Baked Oatmeal with Fruit

It’s not very often that I see a recipe one day and then make it the very next, but that was the case with this recipe.  I knew I had raspberries on hand that needed to be used up, and I had plenty of time to make it. {This was over a month ago by the way. I just never got around to posting.}  I was pretty happy with the results and was excited that I was able to eat the leftovers every morning for the rest of this week since Tim isn’t a fan of oats unless they’re found in cookies.

While I did like this flavor, I don’t think I’ll use raspberries again in the future.  They were just slightly too tart for me.  So, I”ll probably go with blueberries next time, and then after that I might try peaches, or an apple and cranberry combo or cinnamon, apple and raisins. 🙂

*Actually since it took so long from when I wrote this entry to actually adding the picture and posting, I have made it again.  I used 2 bananas, blueberries, pecans, and also added 1/2 cup of ground flax.  Delicious!  I debated pretty hard about adding some coconut, but chickened out.  I’ll definitely try that some other time. 🙂  I probably should have added a little more milk since I added the flax, it was noticeably dryer and I should have know better.

Baked Oatmeal with Fruit

Source:  Annie’s Eats

1 cup old fashioned rolled oats
¼ cup chopped walnuts or pecans, lightly toasted, divided {I used sliced almonds}
½ tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
Pinch of salt
¼ cup maple syrup
1 cup milk {I used vanilla almond milk}
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2-3 ripe bananas, peeled and sliced ½-inch thick {I used two bananas}
1 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen), divided {I used fresh raspberries}

Preheat the oven to 375˚ F.  Lightly grease a 2-quart baking dish.  In a medium bowl, combine the rolled oats, half of the nuts, baking powder, cinnamon and salt.  Stir with a fork to combine.  In a liquid measuring cup, combine the maple syrup, milk, egg, butter, and vanilla.  Spread the sliced bananas in a single layer over the bottom of the baking dish.  Top with half of the berries.  Sprinkle the dry oat mixture over the fruit in an even layer.  Pour the liquid ingredients evenly over the oats.  Sprinkle the remaining nuts and berries over the top.  Bake for 35-40 minutes, until the top is browned and the oats have set.  Let cool 10 minutes before serving.

Serve with additional maple syrup if you wish.

Yield – about 5 servings.

Strawberry Banana Popsicle

I’d like to believe that summer’s not quite over even though we’ve had some cooler weather recently.  So, its still the perfect time to enjoy some popsicles!  My mind is already racing with other flavor combinations, but this time I went with strawberry & banana since it is a duo that’s always sure to please.


Strawberry Banana Popsicles

2 cups whole, frozen strawberries

1 medium banana, sliced into chunks

1/2 cup plain greek yogurt

1/2 cup vanilla almond milk {could also use coconut milk or skim milk}

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 cup honey {could use agave nectar or maple syrup}

Combine all ingredients in a blender.  Add more almond milk to reach a smooth consistency if needed – you want it more runny than a milkshake but still somewhat thick.  Pour into Popsicle molds and place in the freezer for at least 6 hours.


Other flavors I’m anxious to try:

Orange Creamsicle – orange juice, vanilla Greek yogurt, coconut milk, vanilla extract, and honey or agave nectar.

Fudgsicles – 2 frozen bananas, cocoa powder, milk, vanilla extract

Frappuccino – vanilla almond milk, coffee ice cubes, Hershey’s chocolate syrup, sugar or sweetener

Whole Fruit Pops – grapes, strawberries (sliced), kiwi (sliced), blueberries, raspberries placed in molds with white grape juice to fill

Pina colada – pineapple chunks, coconut milk, coconut flakes, plain yogurt, sweetener

I can’t wait to make these and other creations!  Let me know if you try them or if you have any other favorite flavors.

Rhubarb Crisp

My sister grows rhubarb and she graciously gave me some to bake with about a week ago.  After deliberating with Tim, I decided on this simple rhubarb crisp.

Also, sorry about not adding pictures at the moment, my computer is still on the fritz.

Rhubarb Crisp

Source:  grocery store flyer


1.5 cups flour, plus 2 Tablespoons

1 cup packed brown sugar

1 cup granulated sugar

2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp salt

1 cup old-fashioned oats

1 cup ( 2 sticks ) butter, cold and cut into small pieces

2.5 pounds fresh rhubarb, coarse ends removed and cut into 1/2″ pieces (about 8 cups) – I used appprox 6 cups rhubarb and 2 cups chopped fresh strawberries.

ice cream for serving

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a large bowl, whisk together 1.5 cups flour, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/2 granulated sugar, 1 tsp cinnamon, and 1/4 tsp salt until well mixed.  Add oats and stir to combine.  With fingertips or pastry blender, cut in butter until pea sized crumbs form (will be dry).

In a large bowl, stir rhubarb (and strawberries) with remaining 2 Tbsp flour, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/2 cup granulated sugar, 1 tsp cinnamon, and 1/4 tsp salt until well combined.  Spread rhubarb mixture evenly into lightly sprayed 13″ x 9″ glass or ceramic baking dish.  Sprinkle oat mixture evenly over rhubarb mixture.

Bake 45 to 55 minutes or until top is golden brown; let stand 10 minutes before serving.  Serve warm with ice cream.


Strawberry Hand Pies

I have wanted to make hand pies for about 2 years now and never got around to it until now!  I’ve seen the little hand-held pies all over the blogs that I read, so I finally took the plunge.

Because it seems I have to adapt every recipe I make for one reason or another, I adapted this recipe by not using the pastry dough listed below.  I had to do this for a couple of reasons.  For one I was a little short on time, and I already had some of my go-to pastry dough in the freezer.  And two, I thought I was going to share them with my brother-in-law who can’t have milk.  My standard pastry dough does not contain milk and the one shown below does.  But as it turned out, I didn’t share these with him after all. 😉

Just for comparison, I do want to make them again using the recommended dough recipe listed below.

Strawberry Hand Pies

Source:  adapted from Beantown Baker, filling recipe originally from Smitten Kitchen

Pastry Dough
9-1/2 ounces all-purpose flour, approximately 2 cups
2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp kosher salt
2-1/2 ounces shortening, approximately 6 tablespoons
3/4 cup milk

Egg Wash

1 egg mixed with 1 to 2 teaspoons water

2 pounds of strawberries (~4 cups, chopped)
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup sugar
Pinch of salt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Make the Filling
Hull and cut strawberries into small pieces.  Mix them with the flour, sugar and pinch of salt, and add vanilla.

Make the Pastry Dough
In the bowl of a food processor, combine the flour, baking powder and salt.  Pulse for a few seconds and then pour into a large mixing bowl.

Add the shortening and knead it into the flour with your hands until it is crumbly.

Add the milk all at once and mix in with a spatula until it begins to come together.

Lightly flour your hands and the countertop and turn the dough out onto the countertop. Knead the dough ball, folding over 10 to 20 times.

Using a rolling pin roll the dough to 1/3 to 1/2-inch thickness, then cut into rounds using a 2 1/4-inch ring. Roll each round as thinly as possible or to 5 to 6 inches in diameter.

Spoon 1 to 2 tablespoons of filling onto the dough, brush the edges of half of the dough lightly with the egg wash, fold over and seal the edges together with the tines of a fork, dipping it into flour as needed.  Gently press down to flatten and evenly distribute the filling and snip or cut 3 slits in the top of the pie.

Brush a little bit of egg wash on the outside of the pie and sprinkle with coarse decorating sugar.

To bake pies, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Place finished pies onto an ungreased cookie sheet {I used parchment paper} and bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown.

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

I grew up eating rhubarb in many types of desserts and sauces.  And of course it was a favorite on the pie menu at the restaurant I worked at for numerous years.  So, I’m very familiar with it and have always loved eating it, but have been a little afraid to cook or bake with it myself.  I really don’t know why, I guess I thought it would be difficult to clean or something.  But really it is similar to celery, you just rinse it off and slice it.  So once I conquered that fear, I made my first strawberry rhubarb pie!

The only problem I had was major run over as it was baking.  Next time I’ll take a few precautions to be sure I don’t have those problems again.  I’ll put a baking sheet under it to catch drips, not overfill it, and use a traditional top crust instead of the decorative one which may have allowed the juices to easily run over.

Tim loved it of course and he’s already asking me to make another one soon!  The man has loved every pie he’s ever met! 🙂

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

{Source:  adapted from Betty Crocker’s Bridal Edition Cookbook}

pastry dough for double crust pie

2 to 2-1/3 cups sugar*

2/3 cups AP flour

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp grated orange zest – optional

3 cups rhubarb chopped into 1/2″ pieces

3 cups sliced strawberries

1 tablespoon butter

Make the pastry (or have it made ahead and placed in the fridge or freezer}.  Roll it out and place the bottom layer in the pie pan.  Set aside.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Mix sugar, flour, salt, and zest in a large bowl.  Stir in the rhubarb and strawberries.  Pour into the pastry lined pan.

Cut the tablespoon of butter into small pieces and dot over the filling.  Cover with top layer of pastry dough.  Make cuts for venting.  Seal and flute the edges.  Cover edges with foil to prevent over browning. Place on a large baking sheet {to catch run over}.

Bake about 55 minutes or until crust is golden and filling bubbles.  Remove the foil about 10-15 minutes before the end of the baking time.

Cool at least 2 hours.

*If you are using rhubarb that was picked early in the season, the lower amount of sugar will probably be enough.  More mature rhubarb is more tart and needs more sugar added.

Honey Vanilla Pound Cake

Recently, I purchased a large amount of strawberries at a great price, so I wanted to use them in a few new recipes.  I decided on a strawberry rhubarb pie and strawberry shortcake using this pound cake.  Both were terrific and perfect for the heat wave we’re having.  It finally feels like summer and these desserts have summer written all over them!

Ina Garten never disappoints so I knew this would be a hit!  I don’t know whose recipes I like more – the Barefoot Contessa or the Pioneer Woman?!

Honey Vanilla Pound Cake

{Source:  Ina Garten’s Back to Basics cookbook p. 208}

2 sticks of unsalted butter, at cool room temperature {leave it set out for 1 hour}

1-1/4 cups sugar

4 extra large eggs, at room temp

2 tablespoons honey

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1 tsp grated lemon zest

2 cups sifted cake flour {I sifted together 1/4 cup corn starch with 1-3/4 cups Ap flour for a substitute}

1 teaspoon kosher salt {I used 3/4 tsp}

1/2 tsp baking powder

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Grease the bottom of a 8-1/2 x 4-1/2 x 2-1/2-inch loaf pan.  Line the bottom with parchment paper, then grease and flour the entire pan.

With an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar on medium speed for 3-4 minutes, until light.  Meanwhile, put the eggs, honey, vanilla, and zest in a glass measuring cup, but do not combine.

With the mixer on medium-low, add the egg mixture, one egg at a time.  Allow each egg to become incorporated before adding the next egg.  Scrape the paddle and sides of the bowl occasionally.

Sift together the flour, salt, and baking powder.  With the mixer on low, gradually add it to the batter until just combined.  Finish mixing the batter with a rubber spatula and pour it into the prepared pan.  Smooth the top.

Bake for 50-60 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.  {Mine took closer to 60 minutes until a toothpick came out clean and it was quite dark on top, but not burnt…it didn’t affect the taste either.  It may have gotten so dark because I used a coated non-stick pan?  I’ve heard that those cause browning to whatever you are baking.}

Cool for 15 minutes, then turn out onto a baking rack and cool completely.

Enjoy! 🙂

Pineapple Chicken

I think that most home cooks are constantly hunting for new ways to prepare chicken dishes.  I like to serve chicken at least twice a week and really try to prepare it a variety of ways to keep it from being boring.  Thankfully chicken is a really versatile meat.  I adapted this particular recipe from a Vera Bradley cookbook that was given to me by a former coworker.

I thought it was pretty tasty overall.  The pineapple flavor really wasn’t too strong, as I feared it would be.   I do think it was missing a little something, but I can’t put my finger on it.  Although I did omit the teaspoon of rosemary and the slices of lemon that were supposed to be added with the pineapple.  I don’t think that they were what I was missing.  So,  I’ll definitely make this again and will try to come up with what was missing. I will also either use less chicken or make more sauce next time.

Tim hasn’t tried it yet, so I can’t give his response…but I can probably guess that he won’t really like it.  He’ll eat it, but it probably won’t be his favorite.  Now that I have thought about it, I remember that he is not crazy about fruit and meat together.  Oh well!

One other thing I may do in the future is turn this into a grilled meal.  I’d like to try using a variation of the sauce as a marinade, then grill the chicken and pineapple.  I would probably make extra sauce as well to serve on the side in that case.  Tim would probably like it better grilled too.

Pineapple Chicken

3 or 4 chicken breasts, cut in half

one 20 oz can of sliced pineapple, drained and juices reserved

2 cloves of garlic, chopped

2 tsp of Dijon mustard

2 tsp of Worcestershire sauce

2 heaping tsp of corn starch

salt and pepper

{Again, the original recipe called for one tsp of rosemary and the slices of one lemon, but I omitted both.}


Heat oven to 400 degrees.

Season the chicken breast halves with salt and pepper on both sides.  Place in a hot skillet to brown on both sides for a couple of minutes. Then transfer to a large baking dish that has been sprayed with Pam.

Drain the pineapple and reserve the juice.   Set aside the pineapple slices.  Mix the juice with the mustard, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, rosemary, and corn starch.  Pour it over the chicken.  Bake for 20-30 minutes or just until chicken is done.  Remove from oven and add the slices of pineapple {and lemon if using} in among the chicken, basting everything with the sauce.  Return to the oven for another 5-10 minutes.

Serve over rice.

Peach Pie (100th post!)


This is my 100th post!!! I thought I’d never get here!  Isn’t it fitting that my 100th blog post is about pie and this blog is called “Easy As Pie”?  🙂


This year I didn’t get around to making nearly as many pies as I normally do.  But, I did manage to make a few strawberry pies and this peach pie so far.  I’m sure I’ll make a few more closer to the holidays, but I usually make several throughout the summer with the seasonal fruit.  No matter though, this peach pie was delicious enough to put all the other pies that I didn’t make out of our minds.

A note on the pie crust that I always link to – I divide it into 2 portions instead of 3 that way I don’t have to worry about having a skimpy crust since I almost always make deep dish pies.  And, I’m able to make something delicious with the extra dough that gets trimmed away.  You’ll have to stay tuned to see what it is!


If you use a regular depth pie dish, use one less peach and 1/2 cup sugar.

Deep Dish Peach Pie


pie crust dough for a double crust pie {I use this recipe}

about 6 large ripe peaches {or about 5 heaping cups}, sliced very thin

3/4 cup sugar

2 heaping tablespoons flour, plus more for rolling

pinch of salt

2 tablespoons butter, cut into small 1/4″ pieces


Prepare and refrigerate the dough as directed.

Preheat oven to 425 degree.

Wash, peel, and thinly slice the peaches and place them in a large bowl.  When you have enough peaches to equal approximately 5-6 cups, add a pinch of salt and dump on the sugar.  Let set for a few minutes to allow the peaches to get juicy.

Take the dough out of the fridge and flour a clean work surface and rolling pin.  Take one portion of dough and roll it out into a circle that is about 2 inches larger than your pie dish. Don’t roll it much thinner that 1/4″.  Add more flour as you go if needed.  Rips and tears are fixable – just patch, reshape, and press it back together with your fingers.

Carefully flop the dough circle into the dish.  This transfer is easily done if you roll the dough out on a piece of parchment, wax paper, or silicone mat on the work surface.  Then, you just lift and flip the mat over and peel it away when the dough is over the dish.  Once the dough is over the dish, adjust it to fit smoothly against the sides.

Set it aside and grab the bowl of peaches.  Add the 2 heaping tablespoons of flour to the peaches and sugar and give everything a gentle stir.  Pour the fruit evenly into the prepared crust.  Dot the layer of fruit with the 2 tablespoons of cut up butter.

Set it aside and roll out the top crust the same way as the bottom.  Flip it over onto the pie.  Trim away the excess top and bottom dough with a small knife, leaving about a 1/2″ border.  Reserve the scraps of dough buy gathering into a ball of dough, wrapping with plastic wrap and storing in the fridge {post coming soon with more info}.  Tuck and crimp the border of dough however you like, just be sure to create a sealed edge all the way around.

before going in the oven

before going in the oven

Cut vent holes in the top however you like {I used a star cookie cutter in the center and slits made with a knife}.  Cover edges with foil.  Bake for 20 minutes at 425.  Then, leaving the pie in the oven, reduce oven temp to 350 and bake 30-40 more minutes.

Allow to cool several hours before serving.



Homemade Applesauce

This applesauce is a favorite Fall treat in our house!  It also makes the house smell wonderful as it cooks!  Enjoy!


Homemade Applesauce

{adapted from Carrie’s Sweet Life}


about 4 cups of peeled, cored, and chopped apples ~ I usually use 6 small apples

3/4 cups water

1/4 cup Splenda {or regular white sugar}

1 tsp cinnamon ~ or to taste

pinch salt


Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan.  Cover and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until apples are soft {usually 15 minutes does the trick}.  Mash with potato masher or blend with an immersion blender to your desired smoothness/chunkiness.  Allow to cool down and serve or refrigerate.

Makes about 2.5 cups prepared, so feel free to double or triple as needed.  It is the perfect amount for our family of 2 though.