Grilled Pineapple with Vanilla Ice Cream and Rum Sauce

grilledpineapple Desserts. I grew up in a family that very rarely had desserts after meals. Instead, they were reserved for special occasions - birthday, dinner parties. The extent of our dessert on any "normal" day was a big bowl of ice cream. Sometimes we would jazz it up with fresh raspberries from the garden. I know people who feel the need to include some sort of treat after every meal. In my opinion, it's completely unnecessary.

That being said, when you find a good recipe, hang on to it!

The pairing of flavors in this recipe is outstanding. The sweetness of the pineapple with the richness of the rum sauce. Be ready to serve this dish immediately - the ice cream will quickly melt. I think I've found a new favorite summer time treat - grilled fruit!

Grilled Pineapple with Vanilla Ice Cream and Rum Sauce Recipe from Food Network Serves 8


1 (3 to 4 pound) pineapple Cooking spray 2 teaspoons butter 1/4 cup brown sugar 1/4 cup rum 1 pint vanilla ice cream


  1. Cut the top and bottom off of the pineapple, peel and cut it crosswise into 8 rings, about 1/2-inch each. Use a spoon or apple corer to carve out the center core of each ring.
  2. Spray a large grill pan with cooking spray and heat over a medium flame.
  3. Grill the pineapple, in 2 or 3 batches, for 2 to 3 minutes on each side, until it is nicely brown and grill marks have appeared. (You can also grill this on an outdoor grill sprayed with cooking spray before being heated.)
  4. While the last batch of pineapple cooks, heat the butter, sugar and rum in a small saucepan over a low heat, stirring, until the sugar is dissolved and the sauce has thickened slightly, about 2 minutes. Remove the sauce from the heat.
  5. Place a pineapple ring on each plate, scoop 1/4 cup of ice cream into the center of the ring, and drizzle about 2 teaspoons of sauce on top.

Lemon Cheesecake

Well, I cannot deny that I love food. I love to read about it, cook it, bake it, decorate it, photography it, eat it. I have to thank my family genes for blessing me with a fast metabolism otherwise I would most likely be severely overweight. But I think what I love most about food is that idea of community that comes along with it. Sure, there may be someone off eating a pint of ice cream alone over a recent breakup, but most times people sit together, enjoying the meal. pie crust

With each week that passes I am realizing that summer is actually coming to a close. It's not like we are still in July thinking, "wow, how is it already July?" It is August 21st. I am pretty sure that kids are already running off to their first day of school with new backpacks and tennis. August is always a busy month - family birthdays, trips to the lake house. Two weekends ago my parents had the family over for my mother's birthday and I decided to throw a few things together. Birthday cakes are fine and dandy, but cheesecake? Yea, I love cheesecake.


I just did a search through SMAK and realized that I have not once made a cheesecake! Looks like it is about time... Luckily they are really easy to make and definitely customizable. There is the basic crust recipe and you can tweak the filling recipe based on what flavor you want. The options are endless.


Tips of the trade: Use a food processor to breakdown the graham crackers. I decided that I wanted to go old school and crumble them with a spoon in a bowl. Waste on time. It took me at least 15 minutes to get 2 cups of crushed graham crackers.

lemon cheesecake

The best part? Decorating. Pick some fresh mint from the garden, pick up some blueberries from the farmers market, and you've got yourself the perfect toppings. Fresh , delicious, and a perfect compliment to the delicious lemon cheesecake.

Do you have any favorite cheesecake recipes? Anything unexpected yet delicious? Let em know and you could see it on SMAK!

Lemon Cheesecake Recipe adapted from Taste of Home


crust: 2 cups graham cracker crumbs 6 tablespoons butter, melted 1/4 cup sugar

filling: 4 packages (6-ounces each) cream cheese, softened 1 cup sugar 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour 1 tablespoon grated lemon peel 2 teaspoons vanilla extract 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon extract 5 eggs, lightly beaten


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. In small bowl, combine cracker crumbs, butter and sugar. Press onto bottom and 2 inches up sides of a greased 10-inch springform pan.
  3. Place pan on a baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.
  4. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth.
  5. Beat in cream, lemon juice, flour, lemon peel, and extracts.
  6. Add eggs, beat on low-speed just until combined. Pour into crust. Return pan to baking sheet.
  7. Bake 55-65 minutes or until center is almost set. Cool on a wire rack 10 minutes.
  8. Carefully run a knife around the edge of pan to loosen. Cool 1 hour.
  9. Refrigerate overnight.
  10. Remove sides of pan, cut and serve.

Cherry Pie with Coconut Crumble Topping

And summer allergies have hit full force...I guess I should be lucky enough to say that I managed to make it this long. Then again, runny nose, itchy eyes, sneezing...allergies are allergies no matter when they hit. Being fairly new to the world of allergies, I am still trying to learn how to live with this annoyance. Talking on the phone at work? Difficult. Measuring out flour? Difficult. Stirring together ingredients? Difficult. Serving food to friends and family? Difficult. If you are lucky enough to be living without allergies, count your lucky stars. The past few days there has been a lot of cooking and baking taking place in the kitchen, which has meant a lot of powering through the pain. Yesterday was my mother's birthday and I was thrilled to get the chance to make a number of desserts for the occasion. I had purchased fresh cherries from Door County a few weeks ago and knew that I had to make some sort of cherry pie...


Although I had pre-made pie dough in the refrigerator, I was up for the challenge of baking my own pie crust. The trick here is to be sure to knead the dough long enough to get it to hold together. it is dry and flaky so it is very important to take your time while working with it.

topping I always imagine a fresh-baked pie sitting on the window sill to cool. This pie was absolutely delicious and was easily eaten at the party. Top a warm slice with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and you have yourself a perfect summer evening's dessert.


What are some of your favorite pie recipes? Any summer ingredients that you like to use?

Cherry Pie with Coconut Crumble Topping Recipes from June 1998 Bon Appétit 

Ingredients: for pie crust:

1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar 1/4 teaspoon salt 1/2 cup (1 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces 1 large egg yolk 1 1/2 tablespoons ice water)

for topping:

1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour 1/2 cup (packed) golden brown sugar 1/3 cup old-fashioned oats 1/3 cup sweetened flaked coconut 1/4 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

for pie filling: 

2 1/2 pounds fresh cherries, pitted 2/3 cup sugar 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice 2 tablespoons quick-cooking tapioca 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon peel

Instructions: make the crust:

  1. Blend the flour, sugar, and salt in a processor.
  2. Add butter. Using on/off turns, process just until coarse meal forms.
  3. Whisk egg yolk and 1 1/2 tablespoons ice water in small bowl to blend.
  4. Drizzle egg mixture over dough. Using on/off turns, process until moist clumps begin to form, adding more water by teaspoonfuls if dough is dry.
  5. Gather dough into ball and flatten into a disk.
  6. Wrap in plastic, refrigerate 1 hour. (This can be made 2 days ahead of time. Keep chilled and let dough soften slightly before rolling out.)

make the topping:

  1. Mix flour, brown sugar, oats, coconut flakes, salt and cinnamon in a medium bowl.
  2. Add butter, rub in with fingertips until mixture resembles coarse meal.
  3. Cover and refrigerate.

make the pie:

  1. Roll out crust pastry between sheets of lightly floured waxed paper to 12-inch round, turning over occasionally and lifting and smoothing paper. Peel off top sheet of paper.
  2. Using bottom paper as aid, lift pastry and invert into 9-inch glass pie dish. Peel off paper.
  3. Press pastry gently into the dish. Fold overhang under, crimp to foam high-standing decorative edge. Chill 15 minutes.
  4. Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
  5. Mix remaining ingredients: cherries, sugar, lemon juice, tapioca and lemon peel, in large bowl. Let stand until cherries release juices, about 10 minutes. Transfer cherry mixture to crust.
  6. Bake pie 15 minutes.
  7. Reduce temperature to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Transfer pie to baking sheet.
  8. Sprinkle topping over pie. Bake until cherries are tender and juices bubble thickly, covering pie loosely with foil if topping browns too quickly, about 50 minutes.
  9. Transfer to rack. Cool 30 minutes.
  10. Serve warm or at room temperature.


Iced Red Wine Snow

So you're telling me that it is already Thursday morning? I knew this would happen, but I still do not want to believe that my time in Door County is already half over. I've been able to get a lot done, but there is still so much to do - finishing a minimum of two books while laying out on the dock? Do yoga every morning? Work vigorously on my novel? Yea, none of those have happened yet. Perhaps worst of all? I am finding myself complaining at times about not having good internet service - isn't that why I want to get away? To be unplugged? Would I be able to resist picking up my phone first thing in the morning and browsing through my newsfeed? That will be the challenge for myself tomorrow morning... Stovetop

Antique Timer

It unfortunately has not been as warm as I had been hoping this week. So far, I think I've only laid out on the dock one or two days since arriving. (Fingers crossed for some more sun/warmth the next few days). Despite the lackluster weather, I was determined to make iced red wine snow. This recipe has been in my family's repertoire for over 15 years. I can remember being nine years old and watching my mom make this for friends. She even let met try a little taste - my nine-year old self thought I was so sophisticated because I was eating something that had wine in it (even if the alcohol had been boiled off).

Iced Red Wine Snow

Door County Living

The combination of flavors - the full-bodied red wine, the lemon and cranberry juices, the hint of cinnamon - makes for an amazingly refreshing summer treat. It is one of those desserts that is gone even before you realize you took your first bite.

Iced Red Wine Snow

This is an absolute must-try if you are a wino like myself. Or even if you like ice cream, or slushies, or any cold dessert. Let's face it, who doesn't like an adult-only dessert?

Iced Red Wine Snow Recipe from The Summer Book by Susan Birch Serves 8


1 cup water 3/4 cup sugar 2 cups good red wine, a Cabernet or Pinot Noir 2 cinnamon sticks 3/4 cup fresh lemon juice 1 1/2 cups cranberry juice


  1. In a saucepan, stir water, sugar, wine and cinnamon sticks together, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
  2. Remove from heat and stir in lemon and cranberry juice, refrigerate until cold.
  3. Pour in a 9"x9" pan and put it in the freezer.
  4. Stir every 1/2 hour or so with a fork to break up crystals, until frozen - about 3 hours.
  5. Before serving, let it sit out for a few minutes until slightly soft. Scoop into bowls or shallow cups.