Monday, October 26, 2015


What do you do after you go apple picking and come home with more apples than you know what to do with? Cook with them of course!!!
Last weekend I made Apple Pie Bars, The beginning of Apple Cider Vinegar and Dried Apples.  Yum!
If you want to make them also, here are the recipes I used.

Apple Pie Bars


  • 1 egg
  • 2 sticks butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 large apples, peeled, cored and sliced
  • 4 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup flour
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9x13 pan with parchment paper.
  2. THE CRUST: In a large bowl, combine the egg, butter and sugar. Mix until creamy. Add flour and salt and stir until combined. Using your fingers, press the dough evenly into the bottom of the pan with parchment paper. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes.
  3. THE APPLE PIE FILLING: In a large bowl, combine apples, butter, brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Stir until combined. Pour over crust.
  4. THE SUGAR TOPPING: In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, flour and butter. Stir until mixture is crumbly. Spread evenly over filling layer. Bake for an additional 30 minutes. Let cool and remove the bars from the pan by pulling the parchment paper.  Cut into squares.

I drizzled caramel over the top for extra added yumminess! 

Apple Cider Vinegar


  • Cores and peels from 6-8 apples (ideally organic)
  • 2 tbs. honey
  • Water to cover
After using the apples to create my apple pie bars, I placed the cores and peels in a large jar.  Cover the apple scraps with water and stir in the honey.  Put a paper towel on top and secure with a rubber band.  Let the mixture soak for 2 weeks then drain the liquid and discard the soils.  Return the liquid to the jar and cover with a paper towel and secure with a rubber band again and leave for 4 weeks, making sure to stir daily.  After 4 weeks, check for acidity to your liking.  Once you are satisfied, transfer to a covered bottle for storage.  

Dried Apple Slices 

 Dried Apples:  Core apples; slice into 1/8-inch thick rounds.  Arrange on an oiled baking sheet and bake at 200 degrees F until dry but still soft, 2 to 3 hours.

Monday, September 14, 2015


 Cooler weather is coming and it inspires me to make soups and stews and this weekend, it was a chili. :)

  • 1 pound ground beef or turkey (optional)
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 yellow or white onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 stalks of celery, chopped
  • 1 yellow squash, chopped
  • 1 zucchini, chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 2 jalapeño peppers, finely chopped (optional)
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black ground pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 can diced tomatoes (14 oz.)
  • 2 can tomato sauce (8 oz.)
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can pink beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can garbonzo beans, drained and rinsed
  • Shredded cheese and sour cream, for topping

If using meat, cook over medium-high heat until no longer pink. Transfer the meat to dish. Drain excess grease.

Add the olive oil to the skillet and heat over medium-high heat. Add the onion and saute until softened, add garlic, parsley and jalapeño peppers (if using). Add carrots and squash.  Remove from heat and add the chili powder, cumin, sugar, oregano, salt, pepper and cayenne pepper. Stir until combined.

If cooking the chili with meat, add the cooked meat back to the skillet. If not, add the diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, and beans.  Bring to a boil then turn heat back to medium-low and simmer for 2 hours. In slow cooker, cook on low for 4-5 hours.  Serve with choice of toppings (cheese, sour cream, onions).

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Creamy Broccoli Cheese Soup

It has been really cold around these parts of the Northeast.  Today it is negative 1!  That means lots of bundling up and what is better than a hot bowl of soup to take the cold out?  Last week I made a Brazilian fish stew called moqueca.  Recently I was craving creamy broccoli cheese soup, like the kind you eat out of a bread bowl at panera. :)  Except I like my broccoli in big pieces for a chunky feel, not puree.  If you prefer a smoother soup, you can puree it in a blender. :)

  • 1 tablespoon melted butter
  • ½ medium chopped onion
  • ¼ cup melted butter
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 2 cups half-and-half cream
  • 2 cups milk
  • ½ lb fresh broccoli (about 1 cup)
  • 1 cup carrot, julienned
  • 8 ounces grated cheddar cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste

  1. Saute the onion in 1 tablespoon melted butter and set aside. In a large pot whisk together the melted butter and flour over medium heat for about 3-4 minutes.
  2. Slowly whisk in the half and half and milk. Let it simmer for about 20 minutes.
  3. Add the broccoli, carrots, and onions. Let them simmer on medium low for about 25 minutes until the broccoli and carrots are tender.
  4. Add salt and pepper and cheese. Let the cheese melt and then serve. 

Adapted from