Friday, September 17, 2010


"The best thing that can come out of a garden are gifts for other people."...Jamie Jobb

Well, here it comes, my favorite time of year, and I am excited for the things to come in this cooler weather! Mainly apple season! I am so thankful for Natures gift of fruit, but even more thankful when I can share the abundance with others, making pies and cakes for celebrations and church functions!

I also came across this great little tool I can't wait to put to good use! Makes perfect bite-size, or kid size, pies!

I have to say, the official start of the season started for me last week when I tried one of the new Tastefully Simple fall products I'm selling, Cinnamon Apple Syrup. The blend of cinnamon, nutmeg, apple and all spice is out of this world! All together it reminded me of something from the olden days of plopping those ingredients in an a cast iron skillet and letting them simmer all day, very rustic and gourmet at the same time! Move over Smuckers and even good old maple syrup, our household has a new favorite!

My hubby and I talked last month about looking into getting a fruit bearing tree, though I had to remind him of the memories I had of the ones my babysitter had in her backyard. Though she was able to make plenty of pies, applesauce and other yummy concoctions, it was inevitable that some, okay most of her, apples fell when too ripe and if you were away or too busy for more than a few days time, the tree would leave you with a sour smelling mushy pile of ripe apples that the bees couldn't get enough of, being real pain to clean up too!

So I had to mention the fruits that have skins, I remember my Grandparents orange trees in Florida and sure they had their messy moments too, but nothing like the thin skinned apples! And just last month I read on our local Homestead Gardens website that you can grow lemon trees in Maryland, now that would be up my alley for sure! And even easier, put them in containers, sooo have to try this next year! Homemade lemon meringue pies, here I come!!!

All that tree talking got me thinking of apple picking and I am looking forward to going each year to the farm my parents took my brother and I when we were growing up. It will have to be a new family tradition to go near my brothers birthday, what a special way to keep his memory alive for the boys each year!

So looking up their website to re-familiarize myself with their festivities, homemade apple cider and fritters- yummm, I came across some apple recipes I'll have to try out with the abundance we're sure to collect early next month. Can't wait to share the goodness of the garden with others!


4 (3/4 inch thick) center cut pork chops
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 cups (1/2 inch thick) peeled, sliced cooking apples
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
3 tablespoons maple-flavored syrup

Sprinkle pork chops lightly with salt; dredge in flour.
Heat oil in a heavy skillet; brown chops on both sides. Remove chops from skillet; drain off drippings, reserving 1 tablespoon in skillet. Return chops to skillet, and tip with apples, brown sugar, and syrup. Cover and simmer 35 to 40 minutes.

Yield: 4 servings



1 large cooking apple, peeled and quartered
2 cups mashed sweet potatoes
2 eggs, separated
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Vegetable cooking spray
1 1/2 teaspoons reduced-calorie margarine
Apple slices (optional)
Lemon juice (optional)

Place apple quarters in a saucepan; cover with water, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 5 to 8 minutes or until apples are tender. Drain.

Position knife blade in food processor bowl; add apples. Top with cover, and process until smooth. Combine apples, sweet potatoes, egg yolks, and vanilla; stir well, and set aside. Beat egg whites (at room temperature) until peaks are stiff but not dry. Fold into sweet potato mixture. Pour mixture into a 1 quart casserole coated with cooking spray; dot with margarine. Bake at 350F for 40 to 45 minutes or until browned. Garnish with apple slices dipped in lemon juice, if desired.

Yield: 8 servings (about 121 calories per 1/2 cup serving)



1/4 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons hot water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups peeled, diced cooking apples
1/2 cup chopped pecans
Rum Butter Sauce
Whipped cream (optional)

Cream butter; gradually add sugar, beating at medium speed of an electric mixer. Add egg; beat until blended. Combine flour, salt, and cinnamon; mix well. Add to creamed mixture; beat on low speed of an electric mixer until smooth. Stir in water and vanilla. Fold in apples and pecans; spoon into a greased and floured 9-inch pie plate. Bake at 350F for 45 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Serve warm or cold with rum butter Sauce and whipped cream if desired.

Yield: one 9-inch pie.



1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter or margarine, softened
1/2 cup whipping cream
1 tablespoon rum

Combine first 4 ingredients in a small saucepan; mix well. Bring to a boil, and cook 1 minute. Stir in rum.

Yield: about 1 1/4 cups.



3 medium apples, unpeeled and cut into thin wedges
2 cups sliced celery
1 (20 ounce) can pineapple chunks drained
1 (8 ounce) package sharp Cheddar Cheese, cubed
3/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted
1/2 cup commercial sour cream
1/2 mayonnaise
Leaf Lettuce (optional)

Combine first 5 ingredients in a mixing bowl; set aside.

Combine sour cream and mayonnaise; mix well. Pour over apple mixture; toss gently to mix. Chill 1 to 2 hours; serve on lettuce-lined plates, if desired.

Yield: about 10 servings

Then there's the candles out that fill the home with the scents of autumn, I am ready, so Mother Nature bring it on!

Friday, September 10, 2010


Searching numerous blogs I came across this.
It is a MUST READ!

I haven't been to the 9-11 site to see the memorial, but this blogger has and is sharing what she experinced.

Truly moving!