Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Marie Callender's Sweet Momements - Dutch Apple Pie & Holiday Sweepstakes!

"In the childhood memories of every cook, there's a large kitchen, a warm stove, an apple pie and a mom."
With the holidays quickly approaching, it's time to start thinking and planning meals for the upcoming get-togethers with family and friends.  It seems that everyone is so busy these days, that sometimes holidays are the only times to bring everyone together for a delicious meal and spend some quality time together.
We all have many fond memories spent together with family.  It doesn't get much better than families gathering together around a big table, laughing over old stories, enjoying good times, hilarious tales of cooking misadventures and savoring nostalgic memories and the twinge of sadness for that special person who can no longer sit with us.
Meal planning and preparation can be exhausting for a large crowd, but when you begin to smell the familiar aromas coming from the kitchen, you are attached to the smells and tastes and sounds of those special days.
Apple pie baking has to be one of my favorite food memories that embrace the best of times.  We had an apple tree in our back yard and all of us would sit for hours (it seemed) peeling apples for pies.  Marie Callender's delivers homemade quality pies without compromise. Their special signature touches give you one less thing to think about when serving dessert at any gathering or special occasion.  The desserts take the stress out of preparing the sweet ending to your meal.
Marie Callender's Dutch Apple Pie is made with 100% Fuji apples, a made from scratch crust, and a brown sugar streusel topping that is baked to perfection.
As much as I love cakes, I have to admit that I prefer a piece of pie over cake any day.  There is just something about a perfectly flaky, buttery crust filled with cinnamon-spiked apple goodness that makes everything else right in the world.  And then, when you serve it warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream......
Get that nostalgic and sentimental feels and savor every precious, sweet moment with
Marie Callender's Desserts.
Visit Marie Callender's on Facebook and Pinterest
What does the scent of fresh baked apple pie remind you of? 
Leave a comment for a chance to win a $100 Visa Gift Card
Entry Instructions:
No duplicate comments.
You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:
1. Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post
2. Tweet (public message) about this promotion; including exactly the following unique term in your tweet message: “#SweepstakesEntry”; and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post
3. Blog about this promotion, including a disclosure that you are receiving a sweepstakes entry in exchange for writing the blog post, and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post
4. For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry.
This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older (or nineteen (19) years of age or older in Alabama and Nebraska). Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. The notification email will come directly from BlogHer via the sweeps@blogher email address. You will have 2 business days to respond; otherwise a new winner will be selected.
The Official Rules are available here.
This sweepstakes runs from 11/23/2015 – 2/29/2016
Be sure to visit Marie Callender’s brand page on where you can read other bloggers’ posts!

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Cran-Raspberry Sauce

Thanksgiving is here!   I know it's really not good to try a new recipe when your family is craving all the traditional dishes, but this relish is worth a try.    


1 (12 ounce) bag cranberries, picked over
1 (10 oz.) package frozen raspberries in light syrup, thawed
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar plus 1 Tablespoon
3/4 cup cranberry juice cocktail

Put all of the ingredients in a sauce pot; bring to a boil over medium heat.
Reduce the heat and simmer until desired consistency, about 30-40 minutes.


Thursday, November 19, 2015

Apple-Butternut Harvest Soup

Sweet Butternut Squash and tart Granny Smith apples are combined with a touch of ginger and nutmeg for this festive Autumn soup.  It's great by itself, or serve as a first course for a sit-down meal.  I've lightened up the soup by using fat-free half & half, but it is every bit as delicious!
Just enough to slightly curb everyone's appetite until the meal is on the table.
Butternut squash is an excellent source of Vitamin A and has no trans fat.  It's a staple for so many delicious fall recipes.


3 Tbsp. unsalted butter (or Smart Balance Dairy-Free Butter)
3/4 cup onion, roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 small carrot, peeled and chopped
2 lbs. butternut squash cubed, or 1 (20 oz. pkg) frozen
1 Granny Smith Apple peeled and cubed plus more for garnish
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
3/4 cup fat-free half & half
4 cups low-sodium chicken stock


Melt butter in a large pot over medium heat.  Add onions and cook until onions begin to soften, about 5 minutes.  Add garlic, celery and carrot and cook another 5 minutes.  Add butternut squash, apple, ginger, nutmeg and chicken stock.  Simmer, partially covered on low until vegetables are tender; 30 to 45 minutes. Turn off heat.  Add half & half.  Transfer hot soup to a blender and blend until smooth.  (Leave the blender lid open and cover with a towel!)

To serve, gently warm soup.  Divide into bowls and garnish with Granny Smith apple matchsticks and a sprinkling of nutmeg.

Happy Thanksgiving!
The easiest way to peel Butternut Squash
Servings: 6
Prep Time: 20 mins.
Cook Time: 45 mins.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Peanut Butter Banana Breakfast Cookie

One of my family's favorite cookie is an Oatmeal Craisin cookie from the recipe under the top of the container of oatmeal.  I've made them so many times, I know the recipe by heart - but they are not very heart-healthy.  I will be adding some Heart Healthy recipes to the blog for anyone who wants to lower cholestrol and fat naturally.

These cookies are a delicious grab-and-go treat.  They are low in fat and high in protein and fiber and make the perfect choice to grab something on the run.  This recipe makes 9 large cookies and one is plenty for breakfast or an afternoon snack.  I'm giving you a basic recipe - the rest is up to you!  You can add ground flax seed, chia seeds, raisins, pumpkin seed, sunflower seeds or dried apples!  Whatever your family likes!

I freeze these in sandwich size zip-lock bags and either take one out the night before or in the morning if I want one for an afternoon snack.  You won't miss the butter or the oil!

Non-stick cooking spray or parchment paper
1 large banana, mashed
1/2 cup chunky natural peanut butter (I used Smucker's Natural)
1/2 cup honey
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup old-fashioned oats
1/2 whole wheat flour
1/4 cup nonfat dry milk powder
2 tsps. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1 cup Craisins


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Lightly coat two cookies sheets with cooking spray (or use parchment paper); set aside.  In a medium bowl, stir together banana, peanut butter, honey and vanilla.  In a small bowl, combine oats, flour, milk powder, cinnamon, and baking soda.  Stir the oat mixture into the banana mixture until combined.  Stir in dried cranberries.

Drop a 1/4 cup mound of dough 3 inches apart on prepared baking sheets.  Flatten and spread each mound into a 3" round.  Once baked, cookies will spread to about 4 inches.

Bake, one sheet at a time for 14 to 16 minutes or until lightly browned.  Transfer to wire racks to cool completely.  Store in an airtight container or resealable plastic bag for up to 3 days or freezer for up to 2 months; thaw before serving.

Adapted from Better Homes and Gardens

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Pastina for One

This dish has to fall in to the category of Comfort Food Favorites.
Sometimes it's the only thing that will do when you are feeling sad or tired or just stressed out a little and need some comfort.  
You could also go back to some fond memories of childhood if you had this growing up.

Simply, pastina, butter and cheese and your favorite bowl and spoon.
1 cup low sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup Pastina
Grated Cheese
Unsalted butter

Bring chicken broth to a boil over medium heat.  Add pastina and cook, stirring occasionally, until most of the chicken broth is absorbed, 5-6 minutes.  Fill up your favorite bowl.  Top with a pat of butter, parmesan cheese and freshly ground black pepper.

So go ahead, make your self a bowl.  
You'll feel better!

Another comfort food favorite are my sister's meatballs!

Barb's Melt in your Mouth Meatballs with Gravy

Artisan Cast Iron Dutch Oven Bread

This recipe is a typical one with two rising periods.  Most of this time it's the yeast working and not you! 2 cups water 1...