Thursday, October 29, 2009

Apple Pie (reg. & sugar-free)

6-8 good size Jonathon or a good baking apples
1/2 c. water
2 T. butter
1 c. sugar (if sugar-free use 1 c. Splenda)
2 T. flour (heaping!)
2 t. cinnamon (or more or less to your tasting)

Slice apples into a large sauce pan. Add the water to the pan and cook over medium heat until the apples are tender but not too soft. (they will bake the rest of the way in the oven)
Add butter.
In a bowl mix sugar, flour and cinnamon together then add it to the apples and stir.

Pour your filling into an unbaked pie shell then top with a second pie dough crust on top. I then use an egg/milk wash over the entire pie.

Bake at 350 until your pie dough is golden brown.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Pumpkin Baked Ziti

Okay, I know this sounds gross.  But my husband said this is possibly the best thing I've ever made.  Which says a lot if you know my husband :)  I did use fresh homemade pasta, but I am sure it would taste wonderful with whatever pasta you used.  I also used the full fat version!  :)  Enjoy this fabulous fall dish.

Pumpkin Baked Ziti

Recipe courtesy Paula Deen, 2008

Prep Time:
20 min
Inactive Prep Time:
Cook Time:
1 hr 0 min
8 servings


  • Butter, for greasing
  • 1 pound sweet Italian sausage (1 pound turkey sausage, for Richard Simons' version)
  • 3/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 (15-ounces) can pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh sage leaves
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream (omit ingredient for Richard Simons' version)
  • 1 pound ziti pasta, cooked (1 pound whole wheat ziti, for Richard Simmons' version)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan (1/4 cup Parmesan, for Richard Simmons' version)


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Butter (8) 8-ounce ramekins.

Cook sausage in a large, deep skillet over medium heat until fat is rendered about 8 minutes. Remove from skillet with a slotted spoon, drain on paper towels and set aside. Discard any fat from the skillet in excess of 2 tablespoons.

Add onion, garlic, crushed red pepper flakes and oil to the skillet and cook, stirring occasionally until soft; about 3 minutes. Stir in pumpkin puree, chicken stock and sage. Mix together and add salt. Bring to a boil then lower the heat and simmer 5 minutes. Stir in cream and sausage. Simmer until the sauce comes together and is thickened slightly.

Add cooked pasta and parsley to the skillet and gently toss all the ingredients together to coat. Divide the rigatoni mixture between the 8 prepared ramekins. Sprinkle the tops of each ramekin with Parmesan cheese and bake for 35 minutes until the topping is golden brown.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Iced Pumpkin Cookies

Iced Pumpkin Cookies

Prep Time:
30 min
Inactive Prep Time:
Cook Time:
15 min
6 dozen Iced Pumpkin Cookies

**These were insanely delicious and moist.  I made a few modifications shown in italics.  Enjoy these fall treats!**


  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup cooked, pureed pumpkin (fresh or canned)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups unbleached allpurpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon (heaping)
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • Pinch all spice
  • Pinch cloves
  • 1 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped (omit)
  • 1 cup raisins (omit)


  • 2 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla (omit)
  • 1 teaspoon triple sec 
  • 1/2 teaspoon orange zest
  • 4 oz cream cheese
  • 3 tablespoons whipping cream, fresh orange juice or rum


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Add pumpkin, egg and vanilla and mix well. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Stir into butter mixture until well blended. Add nuts and raisins. Drop by teaspoonful onto parchment covered baking sheet, about 2 inches apart. Bake about 15 minutes, or until golden. Cool.  **Mine took 17 minutes and turned out perfect!**

Icing: Cream confectioners' sugar and butter. Add remaining ingredients and beat until smooth. (If icing is too thin, add more confectioners' sugar; if too thick, add more cream, orange juice or rum.) Drizzle over cookies.

Recipe courtesy of Beth Setrakian (FoodNetwork)

Modifications by Tracy Lytle

Monday, October 19, 2009

Chicken with Apple, Onion and Cider Sauce


  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 2 pounds)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • All-purpose flour, for dredging
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 large red onion, cut into large pieces
  • 1 sweet cooking apple, cored and cut into large pieces
  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter
  • 1 handful fresh parsley, roughly chopped


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper and dredge in the flour, shaking off the excess. Add 2 tablespoons oil to the pan. Place the chicken in the skillet smooth-side down and cook until golden, about 5 minutes per side. Transfer to a baking dish and bake until cooked through, about 8 minutes.

Meanwhile, add the onion and apple to the skillet, along with 1 tablespoon oil, if the pan is dry, and increase the heat to high. Cook, tossing, until the onion has wilted slightly and the apple is golden brown, about 2 minutes. Add the vinegar and use a wooden spoon to scrape up the browned bits from the pan. Let the mixture boil until the vinegar becomes syrupy, about 1 minute. Add the chicken broth and return to a boil. Cook until the broth reduces by half. Remove from the heat, season with salt and pepper and whisk in the butter.

Remove the chicken from the oven; add any collected juices to the sauce. Divide the chicken among four plates and spoon the apple, onion and pan sauce over each piece. Sprinkle with the parsley.

Recipe by: Food Network