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This is a delicious no-churn ice cream made with the first fruit of summer: rhubarb. The recipe comes from Older Mommy Still Yummy.

  • Ingredients
  • 3 cups chopped rhubarb
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 14oz. can sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 cups whipping cream, whipped

In a saucepan, stir together rhubarb and sugar. Cook, stirring frequently, until rhubarb is tender and starts to fall apart. Remove from heat and let cool. Chill until cold. This may take a couple hours in the refrigerator.

Remove about 1/2 cup of rhubarb mixture and set aside. Mix together the remaining rhubarb mixture and the sweetened condensed milk. Fold in the whipping cream, about a third at a time until the whipping cream is well incorporated.

Pour into a freezer-safe dish or dishes. I like to use small plastic tubs, they’re about 1-1/2 cups each, because the ice cream freezes faster and I can give them away without giving it ALL away and takes up less space in the freezer as they’re used up. But you can put it into one large dish if you want. Once you’ve got the ice cream divvied up, take the remaining 1/2 cup rhubarb and dollop onto the top and then run a utensil through it to make swirls. This is the wow factor of the ice cream, that pop of rhubarb tartness. Super yummy!

Everyone knows how to make 7-Layer Bars, right? Well, in case you don’t, here are the instructions. This is the easiest, yummiest recipe to assuage that chocolate craving right now (or in thirty minutes anyway)!

  • Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) of butter
  • 1 cup (or 1 pack) of crushed graham crackers
  • 1 cup shredded coconut (sweetened or unsweetened . . . it does not matter)
  • 2 cups chips (chocolate, white chocolate, milk chocolate, butterscotch, peanut butter, whatever kind you like or have on hand or a mixture . . . it does not matter)
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 cup raw chopped nuts (walnuts, pecans, almonds, whatever . . . it does not matter)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Melt butter in a 9×13″ pan. Tip the pan to make sure the bottom, and up the sides a little bit, is coated with melted butter. Sprinkle the graham cracker crumbs evenly over the melted butter on the bottom only of the pan. Sprinkle the shredded coconut over the crumbs. Sprinkle the chips over the coconut layer. Pour sweetened condensed milk over all. Sprinkle with nuts. Bake at 350 degrees F for thirty minutes. Remove from heat. Let cool if you can wait. Serve. Tastes great warm and melty or cold and less messy.

NOTE: What you see pictured here is two cups total of semi-sweet chocolate chips, white chocolate chips and milk chocolate chips. I had several bags with just a few chips left in them so I mixed it all together. I used sliced almonds for the nut component. The “usual” 7-Layer Bar would be semi-sweet chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, and chopped walnuts. I’ve never used salted, roasted nuts before, but that might be good. If you used gluten-free graham cracker crumbs, this could be a gluten-free dish.

This recipe is from Ali at Alexandra’s Kitchen. I wish I had Alaska wild blueberries to use in this cake, but store-bought will have to do. It is delicious no matter what kind of blues you use.

  • Ingredients
  • 1 cup sugar, divided
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
  • Zest of one large lemon
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract (or paste)
  • 2 cups flour, divided
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter an 8″ square baking dish (and use parchment paper if you so desire).

Remove a Tbsp. of sugar from a cup of it (use the Tbsp. later). Cream together butter, scant one cup sugar, and lemon zest in a mixer until light and fluffy. Stir in egg and vanilla until well mixed.

In a separate bowl whisk together 1-3/4 cup flour, baking powder, and salt.

In another bowl toss the blueberries with the 1/4 cup remaining flour. Set aside.

Add half the flour/baking powder mixture to the mixer and give it a few turns to incorporate the flour. Pour in the buttermilk and stir until mixed. Stir in remaining flour mixture until just moistened. Pluck the set-aside blueberries out of the flour and, by hand, stir them into the batter. Discard any leftover flour from the blueberries. The batter is very, very thick. Dollop the batter into the prepared baking dish and smooth out the top as best you can. Sprinkle the top with the remaining 1 Tbsp. sugar.

Bake at 350 degrees F for 40-50 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand 10 minutes. Remove cake from baking dish or serve from the dish. Good morning!

Notes: Ali says you can use different sizes of baking dishes, so you would reduce the cooking time depending upon the dish size. I use an 8″ square glass pan and it takes about 50 minutes to bake through. I always have buttermilk on hand, it has so many uses. If you do not have buttermilk there are ways to create a liquid that forces the correct chemical reaction in the cake as buttermilk. Ali talks about it at her site or you can do a search for “Buttermilk substitutes” for ideas.

This dish is also known as a puff pancake. The recipe is based upon one by recipegirl. I was recently gifted a non-stick cast iron Dutch oven. The lid is multi-use and may be used as a skillet. If you do not have a cast-iron skillet, or one that is bake-proof, then a 9×13″ baking dish should work fine.

  • Ingredients
  • 4 eggs (I use extra large)
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. lemon zest
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 1 to 1-1/2 cups fresh berries
  • Syrup or powdered sugar (optional)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Put your skillet into oven as it’s heating.

In a blender or food processor, mix together eggs, milk, flour, sugar, lemon zest, and salt.

Remove the skillet from oven and place butter into it. Return to oven until butter has melted.

Pour batter over melted butter. Sprinkle berries over the top of the batter. Place the skillet back into the oven for 18-22 minutes. Remove from oven and serve sprinkled with powdered sugar or with syrup, however you like it.

Serves 4

People joke about holiday fruit cakes and I get that. But there are people who genuinely enjoy them, my father, my husband, and myself being three of them. I inherited my mother-in-law’s recipe box when she passed away on Good Friday 1991. I think I had actually started making these fruit cakes prior to that, but I really didn’t get into the swing of it, realizing that the brandy was key, until just a few years ago. In 2019 I made two batches and sent my dad a couple different loaves, soaked in brandy. Soaked. My husband and I took a loaf out of the freezer last month, and oh my, it was the best ever! So, here we go, this is what you do . . .

  • Ingredients
  • 3 oz. candied diced lemon peel
  • 3 oz. candied diced orange peel
  • 1/4 # candied chopped pineapple
  • 1/4 # candied diced citron
  • 1/2 # chopped pitted dates
  • 1/2 # candied cherries, halved
  • 1/2 # raisins
  • 1/4 # rough chopped walnuts
  • 1/4 # rough chopped pecans
  • 1/4 cup flour, for dredging
  • 1 cup shortening
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 5 eggs, well beaten
  • 1-1/2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. allspice
  • 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1/4 cup orange or grape juice
  • Apx. 3 cups brandy

In a very large bowl (mine is 32 cups), dredge fruit and nuts in 1/4 cup flour and set aside.

Preheat oven to 250 degrees F. Prepare three 3-1/2 x 7-1/2″ loaf pans by spraying with non-stick spray and lining with parchment paper, allowing at least a 1/2″ overhang on all sides of pans. Heat 2 cups water to boiling in another pan.

In a separate bowl (I use a stand mixer) cream sugar and shortening. Add honey, then eggs, and beat well. Sift remaining dry ingredients and stir in alternately with fruit juice — beat thoroughly. Pour batter over floured fruit in the very large bowl and mix well.

Dollop the batter evenly into the pans, but do not flatten the batter down. Place pan with boiling water in the oven and also place loaves into oven. If you have the shelf space, put the boiling water pan on a rack beneath the loaves. Mine gets all crowded in there together on the same rack. No problem. The loaves do NOT go into the water. Bake at 250 degrees F for 3 to 4 hours.

Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature. Wrap each loaf in a cloth. Place the loaves into a shallow pan with sides (9 X 13″ Pyrex baking dish works great). Pour apx. 3 cups brandy (half of a 1.75 L bottle) evenly over the loaves in the baking pan, a bit at a time. Let sit, uncovered, for a couple days. Unwrap, slice and serve, or place into plastic freezer bags, cloth and all, and pop into the freezer. Thaw, unwrap, slice and serve. My, oh, my is that ever a rich dessert!

Yield: 3 Loaves

This recipe is based upon one found in The Kids in the Kitchen Cookbook by Lois Levine (Macmillan Co, 1968). I had this cookbook from my teenage years, but didn’t really use it A LOT until I had kids. The gender role assumptions are hilarious to read now, but the recipes are very good. We have made this dessert regularly since 1998. It is super simple to make. (More better photos next time!)

  • Ingredients
  • 1 cup graham cracker crumbs (Gluten-Free Graham Crackers work well, if needed)
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1 lb. cream cheese, softened
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • Pie filling

Mix together graham cracker crumbs and melted butter. Press into 24 paper-lined muffin cups.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Beat together cream cheese, eggs, sugar, and vanilla until smooth. Divide evenly into prepared muffin cups. Bake at 350 degrees F for 10-15 minutes, until set. Cool. Top each with 1 Tbsp. of your favorite pie filling.

You can remove the paper liners before adding the pie filling or have your guests remove them after serving. These are very easy to transport while in the paper liners.

For such a fancy dessert, this is incredibly easy to make. Yes, you should use a kitchen blowtorch. Raiza Costa has a way to get that sugary, crackly topping by using a hot spoon, but I don’t know about that. Alternatively, you could broil them. I was gifted a kitchen blowtorch long ago, thank you very much. This recipe is based upon one found at foodnetwork. It’s an Ina Garten recipe from Barefoot in Paris, 2004. I first made it in 2010.

  • Ingredients
  • 4 extra-large egg yolks
  • 1 extra-large egg
  • 1/2 cup sugar, plus more to sprinkle on each serving
  • 3 cups heavy cream
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract or paste
  • 1 Tbsp. Grand Marnier

You will need 6 6-oz custard cups (or equivalent); a baking pan to place the custard cups in (mine is 10×15″); a tea towel; boiling water for the bain-marie; a kitchen blowtorch.

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.

Mix egg yolks, egg, and sugar together until just combined. Scald cream in a saucepan until it’s very hot to the touch, but not boiling. Slowly add the cream to the egg mixture, stirring well. Add the vanilla and Grand Marnier. Pour into the custard cups.

Prepare a bain marie by placing a tea towel on the bottom of your baking pan and setting the custard cups on top of the towel. Pour boiling water into the baking pan until it comes about half way up the sides of the custard cups. Carefully move the baking pan into the oven.

Bake at 300 degrees F for 35-40 minutes, until the custard is set when gently shaken. Remove the cups from the water, cool to room temperature, and refrigerate until firm.

Prior to serving, sprinkle sugar across the top of each custard and heat with a kitchen blowtorch until the sugar caramelizes. Allow to sit at room temperature for a minute until the caramelized sugar hardens. Serves 6.

Notes: I use vanilla paste instead of extract and that’s why you see tiny black specks. I have eaten this warm, without the sugar topping, and it’s wonderful. I’ve used a combination of 4-oz custard cups and soup mugs and other assorted sizes of dishes — just remove the smaller ones from the bain marie first, then remove the others as they set.

This is our all-time favorite pie. The recipe ingredients are found in 1961’s Out of Alaska’s Kitchens. I marked my copy with the notation that I first made this on March 19, 1989. The secret ingredient is the orange juice. It’s amazing how well rhubarb pairs with oranges.

  • Ingredients
  • 4-5 cups sliced rhubarb
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup Minute (quick) tapioca
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1-1/2 cups sliced strawberries
  • 1 Tbsp. butter
  • 9″ double-crust pie shell

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Yes, very hot!

In a large bowl, stir together rhubarb and sugar. Stir in nutmeg and tapioca. Stir in orange juice. Stir in strawberries. Let stand 10 minutes.

Pour mixture into 9″ pie shell. Dot with butter. Cut slits into the top crust and then place it atop the filling. Seal the edges.

Place into a 450 degree oven for 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to 350 degrees F and bake for another 40-50 minutes. You will know it is finished when the bubbles, seen through the slits, burst slowly.

Remove from oven and cool. May be served warm or at room temperature.

Enjoy!

This recipe originates at Taste of Home. It satisfies both your sweet tooth and your chocolate craving in three layers. There is no baking involved, so it makes a great summertime treat.

  • First Layer
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup baking cocoa
  • 1 egg yolk, room temperature
  • 2 cups graham cracker crumbs (I crushed one packet)
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar (confectioners’ sugar)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract or paste

Prepare a 9×13″ pan by spraying with non-stick spray or greasing.

In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt butter and stir in baking cocoa. Stir over heat until mixture is smooth. Temper the egg yolk by whisking a little of the hot mixture into the egg yolk, continue whisking and add a bit more hot mixture. Then stir the egg yolk mix into the butter/cocoa in the saucepan. Continue stirring constantly over medium heat for 2-3 minutes until mixture thickens. Remove from heat and stir in graham cracker crumbs, powdered sugar, and vanilla. Stir until well mixed. Press into the prepared pan and refrigerate until the next layer is ready.

  • Second Layer
  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • 1/3 cup Kahlua
  • 3 cups powdered sugar

Stir Kahlua into melted butter until well mixed. Stir in powdered sugar. Spread over First Layer (it’s okay if it’s still warm). Refrigerate until set.

  • Third Layer
  • 1/4 cup butter, cubed
  • 3 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips

Melt together until smooth. Spread over top of the chilled and set Second Layer. Refrigerate until set.

Cut into serving pieces and serve!

Store in refrigerator.

I am supposed to be onboard Celebrity Reflection in the middle of the Atlantic headed to Madeira and Ireland right now, but instead I’m at home under quarantine. Sigh. One of the highlights of cruising with Celebrity is the free scoops of gelato associated with our loyalty program. My favorite flavor is pistachio. In memory of this, I found an easy no-churn recipe for pistachio ice cream at Simply Scratch. The flavor is deeply rich and luxurious.

  • Ingredients
  • 1 cup lightly-salted shelled pistachio nuts
  • 1 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract or paste
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • Chopped pistachio nuts (optional)

Using a food processor (I used my Cuisinart mini-prep), process pistachios into smooth butter. This takes time, be patient. I had to scrape my bowl many times. I stopped once I saw liquid (oil). It did not turn out as smooth as I would like, but it worked fine.

In a large bowl, mix pistachio butter with sweetened condensed milk and vanilla. Mix thoroughly.

In a separate large bowl, whip heavy whipping cream into stiff peaks. I used a stand mixer with a whisk attachment.

Carefully fold the whipped cream into the pistachio mixture until well blended. Remember to fold, not stir. Patience!

If you want pieces of pistachio in your ice cream, or on top of your ice cream, do that now. I like my ice cream smooth, so I didn’t add any extra nuts. Place into a container, cover, and freeze for at least 4 hours. When you’re ready to serve, you may have to let it set out for a bit. Mine was easy to scoop out, I didn’t have to let it sit.

This is SO yummy!