Apple Pie

5 Granny Smith apples
1 T juice and 1 t zest from 1 lemon

3/4 c sugar
2 T all-purpose flour

1/4 t salt

1 t cinnamon

1/4 t ground nutmeg

1/4 t ground allspice
1 package of store bought pie crust
1 T unsalted butter, melted

Preheat oven to 400.

Peel, core and cut apples in half, and in half again width-wise; cut quarters into 1/4-inch slices and toss with lemon juice and zest.

In a medium bowl, mix 3/4 cup sugar, flour, salt and spices. Toss dry ingredients with apples.

Follow directions for crust (in terms of chilling or preheating). Turn fruit mixture, including juices, into chilled pie shell and mound slightly in center. Place top crust on pie. Brush with melted butter.

Bake pie for 40 minutes (or until top is golden brown).


Spicy Italian Sausage and Tomato Lasagna

12 dried lasagna noodles (about 10 ounces), uncooked
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning
1/4 teaspoon red-pepper flakes
1 pound sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
2 cans (28 ounces each) whole peeled tomatoes in puree
Coarse salt and ground pepper
6 cups shredded shredded mozzarella cheese (about 1 1/2 pounds)
3/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese (about 3 ounces)

Fill a 9-by-13-inch baking dish two-thirds of the way with hot tap water. Add noodles, and arrange them in alternating directions to prevent sticking. Let soak while preparing sauce.

Make sauce: Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium. Add onion, garlic, Italian seasoning, and red-pepper flakes; cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add sausage, and cook, stirring and breaking it up, until just cooked through, about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes and their puree, breaking up tomatoes with a spoon (or use emulsion blender); bring to a boil. Reduce to a rapid simmer, and cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 20 minutes. (You should have about 8 cups of sauce.) Season with salt and pepper.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Drain noodles, transfer to a baking sheet; dry dish with paper towels. Spoon 1 cup sauce in bottom of dish. Fit 4 noodles in dish (crosswise if using short noodles, lengthwise if using long), overlapping slightly. Cover with 2 cups sauce, 2 cups mozzarella, and 1/4 cup Parmesan. Repeat with another layer, then top with remaining noodles, 3 cups sauce, and the rest of mozzarella and Parmesan. Cover dish tightly with aluminum foil, and bake 1 hour.

Remove foil, and continue baking until bubbly and browned, about 30 minutes. Remove from oven; let cool 20 minutes. Cut and serve.

Pumpkin Granola

1½ c old-fashioned oats
½ c slivered almonds
⅓ c pepitas [pumpkin seeds]
1 t cinnamon
⅛ t nutmeg
⅛ t cloves
⅓ c pumpkin puree
⅓ c pure maple syrup
½ t vanilla extract
⅓ c dried cranberries

Preheat oven to 300F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.

In a large bowl, mix together oats, almonds, pepitas, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves.

In a smaller bowl, whisk together the pumpkin, maple syrup, vanilla, and cranberries.

Fold the pumpkin mix into the dry ingredients. Spread the mixture onto the baking sheet.

Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, stirring every ten minutes, until granola is golden brown and crisp. Granola will continue to harden as it cools, so don’t over-bake. Store in an air-tight container.

Chicken with Tomato and Mushroom Herb Pan Sauce

2 T unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 garlic clove, minced

1 ½ t chopped fresh oregano

½ t sweet paprika

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 T all-purpose flour

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

2 t olive oil

2 c cherry tomatoes (11-12 oz)

1 container of white mushrooms (sliced)
1 T chopped fresh parsley


In a small bowl, mix together the butter, garlic, oregano and paprika. Season to taste with salt and pepper and set aside.

Preheat oven to lowest possible temperature. Season both sides of the chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Measure the flour onto a plate. Working with one breast at a time, press both sides into the flour. Shake gently to remove excess flour and repeat with remaining breast.

Melt 1 tablespoon of the oregano butter with the 2 teaspoons of oil in a large skillet set over high heat. Reduce to medium-high when the butter stops foaming. Lay the chicken breasts in the skillet and sauté until browned on one side, about 6 minutes. Flip and continue cooking 4-6 minutes. Transfer to a small pan or oven-safe plate and keep warm while preparing sauce.

Increase heat to high and add tomatoes to the skillet. Cook, stirring occasionally, until they begin to char and burst, about 5 minutes. Add remaining butter. Crush tomatoes slightly to release their juices and continue stirring until butter has melted. Using a wooden spoon, scrape the bottom of the skillet to loosen the browned bits.

Remove chicken from oven and add any juices that may have accumulated. Slice chicken and top with tomato sauce. Sprinkle with fresh parsley and serve.

Wild Mushroom Risotto

5 ¼ c low-sodium chicken broth
½ oz dried porcini mushrooms
½ c unsalted butter
2 c finely chopped onion
10 oz white mushrooms, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 ½ c Arborio rice
2/3 c dry white wine
½ c frozen peas, thawed
2/3 c parmesan cheese
salt and pepper

Bring the broth to a simmer in a heavy, medium size saucepan. Add the porcini mushrooms. Cover and set aside until the mushrooms are tender. Using a slotted spoon, remove the mushrooms and chop. Cover the broth and keep warm over low heat.

Melt the butter in a heavy, large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions and sauté until tender, about 8 minutes. Add the white mushrooms, porcini mushrooms, and garlic; sauté until the mushrooms are tender and juices evaporate, about 10 minutes. Stir in the rice. Add the wine; cook, stirring often, until the liquid is absorbed, about 2 minutes. Add 1 c of the hot broth; simmer over medium-low heat, stirring often until liquid is absorbed, about 3 minutes. Continue to cook until the rice is just tender and the mixture is creamy, adding more broth by the cupfuls and stirring often, about 28 minutes. Stir in the peas. Mix in the parmesan cheese. Add in salt and pepper to taste.

(courtesy of Giada de Laurentiis)

No Mayo Chicken Salad

1 package of chicken breasts
olive oil
1 c of grapes, sliced
½ apple, sliced
¼ c plain Greek yogurt
1 ½ t honey
1 ½ t Dijon mustard

Place chicken on baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and pepper and bake at 350 until cooked through. Once cool, and using two forks, shred chicken.

Mix yogurt, honey, and mustard together. Combine all ingredients and pour dressing on top. Stir to coat.

Homemade Enchilada Sauce

1 T olive oil
1 small onion, peeled, diced fine
1 t chili powder- mild or hot
1 t cumin
3-4 garlic cloves, minced
1 28-oz. can crushed fire roasted tomatoes
1 t organic sugar or raw organic agave nectar
1 splash of balsamic or red wine vinegar

Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat and gently sauté the onion and spices for 5 minutes.
Add the garlic, tomatoes, sugar, and vinegar, stir and bring to a simmer.
Cover and cook 15 to 20 minutes.
Use a blender or emulsion blender if you want a smoother sauce.