Monday, October 16, 2006

Spooky Shepherd's Pie

Prep Time: 30 min ; Start to Finish: 55 min
Makes: 6 servings Nutrition Information

Whip up some ghoulishly good fun with instant mashed 'ghost' potatoes that top a deliciously rich ground beef and vegetable casserole.


1 lb. lean ground beef
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
2 1/2 cups Green Giant® Frozen Mixed Vegetables
1 (14.5-oz.) can diced tomatoes with Italian herbs, undrained
1 (12-oz.) jar home-style beef gravy
1 3/4 cups water
2 tablespoons margarine or butter
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 cup milk
2 1/4 cups mashed potatoes(You can substitute instant mashed potatoes to make it quicker)
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 egg, slightly beaten


1 . Heat oven to 375°F. Spray large skillet with nonstick cooking spray. Heat over medium-high heat until hot. Add ground beef and onion; cook until beef is thoroughly cooked, stirring frequently. Drain.
2 . Set aside 12 peas for garnish. Add remaining frozen vegetables, tomatoes and gravy; mix well. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; cover and cook 8 to 10 minutes or until vegetables are crisp-tender, stirring occasionally.
3 . Meanwhile, in medium saucepan, bring water, margarine and garlic powder to a boil. Remove from heat; add milk. Stir in potato flakes and cheese. Add egg; blend well.
4 . Spoon ground beef mixture into ungreased 8-inch square (2-quart) or oval (2 1/2-quart) glass baking dish. With large spoon, make 6 mounds of potato mixture on top of beef mixture to resemble ghosts. Place 2 reserved peas on each mound to resemble eyes.
5 . Bake at 375°F. for 20 to 25 minutes or until potatoes are set and mixture is thoroughly heated.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Autumn Means Baking With Apples

Autumn means apples piling up from my Auntie Cosettes tree in her backyard. This year I decided to put some of those apples to good use. It's one of the true pleasures of the season, biting into a fresh apple (from the garden to the kitchen) before it's had a chance to dehydrate or grow mealy. (Remember, it's not just our stomach, but our mouth too that we need to satisfy. sometimes compulsive eating is more a nervous urge simply to ingest and to chew than actual hunger.) And apples are easy on the calorie count.
What follows are three of my favorite Autumn recipes featuring apples.

Cinnamon Apple Crisp

1 bag of apples
2 cups of oatmeal
1 1/2 cups of flour
2 cups of brown sugar
1 teaspoon of salt
1 tablespoon of cinnamon
2 cubes of butterDIRECTIONS:
This will make your mouth water! For best results, use Granny Smith or Braeburn Apples. The tarter the apple, the tastier the apple crisp! Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Peel and slice the apples into a 13X9 glass pan. Leave enough room at the top for the crust. Melt the 2 cubes of butter and mix well with the crust ingredients. Then spread the crust evenly over the apples. Bake for 40 minutes or until the apples are soft. Enjoy!

Grandma's Apple Pie

Some things are hard to improve on, like tender sweet and spicy apples in a flaky golden crust. This is it.


Pastry for two-crust 9-inch pie
6 Golden Delicious apples, peeled, cored, and thinly
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoon flour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground mace
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
Cream or whole milk

1) Heat oven to 425 degrees F. Line a 9-inch pie pan with half the pastry. In large bowl, combine apples, sugar, flour, vanilla, cinnamon, ginger, and mace; toss well to blend. Transfer apple mixture to pastry-lined pie pan and dot with butter.

2) Cover apple filling with remaining pastry; pinch together edges of bottom and top crust to seal. Brush top crust with cream or milk; cut several slits to vent steam. Bake 20 minutes. Reduce oven heat to 375 degrees F and bake 30 to 35 minutes or until apples are tender.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Baked Apples


1/3 cup chopped walnuts
4 apples(Cortland, Golden Delicious, or Rome Beauty)
4 teaspoons melted butter or margarine
4 teaspoons sugar mixed with 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons water

1. Place the walnuts on a baking sheet and toast them in a 250-degree oven for about 5 minutes, until they are fragrant. Set aside.
2. Wash and core the apples. Place them in a baking dish. Combine the butter, sugar-cinnamon mixture, and toasted walnuts.
3. Fill the cavity of each apple with the mixture, dividing it evenly among the 4 apples. Pour the water into the bottom of the baking dish.
4. Bake the apples at 375 degrees for 30 minutes. Serve warm. You can make the dessert more festive by topping each apple with whipped cream just before serving, garnishing with a sprig of mint for color, or placing an edible flower on the side.