Cherry pie is my all time favorite summer dessert! I wanted to come up with a recipe that looked beautiful, but was still easy enough to throw together quickly. After my second round making this pie I had Patrick’s eight year old make the filling just to test the easy factor. While I love cherries she loves chocolate so we compromised with this easy chocolate cherry pie.
This pie has a sweet flaky crust, a layer of juicy cherries, chocolate pudding, topped with tons of fresh whipped cream. You can make your own pie crust, buy a frozen one or use a roll of pie crust like I did. While Sophia whipped a box of dark chocolate pudding, I rolled out pie dough to fit our baking dish. I poked the dough with a fork a few times to make sure the bottom didn’t bubble to much and sprinkled a little sugar over the top.
Once I baked the crust I let it cool on the oven. Sophia rinsed a can of sour cherries in the sink and let them drain. I love the canned sour cherry pie filling, but I don’t like all the sugar syrup. Typically if I am in a hurry and don’t have time for fresh cherries I will just rinse a can of cherries. You still get great juicy cherry bites without all the extra added sugar.
To make the fresh whipped cream you just need 5 minutes, an ice cold mixing bowl, 1 cup of whipping cream, and a sprinkle of sugar. To assemble just take your cooled pie crust, fill with cherries, top with chocolate pudding, whipped cream, and your choice of decorative sprinkle. Sophia picked jumbo chocolate chips.
Fresh peach season is here! Only one of the best times of the summer for us. Since we live in the peach state there are always peaches at every grocery store, farmers market, fruit stand… everywhere! We love them fresh will whipped cream, in a pie, or in our ice cream! It has been a while since I made a no churn ice cream and I thought there was no better time with peach season here. A saucepan full of caramel later and this no churn peach and caramel ice cream was born!
I’m going to be honest- Patrick’s son and I thought it would be fun to eat this outside to get the “perfect drippy” picture. The second I snapped the shot we ran back into the air conditioning. I froze the ice cream over night so it was creamy and firm, but it melted in seconds when we stepped onto the patio. Gotta love that Georgia heat!
I had a little extra pie crust from another recipe so I crumbled it on top, but you can also crumble a sugar cone for the same crunch. I love how easy this recipe is to make. Patrick’s 6 year old was able to help me. I have been testing a lot of my recipes with the kids to make sure they truly are easy to replicate. Layers of creamy vanilla, frozen fresh peaches, and salty caramel are exactly what I want on a hot day!
Buffalo wing sauce is such a huge flavor in our house. We try to limited processed snack food around the house, but every time a new chip, pretzel, or any snack comes out flavored buffalo wings we have to buy them all. This Buffalo Chicken Pizza could definitely be a meal, but I think it is such a great appetizer. Something quick and easy to throw together for unexpected guests or super hungry kids.
If you have been following my recipes for a while you already know I am a huge believer in the chicken thigh. I usually buy them in bulk and freeze small portions for the week. The meat to me just has so much flavor and stays juicy. I personally feel like they fill me up quicker than the chicken breast. If you love the flavors of buffalo chicken, but not the calories definitely try using a little sauce over grilled or baked chicken thighs.
I used my go to pizza dough for this recipe because it comes together very quickly. I wanted something that would pair well with garlic and buffalo flavors. I topped the pizza with monterey jack cheese for a really melty bite.
Biscuits scream brunch to me. Especially when they are warm and fluffy. These steak egg and cheese biscuits are so moist I recommend eating them with a fork!
On Saturday nights I work late so we typically eat something quick and easy. Last night we grilled some onions, colorful peppers and carne asada for fast fajitas. They were delicious and I made sure to save a little for today’s brunch.
While we were in Savannah we went to our favorite breakfast stop, Clary’s Cafe, a few times. They have these giant pillow-like biscuits that honestly do not even need a filling. Pretty much anything you order at Clary’s is going to be delicious. Everything is made fresh with local ingredients. I wanted these biscuits to me made with ingredients that everyone probably already has at home.
I rarely make biscuits without buttermilk, but I really wanted to only use what I had on hand. 2% milk worked perfectly in this recipe. I wanted to get as much texture and flavor as I could by using only a handful of ingredients. I used just a little bit of garlic powder to compliment the steak. I added hashbrowns last minute to have another layer of texture.
Fluffy biscuits filled with eggs, cheese, carne asada, and hashbrowns
1½ cups of AP flour
1 cup of bread flour
1 tsp of salt
3½ tsps of baking powder
¾ cup of margarine
1 cup of milk
1 tsp of garlic powder
2 cups of hashbrowns cooked per package instructions
2 slices of sharp cheddar cheese
4 ounces of thinly sliced steak or carne asada cooked through
2 eggs scrambled with salt and pepper
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees
Make sure the margarine is ice cold
In a large bowl mix the flours, baking powder, salt, and garlic
Chop the butter in small pieces and use your hands or a pastry cutter to mix into the dry ingredients
One you combined the butter and it resembles small crumbles add in the milk
Form the dough into a ball and refrigerate for 10 minutes
Roll or pat out on a floured surfaced to about 1½ inches thick
Press down with a biscuit cutter careful not to twist
Bake in a greased pan for 15 minutes or until golden
Slice and fill with the steak, cheese, hashbrowns, and egg
Definitely give these biscuits a try. This is one of the most forgiving recipes I’ve ever made. The thicker the biscuit the better the result in my opinion! Enjoy! Don’t forget to #kelliericecakes if you try the recipe!
I have always had this weird obsession with paellas. They are so bold and bright with deep flavors. One of the reasons I believe they are often forgotten is the hefty price tag associated with the dish. Saffron is one of the most common ingredients found in paella. This spice is usually around $15 for a handful. While I LOVE saffron I decided to trade it out for smoked paprika. You will still get a bold flavor and instead of the rich yellow or orange the paprika turns the rice a deep red.
Another easy swap is using andouille sausage over the typical cured Spanish chorizo. When you pan fry the andouille you still get a ton of flavor to develop in a short amount of time. I love sauteing my veggies with the fried sausage to really add depth to every bite.
My grocery store does not have paella rice ready available so I switched it for arborio rice. Arborio rice is just tiny enough to soak up every little bit of broth. I actually kept adding extra broth to make sure I still had a little sauce for my bread. I skipped out on the mussels just because those are not my personal favorite. You can definitely add a few in at the end. Boneless skinless chicken thighs and shrimp are what I look forward to in a paella. Both of these proteins usually have great prices in my area especially if you have a Sprouts farmers market near by.
While I do believe an authentic paella taste is extremely hard to replicate without saffron- this affordable version is just as soul satisfying to me. It is such a beautiful dish and packed full of flavor. Honestly this came together so quickly as well. If you are looking to impress on a budget, this is the recipe to make!
An easy way to impress with bold colors and flavors in this affordable paella.
1 pound of chopped boneless skinless chicken thighs
2 tbsp of olive oil
2 tbsp of smoked paprika
2 tbsp of garlic powder
1 tsp of chili powder
1 tsp of red pepper
salt and pepper
1 cup of chopped onions
1 cup of stewed fire roasted tomatoes
2 tbsp of chopped garlic
3 cups of chicken broth
fully cooked sliced andouille sausage
1 pound of shrimp shelled with tails on
1½ cups of arborio rice
½ cup chopped parsley
Heat a large paella pan or saute pan over medium heat.
Add the olive oil.
Add chopped onion and sausage.
Fry until onions begin to be slightly translucent and the edges of the sausage starts to brown.
Remove the sausage and set to the side.
Add in the chicken and cook until golden brown.
Add garlic and rice.
Season with salt and pepper, smoked paprika, garlic powder, red pepper and chili powder.
Add in the stewed tomatoes and stir until all the rice is covered.
Pour the broth over the top and stir into the rice.
Bring to a boil.
Lower to medium low heat.
Add the sausage back in then cover.
Cook for about 10 minutes.
If your broth evaporates before the rice is done just add a little more on top.
The important part is to make sure you do not stir the rice at all.
When the rice is almost done (about 15 minutes) add the shrimp on top.
Salt and pepper then cover.
When all the liquid has absorbed and you start to hear a little crackling the rice is done.
If you are unsure then just test the rice to make sure it has finished.
Sprinkle with parsley and squeeze a little lemon over the top.
I finish mine with Tabasco!
I know this is going to be one of my go to recipes this summer. Even Patrick’s kids ate their entire bowls! I don’t think this dish is too spicy. You can always omit the red pepper. I love the heat so I added lots of hot sauce to my bowl 🙂
Let me know if you try this recipe! I know you will love it!
Summer is the one of my favorite seasons for appetizers, especially a dip! There are so many fresh ingredients available. During the colder months I usually make heavier appetizers since they are so comforting, but I love making dips and salsas during the summer! This grilled corn dip is a “lightened” version of my bacon dip. It is by no means healthy, but this dip is definitely a good alternative to some of the others out there.
This is one of those easy go to dips that you can serve at a BBQ or a casual gathering. These ooey gooey bites won’t stick around long! In all honesty I was just playing around with recipes when I made this. Patrick and I finished it off in about 15 minutes. Such a perfect combo of flavors. Everything I want in a summer grilled corn bite!
I served this dip up with a toasted baguette, but it would be great with some tortilla chips or fresh veggies. Our farmers market has some amazing sweet corn available right now PERFECT for grilling. We grilled a few cobs then let them cool before cutting the kernels off. Something about the sweet corn and sharp cheese just make such a fantastic bite!
Recently I had someone ask me “but who makes birthday cakes for the person that always makes everyone else a cake?” The answer is the baker still makes the cake haha! It is my favorite time of year to make cakes because I can get as over the top as I want. The only person I can disappoint is myself.
I made two birthday cakes because my actual birthday was on a Monday and I still wanted a small slice, but we weren’t actually celebrating until the following Saturday. Technically I made three cakes. When I made the orange zest cake we had to travel to North Carolina and somehow the cake flipped during the drive before I could take any pictures. So today I made a second orange zest cake which I fully plan on enjoying after this post!
It is so hard for me to believe I am already 31! I don’t feel like I am in my thirties yet. My life is slowly coming together. I am finally happy with my day time job and Patrick and I are embracing the whole farm to table concept. I really want to incorporate as much fresh whole foods as possible into our diets the older we get. BUT after saying all that… it WAS my birthday week AND I do love food.
For both cakes I did use box mixes to keep it easy, but I added some of my own ingredients to get a real homemade taste. The first cake is a brown butter orange zest cake with vanilla orange buttercream. The second is a coffee fudge cake. It is hard to say which is my favorite. I do love chocolate, but orange cake is a birthday tradition. My mom always made them for me growing up.
One of the BEST parts of these cakes is the sprinkles! Patrick hates sprinkles so I rarely get to use them. But today… today we are using tons of sprinkles just because I can!
Patrick and I are trying to eat whole farm fresh foods, but sometimes you really get those cravings for something cheesy and comforting. When you make these dishes at home you can really control what is going into them. These Pollo Asado Street Corn Nachos were perfect for our date night at home! We both love fresh grilled corn so I wanted to make that the star of the dish. It was a fresh sweet crunch that really lightened up a typically heavy dish.
I am not a huge fan of cotija cheese which is usually paired with street corn. I knew I was going to use queso blanco which is a processed cheese so I wanted to make sure every other ingredient was fresh and organic. I started with organic restaurant style tortilla chips. I found some by Mission Tortillas at the grocery store that were thin and only made with a few ingredients. I lightened up the queso by heating it up with a little milk and drizzled over the chips. Then a little chopped fresh poblano peppers. A very generous sprinkle of the grilled corn topped with some grilled pollo asado. Then another generous sprinkle of grilled corn followed by black beans. I topped everything off with a squeeze of lime and some fresh grated Parmesan cheese.
My favorite place to pick up my ingredients is a farmers market or a grocery store marketed as an organic food chain. We love Sprouts market. They always have very fresh ingredients and I have never been disappointed in the quality. One of our go to proteins is their marinated chicken thighs. Rubbed in spices then marinated in olive oil, red onion, and cilantro these thighs always taste amazing off the grill. You can definitely marinate the chicken yourself, but sometimes its nice finding a pre-marinated protein that you can trust.
Today’s post is going to be so quick and easy I am almost embarrassed to share. These easy cotton candy meringue cookies took about 10 minutes of prep time and 1 hour of cook time. Seriously one of the easiest treats I’ve made in ages.
I was decorating my little brother’s birthday cake when Patrick’s daughter wondered into the kitchen. Lately, the kids have been so wrapped up in Pokemon that they really haven’t asked to help out in the kitchen. So when Sophia asked if we could make cookies for dessert I needed to find something fast and easy.
These meringue cookies were inspired by the sprinkles sitting on the counter in all honesty. I had never made a meringue cookie before, but I knew they were fairly simple. So into the bowl I tossed my egg whites, cream of tartar, and sugar. Boom and done.
Easy meringue cookies that taste a lot like cotton candy!
For the cookie
4 egg whites at room temp
⅛ tsp of cream of tartar
¾ cup of sugar
2 tbsp of vanilla extract
food coloring if you choose
For the frosting
½ cup of unsalted butter
2 cups of powdered sugar
1 tbsp of vanilla extract
1 tsp of heavy cream
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees and line a baking sheet with a mat or parchment paper.
In a clean dry mixing bowl whip the egg whites and cream of tartar.
After about 2 minutes slowly add in the sugar.
When the mix begins to resemble whipped cream add in the extract and food colorings.
Whip until you can turn the bowl upside down and the egg whites stay put!
Fill a pastry bag or ziplock with the egg whites and pipe onto the pan.
I made little nests.
Bake for one hour until firm and crisp.
Do not let brown.
Let cool for 20 minutes.
For the frosting:
Whip the ingredients on medium high for about 5 minutes then pipe into the meringue nests.
Sprinkle again :p
You can definitely skip the buttercream, but I think that adds to the cotton candy flavor. Feel free to change up the shape too! These are so fun to make and easy to customize! Perfect melt in your mouth goodness.
Easy Caramel Pineapple Cake. I say easy because the cake part is easy. The cookies and decorating take a little bit more time, but you cake throw together the cake portion very quickly. The caramel and fresh pineapple melt together perfectly with each whipped icing bite. You can definitely use a premade caramel, but I personally love this home made version.
World Market always has my favorite cookie cutters. Last winter I found this perfect pineapple cookie cutter and I have been dying to use it ever since!
The weather has been so gloomy and I knew this would be the perfect time for this bright cake. You don’t have to make the cookies for this recipe, but I just love how they turned out. This icing is definitely sweet, but paired with the mellow cake and fresh fruit I think it worked out well. You can definitely add a little more cream or butter to lower the sugaring taste.
Vanilla cake layered with caramel, fresh pineapple, and whipped caramel icing.
For the cake:
Your favorite vanilla cake recipe or a boxed vanilla mix.
For this recipe I used the Betty Crocker Vanilla Cake Mix
⅓ cup of canola oil
1 cup of whole milk
2 tbsps of caramel sauce
For the caramel sauce:
1 stick of salted butter
1 cup of brown sugar
1 cup of heavy cream
For the filling:
½ cup of chopped fresh pineapple
For the icing:
3 cups of powdered sugar
1 tbsp of vanilla extract
1½ sticks of unsalted butter
⅓ cup of cream
2 tbsps of caramel sauce
For the cookies:
1¾ cups of AP flour
⅛ tsp of baking soda
⅛ tsp of baking powder
1 stick of unsalted butter
⅛ tsp of salt
1 tsp of vanilla extract
½ cup of sugar
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
In a sauce pan melt the butter over medium heat.
Add in the brown sugar and stir quickly.
Leave mixture until it begins to bubble.
Lower the heat and add in the cream.
Carefully mix until the caramel comes together.
Set to the side to cool.
Mix together the ingredients for the cake batter.
Pour the cake batter into prepared 6 inch pans I used 2 and had a little left over. You can also use 3 pans or 2 8 inch pans.
Bake for 25 minutes or until the tops are golden brown.
While the cake is baking mix together the cookie dough.
In the mixture cream the butter and sugar.
Add in the egg and vanilla.
Mix in the dry ingredients.
The dough will come together quickly.
Spread a little powdered sugar on a clean area and add the dough.
With a rolling pin roll out the dough to about an inch thick.
Cut out the pineapples and place on a lined baking sheet.
Bake at 350 for about 8 minutes or until the sides look slightly golden brown.
While the cookies cool wrap the cake layers in plastic wrap.
Freeze while you make the frosting.
This keeps the layers from drying out and keeps the crumbs in place.
For the icing:
Whip the butter and caramel.
Add in the powdered sugar.
Mix in the vanilla.
Slowly add in the cream and any food colorings.
I used the wilton yellow food coloring for the enter icing then kept a small part to the side and added a little wilton blue to make a bright green icing.
Take the cake layers out and line each inside layer with the icing as a barrier.
Pour over a little caramel.
Top with pineapples.
Stacks the layers and ice the cake.
Decorate the cake and cookies and assemble.
Yes this cake takes a while to decorate, but the cake itself can be made quickly and is quite delicious. I know this will be one of my go to recipes this summer. I like this cake served slightly chilled because it keeps the pineapple tasting nice and fresh. You can keep it in a refrigerator for up to 3 days.
I hope you enjoy this recipe! If you decide to recreate don’t forget to tag me!