Thursday, September 29, 2011

Grandma Ople's (a.k.a. World's Best) Apple Pie

To give you an idea of how scrumptious this is, it got 5 stars from almost 4,000 reviews on!
recipe image
Prep Time: 30 Minutes
Cook Time: 1 Hour
Ready In: 1 Hour 30 Minutes
Servings: 8

1 recipe pastry for a 9 inch double crust
pie (I used frozen store-bought and let thaw)
1/2 cup unsalted butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
8 Granny Smith apples - peeled, cored
and sliced
1.Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C). Melt the butter in a saucepan. Stir in flour to form a paste. Add water, white sugar and brown sugar, and bring to a boil. Reduce temperature and let simmer.
2.Place the bottom crust in your pan. Fill with apples, mounded slightly. Cover with a lattice work crust. Gently pour the sugar and butter liquid over the crust. Pour slowly so that it does not run off.
* I also sprinkled cinnamon all over the top after I poured the syrup over. I feel like apple pie isn't apple pie without cinnamon, don't you think??
3.Bake 15 minutes in the preheated oven. Reduce the temperature to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Continue baking for 35 to 45 minutes, until apples are soft.

Adapted from:

Friday, September 23, 2011

Sarah's Applesauce

This is a super easy recipe that my kids looove and love to help with! And perfect for Fall right now with the abundance of apples...

Prep Time:
10 Min
Cook Time:
20 Min
Ready In:
30 Min

*4 apples - peeled, cored and chopped
*3/4 cup water
*1/4 cup white sugar
*1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon


  1. In a saucepan, combine apples, water, sugar, and cinnamon. Cover, and cook over medium heat for 15 to 20 minutes, or until apples are soft. Allow to cool, then mash with a fork or potato masher.

Adapted from All Recipes:

Veggie Tacos

Here's another one from Kristin!

Saute in 1/4 c. olive oil:

Several cloves garlic
Red pepper flakes (to taste)
1c. chopped green onion
1 diced red bell pepper
2 diced carrots

Add in and heat thoroughly:

1/4 c. cider vinegar
Cumin, to taste
One bunch cilantro, chopped
1 can black beans
1 can kidney beans
1 lb. frozen corn
3 or more c. cooked rice (white or brown)

Serve in taco shells or corn tortillas

This recipe really feeds a crowd on a budget.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Lentil Soup

This recipe come from Kristin V.

1 chopped onion
1T.(or more) cumin
cayenne pepper (to taste- or omit and serve with rooster sauce)

Add and bring to boil:
1 1/2 c. brown lentils
5 1/2 c. water (can season with chicken or veg bullion)

Add in and simmer until tender:
1 bag of spinach
2 c. cubed raw new potatoes
1 c. sliced carrots

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Harira (N. African Soup)

This is a simple and delicious vegeterian soup. I got it from an African cookbook years ago.
1 c chopped onion
4 c vegetable stock
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp turmeric
1 T grated gingerroot
1/8 tsp cayene
1 c peeled, diced carrots
1/2 c diced celery
1 c cooked lentils
1 c drained chickpeas
1-2 T cilantro
1 T lemon juice
pinch of saffron ("optional"...translation: I am too cheap to buy it)
Directions: Place 1 T olive oil in stock pot with the spices. Add 4 c vegetable stock, carrots, lentils, celery, and onion. Cook about 20 minutes or until tender. Stir in tomato, chick peas, salt and pepper (to taste). Heat through. Top with lemon juice and cilantro.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Oatmeal Smoothie

This recipe comes from my friend, Allyson - via Martha Stewart. I added her comments below the recipe.

1 cup ice
1/2 cup frozen raspberries
1/2 cup plain lowfat yogurt
1 banana
1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
1 tablespoon honey
1 cup coconut water (or other liquid, such as juice)

Place ice and raspberries in the bottom of blender, and all other ingredients on top. Whir until completely smooth. Serve.

From Allyson: "Another kickin' recipe. It was on moneysavingmom last week. It gets my 2-year-old's approval for sure! I'm dairy free so I substituted coconut yogurt and coconut milk. I think it made it even tastier!!"

Monday, September 19, 2011

Red Chile Sauce Chicken Enchiladas

I love Tex-Mex. My husband...not so much.

*Makes 12 enchiladas

1 medium onion, chopped fine
1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped fine
1 teaspoon canola oil
3 medium cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
3 teaspoons sugar
2 (8-oz) cans tomato sauce
1 cup water
1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 3 large chicken breasts)
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 cup shredded Monterey jack cheese
1/2 cup minced fresh cilantro
12 (6-inch) soft corn or flour tortillas (fajita-size for flour tortillas)
cooking spray
salt and ground black pepper

In a large saucepan, combine the onion, jalapeno, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and oil. Cover and cook over medium-low heat, stirring often, until the onions and peppers have softened, 8-10 minutes. Stir in the garlic, chili powder, cumin, and sugar, and cook until fragrant, less than 30 seconds. Stir in the tomato sauce and water. Bring to a simmer.

Nestle the chicken into the sauce. Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook until chicken is cooked through, about 12-20 minutes, depending on the size and thickness of the chicken breasts you are using. Transfer the chicken to a plate, and set aside to cool. Continue to simmer the sauce over medium heat until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes.

Strain the sauce through a strainer into a medium bowl, pressing the onion mixture to extract as much liquid as possible. Season sauce with additional salt and pepper to taste. Transfer the leftover onion mixture from the strainer to a large bowl and set aside.

Shred the chicken into bite-sized pieces. Add to the onion mixture in the large bowl. Also stir in 1/4 cup of the enchilada sauce, 1/2 cup cheddar cheese, 1/2 cup Monterey Jack cheese and the cilantro. Toss to combine.

Stack the tortillas on a plate and cover with plastic wrap; Microwave on high until warm and pliable, 40-60 seconds. Spread the tortillas on a clean work surface, and spoon 1/3 cup of the chicken mixture evenly down the center of each. Tightly roll each tortilla and lay seam-side down in a greased 9×13 inch baking dish.

Heat oven to 400 F. Pour the enchilada sauce evenly over the top of the enchiladas. Top with the remaining cheese. Cover dish with foil and bake 20 minutes, or until heated through.

Remove foil and bake another 5 minutes, until cheese browns. Remove from oven and let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Serve with sour cream, guacamole, salsa, additional cilantro, if desired.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Chicken and Spinach Pasta Bake

8 oz uncooked rigatoni
1 T olive oil
1 c chopped onion
1 (10 oz) pack frozen spinach, thawed
3 c cubed, cooked chicken breasts
1 (14 oz) can Italian-style diced tomatoes, drained
1 (8 oz) container Philadelphia chive & onion cream cheese
½ t salt, ½ t pepper
1½ c shredded mozzarella cheese

Prepare rigatoni according to pkg directions. Spread oil on bottom of 11x17 in baking dish; add onion in a single layer. Bake at 375 for 15 minutes or just until tender. Transfer onion to large bowl, set aside.

Drain chopped spinach well, pressing between paper towels. Stir in rigatoni, spinach, chicken, & next 4 ingredients into onion in bowl. Spoon mixture into dish & sprinkle evenly with shredded mozzarella cheese. Bake covered at 375 for 30 minutes; uncover & bake 15 more minutes or until bubbly.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

EIght-Layer Casserole

3 cups dried medium noodles (6 ounces)
1 pound ground beef
8-ounce cans tomato sauce
1 teaspoon dried basil, crushed
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 8-ounce carton light sour cream
1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup milk
1/3 cup chopped onion
1 10-ounce package frozen chopped spinach, cooked and well drained
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (4 ounces)

1. Grease a 2-quart casserole or a 2-quart square baking dish; set aside. Cook noodles according to package directions; drain and set aside.

2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet cook beef until brown. Drain off fat. Stir tomato sauce, basil, sugar, garlic powder, salt, and pepper into skillet. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes.

3. In a medium mixing bowl beat together the sour cream and cream cheese with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Stir in milk and onion. In prepared casserole or baking dish, layer half of the noodles (about 2 cups), half of the meat mixture (about 1 1/2 cups), half of the cream cheese mixture (about 1 cup), and all of the spinach. Top with the remaining meat mixture and noodles. Cover and chill remaining cream cheese mixture until needed.

4. Cover casserole or baking dish with lightly greased foil. Bake in 350 degree F oven about 45 minutes or until heated through. Uncover; spread with remaining cream cheese mixture. Sprinkle with the cheddar cheese. Bake, uncovered, about 10 minutes more or until cheese is melted. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

Makes 8 servings

Make-ahead directions: Prepare as directed through Step 3. Cover with lightly greased foil and chill in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. Bake in a 350 degree F oven for 1 hour to 1 hour 10 minutes or until heated through. Uncover; spread with remaining cream-cheese mixture. Sprinkle with the cheddar cheese. Bake,uncovered, about 10 minutes more or until cheese is melted. Let stand for 10 minutes before baking.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Snicker Brownies

I got this recipe from my friend, Casey! YUM!!

1 box of German Chocolate cake mix
1 1/2 sticks of margarine, melted
1 can of sweetened, condensed milk
1 bag of Snickers fun size candy bars


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl, combine cake mix, melted margarine, and condensed milk. Spread half of the cake mixture in the bottom of a lightly greased 9x13 pan. Bake for 10 minutes. Slice candy bars into small slices and layer the slices onto the baked crust. Crumble the remaining batter on top of the candy slices. It will have a crumbly texture, so don't worry about making it smooth. Put pan back into oven and bake for 20 minutes more at 350 degrees.

These brownies are delicious! The best part, honestly, may be in making them. Since they don't have raw eggs in the batter, I was free to sample as much of the batter as I felt was required. This is a super simple recipe with amazing results!

A few tips:
*** I bought a large bag of fun size Snicker bars because I knew going in I was making two batches of the brownies. I ended up slicing up about 10 fun size Snickers for each batch, so that may help you gauge. The great news: I think I can get about 3 batches of Snickers brownies out of the big bag if I use that number.

*** This recipe would probably be equally as scrumptious with Milky Way! Honestly, there are endless possibilities.

*** I also think after much serious thought and meditation and sampling, that these brownies would actually make great cookies! I think I may try this. Make the batter, slice up some Snickers, drop by the spoonful. Yummy!