no bake pie

no bake


It’s been heating up fast this Summer and if you’re like me you aren’t willing to give up your baked goods but don’t want to deal with the additional heat of the oven.  So, I gave a the No Bake French Silk Pie recipe posted on A Cup of Jo last month.  It was easy to throw together, I think it took me less than an hour from start to finish.  The only time consuming thing was beating in the eggs but I just multitasked and did all my dishes.  It turned out great and the only thing I might change when I make it next time is a little less honey or maybe agave instead, otherwise it I’d keep the recipe the same.  I’d serve it with a more bitter drink, like espresso to cut down on the sweetness.

*Forgot to mention.  I did not make the whipped topping because I didn’t think it would keep and would get runny with the heat.


Recipe: No-Bake French Silk Pie
By Tieghan Gerard of Half-Baked Harvest 

For the Pretzel Crust

1 ¾ cups crushed pretzels
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
¼ cup honey

For the Pie Filling
6 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup (2 sticks) salted butter, softened to room temperature.
1 cup granulated sugar (add ¼ cup more if you prefer sweeter)
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
4 whole eggs

How you make it:

Grease an 8 or 9-inch pie plate or spring form pan. 

In a medium bowl, mix the melted butter and honey together until smooth. Add the crushed pretzels and mix until combined. Press mixture firmly against the bottom and sides of your pie plate. Place in the fridge.

In a small microwave safe bowl melt 6 ounces of semi-sweet chocolate on 30-second intervals, stirring after each, until melted and smooth (about 1-2 minutes).

In a large bowl of an electric mixer, fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk the butter and sugar until fluffy, about 1 to 2 minutes. Add the melted chocolate and the vanilla extract. Whisk the mixture thoroughly until combined.

Turn your mixer to medium speed and over a period of 15 to 20 minutes add in the four eggs, one at a time, leaving about 5 minutes between each egg addition. Once the pie filling is well mixed, pour it into the pretzel crust. Smooth out the pie filling and place the pie in the refrigerator to chill for at least two hours or overnight.

Add a cup or two of whipped cream and garnish with a few chocolate curls if desired.

Day of the Doctor



Saturday was the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who and tonight I’m going to watch the full length movie Day of the Doctor… in a movie theater… in 3D!



As you can probably tell I’m pretty excited and was pretty lucky to have no at home internet access all weekend to keep me away from all the spoilers.  I’d like to say I was a super fan of the show but the folks who went all out in costumes and even made special food and drinks take the cake.  I’ll let you all know how much I love the movie on Wednesday and since I have the day off I’ll be able to share all those pie recipes I’ve been promising but for now here is a How to Make a Lattice Pie Crust tutorial.

thinking about thanksgiving

Between my relocation, new job and my anticipation for the Day of the Doctor, Fall has sped by leaving me with a little over a week before Thanksgiving and about a month before Christmas!  Truth be told, I’m not that into Thanksgiving and I am more concerned about getting sugar cookie dough made, putting together the list of folks who receive Christmas cookies and if I should get Amazon Prime for all my holiday shopping.  However, I know folks love turkey day so here is the NY Times Essential Thanksgiving Recipes post and I’ll also share a Maple Pumpkin Pie and Cream Cheese Pumpkin Pie recipes late this week. But the thing that I am going to keep reminding myself over the next few weeks is “don’t worry” and I suggest you do the same!

weekend love




Last weekend friends and I went bowling at Bryant Lake Bowl and it was a blast. We got there early at 6:30 pm and bowled three games. Our last game or frame we played the group next to us for desserts. We won but shared all of the delicious treats. This adventure bowling made me start thinking of other fun indoor activities that you can do with friends during the Winter (besides cocktail hour) and I was wondering if you all have any suggestions or favorite activities?


Getting ready for Thanksgiving and need a GF pie crust? Check out GF Girl’s recipe.


All of my knitting patterns are available on this website but you can also find them and the folks knitting them on Kollabora and Ravelry.


A September soundtrack and quick morning wake-up workout from The Four Percent.


Homemade Bloody Mary Mix recipe from Goop.


With the chilly Fall weather setting in don’t you want to sew or just snuggle up with one of these blankets.


When running I’ve been tucking my hands into my sleeves and have started writing a pattern for running mitts. Anything you’d like to have in a pair of running mitts?



1st Annual Backyard Bash


About a month ago we celebrated my friend Sue’s 30th birthday and I promise to share all the recipe and what not from that night. So, below are all the awesome salad recipes and a few other things, like a pie in the face video.  Hope you all are having a great Saturday!


Potato Salad use red potatoes and add a bottle of drained capers.


Roasted Edamame Salad


Zesty Quinoa Salad, cook quinoa in vegetable broth and a bit of cumin.


Pasta Salad recipes, I mostly combined ingredients that would taste well together but wouldn’t be too heavy.


Red velvet cake and frosting, next time I’ll make a base frosting so I won’t get red crumbs everywhere.


This is the smoker that M.D. used for the meat and this is the video of a pie being thrown in M.D.’s face.


More about the temporary tattoos here.



Tips for you when throwing your own party:


How to Introduce People


How to Talk to Strangers

pie debate

Have you read the New York Times article, Pie Debate: The Experts Weigh In? It is a filled with all of the questions I’ve been asking my mom, grandma, friend’s moms, friends for years and while all the experts helped shine some light on certain topics, it left me with the overall feeling that you need to just do what works for you and taste good! Below are some of my favorite quotes from the article.


Glass vs Metal…..“I like glass because I hate guesswork,” Nick Malgieri said. “I like to see I’m getting the color I want.” But, he quickly added, you can make a great crust in any pan “as long as you start with a good dough.”


The Right Thickener… “I toss the fruit with flour and then add melted butter,” he said. “It’s classic and the most flavorful.” Ron Silver


The Fat for the Crust… “The Fourth of July brings a hot kitchen and hot hands,”  Harold McGee said. He said that not only the fat but also the flour should be chilled until the last possible moment.


To Pre-Bake or Not to Pre-Bake… “It makes me feel better about it,” Dorie Greenspan said.


p.s. Besides making a pie here are 27 Ways to be as American as Ron Swanson.


p.p.s. Have you ever thought of making a Slab Pie?


image via Buff Chickpea

strawberry rhubarb crumble

rhubarb fresh from the garden

Two weeks ago I came into two large containers of strawberries and due to the heavy rains had more rhubarb than one person needs, so I made crumble to share with friends.

beer baking

Since I had so much of everything, I doubled the recipe and used a 9 x 13 in pan instead of a pie pan.  However, I did not have a lemon on hand. So I looked at my friend Katie who helped me prepare the crumble and was sipping on a Honey Weiss and asked her to crack another one open and I used about half the can as a substitute for the lemon juice.


Everyone raved about the crumble and I have to say I think the beer was really what made everything work.  I will be making another today to bring with me to Chicago and I’ll let you all know what they think about it there. Below is the beer version of the recipe.


Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble adapted from Honest Fare




For the topping:
1 1/3 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons sugar in the raw
1 stick, 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon cinnamon


For the filling:
1 1/2 cups rhubarb, chopped (1-inch pieces)
1 quart strawberries, hulled and quartered
1/4 cup of citrus flavored beer, I used Leinenkugel’s Honey Weiss
1/2 cup sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
Pinch of salt




Preheat the oven to 375 F.



Prepare topping: In a mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, sugars and add the melted butter. Mix until small and large clumps form. Refrigerate until needed.




rhubarb and strawberry


Prepare filling: Toss rhubarb, strawberries, beer, sugar, cornstarch and a pinch of salt in a greased 9-inch deep-dish pie plate (9×13 in pan if recipe is doubled).


crumble topping


Remove topping from refrigerator. If it has settled into one giant mound, rough it up a bit with your hands to create the crumbles again. Cover fruit thickly and evenly with crumble (and don’t forget to get the edges good).

unbaked topping


Place pie plate on a baking sheet in the middle rack of the oven and bake until crumble topping is golden brown in places and fruit is bubbling beneath, about 40 to 50 minutes. If your crumble starts to get too brown, but the fruit isn’t quite bubbling yet, cover it with aluminum foil and continue baking until it does.


bake crumble


For more rhubarb recipes, check out my all about rhubarb post.

easter quiche



I hope everyone had a great weekend watching basketball, eating chocolate bunnies and hunting for Easter eggs. I spent the weekend with lots of family, baking whoopie pies, watching Pitch Perfect and making my first quiche. I looked at a few different blogs and cookbooks for the right recipe and decided on using one from Smitten Kitchen. The recipe is great, but I used it more as a starting point because I wanted more vegetables in the quiche. Everyone liked it and went back for seconds and ate it through the day, so I will definitely make it again.


easter quiche


Easter Quiche, adapted from Smitten Kitchen’s Spinach Quiche


1 3-ounce package cream cheese, room temperature
1/3 cup whole milk
4 eggs, room temperature
1/2 cup grated sharp cheddar
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
1 10-ounce package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
6 asparagus stalks, cut 4 of them in to 1/2 in pieces and 2 for the top of the quiche
2 to 3 tomatoes, 1 diced for the quiche and 2 sliced for the top of the quiche
4 to 6 green onions, thinly sliced
2 gloves garlic, chopped
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt


While your assembling all the ingredients, bake the pie crust per box instructions in a pie or tart pan- I used a Calphalon 10 inch tart pan. Don’t bake the crust till it is golden brown but just a light tan, so minus 2 to 3 minutes from the suggested bake time. Then preheat oven to 425° for the quiche.


Beat cream cheese in medium bowl until smooth.


Gradually beat in milk and eggs.


Stir or mix in the spinach, onions, asparagus, tomato, garlic, pepper and salt.


Pour mixture into prepared crust. Place the tomato slices and longer asparagus pieces on top of the mixture.


Bake until crust is golden brown and filling is set, about 25 minutes. To test jiggle the pan and if the center moves a bunch, keep baking it. Cool 10 minutes before serving. For leftovers reheat in a toaster oven or regular oven.






This morning my friend Christina, from Conveyor posted this illustration (above) and it got me thinking about baking with coffee, coffee, coffee.

Like this Deep Dish Banaoffee Pie from Sprinkles Bakes.

Or these Coconut Coffee Chocolate Chip Cookies from Bakergirl.

And then there are these Salted Dark Chocolate Espresso Cookies and the Cafe au Lait Tart (not pictured) from Desserts for Breakfast.  Just think about how nice a coffee baked good would be on Sunday afternoon during the 4th quarter of the Superbowl to prevent your guests from having a food comma. Do you ever bake with coffee?


p.s. I will figure out a pattern to make a milk bottle cozy.


p.p.s. Thank you to my cousin Liz for the first two recipe recommendations!

recipes for everyone

Having a hard time thinking of Thanksgiving recipes or gluten-free, vegan or vegetarian recipes?  Well don’t worry below are a few of my past posts and Thanksgiving themed posts from some of my favorite places to find recipes.


Thanksgiving Baking & Vegetarian Recipes


Rachael Ray’s Holiday Entertaining Recipe Collection


Gluten-Free Thanksgiving Recipes & Tips


search results for “Thanksgiving” from Joy the Baker’s blog


Fall Themed Pie and Cake Recipes


One Green Planet Vegan Thanksgiving Recipes


Smitten Kitchen’s Thanksgiving Ideas


Midwest Living’s Best Thanksgiving Desserts


Live with Kelly & Michael’s Thanksgiving Family Recipes


The Kitchn’s 18 Cheese-Centric Additions to your Thanksgiving Spread


Do you have a great Thanksgiving recipe?