Merry Christmas & Ginger Applesauce

December 25, 2011 - Written by Diana

There’s always one last thing to make , one more dish to prepare. Here’s a quick pretty fail safe delicious one we made this morning. It was all hands on deck. The kids peeled and cored an put the apples into lemon water. My husband helped remove the rough spots.
We put it into my new dutch oven and I poured a little apple cider over top. For the piece de resistance We grated fresh ginger and gave it all a toss.
Heat it up giving it a stir every few minutes until its mostly melted into sauce. Yummy.

I hope every one enjoys their day and thanks to all those working today to make our lives easier. My daughter is a working waitress. Be extra nice to your waitress today if you eat out. She’s missing the family dinner, but needs the money for school. We miss her, but we understand. God bless us everyone. Happy Holidays to all, from Winter solstice through Happy New Years and every holiday in between.

World’s Best Applesauce – It’s All In The Apples

December 5, 2011 - Written by Diana

I bring killer applesauce to family dinners and I often can some and give away as gifts. I get many compliments on my sauce and my response is always the same- it’s all in the apples you use. Seriously, I don’t need sugar in my sauce at all because I’m using a blend of apples to come up with the best sauce.

Learning which apples to use in your recipes is the key to achieving the desired result. Fuji and Gala are great for salads and fresh but I wouldn’t put them in sauce. I’ve used Rome because they make a pretty pink sauce but the taste is meh. My husband loved Red Delicious until I pointed out they only had flavor for a couple of days and then the flavor went downhill fast.

I use Winesap, Gold Rush and/ Suncrisp together for the sauce. Winesap are sweet and melt right down into sauce with very little effort. The Suncrisp and Goldrush have a little tartness and hold their shape more and so they add a little chunkiness and texture to the sauce.

Making applesauce is easy peasy.

Wash and peel apples.

Core and slice – place in a bowl of water with citric acid of some sort ( lemon juice, fruit fresh, true lemon)

Drain slices and place in crockpot or roasting pan on low.

Give it a swish chop up the bigger chunks with a wooden spoon.

Add a little spice if you like (cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice).


But really, it’s all in the apples.

Here’s a chart I’ve used to help decide what apples to use.

Southern Apple Pecan Dressing

November 13, 2010 - Written by Diana

The time has come to start the Thanksgiving dinner recipes.  Dressing or Stuffing what’s the difference.  Where I came from, everything was called stuffing, here in Ohio, mostly it’s called dressing so I always thought it was a regional thing.  Whatever – you can also call it stuffing if you stuff it, and dressing if you don’t.  Usually I don’t stuff the turkey, I bake the stuffing (or dressing) and serve it as a side dish – because I like it that way.  I love apples and pecans in my dressing (stuffing) and sometimes I throw in some raisins.  Here’s a recipe developed by the Deen Brothers.  Oven dried bread means cube it and toast it on low until the bread is dry enough to use for stuffing.

Southern Apple Pecan Dressing

Recipe created by Jamie and Bobby Deen on behalf of the Grain Foods Foundation

Servings – 8
PreHeat – 350°
Prep Time – 20 min
Cooking Time – 1 hr
Total Time – 1 hr 20 min
Difficulty – Easy



In an extra large mixing bowl, toss together white bread and crackers. Set aside.

In a large skillet over medium heat, melt butter. Stir in celery, onion,apples, sage and poultry seasoning. Cook until onion is translucent. Pour vegetable mixture over bread mixture. Add stock, salt and pepper. Stir to coat. Add beaten eggs and mix well. Stir in Nuts. Pour mixture in a prepared 9×13 baking pan.

Bake until golden on the top and cooked through with a slight jiggle (45-60 minutes).

Tell us, are you a stuffing, or dressing person?  What kind do you like best?

Apple Cinnamon Coffee Cake

October 20, 2010 - Written by Diana

It’s apple season and I have had such a craving for an Apple (Cinnamon Coffee) Crumb Cake.  It doesn’t help that I have all of these apples that my husband and I are planning on canning sitting around the house calling to me.  Psst, psst, you want it, you know you doooooo.  Well, I caved.  I hit the books looking for a simple cake that I could put together quickly for a nice evening snack.  This is one of the times it would be nice to have kids hanging around.  I’ve got apple cake and I’m eating it, and eating it.  This is my type of cake, not too sweet, a little bit of apple, moist and delicious.  Love it.  Warm is better, and if you have vanilla ice cream, dollop it on top.  I don’t have any, but I just keep snacking on it.  I found this recipe in my Best of Cooking Light Kitchen Secrets for Quick and Easy Meals from Sept 2008.  I guess this is the reason I keep magazines I like around for a while. 

Apple Cinnamon Cake 080 Serve warm or freeze this coffee-cake for up to 3 months




Preheat oven to 350.  To prepare cake, lightly spoon 1 1/2 flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour and the next 4 ingredients (through salt) in a bowl, stirring with a whisk.  Make a well in the center of mixture.  Combine milk, melted butter, vanilla, and egg, stirring with a whisk; add to flour mixture, stirring just until moist.  Fold in apple.  Pour into an 8-inch square baking pan coated with cooking spray. 

To prepare streusel, combine brown sugar, flour and cinnamon; cut in chilled butter with a pastry blender or 2 knives until mixture resembles coarse meal.  Sprinkle streusel over batter.  Bat at 350 for 45 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.  Cool in pan 10 minutes on a wire rack.  Yield 12 servings.

Roasted Apple and Butternut Squash

December 4, 2009 - Written by Diana

Here’s a way the whole family will enjoy butternut squash and apple.  I used a splash of orange, plus grated the rind and ginger.  This was fabulous, fantastic, divine, delicious and good tasting.  Butternut squash is so delicious and nutritious for you and such a great autumn food to serve.  Apples go well with it, and the orange gives it sweetness without adding sugar.

I told my son to tell me it tasted wonderful, and after he tasted, he agreed.  If you have kids that balk at squash, this is the way to serve it.


Oh, this dish is heavenly good.  I think I’m bringing it to my mom for Christmas.

Roasted Apple and Butternut Squash
  • 1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded and diced
  • 3 or 4 apples, peeled, cored and diced
  • 1 orange peel - zested
  • 1 tbs grated ginger
  • Olive oil for pan
  • Nutmeg
  1. I parboiled the squash so that the apple wouldn’t get mushy from baking too long. Oil a baking dish. Drain the butternut squash, and toss with apple in baking dish. Grate ginger, then zest orange and toss that with the butternut squash and apple. I squeezed a little of the orange over top of the dish too and then lightly sprinkled nutmeg over top. Bake at 350 until soft, but not mushy, with a little bit of firmness.