You are My Sunshine (Frozen Lemonade Pie)

Friday, August 14, 2009

lemonade-pie-1

“You Are My Sunshine
My only sunshine.
You make me happy
When skies are grey.
You’ll never know, dear,
How much I love you.
Please don’t take my sunshine away”

Remember this song? It has quite a catchy tune.  Let me tell you, once you get this little ditty  stuck in your head, it’s damn hard to get it out!  I actually found myself humming it around my house for hours the other day after having a slice of that Frozen Lemonade Pie you see in the pictures here.

The recipe for this little gem is ridiculously easy and doesn’t call for one single organic, farm-raised, free range, all natural ingredient.  In fact, there are only four ingredients required – five, if you make your own crust.  And, one of the ingredients involved is Cool Whip, which I hear many foodies don’t even consider to be real food.  Ordinarily, I wouldn’t have ever posted about this pie.  I would have been too worried about damaging any reputation I might have as a “legitimate” foodie.  After all, a five year-old could whip this puppy up, so you certainly don’t need me to tell you how to do it.  Besides, I do believe that organic, farm-raised, free range and all natural ingredients are wonderful, and I do try to use them whenever I can.

lemon-zest-1

Why then am I assaulting your delicate foodie sensibilities with this pie?  Because, it was delicious and I loved it, and think you might love it too.  And, because of a thought-provoking post I read last night written by Jerry of Cooking by the Seat of My Pants about how being a food blogger or proclaimed “foodie” often changes our perception of what good food is or should be.

In his post, Jerry explains that, “The quest for perfection that we engage ourselves in has an unfortunate side effect for almost every one of us at one point. It causes our focus to shift from what good food is at its core to a strange belief that the ingredients make the dish.  Nothing is farther from the truth.  The primary ingredient in great food is the love that goes into it, not whether or not the cheese used on the side was organically cultured three miles underground and cased in fine port for seven years.”

Amen to that!

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve prepared a modest meal for my family or created a humble little dessert and never considered sharing it with you because I didn’t think it was “special” enough or because its ingredients weren’t lofty enough.  You see, I want you to like me, (really, really like me), and think I’m clever and creative and smart!  But, I’m beginning to realize that a great dish can’t always be measured by the individual ingredients that go into it, but rather the sum of its parts.  Sometimes, what makes a dish great is the delight and enthusiasm with which it is received.  And yes, dear readers, the love and care with which it was created is a big part of it.

lemonade-pie-2

So, I proudly present this unassuming Frozen Lemonade Pie to you, prepared with love in a store bought graham cracker crust, Cool Whip and all.  I found the recipe on the Food Network web site after seeing it featured on an episode of the Neely’s show.  It was a dark, dreary and rainy day, and I was looking for a little sunshine.  I got what I was looking for.  This pie took less than five minutes to prepare, and it was so luscious!  With its bright, lemony, sweet-tart flavor and silky, chiffon-like texture, it really was like sunshine on a plate.  My family loved it, as did the few lucky friends I chose to share it with.  Watch out, though.  If you make this pie, you just might find yourself humming that song all day too!  Oh, and by the way, I served it on paper plates with some ribs and greens I picked up from a little roadside barbecue stand.

How do you feel about this issue?  What constitutes great food to you?  Do you believe that the love and care put into a dish outweighs the cost and cache of fancy gourmet ingredients?  Do you refrain from posting about recipes you like because you don’t think they’re fancy enough?  Do you think that as food bloggers, we run the risk of becoming “food snobs”?  I’d really love to know how you feel.

lemonade-pie-4

Enjoy!

68 responses to You are My Sunshine (Frozen Lemonade Pie)

  1. On August 14, 2009 at 7:18pm, Nicole said...

    Mmmmmm…I bet this is GOOD! I don’t buy cool-whip because I prefer real whipped cream, but I have no problem using it in a simple dessert like this! :-)

    • On August 14, 2009 at 10:08pm, Susan said...

      I prefer real whipped cream too, but I didn’t have enough. I did have a tub of Cool Whip in the freezer, so…..

  2. On August 14, 2009 at 7:25pm, Laura said...

    GREAT post. And great looking dessert. OK, I will confess I am tempted to try it with real whipped cream–but that is also because that is what I have. And I think Velveeta makes the best mac-n-cheese. So there, now MY dirty little secret is out. ;)

    • On August 14, 2009 at 10:09pm, Susan said...

      Velveeta? Oh, yeah!!! It makes the best queso dip too! ;)

  3. On August 14, 2009 at 7:39pm, Margaret said...

    I used to make this years ago and loved it. But havent’ seen recipe in years. Thanks for posting.

  4. On August 14, 2009 at 8:09pm, Ciaochowlinda said...

    I generally shy away from Cool Whip, but I’d gladly take a bit piece of that luscious looking pie.

  5. On August 14, 2009 at 8:21pm, Ginny said...

    I think you are right – there is a tendency for those of us who are foodies to become food snobs. But pies like that remind me that sometimes the best food is the simplest food, especially when it’s prepared with lots of love.

    • On August 14, 2009 at 10:10pm, Susan said...

      Absolutely! :)

  6. On August 14, 2009 at 8:50pm, Jill said...

    I think you need to make what you and your family like to eat. I like some “fancy” things and I also like Cool Whip frozen pies! This post reminds me that I should dig up the recipe I have for a peanut butter/cool whip/instant pudding pie that I love.

    • On August 14, 2009 at 10:11pm, Susan said...

      Oh boy! That sounds like a great one! :D

  7. On August 14, 2009 at 8:59pm, Jerzee Tomato said...

    Susan I believe real whipped cream would be just as luscious if not more so.
    It is a great looking pie and I love making pies. Beautiful job.

    • On August 14, 2009 at 10:13pm, Susan said...

      Thanks,, Jerzee. I would choose the real stuff every time too. But, I have to say, the texture of this pie was like velvet!

  8. On August 14, 2009 at 9:37pm, sarah said...

    GREAT post! I have been thinking about “food snobbery” a lot lately…and even feeling guilty for my subscription to Sandra Lee’s magazine & my Cake Mix Doctor cookbooks! While I love making things from scratch and learning new techniques, it is great to have some easy dishes and treats that can be thrown together with things that most people have on hand. Thanks for putting it in perspective!

    • On August 14, 2009 at 10:15pm, Susan said...

      I know just what you mean. They all have their place. I’d love to be able to have the time to make everything from scratch every day. But, that just isn’t possible. sometimes, we all have to take shortcuts.

  9. On August 14, 2009 at 9:46pm, LizAnderson said...

    I’d think quoting Pat & Gina Neeley is what would be the final straw that breaks your foodie pedigree, but that’s just because I really (seriously) can’t stand to watch those two!!!!

    I love that you recognize Love as an essential ingredient regardless of the dishware the final product is served on. That makes you more “real” to me than some of those snobs out there. And I’ll bet you could beat Rachel Ray in an arm wrestling tournament or throwing a fabulous meal on the table in 30 Minutes.

    • On August 14, 2009 at 10:19pm, Susan said...

      Thanks, Liz! That is really sweet of you to say. :)

      Lol! Truth be told, I cannot stand the Neely’s show! Her voice grates on my last nerve! I like to keep the TV on in the background while I’m at the computer and that’s how I saw this recipe. I’m glad I did too, because I really did love the pie.

  10. On August 14, 2009 at 9:52pm, Jen @ MaplenCornbread said...

    Amen to that quote indeed! Love it! And this pie, just lovely!!! SO freshing and might I say picture perfect!!

  11. On August 14, 2009 at 9:55pm, Donna said...

    Thanks Susan… I’ll give it a try… Looks scrumptious!!!

    HUGS
    Donna

  12. On August 14, 2009 at 10:37pm, Debra said...

    Could this be made with pink lemonade? I would try that. My daughter’s fav color is pink so it would be fun to make a pink pie!

    • On August 14, 2009 at 11:54pm, Susan said...

      Why not? Pink lemonade would probably work great. :)

      • On July 05, 2013 at 7:19pm, Kim said...

        I made it with pink lemonade and it was wonderful… great finish to a BBQ Rib dinner!!! Thank you for sharing this!!

  13. On August 14, 2009 at 10:50pm, ingrid said...

    Your pie looks terrific and sounds so refreshing! I LOVE that its a simple and quick yet yummy dessert. I’m all about that. While I do like to bake/cook from scratch I certainly don’t turn up my nose at the “semi-homemade” recipes.
    ~ingrid

  14. On August 14, 2009 at 10:52pm, Memoria said...

    I personally think that the shortcuts should be used only when the “from scratch” option takes too long to make, and you’re in a rush (i.e., marshmallows, puff pastry, croissants, etc.). However, with whipped cream being so easy, quick, and cheap to make, I would prefer that to Cool Whip. Plus, the homemade stuff tastes better. Now, after writing all of that, I just say to each her/his own. If a reader doesn’t like too many store-bought shortcuts, he or she could alter the recipe by making it more from scratch. For instance, they could make homemade graham crust, lemonade concentrate, and whipped cream.

    Anyway, the pie looks awesome!

  15. On August 14, 2009 at 11:35pm, Frieda said...

    Amen~ I cook/bake for my family, not to boast that it was made from scratch. I agree it’s the love that is put into the final product and the reward is seeing the family light up in reaction to a great meal/dessert/bread. Lovely lemon pie…I wonder if I could try it with frozen limeade? Ü

    • On August 15, 2009 at 12:58pm, Susan said...

      Frozen limeade sounds great! I’ll bet it would be kind of like a Key lime pie.

  16. On August 15, 2009 at 12:10am, Natasha - 5 Star Foodie said...

    Wow, that pie looks so luscious! I love the idea of frozen lemonade pie! Will definitely be making this!

  17. On August 15, 2009 at 3:05am, Coleen said...

    I really enjoyed your insight to the “quality” of a recipe. I have those same feelings…I want people to like me and I have trouble posting recipes that I think are “every day”. I think we all need to show MORE every day stuff, since the “fancy” stuff only makes an occasional appearance in most of our homes. I’m thrilled with your post today. I found a recipe for lemonade pie a couple weeks ago and it LOOKED gorgeous in the final photos, but when we went to eat it….WOW was it sour. I can tell from your recipe that this one will be excellent, I’m excited to try it.

  18. On August 15, 2009 at 3:24am, Sophie said...

    Your pie looks stunning!! Looks truly a winner!!

    a must try!!

  19. On August 15, 2009 at 5:22am, Rosa said...

    OMG, it looks soooo good! A delightful pie! Droolworthy!

    Cheers,

    Rosa

  20. On August 15, 2009 at 7:14am, Maybe said...

    It looks incredibly delicious ! Do not underestimate what you bake, we love to share your recipes, elaborated or not !

  21. On August 15, 2009 at 7:48am, ShelleyBakes said...

    it’s kind of funny – I like to think of myself as a foodie, but I LOVE Cool Whip, Miracle Whip and last night my mom made me her famous “from scratch” cinnamon rolls – the ones that we made when I was a kid using frozen bread dough. :) I think a lot about food has to do with the love you put in it, so keep sharing. :)

  22. On August 15, 2009 at 8:10am, Michelle Sturges said...

    This looks yummy and, my favorite, easy!

    I gave you an award!

  23. On August 15, 2009 at 9:37am, Bellini Valli said...

    I love the fact that food does not have to be over the top to be enjoyed by everyone..company, family and friends. I would definitely have a piece or two and not blink an eyelash.

  24. On August 15, 2009 at 11:07am, Melissa said...

    Mmmm! Jut the title sounds good! Looks delicious!

  25. On August 15, 2009 at 11:35am, snooky doodle said...

    oh this looks so refereshing! wish I could have some :)

  26. On August 15, 2009 at 12:55pm, andrea said...

    thanks so much for posting this recipe! I hope you post more of your humble dinners and desserts!
    I agree with the person that wrote that article, and you….I’ve been cooking (with love!) for my family, friends and coworkers for 38 years and never had one single complaint. I love “foodies” but cannot tolerate “food snobs”. There is a huge difference, in my opinion.

  27. On August 15, 2009 at 2:55pm, Farmer Jen said...

    I don’t consider myself to be an official “foodie”, but I do enjoy reading several food blogs. I post about simple recipes and foods I enjoy on my own blog. Nothing very fancy. I haven’t used Cool Whip in a long time, but I have made pies with it in the past. This simple recipe looks luscious and I may have to give it a try again. By the way, I don’t eat Velveeta anymore either, but do love it in a grilled cheese sandwich. It’s the best.

  28. On August 15, 2009 at 3:49pm, Jenn AKA The Leftover Queen said...

    Hey Susan! Great post, I would agree that love is the most important ingredient in any recipe, I even wrote a book about it, so it is a firm belief. But I also do believe in using organic, farm-raised and local ingredients. Not because I am a food snob (not implying that you called me one! :) ) but because I believe that simple food, made from good ingredients make some of the best dishes. I know when I use quality cheese or milk, meat or even eggs for that matter, my food tastes better, I digest it better, and it makes me feel better. It also makes me feel better on another level, that I am supporting my local economy with my money and supporting local food producers who don’t have an easy job against the food industry giants. That said, I am not religious about it, and will indulge in foods sometimes that I wouldn’t normally prepare myself ( – but sometimes I do prepare them… I like to be elusive like that! :) )Mostly when in the company of others, eating at their table, because they are sharing something with me that is more important – their love, which I agree is the most important of all the ingredients that go into a dish.

    I have never been afraid to post a dish for fear of critique – my blog is a very humble blog that revolves around eating leftovers – so I would say that gives me an easy out – I don’t think people expect fancy food from my blog.

    BTW, I love your pie and if I was at your house, I would relish a slice! What is life without stepping outside your box every once in a while!!!

  29. On August 15, 2009 at 4:21pm, TheKitchenWitch said...

    I have found a good place, I can tell! My mom made this pie growing up and I loved it! Did you know that it’s also good just refrigerated, not frozen?

    I can’t stand die-hard food snobs. I even post a White Trash Food recipe twice a month–how’s THAT for class!

  30. On August 15, 2009 at 4:27pm, Melanye K said...

    AMEN! Food snobbery makes me so ill and I’m glad you posted this!!!! It’s great to use local organic ingredients but it’s also great to use Cool whip sometimes too. There has to be a middle ground sometimes or you’ll end up compromising yourself and what you love for the sake of other people’s perceptions! I hope you’ll revisit some of those overlooked recipes and share them with us. There are people out here who would love it :)

    p.s. I love this blog!

  31. On August 15, 2009 at 6:33pm, Maryann said...

    This post makes me very happy!! : ) We don’t have to be foodies 24/7. Just the simple stuff works best sometimes. Don’t believe I’ll end up in foodie hell because I’ve created something not from complete scratch. If my family likes it then I have done my job. This will make my family happy and therefore I will make it very soon. Might try it with limeade also.

  32. On August 16, 2009 at 12:30am, The Mulligan Family said...

    Ok, I have a secret… but don’t tell anyone… it’s just between you and me… right?? While I do prefer REAL whipped cream, I have nary a problem eating Cool Whip (directly from the container) or spraying Redi-Whip directly into my mouth. tee hee hee…

    This recipe sounds easy and delicious. I cannot WAIT to try it. Thanks for sharing it!

    Cheers, Cindy

  33. On August 16, 2009 at 10:08am, bmk said...

    Your pie looks terrific. Perfect way to end a summer meal. There is a healthy substitute for Cool Whip, its called Tru Whip. They sell it at Whole Foods. It tastes the same as Cool Whip but doesn’t have all the bad stuff.

  34. On August 16, 2009 at 11:30am, Manggy said...

    Aw Susan, you missed an opportunity to introduce us to the wonder of Cool Hwhip!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lich59xsjik
    Hee hee hee :)
    Yep, I do believe the love and thought that goes into food are more important than the ingredients. It’s even more important for me because I don’t have a lot of money to buy ingredients with. That being said, I’d be very lucky to have a slice of this pie! I dunno what cool whip tastes like, though! We have it here but it’s uncommon and we never buy it, even if dairy too is expensive…

  35. On August 16, 2009 at 12:00pm, grace said...

    four main ingredients, days of pleasure. okay, maybe hours of pleasure. :)

  36. On August 16, 2009 at 4:15pm, Katrina said...

    I, quite unsecretly, love Cool Whip. This lemonade pie is a classic and I think it’s great that you posted it., Try it sometime with pink lemonade–same taste, cute pink color! ;)

  37. On August 16, 2009 at 5:41pm, Daily Spud said...

    Food is so much more than ingredients. I think that the best thing that I can do as a blogger is to try and be honest and reflect what I think of as good food, which sometimes has more to do with the experience and the people involved than the food per se. To do anything else wouldn’t ring true and I might just come off as sounding like a snob. There again, I write a lot about potatoes and I can’t say that they really have a big snob factor associated with them :)

    Oh, and I would of course be more than happy to share some of that pie with you Susan!

  38. On August 17, 2009 at 4:02pm, Dave~ said...

    I think cooking AND eating is all about the love! Please don’t ever become a food snob. I want simple, delicious, mouth watering dishes that I’m not afraid to tackle and that arn’t… “wierd” you know? I’m mostly a meat and potatos kind of guy. Like most of us, (guys) I think. But I love to cook and try new things. And I love to surprise my wife and family with things they don’t expect. Keep em coming darlin!! And never be afraid to post something that you’re afraid the food snobs won’t respect you for.

    Dave~

  39. On August 17, 2009 at 4:58pm, Karen@Mignardise said...

    Couldn’t have said it better myself!
    There’s certainly a time and a place for ingredients with a pedigree and long, leisurely recipes.
    And those are fun to read about and cook when we have the time.

    But so often, we don’t have the time and we want something quick and delicious (like Frozen Lemonade Pie) and there is absolutely no shame in that!
    It’s called versatility.

    Can’t wait to make it!

  40. On August 17, 2009 at 7:39pm, Wandering Chopsticks said...

    Mmm. Pie! And lemons. You’re totally speaking my language. I sent the link to my sister because I know she’s going to love this too!

  41. On August 17, 2009 at 11:03pm, Haley J. said...

    God bless the Neelys for coming up with this, but you make it look better than they ever could. Beautiful pictures!

  42. On August 18, 2009 at 7:13pm, The Food Hunter said...

    My husband will love this. I guess I know what I’m going to be doing this weekend. Thanks!

  43. On August 18, 2009 at 7:18pm, sage said...

    I love it so much I’ll write about you on my blog!

  44. On August 19, 2009 at 4:10pm, Tarrant said...

    Oh my. I haven’t thought about this pie in years and years. Mmmmm…sort of like a key lime pie but a wee bit different.

    As far as fancy cooking, my cooking and blogging is definitely not the fancy sort, more the love sort. I feel somewhat awkward about it sometimes when among food bloggers because I do use foods of suspect nature in recipes and let my poor children eat them. Oh no! Not the cream of mushroom soup from the can!

  45. On August 27, 2009 at 7:20pm, Eva said...

    this pie is awesome! I have made it a couple times and one on my coworkers says it’s her favorite of everything I’ve made. Not sure how I should take that one….

  46. On October 21, 2009 at 5:10pm, Lisa said...

    It sounds so good but we can’t buy frozen lemonade concentrate here in the Netherlands. I will have to keep dreaming.

  47. On June 10, 2010 at 10:35am, mrsblocko said...

    I made this with raspberry lemonade and wrote about it here: http://tomatoesforapples.blogspot.com/2010/06/frozen-raspberry-lemonade-pie.html

    Thank you for sharing the recipe. I can’t wait to try a lime version!

  48. On April 24, 2011 at 12:53am, Roz said...

    Lordy, Lordy, my mother made this pie about once a week every summer. I don’t think I’ve made it in 45 years until today. Wow, did it ever take me back in time to some sweet memories. My husband loved the pie and asked me why I”ve never made it before. I honestly don’t know why but I plan to keep on making it now that you’ve jogged my memory. Thanks…….

  49. On June 15, 2011 at 4:12am, Bobbie said...

    I won’t even pretend that my kitchen is anything more than extra storage space, but c’mon! I can’t even get the simplest pie recipe in the world to turn out right? It tastes wonderful, but I can’t get it to set no matter how long I leave it in the freezer. I only get lemonade soup in a pie crust. :(

  50. On June 27, 2011 at 2:03pm, teres said...

    good food is good food. period. i don’t care if it comes on a silver platter or in a plastic bowl – good food is good food. some of the worst food i’ve ever had has been in exclusive fancy restaurants in big cities where the food has been ‘done up’ so much that it is unrecognizable and some of the best food i’ve ever had has been street food in small neighbourhood towns in third world countries where the food is cooked outside on a hot skillet right in front of you with ingredients gathered only hours earlier.

    good food is good food. PERIOD. :o)

    ps i am going to make this pie sometime this week as it’s supposed to be +46 celsius up here in winnipeg, manitoba canada by thursday (yes, it gets very hot up here in the summer and no, we don’t live in igloos). AND i already have a note to make it with frozen limeade and frozen cherry lemonade. i’m drooling already!

  51. On July 10, 2011 at 9:59pm, Tracy Boyle said...

    I have eaten this pie for almost 47 years. It’s my favorite pie. It’s my birthday pie. You will love it.

  52. On September 07, 2011 at 3:49pm, Sarah J said...

    Hi, I have heard of Cool Whip (courtesy of Family Guy!) but have no idea what it is and don’t think we can get it here in the UK. Could you enlighten me please?

  53. On May 25, 2012 at 8:22pm, Erica said...

    I found this recipe on pintrest and made it tonight…it’s amazing!!!!

  54. On July 03, 2012 at 1:37am, Jill said...

    I have made this very pie on several occasions, and it never fails to get rave reviews!

  55. On August 21, 2012 at 12:51am, Vijay said...

    Learned to make this dessert way back in 1992 in my high school home economics class!! Loved it then and still like it now.

  56. On March 10, 2013 at 3:45pm, Shelva said...

    I love the lemonade filling in puff pastry shells. It’s a favorite of my family.

  57. On June 04, 2013 at 9:21am, Brenda said...

    I made this but it was very tart. How do you not make it so tart?

  58. On June 29, 2013 at 6:22am, Isabelle Rowntree said...

    Greetings!! Quick question that’s completely off topic.. Do you know how to make your site mobile friendly? My weblog looks weird when browsing from my iphone. I’m trying to find a template or plugin that might be able to resolve this problem… If you have any recommendations, please share. With thanks! Pinellas Park Roofing, 9753 66th St., #206, Pinellas Park, FL, 33782, US, 727-755-0026

2 pings to You are My Sunshine (Frozen Lemonade Pie)

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Hello and welcome to SGCC! I’m Susan, a professional writer, food columnist, recipe developer, wife, mother, daughter and sister, who used to be a lawyer in a previous life. My love of food comes from a long line of wonderful and creative Italian home cooks who didn’t always have a lot, but knew how to make a lot out of what they had. I hope that you enjoy yourself while you’re here, and visit often! read more >>

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