Category Archives: Pie

Abbey and Her First Pecan Pie – JD Style

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Abbey's first pecan pie finished
I cannot remember when I made my first pie.  But on the bright side I know it was when I was still in high school!  My sous-chef dish-washing mom has made pie for as long as I can remember and I inherited her love of making anything pie!

When granddaughter Abbey arrived for a visit we talked about the things she would like to do, making salsa, jam, and pie were all at the top of her list!

Abbey first pecan pie
I asked Jack Daniels for pecan pieif she had ever made a pecan pie.
She said she hadn’t and since we had just returned from a tour of Jack Daniel’s distillery, just down the road,  I suspected a pecan pie laced with Lynchburg’s hometown product was in our future!  FYI — the alcohol cooks out and the flavor really enhances the sweetness of a custard pie like pecan.

As I have mentioned earlier, I became an instant Grandma to Abbey in 1991 when I married her Grandpa Lee. Abbey and I are only 29 years apart in age – unusually on the light side for grandmother and granddaughter. It is a pecan-pie-slice-closerwonderful blessing for me having her young, creative and fun spirit in the kitchen! It is not only inspiring but also a barrel of laughs! Besides chattering about cooking and baking we throw in a measurable amount of discussion on topics like MEN, love, and the pitfalls and benefits of both! :)

Praying your week is also filled with the joys of spending time with those you love.

Happy Baking!

“The greatest legacy one can pass on to one’s children and grandchildren is not money or other material things accumulated in one’s life, but rather a legacy of character and faith.”    Billy Graham

Pecan Pie Jack Daniel-Style
Cranking it up a bit with a splash of Lynchburg's hometown product!
Serves: 6-8 slices
  • ¼ cup Butter
  • ⅔ cups Brown Sugar, firmly packed
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup corn syrup (Light or dark)
  • 3 eggs, slightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 1 to 1½ cups Pecan halves or pieces (can be roughly chopped if you prefer)
  • ¼ cup Jack Daniel Whiskey (Optional)
  • 1 Pie Crust ( I use Pillsbury, but homemade is good too!)
  1. Lightly spray pie plate with canola oil. Line pie plate with pastry shell, flute edges and sprinkle with pecans.
  2. Cream butter and sugar until fluffy using a mixer or food processor. Add in next four ingredients mixing well.
  3. Pour filling over pecans.
  4. Cover outer pie crust with a pie ring or loosely with tin foil.
  5. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Bake 40 to 50 minutes, or longer if needed, until a tester inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  6. Serve warm or room temperature with whipped cream.
(1) Pie will set slightly as it cools.
(2) The pie ring or foil is necessary or the outer pie crust will brown too much during cooking.

Today I Made A Pie, Caramel Pecan Pie

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Today I made a pie.  Now ordinarily this isn’t blog-worthy news.  However, today it is.  You see, for the better part of the last 6 weeks I have traveled or been otherwise preoccupied and have spent very little time in the kitchen.

To the person who looks at the kitchen as a necessary evil, 6 weeks without cooking or baking may sound like the best vacation ever!  But for me I have missed time in the kitchen.  Time planning a menu and executing that meal. Time listening to the wrrrrh of my mixer or maybe it is the fragrance of fresh baked bread that has me longing for some kitchen-time.

Our travels took us to California, Colorado, Nebraska and back to Tennessee.  A wedding, a graduation and a family reunion sprinkled with some precious time with friends.  In a small-town cafe in Crawford, Nebraska I saw the sign for homemade pecan pie.  I was so tempted … but then I came to my senses.  I don’t mean to be a pie snob.  But sadly, I am.  Through the years I have learned there are pies and then there are my homemade pies.  Most of the time I try a restaurant pie I am sorely disappointed.

Paulsen Family Reunion June 2014
Paulsen Family Reunion
June 2014

So here I am.  My first afternoon since coming home that I actually have time to clean my house.  Just in case you are wondering I did dust the end of May.  Yikes!  Is it really the end of June?  Okay, so I need to dust.  I mopped and vacuumed the floor and cleaned the bathrooms.  I did laundry.  But that is not the same as a good ‘ol house cleaning.

But alas it was my kitchen that beckoned me.  The pecans are sitting on the shelf in my refrigerator.  I know I will find corn syrup and sugar in the raw in my pantry.  Caramel Pecan Pie. Yep, that is what is baking in my oven now.

As I sit and type this blog post I realize I am doing everything possible to keep from dusting — even writing an over-due blog post! Since guilt is starting to take a pretty good hold on me I will sign off and actually do some house cleaning before dinner.

I pray your summer is going well.  That you are getting to spend some time doing what delights you the most and I wish you a happy Friday and blessed weekend!

pinterestFor Pinterest lovers, here are this weeks tops recipes on Pinterest brought to us by Ziplist!  I don’t have one on the list but my Southern Living Banana Pudding is getting lots of play!
banana pudding upclose
Happy Cooking! Boating? Baking? Gardening? Cleaning (!) or just reading a good book beside the pool!

Come Lord Jesus

Come Lord Jesus, be our guest, May this food by thee be blest, May our souls by thee be fed, Ever on the living Bread. Amen. – See more at:
Come Lord Jesus, be our guest, May this food by thee be blest, May our souls by thee be fed, Ever on the living Bread. Amen. – See more at:
Come Lord Jesus, be our guest, May this food by thee be blest, May our souls by thee be fed, Ever on the living Bread. Amen. – See more at:

Blessings, Catherine







Autumn’s Apple Crisp Pizza

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apple pizza sliced whip cream
Churches have long been known for a great place for recipe swapping.  Now, don’t get your dander up, I’m not saying recipe swapping is the best function of a church :) but it is a lovely by-product!

apple pizza upclose
A couple of weeks ago at our church small group meeting, my friend Maribeth served an Apple Crisp Pizza.  Fall was in the air, we were sitting on her back porch and she brought out steaming mugs of hot coffee, hot apple cider and this dessert.  One bite was all it took for the group to start crooning over the fresh apple flavor mixed with none other than sweet caramel!

apple pizza single slice
You know me, I asked for the recipe, which she promptly retrieved from her computer.  And where did she get it you may be wondering?  Facebook!  Yep, this is one of those zillions of recipes filling the walls of Facebook users all over the world!

apple pizza full
My sous-chef dish-washing mom was under the weather (now recovering nicely) and wasn’t able to join us that night.  I used this as my excuse to quickly make it at home.  Cheer her up and all … plus “an apple a day” …  :)

I used a pre-made Pillsbury pie crust, the kind you just unroll.  Fast, easy, and pretty good! My pantry refrigerator is full of Granny Smith, Rome, Delicious, and Gala apples so I used one of each. I drizzled on caramel from a jar and a bit of warmed Brown Sugar Cream Cheese Spread as a finishing touch.

It only takes a few minutes to put together and 35 to 40 minutes to bake.  I only wish it had lasted longer once it came out of the oven.  Next time I am going to add some finely chopped walnuts! To say we liked it is an understatement.  You are gonna want to make this!  

Happy Baking and God Bless,

“For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.”   Isaiah 55:10-11

Autumn’s Apple Crisp Pizza
Prep time
Cook time
When apples are fresh and a plenty, be sure and treat your family and friends to this delicious pizza. Great for a snack or dessert!
Serves: 8 to 10
  • 1 Single-crust pie pastry (9")
  • ⅔ cup sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3 to 4 medium apples (Granny Smith, Gala, Rome, Fiji, Braeburn) peeled and diced into ¼" pieces
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • ⅓ cup packed brown sugar
  • ½ cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ cup butter, softened
  • ½ cup caramel topping and/or frosting
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Roll pastry to fit a 9 to 12" pizza pan; fold under edges to give the pizza a slightly raised crust.*
  3. Combine sugar, flour, and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Add peeled, diced apples, and toss well.
  4. Arrange apples in a single layer over the pie crust to completely cover it.**
  5. For the topping, combine the flour, brown sugar, oats, cinnamon and butter in a bowl. Mix well.
  6. Sprinkle topping evenly over the apples. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes, or until apples are tender and the topping is lightly browned.
  7. Remove from oven and immediately drizzle with caramel topping. Lightly drizzle with warmed frosting if desired.
  8. Cut into 8 pizza slices and serve warm with ice cream or whipped cream.
A Pillsbury pie crust that comes in a roll works great. Just unroll on a round pizza pan and you are ready to go.
*Depending on the size of apples, you may not have a flat single layer, but that is okay, just smooth the apple mixture over all the crust.
DRIZZLE -- caramel drizzle is enough but a little bit of warmed vanilla frosting gives the added bit of white color to the pizza. SERVING: for a snack this pizza can easily be cut into 10 to 12 small slices. For dessert I would plan on only 8 slices.

Goo Goo Ice Cream Pie

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goo goo single
Early in the summer we received the Tennessee Home & Farm magazine published by The Tennessee Farm Bureau.  We always enjoy reading articles about local folk and items of interest.  However, both my Chief Culinary Consultant and I turn to the pages filled with recipes first.  This Goo Goo Pie recipe took front and center as we began to drool.  “I hope you make this one”, says the Chief.

Growing up in Nebraska I never ate a Goo Goo Cluster until arriving in the SouthGoo Goo Clusters are a southern treat! In 1912, in a copper kettle at the Standard Candy Company at Clark & First Avenue in Nashville, TN, the world’s first ever combination candy bar was invented. A roundish mound of caramel, marshmallow nougat, fresh roasted peanuts and real milk chocolate; its renegade shape was more difficult to wrap than the conventional rectangular or square shapgoo goo pkges of the day. More importantly, this was the first time multiple elements were being mass-produced in a retail confection. Previous to the advent of the Goo Goo Cluster, candy bar manufacturing consisted of bars solely using chocolate, caramel or taffy. The Goo Goo Cluster represented the first time a bar consisted of more than just one principal ingredient.

When my sister-in-law Donna was visiting in June I told her of my plight:  I wanted to make this ice cream pie but I couldn’t find the Goo Goo Clusters at the store.  Donna-to-the-rescue because she found them at the candy store downtown Lynchburg, just a few miles from my home. :)  Let the ice cream pie making begin! The pie ingredients mirror a Goo Goo layering caramel, marshmallow creme, roasted peanuts and fudegy chocolate!

goo goo single down
I doubled the recipe and made this scrumptious dessert in an 10″ springform pan.   If you don’t have a springform pan a regular pie plate can be used. No matter what the occasion an ice cream pie is a real crowd pleaser!  If you cannot buy Goo Goo Clusters, don’t worry — the pie itself mimics the Goo Goo and the actual clusters are used for garnish. 

Happy Eating!

The Baptism of Jesus

In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. 10 And when he came up out of the water, immediately he saw the heavens being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. 11 And a voice came from heaven, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.”   Mark 1:9-11

Goo Goo Ice Cream Pie
Take a walk down memory lane with the taste of Goo Goo Clusters made into an ice cream pie!
Serves: 6 to 8 servings
  • 1 chocolate cookie pie crust, 8" or 9"
  • 1 cup marshmallow creme
  • ½ cup caramel sauce
  • 2 cups vanilla ice cream
  • 1 cup chocolate fudge sauce
  • 1 cup peanuts, lightly salted
  • 1 Goo Goo Cluster, chopped, *optional
  1. Layer marshmallow creme evenly over the pie crust.
  2. Spoon caramel over marshmallow layer.
  3. Layer soft vanilla ice cream over the caramel.
  4. Slightly warm fudge sauce in microwave so it will be pourable. Spoon quickly over ice cream.
  5. Top with peanuts (and Goo Goo Cluster pieces if using), and freeze for several hours before serving.
The ingredients can be doubled and placed in a 10" Springform pan to serve 12 to 16 servings.
The chocolate cookie crust can be store-bought or made from crushed chocolate wafer cookies.
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