AN OLD FASHIONED RECIPE FOR COMFORT FOOD ~ APPLESAUCE, HOMEMADE, THE ONLY WAY

In today’s world there are more conveinence foods than the average person can count. Every can, jar, bottle, tube or frozen container is full of preservatives, additives or some form of chemical. As most of you know I DO NOT do any of the above. Our entire meals are made from scratch, a fact that according to my oncologist saved my life. So it’s no wonder I love simple, old recipes! This picture does NOT do this recipe justice!Applesauce

HOMEMADE APPLESAUCE
10 Honey Crisp apples, washed, peeled, cored and chopped
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons pumpkin pie spice
2 lemons, juiced
2 tablespoons butter

  • Combine all ingredients in a stock pot*.
  • Bring to a slow simmer.
  • Simmer 2 hours +/- stirring regularly.
  • Simmer until apples are translucent.

I like the applesauce warm, but it’s great warm or cold!

*I like to use a large, but shirt stock pot so more of the applesauce touches the pan.

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CANNING & PRESERVING – A WAY OF LIFE

One thing that many of you don’t know about me is that I love to cook (LOL) AND to preserve. To me there is nothing that says I love you more than preparing those special meals and treats for my family. Canning is easy, but it is time consuming and you do have to follow sterile rules to make it safe. You can be as plain or as inventive as you want.

Hubby pointed out this would be a good time to share my award pictures that I began to scrapbook about before the move and have yet to finish. I always thought it a little ironic that I was ‘preserving’ my preserving ribbons. Here are a few pictures.


How I got started on entering the county fair is actually a cute story. I was still working for a major phone company and I make a Spiced Pear jam that really is awesome. We had a cafeteria in the building I worked in and the engineers would stop by my desk to buy a jar of jam before their coffee break so they could put it on their pancakes and waffles. I loved making it and only charged them enough to actually cover my expenses so I could make more.My boss kept trying to get me to enter it into competition, but I was reluctant as I really didn’t think I had what it took to compete against women who had been doing it all their lives (1 woman had an entire 4×8 foot wall with just her entries and had been winning 1st and 2nd place awards for over 20 years) because I was a self-taught newbie and ‘shy’. Unbeknownst to me, one of the guys entered me in the upcoming county fair. He knew I went every year to drool over the jams and jellies and crafty items in the home building. You have to picture my jaw actually dropping to the floor on this particular year when I see my name, my jam and an actual 3rd place ribbon attached to it! I was literally speechless especially since I hadn’t entered the fair. Long story short I will always be eternally grateful to him for giving me the courage and confidence to enter each and every year after that for 10 years until I moved away. I have also been published in several of their cookbooks for the years I won first place. I hope to start again soon.This year I want to try my hand at some of the local indigenous fruits (cranberries, blackberries, blueberries and apples to start).

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SHREDDED CHICKEN VEGETABLE EGG ROLLS




SHREDDED CHICKEN VEGETABLE EGG ROLLS
2 cups finely chopped cooked chicken or pork pieces
1 medium Vidalia onion, finely chopped
1 large stalk celery, finely chopped
1 large carrot, finely chopped
1 tablespoon minced garlic, jar
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon sesame oil
4 tablespoons canola oil
egg roll wrappers (I use Melissa’s)

  • Heat skillet with 2 tablespoons of oil. Add onion, garlic, celery and carrots, Saute’ until tender.
  • Drain, retaining oil.
  • In a large mixing bowl toss meat pieces with sesame oil, sugar, salt and pepper. Add vegetables and blend well.
  • Cool 5-10 minutes.
  • Fill center of each wrapper with 2 tablespoons of filling.
  • Fold 1st corner towards the center. Then fold each edge towards the center. With a pastry brush wet the exposed triangle of dough and roll the bulk onto it.
  • Add oil back into pan and add the additional 2 tablespoons and bring to medium heat.
  • Cook egg rolls on all 4 sides until golden.

BLACKBERRY PINEAPPLE DIPPING SAUCE
1/2 cup Blackberry Pineapple Jam
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons soy sauce

  • Heat jam in microwave for 20 seconds to warm and thin.
  • Whisk in honey and sauce sauce.
  • Set aside.
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SWEDISH PANCAKES with LINGONBERRY BUTTER and LINGONBERRIES

I don’t eat out much, especially for breakfast, but I do have a soft spot for IHOP’s Swedish Pancakes with Lingonberries and Lingonberry butter. It took me awhile, but I have finally created a recipe so similar most people would not be able to tell the difference. These are thin pancakes. I make them about 8 inches round and then fold over once or twice.

SWEDISH PANCAKES with LINGONBERRY BUTTER and LINGONBERRIES
1/2 cup sifted flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 JUMBO eggs
1/2 cup milk
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon maple extract
1 cup 4% small curd cottage cheese

  • Preheat griddle* or crepe pan
  • Sift flour and salt together. Set aside.
  • Beat the eggs, milk, vanilla and maple extracts together.
  • Add the oil and beat again until sooth.
  • Add cottage cheese and beat until completely smooth.**
  • Gradually add the flour until a smooth consistency.
  • Pour 1/4-1/3 cup of batter onto griddle or crepe pan.
  • Cook a minute or two on each side.
  • Top with Lingonberry butter and Lingonberries.

NOTE:
*I used a third cup measure and my large griddle. This made 5 at a time.
**I used my mini food chopper to grind the cottage cheese and it worked great and much faster.

LINGONBERRY BUTTER
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup lingonberries

  • Beat butter until creamy.
  • Add berries and beat again until well blended.
  • Chill.
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    MONTE CRISTO SANDWICH

    MONTE CRISTO SANDWICH
    2-3 tablespoons butter
    powdered sugar
    for each sandwich you will need:
    2 slices thick Potato bread
    1 slice roasted turkey
    1 slice swiss cheese
    1 slice smoked or baked ham
    BATTER (enough for 2 sandwiches)
    1/2 cup milk
    1 JUMBO egg
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    1/8 teaspoon white pepper
    1/2 teaspoon sugar
    1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
    1/2 cup self rising flour

    • Assemble sandwiches with the cheese between the 2 pieces of meat.
    • Cut into halves or quarters.
    • Whisk together the milk and egg. Add the seasonings. Add the flour last.
    • Melt butter on griddle.
    • Dip each sandwich piece in batter coating well.
    • Fry each sandwich until crisp. Make sure to turn onto each side and edge to grill batter well.
    • Cool on paper towels.
    • Dust with powdered sugar.
    • Serve with fresh raspberry jam.
    Half the battle of making this sandwich is finding a good quality and tasty turkey and ham. The other half is actually using your fingers to dip the sandwich pieces in the batter.

    RASPBERRY JAM

    8 cups raspberries
    6 cups sugar
    3 tablespoons lemon juice
    1 tablespoon orange peel
    1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
    1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
    1 package unflavored gelatin

    • Combine fruit, sugar, lemon juice, nutmeg, cinnamon and orange peel in a stock pot.
    • Bring to a full rolling boil – stirring constantly. Let boil 1 full minute.
    • Remove from heat and stir in gelatin.
    • Skim any foam.
    • Pour into sterilized jars.
    • Water bath process 15 minutes.
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    Tuesday’s with Dorie ~ Chocolate Peach Blackberry Apricot Rugelach

    Piggy of Piggy’s Cooking Journal has chosen, Rugelach from page 150 for today. I needed to work with what I had so I did make a few substitutions that hubby, my taste tester, said made a wonderful difference from the traditional. I didn’t have any currants so I substituted dried apricots that I soaked in Rum. We’re not bittersweet chocolate fans either so I substituted semi-sweet chocolate and coarse ground my own. I didn’t have either of the suggested jams as I make my own and didn’t want to buy a jar that would go to waste so used home made Peach Blackberry jam. The recipe called for cutting the cream cheese and butter into four pieces. I think in the future I will cut into eighths for easier handling. Using the fourths was too cumbersome with my older food processor and I eventually finished coarsing it by hand. I also didn’t need all the chocolate or nuts ~ could have gone with half as much as the recipe calls for.

    All in all they tasted great and ultimately that is the true test. They weren’t as pretty as they should be, but I didn’t have time to make a second batch of dough! They are all gone though so I guess flavor won over pretty!


    Laurie of Quirky Cupcake formed Tuesdays With Dorie as a form of accountability for baking at least once a week using the cookbook, Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan. I already love it and hubby isn’t complaining about being my taste taster. In fact he loves to throw in his own suggestions.

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    The Recipe Box Swap – Cherry Conserves

    While answering comments this morning I ran across a monthly meme called The Recipe Box Swap over at I have to say… that is right up my alley. Most of you know by now I cook primarily from scratch avoiding as many boxed and canned items or processed items as possible. So what better way to share a recipe than a recipe swap that revolves around fresh ingredients? I was able to score some beautiful cherries at the farmer’s market recently and they were wonderful ingredients for this recipe. I also like to make large batches if I’m going to make that big a mess, so this recipe is for a double batch. This recipe was also a 1st place winner at the LA County Fair.

    CHERRY CONSERVES
    7 cups cherries ~ washed, pitted and halved
    1 cup cranberries ~ washed and halved
    1 tablespoon cinnamon
    2 tablespoons lemon juice
    1/2 cup golden raisins
    1/2 cup orange juice
    10 cups sugar
    1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts
    2 packages pectin

    • In a small bowl soak the raisins in the orange juice for at least an hour before beginning.
    • In a large stock pot combine the cherries, cranberries, cinnamon and lemon juice. Mix well.
    • Simmer over medium heat for 15 minutes or so until the fruit is soft enough to create a mashed mush as it thickens. Add the sugar and walnuts and mix well.
    • Bring to a rolling boil.
    • When the rolling boil cannot be stirred away add the pectin and boil for 2 minutes more, stirring constantly.
    • Remove from heat, skim foam and immediately pour into sterilized jars.
    • Water bath 15 minutes.
    • Enjoy.

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