Buttermilk Blueberry Pie Ice Cream

Hi dear readers!

Hope everyone has been enjoying the summer and had an excellent 4th of July.

I went up to the cottage, per usual, and had an amazingly relaxing time with family and much good food (remember doughboys?) You can find more of my 4th of July cottage foods here and here and here.

This year I borrowed my Aunt’s ice cream maker to whip up a recipe I submitted to the Hudsonville ice cream company’s Pure Michigan flavor contest. Sadly, I didn’t win. BUT- my family thought the ice cream was delicious and totally should have won (ok, my emphasis added).

So, what is it? Creamy buttermilk ice cream with lots of lemon zest, swirled with Michigan blueberry pie filling and dotted with cinnamon-sugar pie crust pieces.

Yup, drool.

Buttermilk Blueberry Pie Ice Cream ~ Erin's DC Kitchen

Buttermilk Blueberry Pie Ice Cream ~ Erin's DC Kitchen

So, want to make it??


Buttermilk Ice Cream~ Erin's DC Kitchen


To swirl in pie crust and pie filling, transfer to a large bowl and fold gently with a spatula



(Special thanks to my photographer brother, Jeffrey Smith, for the awesome photos!)

Well, I kinda failed to write the recipe down 😦 and time has passed and most of it has left my mind. But I’ll sketch it out below, the parts I remember, and then you can fill in the blanks by comparing other recipes or using your best judgement.

Buttermilk Blueberry Pie Ice Cream

  • 6 to 8 cups buttermilk
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 1 lemon, juice and zest
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar (really don’t remember if this is right)
  • pinch of salt

For the blueberry pie filling

  • 1 heaping cup blueberries
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • dash of water
  • 1/4 tsp or so cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • single pie crust, sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar, baked and broken into pieces

For the pie filling: Lightly smash berries and combine with all over ingredients in a small saucepan over medium heat. Heat until boiling, stirring often, then reduce to a simmer and let cook for 5 minutes. Mixture will naturally thicken. Remove from heat and let cool completely.

For the ice cream: Combine the buttermilk, cream, salt, and lemon juice and zest in a large saucepan and heat until just bubbly but not scalded. Stir in sugar and continue stirring until heated through and sugar is dissolved. Temper the egg yolks with a bit of the warm cream mixture, then quickly whisk in the rest of the cream mixture. Add to a large ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacture instructions.

Once ice cream is frozen, but still a little soft and creamy, remove from maker into a large bowl. Gently fold the broken pie crust pieces into the ice cream. Next, dollop the pie filling across the top of the ice cream and gently fold that in, turning only 2 or 3 times max (you want swirls, not to fully mix the berries in, resist temptation to overstir!). Freeze for another 2 hours, of until fully set.



Fresh Corn Bake

Hey ya’ll, it’s time for cottage food part II, or maybe it is part III at this point I don’t know.

I made this fresh corn bake as a side dish to go with some mouthwatering, fall-off-the-bone ribs.  Corn, ribs and watermelon. OH MY GOSH. Summer in three words. 😎 Yummy!

Silver Queen, Country Gentleman (hubba hubba) and Honey & Cream  are a few of the very cool names for sweet corn you’ll find at the farmers market this summer.  I used a bi-color for this recipe, but you can use whatever kind you like.

Sweet corn is allllll good as far as I’m concerned.

Start by cutting the corn off the cobs. My lil’ sister helped with this.

I heart my little sister 😀

Then combine in a baking dish with whole milk, butter, salt and a pinch of brown sugar. Drop some biscuit dough on top to really make this dish down-homey delicious.

Bake then devour.

For all you purists out there- I know sweet corn is really good boiled and eaten straight off the cob, but that can be a little boring if you’ve got a bumper crop of corn to eat your way through. I highly recommend trying this side dish as a way to mix it up!  Plus, it is super super easy and only calls for 3 main ingredients.

No excuses! Just try it 🙂

Fresh Corn Bake

  • 8 ears of sweet corn
  • 2/3 cup whole milk
  • 3 tbl butter, cut up
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • large pinch of brown sugar
  • Bisquick for drop biscuit dough, if desired

Preheat oven to 350°. Cut the all the corn kernels off the cobs into a large bowl. With the flat of your knife, scrape along the cob to get the milky sweet goodness out of each kernel and into the bowl.

Add in the milk and butter, stir to coat. You don’t want the corn to be soupy, if it looks dry, remember the kernels will release some water while baking. Throw in the brown sugar and salt. Taste. If you think it needs more salt, add some. I probably used 3/4 tsp in the end.

If you want to top the corn bake with biscuit dough: Put some Bisquick in a bowl, probably 1 cup or more.  Slowly add in some milk and stir with a fork just until moistened. You don’t want it too sticky. This isn’t an exact science, just eyeball it. Drop the biscuit dough into 6 rounds across the top of the bake.

Bake in a 350° oven for 30 to 40 minutes (with or without the biscuit topping). The corn bake will set-up a bit, but not like a corn pudding.


– Erin

Question of the Day: I’m thinking about going from a wordpress.com address to a .com address. This supposedly will make it easier for foodies to find my blog.  Any experts out there with thoughts on this?  I’m leaning towards doing it… Leave me a comment.

It’s been so long…


Yay!  I’ve missed posting so much- it has really become therapeutic for me-and I’ve really missed interacting with my readers too. 🙂

Well, let me catch you up on what’s been happening. I know I said I’d be gone for one week up in Michigan (which I was) but then I turned around and had to travel to North Carolina for work for another full week. Being on the road is always tiring and I barely had time to check my email let alone get in a blog post.

Besides, I was eating out every single day, 3 meals a day (ewww) and the food was nothing to write home about. Although I did have breakfast-for-dinner at a Waffle House. That was awesome. (Fried eggs, hashbrowns, biscuit and cheese grits to be exact)

Ok, so I’m back now and it’s time to share the deets on my super awesome-very relaxing vacation at the cottage up north.

The cottage is a tradition. More like an institution actually. My mom went when she was a kid. I went when I was a kid. I hope my future kids go too. The cottage is a noun, an adjective and a verb. As a noun: the cottage isn’t a singular place, its a collection of 4 family owned cottages all within walking distance of each other on the lake. As an adjective: the cottage is an attitude that means laid-back, no worries, no plans, just relaxing with a beer and chatting with aunts, uncles and cousins.  As a verb: “It’s time to get my cottage on!!”

For the last couple years my husband and I have rented a 5th cottage near the others.

Where the cooking magic happened…. 🙂

Lake in the front, woods in the back, it’s perfect

Our very own dock

Since he is still on his overseas assignment, I shared the cottage with my brother and his girlfriend. Both are amazing photographers by the way, check out these sunset shots:

The sunset side

The cottage is in a small town but they take July 4th seriously and go big with a parade every year. There are lots of floats and they also throw candy. I love a good fat slice of Americana.

Fish float!

Don’t see this everyday, also, slightly creepy

Cousins lined up, waiting to grab some candy

So after the parade there was beach time and then fireworks later that night.  The week was great. I got to cook for my family and they cooked for me too. Blonde brownies, banana cream pie, gingerbread muffins and sour cream coffee cake, oh ya, those were just the desserts 😉 Wait till you see what I made. Yum.

More to come tomorrow 🙂  Can’t wait? Check out the monkey bread I made for breakfast the first day up north, here.

– Erin

Cottage Update and Monkey Bread

Hi friends! Greetings from Pure Michigan 🙂

As I write this, I am sitting on the back porch looking out onto the Lake. I’m drinking tea my brother’s girlfriend brought me as a gift (awww) and eating a warm, gooey and cinnamony piece of Monkey Bread. This is making typing difficult…

I promised to provide some of our traditional up north recipes and Monkey Bread is the place to start. It is for breakfast after all!

I made this last night and despite the fact I was working in a rental cottage kitchen I had everything needed to make this amazing bread. Bundt pan- check, measuring cup-check, oven set to 350°- check.

Alright you need a few other ingredients too, the main one being refrigerated biscuit dough. Snip the dough into quarters, the quickest way to do this is with some kitchen shears.

Roll these lil’ dough nuggets in a cinnamon sugar mixture. Then layer over chopped pecans.

Drizzle a brown sugar and melted butter mix over the top- it will seep down and make every morsel gooey and yum- and then bake for 35-40 minutes.

If you make the night ahead, as I did, just reheat the pieces* in the microwave to give it the gooey just-baked taste again!

Grandma’s Monkey Bread

  • 3 10 oz tubes of buttermilk biscuit dough
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 stick butter, melted
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans

Grease a bundt or tube pan.  Put chopped pecans in the bottom. Snip the biscuit dough into quarters. Combine the cinnamon and sugar mixture, then roll the dough pieces in it; layer them into the pan. Melt the butter and brown sugar together over low heat in a saucepan. Stir until the sugar dissolves most of the way.  Drizzle of the dough in the pan.

Bake in a preheated oven at 350° for 35-40 minutes. The bread will really puff up and get golden brown on top. Let cool for 10 minutes, then invert on a serving plate. Eat warm, cold, or somewhere in between. It’s awesome either way!

*Note: Why say pieces and not slices? Monkey bread is bread only in the loosest sense. Really, it is many balls of biscuit dough that bake together but are easily pulled apart into pieces as you eat.


– Erin


Ahhhhh, its Friday. The weekend is barreling towards me and I’m not 100% prepared.

Today’s post is a mish-mash of everything, hence the title.

First up- “big” announcements (eye rolling).

I am very blessed to receive not one but two blog awards from Sarah at Curious Cuisinière– the Kreative Blogger award and the Blog on Fire award.  I’m particularly enamored with the second one because it reminds me of the Hunger Games (I. AM. KATNISS).

Thank you so much Sarah, and please take time to visit her blog. She has fun recipes and isn’t afraid to try something new- think pancake wrapped sausages. Yes, that is a real thing. According to the rules, I am to tell you 6 interesting and unusual things about myself and then pass the awards on to 6 other deserving bloggers.

  1. I am obsessed with the Hunger Games
  2. I would die quickly in the Hunger Games because I am weak and cannot identify wild plants to eat
  3. I still get nervous when flying
  4. I have 25 cousins on my Mom’s side of the family and 0 on my Dad’s
  5. I read US weekly as a guilty pleasure
  6. Fritos are my favorite salty junk food

The blogs I’m passing the awards on to are:

  1. The Teenage Taste (The food photography alone will make you drool)
  2. Sugar Dish Me (Great food and hilarious commentary about living in trailers)
  3. Wife Meets Life (Lots of DIY info)
  4. Georgia About (Great glimpse into the culture and cuisine of Georgia)
  5. Omeletta (Self proclaimed food nerd, ‘nough said)
  6. The Camel Life (Absolutely hilarious blog about life- good bad and ugly)

I also want to mention that Heather over at Sugar Dish Me gave me the One Lovely Blog award, but since I recently received that and posted about it, I’m not going to be greedy so I’ll pass on that one. All the same, thanks Heather!

Next item, I’m going on vacation for a week! Every 4th of July our family gathers up north at our cottage. I look forward to this every single year without fail. BUT, this means I won’t be available to make frequent postings. 😦 I’m nervous about being away for that long, will all my readers forget about me? Will they find new blogs to follow? Noooo, don’t leave me (tiny voice, sniff sniff).

Maybe I can post a little bit from up there, but I can’t make any promises.  I’ll miss you all! When I come back, I’ll have so many recipes from up north to share. 🙂



Jam Cookies

Growing up, my family spent many a summer weekend (or week!) at our cottage in northern Michigan.

This was a completely magical way to spend your childhood summers. Not only was my immediate family at the cottage, but so were all my aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents.

My cousins and I would spend  hours playing in the lake, running around the woods searching for crackleberries and trying to find ‘hidden’ meadows, toasting dough boys over the fire and playing Ghost in the Graveyard once the sun set.

I feel like every memory I have of my summers up there is tinged golden around the edges. The memories are accompanied by the musty scent of the cottage’s old furniture, the constant shimmer of sunlight and an overwhelming warmth-h like the sun on your skin and a hug from a loved one all at the same time.

It was tradition for everyone to bring a dessert with them to the cottage, so these jam cookies were a staple of our summer.

Chocolate sheet cake, monkey bread and sour cream coffee cake all made regular appearances too. But when you’re a kid tearing around like a mad man for hours on end, these sandwich cookies made the perfect on the go snack.

We would sneak into the kitchen and steal them out of the Tupperware that sat strategically on top of the microwave in a seemingly pitiful attempt to keep the goods out of our reach.  We felt like we were being really sneaky, but I’m sure the adults knew what was happening!

I hope you set aside 20 minutes to bake these cookies. They are light, slightly buttery and have a great chewy-yet-soft texture. The homemade strawberry jam sandwiched in the center brings a fresh sweetness to the cookies that just tastes like summer.   Make some memories 🙂

Grandma Bright’s Jam Cookies

  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 2 cup flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp water
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • strawberry jam*

Preheat oven to 350°. Cream together the butter and brown sugar. Add in the eggs one at a time, beating on low, and then add in the vanilla and water and mix to combine. Combine the flour and baking soda together; slowly mix into the batter until incorporated.

Drop the cookie batter, by rounded tablespoon full, onto the cookie sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes, until the cookies are lightly golden brown on the edges.

Allow the cookies to completely cool on a wire rack. Spread about 1 tablespoon jam onto half of the cookies and then top with the other half to form cookie sandwiches, yum! 🙂

*Note: I’ve only made these with strawberry jam, but my Mom has done them with raspberry and blueberry too. I think these will be good with any fruit jam.


– Erin

Daily Question: Do you have a favorite ‘Grandma’ recipe? Let me know what it is, leave a comment below!

Roasted Eggplant Dip and a Bonus Dessert!

These are the last of the dishes I made with the fam over Memorial Day weekend. You are in luck my dear readers, this is a two-in-one post!

To start, we have a roasted eggplant and red pepper dip. It’s a great healthy appetizer to have around at a picnic or barbecue rather than chips and sour cream dip.

Bust out the veggies and start dippin’.

So since you had a healthy appetizer it’s totally fine to have some ice cream for dessert.

And by some I mean a lot. At least a double scoop… of  homemade Cherry Chip Ice Cream!

Michigan produces 75% of the tart cherries grown in the U.S. Every July there is a huge cherry festival up north celebrating this fruit in all its glorious forms: fresh off the tree, in pie, crumbles, tarts and even wines. Probably ice cream too!

Works like a charm 🙂

My brothers and I made the ice cream using this super old (Mom says its VINTAGE) ice cream maker. Doesn’t matter to me, it made awesomely creamy and fresh ice cream!










Slice open lengthwise, then scrape out the beans with the back of your knife

Homemade Cherry Chip Ice Cream

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/2 box instant vanilla pudding (about 1/4 cup)
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 cups half and half
  • 1 vanilla bean, scraped
  • 2 cups fresh cherries, pitted and quartered
  • 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

In a large bowl, beat the eggs until fluffy. Add in the remaining ingredients, except for fruit and chocolate, and stir until sugar and pudding mix is well combined. Pour into your ice cream maker and prepare according to your mixer’s instructions. This ice cream will firm up a lot, but it will be reminiscent of custard in texture.

Once the ice cream maker has run its course, stir in the cherries and chips by hand. If you put them in at the beginning, the cherries will get super hard and frozen, not the best. Freeze for at least 2 hours, then devour.


Roasted Eggplant and Red Pepper Dip

  • 1 large eggplant
  • 1 red pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 tbl toasted sesame seeds
  • 2 tbl lemon juice
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • olive oil*

In a 450° oven, roast the eggplant and red pepper for 40 minutes and 25 minutes, respectively. When the veggies are done, scoop out the pulp of the eggplant (discard seeds) and prepare the flesh of the red pepper (read this for tips). Set aside.

In a food processor, pulse the garlic and sesame seeds until minced. Add in the flesh of the eggplant and red pepper, lemon juice, salt and pepper, and olive oil. Continue to pulse for 1 to 2 minutes or until the mixture is very fine, but not completely smooth. Serve warm or chill.

*Note: I didn’t use olive oil when I made the dip, but looking back, I think it would have benefited from at least 1 tbl olive oil to cut through the garlic acidity. Adjust salt accordingly.

Adapted from Ellie Krieger

Happy Friday everyone, I hope you have great weather and good eats this weekend 🙂

– Erin

Warm Orzo and Mushroom Salad

Greetings from Michigan my dear readers!

Yup, I’ve flown home for the long Memorial Day weekend to enjoy spending time with family and it has been awesome!

The weather up here has been all sunny skies (a little rain Saturday morning) and in the high 70’s so we’ve spent our days outside going for walks, riding bikes and putting our feet in the kiddie pool. 🙂

I love my family so much and really miss them down in DC. As with all the people I love, I show them how much I care with FOOD, so I’ve also been busy in the kitchen. Stay tuned for pictures and recipes from my week at home.

Moving on…. Meatless Memorial Day.  Today’s recipe is for a warm orzo salad.

Orzo is a tiny pasta that looks like long grain rice and it cooks up in hot minute which makes it a perfect grain substitute on busy nights.

Sauteè up some baby cremini mushrooms and swiss chard, toss with cooked orzo and finish with fresh squeezed lemon juice and cracked pepper.  It is warm and comforting without being ‘heavy’.

It makes a perfect main dish for one, or a side dish for two.

Warm Orzo and Mushroom Salad

  • 1/3 cup dry orzo, prepare according to package directions
  • 2 cups chopped swiss chard
  • 8 ounces baby cremini mushrooms
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 2 tbl butter
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 tbl chopped parsley (optional)

Melt the butter in a large skillet and sauteè the mushrooms over medium heat for 10 minutes. Once the mushrooms start to look tender and shrink in size a bit, throw in the chard and sautee for 5-7 more minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare orzo according to package instructions and chop parsley.  When the veggies and orzo are done, combine both in a large bowl with the parsley and toss to combine.

Season liberally with salt and fresh cracked pepper. Plate the salad and just before serving drizzle with olive oil and the lemon juice. Serve warm.


Today we honor the servicemen and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our country, have a peaceful  Memorial Day.

– Erin