Monday, October 24, 2011


The apple harvest is coming to an end and I can't let the season go by without posting a couple of the apple recipes I've made in the past couple weeks.  Both recipes are very easy, yet special in their own ways.

Apple-Scotch Cookies
These cookies are very light and cake-like.  They are amazing immediately out of the oven!
*  2 cups all-purpose flour
*  2 teaspoons baking soda
*  1 teaspoon cinnamon
*  3/4 teaspoon salt
*  1-1/4 cups firmly packed brown sugar
*  3/4 cup butter, softened
*  2 eggs
*  1 teaspoon vanilla extract
*  2 cups (12 oz.) butterscotch chips
*  2 cups finely chopped apple
*  1 cup quick oats, uncooked
Preheat oven to 350ºF.  In a small bowl, combine flour, soda, cinnamon & salt.  In a large bowl, combine brown sugar and butter; beat until fluffy.  Beat in eggs and vanilla.  Gradually beat in flour mixture.  Stir in butterscotch chips, apple and oats.  Using a rounded tablespoon for each cookie, drop dough onto lightly greased cookie sheets.  Bake at 350º about 10-12 minutes.  Cool 1 minute; remove to wire racks.  Cool completely.  Makes about 4 dozen (net, after eating a few of the cookies fresh from the oven!).

Apple Torte
This recipe for Apple Torte is delicious, easy and special enough to serve for guests.  I've made it a number of times and it always comes out perfectly.
*  1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
*  1/3 cup sugar
*  1 teaspoon vanilla
*  1 cup flour
Cream butter, sugar and vanilla; blend in flour.  Spread mixture over bottom and 1/1/2 inches up the sides of a 9-inch springform pan.
*  8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
*  1/4 cup sugar
*  1 egg, at room temperature
*  1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Cream cheese and sugar; blend in the egg and vanilla.  Spread mixture evenly over the crust.
*  1/3 cup sugar
*  1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
*  4 cups peeled, thinly sliced apples (Granny Smiths/Heraldsons are great)
*  1/4 cup sliced almonds
Combine sugar and cinnamon; toss apples in the mixture.  Spread over the cheese layer.  Sprinkle almonds on top.

Preheat oven to 450º.  Bake 10 minutes (watch carefully so almonds don't get too toasted).  Reduce oven temperature to 400º; bake 25 minutes longer.  Loosen from pan rim and cool before removing from the pan.  When fully cooled, or just before serving, sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Saturday, October 8, 2011


We're just back from a trip out east and have some great photos to entice your appetites!  As you go through the photos notice the beautiful presentation of the food.  We are so used to putting our foods in their own little piles on the plate, a practice that doesn't do much to stimulate the appetite.  Food scientists have studied human behavior based on preconceptions.  For example, they have found that if you tell a person that a high quality, expensive bottle of wine costs only $6, most tasters will say that they don't like the wine.  Conversely, if you tell tasters that a cheap bottle of wine costs $99 they will likely say that they love the wine!  When people sit down to a beautiful table, and the food is presented in an attractive manner, they will enjoy the food much more than they would otherwise.  So, give thought to how you may make the presentation of your food dishes more attractive, particularly when you entertain.  Hint:  A sprig of parsley won't do!

Toasted sesame seeds, tarragon and a dot of creme fraiche create a "flower."
A lovely presentation for an appetizer, on an interesting plate.  The greens in the center pull the dish together.

A salad of roasted pears, walnuts, greens and blue cheese on a plate that complements the salad.
Serving this salad on a blue plate really brings out the colors.

This entree is almost too beautiful to eat!  Can you name all of the components of the dish?

Imagine serving this entree in little piles of each food item?  It just wouldn't be the same!

Can you name all of the components to this dish?  There are so many that it really needs to be served on a white plate - the bigger the better.

Here we do have a presentation of little piles but notice the colors, textures and arrangement of each item.  The beurre blanc pulls it all together.


Lobster always looks good to me but this is off the charts!  And it tasted divine!

And now for dessert!

Enough said!  Now I'm hungry!!!