Dear Prosciutto,

I know you were looking forward to becoming that lovely fresh mozzarella, fresh basil, and prosciutto roll last summer, but I am sorry to say that I never got to it. But you didn't let discouragement get you down as you next looked to becoming a delicious prosciutto, pear and blue cheese sandwich. That never happened did it. Your disappointment and sadness has taken its toll, not to mention your age. You have substituted nicely in this recipe for the dried beef. Just be thankful you make into a cheese ball and not that unmentionable place.

Yours truly,

Cheese Ball

16 oz. cream cheese, softened
6 oz dried beef
6 green onions
1/4 t. garlic salt
1 1/2 T Worcestershire sauce
Chopped nuts or parsley

Place dried beef and green onion in food processor. Process until minced. Add cream cheese, garlic salt and Worcestershire sauce and blend well. Scoop out and form into a ball. Chill. Roll ball in chopped walnuts or parsley. (I like to roll the cheese ball in nuts before chilling.) Pecans would work as well. Soften slightly before serving. Serve with your favorite cracker.

What's This?

From what?

I have been ignoring the bag of truffles in the back of the refrigerator for about 5 years now. They somehow had melted into a giant ball but I wasn't about to throw out a bag of chocolate so I stuck them in the fridge to deal with later. Much later. These cookies will leave him speechless.

Chocolate Filled Cookies
Adapted from Sing for Your Supper
Makes about 18 cookies

2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
Ganache style truffles, about 1/3 oz each, chilled (ie: soft ones, not chocolate covered ones or make your own. The ones at Sam's Club are perfect. My truffles came out of the fridge and were easy to handle)
Sea salt

Preheat oven to 375° F.

Combine flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Drop by rounded ice cream scooper onto ungreased baking sheet. They should be about a 2-inch ball. Flatten balls to make about 3-inch circles. Place one truffle in middle of circle and fold up the dough around the truffle making sure to cover it completely. Pick up the dough to form a well shaped ball. Return to cookie sheet. Repeat with remaining dough. Leave plenty of space between cookie balls. Sprinkle with sea salt. If you forget the sea salt you can still sprinkle it after it comes out of the oven pressing the salt gently into the cookie.

Bake for 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown. I bake mine for 10 minutes 30 seconds. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

If you wish to make your own ganache here is a good recipe.

6 oz chocolate chips, semisweet or bittersweet. I like to use half milk chocolate and half semisweet.
3/4 c. heavy whipping cream

Place chocolate chips in a bowl. Heat cream to scalding point (bubbles forming around the edge) over medium heat. Pour hot cream over chocolate chips. Stir until smooth. A wire whisk works great for this. Chill until easy to handle. Can be made a day ahead. Slightly soften at room temperature for ease in handling.

Easy Gifts from the Kitchen

Herbes de Provence Salt
From Whole Foods
Makes 2 cups salt or enough for 4 (1/2 cup) gifts
Gourmet salts are all the rage among foodies. This flavorful version is wonderful sprinkled over grilled steak or a whole roasting chicken, with sautéed mushrooms or a potato gratin. Try sprinkling over savory scones or rolls before baking for a tasty treat. Package for gift giving with a downloadable gift tag.

2 cups sea salt, grey salt or fleur de sel
3 tablespoons herbes de Provence blend
1/2 teaspoon lavender flowers
1/2 teaspoon fennel seed
1/2 teaspoon rubbed sage

Place salt and herbs in a food processor. Pulse until evenly mixed. Divide evenly and package in decorative containers for gift giving.


Citrus Salt
From Whole Foods
Makes 2 cups of salt or enough for 4 (1/2 cup) gifts
Lemon, lime and orange zest add bright, fresh flavor to gourmet sea salt. A great addition to any seafood dish from grilled fish to shrimp stir fry. Package for gift giving with a downloadable gift tag.

2 cups sea salt, grey salt or fleur de sel
2 tablespoons fresh lemon zest
1 tablespoons fresh lime zest
1 tablespoons fresh orange zest

Preheat oven to 225°F. Mix salt with zest and spread evenly on a baking sheet. Place in oven and bake 2 hours, until zest is dry. Place in a food processor or blender and pulse until evenly mixed. Divide evenly and package in decorative containers for gift giving.

You know who you are.

Some of you still have leftover mashed potatoes from Thanksgiving. Uh huh. You know you are out there. Make this and it will look like you meant to keep them forever.

Potato Pie
From Great Dinners from Life
Serves 6-8

1 10 in. unbaked pastry shell 

1 lb. cottage cheese
2 c. mashed potatoes
1/2 c. sour cream
2 eggs
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. cayenne
1/2 c. scallions, sliced
3 T. grated Parmesan cheese

Put the cottage cheese through a food mill or use a food processor to make it smooth. Beat the mashed potatoes into the cottage cheese. Beat in sour cream, eggs, salt, and cayenne. Stir in scallions. Spoon into pastry shell. Sprinkle with grated cheese. Bake at 425 for 50 min until golden brown.

Peppermint Bark

This is better than Williams-Sonoma peppermint bark.

Peppermint Bark
Adapted from
Makes about 4 pounds
To make less, halve the recipe and use a 9x13 pan

24 oz. Ghirardelli all natural chocolate chips (Your choice which kind. I used the double chocolate)
2 pounds Ghirardelli all natural white chocolate chips (They come in 11 oz packages)
1 t. peppermint extract OR 1/8 t. peppermint oil
20-25 peppermint candies, about 1 cup (Use all natural if you are so inclined.)

Crush the peppermint candies by placing them in a plastic ziploc bag and pounding them with a hammer, rolling pin, whatever you like. If you crush them in a food processor, they will be too powdery. If you don't like the big chunks, then use that method.

Preheat oven to 250.

Line a jelly roll pan with foil, creasing into the edges and letting the foil hang over the sides. Spray with cooking oil. Spread the chocolate chips evenly in the foil lined pan. Place in preheated oven for 5 min. Remove from oven and smooth evenly using an offset knife or spatula. Refrigerate for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, place white chocolate chips in a large metal bowl or one that can withstand heat. Fill a large stockpot with about 4 inches of water. Place bowl of white chocolate on top of stockpot. It should rest on top and not touch the water. Bring water in the stockpot to a boil with the bowl of chocolate on top of it. Turn off the burner. Let the steam melt the chocolate. Stir gently until the white chocolate is completely melted. Stir in the peppermint.

You want the white chocolate to slightly melt a thin layer of the chocolate so the two layers will stick together but not melt it so much that it mixes.

If the chocolate layer in the fridge is hard and cold, spread the melted white chocolate on it as soon as it is melted. If the chocolate is firm but still sticky to the touch, let the white chocolate cool a little.

Another option is to let the dark chocolate stand at room temperature to soften a bit, about 20 minutes. However, condensation on the dark chocolate will prevent the layers from sticking together. Layers that are too thin will not stick together.

It will probably work out no matter what. My chocolate layer wasn't cold and my white chocolate was hot. Needless to say the dark chocolate started to melt into the white chocolate. It took careful spreading.

To spread the white chocolate, use an offset knife. Working quickly, push the white chocolate to spread it, always having white chocolate ahead of the knife. Don't let the knife touch the dark chocolate. Spread over dark chocolate evenly and completely.

Sprinkle with crushed candy while the white chocolate is still warm and soft. If needed, gently push the candy into the white chocolate. This can be done a number of ways. Place a plastic bag over your hand and spray with cook oil. Press gently on the candy. Or, spray the bottom of another cookie sheet, jelly roll pan or other flat surface and press gently on candy.

Refrigerate until firm. Let the bark stand at room temperature for a few minutes before trying to cut or break it. I broke mine up by hitting it on the edge of the counter.

Store in airtight container.

A Pilgrim and a Closed Door

Here are two tantalizing turkey recipes for your left overs. Turkey leftovers are fondly referred to as turk around here. Was that sarcasm or socratic irony? Please limit your response to 50 words or less.

Pilgrim Sandwich
From The White Gull Inn
Serves 4

8 slices dark rye bread
4 T. mayonnaise
1 pound sliced or shaved cooked turkey breast

3/4 c. cranberry orange relish
4 oz. Cheddar cheese, sliced
8 lettuce leaves

Place slices or rye bread on work surface. Spread mayonnaise on 4 of the slices. Top with turkey, relish, cheese and lettuce. Cover with remaining 4 slices rye bread and cut in half to serve.

Closed Doorwich
Adapted from The White Gull Inn
Serves 4

8 slices dark rye bread
softened butter
12-16 oz. sliced turkey
1 recipe caramelized apples
4 oz. shredded mozzarella cheese, more if desired
Smoked mayonnaise

Pre-heat skillet on medium low heat.

Butter one side of each slice of rye bread. Place one slice, buttered side down in pre-heated skillet. Top with turkey, warm caramelized apples and cheese. Top with remaining slice of rye bread, buttered side up. Cook until bread is hot and toasted. Turn over. Press down on sandwich with a spatula. Cook until bread is toasted and cheese is melted. If cheese doesn't melt, remove from heat and cover briefly until the cheese is melted. Remove from skillet and cut in half. Serve immediately with smoked mayonnaise for dipping.

Variation: Used smoked turkey and apple cider mayonnaise (see below)

Caramelized Apples
Serves 4

5 large apples, peeled, cored, and sliced
2/3 c. sugar
1/4 c. butter

Placed prepared apples in mixing bowl. Add sugar and gently mix. Melt butter in a skillet over medium high heat until bubbly. Add apples. It is best if they are in a single layer. Allow the sugar to melt and apples to brown. Gently check with a spatula. Once they have browned, turn them over with a spatula. Keep cooking them until the apples are browned and the sugar is caramelized. Total cooking time is about 30 min. Be careful not to burn the apples. Reduce heat if necessary. Serve immediately.

Smoked Mayonnaise
1 c. mayonnaise
1/2 to 1 t. liquid smoke (start with 1/2 t. adjust to taste)

Blend until smooth. Can add 1 T. apple cider or apple juice or frozen apple juice concentrate.

Apple Cider Mayonnaise
1. c mayonnaise
1 T. apple cider (can use apple juice or frozen apple juice concentrate)

Blend until smooth.

Happy Thanksgiving

Butternut squash soup
Apple cider-brined turkey with savory gravy
American apple-cider pork
Home-style stuffing
Mashed potatoes
Mashed sweet potatoes
Green bean amandine
Skillet corn
Fresh frozen applesauce
Cranberry relish
Cranberry fool
Cranberry jelly
Crescent rolls
Honey butter
Cinnamon butter
Heritage pumpkin pie with sweetened whipped cream
French silk pie
Go Nuts pie
Mixed drinks: cranberry juice and orange juice or cranberry juice and white grape juice

Wrinkly Old Apples

I found some old apples in my basement refrigerator drawer. It's just what I need. More food storage spaces in obscure places. These were so wrinkly they were a little hard to peel. But I pushed on. Nobody can call me a quitter. No sir.

Caramelized Apples
A great side dish.
Serves 4

5 large apples, peeled, cored, and sliced
2/3 c. sugar
1/4 c. butter

Placed prepared apples in mixing bowl. Add sugar and gently mix. Melt butter in a skillet over medium high heat until bubbly. Add apples. It is best if they are in a single layer. Allow the sugar to melt and apples to brown. Gently check with a spatula. Once they have browned, turn them over with a spatula. Keep cooking them until the apples are browned and the sugar is caramelized. Total cooking time is about 30 min. Be careful not to burn the apples. Reduce heat if necessary. Serve immediately.

Caution: melted sugar is very HOT! That tip brought to you by my tongue. Did I ever mention that I was kick out of Girl Scouts and asked not to come back because I couldn't stop licking the cookie dough?

Moist and Delicious Turkey

I am a big proponent of brining turkey before roasting it. It always turns out moist and juicy, never dry. See the recipe I use here.

Here are some things to remember when brining any meat:

Kosher salt and table salt (without iodine) are the most common salts used in brining. Sea salt can be used, but it tends to be quite expensive.

A cup of table salt and a cup of kosher salt are not equal. Table salt weighs approximately 10 ounces per cup and kosher salt weighs approximately 5 to 8 ounces per cup depending on the brand. If using kosher salt in a brine, you must use more than a cup to achieve the same "saltiness" you would get from a cup of table salt.

The chart below shows how to substitute the two most popular brands of kosher salt for ordinary table salt.

1 cup Table Salt (without iodine) - Substitute with:
Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt = 2 cups

Morton Kosher Salt = 1-1/2 cups

You can add flavor in all sorts of forms such as herbs and spices. Use brown sugar, honey or molasses in place of the sugar (some sweetness tends to offset a saltiness the brine might otherwise impart). You can use apple juice, cider, orange juice, rice wine vinegar, apple cider vinegar, stock, or other liquids to replace some or all of the water.
Read more about it here.

Biting the Bullet

Facing the music. Taking the bull by the horns. Showing it who's boss. Grabbing the tiger by the tail. That seems dangerous. Hmmm. I guess dangerous fits. Using apples purchased in 1992, made into applesauce in 1993 and using in 2010 is a little dangerous. Especially when it looks like this.

Apple Fruit Leather

Lemon juice or other anti-browning agent (optional)

Preheat oven to lowest setting. The lowest setting for newer ovens is 170 degrees. Older ovens will go lower.

Lay parchment paper on a jelly roll pan or cookie sheet. Make sure that it lies flat and won't fold back onto sauce. (You can use microwave safe plastic, however plastic and heat is not recommended anymore.) Spray with cooking spray or grease with butter or coconut oil.

If your applesauce doesn't have an anti-browning agent in it, add some. You will know if you made it and didn't add it. A little lemon juice works great. A couple of teaspoons per pan should be enough.

Pour applesauce onto greased parchment paper. Spread sauce evenly so it is a thin layer, about 1/8 inch thick. Sometimes shaking the pan or tapping it on the counter will help level it.

Place in oven. Remove when applesauce is dry to the touch. It will be somewhat sticky but not wet. This will be about 8-15 hours. It could take longer depending on your oven. Drying it overnight works great.Remove fruit leather from oven and let cool. Peel from parchment paper and roll up. Wrap in plastic and store in a cool dry place.

If you are drying during the day and need to use your oven, simply take out the fruit leather put it on your counter while you use your oven. Let your oven cool down before placing the leather back in the oven.

For a yummy treat, spread cream cream cheese on a piece of fruit leather and roll up.

Could it get any worse?

Oh yes it could. I am talking about my starchy chewy field corn of a sweet corn. How can it get possible get worse? Well it could sit in the refrigerator and dry out. I made corn chowder and had to run it through the blender to rid the soup of giant dry chewy kernels. Even then there were still bits of kernel left. I had enough corn to try out two different recipes.

"Let's see, where are those ears of corn?"

"There over at the house laying on the ground. Even the squirrels won't eat them."

Chef Jack's Corn Chowder
From Paula Deen
Serves 8-10

3 cup chicken stock
2 cup half-and-half
3 cup white corn kernels, fresh or frozen
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 clove garlic, minced
1 small celery stalk, diced
1 small carrot, finely diced
1 small onion, diced
1 cup (2 sticks) butter
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
Salt and pepper

Melt 1 stick of butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, carrot, celery, and garlic, and saute for 2 minutes. Add the flour and stir to make a roux. Cook until the roux is lightly browned; set aside to cool to room temperature. Meanwhile, combine the corn and chicken stock in a saucepan, and bring to a boil. Simmer for 10 minutes. Pour the boiling stock with the corn (a little at a time) into the skillet with the roux, whisking briskly so it doesn’t lump. Return the skillet to the heat and bring to a boil. The mixture should become very thick. In a small saucepan, gently heat the half-and-half; stir it into the thick corn mixture. Add the nutmeg and salt and pepper to taste. Just before serving, cut the remaining stick of butter into large chunks. Add it to enrich the soup, stirring until the butter melts.

Cheddar Corn Chowder

From The Barefoot Contessa
10-12 servings

8 ounces bacon, chopped
1/4 cup good olive oil
6 cups chopped yellow onions (4 large onions)
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1/2 cup flour
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
12 cups chicken stock
6 cups medium-diced white boiling potatoes, unpeeled (2 pounds)
10 cups corn kernels, fresh (10 ears) or frozen (3 pounds)
2 cups half-and-half
1/2 pound sharp white cheddar cheese, grated

In a large stockpot over medium-high heat, cook the bacon and olive oil until the bacon is crisp, about 5 minutes. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and reserve. Reduce the heat to medium, add the onions and butter to the fat, and cook for 10 minutes, until the onions are translucent.

Stir in the flour, salt, pepper, and turmeric and cook for 3 minutes. Add the chicken stock and potatoes, bring to a boil, and simmer uncovered for 15 minutes, until the potatoes are tender. If using fresh corn, cut the kernels off the cob and blanch them for 3 minutes in boiling salted water. Drain. (If using frozen corn you can skip this step.) Add the corn to the soup, then add the half-and-half and cheddar. Cook for 5 more minutes, until the cheese is melted. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper. Serve hot with a garnish of bacon.

If you reduce the amount of onion, reduce the amount of butter as well.

Runny Peanut Butter

I thought I would try my luck and buy cheaper natural peanut butter. I tried everything to be able to use it. Stirring it over and over, flipping it over and over, but it was always a runny mess. Refrigerating it turned it too hard. It was great for this recipe.

Thai Honey Peanut Chicken
From Tasty Kitchen
Step-by-step instructions by Three Many Cooks
Serves 3

1 pound chicken, in chunks
¼ cups soy sauce
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 teaspoon minced garlic (approximately 1 large clove)
1 tablespoon natural peanut butter (heaping tablespoon even better)
½ teaspoon curry powder
1 teaspoon sriracha, or to taste (optional)
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon water
Mix ingredients and marinate chicken for 2-3 hours.
Cook chicken in the sauce over medium-high heat for 7-8 minutes or until chicken is done. Reduce heat to medium-low and add precooked veggies if desired. Serve topped with sesame seeds.
To thicken sauce if needed: reduce heat to medium-low and add a cornstarch slurry (1 teaspoon cornstarch in 1 tablespoon water).
Substitutions: replace chicken with tofu; replace peanut butter with tahini or another nut butter; if using regular peanut butter (i.e. Skippy) instead of natural peanut butter, reduce honey by 1 tablespoon.

Carrots from the Garden

Glazed Carrots
From Betty Crocker
Serves 8


pounds carrots, cut into 1/4-inch slices (12 to 14 medium)
1/2 teaspoon salt, if desired
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup butter
1 teaspoon grated orange peel
1/2 teaspoon salt

    Heat 1 inch water to boiling in 3-quart saucepan. Add carrots and, if desired, 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cover and heat to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer covered 12 to 15 minutes or until carrots are tender.
    While carrots are cooking, heat brown sugar, butter, orange peel and 1/2 teaspoon salt in 10- or 12-inch skillet over medium heat, stirring constantly, until sugar is dissolved and mixture is bubbly. Be careful not to overcook or the mixture will taste scorched. Remove from heat.
    Drain carrots. Stir carrots into brown sugar mixture. Cook over low heat about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally and gently, until carrots are glazed and hot.
      Special Touch
      Want this dish to look really special? Cut the carrots into diagonal slices or julienne strips. Be sure to decrease the cooking time because the carrots will have more surface area and cook more quickly.

      Add another flavor dimension to this veggie side dish by stirring in 1 teaspoon finely chopped ginger root with the orange peel.

      Nutrition Information:
      1 Serving (1 Serving)
      Calories 160,
      (Calories from Fat 55 ),
      Total Fat 6 g
      (Saturated Fat 4 g,
      Cholesterol 15 mg;
      Sodium 380 mg;
      Total Carbohydrate 28 g
      (Dietary Fiber 3 g,
      Protein 1 g;

      Did I Say That?

      I guess I did say just a few days ago I didn't like it when things like graham crackers are put in ice cream. I didn't see the point. There is definitely a point to this addition. I used my doughnut disaster dough turned graham crackers.

      Pumpkin Pie Ice Cream
      From Cusinart
      Serves 14 (1/2 c. serving size)


      1-1/2 cups whole milk
      1 cup packed light or dark brown sugar
      2 tablespoons molasses or dark corn syrup (or maple syrup)
      1-3/4 cups pumpkin purée (1 can solid pack pumpkin)
      1-1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
      1 teaspoon ginger
      1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
      2-1/2 cups heavy cream
      1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
      1 cup crumbled ginger snaps, vanilla butter cookies, or graham cracker

      Caramel sauce (optional)

      In a medium mixing bowl, use a hand mixer on low speed to combine the milk, brown sugar, and molasses until the sugar is dissolved, about 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in the pumpkin purée, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg.
      Add heavy cream and vanilla.

      The following instructions are for a Cusinart ice cream freezer. If using another freezer, follow the manufacturers instructions.
      Turn the machine on; pour the mixture into freezer bowl, and let mix until thickened, about 20 to 25 minutes. Add the crumbled cookies during the last 5 minutes of mixing. The ice cream will have a soft, creamy texture. If a firmer consistency is desired, transfer the ice cream to an airtight container and place in freezer for about 2 hours.
      Remove from freezer about 15 minutes before serving.
      Top with caramel sauce if desired.

      Nutritional Information Per Serving

      Calories 310 (52% from fat) • carb. 35g • pro. 3g • fat 18g • sat. fat 11g • chol. 62mg • sod. 134mg • calc. 100mg • fiber 1g

      Old Broccoli

      Who doesn't have it from time to time? Turn it into this yummy soup.

      Panera Bread Broccoli Cheese Soup

      Serves 4

      1 tablespoon butter, melted
      1/2 medium onion, chopped
      1/4 cup melted butter
      1/4 cup flour
      2 cups half-and-half
      2 cups chicken stock or bouillon
      1/2 pound fresh broccoli
      1 cup carrots, julienned or diced
      salt and pepper to taste
      1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
      Hot sauce (optional)
      Dijon mustard (optional)
      8 ounces grated sharp cheddar

      Saute onion in butter. Set aside. Cook melted butter and flour using a whisk over medium heat for 3-5 minutes. Stir constantly and slowly add the half-and-half (this is called making a roux). Add the chicken stock whisking all the time. Simmer for 20 minutes.

      Add the broccoli, carrots and onions. Cook over low heat until the veggies are tender for 20-25 minutes. Add salt and pepper. Add a few dashes of hot sauce and a tablespoon of Dijon mustard for more flavor if desired. The soup should be thickened by now.

      Pour in batches into blender and puree. (optional)
      Return to pot over low heat and add the grated cheese; stir until well blended. Stir in the nutmeg and serve.


      Look Away! I'm Hideous!

      "What is it?"
      "It's the Evil Eye."
      We are in the middle of musical appliances. Moving this one here and that one there. I was forced to clean out the basement refrigerator. I found lots of fodder. First item up for bid, a very large jar of fresh dill pickles. Frozen. And of course upon thawing, they became limp and mushy. This recipe hides that fact.

      Ham and Pickle Pinwheel Appetizers

      1 package ham slices
      Jar of dill pickles, whole, patted dry
      8 oz cream cheese softened

      Cut the ends off of the pickles. Spread a layer of cream cheese on a ham slice. Ham can be patted dry for ease in spreading creme cheese if desired. Starting at one end, roll up the pickle. Wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate until cream cheese is firm, about 2 hours. Slice into 1/2 inch thick slices.

      My pickles are spears, not whole. Thus the odd shape. Yours will look better. I hope. Either way they are tasty.

      Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

      One of our favorite cookies!

      Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
      3/4 cup butter, softened
      1 c brown sugar
      1/2 c sugar
      1 egg
      2.5 T. water
      1 t. vanilla
      1 t salt
      1/2 t soda
      3 cup oats
      1 c flour
      2 cups choc chips (can substitute raisins)

      Cream butter with mixer on high for 2 min. Add brown sugar and sugar and cream together. Add egg. Mix well until light and fluffy. Mix in vanilla, salt, and soda. Mix in oats. Stir in flour until just mixed in. Stir in chocolate chips until just evenly distributed.

      Dropped onto cookie sheet. I use an ice cream scooper to measure out the dough.

      Bake 350 for 10 1/2 to 11 min, less if making smaller cookies.

      To sub shortening: 3/4 cup shortening and increase water to 4 Tbsp

      Pear Everywhere

      Oozing all over the counter.

      My pears went from perfect to rotting mush overnight. I threw some away and thought what I am doing! I found this recipe for the rest of them. Can I dig the disposed out of the garbage?

      This one definitely needed double the topping. I love the way the brown cinnamon hides the brown pears.

      Harvest Pear Crisp
      From Cooking Light
      Cinnamon-spiced pears bake under a crunchy streusel topping in this easy pear crisp. Assemble the dessert ahead of time, and put it in the oven when guests arrive. Or bake it earlier in the day and serve it at room temperature. Serve with low-fat vanilla ice cream.
      Yield: 8 servings


      • 6 cups Anjou or Bartlett pears, cored and cut lengthwise into 1/2-inch-thick slices (about 3 pounds)
      • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
      • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
      • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
      • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, divided
      • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
      • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
      • 1/2 teaspoon salt
      • 3 tablespoons chilled butter, cut into small pieces
      • 1/3 cup regular oats
      • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped walnuts


      Preheat oven to 375°.
      Combine pears and lemon juice in a 2-quart baking dish; toss gently to coat. Combine granulated sugar, cornstarch, and 1 teaspoon cinnamon; stir with a whisk. Add cornstarch mixture to pear mixture; toss well to coat.
      Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Place flour, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, brown sugar, and salt in a food processor; pulse 2 times or until combined. Add chilled butter; pulse 6 times or until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add oats and walnuts; pulse 2 times. Sprinkle flour mixture evenly over pear mixture.
      Bake at 375° for 40 minutes or until pears are tender and topping is golden brown. Cool 20 minutes on a wire rack; serve warm or at room temperature.

      Nutritional Information

      Calories:285 (24% from fat)
      Fat:7.7g (sat 3g,mono 1.8g,poly 2.2g)

      Overripe or Unripe Cucumbers

      You pick. This recipe works with both. Which, oddly, I have.

      Sour-Cream Cucumber Sauce
      Adapted from Southern Living

      1 cucumber, peeled, seeded, cut into large chunks
      8 oz. sour cream
      1 garlic clove, minced
      1/2 t. dried dill
      1/2 t. salt

      Place ingredients in blender. Blend until smooth. Chill at least 30 min.

      Great on salmon burgers or with Easy Greek Flank Steak. Also, great on hamburgers seasoned with Greek seasoning.

      Apple Crisp

      Apple Crisp

      3 c. tart apples, peeled, cored and sliced (about 3 medium apples)
      2 T. lemon juice
      2/3 to 3/4 c. packed brown sugar
      1/2 c. all-purpose flour
      1/2 c. quick-cooking oats
      3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
      3/4 tsp ground nutmeg (optional)
      1/4 tsp salt
      1/3 c. butter or softened

      Heat oven to 375. Place apples in greased baking dish, 8x8x2 inches. Sprinkle with lemon juice. Mix remaining ingredients until large crumbles form (more like clumps); sprinkle over apples. Bake uncovered until topping is golden brown and apples are hot and tender when pierced with a fork, about 30 min. Can serve with ice cream or cream. 4 to 6 serving
      If using an 11 x 7 inch baking dish, double the topping. To make in a 13 x 9 inch pan, use 4 c. fruit and 2.5 times the topping.

      Variations: Can decrease lemon juice to 1 T. and add 1 T. of orange juice.
      Can add to apples 1 t. ground cinnamon/1/2 t. ground nutmeg. Can also sweetened apples with 2 T to 1/4 c sugar (to taste).

      Rotisserie Style Chicken

      I used up what was left of the apple cider 2009 in this recipe. Then I promptly went out and bought 5 gallons of apple cider 2010. There is no hope.

      I decided for a family get together I would just order rotisserie chickens from the store. Sam's was too far away to fulfill my purpose so I went and check out closer possibilities. All I found were puny roasted fryer chicken with very little meat. Plus who knows what they put on it. Next I went to the organic grocery store. At least it would be safe to eat. Twelve to 16 dollars for one chicken. No thank you. I decided I would make my own. It turned out better than any store prepared chicken. Lots of meat, too. This has been requested for Thanksgiving.

      Rotisserie Style Chicken
      Adapted from Diane Morgan

      1-2 large plump roasting chickens ( I used Perdue all-natural plump with a pop-out timer)
      2/3 c. kosher salt
      2/3 c. sugar
      8 c. apple cider or apple juice (you can even use water)
      2 bay leaves
      Rotisserie chicken seasoning (look for no msg)

      In a 3- to 4-quart saucepan, put salt, sugar and bay leaves. Add apple cider or juice and stir to combine. Bring to boil over medium-high heat, stirring until salt and sugar have dissolved. Boil for 3 min. then remove from heat. Add 4 c. of ice cold water, stir and set aside to cool.Place plastic turkey-size oven bag inside a second bag, then place in a large stockpot. The stockpot will hold the bags and chicken for you. Position bags so they are wide open and fold the top of bags over the stockpot. Remove chicken from its wrappings. Remove neck and bag of giblets. Place chicken inside bags. Pour brine over chicken. Add another 2 c. cold water. Draw up top of inner bag, squeezing out as much air as possible; secure it with a twist tie. Do the same for outer bag. Place chicken, breast-side down in roasting pan and refrigerate 12 to 24 hours. Turn chicken 3 to 4 times while brining.

      If you are only using one chicken, it can simply be placed in a large stock pot. Pour brine over the chicken and refrigerate 12-24 hours.
      Just before roasting, remove chicken from brine. Discard bags, brine and bay leaves. Rinse chicken under cold water and pat dry with paper towels.

      Rub chicken with oil, about 1 T. per 3 pound chicken. Sprinkle or rub on 2 T. rotisserie seasoning. (I am sure I used more oil and more seasoning.)

      Pre-heat oven to 375.

      Place chicken on a rack in a roasting pan. Add 1 c. of water to pan (don't use if you want a crispy skin). The breast should read a temperature of 180 degrees. Use the time chart on the chicken wrapper to determine about how long it will take. Allow for a little more time if roasting more than one chicken. At 375 degrees a chicken takes about 20 minutes per pound plus another 10-20 minutes to roast. It takes about 2 hours to roast two chickens with baked potatoes in the oven at 375. Allow to rest for 15 minutes before carving. Can roast at a lower temperature (300-325) for a longer time.

      Post Season Peaches

      I saved some fresh peaches from my 3 bushels to make a pie.
      I ended up saving them too long. They still made a delicious pie.

      Nita's Secret Peach Pie
      From Paula Deen
      Servings: 6


      7 cups fresh peaches, peeled and thickly sliced (can substitute frozen slices)
      ½ lemon, juiced
      1 ½ cups sugar
      ¼ cup flour
      ½ teaspoon almond extract
      ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
      5 tablespoons butter, divided
      1 prepared pastry for a 9” double crust pie
      1 egg


      Pre heat oven to 425º F.
      Roll one half of the pie dough out to fit the bottom of your pie pan, allowing a 1” over hang and place in the refrigerator until ready to use.
      In a large sauce pan, add peaches, lemon juice, sugar and flour and stir until coated. Bring fruit mixture to a low boil. Reduce heat to low and cook until fruit is just slightly tender. Remove pan from heat. Stir in almond extract, nutmeg and three tablespoons butter. Allow to cool slightly.
      Remove pie pan from refrigerator and fill with the cooled mixture. Dot the top of the fruit with the pieces of the remaining two tablespoons butter. Roll out the second crust and decorate the top of the pie with a lattice top or any special way you like. (If covering the top of your pie completely with the top crust, make sure to cut slits in the top to allow the steam to escape) Decoratively crimp the edges.
      In a small bowl, whisk the egg together with 1 tablespoon of water. Brush the top of your pie with the egg wash. Sprinkle with sugar.
      Bake for 10 minutes then lower heat to 350ºF for an additional 30 minutes or until the top is golden and the fruit is bubbly.
      Cool before slicing and serve with vanilla ice cream.
      Pastry for 2-Crust Pie
      3 c. flour
      1 t. salt
      1 c. butter
      8 T. ice cold water

      In a bowl, blend flour and salt. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add water and just mix until a dough forms. Do not over mix. Divide dough into two balls. Can make up to one day ahead and refrigerate. When ready to use, roll out each ball on lightly floured surface.

      Drinking Straw Casserole Soup

      Remember I said you can make soup out of anything? You still can. I made Two-Cheese Squash Casserole and used late yellow squash with thick skins that sat on my counter which proceeded to make the skins even tougher. Drinking straw casserole. That is what it was was. Determination set in. I blended the daylights out of the casserole a little bit at a time with some milk and a cup of cream. I then added salt and nutmeg to taste. After I heated it, I threw in 8 0z. of cream cheese for good luck. "It's ok" was the review which beats spitting a casserole bite into the garbage. I will be peeling this baby before using it.

      Arrggh. Two glass eyes.

      I won a sweet giveaway over at Oinkle Doinkle. Thanks Carrot Jello! Here's a little something from the goody box I got.

      Homemade Cottage Cheese


      Crock-pot Cottage Cheese

      1 gallon milk (I used whole but you can use any kind, even powered milk but don't use milk that has been ultra-pasteurized.)
      1 small carton (1/2 pint or 1 c.) fresh buttermilk (not ultra-pasteurized and not one that has been sitting in your fridge for days or weeks)
      1 small carton (1/2 pint or 1 c.) of creme, (not ultra-pasteurized is the best)

      Pour milk into large crock-pot. Add buttermilk and stir for one minute to mix well. Turn crock-pot to warm and heat milk to 72 degrees, stirring occasionally from the bottom. Use an instant read thermometer. (Sam's Club has great cheap ones in the restaurant section.) Turn off crock-pot.

      Cover and let sit undisturbed for 24 hours. Except couple of hours check the temperature, if convenient. If below 72 degrees turn on crock-pot to warm and heat milk to 72 degrees. Do not stir during this step. And don't get up in the middle of the night to do it. :)

      Cut the clabber (the curdled milk) into 1/4 inch cubes in 4 directions: top to bottom, side to side, and on both diagonals.

      Turn the crock-pot on high and cook until the curds become separated from the whey, stirring occasionally. This will take about 8-12 hours. The curds will be small rubbery bits floating in a sea of water (whey). Watch this as to not overcook the curds. But it is still good if you do. :)

      Line a strainer/colander with cheesecloth. Dampen the cheesecloth so it will stay in place. Pour the curds and whey into the colander to drain. Rinse the curds with cold water to remove all of the whey. Rinse until the curds are completely cool.

      Alternative method: Turn crock-pot on low. Leave on until the curds have just separated from the whey.
      Line a strainer/colander with cheesecloth. Let it overhang. Pour the curds and whey into the colander to drain. Do not rinse. Stir gently to drain the whey. Bring up the side of the cheesecloth to wrap the curds, making a bag or pouch. Place a bowl under the strainer and refrigerate allowing the whey to drain for about an hour, stirring a couple of times.

      Place curds into bowl. Salt to taste. Add 1/2 pint ( one cup) of cream or buttermilk (or any kind of milk) and mix. Add more if desired.

      This will keep 7-10 days and as always, cottage cheese will keep longer if it is stored upside down.

      The Blight of the Tomato

      I salvaged some blighted tomatoes from my garden by cutting the bad areas out and made these 2 tasty soups.

      Roasted Tomato Soup

      From Tyler Florence
      Serves 4-6


      • 2 1/2 pounds fresh tomatoes (mix of fresh heirlooms, cherry, vine and plum tomatoes) I used only basic fresh tomatoes. And by fresh I mean blighted.
      • 6 cloves garlic, peeled
      • 2 small yellow onions, sliced
      • Vine cherry tomatoes for garnish, optional
      • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
      • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
      • 1 quart chicken stock
      • 2 bay leaves
      • 4 tablespoons butter
      • 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves, optional
      • 3/4 cup heavy cream, optional


      Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
      Wash, core and cut the tomatoes into halves. Spread the tomatoes, garlic cloves and onions onto a baking tray. If using vine cherry tomatoes for garnish, add them as well, leaving them whole and on the vine. Drizzle with 1/2 cup of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast for 20 to 30 minutes, or until caramelized. (I saved the excess tomato flavored oil and am going to use it in pizza dough. Or something.)
      Remove roasted tomatoes, garlic and onion from the oven and transfer to a large stock pot (set aside the roasted vine tomatoes for later). Add 3/4 (i.e. 3 cups) of the chicken stock, bay leaves, and butter. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes or until liquid has reduced by a third.
      Wash and dry basil leaves, if using, and add to the pot. Use a blender to puree the soup until smooth. (Be careful. Don't fill the blender too full. Maybe only 1/2 full. Hold lid down firmly. You could let it cool a little to avoid burning yourself.) Return soup to low heat, add cream and adjust consistency with remaining chicken stock, if necessary. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Garnish in bowl with 3 or 4 roasted vine cherry tomatoes and a splash of heavy cream.

      Easy Fresh Tomato Soup
      Adapted from Heavenly Homemakers

      5 pounds prepared tomatoes
      1 cup chopped onion or 1 T. onion powder
      3 T. butter
      1 1/2 t. salt
      Core tomatoes. Then continue to prepare however you wish. You can peel them or leave them unpeeled. Chop them or leave them whole.
      Place all ingredients into large stockpot. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to a simmer. If whole tomatoes were used, mash and break them up. Simmer uncovered for three hours, stirring occasionally. Let cool slightly. Blend until smooth. Be careful when blending hot soup. Only fill the blender half full and hold the lid on tight.
      Preserve by canning or freezing. When serving, soup can be thinned with water or milk/cream/half&half if desired.

      Apple Streusel Tart

      Apple Streusel Tart
      From "The Dessert Lover's Cookbook" by Marlene Sorosky

      1 recipe Cookie Pastry for single crust pie (see below)

      Apple Filling
      1 Tbs vanilla extract
      1/2 cup dark raisins
      juice of 1 lemon
      3 lbs tart cooking apples (about 6 large, Pippin are best for apple pies and tarts)
      1/2 cup packed brown sugar
      1/2 cup granulated sugar
      1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
      1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
      1/4 cup all-purpose flour
      1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted

      1/2 cup quick cooking oats
      1/2 cup packed golden brown sugar
      1/4 cup all-purpose flour
      1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
      dash salt
      6 Tbs unsalted butter, at room temperature
      1 cup walnuts, chopped into medium pieces, about 4 oz.

      Use a 9x3-in or 9 1/2x2-in springform pan. Place oven rack in lower third of oven. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

      Make pastry as directed. Divide pastry in half and press half into bottom of springform. Press remaining pastry two thirds up sides of pan.

      Place vanilla and raisins in microwaveable bowl covered with plastic wrap. Microwave for 1-2 minutes or until hot. Let stand, still covered, at least 10 minutes for raisins to soften.

      Fill large bowl with water and the juice of one lemon. Peel and core apples. Drop them into the lemon water to prevent from turning dark. Slice them into 1/4-inch slices by hand or with medium (4mm) slicing blade of a food processor. Transfer raisins and vanilla to a large bowl, stir in apple slices. Toss apples with hands to coat with vanilla.

      Stir together sugars, cinnamon, nutmeg and flour; add to apples. Add butter and mix with hands until distributed. Place apple mixture in pastry-lined pan.

      Place pan on baking sheet. Bake in the lower third of the oven for 15 minutes.

      Meanwhile, mix oats, sugar, flour, cinnamon and salt in medium-size bowl. Cut in butter using fork, fingertips, or pastry blender until mixture is crumbly. Mix in nuts.

      Remove tart from oven and reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F. Sprinkle streusel evenly over top of apples. Press down lightly with hands. Bake in the oven for an additional 60 to 70 minutes or until top is golden brown and edges are bubbling. Remove from oven and cool for one hour. Run knife around edges of tart to make sure tart does not stick to springform. Do not remove sides until ready to serve. The tart may be covered with plastic wrap and foil and held at room temperature overnight, if desired. It may be reheated in a preheated 350 degree F. oven for 15 minutes, if desired.

      Before serving, remove sides of springform. Serve warm or at room temperature.

      Cookie Pastry
      Makes pastry for one 9-in pie or one 11-in tart.

      1/4 lb (1 stick) unsalted butter, cold and cut into 8 pieces for food processor; at room temperature for mixer
      1/4 cup sugar
      1 large egg
      1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

      If using a food processor: Place butter and sugar in food processor with metal blade and pulse until mixture holds together. Add egg and pulse 5 or 6 more times. Add flour. Scrape down sides and pulse until all ingredients are incorporated and a cookie-like dough is formed. Remove metal blade and place plastic bag over top of work bowl. Invert bowl and turn dough into bag. Shape pastry in bag into a ball and flatten into a disc. If pressing pastry into dish withy hand, it may be used immediately. If rolling out, seal bag and refrigerate dough until firm.

      If using an electric mixer: Beat butter and sugar in medium-sized bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add egg and flour and mix until smooth dough is formed. With hands, shape into a ball and flatten into a disc. Wrap in plastic wrap or bag and refrigerate until chilled.

      Pastry may be refrigerated up to 5 days wrapped in plastic wrap or sealed in plastic bag, or may be frozen if desired. Before using, let stand at room temperature until softened just enough to roll, but still cold.

      Corn Tortilla Chips

      If you have some dried out corn tortillas, make these. If you have some fresh corn tortillas, make these.

      Homemade Corn Tortilla Chips

      Corn tortillas
      Oil for frying (corn, coconut, or lard)

      Cut each corn tortillas into 6 wedges. Can cut into rectangles or strips if desired.
      Heat oil to 375 degrees in fryer or in fry pan. If using fry pan, oil should be at least 1 inch deep.
      Place a few chips in pan, leaving plenty of space around each. Don't crowd when frying.
      Fry 1-2 minutes on each side until lightly brown and crisp. Drain on paper towel. Salt while still warm.

      These can be baked instead of fried. Place chips on cookie sheet or wire cooling rack. Bake at 350 for 5 min. or until crisp. Salt while warm.

      A 12 oz package of corn tortillas will yield 72 chips or 12 servings, each serving being 126 calories and 8 grams of fat

      Doughnut Disaster

      I love apple cider doughnuts that are available this time of year. Since I have some apple cider from last year in my basement fridge that I need to get rid of, I thought I would make my own.

      In my effort to eat more healthy, I decided to make them whole wheat. Isn't that mutually exclusive? Healthy doughnuts?

      Then I got it in my head they were going to be so delicious that I needed to quadruple the recipe.

      Can't I just be normal?

      I didn't have enough sugar for those healthy doughnuts so I went to the store to get some, came home and realized I forgot to get the sugar.

      Next, distracted, distracted. And more distracted which led me to forget that I didn't put any sugar in it. Fourteen cups of whole wheat flour and no sugar. Obtained sugar and tried to add it. Keyed word there: tried

      I could tell they were not going to be the tasty little morsels that were dancing in my head so I made some the dough into graham crackers. After eating one cracker the verdict on those were "I can't eat another one." I am thinking graham cracker crust.

      Bottom line. Stick to the recipe.

      Apple Cider Doughnuts
      About 15 doughnuts and 15 holes (serving size: 1 doughnut and 1 hole)
      Cost per Serving: $0.48
      From All You


      • 2 cups sugar
      • 1 tablespoon plus 2 tsp. cinnamon
      • 1 1/2 cups apple cider
      • 2 teaspoons baking powder
      • 1 teaspoon salt
      • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
      • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
      • 2 large eggs plus 1 large egg yolk
      • 6 cups vegetable oil, for frying


      1. Line baking sheet with parchment. Line a large plate with paper towels. In a paper bag, combine 1 cup sugar and 1 Tbsp. cinnamon; shake to mix well. Set aside.
      2. Bring cider to a boil over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until cider has reduced to 1/2 cup, about 20 minutes. Let cool to room temperature.
      3. In a large bowl, whisk baking powder, salt, 1 cup flour and remaining sugar and cinnamon until well combined. In a small bowl, whisk butter, eggs, yolk and cooled cider until well combined. Add cider mixture to flour mixture; whisk until smooth. Add remaining 2 1/2 cups flour and mix until just combined. Dough will be slightly sticky. Refrigerate 10 minutes.
      4. Pour oil into a large pot and attach a candy thermometer to side (thermometer should not touch bottom of pot). Heat oil over medium-high heat until it reaches 375ºF, watching and adjusting as needed to keep oil from overheating.
      5. Turn dough out onto a well-floured countertop and coat fingertips with flour. Pat dough out to 1/2-inch thickness. Using a doughnut cutter or 2 round cookie cutters (one large and one small), cut out doughnuts and holes. Transfer both to lined baking sheet. Gather scraps and re-pat dough, cutting as many doughnuts as possible.
      6. Working in batches, carefully slide doughnuts into hot oil. After about 1 minute, doughnuts will rise to surface and begin to brown. At that point, turn over and fry 1 1/2 minutes longer. Transfer to lined plate to drain. Bring oil back to 375ºF before frying another batch. When doughnuts have cooled for 1 minute, add to bag with cinnamon sugar and toss to coat. Remove to a clean plate and serve.

      Nutritional Information

      Fat:18g (sat 5g)


      Before it frosts, preserve the fresh herbs from your garden. Here's how.

      From Bon Appetit

      Treat fresh herbs just like fresh flowers.
      Trim the stems at a 45-degree angle, and place in a glass with two inches of water. Refrigerate for up to two weeks (cover the leaves with an unsealed plastic bag to minimize odor absorption), replacing the water if it gets cloudy.

      Dry hardy-leaf herbs like thyme, oregano, rosemary, and bay leaves.
      Working with one herb variety at a time, wash thoroughly, blot dry, and spread the leaves in a single layer on a paper towel. Microwave in 30-second intervals, turning leaves over for even drying, until crisp and brittle. Microwave times will vary, but the whole process should take no more than two to three minutes total.

      Freeze soft-leaf herbs like dill, mint, parsley, basil, and chives.
      Place whole sprigs, chopped leaves, or whole leaves in a tightly sealed plastic bag for up to six months. When cooking, defrosting is unnecessary--just break off leaves and add them to the skillet.

      Update:  I have found my oven to be the best dehydrator for herbs.  I have a dehydrator option which puts the temperature at 140 F.  If you don't have this just set the to lowest temperature (probably 180 F).  I spread my herbs out on cookie sheets and place in oven.  You just have to watch to determine when they are dry enough.  If I need to leave the house and they aren't finished, I just turn off the oven and let them sit in the oven.  I assess them when I get back and turn back on the oven if needed.  

      Preserving Peaches
      This year I preserved peaches differently in addition to my old way.

      Freezing Peaches/Pears Whole

      This is the easiest thing ever. Place 4 unwashed peaches in a freezer quart bag and freeze. Be sure to label the bag as unwashed. When ready to use, simple run the peach under lukewarm water until the skin peels off easily. The peach will not be brown. Let sit for a couple of minutes and slice to use/eat. This works great with pears as well!

      Freezing Sliced Peaches/Pears

      Wash, peel and slice fruit into large bowl. Sprinkle generously with Fruit Fresh and gently mix so as to coat the fruit. Turn onto large cooking sheet layered with freezer paper, parchment paper, or wax paper (doesn't work as well) making sure there is space between each piece of fruit. Freeze until hard. Place in freezer bags. Press out air and seal. Freeze. Great for smoothies, fruit salads, and pies.

      Freezing Peach Slices in Orange Juice
      Wash, peel and slice peaches. Measure out 4 cups and place in freezer quart bag. Cover peaches with orange juice. Press out air and seal. Freeze. Thaw overnight in freezer or place frozen peaches in microwave and heat for 2-3 min, depending on microwave. Smoothie in a bag! Or just eat as is.

      Frozen Peach Pie Filling
      From Paula Deen
      Servings: 6 to 8 servings


      1 9-inch pie, top crust
      1/2 stick of butter
      1 teaspoon salt
      1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
      1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons quick cooking tapioca
      3 1/2 cup sugar

      2 teaspoon Fruit Fresh, fruit preservative
      9 lb fresh peaches

      1 teaspoon cinnamon or nutmeg


      To peel the peaches, first bring a pot of water to a boil. Using a paring knife, score the peaches with an X into the skins only. Gently drop the peaches in the boiling water for approximately 30 seconds to 1 minute. Using a slotted spoon, remove the peaches and place them in iced water for a minute. The skins should slip off easily. If not, place back into the boiling water for another 30 seconds.
      Slice the peaches and put them in a bowl. Sprinkle Fresh Fruit and sugar, and stir into peaches. Stir in remaining ingredients and mix well.
      Line 4 pie pans with heavy foil or freezer paper, placing a piece of plastic wrap over foil. Put 4 to 5 cups filling each pan. Loosely fold wrapping around pie and freeze until firm. When filling is frozen solid, remove from pans and wrap tightly. Return to freezer until ready to use.
      On pie baking day, simply place frozen pie filling in pie shell, add half a stick of butter and sprinkle with cinnamon or nutmeg. Top pie with an additional pastry crust, seal well, and bake for 50 to 60 minutes in preheated 375 degree oven.

      Canning Peaches/Pears
      Adapted from Heavenly Homemaker
      Make sure your jars have no nicks or scratches in them, especially the tops. Sanitize jars by washing them in the dishwasher. Boil the lids and bands/rings for 2 minutes to sterilize and keep in hot water until ready to use.
      In a large pot or canner, fill with water and heat, keeping water warm until ready to use. The water level does not have to be enough to cover the jars completely. Two-thirds of the jars can be covered by water and the steam will seal the jars. To clarify, fill the pot with enough water to cover 2/3 of the jars or more. The jars can be covered with water.
      Spoon 1 T. Fruit Fresh into each jar.
      Make honey syrup:
      2 T. honey
      5 c. water
      Heat to mix honey into water and keep warm until ready to use.
      Prepare peaches. Wash, peel and slice into jars leaving 1/2 inch head space.
      (Boiling water technique from Paula Deen: To peel the peaches, first bring a pot of water to a boil. Using a paring knife, score the peaches with an X into the skins only. Gently drop the peaches in the boiling water for approximately 30 seconds to 1 minute. Using a slotted spoon, remove the peaches and place them in iced water for a minute. The skins should slip off easily. If not, place back into the boiling water for another 30 seconds.)
      Can press down on peaches slightly to pack more into jars.
      Using a canning funnel, pour syrup into jars over peaches leaving 1/2 inch head space. Remove bubbles by using the handle of a wooden spoon and gently pushing it along the sides of the jar to the bottom of the jar. Wiggle slightly. Work it down all sides of the jar. Do not use metal as this will scratch the jar and compromise its integrity.
      Wipe jar tops and place lids on then the band/rings and screw on tightly (not man tight).
      Place jars with peaches in them in warm water bath. Cover. Bring to a boil and boil for 25 minutes. Turn off heat. Carefully lift rack with hot jars out of water if using a canner. Otherwise, lift jars out with a jar lifter or hot pad. Place on counter on some so as not to burn your counter. Let stand in draft free place for 12-24 hours undisturbed. Check seals by pressing middle of lids with finger. (If lids spring back, lids are not sealed and refrigeration is necessary.)

      Peach Applesauce
      When making applesauce, add peaches in a 1:4 ratio, peaches to apples.