Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Tasty Tuesday - Uncle Ted's Apple Butter

When Larry & I go on vacation one of our favorite things to do is find ‘mom & pop’ restaurants where we can experience the local fare. Last week in Michigan we hit a winner three times! We were in search of apples and found the best of both worlds when we stopped at Crane’s Pie Pantry & Restaurant AND Crane’s U-Pick Orchard. Lunch was homemade vegetable beef soup with a slice of fresh from the oven, made from scratch, bread! Served alongside that warm and yummy bread was the most delectable apple butter I think I have ever, ever tasted. (Made from scratch right there in their kitchen, of course!!) I’ve been thinking about that apple butter ever since. (BIG smile).

So I’m thinking that the next best thing would be to cook up a small batch of my Uncle Ted’s Apple Butter. I haven’t made it in years but with the weather turning cooler and the memory of Crane’s still making my mouth water, I plan to cook up a batch this weekend. (By the way, this would be a great recipe to get your kids to help with!)

Uncle Ted’s Apple Butter


2 cups unsweetened applesauce         
¼ - ½ cup sugar (depends on your taste for sweet!)
1 tsp. cinnamon
¼ tsp. all spice
1/8 tsp. cloves
1/8 tsp. ginger

Put applesauce in a medium saucepan. Add spices and stir well to make sure they are blended. Bring to boil over medium high, reduce to medium. Allow to cook for 30 minutes, stirring often to prevent sticking.

Makes approximately 1 ½ cups apple butter.

Uncle Ted was my Dad’s younger brother. He lived on the New Jersey shore, yet he still managed to come back home to W. Va. for regular visits. Although I call this his apple butter, the original recipe actually came from his mother-in-law. Just goes to show you that cooking gets passed down through the generations no matter who the original ‘cooker’ was!

Happy Cooking,

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

A Tasty Tuesday "Extra" - Taco/Fajita Seasoning

As I mentioned in last week’s Tasty Tuesday, here is the recipe for homemade seasoning. (Figured I'd better get it out to ya while it was still on my mind! Funny, but things just don't stick there like they used to.) This mix is tasty plus has much less sodium than the packaged kind.

Taco/Fajita Seasoning


¼ cup chili powder                             2 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. red (cayenne) pepper                 2 Tbsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. dried oregano                            1 Tbsp plus 1 tsp. sea salt
1 ½ tsp. garlic powder                        1 Tbsp. plus 1 tsp. black pepper
1 ½ tsp. onion powder                        1 1/3 Tbsp. cornstarch

Put all ingredients in a bowl and mix with a whisk to ensure spices blend well. Store in an air tight container.

Use 1 Tablespoon season mix and ½ cup water per 1 lb. meat.

I could not track down the source of this recipe but will be sure to give credit where credit is due as soon as I can.  

Happy Cooking,

Tasty Tuesday - Sticky Buns

This recipe came to me from a dear friend I met in church a few years ago. She fixed this at a brunch I attended and I thought she had spent HOURS making it. When she shared how easy it was to put together I was shocked. A favorite of both family and friends, it frequently shows up on my table and at potluck brunches.


1/2 cup chopped pecans

24 frozen yeast rolls (I buy Rhodes and they only come in packages of 36. I use 24 for this and save the rest for dinner.)

1 small pkg ‘cook & serve’ butterscotch pudding

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 stick REAL butter (Hey, I never said this was diet friendly! BIG smile)


Spray a bundt (or tube) pan with cooking spray. Place chopped pecans in the bottom of the pan. Add frozen roll dough. Sprinkle pudding mix evenly over rolls, then the brown sugar. Top with chunks of chopped butter.

Cover loosely with plastic wrap which has been lightly sprayed with cooking spray and place in COLD oven overnight. The next morning, REMOVE from cold over and then preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Return rolls to oven and bake for approximately 25 minutes. ENJOY!!

See, I told you it was easy. But the taste?  OMGosh, my mouth waters just thinking about them. If you like ooey gooey, sticky caramel rolls then you will think you have landed in the middle of breakfast heaven when you sink your teeth into this. The only negative I’ve found is that I just can’t seem to stop eating them.

Happy Cooking,

Saturday, October 1, 2011

One Call Away - a review

Answering Life’s Challenges with Unshakable Faith
Brenda Warner with Jennifer Schuchmann

Like many of us I find it easy to look at people in high profile positions and think they have it made. Whether it is a politician, musician, actor, or professional athlete, I am prone to believe they don’t know what life is like for the rest of us. I confess that when it comes to highly paid athletes my bias is too often vocalized without thought to what their life is really like.

Then Brenda Warner walked into my life through the pages of her memoir, One Call Away. She tells her story with open honesty, revealing the good and the bad. Instead of hiding or glossing over her past, she instead reveals each struggle, each challenge, each pitfall with candor. Far from being simply a tell all book about her life, One Call Away is a story of faith grown through the trials and tragedies of life. It is a reminder for each of us that while we are living in the moment we will all, at one time or another, find ourselves one call away from a life changing situation. 

The question is what will we do when we come to that crossroad where life and faith intersect. Each time Brenda has chosen to keep going, to ‘press forward and survive’. In doing just that, she reveals a richness of life that goes far beyond any monetary gain. A richness forged through the valleys of adversity and the mountain of Grace.

I am thankful that Brenda had the courage to share her life story for it has given me a new perspective of the lives of the perceived rich and famous. By getting to know the real Brenda, I find that we do indeed share a lot in common as fellow travelers along the journey of life. She inspires me to share my story as well with those who I encounter. For it is in the sharing that we give encouragement and hope to others.

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 (NIV)


I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com <http://booksneeze®.com/> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255
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