How did it get to be OCTOBER?  Yes, I know, it follows September but it seems like we just started August!  Whew!

But October is good.  Cooler temps in the Southern US.  Soup time is around the corner.  Lots of different veggies from the fall/winter garden.  And a new cookbook for Cookbook Countdown!

In early 2003 my beautiful daughter traveled to Colorado.  She brought back some souvenirs – one of which was book

and while I wandered through it and marked recipes I never really got around to using it.  Thanks to Cookbook Countdown I am about to remedy that situation.  Starting with a dessert!  Eat dessert first, right?

Pear Crisp.JPG

Creamy Pear Pie Crunch

This was delicious.  Not a pie exactly because it doesn’t have a bottom crust but not a crisp either – according to Ela of Ela’s Family Farm.

I chose this recipe because of the pear trees in the backyard.  I made this right before the season for picking ended so I could use fresh pears but it would be just as good with our canned pears.


3/4 cup sugar
1 Tbs. corn starch
1/4  1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/8 tsp. nutmeg (optional)
1/8 tsp. salt
1/2 cup cream
1 Tbs. lemon juice
2 1/2 cups pears, cored and sliced


1/2 cup butter – melted
1 – 1 1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup flour {I used 1/2 AP and 1/2 WWF}
1 cup oatmeal
1/4 tsp. baking powder

Mix together the sugar, corn starch, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt a bowl. Add cream, lemon juice and pears, mixing well. Pour into greased 8″ x 8″ pan.

Mix crust ingredients together and sprinkle over pear mixture.

Bake at 425 degrees for 30-35 minutes.

The recipe is on page 182 of Colorado Farmers’ Market Cookbook.

I’m linking this post with Cookbook Countdown hosted by Kitchen Flavours and Emily’s Cooking (Makan2).

It’s Potluck Week with I Heart Cooking Clubs. and the second to the last week to cook with Curtis Stone.  And I still have several recipes I really want to make…..

These muffins are made for Curtis by his Mum when he is home.  I can see why he likes them.  Full of bacon, corn, seasonings, and cheese.


Slathered with butter they are perfect for breakfast.  They can be mixed and finished in about 30 minutes.

  • 12 ounces hardwood-smoked bacon, coarsely chopped {+ 1/3 cup bacon drippings}
  • 2 1/2 cups AP flour {I used 1/2 WWF and 1/2 AP Flour}
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 1/4 cups whole milk
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 cups grated white sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup fresh yellow corn kernels (from 1 cob)
  • 1/3 cup coarsely chopped fresh chives {I think they needed more.}

Fry the bacon  over medium heat until nice and crisp.  Reserve about 1/3 cup bacon drippings.

Mix together the flour, salt, pepper, and baking powder.  Mix together the egg, milk, bacon drippings, corn, chives, and 1 1/2 cups cheese.

Mix the milk mixture into the dry ingredients.  Pour equal amounts into each muffin cup which have been brushed with bacon drippings.

Sprinkle remaining cheese over the muffins.

Bake 18 minutes (mine took 15) or until golden brown.  Cool slightly then run a small knife around the the muffins and remove from the pan.  

Serve with warm butter.    {Recipe makes 12 muffins)   Similar Recipe here.

These were good. Definitely a repeat.

More Pot Luck at I Heart Cooking Clubs.


Today is the first day of FALL!!  That means we can now transition into pumpkin and spice, winter squash, sweet potatoes, warm casseroles, and hearty soups.  ‘Bout time!!!  I am really tired of hot weather but it lingers on here in the south.  Maybe the fragrance of fall flavors will make us feel better about that 100 degree Heat Index!

I started slow with a nice spicy Pumpkin Bread from Alton Brown’s Good Eats:  The Early Years.


The cake was moist and dense and full of cinnamon flavor.  It got better as the days went by and the flavors melded together.  YUM!

10 oz all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
12 oz  sugar {I subbed in Splenda for about 1/2  sugar and added a heaping tsp of  bulk Stevia}
3/4 cup vegetable oil
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 lb fresh pumpkin peelded, seeded, cut into chunks
4 oz toasted hulled pumpkin seeds

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
Sift the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together.
In a separate bowl, mix the sugar, vegetable oil, eggs, and vanilla. Combine both mixtures and fold in the shredded pumpkin and pumpkin seeds. Once the ingredients are all incorporated pour into a non- stick 9 by 5 by 3-inch loaf pan. If your pan is not non- stick coat it with butter and flour.
Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes. At this point a knife inserted into the middle of the loaf should come out clean. Cool for 15 minutes and turn out onto a cooling rack. Cool completely.

You can find basically the same recipe HERE.


I’m linking this post with Cookbook Countdown hosted by Kitchen Flavours and Emily’s Cooking (Makan2).

Between April and October of 2015 we cooked with Chef Jacques Pepin.  Now we are visiting with Pepin again as our chef of the month.

I was in need of a dessert this week and this apple tart from Pepin hit the spot.


Pepin says his classic dough is suitable for any baking need.


  • 3 Tbl unsalted butter, cold
  • 3/4 cup AP flour
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 2 Tbl ice-cold water

Place the flour, butter – cut into  1/4″ pieces – and sugar in a food processor.  Process for 5 seconds and add the water.  Process another 5 seconds.  Remove he dough from the processor and work it until all the dry pieces are incorporated.  Roll into a 10″ circle and refrigerate.


  • 2 large Golden Delicious apples {I used three medium}
  • 2 Tbl apricot jam {Not a fan so I used some homemade Pear Honey}
  • 1 Tbl sugar
  • 1/2 Tbl unsalted butter

Peel the apples, cut in half and scoop out the core.  Remove a little more apple from the center and chop fine.  {I used the third apple for this}.  Fill each core with 1/2 Tbl {I used a little more} jam and arrange the apples in the center of the dough cut side down. Sprinkle the chopped apple around the apple halves.  

This is a galette so bring the edges of the dough up over the apples with a 1″ – 2″ border.  Sprinkle the top with sugar and butter pieces.

Bake at 400 degrees for 45 minutes – 1 hour {Mine took about 50 minutes.}  until well browned.  

Mine did not get as brown as I would like.  I brushed the top of the whole tart additional Pear Honey.  It added a lot of flavor.  {Plus it made it look pretty!}

The recipe is from Jacques Pepin’s Table page 357.

For more of Pepin’s dishes visit I Heart Cooking Clubs.

In our back yard there are 4 pear trees. Two with pears just to eat and two for canning. I think the eating pears are better fresh for pies and such because they aren’t quite as hard as the canning pears. I use them fresh as long as I can.

Someone once said if you want to make a great apple pie – use pears. I agree. More texture, often better flavor. I found this recipe for AB‘s Pear pie in Good Eats: The Early Years – the cookbook I am using for September’s Cookbook Countdown.


What AB made was a galette – a no-pan pie. Perfect!  I always have trouble making the pie look nice by messing up the crust on the way to the pan.  No-pan means it is free form with the crust wrapped up around the filling.  So. Much. Easier!

This one is filled with pears, blueberries and lots of flavor.  The  flavor is enhanced by adding Balsamic vinegar to the mix.  So. Much Flavor!

For the dough:
2 1/2 cups {12 ounces} flour
1/2 cup {2 1/4 ounces} stone ground cornmeal
3 tablespoons {1 1/2 ounces} sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter, divided, diced
1/2 cup apple juice

For the filling:
2 Anjou pears, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced {Mine aren’t Anjou!}
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
4 tablespoons sugar {2 ounces} {I used Splenda}
1 pinch grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon {I used about 1 tsp}
2 tablespoons {1 ounce} butter
1 cup {6 ounces} blueberries
1 teaspoon AP flour
1 1/2 cups pound cake, cubed {I used plain yellow cake}
1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water
1/2 teaspoon sugar {I used Turbinado}

  • Heat oven to 400 degrees F.
  • DOUGH: In a food processor, combine flour, cornmeal, sugar, and salt. Pulse to combine. Place dry ingredients in a mixing bowl and put the bowl into the refrigerator.
  • Remove 1/2 stick of butter from the refrigerator and allow it to come to room temperature.
  • In a food processor, add the 1/2 stick of butter to the flour mixture. Pulse until the fat completely disappears. Add the remaining 1 1/2 sticks butter in separate batches. Pulse until flour mixture resembles the size of a pea.
  • Combine the apple juice concentrate and the cold water. Using a spray bottle, spritz the dough with the apple juice mixture while folding the mixture with a spatula. After about three tablespoons of the liquid, check the dough for consistency. It should hold together when compressed but remain relatively dry to the touch. If it does not bind, add a little more water.
  • Remove from the processor and form the dough into a ball. Wrap the dough in wax paper or parchment paper and rest in refrigerator for 20 minutes.
  • FILLING:  Heat a cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add pears to the pan and toss for 2 minutes. Add the balsamic vinegar and continue to toss for 30 seconds. Add sugar and cook until the pears have softened. Add the nutmeg, cinnamon, and the butter and melt slowly. Fold in the blueberries. Remove from heat. Sprinkle on the flour and combine well. Allow to cool to room temperature.
  • CONSTRUCTION:  Place dough on a floured piece of parchment and roll out to a 1/4-inch thick disk. Transfer to a baking sheet. Place cubed pound cake in the middle of the dough, leaving a 3-inch margin of crust on all sides. Spoon filling over the cake cubes and top the pears with 1 ounce of cubed butter. Lift excess crust onto filling and repeat in a clockwise fashion until a top lip has formed around the edge of the whole tart. Brush the tart with the egg wash and sprinkle the crust with the sugar.
  • Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the filling begins to bubble and the crust is golden brown.
  • Remove from the sheet pan immediately and cool on pie rack.

This was so good.  I wish I had a picture of the whole pie but I guess it disappeared with the pie! Definitely a repeat – often.  Oh!  And it was good warm from the oven with cinnamon ice cream!

The recipe is from AB’s Good Eats: The Early Years page 100.

I’m linking this post with Cookbook Countdown hosted by Kitchen Flavours and Emily’s Cooking (Makan2).

Finally, I’ve had a chance to come back to Cookbook Countdown. How I have missed it. And reading about all the other cookbooks others cook/bake from.

I am a major fan of Alton Brown. When Good Eats was on I would not miss a show. Even now, after the shows are over, I can see them on The Cooking Channel and I have a few faves that I really enjoy –

  • Cheese Cake,
  • Churn, Baby Churn
  • Deep Purple (Eggplant)

and too many more to list here.  After Good Eats was gone AB came out with the cookbooks for the past 14 seasons.  And my family loves me because I have all three volumes.  As much as I love AB I really never cooked from the cookbooks.  So thanks, Cookbook Countdown  for ‘making’ me use another neglected cookbook. Let’s start with


And with a recipe from Episode 7 – Southern Biscuits


I make a pretty good biscuit, but I never get much rise out of them {which pleases my husband – for some reason he likes FLAT biscuits!} so I was glad to see these RISE up into nice tall ones.  Lots of layers to add butter, honey, or jam.  Yep!  I do love biscuits.

12 ounces {2 cups flour}
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons butter {1 ounce}, chilled
2 tablespoons shortening {1 ounce}, chilled
1 cup low-fat buttermilk, chilled

  • Heat oven to 450 degrees.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  • Using your fingertips, rub butter and shortening into dry ingredients until mixture looks like crumbs.
  • Make a well in the center and pour in the chilled buttermilk. Stir just until the dough comes together. The dough will be very sticky.
  • Turn dough onto floured surface, dust top with flour and gently fold dough over on itself 5 or 6 times.
  • Press into a 1-inch thick round. Cut out biscuits with a 2-inch cutter, being sure to push straight down through the dough.
  • Place biscuits on baking sheet so that they just touch. Reform scrap dough, working it as little as possible and continue cutting.
  • Bake until biscuits are tall and light gold on top, 15 to 20 minutes. {Makes 12}
  • Devour!


The recipe is on page 42 of Good Eats: The Early Years.

I’m linking this post with Cookbook Countdown hosted by Kitchen Flavours and Emily’s Cooking (Makan2).

How many times have I said that Cheesecake is my fave dessert?  Probably more times than you want to hear.  When the theme of Divine Desserts came up I knew exactly what I was making.



Cheesecake.  Peanut Butter.  Praline.  YES!!  Super simple to make.  A nice chocolate cake/cookie bottom piled high with whipped and sour cream a tasty peanut butter filling topped with chocolate ganache, melted PB and peanut praline brittle.  So, no I didn’t make the praline.  And we didn’t care for topping the cake with whipped and sour cream.  But the melted PB brought out the flavor of the cheesecake and the ganache complimented the chocolate crust.  The only reason I didn’t make the praline – no DEMERARA SUGAR .  The brittle worked just fine.  I was mostly interested in just the cheesecake any way.  

We really enjoyed this cake.  I got to use my ‘deep dish’ tart pan my daughter gifted me a couple of years back.  It was perfect for this divine dessert.

The recipe can be found on Donna’s website.

For more sweets visit Wednesdays with Donna Hay – Divine Desserts.

And if you want to join in the themes are listed through the end of August.  Just find a recipe to fit the theme.  Blog and send us your link under Comments.  Love to have you.

« Previous PageNext Page »

  • Recipes

  • Pages

  • Meta