Category Archives: Fruits

Red, White and BLUE Food

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When I was growing up my sous-chef dish-washing mom told me repeatedly that “blue” isn’t for food.  Luscious red strawberries are fine, white angel food cake is beautiful, blue frosting on a child’s birthday cake – utter nonsense!

That was long before Superman and his blue cape showed up on little boy’s cakes.

Superman cake Or how about Thomas the Tank …

But wait there’s more! Click to continue reading

Happy Mother’s Day! Jammin’ With My Mom

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Mom May 9 2015Spring strawberries are in season in middle Tennessee.  Friday my sous-chef dish-washing mom and I made a trip to a local farm to fill up on fresh, ruby-red, stunningly juicy, beautiful strawberries.

SONY DSC Mom cleaned the strawberries as I made dinner Friday. We talked about our “plan of attack” on Saturday morning to turn these berries into … jam.

We had a great time! We made 4  batches and it was light work as she worked on one side of the counter and I worked on the other moving like a well oiled jam-making machine.

SONY DSCIn the early stages of jam making we spend time talking about the trifecta we are looking for.  Will the  jam “jell”?  At that point we always reminisce about the year we ended up with strawberry sauce!  I like to think we did it on purpose (which is what I said when ever I opened a jar to pour over ice cream or cheesecake) but she and I both know we have no idea why Sure-Jell  sure didn’t jell.  None-the-less we are always anxious to see if our labor will turn into strawberry jam by the morning.

Then we pondered  will they all “seal” after their water bath?  It is my sous chef’s job to keep count as each one pops! as they cool.  She loves announcing the running total of sealed jars as we finish the remaining batches or are cleaning up the kitchen.

And then the third question we rattle on about —  will the strawberry jam taste as good as last time, or at least as good as we remember it to be?

We keep several different homemade jellies and jams on the pantry shelf but strawberry is everyone’s favorite and so it is always gone first.  (Plus I’ve been known to gift a jar or two.  But shhh, don’t tell the Chief or my sous-chef dish-washing mom because they will have a fit.  I won’t go so far as to say they are stingy with the strawberry jam but I do have to sneak it out of the house.  Just sayin … )

I’m not including a recipe because we follow the tried (and not always true) way to jams and jelly on the Sure-Jell package.  I did find one earlier post where I have written out the recipe to make Blackberry Jam and you can find it here.

Mom, happy mother’s day!  Thank you for spending Saturday in the kitchen with me.  Out of 4 batches of strawberry jam that we made — good news — all the jars sealed.  Other news — we have 6 jars of strawberry sauce! :)

I love you mom.  I thank God I am your daughter,  that you are healthy at 84 years old, and that you live with the Chief and I!  We are blessed.


 “Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain,
 but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.

Proverbs 31:30



All-American Apple Crumb Pie

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apple crumb pie whole
Can you stand one more apple recipe?  If you are like me you may still have a few apples around from the fall bounty.  I made this Apple Crumb Pie a few weeks back and it reminded me of how much I like the simplicity of making a crumb topping pie!  It also reminded me that I don’t always have to reinvent the wheel in the kitchen.  There is a reason apple pie is an all-American favorite dessert through generations of cooks. caramel apple pie before
My sous-chef dish-washing mom was just getting back to speed after 16 rounds of radiation treatment and the pie seemed to be just the right comfort food for her. apple crumb pie fork
I adore caramel pared with apple and so after preparing the pie according to the I found at I drizzle a good bit of caramel ice cream topping before adding the crumb topping.  The caramel added the nostalgic taste of caramel apple that I was looking for.

apple crumb pie 3/4
If you haven’t made a crumb pie lately, this just may be the day!

Happy Baking!

P.S.  It is our privilege, our right and our responsibility to vote in America.  Be sure and make your voice heard today.i-voted

Deuteronomy 1:13

“Choose for your tribes wise, understanding, and experienced men, and I will appoint them as your heads.”

Apple Crumb Pie
An All-American Favorite cranked up a notch with a drizzle of caramel and a crumb topping. Easy to make and wonderfully comforting to eat!
Serves: 8 servings
  • 1 Pie shell (9")
  • 6 cups thinly sliced granny smith apples
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
  • ¾ cup white sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ⅛ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ½ cup raisins (optional, but very good!)
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts (optional, but also very good!)
  • ¼ cup caramel topping (optional for drizzle)
Crumb Topping
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons butter
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Prepare pastry shell into pie plate, fluting edges, if desired.
  3. Place sliced apples in a large bowl sprinkle with lemon juice.
  4. In a small bowl, mix together white sugar, 2 Tablespoons flour, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Sprinkle mixture over apples. Toss until apples are evenly coated.
  5. Stir in walnuts and raisins. Spoon mixture into prepared pastry shell.
  6. Drizzle with caramel topping.
  7. In a small bowl mix remaining ½ cup flour and brown sugar. Cut in butter until mixture is crumbly. Sprinkle mixture over apple filling. Cover top loosely with aluminum foil.
  8. Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes. Remove foil and bake and additional 25 minutes, until top is golden brown. Apples should be done but not squishy.
  9. Cool on wire rack.
  10. Serve with ice cream, if desired.
Granny Smith apples make a great pie, but you may use Fuji, Gala or your favorite baking apple as well.

Recipe adapted from by Jackie Smith

It’s Apple Time! Let’s Bake Some Apples

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baked apple upclose
Fresh apples are a plenty at this time of the year and baking an apple can make a very luxurious dessert.  I’ve baked apples for years but with a refrigerator drawer full of apples I decided to Google a new recipe for this old favorite.  Wow!  I am so glad that I did.

baked apples start
Who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks?  I landed on the Food Network site and a recipe by Paula Deen. First thing I read from her recipe said, “Core apples, making sure not to puncture the bottom of the apples so that the juices will remain.”  I always cut the apple core all the way through and then was dissatisfied as all the goodies and juice would run all the way through.  Duh, how come I didn’t think of this?

baked apple buttered
After filling the center with the usual walnuts, brown sugar and cinnamon, apple juice is poured around the apple and a pat of butter placed on top.

baked apples oven
In to the oven they go for about 45 minutes or until baked through.
baked apple all gone!
When I served these baked apples my sous-chef dish-washing mom and the Chief both agreed they were the best they had EVER had.  Really?  Ever?  Yes! Ever.
I used granny smith apples although I believe Gala or Fuji will work well also.
The Chief  just asked me what I am blogging.  When I told him, “baked apples” he said, “Oh, let’s have those again tomorrow!”  Enough said.
Happy Autumn and Happy Baking!
Baked Apples
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
The best baked apples I have ever made! Thank you Paula Deen!
Serves: 6
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 6 same-size Granny Smith apples
  • 2 tablespoons butter, cut into 6 teaspoon-size pieces
  • 1 cup apple juice
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. Combine cinnamon, nutmeg, and brown sugar in a small bowl. Set aside.
  3. Core apples, making sure not to puncture the bottom of the apples so that the juices will remain. Remove skin from ½-inch around top of apples at the opening. Fill each cavity with the cinnamon-sugar mixture.
  4. Top each apple with a teaspoon of butter.
  5. Place apples in casserole dish and pour apple juice around them.
  6. Cover pan with aluminum foil and bake for approximately 45 minutes to 1 hour.
  7. Remove from heat and serve.
  8. Optional garnish: whipped cream, ice cream, or mint leaf.
Best apples: granny smith, fuiji or gala.

Adapted from recipe from Paula Deen:
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