Easy Apple Tart

One premade store-bought pastry crust for a 9″ pie, single crust

3 Granny Smith, apples, cored and peeled and thinly sliced*

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1 teaspoon cinnamon

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

3 tablespoons apricot preserves (other jam such as strawberry may also be used)

Preheat the oven to 350F. Unroll the pastry dough and gently fit it to a 9″ tart pan, gently press to fit and trim off the excess dough by pressing on the fluted rim. Place on a baking sheet and set aside.

Place the cored and sliced apples in a large bowl and toss with the lemon juice, the cinnamon and sugar to coat. Arrange the apple slices in circles as shown above starting on the outside and working towards the center and allow them to overlap slightly.

Warm the preserves in a small dish in the microwave. Brush the preserves over the apple slices. Bake until the edges are golden and the apples have cooked down a bit, about 1 hour.  Cool completely before removing the tart pan ring.  More preserves may be brushed over the tart at this point if a glossier look is desired. 

* Cortland, Macintosh or any other firm type of apple may be used as well. An easy way to get the uniform slices such as the picture above is to use an apple slicer. I have a few on my shop The Hive Shop. The link is on this page. 

Green Tomato Relish

This is a recipe handed down from my mother in law. The measurements were a little ‘liberal’, as it was written down on an old index card. However, it is almost foolproof.

1 market basket of green tomatoes (I have no idea how much that is, but I have used about 10 or more medium to large green tomatoes)

10 green peppers

10 red peppers

2 hot peppers

15 medium onions

Put all the above ingredients through a food processor to a fine dice, not pureed.  You will have to do this in batches. Combine them all in a large bowl and sprinkle with 1/2 cup salt and let stand for 2 hours refrigerated. 


1 quart apple cider vinegar

3 cups sugar

3 tbsp. cornstarch

12 oz. yellow mustard

Combine all the ingredients in a large saucepot. Drain the vegetables in a large colander to remove the excess moisture. Add the vegetables to the sauce and bring to a boil. Low boil for approx. 20 minutes stirring frequently.  Fill sterilized jars and water bath process for 10 minutes.

Zucchini Squares

1 cup Bisquick

1/2 cup chopped onion

1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

2 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley*

Salt and Pepper to taste

1 tbsp. chopped fresh oregano*

1/8 tsp. garlic powder

1/2 cup vegetable oil

4 eggs, slightly beaten

2 small zucchini, thinly sliced

Preheat oven to 350F. Mix all ingredients together in bowl. Spread into 9x 13″ glass casserole dish coated with cooking spray. Bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown. Cool slightly and cut into squares.

*Dried parsley and oregano may be substituted if fresh is not available.



Zucchini Patties

Photo credit goes to “An Italian in My Kitchen”

2 cups grated zucchini

2 eggs, beaten

1/4 cup chopped onion

1/2 cup all purpose flour

1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

salt and pepper to taste

In a medium bowl combine all the ingredients except the oil. Stir and mix well to incorporate. Heat oil in a medium fry pan. Drop rounded large spoonfuls into the pan and fry until browned on both sides. Serve warm with a dallop of sour cream or with a light summer red sauce. Enjoy!



Grilled Boneless Short Ribs with Scallion Gremolata

This recipe courtesy of Food and Wine Magazine, modified.


1 1/2 tablespoons fish sauce

Crispy Buffalo Style Cauliflower Bites

photo credit to lecremedelacrumb.com

Ingredients – for the cauliflower

1 head of cauliflower, broken into florets

1 tsp. garlic powder

1 tsp. sweet paprika

1/4 tsp. black pepper

3/4 cup buttermilk (regular milk can also be used, but I feel the buttermilk coats the cauliflower better)

Ingredients – for the buffalo sauce

1/2 cup buffalo wing sauce

3 tbsp. butter

2 tbsp. honey

Blue cheese dressing for dipping when serving – optional

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Grease a baking sheet. Break the cauliflower into medium size pieces, discarding any large stem pieces. Set aside. In a medium bowl, stir together the garlic powder, paprika and pepper. Stir in the buttermilk. Add the cauliflower florets to the milk mixture and toss to coat. Use a slotted spoon to arrange in a single layer on a prepared baking sheet. Bake for 10-15 minutes, turn over the cauliflower pieces and bake another 10 minutes.

While the cauliflower is baking, prepare the buffalo sauce. Combine the buffalo wing sauce, butter and honey in a sauce pan. Bring to a low boil over medium heat and cook for 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and pour into a medium bowl. Remove the cauliflower from the oven and place in the bowl with the sauce and toss to coat. return to the oven and bake for another 10 minutes. You may also broil for the last few minutes if you’d like a crisper texture. Be careful not to burn. Serve immediately with a side of blue cheese for dipping if desired.

Banana Muffins

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. salt

3 bananas, mashed

3/4 cup sugar

1 egg

1/3 cup butter, melted

You may also add 1/2 cup chopped nuts or chocolate chips

Optional topping of sugar and oatmeal

Preheat oven to 350F. Coat muffin pans with non-stick spray or use paper liners. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside. Combine bananas, sugar, egg and melted butter, fold in the flour mixture and mix until smooth. Scoop into muffin pans, sprinkle sugar and oatmeal on top (optional) and bake 25-30 minutes. 

Caramel Corn

This recipe comes from a good Instagram friend Kim, @ingleepartyof 5

10 cups popped popcorn

2 cups packed brown sugar

1/2 cup light corn syrup

1 tsp. salt

two sticks butter

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/8 tsp. cream of tartar

1 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven to 250F

Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Spread the popcorn over both sheets and add a bit of salt to each tray.

In a medium sauce pan, melt butter. Add sugar and syrup. Stir constantly. Bring to a boil and let cook for 5 minutes, continue to stir. Remove from heat and immediately add vanilla, baking soda and cream of tartar.

Pour caramel over the popcorn and toss to coat. Bake for one hour, stirring every 15 minutes.  

Cool completely and break into pieces. Enjoy!

Note – this makes a terrific gift packed into decorative tins or in goodie bags tied with ribbon!


Chocolate Bread Pudding

This recipe is from DeliaOnline


9 slices good quality white bread, one day old, taken from a large, medium sliced loaf
4 tablespoons dark rum
You will need a shallow ovenproof dish 7 x 9 inches and approx. 2″ deep, lightly buttered.

Begin by removing the crusts from the slices of bread, which should leave you with 9 pieces about 4 inches (10 cm) square.

So now cut each slice into 4 triangles. Next, place the chocolate, whipping cream, rum, sugar, butter and cinnamon in a bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water, being careful not to let the bowl touch the water, then wait until the butter and chocolate have melted and the sugar has completely dissolved. Next, remove the bowl from the heat and give it a really good stir to amalgamate all the ingredients.

Now in a separate bowl, whisk the eggs and then pour the chocolate mixture over them and whisk again very thoroughly to blend them together. Then spoon about a ½ inch (1 cm) layer of the chocolate mixture into the base of the dish and arrange half the bread triangles over the chocolate in overlapping rows. Now, pour half the remaining chocolate mixture all over the bread as evenly as possible, then arrange the rest of the triangles over that, finishing off with a layer of chocolate. Use a fork to press the bread gently down so that it gets covered very evenly with the liquid as it cools.

Cover the dish with clingfilm and allow to stand at room temperature for 2 hours before transferring it to the fridge for a minimum of 24 (but preferably 48) hours before cooking.

When you’re ready to cook the pudding, pre-heat the oven to gas mark 4, 350°F (180°C). Remove the clingfilm and bake in the oven on a high shelf for 30-35 minutes, by which time the top will be crunchy and the inside soft and squidgy. Leave it to stand for 10 minutes before serving with well-chilled whipped cream poured over.

Rutabaga, Celery Root and Potato Gratin

This recipe is from Food and Wine Magazine,
David McCann


Ingredient Checklist


  • Preheat oven to 400°F with rack in middle position. Place rutabaga, potatoes, celery root, cream, and thyme sprigs in a large saucepan. Cover and cook over medium, turning vegetables occasionally, until cream just begins to bubble around edges of pan. Continue cooking, turning vegetables occasionally, until vegetables are tender on the outside but still crunchy in the center, 12 to 15 minutes, reducing heat as needed to maintain a very gentle simmer. Remove from heat; stir in salt and pepper.

  • While vegetable mixture cooks, lightly grease a 2-quart baking dish or 10-inch cast-iron skillet with butter, and place on a rimmed baking sheet.

  • Remove and discard thyme sprigs from vegetable mixture. Spoon half of vegetable mixture into prepared pan; sprinkle with 2 tablespoons cheese. Top with remaining vegetable mixture, pressing down gently to even top layer. Sprinkle with remaining 2 tablespoons cheese. 

  •  Place baking sheet with gratin in preheated oven. Bake until mixture is bubbling and vegetables are tender, about 15 minutes. Increase oven temperature to broil (do not remove gratin from oven). Broil on middle rack until golden brown in spots, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from oven; garnish with thyme leaves. Let cool 15 minutes. 

Make Ahead

Gratin can be assembled through step 3 and refrigerated overnight. Let gratin come to room temperature before baking.