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Red White and Blueberry Pie

Jul 4, 2013 | Posted in: , , , | 0 Comments

Happy Fourth of July everyone!!! Today we’re reprising what has become a family favorite: Red White and Blueberry Pie. This is an improvised dessert for a hot day that draws inspiration from my own travels across the US. A simple and unrefined treat, it embodies everything a summer dessert should be. The filling is a recipe I heard at a Fourth of July barbecue in Tampa Florida about four years ago when I was having the most exquisite fruit dip I’d ever had in my life. As the conversation turned to engagements, something I had yet to experience, my mind began to wander to how this amazing fruit dip was made. It was then that I overheard the lady that brought it telling some of her friends the recipe. It was so simple I was able to remember it. After some experimentation at home I discovered that it made a delicious and easy pie filling, light enough for a hot day. Although this isn’t technically a family favorite yet, it is so easy and delicious that it is hard to imagine that it would disappear anytime soon.


Red White and Blueberry Pie



Lady fingers or butter pound cake


1 container of whipped topping (coolwhip or store brand)

1 tub of whipped cream cheese

1 tablespoon vanilla extract


Half pint of raspberries

Half pint of blueberries


Press lady fingers or pound cake into the bottom of a pie dish, covering the entire surface.

Fold in the cream cheese to the whipped topping, and then blend with a hand mixer until there are few lumps.

Spread topping into “crust” with a spatula, arrange berries on top as desired.




Marcia’s Mud Pie

Apr 8, 2013 | Posted in: , , , | 0 Comments

Mud Pie Marcia

I asked my mom earlier today what she remembered about my Grandmother Marcia’s Mud Pie, and she said, “there was a lot of chocolate and ice cream.” Some memories aren’t detailed, and that’s alright.

What goes into a mud pie? The answer is easy. Chocolate, chocolate, and more chocolate.  But you’ll find other ingredients necessary (like Graham crackers, pecans, butter and heavy cream). And then finish with–you guessed it–more chocolate.

Marcia’s Mud Pie

Recipe by Emily’s Grandmother Marcia


  • 1 cup chocolate crumbs * (see notes)
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/4 cup nuts* (see notes)
  • 1 pint chocolate ice cream
  • 1 pint vanilla ice cream
  • chocolate sauce * (see notes)


Preheat over to 350 F.

Mix chocolate crumbs, butter (melted), and nuts in a bowl. Press into pie plate. Bake for 10 minutes. Chill. Fill with vanilla and chocolate ice cream. Smudge! Freeze. Serve with chocolate sauce.


  1. I suspect my grandmother smooshed  chocolate Graham crackers in a Ziploc bag with a rolling pin. Therapeutic, no doubt. I, however, took the easy way out. Use cinnamon Graham crackers (about 5 or 6), add 3 tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder, and press the “pulse” button on food processor until crumbs appear. Magical.
  2.  I guessed that “nuts” meant pecans. Why? Just a hunch.
  3. To make the chocolate sauce my way (b/c who knows how my grandma did it), chop 119 grams Valrhona chocolate and set aside in bowl. Bring 1/2 cup whipping cream to a boil. Pour over chocolate. Let rest 2 minutes. Stir. Wait for the applause. It won’t take long.
  4. If you’re feeling extra fancy, decorate your pie with homemade whipped cream.
  5. I laughed at Marcia’s emphatic “Smudge!” when I read it on her recipe card. I assumed “smudge” meant “swirl the chocolate and vanilla ice cream together.” Marcia didn’t use exclamation points often (this is the first one I’ve seen in a recipe), so “smudging” must be important.

Brown Sugar Pecan Rounds

Mar 27, 2013 | Posted in: , , , | 0 Comments

Today’s gloomy weather made me want to curl up on my couch with a hot cup of coffee and a little something sweet. I wasn’t in the mood for chocolate (shocking, I know). I needed butter. And brown sugar. And maybe pecans. Comfort food, in other words. I happened to come across a recipe from my Great Aunt May May called Brown Sugar Pecan Rounds. Let me tell you, these sugary, buttery cookies (are rounds cookies?) did the trick.

Brown Sugar Pecan Rounds

Recipe by Emily’s Great Aunt May May


  • 1/2 c. unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/4 c. brown sugar, packed
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/4 cup Gold Medal flour
  • 1/4 t. baking soda
  • 1/8 t. salt
  • 1/2 c. chopped pecans


Heat oven to 350 F. Mix butter, brown sugar, and egg in large mixing bowl. Stir in remaining ingredients. Drop dough by teaspoons about two inches apart onto ungreased baking sheet. Bake 12-15 minutes. Makes 3 dozen.

Brown Sugar Pecan Rounds

Monkey Bread: A Christmas Breakfast Favorite

Dec 11, 2012 | Posted in: , , , | 1 Comments

If I could travel back in time and place my childhood Christmas memories on a china plate, I’d ask my child self, “Tell me, what do your memories taste like?” I’d reply in between bites with a full mouth, “Like butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon.”

Of all the good food I enjoyed over the holidays growing up in Northeast Arkansas, I’d have to say the one dish that I looked forward to more than anything else was Christmas morning Monkey Bread. The recipe demanded a half pound of butter, two types of sugar (brown and white), and soft Parker House rolls.

I made this for the first time today (yes, Christmas arrived early for me), and I almost devoured the entire pan of Monkey Bread by myself. Can you blame me?

Christmas Breakfast Monkey Bread

By Debbie Hodge, mother of Rob Hodge

Recipe appeared in the Paragould, Arkansas Baldwin Elementary School cookbook, Baldwin Bear’s Own Great Batch of Recipes in 1991. The recipe was called, “Quick Cinnamon Rolls” in the cookbook, but my family always referred to it as “Monkey Bread.” Maybe it isn’t “real” monkey bread, but who cares? It’s incredible.

I’ve made a few edits for clarification in the recipe below.


  • 24 frozen, small Parker House rolls (or 12 frozen, regular-sized Parker House rolls)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 stick unsalted butter

For the cinnamon glaze

  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 stick unsalted butter


  • 1 bunt pan, lightly greased


To prepare the bunt pan

Over medium high heat, melt 1 stick unsalted butter in sauce pan. Add brown sugar.  Stir the butter/brown sugar mixture together until you have a caramel consistency. This will take about 3 to 5 minutes. Pour the mixture into a bunt pan.

To coat the rolls in cinnamon glaze

Melt 1 stick unsalted butter and set aside.  In another dish, mix white sugar and cinnamon together. Roll frozen rolls in butter, then roll them in the sugar/cinnamon mixture. Place in bunt pan. Do not layer. Add remaining butter and sugar. Cover with a towel and let set out on kitchen counter overnight.

The next morning

Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes before turning out on plate. (My note: refrain from eating all the rolls yourself. Remember, this is Christmas—don’t forgot to share.)

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