Apple Pie for Christmas Dinner

I don’t actually like pie, but my former mother-in-law made an apple pie once that I just loved. She served it warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Delicious! She gave me the recipe, and I finally had a chance to make it this year for dessert at Christmas dinner.

serve warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream


6 medium-sized apples, pared, quartered, cored, and sliced thin
1 cup sugar
2 ½ tbsp flour
¾ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground nutmeg
¼ tsp salt
2 tbsp butter
For topping: 1 tbsp sugar and 1 tbsp milk or cream

Prepare pastry or use ready made 2 crust pastry from Pillsbury.

Mix sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt in large bowl. Add apple slices. Toss gently to mix.

Spoon apple mixture into bottom crust. Dot with butter.

Cover with top crust. Pinch crust edges together; turn up and in. Pinch again to form stand-up edge Flute.

Brush top with milk or cream. Sprinkle with sugar. Slice top crust to vent.

Bake in a hot oven at 425 for 35 minutes or until golden brown and juices bubble through slits. Cool pie completely on a wire rack.

Raisen Bran Muffins with a new twist

I’ve tried this recipe before, but couldn’t find unprocessed bran. So, I used flax meal instead. (Odd that was more readily available.) Anyway, it’s one of my dad’s favorites. So I made it for Christmas breakfast again this year.

honey raisen flax muffins


2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups ground flax seeds (flax meal)
1 ½ cups raisins
1/3 cup toasted wheat germ
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
½ cup unsalted butter
½ cup firmly packed brown sugar
½ cup honey
1 cup plain yogurt
½ cup buttermilk
2 tsp vanilla extract
3 large eggs, beaten

Preheat oven to 350.

In a large bowl, stir together the flour, flax, raisins, wheat germ, baking soda and powder, and salt.

In another bowl, by hand, cream together the butter, brown sugar, and honey until fluffy. Beat in the yogurt, then the buttermilk and vanilla, until well blended.

Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the creamed mixture and the eggs. Mix just until evenly moistened. The batter will be thick and slightly lumpy. Do not over mix.

Fill muffin papers or greased muffin pan cups with batter. Bake until springy to the touch, about 18-22 minutes. A toothpick inserted into the center of the muffin should come out clean.

Lasagna for dinner

I was flipping the channels one night and saw this recipe on a PBS cooking show. I modified the seasonings, as I thought their version of the sauce was a bit bland.

easy peasy and a good way


28oz can of pureed tomatos
13 oz can of diced tomatoes
3 cloves garlic minced
2 tsp chopped basil
2 tsp oregano
2 tsp marjoram
3 tbsp olive oil
1 packaged precooked lasagna noodles
1 ½ cups part skim ricotta cheese
1 egg
½ lb fresh mozzarella
3 tablespoons piccarino

Heat the olive oil in a skillet. Add garlic. After about 30 seconds, when garlic is sizzling, add tomatoes. Stir and add the basil, oregano, marjoram, and a little salt and pepper. Stir and keep over heat for about 12 minutes to allow sauce to thicken.

In a medium sized bowl, mix the ricotta with the beaten egg. Add some salt and pepper.

Pour ¾ cup of sauce into a 9 x 13 backing dish to coat the bottom. Cover sauce with a layer of noodles. Cover with a thin layer of ricotta. Cover with 1 ½ cups of sauce. Cover with a layer of noodles. Cover with a layer of ricotta. Sprinkle with pepper. Cover with a layer of noodles and the remaining sauce. Top with fresh mozeralla torn into pieces. Sprinkle with piccarino.

Bake for 35 minutes in 400 oven.

Two pies for two birthdays

This time I was faced with two birthdays at once. Rich wanted Coconut Cream Pie, while Joanna requested Magnolia Bakery’s famous banana pudding in pie form.

coconut cream pie

I got the coconut cream pie recipe from Betty Crocker.

I found the Magnolia banana pudding recipe on line. The result was delicious but a bit too mushy for a pie.

BANANA PUDDING PIE (from Magnolia Banana Pudding recipe)

1 pre-made graham cracker crust
14 oz can of sweetened condensed milk
1 ½ cups ice cold water
3.4 oz package instant vanilla pudding
3 cups heavy cream
12 oz box Nabisco Nilla Wafers
4 cups sliced ripe bananas

In the bowl of an electric mixer, on medium speed, beat together the condensed milk and water until well combined, about 1 minute. Add the pudding mix and beat well, about 2 minutes. Cover and refrigerate for 3-4 hours or overnight.

In a large bowl of an electric mixer, on medium speed, whip the heavy cream until stiff peaks form. Gently fold the pudding mixture into the whipped cream until well blended and no streaks of pudding remain.

Layer the bottom of the pie crust with a ¼ of the sliced bananas. Cover with a thick layer of the pudding. Arrange a layer of whole wafers or wafer crumbs over the pudding. Cover with another layer of sliced bananas.

banana pudding pie

With the left over ingredients, layer as follows in a large bowl or several small containers:
Layer of wafers
Layer of bananas
Layer of pudding
Layer of wafers
Layer of bananas
Layer of pudding
Top with wafer crumbs

Refrigerate pie and pudding for 4-8 hours before serving