It Is Almost Summer Time…

With each season, I get excited for certain things I get to start making. With summer, I get excited for strawberries. My absolute, hands down favorite dessert is strawberry shortcake. I have loved this dessert for a very long time. Anything strawberry rhubarb is a close second as well.

So now that we’re starting to get good strawberries, I wanted to share some of my favorite summer desserts. And over the course of the summer, I’ll try to get a bunch of step by step recipes of my own up on the blog.

1) Strawberry Rhubarb Bars – My version is pictured below

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2) Lemon Cake with Whipped Cream Frosting and Strawberries (see my post here) – Dave’s version for my birthday last year is pictured below, as well as one I just made today for a friend’s birthday

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Dark Chocolate Tart with Gingersnap Crust

So if you read my post from Wednesday, you know that I served this for a dinner party recently. What you don’t know is that it was so good, that I’ve already served it at a second dinner party. I have been making this same crust for years (my mom taught it to me) and it’s amazing. And the best part is it has two ingredients, store bought gingersnaps and butter. Doesn’t get much easier than that and the flavor is amazing. The other perk to this crust is that if you are GF, it’s really easy to make with GF gingersnaps (which you can find at Trader Joes).
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My Favorite Meal of The Week – BBQ Chicken Cornbread Pie

Last weekend, I decided to give into Dave’s Sunday football plans by making something for dinner that seemed like the perfect football food. I had been meaning to try a dish from one of my favorite food blogs – Table for Two – and decided to do the BBQ Chicken Cornbread Pie, which seemed like the perfect option for football Sunday.  And oh my god, I am so glad I did. It was relatively easy, and so delicious! Dave and I had to stop ourselves from eating the entire dish. You can find the recipe here and I definitely recommend checking out the rest of the blog.

The first two pictures below are before placing it in the broiler, and the last picture is right before I ate way too much!

My only notes on the original recipe are:

  • I’d probably do less brown sugar. The dish was delicious, but it was almost too sweet for me, so if you wanted to make it healthier, you could easily cut down the sugar.
  • I cooked the chicken myself. I just did it in a pan on the stove with some oil, and then shredded the chicken in my stand mixer like the recipe recommended.
  • I didn’t need to put the pie in the broiler for the full three minutes. At two minutes the top was already starting to brown, so I’d recommend watching it.
  • Lastly, I bought Trader Joe’s cornbread mix, instead of the corn muffin mix as recommended in the recipe. Mainly I was just too lazy to go to a second store, but it worked. I only used half of the mix because the mix I bought was twice the size. My box mix also said to include oil (instead of butter like in this recipe), so I stuck with oil and it worked out.

Pies and Crumbles

I am a big proponent of baking things from scratch in almost every case. Home baked goods taste better and are so much more satisfying than anything store bought.  That being said, I do think there are a few exceptions to this rule. One of these is pie crust. My mom taught me how to make Julia Child’s pie crust. And while yes, I do think it is delicious, I really can’t tell the difference between hers and the store bought ones. The focus of a pie is always the filling, and so as long as you have a crust that supports the pie with flaky buttery layers, I don’t think you can go wrong.

That being said, fruit pies and crisps have to be one of the easiest desserts ever.  People love them, they are less sinful than a cake or cookie, and can be prepped ahead of time and baked while eating dinner.

With all of these apples I have right now, I’ve been baking pies and crisps like crazy. Dave and I have almost single handedly put away 3 pies/crumble in the last couple of weeks. It has to be one of the best all around meals.

So now on to the important part of how to make these lovely pies and crisps.

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