Friday, May 25, 2018


When my husband saw me making the Fluffy Strawberry Pie, he showed his disappointment that I wasn't making it for us. To appease him, I told him I would make something just for us. 

I marked this recipe for Funny Cake Pie months ago when I got the Favorite Family Recipes from the Mennonite Community Cookbook by Mary Emma Showalter, but just hadn't gotten around to making it. I had this recipe for the Pat-in-Pan Pie Crust that Friend Carla had made with her Fresh Strawberry Pie. I thought since I didn't have a picture of it to share with her Strawberry Pie that I would make it myself and then I could share it in a post. It just seemed like the perfect time to make the pie and the pie crust.

There was no explanation with the recipe as to why it is called Funny Cake Pie, but it is fitting. The chocolate layer gives it a pie taste and the top layer looks like a cake. No matter what it is called, we really liked it. And the Pat-in-Pan Pie Crust was really good also. I'm sorry I missed Carla's Fresh Strawberry Pie.


Top Part:

1/2       cup sugar
1/4       cup shortening
1          egg
1/2       cup milk
1          teaspoon baking powder
1          cup flour
1/2       teaspoon vanilla

Lower Part:

1/2       cup sugar
1/4       cup cocoa
1/3       cup hot water
1/4       teaspoon vanilla

Pastry for 1 (9 inch) crust.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Mix top part like cake batter, creaming the fat and adding the sugar and egg.

Add milk alternately with the dry ingredients that have been sifted together beginning and ending with flour.

For the lower part, combine the sugar and cocoa.

Add the hot water and vanilla.

Line the 9 - inch pie plate with pastry.

Pour the lower part into the crust.

Pour the top part over the lower part.

Bake for approximately 40 minutes.

Thursday, May 24, 2018


With strawberries so plentiful and at a good price right now in the grocery stores, it is hard to pass up making something with strawberries. With the Quilters' Canasta group gathering at Friend Fran's house last week, I looked for recipes that I could make using strawberries. Since there are only six of us playing, a pie is always a good thing to make. I didn't have to think twice about making this Fluffy Strawberry Pie from Betty Crocker.

I did reduce the sugar by using stevia in the crust and a sugar-free strawberry Jell-o with the filling. The whipped topping I used was also sugar-free, but I did use the powdered sugar so it wasn't completely No-Sugar-Added. I also used lemon peel and lemon juice because I do not have dried lime peel. Everyone loved it and especially the fact that it wasn't real sweet like so many strawberry pies are.

As always with my recipes, if you don't want to reduce the sugar, use regular sugared ingredients.




1-1/4     cups crushed pretzels
1/4        cup stevia or sugar
1/2        cup (1 stick) butter, melted


3/4        cup boiling water
1           pkg (4 - serving size) Jell-O Sugar-Free strawberry - flavored gelatin
1           teaspoon dried lemon peel
1/4        cup lemon juice 
8           oz container of sugar-free whipped topping
3/4        cup powdered sugar 
2           cups strawberries, slightly crushed

In medium bowl, mix the pretzels and stevia together first,
and then add butter.

Stir til well mixed.
Press mixture firmly in the bottom and against the sides of a 9 - inch pie plate.

In a large bowl, add the boiling water to the gelatin; stir til gelatin is dissolved.
Stir in lemon peel and lemon juice.
Refrigerate about 1 hour or until very thick but not set. (I checked mine after about 30 minutes and it was thick and starting to set at the edges, so I removed it and continued with the recipe.)

Beat the gelatin mixture with mixer on high speed about 4 minutes or until thick and fluffy; set aside.

Fold the powdered sugar into the whipped topping.

Fold the crushed strawberries and whipped topping/sugar mixture into the whipped gelatin mixture.

Spoon into crust.

Refrigerate about 8 hours or until set. (I made mine the night before and placed in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
It came out nicely.

Store any leftovers in the refrigerator.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018


This Pat-in-Pan Pie Crust was the pie crust that Friend Carla used for her Fresh Strawberry Pie that she served for the Mexican Train gathering at her house. I have seen recipes for Pat-in-Pan Pie Crusts before, but just never tried to do it. Friend Janice sent me a picture of part of the pie that was left because she didn't think to take a picture beforehand. When I was going to make a pie for us and saw it called for a pie crust, I decided to make it and then I could share the crust with you.

When I have recipes that have you mix in the pan, I usually will mix it in a bowl after all and then just pour it in the pan. This time though I decided to "take the risk". I did make sure that I "cleaned" the bottom of the pie plate by rubbing my fingers across the bottom of the plate and trying to get every little crumb there mixed in with the dough. 

Well, the crust was not only delicious, it worked. It came out of the plate perfectly. The next time I don't feel like making a rolled out pie crust (I know that crazy, isn't it?), I am sure I will making this one.


1-1/2      cups plus 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1-1/2      teaspoons sugar
1/2         teaspoon salt
1/2         cup oil
3            tablespoons cold milk

Place the flour, sugar, and salt in the 9 - inch pie pan. Mix with your fingers until blended.
In a measuring cup, combine the oil and milk, and beat with a fork until creamy.
Pour all at once over the flour mixture.
Mix with a fork until the flour mixture is completely moistened.

Pat the dough with your fingers, first up the sides of the plate, then across the bottom.

Flute the edges.
Shell is now ready to be filled.

If your recipe requires a prebaked crust, preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Prick the surface of the pastry with a fork and bake 14 minutes, checking often, and pricking more if needed.

For a 10 - inch pie crust, use 2 cups of flour, 2 teaspoons sugar, 1 teaspoon salt, 2/3 cup oil, 3 tablespoons milk.

Cooking from Quilt Country Los Angeles Times-Washington Post News Service

Tuesday, May 22, 2018


We just got back from Colorado Springs where we were helping our son and his family pack up some of their things. They have sold their house and bought a bigger one to hold their family of nine, three of which are foster children 2 yrs old and younger. I had to cancel several "engagements" but I had fun with my four grandchildren and three foster grandchildren and got almost three-fourths of their kitchen packed.

Mexican Train, at Friend Carla's house, was one of meetings I had to miss. Imagine my surprise when I received a text from Friend Janice with pictures of the dessert and recipes that were served at the gathering. In the past I have asked her to take pictures and send them to me when I wasn't there, but I didn't even think about asking her this time. She apologized for the picture of the pie. She said she forgot to take a picture of the delicious pie but decided to send me a picture of their empty plates. (See below.) 

Then she decided to do the best she could and took a picture of the remaining pie. She said the pie was very good and Carla had made a very good crust. (I will be sharing that recipe tomorrow with you. I made a pie for us and decided to try the recipe for the crust.)


1       cup sugar
3       tablespoons cornstarch
1       cup water
1       tablespoon lemon juice
2 - 3  drops red food coloring
1       3 - oz (four serving size) pkg strawberry gelatin
1       quart ripe strawberries, halved
1       9 - in baked pie crust or graham cracker crust

In a medium saucepan combine sugar and cornstarch.

Combine thoroughly with water and lemon juice.

Cook over low heat until mixture is thick and clear.

Stir in red food coloring and gelatin.

Cool to room temperature.

Fill pie crust with strawberries.

Pour cooled liquid over berries.


Serves 6 - 8.

Their empty plates...

Monday, May 21, 2018


Monday a week ago, we were on our way back from Colorado after helping them pack some of their things prior to moving into a new house. We are as excited for them as they are. They decided they needed a bigger house, when they thought they were going to be adopting one of the foster children they have have had since she was two days old. Now they are not so sure that is going to happen, but they also hope to adopt another child they have also had since he was two days old and will be two years old later this summer. Their hearts are so big and I keep praying that these precious children will be able to officially join our son, his wife, and four children and become family.

I was scheduled to go into volunteer at Hillcrest Thrift Shop the next day and didn't have a clue what I would make and share with the other volunteers. My husband thought I would just "pass" this time since we wouldn't get home until 7:00, but I just couldn't do that.

I was checking my emails on my phone and saw one from Betty Crocker. That's where I saw this recipe for Strawberries and Cream Yogurt Cake. Strawberries are so plentiful in the grocery stores right now as the first crops are ripening and a good price. I needed to run by the grocery store before going to our house to get the yogurt and strawberries, but that didn't take too long.

I'm not sure why Betty Crocker included the word "Cream" in the title so I omitted it. I had some homemade strawberry jam that I used in the recipe. I also used truvia sugar/stevia blend for the sugar (using 3/4 cup). The volunteers loved it and it didn't last very long in the Community Room.

Since I made the cake the night before, I did wait to sift some powdered sugar on it until I was ready to take it the next morning. I also covered the cake pan and stored it in the refrigerator overnight.


2         containers (6 oz each) strawberry yogurt
1-1/2   cups sugar or 3/4 cup sugar/stevia blend
1/2      cup (1 stick) butter, melted
2         teaspoons vanilla
3         eggs
2-1/4   cups all-purpose flour
2         teaspoons baking powder
1/2      teaspoon salt
1/2      cup strawberry jam
1-1/4   cups quartered fresh strawberries
powdered sugar, if desired

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9 x 13 - inch pan with cooking spray.

In a large bowl, stir together yogurt and sugar,
and add melted butter and vanilla until well blended (with a wooden spoon).

Mix in eggs, 1 at a time, until well blended.

Add flour, baking powder, and salt
(that you have mixed together in a smaller bowl);
beat with rubber spatula or wooden spoon until smooth.

Pour batter into pan, spreading evenly.

Stir strawberry jam until smooth in a small bowl.
Drop by teaspoonfuls on top of batter. (I used an ice tea spoon.)

Quarter fresh strawberries
and fill in empty space on top of cake batter by carefully placing the strawberry quarters.

Sprinkle cake with 2 teaspoons of sugar.

Bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Cool 20 minutes, then sprinkle with powdered sugar. Serve.

OR allow cake to cool on wire rack, cover cake pan, and store in refrigerator overnight until ready to serve.
Then sprinkle with powdered sugar, cut in squares, and serve. (I cut 24 squares.)