Apple Galette with a Gingersnap Crumb Topping

How is everyone enjoying this gorgeous fall weather?  It’s been quite lovely here in south central PA.  And I am really enjoying the fall foods, apple desserts, pumpkin everything, and lots of warm spices like cinnamon, cloves and allspice.

Not only do I love everything pumpkin in the autumn months, I also love apple and cinnamon.  Apple pie, apple crisp, apple cider doughnuts and apple cider drinks, yum!

My first try at apple cider doughnuts was in a visit to my family in Mystic, CT.  Then took me to this little apple mill, they left you in the building where they pressed the apples to make the cider.  All the old fashioned way, it was awesome.

My family told me they had they best apple cider, and I totally agree, it was!  And as I mentioned, it was  the first time I had apple cider doughnuts.  That was years ago but now they seem to be everywhere.  Which I am VERY happy about!

Anyway, back to the galette.  I suppose this is also a fancy word for rustic apple pie, either way I loved this tasty dessert!

I used a store bought pie crust that I had in the freezer, I just left that come to room temp before using. I like to make my own pie crust but I had this in the freezer and wanted to get it used up before it became freezer burnt.

I cut 4 medium to large apples, and chopped them into bite size pieces.  You can use any apples you want or have on hand but you will need to adjust the sugar according to the sweetness of the apples you are using.

I placed those apple chunks in a bowl and added sugar and cinnamon.  I used about 1/3 cup white granulated sugar and 2 T of light brown sugar, along with 1 tsp cinnamon.  I coated the apples well and left them sit in the bowl while I made the crumb topping.

I placed about 6-7 broken gingersnaps in a plastic bag and smashed them to nice crumbs but leaving a few large chunks too. I added them to a separate bowl.  To the gingersnaps I added a heaping  ¼ c of old  fashioned oats, ½ tsp cinnamon, 2 T brown sugar,  2 or 3 T flour and 3 T of cold butter cut into small cubes.

Then I used my trusty pastry cutter to cut the topping into nice crumbs. 

Next I placed the pie crust dough on a lined cookie sheet.  I used a baking mat but you can also use parchment paper. I placed the apple chunks in the middle of the crust and left them spread to about 2 inches from the edge of the dough, then I folded up the edges and pressed lightly together.  I piled on the crumb topping, letting it fall over onto the crust.

I popped that in the oven at 350 degrees for about 35 to 45 minutes, or until golden and the apples are tender.  You know your oven!

This is so delicious served warm, with or without ice cream!  Ice cream would be better in my personal opinion.


Apple Galette with Gingersnap Crumb Topping

1 pie crust

4 medium to large apples, peeled, sliced and cut into chunks

1/3 cup white granulated sugar

2 T light brown sugar

1 tsp cinnamon

For the topping:

6-7 gingersnaps

¼ c old fashioned oats

½ tsp cinnamon

2 T brown sugar

2-3 T flour

3 T cold butter, cut into small cubes

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

  1. Place apple chunks in a bowl, add remaining ingredients and toss gently. Set aside,
  2. In a separate bowl add all the ingredients for the topping and using a pastry cutter or 2 knives, cut in the butter until it becomes crumbly.
  3. Place pie crust on a lined cookie sheet (parchment paper or a baking mat) add the apples in the center and gently spread out to about 2 inches from the edge.  Fold up the remaining crust to hold apples in and gently press.
  4. Top with the crumb topping to cover all the apples and letting some fall onto the crust.
  5. Bake for 35-45 minutes at 350 until golden and apples are tender.

Creamy Roasted Butternut Squash Soup with Warm Fall Spices!

I was not a huge butternut squash soup, I made it before but just was not a fan.  So either my tastes have changed over the years or I just made it better this time.  I don’t know for sure but this is really good!

I was schedule for oral surgery and knew I would need soup for the first few days so what better than a hearty, fall and creamy soup to fill my tummy and comfort my soul.

I bought squash that was already peeled and chopped, the container was 32 oz and I used every bit it.  I also chopped and peeled one large apple and 1 large carrot.  I spread all of the chunks over a parchment paper lined baking sheet, drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with salt, pepper, a little cinnamon and nutmeg.  I gave it a little toss and then baked for about 30 minutes at 375 degrees.  Keep a close eye and toss often.

When the squash was just about ready to come out of the oven, I sautéed a little onion in olive oil in my soup pot. When the squash was done, I added it to the soup pot.  Next I added a 32 oz container of chicken bone broth, but you can use whatever broth or stock you want.

I added more warm, fall spices too! A little more ground cloves, cinnamon, allspice and a hint of ginger. I brought this to a light simmer and cook for about 10 minutes.  You can certainly add the amount of spices to your preference, but I was going for all the warm spices that I could!

I turned off the heat and used my immersion blender to puree until completely smooth.  You can transfer your soup to your blender, please use caution as blending hot liquid could blow out of the blender.

As soon as the soup is creamy and smooth, I added about one cup of coconut milk.  But you can add light or heavy cream if you want, half and half would work too.  I also adjusted the spices, at this point.  I added more cloves and cinnamon. Let this heat completely and then serve.

*Please note, I added and adjusted the spices through the entire cooking process to achieve the warm, fall taste I was after.  You can eliminate a spice if you don’t like it.

Creamy Roasted Butternut Squash with Warm Fall Spices

32 oz butternut squash, peeled and chopped into cubes

1 large apple, peeled and sliced

1 large carrot, peeled and cut into chunks

1tsp to 1 T of spices-ground cinnamon, cloves, allspice, nutmeg *adjust to your preference

1/8 tsp ground ginger

Salt and pepper to taste

Olive oil for coating the vegetables

1 small onion, diced

32 oz box of chicken bone broth (any broth or stock will work)

1 cup coconut milk (cream or half and half works too)

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place all vegetables on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and a sprinkle of cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Toss lightly to coat. Bake for about 30 -35 minutes.
  2. Sautee onion in olive oil in a large soup pot, just before pulling the vegetable out of the oven.
  3. Add the roasted veggies to the soup pot with the onions and add the broth or stock. Add some spices, I suggest one teaspoon, or a sprinkling at a time (see note above). Simmer for about 10 minutes.
  4. Using an immersion blender, blend soup until completely creamy.
  5. Add the coconut milk, and taste.  Adjust spices as needed and preferred.

Pumpkin Scones

In all my years of baking, I don’t ever remember making scones that I love as much as these! Maybe it’s because they’re pumpkin, I don’t even care because I love them so much. I know I’ll be making them a lot during the cold weather season.

These scones were perfect with my latte for breakfast. And they also made a good snack in the afternoon. I seriously could not stay out of the container! I kept picking at them, taking little nibbles now and then! It looked like a little mouse had invaded my kitchen.

The recipe is a Damaris Phillips recipe, LOVE her. I pretty much followed the recipe for the scones exactly as called for EXCEPT the milk. I cannot do regular milk, all I use is 2% lactose free for my latte’s and that worked fine.

For the glaze, I did not sprinkle the scones with the raw sugar. Instead of the orange glaze, I made a cinnamon maple glaze. For the glaze, I started with the 1 cup powdered sugar, added about 2T of good maple syrup, a few dashes of cinnamon and then thinned it out with enough water to be able to dip the scones in the glaze and have it stay on the scone.

I will definitely be trying the orange glaze but I really like the maple with the pumpkin. I think an orange buttercream would be delish too, that’s on my radar for later too.

I hope you give these a try, they are absolutely my favorite scones!

Here’s the recipe:

Damaris Phillips Pumpkin Scones with Orange Glaze

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

For the scones:

½ cup packed light brown sugar

2 tsp baking powder

1 T pumpkin pie spice

½ tsp salt

2 to 2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour, more for dusting

6 T cold unsalted butter, cut into ½ inch cubes

½ cup canned pumpkin puree

1 large egg

½ cup whole milk

For the orange glaze:

1 cup powdered sugar

1-1/2 to 2 T orange juice

1 tsp orange zest

2 T raw sugar

In a medium bowl, combine the brown sugar, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice and salt. Add the flour to combine and then cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse meal.

In a separate bowl, combine the pumpkin, egg and milk.

Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour in the wet ingredients. Fold until just combined. Turn dough onto a floured surface and knead until smooth, about 5-7 times.

Form into a flat disc about 8 inches wide. Cut disc like a pie, into 8 slices, and place the slices onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake until golden, about 12-15 minutes.

For the glaze, mix the powdered sugar, orange juice and orange zest. Cover with a damp towel until ready to use. Then dip the tops of each scone in the glaze and let the excess drip back into the bowl. Sprinkle the glazed scones with the raw sugar.

Spinach and Cheese Phyllo Hand Pies

I haven’t made this in a long time! And I don’t know why, it’s so delicious.

It’s a healthy serving of spinach covered in cheese and wrapped in a comfy blanket of phyllo crust. What isn’t delicious about that!

I took a few sheets (maybe 6 or so, I don’t count) of phyllo dough, covered the rest with a slightly damp dish towel. If the towel is too wet, it will make the dough mushy, a dry towel would work too. Anyway, I used frozen spinach that has been completely thawed and drained of any moisture. Spread that down the center third of the dough leaving about 2 inches from the bottom and top edge, you will need this to tuck under later. Salt and pepper to taste. I also added a pinch of cayenne pepper.

Then I top with freshly grated parmesan cheese and shredded Monterey jack cheese. And I do not measure that either!  Just use as much as you want.

After the cheese, I then folded up each side onto the top of the cheese. Carefully flip it over and tucked the ends under. Add a few slits along the top to release the steam, brush with melted butter or olive oil and bake at 375 degrees until golden. About 15 minutes depending on your oven.

Another way I like to make this is adding chopped artichokes with the spinach, YUM!

I can devour one of these at one time. Enjoy!

Summer Herb and Tomato Pasta

My tomato plants are abundantly showering me with delicious tomatoes. My grape tomato plant is just crazy full!! I had to trim it back because it was out of control.

I’m trying to eat them as fast as I can and, I’m sharing them with friends and neighbors. My herbs are plentiful too, I’ve been drying a lot of them. My sage, basil and thyme are like little bushes.

So I pulled lots of ingredients from my garden and made this summer pasta dish that is so easy and very flavorful.

I wanted to use a thin spaghetti noodle for this dish but I only had fettucine noodles in my pantry, you can use whatever pasta you want or have on hand BUT since this is such a light sauce I wouldn’t use something like penne pasta.

While the pasta was cooking I made my sauce. I poured some olive oil in my saucepan and added chopped red onion (from my garden). I seasoned that with a little garlic powder and onion powder, along with salt and pepper. Just season to taste.

I bet you are wondering WHY I added onion powder to simmering onions?? Just because I love the taste!

Then I halved about 1-1/2 cups of grape tomatoes and added them to the onions. I had a little fresh spinach in the fridge so I added that as well. Next I added about 2 T of butter, along with about 2 T of chopped thyme. A little more salt and pepper, then just lightly toss to heat. I didn’t want the tomatoes cooked through, just lightly heated, and the spinach wilted.

The sauce only takes about 6 minutes, so you will need to plan accordingly with the cooking pasta.

I added the cooked noodles to the tomatoes in the saucepan and tossed gently to coat. Once in my serving bowl I topped with parmesan cheese and torn basil. YUM! It was a great dish for a hot summer day, came together quickly and most of the ingredients were from my garden.

Oh, forgot to mention, I also had a glass of wine with my meal. Cheers!

Upside Down Pineapple Pancakes

I love adding blueberries or sliced apples to my pancake batter. So I was thinking about what other fruit I could try, and I thought of chopped pineapple. But then my mind wandered over to an upside down pineapple cake and the next thing I know I am making “upside down” pineapple pancakes instead!!

So yummy! So satisfying, and it is totally like having cake for breakfast.

I used my regular pancake recipe (see below for recipe), but I added one extra egg and added a slightly heaping tablespoon of flour (in addition to the 1 cup of flour).

Over medium heat, add about ¼ cup of batter and immediately add a thin slice of pineapple and gently smoosh it into the batter, add the cherry in the center and sprinkle a little brown sugar over the batter.

Now, wait until the pancake starts to bubble and the edges start to cook, then flip. The brown sugar will caramelize and it does make a bit of a mess in the pan but it is worth it!! Just make sure you don’t have the heat too high or it will burn and if it’s too low it won’t cook the throughout.

I hope you enjoy these as much as I did!

Basic Pancakes

1 cup flour

1 egg

2 tsp Baking soda

2 tsp Baking Powder

1 T melted butter

1 tsp sugar

¾ c Milk

Add dry ingredients to a bowl. In a separate small bowl add egg and give it a gently whisk. Add the melted butter and milk to the egg and mix. Pour into the flour and stir gently, leaving some lumps is good.

Over a medium heat, pour about a quarter cup of batter into griddle or pan and cook until bubbles start to form and the edges firm up. Then flip to finish cooking.

Lemon Raspberry Icebox Cake

This icebox cake I learned from my Mammaw after I was married. She taught me how to make this as a Christmas Icebox cake. It was so pretty to serve for the holiday.

It was just graham cracker layers, alternating with red and green applesauce. The applesauce is flavored and colored with gelatin. Lime and cherry were my flavors. Then I covered it with whipped cream.

But now I wanted something summery, light and refreshing so I came up with this recipe.

I had 3 flavor layers, the first is applesauce with a little lemon jello, the second layer is lemon curd and the third is seedless raspberry jelly. So delish!

I typically use plain whipped cream as the frosting, but for this I added a little bit of the lemon gelatin powder and a drop of lemon extract.

It’s important to let this sit in the fridge for at least 6-8 hours, better if it can sit overnight. What happens is the moisture from the applesauce, lemon curd and jelly absorbs into the graham crackers and you end up with a cake like texture.

Now, I don’t measure when I do this. But, as a suggestion for the lemon applesauce and whipped cream, start with about ½ cup in separate bowls. To the applesauce I added about 3 T of the gelatin powder. Do a taste test and decide if you want to add more. For the whipped cream, I only added about 1 T of the powder and a drop of the lemon extract. But you can leave it plain too.

For the applesauce, curd and jelly, just spread enough on the graham cracker to give it a nice layer. Take it as close to the edge as you can without letting it drip over. Hint-the first graham cracker I used a very light amount of applesauce to adhere it to the serving platter. Then each cracker I layer with yumminess while I am holding it so that I do not disturb the other layers.

After all the layers are made completed, set it in the fridge for about 30 minutes before covering with whipped cream.

Before serving, use a cake tester to make sure you can stick it through to the bottom. If you can, then it is cake and ready to go!

You could also do this in a 13×9 inch or square glass baking pan. Just break the crackers to fit as needed. Can you imagine the flavors you can create?!

Grilled Ham & Peach Spinach Salad with a Plum Balsamic Drizzle

This salad was insane! Insanely delicious!

It’s so easy to prepare, and it can be in your tummy in 15 minutes or less.

I just tossed a small ham slice on my grill pan, sliced a peach and lightly dusted it with brown sugar and put them on the grill pan too.

While the ham and peaches were grilling, I plated the spinach and added some grilled veggies I had leftover from the weekend.

I assembled the salad as soon as the ham was cooked, and the peaches were caramelized. Then I drizzled the salad with the plum balsamic glaze. Recipe is here.


Plum Balsamic Glaze

This glaze works well over ham, pork, caprese salads, spinach salads and more! I’ve also swapped out the plum jelly and used cherry and it is just as delish! Plum jelly is hard to find so I often use the cherry jelly.

I didn’t really measure, kinda eyeballed everything, sorry.

To a small saucepan I added about one cup of good balsamic vinegar and about half cup of plum jelly. I added about one heaping tablespoon of brown sugar too. Depending on the sweetness of the jelly you are using, you may not need the brown sugar. I just wanted that extra sweetness for the glaze.

Let that simmer gently over a medium low heat, stirring often, until it reduces to about half. It will thicken as it cools too. Store in the fridge for about 2 weeks in an airtight container or jar.

You can thin it out with a little water if it gets too thick. This reheats well to serve over ham or pork tenderloin.


Chicken Salad Naan Bread

My diet is a little limited right now but this recipe is something that my tummy LOVES! And I make it a lot. So very easy and you can do so many different things with it. I call this a chicken salad because it has a lot of lettuce and spinach, and is basically stuffed inside naan bread.

I keep a few packages of naan bread in the freezer, as well as chicken breasts.

And, I had a huge harvest of lettuce and spinach for a while. Sadly that is done for now but I planted more!

All I did was put a piece of naan on a pizza stone, added a huge handful cooked, chopped chicken, a little bit of salsa, and a light sprinkling of shredded cheese. I baked that at 350 until the cheese was melted and it was good and hot!

I removed it from the oven and plated it, then I topped it with lettuce and spinach, diced tomatoes or my favorite… chopped, roasted red peppers.

It’s almost like a sandwich.

For me now, this is all I can do. These are a few ingredients that do NOT make me sick BUT the possibilities are endless with this.

I would love to add avocados but they don’t do good things to my tummy.

You can use a vinaigrette as a topping, or aioli sauce, sour cream, etc.

Last summer I made a lot of caprese naan, my ultimate favorite but I haven’t tried mozzarella cheese yet. Goat cheese works for me so I might try caprese with goat cheese soon.

I’ve done taco pizza with the naan, truly an amazingly delicious dinner! There are just so many variations, and I have a lot of other ideas too!

Anyway, it comes together fast so now that I am busy with my yard, this is perfect when I need a quick meal.