Cooking with Katie

Peach Blueberry Crumb Pie

Okay, so this is defiantely not the prettiest picture I’ve ever posted, but it shows you every great componet of this pie. The crispy crumb topping, juicy peaches and blueberries, and flaky crust make this so irresistable, and it’s a huge crowd pleaser! It’s the perfect dish to have at a summer barbeque or pot-luck, and kids love it! I loved how great it was for summer time and how easy it was to throw together, and I’m sure that you’ll love it too!

Peach Blueberry Crumb Pie (Giada de Laurentiis)


  • 1/4 cup quick cooking tapioca pearls, such as Minute Tapioca
  • 1 pound frozen blueberries, thawed and drained, or 1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries
  • 1 pound frozen peaches, thawed, or 3 large fresh peaches, pitted and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • Zest of 1 large lemon
  • One 9-inch unroll-and-bake refrigerated pie crust
  • 1 egg white, lightly beaten


  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces, chilled
  • 1/2 cup quick cook oats
  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds

Place an oven rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 375 degrees F. Butter a 9-inch ceramic or glass pie dish.

For the filling: Finely grind the tapioca in a food processor or spice grinder, about 1 minute. Combine the blueberries, peaches, sugar, lemon juice, vanilla, cinnamon, lemon zest and tapioca in a medium bowl.

Unroll the pie crust and place in the pie dish. Brush the inside with the egg white.

For the topping: Pulse the almonds, butter, oats, flour and sugar until small chunks form in a food processor.

Pour the filling into the crust. Crumble the topping over the filling and bake until the top is golden brown, about 55 minutes. If after 30 minutes of baking the edges of the crust begin to brown too quickly, cover the edges of the pie dish with strips of foil. Cool the pie for 30 to 40 minutes before slicing.


S’mores Truffles

Talk about a decadent dessert! These little chocolate truffles melt in your mouth and are a super fun way to get your kids involved in the kitchen. They’re as fun to make as they are to eat!

Truffles are really easy to make and, obviously, so delicious! You can make so many different type of truffles using this basic recipe from Pioneer Woman, and then stuff, dip, or roll them in whatever you want. The possibilities are endless!

S’mores Truffles (Truffle Recipe by The Pioneer Woman)

  • 8 oz. unsweetened chocolate
  • 8 oz. semisweet chocolate
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2-1 c Marshmallow Fluff
  • 1/4 c Graham Cracker Crumbs 

Combine the chocolate and condensed milk in a double boiler.

Melt it until it’s just combined.

Before you put the bowl in the fridge, put it in a bigger bowl full of ice to cool down the bowl, otherwise it’ll crack in the fridge. Once the bowl is cool, put it in the fridge to let it harden.

Then, once the chocolate has hardened, scoop out little balls with a mini ice cream scoop and roll them between your hands. Put them back in the fridge until you’re ready to dip them.

Then combine the marshmallow fluff and a tbsp. of butter in a double boiler and melt it over medium heat until….

…it’s nice and smooth. Then take the truffles out of the fridge, and dip them in the marshmallow mixture. Dip the marshmallow part into a plate of graham cracker crumbs to coat them after. Enjoy!

Peppermint Chocolate Meringues

Hello everyone! I’m sorry I haven’t been posting much these past few weeks, but school has gotten pretty over-whelming these days and I haven’t had time to do much cooking! I also didn’t have time to do much recipe testing for Thanksgiving. 😦 But don’t worry…I’m going to make up for it with a TON of christmas cookie recipes! We always go all out with the christmas cookies every year, so you’ll be finding a lot of recipes here! The first cookie….Peppermint Chocolate Meringues! The peppermint in these cookies gets everybody ready for Christmas, and the chocolate doesn’t hurt either! Plus, who can resist that crunchy, airy, meringue-y texture?!?!?!?!?! Enjoy these and keep a look out for more cookie recipes to come!

Peppermint Chocolate Meringues

  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 1/8 tsp. cream of tartar
  • 3/4 c sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 c mini chocolate chips
  • 3-4 tbsp. crushed candy cane

Beat the egg whites until they’re foamy. Add the salt and cream of tartar and beat them until soft peaks form. Add the sugar slowly, about 1 tbsp. at a time, until they’re very stiff and shiny.

Like this!

Fold in the candy canes,

the vanilla, and the chocolate chips.

Mix it until it’s just combined, and try not to deflate the meringue.

Using a mini ice cream scoop, but them on a lightly greased cookie sheet. Put as many on a cookie sheet as possible because they don’t spread.

Bake them at 250 degrees for 40 minutes and then let them cool on a wire rack.

Makes about 36 cookies.

Banana Pudding Cream Puffs

This recipe is for my Aunt Leisa, who loves banana pudding more than anyone else I know….including me. 🙂

Ok, get ready to see a lot of cream puff posts in the next few weeks because I’ve kind of become obsessed with them! I’m stuffing profiteroles with whatever I can think of!

It’s madness.

But these cream puffs, these are special. They’re special because they taste like you’re taking a bite of banana pudding! Which, btw, is my favorite pudding! Anyway, you have the actual cream puff (or profiterole, as some like it) that tastes like a Nilla wafer, the vanilla pudding, chunks of banana, and whipped cream! What more could you want in life?!?!?!?

Banana Pudding Cream Puffs

  • 1 recipe pat a choux (add a splash of vanilla into the dough as well)
  • 1 box instant vanilla pudding
  • 2 bananas, diced
  • 1/4-1/2 c heavy cream
  • 2-4 tbsp. sugar

Once you make your pat a choux, make your pudding according to the package directions. Add the bananas and let set up in the fridge until your cream puffs have completely cooled. Pour it into a piping bag with tip#12, and carefully fill each cream puff by putting the tip into the hole on the bottom and squeezing. Do NOT overstuff! 🙂 Let them chill in the fridge until ready to serve.

Whip the cream in a stand mixer with the whisk attachment and add the sugar depending on how sweet you want it. Whip it until it forms stiff peaks, then put it in another piping bag with tip#32. Pipe a few stars here and there on the cream puffs, then serve.

I also made these, for those who don’t like banana pudding! Ice Cream filled profiteroles! Instead of filling them with banana pudding, I cut them in half, put a little scoop of vanilla ice cream in the center, put the top back on, decorated them with whipped cream, and poured on some chocolate sauce (half a cup of chocolate chips and a few splashes of heavy cream melted over a double boiler). Messy, but delicious! Enjoy!

French Quarter Beignets

These classic New Orleans treats are soft, pillowy bites of heaven! They’re like French doughnuts dusted with powdered sugar and dunked in hot Cafe au Lait, hot chocolate, or strong coffee. They’re the perfect way to end a meal of good,  hearty gumbo or jambalaya, but they’re also a very sophisticated treat to serve your friends.

Beignets (ben-yays) have been prepared and enjoyed since the late 16th century, and with just one bite, you can understand why! They have this wonderful sweet, yeasty flavor that, when dunked in a piping hot cup of Cafe au Lait, tastes just like a warm doughnut. They’re addictive, which is good because this recipe makes ALOT of beignets! Actually, the dough keeps very well in the freezer, so you can freeze half of this recipe (which is what I did!) and always have the things you need to make beignets!

French Quarter Beignets (Paula Dean)

  • 1 1/2 c lukewarm water
  • 1/2 c sugar
  • 1 envelope of dry active yeast (or 2 1/4 tsp. yeast)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 c evaporated milk
  • 7 c bread flour
  • 1/4 c shortening or margarine
  • powdered sugar
  • oil for frying

Cafe au Lait

  • coffee
  • water
  • sugar
  • milk

Start by combining the yeast, sugar, and water. (For the best results, add the yeast and sugar first, then the water.) Stir it together.

Wait for 10 minutes for it to activate.

In another bowl, beat the eggs, salt and evaporated milk together. Mix egg mixture into the yeast mixture. In a separate bowl, measure out the bread flour. Add 3 cups of the flour to the yeast mixture and stir to combine. Add the shortening and continue to stir while adding the remaining flour. Remove dough from the bowl, place onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth.

Spray a large bowl with nonstick spray. Put dough into the bowl and cover with plastic wrap or a towel. Let rise in a warm place for at least 2 hours.

This is when you can separate the dough, and freeze half of it.

Preheat oil in a deep-fryer to 350 degrees F.

Roll the dough out to about 1/4-inch thickness.

Cut into 1-inch squares. Deep-fry, flipping constantly, until they become a golden color. After beignets are fried, drain them for a few seconds on paper towels, then dust them with the powdered sugar.

For the Cafe au Lait, brew your favorite coffee and put a heaping tablespoon of sugar in the bottom of a glass. Fill the glass up halfway with hot coffee, and fill it up the rest of the way with hot milk. Give it a stir, then dunk your beignets in and enjoy!

Chocolate Chip Birthday Cake

My brother, Asher, just had a birthday a few days ago, but we celebrated it on Saturday with my grandma and uncle. My Grammy helped me decorate the cake and Asher loved it!

So Asher asked for a chocolate chip birthday cake with chocolate frosting, and it was the easiest thing in the world to make! We use this cake recipe so often for when we have company just because it’s so easy to make, and the kids and adults love it! Plus, when you use store-bought chocolate frosting and make your own white icing, you can have the cake made and decorated before you can say “happy birthday’!

Chocolate Chip Birthday Cake

  • 1 box instant vanilla pudding
  • 1 box yellow cake mix
  • 1/4 c oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 c water
  • 1 c chocolate chips
  • 1 can chocolate frosting

Buttercream Frosting: (Wilton)

  • 1/4 c vegetable shortening
  • 1/4 c butter
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 c powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1 tbsp. milk

For the cake:

Coat the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish with the oil. Dump everything else in and mix it with a fork until all the ingredients are moistened. Bake at 350 degrees for 35-45 minutes.

For the icing:

Cream the butter and shortening together. Add vanilla. Gradually add the sugar 1 cup at a time, beating well on medium speed. Scrape sides and bottom of the bowl often. When all the sugar has been mixed in, it will appear dry. Add milk and beat on medium speed until light and fluffy. (If you want to make chocolate buttercream, then just add 1 1/2 oz. of melted unsweetened chocolate and 1/2 tbsp. of milk.)

To decorate:

Apply a thin layer of chocolate frosting to the top of the cake.

For the border, I used tip#21 and made this rope pattern by piping an S on its side, then, starting from the middle of the first sideways S, piped another one, and so on.

For the letters, I used tip#3.

I know this is a fuzzy picture, but for the stars I used tip#16. Just apply a little bit of pressure to the icing bag, then stop and remove the tip from the cake to create these stars.

It was a fun night. ‘Nuf said!

My Grammy’s Bread Pudding

My grandma (Grammy) and my Uncle Zach came to visit us this past weekend, and we had so much fun! It was a weekend full of decorating, fun, and cooking! We made my Lemon Curd Tart, Spinach Artichoke Dip, Easy Peasy Barbeque Saucemy brother’s birthday cake, and this bread pudding!

Don’t be scared of bread pudding! I know it sounds a little…different…but trust me, it’s DELICIOUS! The consistency is nothing like a pudding, it’s more of a French toast swimming in a wonderful custard bath! It also has a great eggy-cinnamon flavor that is to die for! Go ahead and give it a try! I’m sure it’ll knock your socks off! 🙂

My Grammy’s Bread Pudding

  • 1 loaf of brioche or challah bread
  • butter
  • cinnamon and sugar
  • 1/4-1/2 c raisins
  • 5 eggs, beaten
  • 2 1/2 c milk
  • 1 c sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon

Custard Sauce:

  • 1/4 c butter
  • 1 c sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 c milk, scalded
  • dash nutmeg (optional)
  • 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla

Slice up the bread (we used challah, but if you use brioche, then remove the crust), and let it sit out for about 2 hours to get a little stale.

Then butter both sides of the bread….

…and sprinkle them with cinnamon and sugar.

Cut them into cubes and place in a buttered 9×13 baking dish.

Sprinkle some raisins on top.

Then, whisk together the next 5 ingredients…

…and pour it over the bread.

Push the bread down so that it soaks up all the goodness and let it sit for 10 minutes.

Bake at 325 degrees for 40-45 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean. Let cool a little bit before serving.

For the custard sauce:

Cream the butter and sugar together until fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, and put the bowl on the top of a double boiler. Slowly add the milk and nutmeg, and cook until it’s thickened. Remove it from the heat and add the vanilla. Pour it hot over the bread pudding.

I had so much fun making this with my Grammy, and I hope you make it with someone you love, too. 🙂

Meringues Chantilly

Can you believe how elegant this dessert is? Not only does it look great, but it tastes amazing! It’s a great way to end a meal for guests or company, and is sure to impress their eyes and tastebuds!

Meringues chantilly is basically just a meringue cookie, whipped cream, and stewed berries. The way that it’s assembled and presented, though, is what really makes you say wow! With the meringue on the bottom, the whipped cream in the center, and the berries dripping down the sides, you get the most glorious texture experience of your life! The crunchy bottom, airy middle, and syrupy top are what makes this dish!

Meringues Chantilly (Ina Garten)


  • 6 egg whites
  • 1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
  • salt
  • 1 1/2 c sugar, divided into thirds
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla

Whippd Cream:

  • 1 pint cold heavy cream
  • 2 tbsp. sugar
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 tbsp. orange liqueur (optional)

Stewed Berries:

  • 1 c blueberries
  • 2 1/2 c raspberries
  • 1/3 c water
  • 1/4 c sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. orange zest
  • 2 tsp. framboise (optional)

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Using a small glass and a pencil, draw 6 (3 1/2-inch) circles on each piece of paper. Turn the paper face-down on the baking sheets.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites, cream of tartar, and a large pinch of salt on medium speed until frothy. Add 1 cup of the sugar and raise the speed to high until the egg whites form very stiff peaks. Whisk in the vanilla. Carefully fold the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar into the meringue. With a large star – shaped pastry tip, pipe a disc of meringue inside each circle. Pipe another layer around the edge to form the sides of the shells.

Bake for 2 hours, or until the meringues are dry and crisp but not browned. Turn off the heat and allow the meringues to sit in the oven for 4 hours or overnight.

 Whip the cream in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. When it starts to thicken, add the sugar, vanilla and orange liqueur and continue to whip until the cream forms stiff peaks. Don’t overbeat, or you’ll end up with butter!

Combine the blueberries, one-half pint of raspberries, 1/3 cup water, the sugar and zest in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and cook uncovered over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, for 8 to 10 minutes. The juice will become a syrup and the berries will be slightly cooked. Off the heat, stir in the remaining raspberries and the framboise. Set aside.

Place a meringue on each plate and fill with whipped cream. Top with berries and serve.

Lemon Semifreddo with Raspberry Sauce

So, I made a mistake. When I said that my Chocolate Toffee Mascarpone Bars were decadence at it’s best, I really meant to say that they were an extremely close second to this semifreddo! The creaminess of the semifreddo, tanginess of the lemon, and tartness of the raspberry sauce work so well together that it’ll make you want to jump up and do your happy dance! If you have one, that is.

Now, semifreddo is a classic Italian dessert that resembles ice cream or gelato. It’s really a big hit with kids, and is sure to impress any dinner date or dinner guest! I came up with the raspberry sauce all on my own because the original recipe said to serve it with an orange and mango salad. I’m sure that the salad is good……..just probably not as kid-friendly; so I think you’ll find the raspberries to be quite splendid!

Lemon Semifreddo with Raspberry Sauce (adapted from Anne Burrell’s recipe)

  • 1/2 sliced almonds, toasted (I didn’t use these)
  • 2 c heavy cream
  • 1 1/4 c sugar
  • 8 egg yolks
  • 1/2 c lemon juice (I only used 1/4 c)
  • 3 lemons, zested (I did not use this)
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 pint of fresh raspberries
  • half a lemon, zested
  • about 2 tbsp. sugar

Start by lining 6 ramekins or a loaf pan with plastic wrap. If you’re using the almonds, then spread those on the bottom in a pretty design.

Then, combine the sugar, eggs, lemon juice and lemon zest, and salt in a mixer bowl. Whisk it until it’s a homogeneous mixture, then set it on a double boiler. (Don’t worry, it won’t hurt the bowl!) Whisk it for 4-5 minutes until the eggs are light in color, and become fluffy. If you stick a thermometer in, they should be 165 degrees F. Then, set the bowl on the mixer with the whisk attachment and whip on high speed until they have doubled in volume and the bottom of the bowl is cool.

Don’t you just hate it when a recipe calls for whipped cream or whipped egg whites and there’s already something in your mixing bowl? Well, if you use one of these handy-dandy immersion blenders with the new whisk attachment, then you don’t have to whip the cream with the power of your biceps! You could also use a hand-mixer, but that’s just not as fun!:)

Carefully fold the whipped cream into the lemon mixture to make this lemon-dreamsicle-type mixture…..YUM!

Pour it into the ramekins…

…and cover with the excess plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least  4-5 hours or overnight before serving.

The next day, combine the raspberries, lemon zest and sugar. Mash it with a fork so that it’s still a little bit chunky. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour before serving. This is called masserating, it’s kind of like marinading…only with fruit.

When you’re ready to serve it, unwrap the semifreddo and plop it upside down onto a plate, or, if using a loaf pan, plop it onto a cutting board and slice it with a knife that’s been soaked in hot water. Top with the raspberry sauce, or the mango-orange salad if  it makes you happy, and enjoy!

Chocolate Toffee Mascarpone Bars

This dessert is decadence at its best! Sugar cookies, Skor bars, mascarpone cheese, and chocolate……..what more could you want?!?!?!

These little bars are perfect for entertaining because everyone can just snatch 2 or 3 and there’s not a lot of clean-up (always a good thing)! Plus, kids L-O-V-E them! Oh, who am I kidding, you’ll L-O-V-E them, too! If there’s a nut allergy, though, then you may not want to use Skor or Heath bars; chocolate chips or M ‘n’ Ms work great, too!

Chocolate Toffee Mascarpone Bars (Giada de Laurentiis)

  • 1 lb. refrigerated sugar cookie dough
  • 2 Skor bars, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 c semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 tsp. veg. oil
  • 8 oz mascarpone cheese

Start  by combining half the Skor bars, the vanilla, and the thawed cookie dough.

Then, spray a 9×9 baking dish with cooking spray, line it with parchment paper, and spray it again. Spread the cookie dough into an even layer, prick it with a fork, and bake at 350 degress for 12-14 minutes.

Now, this is mascarpone cheese. It’s a sweet Italian cream cheese and really adds a lovely flavor to this dessert. If you can’t find it, just use cream cheese. Melt the chocolate and the oil together in a double boiler, and let cool for 10 minutes. Then, whisk in the mascarpone cheese.

When the dough comes out of the oven, let it cool for 15 minutes.

Then, pour the chocolate on and sprinkle with the remaining Skor bars. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before cutting and serving.