Easy Summer Desserts! Ice Cream Sandwiches and Cherry Pineapple Dump Cake with a Twist!

Easy 12 serving dessert!
While I am not going to bore you with another picture of our Smoked Baby Back Ribs I did think I would share my first ever "Dump Cake" and my made ahead Ice Cream Sandwiches desserts for this Memorial Day's cookout here at home!   is the link for the "how we do" the ribs.    is the link for the cookie recipe.

TO MAKE THE ICE CREAM SANDWICHES:   I placed a cookie (these are huge) on the cutting board and sliced in half each 4-5" cookie and placed 2 small scoops of softened vanilla bean ice cream on one half.  Next I topped with the remaining half of the cookie and wrapped each dessert in plastic wrap then stored them all in a large freezer bad in the deep freeze to firm up!

9" x 13" dish of delicious!

Ingredients for the Cherry Pineapple Dump Cake:

1 boxed yellow cake mix
1 can cherry pie filling
1 can crushed pineapple
1/3 C. brown sugar
1/4 C whole pecans
1 stick melted butter
whipped cream or ice cream

Butter generously a 8" X 13" pan and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Last step drizzle with melted butter and bake.
Spread the cherry pie filling on the bottom of the pan.  Top this with the crushed pineapple.  Next sprinkle first with brown sugar then with the cake mix.  Scatter with the pecans and drizzle with the melted butter.  Bake in the preheated oven 40 minutes or until done. 

Serve warm or at room temperature with a dollop of sweet cream or ice cream.  Delicious!  Yield 12 servings.


Coney, "Chili Dog" Time! Summer's Here! Grill up some Sausages & Hot Dogs and top them with this AMAZING Coney Sauce!

Smells great too as it's simmering away!
My husband grew up in a little town, Washington, Indiana and has talked about a little mom and pop stand there that sold the most delicious coney's ever.  I have heard about how everyone went there after school (in the 1960's) and there were long lines and so on and on and on......They were known as Kramer's Famous Coney's.  Check them out on Facebook to see what is up!

Well anyway, he ran into a friend who married a gal from Washington and she has given him the reported "secret recipe"!  He is so excited and brimming with anticipation that he actually called last night on the way home from work to ask if he could pick up anything I needed in order for me to serve them up for supper tonight!  Wow.  I sure hope he likes them.  Talk about pressure!  And a big Thank You out there for this recipe!  I am excited to try it!

Easy every day ingredients!
Ingredients for Coney, "Chili Dog" Sauce:

2 pounds ground chuck
1 C. water
1 diced onion
15 oz. tomato sauce
6 oz. tomato sauce
1 C. Old Fashioned Oats
1 T. salt
1T. sugar
1T. chili powder
1/2 t. celery salt
sprinkle black pepper
dash of Worcestershire sauce

Combine chuck, water, and onion in a large skillet and brown.  DO NOT DRAIN.  Stir in  the remaining ingredients and simmer covered for 2 hours.  Serve over grilled or otherwise cooked dogs or sausages on fresh buns of your choice.  Could make some great nachos too!

Week night dinner is served, sliced up a couple of apples for dessert and watched TV!
Easily can be doubled or tripled for crowd!   One pound should be enough to sauce 6 to 10 dogs depending on how much you use per sandwich!  This recipe should make 12-20 chili dogs. I added extra chili powder and a couple of shakes of hot sauce so make it your own.  If it gets thick stir in more water.

Also freezes quite well!

Serving suggestions:  Chips to scoop up any sauce that drips! Cole Slaw and Potato Salad with Lemonade or beverage of your choice.  Make some ice cream ahead and freeze into ice cream sandwiches using your favorite home made cookies! 


GIANT Sugar Cookies! Easy and Delicious! It is so nice to have really good treats on hand!

These are truly the biggest cookie I have ever made!  So big one is for sure enough!  I am making a second batch today and dropping to a tablespoon as a scoop rather than a 2" ice cream scoop the recipe calls for.  I found this recipe in the Martha Stewart Cookie Cookbook and adapted it by leaving out the lemon zest and lemon juice and using vanilla to flavor.  I also used the natural dark granulated sugar on the tops instead of sanding sugar.  The recipe yielded 1 1/2 dozen gigantic 6" cookies and I am trying for 3-4" cookies this go round!  I left 2 sticks of butter out last night and I am ready to spend this stormy, rainy, dismal day catching up the laundry and baking these delicious cookies!  They have a crunch on the outside and chewy inside.....puuurrrrfect to my taste!

Ingredients for Giant Sugar Cookies:

3 C. flour
1 t. soda
1/4 t. kosher salt
1 3/4 C. sugar
1/4 C. packed brown sugar
2 sticks (1 C.)  soft butter
2 large eggs
1 1/2 t. pure vanilla extract
2-3 T. dark natural sugar or your choice of sugar for tops

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line cookie sheets with parchment or use silpat mats. Set aside.

Sift together the flour, soda, and salt and set aside. 

Place the butter, and sugars, and vanilla in a mixer bowl and beat until fluffy.  Brat in eggs one at a time until pale.  Reduce the mixer speed to lowest setting and add the dry ingredients.

Drop dough onto prepare pans using a 2" ice cream scoop leaving 3" between the cookies.  Flatten slightly and sprinkle with sugar.  Use a pastry brush dipped in water and brush the cookie tops.  Sprinkle a second time with sugar.  Bake until golden about 15 minutes.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pans a few minutes before removing to cooling racks.  Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.  Trust me they will not be around that long!


Spicy Shrimp and Zucchini Dinner for Two in 6 Minutes!

Adding the Sriracha makes the shrimp a bit pinker and with the sweetness of the zucchini it is delicious!
You sometimes want a really good really tasty meal in just a few minutes!  This is my favorite "Quick Fix" meal and everyone I have tested it on has really liked it.  My family has no hesitation in giving me the real deal opinion which is usually followed by much ribbing if it is a thumbs down...which is certainly NOT the case with this prize!  I am starting a new category with this dish called Quick Fix Meals.

My favorite hot sauce currently is Sriracha HOT Chili Sauce and I use it in this dish but you can use the hot sauce of tour choice and vary the amount to your liking.  I am giving you the version we really like.  Actually you could serve this to four by adding a dinner salad and bread. Dessert is optional.  My versions fills up two very hungry adults!

Ingredients for Spicy Shrimp and Zucchini Dinner in 6 Minutes:

8 ounces uncooked thin spaghetti (usually cooks in 6 minutes)
1 T. salt to season the water for boiling pasta
2-3 quarts boiling water
1 pound fresh or thawed, shelled, cleaned and de-veined shrimp
2 small zucchini ends removed and sliced in half long ways then cut into 1/2 " pieces
2 tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons Sriracha Hot chili sauce
black pepper
1/2 C. pasta water from the spaghetti cooking pot

Salt and bring a kettle of water to boil for the spaghetti.  Add and start timing when the pot returns to a boil.

Add the butter to a saute pan and add the zucchini and black pepper,  stir fry for 2 minutes.  Add the shrimp and cook until opaque and the zucchini is tender crisp. About 3 minutes.

Adding a bit of starchy pasta water gives the sauce a "just right" touch!
Add the hot sauce and the pasta water.  Reduce the shrimp to lowest simmer to keep warm while you drain the pasta.

Toss the drained pasta and shrimp mixture together and serve!  Wait for praise!  It works here!

There would be no issue in doubling or tripling this dish, just allow a few  minutes more cooking time.


Mongolian Beef and Onions

Mongolian Beef and Onions over hot cooked rice.
This is probably my favorite Asian dish.  The first time my husband was ever in the hospital our middle son Mike took me out of the hospital for supper to the best Chinese eatery in town and introduced me to this dish.  This recipe is for those who LOVE cooked onions and a slightly crisp crust on their thinly sliced steak.  Yum! I do and here is how I make it at home.

Ingredients for Mongolian Beef and Onions:

2 t. vegetable oil
1 t. grated ginger
1 T. chopped garlic
1 good pinch of red pepper flakes
1/2 C. soy sauce
1/2 C. water
1/2 C. brown sugar
1 C. oil for quick fry
1 pound flank steak very thinly sliced diagonally then in halves or thirds uniformly
4-5 Tablespoons of cornstarch
2 large sweet onions, peeled, halved, then sliced
1 bunch of green onions sliced 1/2", separate the whites and add to slices then set the greens aside
hot cooked rice or noodles

Prepare the onions and set them aside for now. 

Heat the 2 t. of oil over moderate heat and add the ginger, red pepper flakes, and garlic.  The oil should NOT be too hot as not to scorch.  Quickly add the soy sauce and water and stir together.  Dissolve the brown sugar in the warm sauce stirring well.  At medium heat boil the sauce 3-4 minutes then reduce to the lowest simmer.  After it thickens slightly remove from the heat. 

The sauce.
Using a plastic bag combine the sliced steak and the corn starch shaking until well coated.  This should sit at least 10 minutes or as long as overnight. 

Heat one cup of oil in a wok or enough that the meat is mostly covered when it is added to the hot oil.  Saute for just 2 minutes.  I did this in 2 batches.  Remove from the oil using a slotted spoon onto paper towels.  Pour the oil into another container straining for use latter. 

The slightly cooked onions.
Place the wok back over the heat and add the onions saute for 3- 4 minutes.  Dump the meat back into the pan and heat 1 more minute.  Add the sauce and cook 1 minute.

Sliced onion tops.
Stir in the sliced green onion tops and spoon over hot rice or noodles,  Discard any remaining sauce. 

Mmmmm supper.
Yield 3 servings.  Enjoy!