just wouldn’t stay liquidy. I have NO IDEA what I did wrong but I threw the pot in the sink, added cinnamon (1TBSP), nutmeg (1/4 tsp), and allspice (1/4 tsp) to my apples (left out the zest and upped the sugar 2TBSP extra) and went about my pie making.

Halving the recipe left me with 4 ramekins full-o-pie. These are goooood! Eat it waaaaarm and delicious with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top and be quickly transported into apple pie heaven. There is simply no other way 🙂

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Thank you to Susan of Baking with Susan for Choosing this recipe, how’d you know that I have a weakness for baked apples? But honestly, why didn’t you warn me that I should have made an entire pie? 😉 Head on over to her blog for the recipe and be sure to head on over to the other bakers’ blogs to see their (complete) pies.

TWD – Pecan Pie

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I hate pecan pie. Loathe even. Ha!!! What a way to start a post, eh?! Let me explain. Please?

Pecan pie was something that IF it was brought to a gathering (which was a rarity in itself) it was store bought. Yah. Enough said, right?!

Burnt pecans, gummy tasteless pie crust, cloyingly sweet filling whose texture is either grainy or slimy. I tried it, I did. And then… I stifled my gag reflexes the best I could.


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So you can understand my reluctance to make a pecan pie and then feel obligated to at least TRY it. On top of that, I was short on time (which is why I used a frozen pie crust, eep) and short 1/4 cup+ of corn syrup and just about freaked out because I was sure I didn’t have anything on hand in order to substitute. Thanks to Google I substituted it for clover honey. I left out the espresso powder, the chocolate, but left the cinnamon (I’m starting to think I have a problem…)

I cut a piece to photograph and instantly I noticed the difference in the filling. It was semi-solid and wonderfully aromatic. I squeezed my eyes closed and took the plunge. The dynamic that the honey gave the pie was LIFE changing.

I’m happy to report that I no longer have a fear of pecan pie. Well, at least when I make it 😉

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Thanks to Beth of Someone’s in the Kitchen with Brina for choosing this recipe. Head on over to her blog for the recipe.