• Apple Crumb Pie


    If you like apple pie and if you like crumb topping, you’ll love this apple crumb pie!  This pie will have its place at our Thanksgiving feasts.

    Recipe adapted from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe.


    • 1/2 recipe of No Fail Pie Crust (or make a full recipe and make tarts with the leftover crust….yum!)
    • 6 c. apples (Fuji, Jazz, Braeburn, Granny Smith mix), sliced ¼ inch thick
    • 1/4 c. freshly squeezed lemon juice (from about 2 lemons)
    • 3/4 c. granulated sugar
    • 2 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

    Crumb Topping:

    • 1 c. all-purpose flour
    • 1/4 c. packed light or dark brown sugar
    • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
    • 8 TBSP (1 stick) cold butter, cut into small pieces


    1. Make the pie crust according to directions, roll it out into a 9-inch pie plate and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before filling with the apples.
    2. Preheat the oven to 375*. Peel, core and slice all the apples to about 1/4-inch thick. It doesn’t have to be exact – just try to get them all about the same thickness so the apples cook evenly.
    3. Toss the apples in a bowl with the lemon juice, sugar, and cinnamon. Add the apple mixture to the chilled crust.
    4. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, and cinnamon. Add the butter pieces and cut in with a fork, your fingers or a pastry blender until the mixture is coarsely combined and makes a streusel-like consistency.
    5. Lightly press the crumb mixture on top of the apples. Place the pie on a foil-lined baking sheet and bake for 1 hour and 30 minutes until the apples are tender and the crust is golden brown. If the crust edges are getting too dark during the last 30 minutes of baking, you can cover them with foil for the remainder of baking.
    6. Serve warm or at room temperature. This pie is delicious with a bit of whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

    Apple Crumb Pie:


  • Apple Pie Perfection!


    Apple pie…just like Grandma’s…I just love apple pie!  The search is over…this is the best apple pie!


    • No Fail Pie Crust
    • 6-8 c. apples (Fuji, Jazz, Braeburn, Granny Smith mix), sliced ¼ inch thick
    • ¾ c. sugar
    • 3 TBSP all purpose flour
    • 1 TBSP fresh lemon juice
    • ½ tsp. cinnamon
    • 1/8 tsp. salt
    • 1 TBSP butter, cut into small pieces
    • 2 tsp. sugar
    • 1/8 tsp. cinnamon


    1. Preheat oven to 425*.
    2. Combine apples through salt in a large bowl.  Let stand for at least 15 minutes, stirring several times, so the apples soften slightly.
    3. Pour mixture into the bottom of the crust and gently level with the back of a spoon.
    4. Top with butter.
    5. Brush the overhanging edge of the bottom crust with cold water.  Cover with the top crust, then seal the edge, trim, and crimp or flute.  Cut steam vents in the top crust and sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon.
    6. Bake for 30 minutes with a baking sheet underneath.  After 30 minutes, reduce temperature and bake until fruit feels just tender when a knife is poked through the vents, about 30 to 45 more minutes.  For the filling to thicken, the pie must cook on a rack for 3 to 4 hours.

    Apple Pie:


  • Perfect Pie Crust


    In my opinion, my Grandmother makes the best pies in the whole wide world…I’m not kidding!  Her crust is flaky and buttery and delicious.  I’ve seen her make pies, so I’ve always had an idea of what goes into it, but I never could get it just right, because in true Grandma form, she has no recipe…she makes it by feel.

    This is the perfect pie crust.  I. am. not. kidding.  It’s just like Grandma’s.

    Recipe from the November 2012 issue of Food Network Magazine.


    • 12 TBSP very cold unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks)
    • 3 c. all-purpose flour
    • 1 TBSP sugar
    • 1 tsp. salt
    • 1/3 c. very cold vegetable shortening
    • 1/2 c. ice water


    1. Cut the butter in 1/2 inch dice and return it to the refrigerator while you prepare the flour mixture.
    2. Place the flour, sugar and salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade and pulse a few times to mix
    3. Add the butter and shortening.  Pulse 8 to 12 times, until the butter is the size of peas.  With the machine running, pour ice water down the feed tube and pulse the machine until the dough begins to form a ball.
    4. Dump onto a floured board and roll into a ball.  Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes (if refrigerate longer be sure to let it warm up a bit before you try and roll the dough out).
    5. Cut the dough in half.  Roll each piece on a well floured board into a circle at least 1 inch larger than the pie pan, rolling from the center to the edge, turning and flouring the dough so it doesn’t stick to the board. You should see bits of butter int he dough.  Fold the dough in half, ease it into the pie pan without stretching at all an unfold to fit the pan.
    6. With a small paring knife, cut the dough 1 inch larger around the pan.  Fold the ed under and crimp the edge with either your fingers or the tines of a fork.
    7. Makes 2 (9-11 inch) crusts.

    Perfect Pie Crust:



  • Crockpot Applesauce


    Homemade applesauce makes the house smell like fall, and it is so easy and so delicious! :)   The kiddos devoured their applesauce, and we’ll definitely make this up again.


    • 10 Braeburn apples, peeled, cored and sliced
    • 1/2 c. sugar + more as needed
    • 1/2 c. water
    • 1 tsp. cinnamon


    1. Place apple slices in food processor in batches and process until the apples are in small pieces (or use your peeler, corer, slicer handy appliance); then put apples in Crockpot.
    2. Add sugar, water and cinnamon.
    3. Cover and cook on HIGH for 4 hours or LOW for 8 hours.  Taste and add more sugar, if needed. (if you use your peeler, corer, slicer handy appliance, take a potato masher to mash the top layer of apples as the under the layers will have already broken apart).

    Crockpot Applesauce:


  • Healthy Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

    This muffin recipe is so darn good.  The original recipe is vegan but I use milk instead of nondairy milk, and I also use a dairy based light margarine.  But if you want to make it vegan go right ahead.  Everyone loves these muffins!!!


    • 1/4 c. skim milk
    • 1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
    • 1 c. all purpose flour
    • 1 c. whole wheat flour
    • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
    • 1/2 tsp. salt
    • 1/4 tsp. ground allspice
    • 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
    • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
    • 1/2 c. light country crock margarine
    • 1/2 c. brown sugar
    • 1/2 c. white sugar
    • 3 ripe bananas
    • 1 tsp. vanilla
    • 1 8 oz. can crushed pineapple
    • 1/2 c. mini chocolate chips


    1. Preheat oven to 350*; line muffin pan with baking cups and spray with cooking spray.
    2. In a small bowl, combine milk and vinegar.
    3. In a large bowl, combine both flours, baking soda, salt and spices.
    4. In a mixing bowl, cream the margarine and sugars; then add the bananas, vanilla, milk mixture, and pineapple.
    5. Add the dry ingredients to the wet; then mix in chocolate chips.  Stir until just combined.
    6. Pour batter in the muffin tins and bake for 25 minutes (if making a loaf instead, bake for 60-70 minutes) or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
    7. Remove pan from oven and let cool slightly; then remove muffins and let cool on a cooling rack (if making a loaf, remove the pan from the oven and place on cooling rack for 10 minutes; then transfer the bread from the pan to the rack and let cool completely before slicing-preferably overnight).

    Healthy Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins:



  • Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes


    These cupcakes are so decadently delicious!  The recipe comes from Taste of Home Cake Mix Treats, and if you love chocolate and peanut butter you’ll love these cupcakes!!!!


    • 1 package chocolate cake mix
    • 1 1/4 c. water
    • 1/2 c. peanut butter
    • 1/3 c. canola oil
    • 3 eggs
    • 24 miniature peanut butter cups


    • 12 oz. semisweet chocolate, chopped
    • 1 1/3 c. heavy whipping cream
    • 2/3 c. peanut butter
    • Additional peanut butter cups, chopped


    1. In a large bowl, combine cake mix, water, peanut butter, oil, and eggs; beat on low speed for 30 seconds.  Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes, or until smooth.
    2. Fill paper lined muffin cups half full.  Place peanut butter cup in the center of each cupcake.  Cover each with 1 TBSP batter.
    3. Bake at 350 for 18-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.  Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.
    4. Place chocolate in a small bowl.  In a small saucepan, bring cream just to a boil.  Pour over chocolate; whisk until smooth.  Stir in peanut butter.  Cool, stirring occasionally, to room temperature or until ganache reaches a spreading consistency, about 10 minutes.
    5. Spread over cupcakes; immediately sprinkle with additional peanut butter cups.  Let stand until set.

    ****Don’t use reduced fat or generic brands of peanut butter.

     Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes:


  • Easy Peasy Hamentashen


    This hamentashen recipe is so easy.  I’ve got a family recipe that calls for the dough to be refrigerated overnight, and whenever I look at that recipe I just want to make these cookies right now!  So this easy recipe is perfect and tasty too!

    This recipe is from allrecipes.com.

    • 1 (18.25 oz.) package moist yellow cake mix
    • 1 c. all-purpose flour
    • 2 eggs
    • 2 TBSP water
    • 1 c. pie filling or Solo filling, any flavor


    1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Grease cookie sheets or use parchment paper.
    2. In a large bowl, mix together the cake mix and flour. Stir in the eggs and water to form a stiff dough. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out to 1/8 inch thickness. Cut into 3 inch round circles and place 2 inches apart onto the prepared cookie sheets. Place a teaspoon of filling into the center of each cookie and pinch the sides to form three corners. Moisten with water if necessary.
    3. Bake for 6 to 8 minutes in the preheated oven, or until lightly browned. Allow cookies to cool for 1 minute on the cookie sheets before removing to wire racks to cool completely.

    Easy Peasy Hamentashen:

  • Chocolate Chocolate Mint Chip Cookies


    Have you seen the new dark chocolate mint chips by Nestle?  I absolutely love mint, so I knew these were right up my alley!  -s is the cookie baker in our house, so he found a chocolate chocolate chip cookie recipe on Food Network, and used that recipe to make these most delicious cookies!

    If you love chocolate and mint you’ll love these cookies!  If you love thin mints, you’ll love these cookies!


    • 2 1/4 c.flour
    • 1 tsp. salt
    • 1 tsp. baking soda
    • 2 sticks butter, softened
    • 1 c. granulated sugar
    • 1 c. packed brown sugar
    • 2 eggs, beaten
    • 1 TBSP vanilla
    • 1/2 c. unsweetened cocoa
    • 1 10 oz bag of dark chocolate mint morsels


    1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
    2. In a bowl stir together flour, salt, and baking soda.
    3. In another large bowl stir together butter, both sugars, eggs, vanilla and cocoa. Gradually stir flour mixture into butter mixture and mix until combined. Stir chocolate chips and stir to distribute evenly.
    4. Drop dough by tablespoonfuls onto greased baking sheets and bake about 10 minutes. Cool on a baking rack.

    Chocolate Chocolate Mint Chip Cookies:


  • Jelly Donuts


    Who knew homemade donuts were so easy to make?  I surely didn’t, but I think we will make this an annual tradition.  It was so much fun and the kiddos all enjoyed decorating the donuts.

    Recipe adapted from November 2009 issue of Southern Living.


    • 1 (25 oz.) package of frozen yeast rolls, thawed according to package
    • 1/2 c. granultated sugar
    • 1 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
    • 1/2 to 1 c. seedless raspberry or strawberry jam
    • powdered sugar


    1. Place rolls 2 inches apart on 2 lightly greased baking sheets.  Cover and let rise in warm place (85*).
    2. Pour oil to a depth of 2 inches into a deep skillet and heat to 350*.  Fry rolls in batches, 1 to 1.5 minutes on each side or until fully cooked and golden brown.  Drain on a wire rack over paper towels.
    3. Whisk together granulated sugar and cinnamon in a medium bowl.  Add warm donuts to sugar mixture, tossing to coat.  Let cook completely on wire rack, about 5 minutes.
    4. Make a small slit in the side of each donut, using a paring knife.  Place jelly in a zip-loc bag (don’t seal it).  Snip 1 corner of bag to make a small hole.   Pipe jelly into each donut.  Dust with powdered sugar.
    5. You can skip the jelly and top each with the sugar cinnamon mixture, or top with powdered sugar, or top with a glaze and decorate with sprinkles.

    Jelly Donuts:


  • Cranberry Jello Salad


    Jello salads and molded jello salads were all the rage in the 70′s and they still are for my family in the Pacific Northwest.  Most jello salads I don’t particularly care for, but I eat enough to be polite.  There is one exception.  My Great Aunt Arlene makes this wonderful raw cranberry jello salad every Thanksgiving.  It’s bright, cold, and refreshing, which is a nice contrast to the heavy hearty Thanksgiving meal.

    Since I’m not with my family for Thanksgiving this year, I emailed Aunt Arlene for the recipe and made it for my family.

    It didn’t disappoint.

    My son said “this is the best jello I’ve ever had.”  And he had 3 helpings!

    I think what makes this jello salad so delicious is that it has all fresh fruit…none of the canned stuff.

    Try it…you’ll really like it!

    Ingredients Option 1:

    • 1 c. raw cranberries
    • zest of 1 orange
    • orange segments and juice from 1 orange
    • 1/2 c. sugar (or Stevia)
    • 1 small box of sugar free raspberry jello
    • 1 1/2 c. boiling water
    • 1 apple, peeled, cored, and diced

    Ingredients Option 2:

    • 1 c. raw cranberries
    • zest of 1 orange
    • 6 oz. can of pineapple juice
    • 1/2 c. sugar (or Stevia)
    • 1 large box of sugar free raspberry jello
    • 1 1/2 c. boiling water
    • 1 apple, peeled, cored, and diced

    Directions for Option 1:

    1. Mix sugar, jello, and boiling water in a bowl; cool slightly.
    2. Combine the cranberries, orange zest, orange segments and orange juice in a food processor and pulse until all is ground into small pieces.
    3. Combine cranberry mixture, jello mixture, and apple pieces in a bowl.  Chill until set.

    Directions for Option 2:

    1. Mix sugar, jello, and boiling water in a bowl; cool slightly.
    2. Combine the cranberries, orange zest, and pineapple juice in a food processor and pulse until all is ground into small pieces.
    3. Combine cranberry mixture, jello mixture, and apple pieces in a bowl.  Chill until set.

    Cranberry Jello Salad: