Why This Blog?

Welcome!

Come in and make yourself at home. I'm so happy to be able to share my recipes here with you.

I bake mostly cookies, quick breads, muffins and scones -- sometimes pie, sometimes cake, but nothing too fancy. I prefer simple recipes that call for ingredients that I already have in my kitchen.

These are the recipes I will share with you. They come from family and friends, magazine clippings saved through the years, favorite cookbooks, and other blogs.

I'm so glad you came to visit. Enjoy your stay!

Michael Ann

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Lemon Chess Pie

I've had this recipe sitting in my files for years. I don't even know where it came from. I would see it in there and think, "I really should try that recipe," but something held me back. I've never made or even tasted any kind of chess pie and wasn't sure if I'd like it.  Of course, how would I know if I never tried it?

So, today I took the plunge. It's a gray and cold day and I wanted to bake something new. I had all the ingredients and no excuse not to.

So how did it turn out? Great! It was really good. Tasted like a cross between a lemon cream and a lemon meringue pie. Smooth and creamy and nicely tart and lemony.  Definitely best when completely cooled. We got a little eager and cut it too soon!


Lemon Chess Pie

4 eggs at room temperature
1-1/2 cups sugar
1 TB white or yellow cornmeal
1 TB flour
1/2 tsp salt (omit if you use salted butter)
1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
1/2 cup buttermilk* at room temperature
1/3 cup lemon juice at room temperature
1 TB finely grated lemon zest
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 unbaked 9-inch pie crust**
Whipped cream for serving

Preheat the oven to 350-F.

In a large bowl, briefly whisk the eggs to blend. Add remaining ingredients in order, one at a time, whisking after each addition to make sure it has been incorporated.

Pour the filling into the unbaked pie crust. Bake in the middle of the oven for 30-40 minutes, until the pie is golden on top and almost set.  The center of the pie should be slightly loose; it will set as it cools. Remove the pie to a cooling rack and cool completely before serving.

*If you don't have buttermilk on hand, put 1/2 tsp vinegar or lemon juice in 1/2 cup liquid measuring cup and add milk. Let sit a few minutes.

** Please take a few minutes to make your own pie crust. It is so worth it!

Pie Crust
1-1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup Crisco
4-5 TB ice cold water

Whisk together flour and salt.  Add Crisco in small dallops, and cut in with pastry cutter.  Add ice water 1 TB at a time and mix with a fork.  When dough is workable, turn out onto a floured surface and roll with a rolling pin until large enough to put into  the pie plate.   Fold the circle in 1/2 to transfer to pie dish. Open it up, press into plate and crimp edges.  Fill and bake as directed.


Happy Baking!


Tuesday, January 13, 2015

When life gives you lemons...

Here in Northern California, lemon trees are bursting with fruit at this time of year. What to do with all those lemons?  Too many things to list... but since I'm a baker, that is where my mind travels first. I have a number of lemon recipes on my blog which I've compiled here in one spot for your convenience!  Get those lemons out and start baking!



Lemon Crumb Muffins













                                    Lemon Brownies











Lemon Bundt Cake












                                Lemon Crinkles










Lemon Blueberry Biscuits











Lemon Pecan Bread











Lemon Yogurt Cake









 Lemon Cream Bars











Lemon Chess Pie


 



Happy Baking!


Saturday, May 10, 2014

Almond Poppy Seed Muffins



I made these in honor of my friend Kari, whose love of a particular poppy seed muffin at a particular local coffee shop, inspired me to look for a recipe she might like.  The one she likes has almonds on the top too.  I found this recipe on the Betty Crocker website. 

These are easy and very tasty! My only complaint was that the recipe is supposed to make 12 and I only got 8. I do like to fill the muffin cups pretty high, so maybe that is why.  Next time I will double the recipe.

Almond Poppy Seed Muffins

½ cup sugar
1/3 cup canola or vegetable oil
1 egg
½  tsp almond extract
½ cup sour cream
¼ cup milk
1-1/3 cups  flour
½ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp baking soda
2 TB poppy seeds
3 tsp raw or granulated sugar
2 TB sliced almonds

Preheat oven to 375-F.  Line a 12 cup muffin tin with paper liners or spray with PAM for baking.
In a large bowl, whisk together ½ cup sugar, oil, egg and almond extract.  Whisk in sour cream and milk until blended.  In a smaller bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and poppy seeds. Stir into wet ingredients until well blended.  Scoop into muffin cups until almost full.  Sprinkle with sugar and sliced almonds.

Bake ~15 minutes or until golden brown and top springs back.  Remove from pan and cool on wire rack.

Happy Baking!

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Refreshing Lime Pie



Here is a recipe from a 1999 Taste of Home cookbook that I scored at a used book store for $1!  It is delicious and very easy to make.  This is a perfect spring and summer dessert that you can whip up in 30 minutes.  It got two thumbs up in my house!

1 envelope unflavored gelatin
½ cup cold water
1 pkg (3 oz) lime gelatin
½ cup boiling water
24 oz Key Lime Pie yogurt
1-1/2 cups whipped topping
1 store bought cookie or graham cracker crust (8 inches)

In a small bowl, sprinkle unflavored gelatin over cold water; let stand for 1 minute.  In another larger bowl, dissolve the lime gelatin in boiling water; stir in unflavored gelatin until dissolved.  Refrigerate for 10 minutes. Stir in the yogurt. Chill until partially set (about 10 minutes).  Fold in the whipped topping. Pour into crust. Chill until firm. 

Recipe from Mildred Baker
1999 Taste of Home Annual Recipes

Happy Baking!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Baker's Square Copy-Cat Chocolate Silk Pie


My family has been bemoaning the closure of Baker's Square restaurant for however many years (five?). We LOVED their pies, especially the Chocolate Silk Pie. This is what I would request for my birthday every year.

Last week when my oldest son had his 17th birthday, he said, "I wish Baker's Square was still open. I would request the Chocolate Silk Pie." I agreed with him,  then I thought, "Why not see if there is a copy-cat recipe on-line?" I did a search and found this recipe that looked like it would work. Other chocolate pie recipes I've made in the past, taste more like pudding in a crust. The Baker's Square pie is different-- it's more like a sweet chocolate mousse in a crust.

This recipe hit the nail on the head. It was AMAZING and got thumbs up from my son. Yay!! We hit the jackpot! And you will too if you make it. But please..... don't buy a frozen pie crust. Make your own! It's easy and tastes SO much better!

Here's the link to the recipe:

Baker's Square Chocolate French Silk Pie

Plain Pastry
For one 8, 9 or 10-inch crust
1-1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt 
1/2 cup Crisco
 4-5 TB cold water

In a large bowl, whisk together flour and salt.  Cut the shortening in with a pastry cutter til crumbly.  Add 4-5 TB water and toss with a fork until it forms a ball.  Roll into a large enough circle to fit your pie dish. Crimp edges. Prick bottom and sides with a fork. Bake at 450-F for 10-12 minutes or til golden.

Happy Baking!

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Pumpkin Scones


Here's a wonderful recipe for the pumpkin season! I found it at Sweet Pea's Kitchen, a fabulous blog that I frequent often.  I decided to go ahead and write up my own version of the recipe because I use a different method of baking scones than she does. I pretty much bake all my scones the same way, no matter what the recipe. I whisk the dry ingredients together, grate in the butter, then add the liquid.  I pat the dough in an 8-inch circle on a cookie sheet, cut into 8 wedges, and bake.  This way you don't have to roll out the dough.  I'm a lazy baker and any short cuts I can take, I will :-) 

I also like to use a plain glaze instead of the spiced one she uses. Just my own personal preference. If you don't like sweet scones, you can certainly leave off the glaze.

Pumpkin Scones

2 cups flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 TB baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp cloves
1/4 tsp ginger
6 TB cold butter
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
3 TB half-and-half
1 large egg


Preheat oven to 450-F.  Lightly butter an 8-inch circle in the middle of a large cookie sheet.

In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. Grate in the butter and mix until it resembles cornmeal. In a small bowl, mix together the pumpkin, egg and 1/2 and 1/2.  Add to dry mixture and stir until dough is formed.

Put the dough onto the prepared cookie sheet and pat into an 8-inch circle. Using a knife or pizza roller, cut the dough into 8 wedges (but leave in the circle).

Bake for 18-20 minutes until golden brown. Remove from oven, recut the scones, then cool.

Glaze with a simple powdered sugar glaze (about 1 cup powdered. sugar and 1-2 TB milk).

Happy Baking!

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