What’s Cooking in Your Kitchen? Adoptive Families Share Recipes

by | Jul 1, 2020 | Adoptive Families Blog

Patrick gets the grill ready for chicken wings while Kathryn pulls hand pies from the ovenThe 4th of July is almost upon us; it’s time to stock up on meats and veggies, then fire up the grill! A big part of this summer holiday is what’s cooking, which means it’s time to pull out the most mouthwatering 4th of July recipes if you’re playing party host this year (even if it’s just for immediate family). Plan your picnic or cookout with these two enticing recipes.
In today’s installment of Lifetime’s blog series “What’s Cooking in Your Kitchen?”, we share TWO recipes, for a main dish and a dessert. Lifetime adoptive couple Patrick and Kathryn have shared their beloved recipes for smoked chicken wings and peach hand pies. They’re currently one of Lifetime’s adoptive parents-in-waiting. You can see their adoption profile online here.
Kathryn with the peaches collected from a peach farmKathryn shares, “One of our favorite things to do together is to use our charcoal smoker. In Florida, we can use it year-round, and it’s a fun activity to do together. We use teamwork to make our favorite wings. Kathryn makes the rubs, and Patrick cooks the meat. This is our base recipe. We also love to experiment with new spices in the rub and different kinds of wood in the smoker. So far, all of our versions have been delicious. The rub below is our favorite sweet and smoky version, but you can dial the heat up or down depending on your taste.
We recently made these wings and finished it up with Kathryn’s semi-homemade peach hand pies. During the pandemic, we safely visited a peach farm and picked our own peaches. Kathryn turned these peaches into personal peach hand pies, and they came out great! It made about three dozen! We shared with friends and neighbors and still have plenty in the freezer. The defrost easily and crisp-up great in the air fryer. We will enjoy them all summer!”


Smoked Chicken Wings

Patrick gets ready to apply rub to the chicken wingsHear as Patrick talks about his famous smoked chicken wings in their adoption video!


  • 3 pounds chicken wings
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 ½ teaspoons fresh ground pepper
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne


  1. Separate wings into drumettes and wings, if desired (we leave them on).
  2. Pat wings dry then spray with grilling spray, like Pam
  3. Combine spices to form the rub.
  4. Place wings in a bowl, add and mix rub and olive oil over chicken.
  5. Let wings rest for at least an hour.
  6. Heat the smoker or grill to a temperature between 225-250° F.
  7. Place wings over indirect heat.
  8. Add wood for the smoke to coals (our favorite is half mesquite and half cherry)
  9. Smoke for two and a half hours, maintaining a constant smoke for at least an hour and half. The chicken should have an internal temperature of 160° F.
  10. Place directly over coals to crisp, approximately 5 minutes each side.
  11. Remove from heat and let rest for approximately 10 minutes before serving.


Semi-Homemade Peach Hand Pies

Kathryn puts peach hand pies onto a baking sheet

Filling ingredients

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon powder (optional, but we recommend it)
  • 5 cups of peeled, pitted, and chopped peaches


  1. In a large nonstick saucepan, add water, lemon juice, sugar, cornstarch and cook at medium-high heat until mixture becomes thick (about five to eight minutes).
  2. Stir consistently to prevent any clumps from forming.
  3. Turn off heat and add vanilla extract, cinnamon powder, peaches and mix everything together.
  4. Allow the filling to cool down completely and then use it in the pies. Or, you can even freeze it for later or store in the fridge for up to five days.

    Crust ingredients

    • Two packages pre-made pie crust (from refrigerated section)
    • 2½ cups powdered sugar
    • ¼ cup milk
    • 1 egg white, beaten

    Crust assembly

    1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Remove pie crusts from package and allow to come to room temperature while you prepare filling.
    2. Dump pie filling in a shallow bowl. Set aside.
    3. Unroll pie crusts and cut 6 circles from each crust using a 4-inch biscuit cutter. You may have to re-roll the scraps to get the 6th circle.
    4. Using a 1 tablespoon cookie scoop, drop peach pie filling into center of each pie crust circle. Fold in half and pinch edges completely. Fold pinched edges over and press with the tines of a fork to seal. Poke hand pie with fork once, to prevent bursting.
    5. Beat egg white in a small bowl until frothy. Brush over the tops of each hand pie.
    6. Bake on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet (one inch apart) for about 15 minutes, until browned.
    7. While pies are baking, whisk together the powdered sugar and milk until smooth.
    8. Remove cooked pies from baking sheet and drop (while warm) into glaze, coating it completely. I use two forks to flip it in the glaze and remove carefully. Return to parchment paper and allow to set (about 5 minutes). ENJOY!

    Note: if you are freezing, skip the glaze and glaze after they are reheated.

    Share Your Favorite Recipe

    So now, we want to know — what’s cooking in your kitchen? It’s time to open up those family recipe boxes and dig out your favorite recipe. Anything goes; it could be your mom’s best pasta salad, Great Grandma’s sugar cookies, or the New York Cheesecake you make every year from The Joy of Cooking. The only rule is that it be a recipe that you love.
    You can email your recipe to Lifetime Adoption. We’re interested in where the recipe came from, how long it’s been in your family, and any stories behind it. Please let us know if it’s from a cookbook, blog, or another source. Feel free to share a pic of your food if you have one!
    We can’t wait to try your recipes – thanks for taking the time to send them in!

    Heidi Keefer

    Written by Heidi Keefer

    Heidi Keefer is a Content Creator for Lifetime Adoption and has over 15 years of experience in the field of adoption. An author of thousands of articles and social media posts over the years, Heidi enjoys finding new ways to educate and captivate Lifetime’s ever-growing list of subscribers.

    Heidi has a keen eye for misplaced apostrophes, comma splices, and well-turned sentences, which she has put to good use as a contributor to Lifetime’s award-winning blogs. She has written and published hundreds of adoption articles which explore the various facets of domestic infant adoption today.

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