• Ingredients
  • 3 golden delicious (cooking apples) apples, pureed
  • 1lb. golden raspberries (or red), fresh or frozen
  • 1-3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. lemon juice

Yield: 3-1/2 cups

Stir all the ingredients into a large cooking pan and bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer and let simmer 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Test for jelling by putting a spoonful on a small dish. Once cool, run your finger or the spoon through it. The track should stay. This is very forgiving, so a little longer than necessary shouldn’t hurt anything. Ladle into sterilized jars, wipe the rims, tighten lids onto the tops, and tip the jars over for a half hour. Turn right side up and let cool. Lids should be not bounce when pressed.

  • Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup butter (1 stick), softened
  • 2/3 cup sugar (plus more for sprinkling)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract or paste
  • 3 Tbsp. rum
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 3-1/2 to 4 cups apples, chopped 1/2″
  • Powdered sugar (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9″ springform pan or spray with non-stick (if you use a regular 9″ cake pan, grease or spray AND line the bottom with parchment paper).

In a mixer, beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well. Beat in the vanilla and rum.

In a small bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Beat this mixture into the butter mixture under slow speed until just mixed. By hand, fold in the chopped apples. Dollop into the prepared cake pan and smooth out the top. Sprinkle the top with sugar, about a tablespoon.

Bake at 350 degrees F for about 40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. The cake should be golden-colored all over.

Let it cool in the pan. Run a knife around the sides to make sure nothing is sticking to the edges. If using regular cake pan, invert onto grate or plate, and remove parchment paper, then gently revert onto serving plate. If using springform pan, then unbuckle the sides and slide onto serving plate. Sprinkle with powdered sugar, if desired.

NOTES: Recipe from onceuponachef.com. This is really rummy tasting. Yum! It was easy to make. I used red delicious apples because I bought too many of them for another purpose and was trying to find something to do with them. The original recipe calls for using a cooking apple. Oh, well. Did I say how easy this was? Yes, really simple. And rummy. So there.

  • Ingredients
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 lb. fresh green beans
  • 1 14-oz. can diced tomatoes
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/2 lemon juice
  • 1 handful fresh dill

In a skillet, heat olive oil. Stir fry onion over medium heat until nearly transparent, then stir in garlic. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Stir in the green beans. Make sure they are well-coated with the onion-garlic mixture. Stir in tomatoes and water. Let simmer about an hour, uncovered, stirring frequently. The tomato should cling to the beans by the time an hour is up. Just prior to serving, check the salt and pepper, sprinkle with lemon juice and fresh dill.

NOTES: I don’t eat green beans often, not a huge fan, but I do like them like this. It’s very flavorful. I originally acquired the recipe from Great British Chefs.

  • Ingredients
  • 1 cup + 2 Tbsp. flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/3 cup cooking oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract or paste
  • 1 cup shredded zucchini
  • 1 cup shredded apple

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a 12-cup muffin tin by spraying with non-stick or use paper liners.

In a large bowl, stir together dry ingredients. In a smaller bowl stir together oil, eggs, and vanilla. Stir the oil mixture into the dry ingredients until incorporated. Fold in the shredded zucchini and apple. Distribute batter equally into prepared muffin tin. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.

NOTES: I did not peel either the zucchini or the apple. I did drain the zucchini a bit before using it, but I don’t think it was that important. A wetter batter would take a few minutes more to bake, that’s all. Full disclosure, I had a giant zucchini and was making something else. I scooped out and discarded the seeds, then shredded the zucchini flesh. I had about a cup of shreds leftover from my original purpose, so saved that and used it to make these delicious muffins.

  • Ingredients
  • 4 slices thick-cut bacon, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 ribs celery, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped (or dried parsley flakes)
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 4 cups salmon stock, or water, or chicken broth
  • 2-3 potatoes, chopped (peel or don’t, however you like it)
  • 2 cups boneless, skinless salmon, cut into chunks
  • 1-1/2 cups milk or half-n-half

In a large pan, fry the bacon until nearly crispy. Stir in onion, celery, and carrots, Stir fry until onion is translucent. Stir in parsley. Sprinkle flour, salt, and pepper over the vegetables and bacon. Stir until the flour has absorbed the bacon fat. Add salmon stock. Bring to a boil and then simmer, covered, until the vegetables are nearly cooked. Stir in the potatoes and continue to simmer, covered, until they are fork tender. Don’t overcook them. Stir in the salmon and stir gently. Gently stir in milk and continue stirring occasionally until the salmon is cooked through. Taste for salt. Serve warm with crusty bread.

NOTES: I don’t usually measure any of this. If you get to the part where you’re adding the milk and it just doesn’t seem thick enough, go ahead and whisk a couple tablespoons of flour into the milk before stirring it gently into the pan. Optional ingredients to stir in are corn or shredded cheddar cheese or fresh jalapenos. I don’t usually peel my potatoes, but a lot of people do. Today I used chunks of salmon filet and also some ragged pieces, boneless and skinless, scraped from beside the backbone. I’ll go out on a limb and say that you could probably skip the bacon and use olive oil if you wanted to make this vegetarian. It would be a much lighter dish. I suppose you could compensate by using smoked salmon for a portion of the fish called for in the recipe. Be careful at the end while stirring so as to maintain the salmon chunks as much as possible. You’ll have a rather unappetizing mess if you break down the salmon too much. Yes, experience is the best teacher.

I made my own salmon stock by simmering bones and fins in water for a few hours. Then I strained everything out, leaving the broth. I should have added salt, pepper, onion, celery, carrots with the salmon pieces to make the stock REALLY good, but I was out of time and in a hurry. Next time.

  • Ingredients
  • Top sirloin beef steaks
  • Kosher salt
  • Favorite rub

Sprinkle the steaks with kosher salt. Place under refrigeration for two hours or overnight. After refrigeration, do not rinse, just pat them dry. Bring a cast iron or other heavy skillet to a high heat. Rub the fat of the steak against the skillet until a little bit has rendered. Set the 1st steak onto the fat and sear on all sides. Set aside onto a plate. Sear the steaks one at a time so that they get a nice brown color on all sides.

Let the steaks cool a little bit and then coat all over with your favorite spice rub. Preheat the smoker to 225 degrees F. Place the steaks on the grate inside the smoker. Let them smoke for about 45 minutes and check the temperature. When the thermometer reads 130 degrees F (should be another 15-30 minutes or more), remove from smoker. Cover loosely with foil and let stand for ten minutes or so. Slice and serve or serve whole steaks. ABSOLUTELY DELICIOUS!

NOTES: I’m using a Traeger pellet smoker, so the temperature is pretty consistent. These steaks are typically lean and a large cut. Dare I say, a bit tough, but smoking like this really softens them up. They were so, so good. I used Tom Douglas’ Rub with Love Salmon Rub. It’s what happens when you have a pound of it and are trying to use it up. Good thing it tastes good on everything, not just salmon!

  • Ingredients
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • Dash of pepper
  • 1/2 cup Tahini
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • Hot water (apx. 1/4-1/3 cup)

In a bowl (I use my mini food-processor), mix together garlic, salt, pepper, tahini, and lemon juice. Stir in hot water to make it the consistency you like. Check for salt. Serve.

NOTES: This is easy-peasy. Tahini is simply ground sesame seeds. It has the consistency of peanut butter and can be used as a substitute for that, especially for people who are allergic to peanuts. Tahini is gluten-free, nut-free, dairy-free, and vegan. Use it on meats like lamb, or eggplant, or as a sandwich spread with meat or vegetables. Really, a lot of uses. Tonight I’m making lamb meatballs and I’m going to use the tahini sauce for dipping. I can’t wait! Oh, and I have memories of Jonkoping, Sweden and kebab pizza. The tahini sauce is is your final component drizzled over the top. Yes!

  • Ingredients (Yield is 3 cups)
  • 400g chopped rhubarb
  • 2 apples, cored and peeled
  • 1-1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice

Stir all the ingredients together in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to simmer for 45 minutes to an hour, stirring occasionally. The apples should soften enough to mash with the spoon. Leaving a few lumps is okay. Test for jelling by putting a spoonful on a small dish. Once cool, run your finger or the spoon through it. The track should stay. This is very forgiving, so a little longer than necessary shouldn’t hurt anything. Ladle into sterilized jars, wipe the rims, tighten lids onto the tops, and tip the jars over for a half hour. Turn right side up and let cool. Lids should be not bounce when pressed.

NOTES: Props to hintofhealthy.com for this one. I was afraid it would turn out more like applesauce than jam, but it didn’t. It’s very jam-like. And tasty. I think you could add spices or ginger, but I really like the flavor of the rhubarb and apples. Sorry if you do not have a scale for the grams. Google says it’s .8 lbs. I think if you simply picked about a pound of rhubarb and trimmed it, this would be the right amount. I weighed mine to 400 grams exactly, however. The pectin comes from the apples, so that’s the part you really should be careful about.

  • Ingredients
  • Zucchini
  • Olive oil
  • Seasoned Salt (any kind)
  • Pepper
  • Balsamic vinegar

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Yes, very hot.

Cut each zucchini lengthwise in half. Cut in half lengthwise again. Now cut in half cross-wise. Each zucchini should yield eight long pieces. If your zucchini are ginormous, you’ll have to make extra cuts, but you can figure it out.

Prepare a baking sheet by covering with foil. Swazz some olive oil around on it. Using your hands, dredge the zucchini through the olive oil so that the zukes are well coated. Place the zucchini skin-side down on the baking sheet in a single layer. Keep the zukes well-spaced from each other. Sprinkle with your favorite seasoning salt and pepper. I like to use Angelo’s Gourmet Seasoning.

Roast for 8-15 minutes. This usually takes about 10 minutes. Don’t touch them. Remove from oven and sprinkle with balsamic vinegar. Serve hot. Oh, yum! So good!

  • Ingredients
  • Chicken legs (thigh and drumstick)
  • Olive oil
  • Favorite seasoning salt

Rub the chicken with olive oil and sprinkle liberally with your favorite seasoning salt. I used Tom Douglas’ Rub with Love Salmon Rub. Cover with cling wrap. Put the chicken under refrigeration for a couple hours. Remove from refrigerator and set aside at room temperature. Preheat your smoker to 250 degrees F. Add the chicken to the smoker and let it smoke for about an hour and a half. Once the chicken has reached an internal temperature of 165 degrees, remove from smoker and cover loosely with foil. Let stand thirty minutes. Serve! Yum.

NOTES: I’m getting the hang of my Traeger pellet smoker. This was way easy and tasted great. I only make two chicken pieces, so if you have more pieces serving more than two people, it’s going to take longer than an hour and a half. Just sayin’.

What kind?