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Friday, June 15, 2012

Strawberries & Cream Mile-High Pie

If you are wanting to please Dad (or anyone else at any particular time) this Father's day, here's a dessert for you! My hubby requests this dessert more than any other one we make! It's a winner! (And for those of you who are gluten free eaters, there is a variation for this too!)

This is an old family recipe. I got it from my mother in-law, who got it from her mother. And I don't know where she got it. But I do know why it's stayed in the family for these 3 generations. And that's because it's so delicious and fun to eat. If I were to explain why I think it's called mile-high pie, it would be because it looks so big and high sitting on your plate, and after you've eaten a piece it's almost disappointing it's gone. The ingredients are so light and fluffy you'll hardly notice you ate it! So if you want to eat the whole pan than you probably could! And if you are one who tries to not eat too many sweets than you can get away with eating a big piece and not feel like you've consumed 1,000 calories!

The base of this dish is frozen strawberries, egg whites, sugar, a little lemon juice and a touch of cream! This is what my husband has almost always requested for his birthday since we've been married. And we have it at several family birthday parties each year on my husbands side of the family! So it's a favorite to all!

I've included some step-by-step pictures and instructions so you can see how this comes together (and the full recipe and printable version are listed below). It's not hard to make, just make sure you follow the steps and it will turn out perfect!


Place 1.5 sleeves of graham crackers in a zip top bag and roll
with a rolling pin until they are evenly crushed.

Pour all but about 3/4 cup of the crumbs in the bottom of a 9x13 cake pan or glass casserole dish

NEXT follow these 9 pictures in the collage 
1.  Place egg whites, sugar and lemon juice in a stand mixer (it needs a lid) BOSCH works great. 
2. Let the frozen strawberries thaw for 5-15 minutes or until you can crush the berry under the pressure of your fingers 
3. Add the berries to the egg whites/sugar/lemon juice and begin to whip on high speed. Don't whip before this step. 
4. Whip for 5-10 minutes or until mixture is full and fat (it grows 4-5 times the size it began with. 
5. Whip 1 cup of whipping cream
6. Fold the cream and berry mixture together, taking care to do it gently, you don't want to lose all the air you just made with all that whipping.  
7. Make sure you have the bottom of your 9x13 pan coated with graham cracker crumbs. 
8. Spread the berry/cream mixture gently over the graham crackers, 
9. Top with the remaining graham cracker crumbs until it's completely covered.  

*See gluten-free option below

Strawberries & Cream Mile-High Pie


2 large egg whites
⅔ cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons lemon juice (bottled or fresh)
10 ounces frozen strawberries, slightly thawed - see notes below (we prefer garden fresh that we freeze ourselves for a richer flavor)
1 cup whipping cream
1 ½ sleeves of graham crackers, separated (gluten free option, is using crushed rice chex cereal or gluten free graham cracker substitute


In a gallon size zip top bag place 1 ½ sleeves of graham crackers and zip closed.  Roll with a rolling pin until the crackers are crushed as evenly as possible.  Pour all but ¾ cup onto the bottom of a 9x13 cake pan (with lid) or a glass casserole dish and spread evenly.  Reserve the ¾ cup for the top of the pie.

Get strawberries out of freezer and set on the counter for about 5 minutes, when they have softened enough so that you could pinch one and it would crush it then it’s just right.  It will still be partially frozen.

Attach whips to a large stand mixer (such as a BOSCH) and place egg whites, sugar, lemon juice, and slightly thawed strawberries, make sure your mixer lid is on.  It is important to mix these ingredients together and NOT separately! Mix on high speed for 5-10 minutes until the mixture is stiff, fat and full. It will fill up your entire bowl after it has mixed this long.  Carefully scrape this mixture into an extra large mixing bowl. In the same mixer whip whipping cream until peaks form (about 2-3 minutes).  Scrape whipped cream into the large mixing bowl with the strawberry mixture.  Gently fold the whipping cream into the strawberry mixture until it is mixed well.  Do not over mix or you will lose some of the air and fluff of the mixture.  If there are small streaks of white cream it’s just fine!

Pile this mixture high on the graham cracker crumb crust taking care not to handle it too much (save the fluff).  Top with remaining graham cracker crumbs and cover with lid or plastic  wrap and freeze for 12-24 hours before serving.  You want it nice and firm before serving, and it thaws really fast!


Recipe Source: my mother in-law, Maureen G. who got it from Grandma Jensen, it's an old family recipe!

Original Picture from 6/15/12

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Baked Oatmeal with Fruit

Do you have a breakfast meal planned for Dad this father's day? If not, this recipe would be a great solution. We were on a quest for a yummy baked oatmeal, and this recipe from was the result of our quest. We first tried this recipe mid-April and have made it at about 6 times since. It's actually appeared on our table at dinner time only so far, along with a yummy omelet, fruit, and juice.

Before I get into talking about this recipe. I want to talk about oats first. Do you know how many varieties of oats there are? I don't know a number, but in my research I've found a lot. The four common varieties of oats I see in recipes are 1) quick oats, 2) regular rolled oats (also referred to as regular oats), 3) old-fashioned oats, and 4) steel-cut oats! Now there is a big difference in all of these varieties and when a recipe calls for a certain kind of oat, you should probably follow the guideline . If it's truly a good recipe the kind of oat you use will make a difference in the quality and taste of your dish.

So you can see the difference in these 4 kinds of oats, I took a picture!

Regular-Rolled Oats and Old-Fashioned Oats really look similar, but you can tell from this picture that the Old-Fashioned Oats are a lot thicker!

Now I hate soggy oatmeal. The amount of water vs oatmeal you use determines the soggy-ness of the oatmeal, but quick oats are so thin that they generally produce a softer, less-textured oatmeal. I don't like quick oats for oatmeal. Regular rolled oats will give you more texture. For me old-fashioned is really the best quick(er) oatmeal to make. It doesn't cook as quick as quick oats and that's because it isn't rolled as thin. Now steel-cut oats are the best kind of oatmeal when it comes to quality and nutritional value, but they take about 30 minutes to cook, so they aren't quick. Steel-cut oats basically are an oat berry cut in half. If you haven't seen an oat berry it looks similar to a wheat berry or grain of wheat. They are marvelous!

Maybe that's enough blabbing about oats. This recipe calls for old-fashioned oats. I definitely wouldn't use regular or quick oats in this recipe because those two oat varieties won't soak up as much of the moisture and then you'll be left with a soggy oatmeal. The reason I LOVE, and my husband LOVES, and my 19-month old daughter LOVES this baked oatmeal is that it is rich, full of texture and flavor, and it is very un-soggy. It's not dry either, it's the perfect consistency!

From this amount of blabbing I'm sure you've come to decide that I am an oatmeal snob! So if I think it's good and you like oatmeal, then you'll be sure to love it!

**One last note....This recipe calls for bananas and blueberries (which compliment each other very nicely if you ask me). I'm anxious for raspberry and peach season because I think those two flavors will also be stellar in this recipe!

Baked Oatmeal with Fruit
Printable Version

1 cup old-fashioned oats
¼-½ cup chopped pecans or almonds, divided
½ teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Dash or two of salt
¼ cup maple syrup
1 cup milk
1 egg, beaten
2 tablespoons butter, melted or canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
2-3 ripe bananas, peeled and sliced ½ inch thick ( or peaches 1-1½ cups)
1-1 ½ cup blueberries (fresh or frozen), divided ( or raspberries 1-1½ cups)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease a 2-quart baking dish or 8x8 glass pan.

In a medium sized bowl, combine the oats, half of the nuts, baking powder, cinnamon and salt, mix to incorporate. In a separate bowl or liquid measuring cup, combine the maple syrup, milk, egg, butter/oil, and vanilla.

Evenly distribute the sliced bananas/(peaches) in a single layer over the bottom of the baking dish. Top with half of the blueberries/(raspberries). Sprinkle the dry oat mixture over the fruit in an even layer and then pour the liquid ingredients evenly over the top of that. 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 more maple syrup on top if you like or just plain, it has great flavor without the added syrup!


Recipe Source: lightly adapted from

Monday, June 4, 2012

Orange Creamsicle Cookies

I made these cookies a couple of years ago and Jeff has been asking me to make them again ever since.  I finally got around to it this week.  Not sure why I waited so long.  When we were finishing them off last night, Jeff said they were his favorite cookie--which is kind of a big deal.  We are serious about our cookies here.  This is a perfect cookie for spring and summer since it's flavors are light and fresh and it is reminiscent of delicious dreamsicles.  I'm not sure I would go as far as Jeff and say they are my favorite, but they are pretty dreamy.  Make them.  You won't be disappointed.

Orange Creamsicle Cookies


2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 firmly packed brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons orange zest (for me that was the zest of 2 oranges)
2 cups white chocolate chips


Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a small bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and salt; set aside.

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugars until light and creamy. Beat in egg and vanilla until smooth. Gradually add flour mixture until combined. Stir in orange zest and white chocolate chips.

Drop rounded teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets. Do not flatten cookies; it will make them dry. Bake 8 - 10 minutes or until golden brown around edges. Do not overcook! Cookies will be plump. Cool for several minutes on cookie sheets before transferring to rack to cool completely. Store in airtight container. 

Recipe Source: The Girl Who Ate Everything