Menu: Personal Peach Pies

I have yet to taste a peach as good as a Georgia peach. Perfect texture, unreal juiciness, just everything you could ever want from the Earth. Bounty. A treasure. And now it’s been so long since I had one the memory’s locked, golden, in time. There hasn’t been much close until our buddy Nathan brought these farm fresh peaches from Walla Walla. There was no salvaging the situation, if you bit one of these peaches you succumbed to the peach dribble storming down your chin renewed with each bite. He brought us so many that eating them all straight up was out of the question. Demasiado, en español. All of a sudden we had to have pie. Everything was pie. Pizzas, color wheels, the world! Trouble is, I’ve never made a peach pie in my life. Turns out it’s the easiest, best thing.

Personal Peach Pies

  • Servings: 4 mini pies
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


  • 8 peaches
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • sprinkle of cinnamon
  • sprinkle of sugar
  • 1 ½ tablespoon Smart Balance [butter, whathaveyou]
  • 2 pie shells
  • flour for stretching dough
  • 1 ½ cups water

Deseed and half peaches. Boil in water for 20 minutes. As peaches soften, remove skins. Break some peaches up with a spoon; leave some in larger bits, too. Add brown sugar. Stir until desired consistency is achieved. The longer you cook it, the more concentrated the peach intensity. Cool. Follow instructions for your dough, but mine required 15-minute’s pre-baking before filling could be added. We’ve moved into a new place where our oven is a multi-setting high-class toaster oven affair. My pie shells were ready in 5 minutes. I cut and set aside some dough for the toppers. What’s a pie without a little latticework?

Om nom. Nom Nom.

I’m sad there weren’t more pictures of these little guys. My Honeybee took ’em out! No survivors! I sent one to Bethany because she’s always baking up something amazing and sharing with me and that was it. Poof, another golden peach memory.


Note: I ended up freezing half the cooked peaches—which is going to blow my own mind when I thaw it out at some point late fall, so if you’re going to use them all, you’ll need to double up on pie shells. Or you could just half the amount of peaches in the first place. Adjust to your pie needs. It works out to about a peach per pie.

Think about it, though, wherever you are just now, you’re only 20 minutes from peach pie. So, things are lookin’ up.

2016_Sunshine Signature_grey burst

Credit: All images and writing by Brianna Wray for Wrays of Sunshine. 

Menu: Bacon Cheeseburgers

D’you ever go to a bar or restaurant and pay $10 for a mediocre burger? It irritates me to no end! Especially ’cause Matt is a master burger maker. They’re seriously crazy good, so I was pretty surprised when he requested me make burgers. What, why? Your burgers are the Honeybee’s knees. Apparently he’s a big fan of my burgers, too. Huh. How ’bout that.

So, I’ll be sharing my burgers and then Honeybee will share his soon!

Sunshine's Bacon Cheeseburgers

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


frying pan / skillet, mixing bowl, toaster or broiler, possibly nitrile gloves, tongs, paper towel


Burgers 5

1 lb ground beef, 2 slices of bacon, 4 slices of cheese, 3 mushrooms, 1/2 small onion, 2 cloves garlic, buns, 1 shallot, 1 egg, salt, pepper, worcestershire sauce, A1


Burgers 2

Chop your veggies until they look something like the above. The shallot is for the final plating, but everything else goes into the mixing bowl: egg, beef, shrooms, garlic, onion. You could use a spoon, but I find it’s easier to mix by hand. If meat in your fingers gives you the willies, wear some gloves.


Cook your bacon first, over medium heat. I like to pepper my bacon. Then I drain most of the fat, then add my burgers to the same pan, top with a swirl of A1, then smoosh down. I cook them until they’re a lovely brown, then flip them bad boys over! After you flip the burgers, turn on your broiler / toast your buns.


Plating is straightforward here: tiny dollop of A1 on the bottom bun, burger, cheese, bacon, shallot, bun, boom.

Burgers 8 wos


Burgers 9 wos

How do you make your burgers? Share in the comments below. And don’t forget to like and subscribe for more Wrays of Sunshine. Still hungry? See all the whole Menu.

Brianna Wray Signature

Menu: Steak & Taters

I sometimes refer to this recipe as dump-truck steak & taters because I have a tendency to just throw in whatever’s in the fridge. It’s so easy to put together, you’ll be chowing down in no time at all.

Steak & Taters

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: crazy-easy
  • Print


1lb New York Strip steak, sliced thinly. 4 handfuls of mini potatoes – these are a medley of Yukon gold and purple. 5 garlic cloves. 1/2 medium sized onion. 1 small shallot. 1 tbsp worcestershire sauce. 1/2 cup white wine – I literally use anything on hand, I love the tang of pinot grigio. 1 tsp powdered ginger. 1/2 lime. 1 broccoli crown. 1 mushroom. Avocado oil. Red pepper flake.


Pre-heat the oven to 350°. Chop all your veggies and slice up that steak. “Prepare yourselves,” I say mid-chop, “for delicious is coming.” Spray a dark baking pan with high-heat cooking spray. In a stovetop pan, heat avocado oil.



The most difficult thing about this recipe is the timing. I like everything to come out at the same time. To make it so, I start the potatoes first and give them about a 15 minute head start in the oven. Split your cut garlic, onion and shallot–half for the steak, half for the potatoes. Try to use the largest cuts of onion and garlic for the  potatoes or else they’ll just burn. Then, on the stove, cook your steak in a splash of oil and garlic, when you flip the steak strips over, add spices, wine, worcestershire sauce and lime juice. Then once everything is positioned evenly, put your broccoli atop the steak strips and the steam rising up off the wine perfectly cooks your broccoli crowns. Magic! Well, science, really. No, magic is what happens when all the alcohol cooks off you’re left with this saucy dankness. Ooh! So good.



Plate –or bowl– it up! I think this recipe is the ultimate comfort food. Steak you don’t even have to cut! It amazes me every time that you can get steak to be tender without a fancy cut or hours of prep. Thin slices cook faster and as long as you’re keeping an eye on it, they’re tender and juicy.

Have you tried this recipe? Post your pictures in the comments. See the whole Menu page or scroll through the archive.

This was an unintentional Menu item. I just happened to be cooking and Jared snapped these photos with my camera as I went along. Many thanks to Jared Wade Photography. Every time we get together there are collaborations out the wahzoo!



Menu: Hearty Party Mac & Cheese

Macaroni & cheese is a classic recipe, a staple. Pretty much everyone and their mama has one. I’m particularly fond of Alton Brown’s. As much as I like all the others, the best mac & cheese is and always will be my mom’s. It’s a roux with a kick, at least two cheeses and big, sauce-gulping pasta. This is the quick way to make something almost as good as Mama Sunshine’s. Something tells me there are secret ingredients to make it extra mama-good. If you’ve been reading since back in the days of Sunshine Press, you’ll recall this recipe as simple and delicious. This is a repost with all new pictures! I made it without the ham slice this time. Definitely doesn’t need it. Sup, vegetarians?! You can’t go wrong. To the kitchen!

Hearty Party Mac & Cheese

Prep: 10 minutes ♦ Cook: 20 minutes ♦ Difficulty: Requires agility ♦ 8 Servings

Continue reading “Menu: Hearty Party Mac & Cheese”

Menu: Black Beans & Rice

Black beans and rice seemed like an appropriate title, but black beans and spiced rice would probably be even more apt. Unlike when I made black beans on the old blog, this recipe has more detail and more yummy. So let’s do this.

Black Beans & Rice

Black Beans & Rice

Prep: 5 minutes ♦ Cook: 30 minutes ♦ Difficulty: Easy ♦ 6 Servings

Continue reading “Menu: Black Beans & Rice”

Menu: Creme Crumbles

Do you ever get experimental in the kitchen? I remember putting together some wild combinations when I was a kid trying to emulate all the great chefs my mom watched. And when I say wild combinations I mean gross ones. But all that practice seems to have paid off. I put this simple dessert together in no time and it hit the spot.

Creme Crumbles

Prep: 15 minutes ♦ Bake: 15 minutes ♦ Difficulty: Easy as pie ♦ 4 Servings

Continue reading “Menu: Creme Crumbles”

Menu: Butterfly’s Bacon, Egg & Cheeses

Have I ever told you about my courageous ladyfriend, Anna? I’d known her for years, but we didn’t really talk much until one night I got her to come to the Broken Speech Poetry Slam. Afterward, we sat outside in our famous booth talking and drinking and generally being young hooligans. Anna talked about having lived in Orlando her whole life and wanting to get away. What set Anna apart from every other Gotta Get Outta Here friend in Orlando is that Anna was serious. She quit all three of her jobs, got rid of her apartment, broke up with her boyfriend and even gave away her sweet kitty, Baby Jesus. Anna was prepared to drive until she found a cool city all on her own. I convinced her (somehow) that I would protect her and off we rode together. Into the sunset. I nicknamed her Butterfly as she was fit to flit off and explore and, in her way, pollenate the whole world. She nicknamed me Sunshine.

Flash forward a year or so later and Butterfly and I had a sweet little basement apartment in the city of Seattle. Anna has blood sugar issues. The word hangry had not been invented yet, but that’s what I’d call it now. And she wasn’t entirely comfortable around raw meat. She invented these sandwiches as a way to get through the first part of the day. They’re easy, perfectly filling and positively delicious. Naturally I had to share.

Butterfly’s Bacon, Egg & Cheese Sandwiches

Prep: 5 minutes ♦ Cook: 20 minutes ♦ Difficulty: Easy ♦ 1 Serving

Continue reading “Menu: Butterfly’s Bacon, Egg & Cheeses”

Drink Menu: Mischief Whiskey & Ginger

Whiskey gingers are my go-to cocktail for checking out new clubs or bars. If you can’t make a classic, I can’t commit. And so it goes. These days I’d rather invite friends over and play bartender myself. Tim, the friendly fellow at our local Liquor & Wine shop suggests a whiskey so close to home, it could’ve taken a bus. If whiskey could take a bus. Mischief Whiskey is brewed right down in Fremont and I had to try it. I was all set to beeline for the Canada Dry when I saw a label so cute it drew me in. Tim said Bundaberg’s is the ginger beer all the ginger purists go for these days. Yes, we have those. I love Seattle. So I thought I’d go all the way. Here’s how I make ’em.

Mischief & Bundabergs

Whiskey Ginger


Mischief Whiskey. Cucumber slices frozen for at least 3 hours in ice-cube tray. Fresh ginger zest. Bundaberg’s Ginger Beer. Frosted glass. 3 lime wedges (2 for juice, 1 for garnish).

I absolutely love the way the slight cucumber flavor becomes more pronounced as you drink and things melt.

Mischief & Bundaberg