Monthly Archives: November 2013

Mile High Spiced Apple Pie


Nothing says traditional Thanksgiving like a homemade apple pie. I was lucky to have apples leftover from grandfather’s orchard. Everyone always has their own family recipe and opinion on what apples to use. Honestly use what is on sale or what you have and I can guarantee it will turn out amazing !

This recipe yields 6 to 8 slices

Filling Ingredients:
3 pounds of apples (peeled, cored, and sliced thin) ( I used a variety (Granny Smith, Red Delicious, and Johnny Gold)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar (not packed)
1/4 cup flour
1 TB Lemon juice
1 tsp of high quality Vietnamese cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground mace
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp ground allspice

Pie dough:

2 cup AP (aka all purpose) Flour
2/3 cup plus 2 TB shortening
1 tsp kosher salt
3-6 TB ice water

1 tsp skim milk
1 tsp vanilla sugar

Crust Directions:
Mix flour and salt together. Add shortening and using hands cut shortening into flour mixture or use a pastry cutter but I prefer hands. Cut until dough has pea sized particles.

Start to add water in small amounts. Knead with hands until dough is no longer sticky or dry. Adding more shortening and water as needed. Start with first amount as listed above and increase to max amount as necessary.

Divide dough into 2 balls, one slightly larger then the other. Cover in plastic wrap. Place in refrigerator for 30 minutes.

In meantime peel, core and slice apples.


Add lemon juice, flour and spices toss until well incorporated.


Preheat oven to 400 degrees and move oven rack to lowest 3rd of the oven.

By now your dough should be chilled. Use the larger dough ball for the bottom crust. Roll out in a circle shape on to lightly floured surface.


Roll dough onto rolling pin and center over a 9 inch pie dish and trim the overhang to 1/2 inch. Brush small amount of water on edges to seal top dough.

Add apple mixture to pie dough and create a mound in the center.


Roll out second dough ball and roll onto pin place over apples.


Trim over hang to 1 inch.


Fold the top crust edge under to bottom crust edge and press to seal.


Cut four slits in the top to allow the steam to escape.


With leftover dough trimmings, roll out dough and cut out leaf dough shapes and place over the pie if desired. The milk will help the cutouts stick to top crust.

Take milk and brush dough and sprinkle with vanilla sugar.


Place in oven on cookie sheet for 10 minutes. Decrease temperature to 375 degrees. And bake for an additional hour. Or until bubbles start to come out.

You may need to cover dough edges with a pie crust saver to prevent burning (check half way through).


Place on wire rack to cool completely before severing! WARNING your house will smell absolutely divine!

Honey Wheat Dinner Rolls


This year I was assigned the dinner rolls for Thanksgiving! I always like to try a new recipe and I am always trying to add wheat flour to traditional recipes. But I like to add the whole grain flour in small doses because not everyone likes the nutty flavor of wheat.

This recipe yields 3 dozen rolls.

1/2 cup warm water
1 1/2 cup warm skim milk (not hot it will kill the yeast)
4 1/2 tsp yeast (2 packets)
1/2 cup sugar
1 TB kosher salt
1/3 cup shortening
2 eggs (farm fresh or egglands best)
6 cups of AP (all purpose flour)
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 TB honey


Place the yeast in the half cup of water and allow to foam ( the process can take up to 5 minutes)


If the yeast doesn’t foam you have bad yeast and throw it away and buy new.

Combine milk, sugar, honey , salt in a separate bowl and stir to dissolve.


Place milk mixture, yeast mixture, along with shortening,eggs, 1 cup of flour and beat until smooth with whisk attachment.


Add remaining flours (save 1/2 cup to add gradually and also for when you knead onto hard surface).


Using stand mixer knead with dough hook for 5 to 10 minutes on medium speed (gradually work your way up to medium if not flour will go everywhere!)


Remove from mixer once the dough no longer sticks to sides of bowl.


Lay the dough on a clean lightly floured surface.


And knead by hand for a minute until dough is smooth, elastic and no longer sticky.


Spray a large bowl with cooking spray and roll dough in the bowl to cover with the dough completely with the oil. Place parchment paper in top of the dough with a warm damp cloth.


Allow the dough to rise in refrigerator for up to 3 days. Or go straight to allowing the dough to rise for 1 hour and form into shape desired for roll. Form dough into large grape sized balls and cover with plastic wrap and let rise again for another hour. As shown I divided them into 3 balls and placed in cooking sprayed muffin tins to rise.



They should double in size before baking.


Preheat oven to 375. Place oven rack in center of oven.

Bake for 14 to 15 minutes.


Let cool in place for 5 minutes and serve.


These go well with canned hot peppers or apple butter!

Ham and Cheddar Popovers


Good morning! I asked my husband last night what do you want for breakfast tomorrow? He replied “something warm”. Today sure feels like Christmas instead of Thanksgiving time of year. My temperature gauge is reading 18 degrees not to mention there is a good amount of snow covering our ground here in western pa. I think these warm popovers will do the trick with a good cup of pumpkin spice coffee. I’m pretty sure these tasty little bundles of savory deliciousness will warm the soul.

1/2 cup of chopped finely ham ( I freeze mine after I make a ham in sandwich ziplock baggie) perfect for meals like this
6 tsp shredded cheddar cheese
2 TB Parm cheese
1 cup skim milk
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup All Purpose (AP) flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 scallions chopped
2 eggs
1/4 tsp freshly cracked pepper

Place milk and eggs in medium bowl


Whisk until well incorporated.


Add salt, pepper, parm cheese, and flours.


Mix with whisk.


Cover and let rest at room temperature for 30 to 45 minutes.

Now is a good time to chopped the ham.


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Set 6 ramekins on sheet pan and spray very well with cooking spray.


After mixture has warmed up to room temperature divided evenly the batter into the greased dishes. I used about 1/3 cup in each ramekin.


Once cups are even with batter add a heaping TB of the chopped ham in the center.


Now add a tsp or pinch of cheddar cheese


Lastly sprinkle with a pinch of green onions. Chives would also work.


Place in oven for 15 minutes in 400 degrees.

Change temperate to 350 and bake for an additional 15 minutes.




Say it isn’t so ….Pumpkin Alfredo

Pumpkin alfredo


I am been working on trying to make all the canned pumpkin recipes that FN had in their October 2013 Magazine. The other night I was making my pumpkin granola bars and had some left over fresh roasted pumpkin puree. I don’t like to waste food, so I decided now was as perfect time as ever to make this Alfredo for dinner. I made a few modifications to lighten up the recipe and add some whole grains as well.


  • 12 ounces of Whole Wheat Penne Pasta (if you do  not like the nutty flavor of whole grain go with Dreamfield’s pasta or Smart Taste made by Ronzoni) both of these pasta’s cook white and trust me no one will know the difference!! 
  • 1 Cup of fresh pumpkin puree 
  • 1 Cup of Fat Free Half and Half
  • 2 TB of Butter
  • 10-12 Fresh Sage leaves
  • a pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
  • Freshly grated parmesan cheese to taste
  • Salt and Pepper to taste


1. Cook pasta according to directions on box.

2. In the meantime whisk pumpkin puree, half and half & nutmeg in a 2 qt sauce pan on medium heat allow to simmer for 5 minutes. In a small sauté pan melt butter and add sage leaves sauté for 2 to 3 minutes add to pumpkin puree mixture, whisk until incorporated.

3. Drain the pasta and add the penne to the sauce.

4. Add freshly grated cheese to taste and serve.


Enjoy !





Pumpkin Granola Bars


If you didn’t know it by now, I’m sure you would have eventually guessed…I love pumpkin! My husband does too! I even made pumpkin Alfredo tonight for supper!

Tomorrow at work we are having a lunch and learn (without the lunch) unfortunately everyone is having to cut back. The plus side packing a lunch is less expensive and can be healthier! That said I decided to make us a fall snack for during the webinar. I cannot think of anything better than this wholesome snack.

4 cups of old fashion oats
1/2 cup brown sugar (not packed)
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
1/2 roasted pumpkin seeds (chopped)
1 TB of high quality pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp of kosher salt
3/4 cup purée pumpkin (I used fresh)
1/4 cup molasses
1/2 honey
1 TB milled flaxseed
1/2 TB of pure vanilla


Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Line a 9 by 13 pan with foil & spray with cooking spray.


Place all the dry ingredients into a large bowl.


Whisk dry ingredients together until incorporated.


In a separate large bowl add the wet ingredients together.


Whisk until mixed well.


Add dry mix to wet batter. Fold in the dry ingredients until there are no signs of dry crumbs.


Add the batter into the foil lined baking dish.


Press the batter evenly into the pan using a spatula.


Bake for 35 to 45 minutes.


Let cool completely. Use excess foil as handles to help you remove the granola from pan.


Cut into 12 bars


Pierogi Pizza



My husband and I love pierogi. The other night I wanted to make pierogies and I didn’t have any in the freezer. I made a pot roast instead with some garlic mashed potatoes. We had mashed potatoes left over so I made some pizza crust (TOH whole wheat) and thought well I can make a pierogi pizza. Now it is a favorite!



~1-1/2 cups of cheddar cheese

~1 cup left over seasoned mashed potatoes (I used roasted garlic)
~1/4 tsp garlic salt
~1/2 chopped onions sautéed in 1 tsp butter
1 TB cornmeal

salt and pepper to taste



Preheat oven with pizza stone at 500 for one hour.
In the meantime get your crust recipe going or thawing if you are using a store bought dough frozen or fresh)

Roll out dough and sprinkle cornmeal on either a pizza peal or back of a sheet pan and set dough on top of the spread out cornmeal this makes it easier to slide the dough onto the hot pizza stone. Sprinkle garlic salt over the dough and make fork marks in the dough to prevent the dough from bubbling up in the oven. Now place the dough in the oven.

Let the dough bake for 5 minutes and then remove from the oven.

While the dough is pre baking sauté up the onions. Get a pan hot (medium heat) and melt the butter and the onions. Cook until the onions are transparent about 5-8 minutes.

Spread out the mashed potatoes on top of the dough. Sprinkle the sautéed onions. One top of the onions sprinkle the amount of cheese you would like on top and bake pizza for 10-15 minutes.


Be careful the mashed potatoes are a good insulator and make this pizza hot.

Rich Brownies (dietitian not recommended)

Sometimes you have to spurge and go all out. I have been looking for a good fudgy brownie that’s not out of the box and without all the extras. I think I found a winner.



3 oz 70% dark chocolate
3 oz of semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 stick of butter
1 tsp instant coffee granules
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
2/3 cup AP flour
1 cup of sugar
2 tsp vanilla pure extract
3 eggs (farmer fresh or egg-lands best)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Foil line an 8 by 8 pan, make sure to leave extra over sides to serve as a handles. Spray pan with cooking spray.

1. Mix the flour, baking powder, instant coffee , and salt in a medium bowl. Set a side.


2. Place butter, & chocolates in a microwave safe bowl and microwave in 15 second intervals using spatula to scrape down sides in bowl each time. Make sure not to burn the chocolate.


If you rather you could use a double boiler or glass bowl over simmering water bath (I’ll leave that up to you). I prefer microwave less pans to clean.

Once the chocolate mix is melted smoothly add in vanilla & sugar.


Add one egg at a time.


Whisk after each egg addition.


Add flour blend to chocolate batter.


Mix with whisk until fully incorporated.


Pour batter into pan and spread evenly with spatula.


Bake in center of the oven for 35 minutes. You want a soft crumb on your toothpick when testing the brownie to see if finished.


Let sit in pan for 5 minutes. Remove from baking dish and let cool on wire rack.

Baked Whole Wheat Cinnamon & Sugar Donuts


I asked my husband last night, “what would you like for breakfast tomorrow” and he responded “Cinnamon and Sugar Donuts” no added frills. I dare not deviate from the request, even though I wanted to add pumpkin …just saying :)

1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 cup AP Flour
2 eggs
1 TB canola oil
1/2 cup sugar &,1/4 for for cinnamon sugar
1 tsp cinnamon and 1 1/2 for cinnamon sugar blend
1/2 TB baking powder
1/4 cup & 1/8 cup skim milk
Pinch of nutmeg


Preheat oven to 350!

Spray with cooking spray your donut mold.


In a medium bowl mix canola oil and sugar.


Add one egg at a time.


In a separate bowl blend flours, baking powder, salt, 1 tsp cinnamon, & nutmeg.


A whisk works well for this.


Alternate flour and milk into sugar batter.


Taking turns batter will look like this make sure to mix on low after each addition.


Refrigerate batter for 1-2 hours.

Place batter in frosting piping bag with large tip and fill the donut molds accordingly.


While donuts are baking mix remaining sugar and cinnamon in either paper bag or ziplock bag and set aside.


Bake donuts on 350 for 7 to 8 minutes. Test using toothpick method.


Let cool in pan for about one minute.

While still hot toss into sugar & cinnamon blend.


Pumpkin Biscotti with Crystallized Ginger


I love biscotti and pumpkin so this is a match made in the oven. My husband and I went to the Strip District this weekend and Enrico’s inspired me to make biscotti this afternoon. Enrico’s has the best biscotti in Pittsburgh!

1 1/2 cups of whole wheat pastry flour*
1 cup of whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt
2 tsp of high quality pumpkin spice (penzeys is the best and they don’t pay me to say so)
Pinch of cloves
1/2 cup of light brown sugar (not packed)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 puréed pumpkin ( I used half fresh & half canned)
2 eggs (farm fresh or egglands best)
1 tsp pure vanilla
1/8 cup crystallized ginger

Special note * whole wheat pastry flour is hard to find but worth the effort. I usually find it at speciality grocery stores or near Amish towns at their bulk food stores. The pastry flour allows the baked goods rise better than the traditional whole wheat flour. Whole wheat pastry flour is softer and has less protein than traditional flour.


1. Preheat oven to 350.

2. Sift flours, sugars, baking soda, spices, and salt together into large bowl.


3. Mix with whisk and set aside.


4. In a separate medium sized bowl whisk eggs, pumpkin purée, and vanilla.


5. Now pour flour mixture on top of liquid mixture.


6. Use wooden spoon to start to fold in the dry ingredients into the wet.


7. About half way incorporated add crystalized ginger.


The dough will be crumbly.

8. Lightly flour a clean surface and pour dough onto the counter. Knead until all ingredients are incorporated.



9. Spray with cooking spray a parchment pan lined baking sheet. Spread dough out 12 by 6 and a 1/2 inch in height.

Bake for 28 to 30 minutes.



Let cool on wire rack for 15 to 20 minutes.

Cut with serrated knife in one inch pieces.


Place cut pieces sideways back on parchment lined pan.


Reduce heat to 300 degrees. Bake for 10 minutes and flip and bake for 10 more minutes.


Let cool and enjoy!


Yields 12 large biscotti like Enrico’s !

Zucchini Lasagna “No Noodles”

Zucchini Lasagna “No Noodle”


I have made this recipe time and time again. It is a great way to use up zucchini from the garden and you will never miss the noodles.

Zucchini Lasagna We had a great year for zucchini! This is a picture we took in the spring showing off our peppers and zucchini ! This is one recipe we didn’t make this year but will have to next year.


Preheat oven to 350 degrees


Serves 6


3 ww points plus


1 slice of light wheat bread (about 35 calories per slice)

¾ cup of fiber one original or All Bran original cereal

2 egg whites

¼ cup whole wheat flour

1. 5 cups  no added salt tomato sauce

½ cup fat free cottage cheese

1.5 Large Zucchini ( cut length ways thin )

½ cup Fat Free Ricotta Cheese

¾ cup Fat Free Mozzarella

Pam Spray

2 tsp Pasta Sprinkle (or italian seasoning)

1/4 to 1/2 tsp Hot pepper flakes

1/2 Tsp Garlic power

Salt and Pepper to taste


Place evenly ½ cup of tomato sauce on bottom of a glass 8 by 8 dish. Preheat over to 350. Set griddle on hot medium heat spray with cooking spray. Place and spread out flour on a plate. Place mixed egg whites in a seperate bowl. Place the wheat bread and cereal in food processor with  seasonings (salt, garlic powder, pepper, italian seasoning(1 tsp)), process until fine texture, place on a separate plate. Use dry to wet to  dry method for zucchini preparation (Flour first, egg wash, than fiber mixture). Place zucchini on griddle and flip once browned. Place  zucchini facing the same way in the glass dish on top of sauce one layer evenly. On top of first layer of zucchini place ½ cup of cottage cheese and ¼ cup of mozzarella, top with ¼ cup sauce. Place second layer of zucchini on top sauce, place ½ cup of ricotta on zucchini w/ seasonings and ¼ cup of sauce. Place final zucchini layers on top w/ ½ cup of sauce and ½ cup mozzarella. Bake for 30-45 minutes