Category Archives: Pies & Such

Torte Recipe & Ashes to Ashes Book Info

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Why I Now Make Torte Not Scones (And a Recipe!)
by Julie Coulter Bellon

The kitchen fire in the second chapter of my book, Ashes Ashes, is actually based on a real event in my life.  I was seven months pregnant with my first child and my husband had been called in to work.  It was late and I knew he’d probably be hungry when he got home so I decided to make scones for him¾one of his favorite snacks to eat with honey butter.

We were newlyweds, in a tiny apartment, and as I put the oil on to heat, I sat down on the couch that was about three feet away.  Everything seemed to make me tired in those days, and I was just going to get off my feet for a second.  In what seemed like less than a minute, I heard a popping sound and I looked over to see flames coming from the frying pan, large enough to touch the microwave that was over the stove.

I panicked and tried to remember what to do for a grease fire.  First, I tried to put the lid on, but the flames were too high.  I got out the flour, but then I thought that might just splash the oil all over.  Things were getting really hot and the smoke was getting heavy, so I gave up and called 911.

As I was talking to the operator, I remembered that we had just bought a fire extinguisher and put it under the sink.  When I went to use it, the 911 operator told me not to, because it would splash the oil and spread the fire.  I opened the door so I could get my hamster and bird out of the apartment, and as I did so, two young men were riding by on their bicycles and saw the flames.  They couldn’t have been more than fourteen or fifteen years old and yet they still rushed in to help.  One of them took the fire extinguisher from me and immediately used it on the pan and the fire was out in moments.

The fire department arrived a few minutes later, but I know the damage could have been much worse if that young man and his friend hadn’t helped me.  They left before I could get either of their names and I’ve always wondered if they knew how grateful I was for their take charge attitude and bravery in helping a pregnant woman they didn’t know to put out a fire.  I’ve never forgotten them, and now every time I read Ashes Ashes, I can remember their good deed again.

Because of this experience, I’ve never attempted to make scones again.  Instead, I make my husband’s favorite dessert that doesn’t require heated oil or much cooking of any sort on my part.  It’s called torte and this dessert is full of chocolate, cream cheese, and sweet goodness.  If you’ve never made a torte, especially in the summertime, you have been missing out!

Here’s the Bellon family recipe:


Step 1–The Crust

1 cube margarine

1/3 chopped nuts (optional)

1 cup flour

Mix margarine and flour together, scrunching it with your hands until it is like cookie dough.  Pat into a 9×13 pan.  Sprinkle with nuts if desired and gently press in.  Bake at 325 degrees for twenty minutes.  Let thoroughly cool.

Step 2

1 cup powdered sugar

1 8 oz. package of cream cheese

1 cup cool whip

Mix powdered sugar together with cream cheese until well-blended.  Fold in cool whip.  Spread on cooled crust.  (Put in little dabs and then connect the dots.)

Step 3

2 small packages INSTANT chocolate pudding

2 small packages INSTANT butter pecan (or butterscotch or pistachio) pudding

6 cups milk

Mix two packages of chocolate pudding according to the package, only with 3 cups milk.  Spread over cream cheese mixture in pan.  Put in fridge for 5-10 minutes so chocolate pudding can set.  DO NOT mix butter pecan ahead of time or it will be too thick to spread.  Mix the two packages of butter pecan according to the package, only with 3 cups of milk and spread on top of the chocolate.  Spread layer of cool whip on the top.  Sprinkle with chopped nuts or chocolate shavings.  Chill 4 hours.  Can use any flavor of pudding, really, it all tastes good.
ashes ashes
Ashes Ashes
Are you ever really innocent until proven guilty?
Sophia Naziri is wanted for questioning in the murder of a U.S. senator. She’s worried the police will show up on her doorstep any moment, but when Detective Colby Black appears, it’s to help her put out a kitchen fire, not take her in. Yet. His easy smile and persistence in getting to know her pushes all her troubles to the back of her mind, until a hit man tracks her down. Getting arrested becomes the least of her worries and the handsome detective could be her only way out—if she tells him the truth.
Colby Black’s sniper skills have been a blessing and a curse to him. As a member of a Hostage Negotiation Team, he can use them to save people, but sometimes he can’t protect the innocent despite his best efforts. When a hostage situation goes bad, he tries to put it behind him by helping out his mysterious next-door neighbor, Sophia Naziri. But she pulls Colby into a web of lies and conspiracy that will force him to use every skill he has in order to survive. Faced with the moment of truth, can he trust anyone around him—including the woman at the center of it all?

Amazon * Barnes & Noble

Author Julie Coulter Bellon

Julie is the author of seven international suspense novels: Through Love’s Trials, On the Edge,Time Will Tell, All’s Fair, Dangerous Connections,Ribbon of Darkness and All Fall Down. She loves her work partly because she gets to travel to distant lands to research and add an authentic feel to all of her books. Her favorite cities so far are Athens, Paris, Ottawa, and London. She taught journalism at BYU for fourteen years and that kept her on the cutting edge of current events and world news—which is where she gets her story ideas.
She also has one non-fiction title: Be Prepared: A Parent’s Guide to the Duty to God and Eagle Scout Awards—What You Should Know and is part of two compilations, How Will Christmas Find Us and Life Lessons From Mothers of Faith.
She is the mother of eight children and when she’s not busy being a mom or a writer, you will find her browsing through bookstores to add to her book collection, at the library borrowing books, or reading the treasures she’s found.

Originally posted 2013-07-15 08:35:03.



BISCOFF NUTELLA CHEESECAKE – I invented this recipe in 2012, and it’s dangerous!
By Author Jennings WrightPreheat oven to 350 degrees.


1 package Biscoff cookies, processed in a food processor to crumbs
1 stick of butter, melted
3 blocks lite cream cheese, at room temperature
1 c sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 c flour
2 lg egg yolks
1 whole lg egg
1/2 c 1% milk
13 oz Nutella

Mix the Biscoff and butter, and press into the bottom of a springform pan. You can
use the bottom of a glass to press it, and it can go up the sides some if needed. Bake
for 10 minutes.

In a mixer bowl (preferably one with a flat paddle) blend the cream cheese, sugar,
vanilla and flour until just combined. Add the egg and blend until just combined. Add
the milk and Nutella and beat on medium until completely combined. This can take a
good long while!

Pour into the springform pan. Reduce the heat to 300 degrees, put the cheesecake
on a jellyroll pan, and bake 1 1/2 hours or until the center doesn’t jiggle when you
shake the pan. Cool completely on a wire rack.

Absolute deliciousness!

From Jennings:

I love to bake, and I even built a baking station into our kitchen, but I don’t get to
bake too much these days. That’s because my family is on a “six months to sexy-
pants” diet in advance of my daughter’s wedding in June. My daughter’s fiancé calls
this diet “six months to six pack” and my husband and son think this is a better
name that “sexy-pants.” Go figure.

Anyway, as a homeschool mom and a business owner who has mostly worked
from home, cooking for my family has been one of my great pleasures. Living with
a teenage son requires a lot more cooking than his sister did, but it’s always great
when people appreciate your food (especially in quantity!).

I’ve actually scheduled my writing day so that I am done at 5:30 and can cook every
night. Okay, we call for Chinese or get sushi takeout sometimes… But mostly I cook.
After all, my last child is about to graduate from high school, and my daughter is
graduating from university and getting married. Pretty soon I’ll just be cooking for
two. I need to make the most of this time.

It’s a strange feeling knowing that they’re all grown up. When I wrote IXEOS, using
main characters about my own kids ages, I explored that transition from teens on
summer break with no other plans than to skate through the summer to teens who
are in a life and death struggle to free their enslaved fellow humans on another
planet. I see that same striving to grow up and have purpose, to do things that
matter, in my own kids, and I firmly believe that they’re not too young to do that.

Still, on those graduation days, and especially on that wedding day, I suspect I’ll
be in a little bit of a memory-clouded daze. How did that tiny girl with all that
curly hair end up a beautiful bride in the blink of an eye? How did that towheaded,
mischievous boy with giant feet become a towering man with a deep voice and an
incredible gift for languages in what seemed like a flash?

My homeschool is closing soon… We’ll celebrate, probably with this cheesecake,
which is a family favorite. But after thirteen years as a homeschooling mama, it’s
going to be very bittersweet. Of course, I’ll be in a cheesecake induced coma, so I
guess I won’t notice it too much!

Amazon Author Page:
Goodreads Author Page:

Originally posted 2013-03-21 05:00:00.

Maryland Party Cheesecake Recipe

Kaycee, thank you for inviting me to Crafty Zoo to post a favorite recipe. Readers of my mystery story, Three Sisters, will know that the main character, Emily Castles, is not a very good cook. Fortunately this is not one of her recipes and it works very well. It’s an easy baked cheesecake recipe taken from a book called Cheesecakes by Maggie Black. I often make it for family parties and it’s very popular.
I’m English and we would call the base for this cheesecake a biscuit base. I buy the hard-baked, shop-bought plain kind like Rich Tea or Plain Digestive and smash them up in a plastic bag with a rolling pin, or put them in the food processor until they’re crumbs. I think that American readers would usually use Graham Crackers, though if you can get hold of Rich Tea or Plain Digestive biscuits, do give them a go. An American friend suggested trying Oreo cookies, which sounds amazing, though I haven’t tried it.
We don’t use cup measurements for baking, we use ounces (oz) and fluid ounces (fl oz) so I have left those measurements in but converted them to cups.
Maryland Party Cheesecake (serves 10-12)
1/3 cup (3 ½ oz) butter (a stick of butter)
1/3 cup (2 oz) light soft brown sugar
1 ½ cups (8 oz) Graham cracker crumbs from 24 crackers
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
4 eggs, separated
1 cup (8 fl oz) soured cream
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1 cup (8 oz) castor sugar
1/3 cup (2 oz) plain flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1lb full-fat soft cheese e.g. Philadelphia cream cheese.
Line the base of a 9 inch loose-based cake tin. Melt the butter and let it cool slightly. Sieve the soft brown sugar into a bowl then add the crumbs, cinnamon and nutmeg, mix, then work the butter into it. Press the crumb mixture all over the base and about an inch up the sides of the cake tin. Chill the base while making the filling.
Beat the egg yolks until thick, and then beat in the soured cream and the vanilla essence. Mix 2/3 cup (6 oz) of the caster sugar with the flour and salt, and beat in the soft cheese a little at a time. Whisk the egg whites in a separate bowl until fairly stiff, adding the remaining 1/3 cup (2 oz) caster sugar while doing so. Fold the beaten egg whites into the cheese mixture. Turn gently into the chilled base in the cake tin and bake at 325F, Gas Mark 3, for one hour. Cool in the turned-off oven with the door ajar. Remove from the tin and chill for at least one hour before serving.
I hope you enjoy it if you decide to follow the recipe.
Helen Smith is a novelist and playwright who lives in London. She’s the author of bestselling cult novel Alison Wonderland and other books and plays.
Learn more about Helen via her facebook page here and check out her awesome books here.

Originally posted 2013-02-09 06:00:00.

The Sweet Treat You’ve Been Missing: Peanut Butter Pie

The Sweet Treat You've Been Missing: Peanut Butter Pie Oh my goodness!  That’s about the best expression of this amazing peanut butter pie I can think of.  Until my husband, I had never even heard of it before and my first taste I loved it!  Of course, it took me another ten years before I got brave enough to try making it.  With a fundraiser coming up that I am supposed to bake for, I thought it would be fun to try making it.  I don’t know if I am super thrilled it turned out so well or absolutely terrified.  LOL.  I am going to gain so much weight making these amazing pies!  I really have to learn to restrict myself, which means I’m going to save this for fundraisers and holidays.  Otherwise, I’ll gain fifty pounds in a month having it every day!  I’ll definitely be adding it to our Thanksgiving feast this year!  We are usually too stuffed to eat dessert so my Bestie and I pack some up and take it with us on our Black Friday shopping trip.  LOL

If you are looking for a great dessert for an event, dinner, and certainly the holidays you have found a great one!  This is super easy and, since it must be refrigerated at least four hours before serving anyway, it’s the perfect make ahead dessert! Peanut Butter Pie is sure to become a favorite of anyone who loves peanut butter!  You could even make it with almond butter if that is your favorite.

Peanut Butter Pie


  • 16 oz peanut butter
  • 8 oz cream cheese (1 pkg)
  • 3/4 cup honey
  • 1 8oz container frozen whipped topping, thawed
  • 6 oz chocolate pie crust
  • Magic Shell Chocolate Topping


  1. Beat together cream cheese and honey until well mixed.
  2. Stir in peanut butter and mix well.
  3. Fold in whipped topping then spoon into crust.
  4. Add topping and chill OR you can chill for a while then add the topping.
  5. Make sure you allow the pie chills for at least 4 hours!


Ora’s Gold: Raspberry & Almond Delight

I love getting favorite recipes from people! Ora’s Gold, by Charlotte Young is a fabulous book and I love that Charlotte was willing to share with us one of her favorite recipes!  I hope you enjoy it and curl up with her book, it is one of the best books I’ve read in quite some time!

5 oz soft butter
6 oz sugar, brown or white
6 oz self-raising flour
6 oz flaked almonds
2 small eggs
1 teaspoon cinnamon
7.7 oz frozen raspberries (other berries can be used too)
A dusting of icing sugar
Oven – 180 degrees C/355 degrees F
1. Grease a 22cm spring-release cake tin (I use butter but whatever takes your fancy).
2. In a large bowl mix (by hand) all the ingredients together, except the raspberries.
3. Spoon half of the mixture onto the base of the cake tin and use a fork spread out evenly.
4. Add the frozen raspberries to the tin and spread out evenly.
5. Using a spoon and your fingers, take blobs of the remaining mixture and dot over the raspberries. You won’t be able to cover the raspberries completely.
6. Place on a baking sheet and bake for approximately 45 minutes, until firm and slightly springy. Cover with foil if the top starts to burn.
7. Leave to rest for up to one hour, depending on your preference. It tastes delicious warm or cool.
8. Dust a light layer of icing sugar over the top, just before serving.
9. Enjoy! USA, LLC

Mock Cracker-Barrel Fried Apples


I’ve always loved Cracker-Barrel’s fried apples and this is the closest I’ve ever tasted to their recipe.  The recipe came from an old recipe box I bought at an estate sale. It was on a newspaper clipping, that has Dec 2000 written on it.  The clipping says the recipe was from Cathey Heddlesten.  Since it was purchased in Oklahoma, I assume that’s where it came from.  I hope that you enjoy it, and I encourage you to try it with some good old fashioned vanilla ice cream!


  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 4 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
  • 12 oz apples, canned and sliced
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon


Melt the butter in a large skillet.  Add the other ingredients. Heat slowly until the apples are tender and the sauce has thickened. Serve warm.

I’d love to hear your thoughts, comments and any modifications you find delicious!


Pineapple Pie

Pineapple Pie

This recipe is another from an old cookbook I have.  The cookbook I obtained it from is The Cooks of Region 9 WBCCI and attributes the recipe to Flynn Faglie.  I don’t know much about this cookbook, except that it came from Iowa.  It was gifted to my by my grandmother, but my Mom had one in her house while I was growing up.  I used dairy free butter and it turned out well.  Sweet and a bit of tang, this pie is great both hot or cold.  I think it would be fabulous with some vanilla ice cream and chocolate sauce.  I hope you enjoy it!

  • 1 Pie Crust
  • 3/4 c sugar
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 c crushed pineapple
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3/4 stick butter, melted

Mix butter, sugar, flour, pineapple, vanilla then add the two eggs.  Pour into unbaked pie crust (Ms. Faglie suggests spraying the pan with non-stick spray first to help the crust stay crisp).  Bake at 350 until it sets in the middle.

If you try the recipe out, I’d love to hear your results and modifications!