Category Archives: Holidays

Winter Fruit Salad

img_1446I’ve had a pet peeve for decades now. It is the lame excuse for a fruit cup that is served with brunch by restaurants around the country. Yes, even into the 21st century we are still tortured with a small cup with some underripe melon, a couple grapes, and a sad excuse for a berry or two. I get it. Fruit can be hard to come by, and expensive. Okay. Maybe not so hard to come by, but it can be expensive.

I am heading to a potluck this evening and I am bringing some fruit. But rather than breaking the bank and bringing some prepared (and lovely) offering from a local grocer, I am keeping it very simple. I harken back to my early childhood when winter meant apples and oranges, perhaps an occasional tangerine, and on holidays, the ruby prize of the Midwest; the pomegranate.

Winter Fruit Salad
2 oranges, peeled and cut into chunks
2 large apples or 3-4 smaller ones, cut into chunks
Seeds of a pomegranate

  1. If you didn’t see that you should cut the fruit, please do so now.
  2. Find the loveliest bowl that you have, or if you’re me, just put it in anything you can find that isn’t plastic and stir carefully.
  3. Chill for at least an hour and serve.

Isn’t it pretty? Wouldn’t you be so happy if Fancy Restaurant That Charged you too Much for Waffles would serve you that instead of the hard, flavorless chunk of anemic green melon? ME TOO!!!

For the record, as tempting as it was, I did not buy pre-seeded pomegranate. I did it myself. Here’s how:

No fancy kitchen. No overly verbose person letting you know how clever they are because they can open a pomegranate in under five minutes. Just a guy in a field with a little knife. I believe he is the one who truly knows how to get the job done.

Don’t be afraid of winter. The fruit’s still there, and it still tastes great!


Crumble Top Apple Pie

Original post: October 17, 2013

Today is a day worthy of a minor celebration. People are working. Paychecks will be received. My friends and neighbors breath a collected sigh of relief as things return, somewhat, to normal. Thank goodness!

To celebrate getting back to normal, I think we should all have a nice piece of pie! It’s Honey Crisp Apple time! As great as they are for just plain old eating, they also happen to be quite wonderful for baking! I expect some of you are a little horrified that I would take this precious apple variety and use it for baking. It’s available for such a short time. But requests were made. Eyelashes were batted. It was all I had to work with. Please forgive the extravagance.

Crumble Top Apple Pie
1 prepared pie crust – if using refrigerator crust, you only need one piece. I used a shortbread crust.
3 big apples, peeled, cored and sliced – I used Honey Crisp. Pure Heaven.
3 ounces each (combined 3/4 cup) flour and oats – I used half white and half wheat flour.
1/2 cup brown sugar
all spice
6 tbsp melted butter

1. Place the apple slices in the prepared crust.
2. Combine all the other ingredients, except the butter. Use your own discretion with the vanilla and the spices. I probably used about a half teaspoon of the vanilla and cinnamon and slightly less all spice.
3. Add the butter. You will have a lumpy, buttery glob of yummy goo.
4. Spread (?) over the apple slices. You can drop it by the spoonful and mush it around or just dump the whole bowl over it and spread it with a big spoon.
5. Bake at 375 for 35 minutes or until the topping is nice and brown.

Serve. Relish the admiration.



Cornbread and Sausage Stuffing


Original post: November 29, 2013

I had no plan to post a recipe today. However, my faithful assistant saw me preparing our stuffing for dinner and specifically asked me to post it so he can make it when he has his own Thanksgiving. That’s some serious advanced menu planning! How could I turn down his request? It made me so happy that everything I put into preparing our Thanksgiving meal means so much to him.

Yesterday, as I was deboning (boning?) the turkey breast for our Turducken Roll, he wanted to stand by me and watch and learn. I had to shoo him away. I was so nervous about slicing my hand. And he is a chatty little thing!

So I post today for you who are in the midst of last minute meal planning and prep and may want to try something different. And I post as a reminder to myself of my wonderful family for whom I am extremely thankful.

Homemade Cornbread and Sausage Stuffing
2 boxes of Jiffy Corn Muffin mix, prepared as cornbread according to the instructions on the box
4 sausage links – 1/2 lb or more
Half cup chopped onion
2 celery stalks, chopped
2 cups broth
Poultry seasoning
Salt and pepper
3 tbsp melted butter

1. Crumble up the cornbread into a large bowl. Set aside.
2. Cook the sausage, onion and celery in a small amount of olive oil until the sausage is about 75% done. I don’t cook it all the way through so it doesn’t get too dry since it will bake, too.
3. Combine the sausage mixture and cornbread.
4. Stir in the broth and seasoning.
5. Transfer to a 9×9 baking dish prepared with cooking spray.
6. Top with the melted butter.
7. Bake for 35-45 minutes at 375 until the top is golden brown.

Try to make this as close to meal time as possible. It’s so much better fresh out of the oven. If you have to cook in advance, cover it with foil when you reheat it and keep the oven at a fairly low temp. Don’t go higher than 300.

Happy Thanksgiving! Enjoy!


img_1422Each week, My Faithful Assistant has a Spanish assignment that requires him to use his Spanish outside of the regular coursework. He can watch a Spanish language TV show, read a news article or prepare a recipe, providing a video with at least five steps in Spanish.

He can only do each selection once a quarter. The cooking video is his favorite.

This quarter, his teacher sent home a recipe for flan. It was not a good recipe. Fortunately, I know people who do know good recipes and we had a backup from my dear friend Jen on her blog The Whole Bag of Chips which she found on

Here’s the recipe from AllRecipes.

1 cup white sugar
1 can evaporated milk
1 can sweetened condensed milk
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla

  1. Preheat the oven to 350.
  2. Melt the sugar over medium heat until it is a nice golden brown.
  3. Pour into a 9″ round baking dish. I used a glass pie plate. Swirl the sugar to cover as much of the pan as you can.
  4. Combine the eggs, vanilla, and two milks. Pour over the sugar. Cover the pan with foil.
  5. Bake for 60 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  6. Allow to cool for 20 – 30 minutes and invert on a plate so the sugar in on top.

I’m not sure My Faithful Assistant loves flan or even likes it very much. I for one have not previously been a big fan of custard but the smell of the caramelized sugar and the vanilla now has me sold.

Are you looking for something different for holiday dessert? Tired of pie? Hate pumpkin? Or just looking for something for your kid to make for their tarea semenal? You may want to try this! I have to admit that I was skeptical the first time I made it but it’s actually quite easy! Just don’t rush the sugar melting or the cooling.

Keep your fingers crossed for a good grade! Enjoy!

Caramelized Peach No-Churn Ice Cream

cpncicHave you made no-churn ice cream yet? If not, you really should! It’s a pretty simple way to enjoy delicious homemade ice cream without buying another bulky apparatus that you might not use as often as you would like.

I love that this ice cream is tasty and versatile. You can make a plain vanilla ice cream, or add all your favorite treats to it.

In keeping with the CSA theme of the blog this summer, I used a couple of the lovely peaches from my CSA box, caramelized them and made this summery fresh treat.

Caramelized Peach No-Churn Ice Cream
2 or more peaches, pealed and chopped
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 tbsp butter
1 pint heavy cream
14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
1 tsp vanilla

  1. Combine the butter, sugar and cinnamon in a saute pan and cook on medium until the sugar has melted.
  2. Add the peaches and cook for 10-15 minutes until the sauce gets a little thick.
  4. Now… whip the cream and vanilla together with your mixer of choice until soft peaks form.
  5. Add the sweetened condensed milk and mix thoroughly.
  6. Fold in the peach mixture.
  7. Freeze for 6 or more hours.

Need some ideas for other ice cream flavors? Try there:

Homemade Oreo Cookie Crunch Ice Cream

Key Lime Pie No-Churn Ice Cream

No Churn Ice Cream with Berries

No Churn Smores Ice Cream