Tag Archives: dessert recipes

blueberry picking

What to Do With Pounds and Pounds of Blueberries

Hey guys! Crazy long weekend full of friends and family over here.

We started the weekend off with a bang at Cleveland’s Hofbrauhaus, enjoying mugs of beer, great polka music and dancing on tables. My brother’s band really rocked the house and kept this typical “grandma” out way past her usual cap.

Saturday we built a fire pit in our backyard and invited some friends over for s’mores and raccoon attacks. We were all just chatting around the fire when someone calmly said “Uh, guys, there’s a raccoon sitting next to me.” She really ruined his sneak attack on the marshmallow bag, but that raccoon didn’t give up. He just kept coming back. All. Night. Long.

Sunday we headed over to my college roommate’s one of my dearest friend’s family home. She was visiting from NYC, and had a bunch of her old farm town Ohioan friends over for a good ol’ backyard BBQ. This night of course also ended with a bonfire and more s’mores. Only this time we really amped it up and went with chocolate filled marshmallows.

By Monday, we were absolutely wiped from summer fun, so after a morning hike, we spent most of the day on the couch. We then headed to my parents for dinner, and ended the July 4th weekend with a piece of cherry pie.

blueberry recipes easy desserts

Amongst all of this fun, my most favorite part of the long weekend was Saturday morning. We woke up as early as we could to head out for the first day of blueberry picking season! Together, James and I picked 16 pounds of blueberries.



A little boy picking berries with his mother even came over to James and squealed with delight, “You’ve got a lot in your bucket! You even have way more than my mom has!” The two boys then proceeded to throw blueberries for one another to catch in their mouths. No matter the age, boys will be boys.


So, now I have pounds and pounds of blueberries to turn into delicious – healthy and some not-so-healthy – muffins, breads, cakes and crumbles. The whole shebang.

I’ve of course started a Pinterest Board and thought I’d share some of the recipes in case you decided to add blueberry picking to your list of summer fun too.

  • This is the blueberry recipe – an incredibly easy to make dessert, by the way – that I specifically loaded up on blueberries to make: Bread & Wine & Blueberry Crisp.
  • Since my brother-in-law and his lovely lady just blessed us with an ice cream maker, I’m more than excited to try my hand at a blueberry ice cream using fresh blueberries.
  • A homemade blueberry jam without loads of excess sugar definitely made the list! Cant wait to mix up the usual egg breakfast and spread this on some Ezekiel toast.
  • Some blueberry scones from one of my favorite baking bloggers – she even titles them My Favorite, so you know they have to be awesome!
  • This is an oldie, but a goodie that you must try: Blueberry Balsamic Grilled Cheese Sandwich.
  • For a day when I feel like pulling out the fancy pants, I’ve saved this recipe for Blueberry Zucchini Cake with Lemon Buttercream.
  • And then, well…there’s these

Sicilian Sesame Cookies

In an effort to expand both my baking repertoire and knowledge of my heritage, I picked up a book from the library on Italian desserts. I really enjoyed how the book broke down which region each dessert was from, and was fascinated by how simple many of the recipes were – some containing as few as three ingredients. There were even some desserts that I think many American’s would find quite silly, but that I found to be quite intriguing, such as spaghetti pie.

Another reason I picked up the book is because my favorite cookies of all time – wait I don’t actually know what they’re really called – are Italian Sprinkle Cookies. I believe I’ve also heard them called Italian Anisette Cookies. Regardless, my grandmother makes them for holidays, namely Easter and Christmas, and she always sends me home with a plateful of them. That plate doesn’t last but a day in my house. I’ve even tried putting half the plate in the freezer to enjoy at a later date, but that never works.

I was really hoping the book filled with Italian dessert recipes would open my eyes to some similar cookie delights to my all-time favorite Italian Sprinkle. One of the recipes that immediately caught my eye was a favorite of Sicily, the Sesame Cookie.


Apparently, these cookies have many different names in Sicily, including:

Biscotti regina, or Queen’s Cookie

Strunzi di sciocca, or Chicken’s Poop

Strunzi d’ancilu, or Angel’s Poop

While I’d say these cookies are rightfully named the Queen’s Cookie, tasting so elegantly delicious right out of the oven, my husband would probably agree more with Chicken’s Poop. With little appreciation for most chocolate-less desserts, James ate these cookies topped with small pieces of recently homemade dark chocolate (recipe coming soon!). I thought them delicious as they were – with a hint of lemon and a brilliant nutty taste from the sesame seeds.

sicilian sesame cookie recipe

I warn you if you decide to make these that you will not be able to eat just one. While I can maintain slightly more control with these cookies than the Italian Sprinkles, they’re still just as dangerous. I’d highly advise indulging when they come warm out of the oven, placing a few in a Tupperware container to live on your counter for a week, and placing the rest in the freezer for a dessert emergency.

I will also warn you that these cookies can be a little frustrating to make. The dough is very flakey, and halfway through you might want to give up and toss the cookie sheet across the kitchen like I did. But, stick with it because the end result is so worth the trouble!

Sicilian Sesame Cookies

Total Time: 50 minutes

Yield: 24 cookies

Sicilian Sesame Cookies


  • 2 c all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 c sugar
  • 8 T butter (1 stick)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 T milk
  • 1 T honey
  • grated zest of 1/2 lemon
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 3/4 c sesame seeds


  1. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar and butter until the mixture resembles a coarse meal.
  2. Add egg YOLKS, milk, honey, lemon and salt and knead until dough forms.
  3. Roll the dough into a ball, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour.
  4. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and cover with sesame seeds. Toast the sesame seeds in the oven until light golden - about 10 minutes.
  5. In a small bowl, beat egg whites with 3 tablespoons of water.
  6. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and divide into 4 portions. Roll each section out into a log about 1 inch thick. Cut each log into ½ inch sections.
  7. Dip each cut piece of dough in egg whites, then roll in sesame seeds and place on a prepared baking sheet. Bake for 30 minutes. Cool on wire rack.