Cherry Scones

Cherry Scones

Who doesn’t love cherry pie? I know I do. I got together for coffee with a couple of friends recently and I wanted to make something to have with our coffee. I used cherry pie filling as the base for these scones. My pie filling was homemade.  Store bought cherry pie filling would work fine, too. They were just sweet enough and came out this beautiful pink color. They did remind me a little of cherry pie and summer. Nothing bad about that. The scones were great just as they were- but would also make a wonderful base for shortcake. I think with a scoop of ice cream or a bit of whipped cream, these scones would also make a nice dessert.


Cherry Scones

3 c. flour

1/4 c. sugar

1 T. baking powder

1 t. salt

1/2 c. cold butter

1 1/3 c. cherry pie filling

2 eggs

2 t. vanilla


2 c. powdered sugar

2 T. vanilla


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or grease lightly. I have silicone baking mats so that is what I use. Set aside. In mixing bowl combine dry ingredients and cut in butter to resemble coarse crumbs. Combine pie filling with eggs and vanilla and stir to blend well. Add to dry ingredients and stir until mixed well. Mixture will be a stiff batter. Scoop 1/4 cup portions of batter onto the baking sheets- leaving a couple of inches between them.  You will need both baking sheets. I used a 2 oz. ice cream scoop and got 22 scones. Bake for 15-17 minutes or until golden brown on the bottom. I switched my baking sheets about halfway through the baking. Remove to a cooling rack and make the glaze.

Combine the powdered sugar and vanilla in a small bowl and add enough water so the glaze is about the thickness of maple syrup, probably a couple of tablespoons. Dip the tops of each of the warm scones in the glaze and return to the cooling rack.

Blueberry Sweet Rolls

Blueberry Sweet Rolls

With blueberry season here, I had to make these rolls. These are a favorite recipe of mine. They are not too sweet, even with a powdered sugar glaze. Great for brunch or breakfast. Sweet enough to be dessert, too.

The base of the rolls is a rich, yeast dough. The dough is divided in half, rolled out, then brushed with butter. Then the dough is sprinkled  with cinnamon sugar and topped with blueberries. The dough is rolled up, jelly roll fashion, then sliced into rolls.

The rolls are baked in 2 (9-inch) cake pans. The recipe makes 24 blueberry rolls.

I used fresh berries, but frozen work well, too. A good reason to buy extra berries and freeze them!! 

Blueberry Sweet Rolls

3-3 1/2 c. bread flour
1 package active dry yeast
1 1/3 c. evaporated milk
6 T. butter
1/4 c. sugar
1 t. salt
1 egg
6 T. butter, melted

1/2 c. sugar
2 t. cinnamon
1 t. grated lemon or orange peel
2 c. fresh or frozen blueberries

In bowl combine 1 1/2 c. of the flour with the yeast, sugar and salt. Heat together the milk and 2T. of the butter until warm and add to the flour mixture, beating 2 minutes. Add egg and beat 2 minutes longer. By hand stir in enough of the remaining flour to make a soft dough. Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead, adding flour as needed until dough becomes moderately stiff. Place in greased bowl, turning once to coat and cover. Allow to double in bulk, about 1 1/2 hours. Punch dough down, cover, and let rest 10 minutes. Divide dough in half. Roll each half into a 14×8 inch rectangle. Brush dough with the melted butter. Combine the remaining sugar, peel and cinnamon and sprinkle over the dough. Top with the blueberries and press the berries into the dough. Starting at the long side roll up dough jelly roll fashion and seal edge by pinching. Repeat with second roll. Cut each roll into 12 slices and place 12 rolls in greased 9 inch round pans. Cover pans and allow to rise until doubled, about 30 minutes. Bake in a 375 degree oven for 20-25 minutes. While rolls are warm, you can top with a powder sugar glaze, if desired. Makes 24.

Crock Pot Lambsquarters Quiche

Quiche in the crock pot

This recipe was inspired by a friend baking a pecan pie in crock pot.  I was intrigued. It certainly would be cooler than turning on the oven. If it worked for pie, would it work for a quiche? I had to find out. I followed his directions as best I remembered them.

I started by spraying the inside of the crock pot with non- stick baking spray. I am sure I could have oiled it instead, or maybe rubbed it with butter. Then I placed the pie crust in- trying to fit it as best I could. It was pretty easy. I added the fillings like I normally would. I put on the lid and set it on high. I let the quiche bake for 90 minutes- then gave it a look. It was set, but the crust needed a little more time so I let it go another 30 minutes.

It worked!! A perfectly “baked” quiche in the crock pot.

OK- I can hear the question you want to ask-how do you get it out? We had errands to run so I turned it off and left it in the crock pot, uncovered, for an hour or so. It was still warm. I loosened the edges of the quiche. Then I removed the crock from the base. I placed my hand on the top of the quiche and turned the crock over. It came out right into my hand and I placed it on a serving plate. A little of the crust crumbled- but it mostly held together. Next time I might try 2 spatulas.  I suppose I could have just sliced it right in the crock pot, too. Hindsight….

I made my quiche from lambsquarters. It’s a common weed, and tastes a lot like spinach. It is also growing all over my yard. You could certainly use spinach instead.

Lambsquarters Quiche

1 unbaked pie crust

3 c. shredded cheese, divided

2 T. flour

1 leek, white part only, sliced and sauteed in oil until tender

4-5 cups lambsquarters leaves, washed and steamed until wilted

3 eggs

1 c. milk or half and half

salt and pepper to taste

hot sauce to taste

For conventional cooking preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place crust in a 9-inch deep dish pie pan. Toss 2 cups of the cheese with the flour and place in pie crust. Add the leeks and lambsquarters. Combine eggs with milk and seasonings, beat until smooth  and pour over the ingredients in the pie crust. Top with remaining cheese.  Place on a baking sheet and bake 45 minutes to an hour. Check quiche for doneness by inserting a knife off center. If it is clean quiche is done. Serve 4-5.

Crock pot directions: Coat the inside of the crock pot with non- stick baking spray, butter or oil. Roll out pie crust and place in crock pot- crust should be at least 1-inch up the sides of the crock pot. Toss 2 cups of the cheese with the flour and place in pie crust. Add the leeks and lambsquarters. Combine eggs with milk and seasonings, beat until smooth  and pour over the ingredients in the pie crust. Top with remaining cheese. Put the lid on the crock pot and set it on high. Let the quiche bake for 2 hours. Leave it in longer, if the crust is not brown enough.

Finished quiche, plated


Summer Tomato Salads

Marinated Tomato Salad

Tomato season is too short around here. I can never get enough of what my mom called “real tomatoes”. The first few tomatoes never make it in the house. Warm from the sun, they are too tempting. I just pick them right off the plant and eat them.

Then, I start to think about preserving some for after the season is over. So I start drying and canning tomatoes.

Sometimes, in the excitement of canning and dehydrating tomatoes, I find I haven’t remembered to eat enough of them fresh. So anxious to get as many as possible put away for winter, I have denied  myself the pleasure of  fresh, juicy, vine-ripened tomatoes.

Well, not this year. I have been having tomatoes with my eggs for breakfast, creamy tomato soup for lunch and plenty of tomato sandwiches and salads. I thought I would share a few of my favorite tomato salad recipes with you.

They are pretty simple. I think that is how it should be. When you have something as close to perfection as a ripe tomato, little more is needed.


Marinated Tomato Salad


3 large tomatoes, cut in wedges, or 2 pints cherry tomatoes, halved
1 T. olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
2-3 basil leaves, cut into thin strips
2 T. balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper to taste

Combine ingredients and serve at room temperature. Serves 4-6.

Tomato and Feta Salad

3 tablespoons crumbled feta cheese
12 cherry tomatoes, thinly sliced
1/2 sweet onion, diced
1 tablespoon olive oil -I used a lemon infused olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste

In a bowl, mix the feta cheese, cherry tomatoes, onion, olive oil, and lemon juice. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately. Serves 2.

Warm Pasta Salad


1 lb. Plum tomatoes, chopped

1 medium sweet onion, chopped

4 oz. Fresh mushrooms, sliced

2 cloves garlic, minced

¼ c. fresh parsley, chopped

1 T. dried basil or 1/4 c. chopped fresh basil

1 T. capers, optional

1 t. dried oregano

½ c. olive oil

¼ c. red wine vinegar

3 T. balsamic vinegar

Dash of hot red pepper flakes

Salt to taste

1 lb. Uncooked pasta


Combine all ingredients, except pasta and chill overnight. Cook pasta, drain and toss with tomato mixture. Mixture should be served right away . Serves 6.


BLT Salad


6-8 slices bacon

2 slices rye bread

2 slices Swiss cheese

5 c. torn up lettuce or mixed greens

3 T. olive oil

2 T. apple cider vinegar

1 T. balsamic vinegar

Salt and fresh ground pepper

2-3 tomatoes, diced


Cook bacon until crisp. Remove from pan, drain and crumble. Remove most of the bacon grease from the pan. Make a sandwich with the rye bread and the Swiss cheese. Toast in the skillet over medium heat until golden brown and cheese is melted. Set aside. Place lettuce in bowl and toss with the oil to coat the leaves. Toss with the vinegars and season with salt and pepper to taste. Add the tomatoes and the bacon and toss. Cut the sandwich into cubes and place on the top of the salad. Serves 2.

Note: you can make two sandwiches if you want more bread and cheese in the salad.

Tomato Feta Salad

Tomato Feta Salad

Warm Pasta Salad

Warm Pasta Salad

BLT Salad

BLT Salad

Cinnamon Vanilla Blueberry Jam

Cinnamon-Vanilla Blueberry Jam

It seems to be a great year for blueberries. The ones in my yard are starting to ripen, and I have more than ever before. So far, the netting is keeping birds and chipmunks away.

Prices at the market have been good, too. I have been eating berries, freezing berries and made some blueberry liqueur. I also wanted to make jam.

I often make blueberry jam with a little added vanilla, but decided to add cinnamon this time, as well. The result was so tasty.

I used the basic berry jam recipe from the Ball Blue Book, but I added both vanilla and a cinnamon in this batch. The flavors worked really well together. I am making more of this one, for sure. Enjoy.


Cinnamon- Vanilla Blueberry Jam

9 c. crushed blueberries

6 c. sugar

1 T. ground cinnamon

1 T. vanilla

Pick over berries getting any stems. Rinse , drain and crush. Place berries, sugar, cinnamon and vanilla in a large saucepan and heat slowly until sugar has melted. Bring up heat and cook over high heat, stirring often. Stir more as mixture thickens. It will take 20-30 minutes to get to the gel stage. To check for gel stage dip a metal spoon in blueberry mixture and hold it up sideways. Allow mixture to drip off and when two drops come together to form one larger drop- you are at gel stage. You can also use a candy thermometer. When the jam reaches 220 degrees- or 8 degrees over the temp of boiling water- you are at gel stage. Ladle hot jam into clean, hot jelly jars. Fill to within 1/4 inch of the top. Wipe rims and place on lids prepared according to directions on box. Screw lids comfortably tight. Place jars in boiling water bath with water at least 1-2 inches over the tops of the jars. Cover pot and start timing when water returns to the boil. Process 15 minutes. Remove jars to towel, cutting board or cooling rack in a draft-free location. Check seals once jars are cooled. Makes 8-10 jelly jars.

Source: Adapted from Ball Blue Book

Cucumber Dill Salad

Cucumber Dill Salad

I love cucumbers and find myself eating more of them in the summer. There is something about a cucumber salad that feels like summer to me. It was hot last night, and I was in the mood for a salad. I had a couple of cucumbers, so I decided to make this to have with dinner last night. It was perfect.

I used a mix of vinegar, oil, salt, sugar and dill. By mixing the salad a couple of hours before dinner, the cucumbers become a sort of fresh pickle.

You don’t have to wait, though. The salad tastes good when freshly made. I just prefer the way it tastes after the flavors have a chance to blend a bit.

The nice thing about a salad like this, is that it keeps fresh and tasty for days. I even like to drain the cucumbers and add them to a sandwich, like you would add a pickle.


Cucumber Dill Salad 

2 English cucumbers, sliced thin – any cuke would work, though

2/3 c. cider vinegar

1/3 c. oil

2 T. sugar

2 t. salt

1 t. dill weed- I used dried- use about 1 tablespoon if using fresh

1 t. parsley

Fresh ground pepper and hot sauce to taste

Place cucumbers in a bowl and set aside. Combine remaining ingredients in another bowl and mix well. Pour over the cucumbers and mix together. Chill salad several hours before serving. Serves 6.

Fresh Peach Scones

Fresh Peach Scones

I’ve really been in the mood to make scones lately. It has been hot, so I haven’t been baking as much. Scones bake pretty quickly, though. These were well worth heating up the kitchen for a little while. Since I had some beautiful peaches, I decided to use them in the batter.

They worked out even better than I had hoped. I added cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves into the dough, for a little extra flavor. Nicely complimented the sweetness of the peaches.


These are wonderful for breakfast, brunch or with tea or coffee. They would also make a nice base for shortcake. I could see them with berries and whipped cream for a perfect summer dessert.

I used a 2 oz. cookie scoop and got 25 scones. You could make them bigger, just increase the baking time a couple of minutes. I also placed only one baking sheet in the oven at a time. You could put both in at once, but reverse the rack you have them on- half way through baking- so they bake more evenly. Also, if both trays are in the oven at once, increase baking time a couple of minutes.


Fresh Peach Scones


3 cups flour

½ c. sugar

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 t. cinnamon

1 t. nutmeg

Pinch of cloves

½ t. salt

10 T. cold butter (1 stick plus two tablespoons)

¾ c. half and half or milk

1 egg

1½ t. vanilla

1½ c. peeled, chopped peaches – about 3-4 peaches


2 c. powdered sugar

About 2-3 T. half and half

1 t. vanilla


Preheat oven to 425. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper, or use silicone liners. In a bowl, place the dry ingredients and stir to mix. Cut in butter to resemble coarse crumbs.  Make a well in the center and stir in half and half, vanilla and egg. Stir to make a soft dough. Fold in peaches.  Use ice cream scoop to make scones, placing scoops of dough onto baking sheets.  Bake until browned – 14-16 minutes. Cool on a rack. Make glaze and dip tops of scones in glaze  or drizzle it over them.  Makes  22-25 depending on size.

Cherry Pie Blintzes

Cherry Pie Blintzes

With cherries in season, I have been using them in all sorts of dishes.  I think these blintzes are one of my favorites.  They make a great dessert. I just dusted them with powdered sugar, but you can also top them with ice cream or whipped cream. They remind me a warm cherry pie.

Blintzes also make a great breakfast or brunch dish.

I didn’t use a lot of sugar in my pie filling because I was using sweet cherries. I also think with the powdered sugar on top, they are sweet enough. Adjust the sugar in the recipe to suit your own taste. If using tart cherries, you will want to add a little more sugar.

They are easy to make, too. We made them in cooking camp this week and the kids loved them.

These are not traditional blintzes. The secret is that the blintzes are made with flour tortillas instead of traditional crepes. I love the texture flour tortillas take on when softened in milk. They really work well, and with a fraction of the work of making crepes.


So here is the recipe. I think you will love them as much as I do.

Cherry Pie Blintzes

Cherry Pie Filling

4 c. pitted sweet cherries- sour cherries can also be used

1½ c. water

½ c. sugar- use a little more if using tart cherries

Pinch of salt

¼ c. cornstarch

Place cherries in a saucepan with 1 cup of the water, sugar and the salt. Bring to a simmer. Mix cornstarch with the ½ cup of water and add to the cherry mixture, cooking until just thickened. Cool. Makes about 4 cups.


8-10 Flour tortillas

½ c. Milk

4 T. Butter

Powdered sugar


Make the pie filling ahead of time, so it is cooled down. Place the tortillas in a shallow pan and pour milk over them. Turn them to make sure they all get covered in the milk. Let the tortillas soften for 5-10 minutes. Place a tortilla on a flat surface and spoon about ½ cup of the pie filling in the middle. Fold sides in until they almost touch in the middle. Roll up from the bottom to form a little bundle. Repeat with remaining tortillas and filling. Heat butter in saucepan over medium heat and brown the blintzes, turning over as needed to brown on both sides. Start them off seam side down, to keep them from popping open. Place on serving dish and dust with powdered sugar. Serve warm. Makes 8-10.


Browning in the skillet


Jim Gibans’ Mother’s Butterscotch Cookies

Butterscotch Cookies

I love these cookies. It’s not often I come across new cookie recipes. Even more special, that I love these cookies as much as I do. My friend Jared, sent me the recipe last week. I made them, and knew right away they were something special. I asked his permission to share the recipe with you.

The cookies aren’t much to look at. Little beige blobs, with a dollop of frosting on each one. Oh, but the flavor and texture are so special. They are like little cakes- soft, really tender, with a little crunch on the bottom. The brown butter icing compliments them perfectly.

The little flecks of brown in my frosting, are because some of the butter solids browned in the pan while I was cooking the butter. I like the flavor they add, so I was sure to get them out of the bottom of the pan. I added the powdered sugar to the saucepan of browned butter and beat it vigorously, to get them incorporated.

I am reprinting the recipe as it was sent to me. The only change I made, was that I baked them at 375, instead of 400. Be sure to grease the baking sheets. Even using a silicone baking sheet, they stuck a  little before I greased the pan.

There are two different ingredient amounts for the frosting. Use the one you prefer. I used the larger amount and had frosting left over. Also, I don’t sift flour normally, and I didn’t sift the flour for this cookie.

Even after chilling, the dough was really soft. I used a cookie scoop to get them on the baking sheet. I got about 6 dozen cookies from the recipe. I used a one ounce scoop.

They are wonderful the first day, but even better the next.

I have no idea how old this recipe is. Jim was born in 1930 and passed recently. This post is dedicated to Jim and his mother, Sylva. I am honored to share her recipe with all of you.


Jim Giban’ Mother’s Butterscotch Cookies


½ cup butter

1 ½ cups brown sugar, packed

2 eggs

2 ½ cups sifted flour

½ tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

½ tsp salt

1 cup sour cream

1 tsp vanilla

2/3 cups walnuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 400.

Cream butter, add sugar gradually and cream thoroughly. Blend in well beaten eggs. Sift flour, baking powder and soda, and salt together. Add to creamed mixture alternately with sour cream. Blend in vanilla and nuts. Chill. Drop by spoonfuls on lightly greased baking sheets. Leave space for spreading. Bake 10-15 minutes until golden. Cool.


6 Tbs. butter (or 8 Tbs.)

1 ½ cups confectioner’s ‘sugar (or 2 cups)

1 tsp vanilla

Hot water

Melt butter until golden brown. Blend in confectioner’s sugar. Add vanilla. Stir in slowly up to about 4 Tbs of hot water. Don’t add all at once. Just add enough until icing is right consistency to spread smoothly.

(Gram used the larger quantities of butter and sugar, but I find that I don’t need

that much icing).

Frost cooled cookies. Enjoy!

Gram= Sylva Hirsh Gibans mother of James Gibans

Fresh Cherry Cake

Fresh Cherry Cake

This cherry cake is the perfect summer dessert. It is full of fresh cherries and not too sweet. I love to serve it warm from the oven, but even at room temp, it is a crowd pleaser.

The cake is great, just as it is, but can also be dressed up with a scoop of ice cream, whipped cream or a drizzle of melted chocolate.

While fresh cherries are in season, I try to use them in as many dishes as I can. I also pit and freeze some to enjoy later. I used fresh, pitted cherries, but you could use frozen, if you prefer.

The recipe calls for biscuit mix- like Bisquick. You can use store bought, or even make your own. I included a recipe for homemade biscuit mix at the bottom of this post.

So here is the recipe. Enjoy!!

Fresh Cherry Cake

2 c. biscuit mix*

1/2 c. sugar

1/3 c. milk

2 T. oil

1 egg

1½ c. pitted cherries- sweet or sour


Preheat oven to 350. Grease and flour a 9×9-inch pan. Beat all ingredients together, except cherries, for about 30 seconds. Fold in cherries and pour into prepared pan. Bake for about 35 minutes. Cake should be golden brown on top and test clean with a toothpick. Serve warm, if you can.

*You can use Bisquick or Jiffy Mix, or use homemade. Recipe follows.


Pastry Mix/ Biscuit Mix

8 cups sifted, all-purpose flour

1 c. powdered milk

1 c. powdered buttermilk

¼ c. baking powder

1 T. salt

2 c. shortening**

Sift dry ingredients together 3 times. Cut in shortening to resemble cornmeal. Keep in an airtight container.  Store in a cool dry place and use within six months.

**You can use coconut oil, if you prefer. If you do, chill coconut oil before making the mix, and store mix in fridge.