Welcome to Wisconsin, where we love cheese so much we try to put it in or on almost everything. I’m planning my Thanksgiving meal and it made me realize that there isn’t much cheese involved with Thanksgiving. The only cheesy side dish that regularly appears on the Thanksgiving table is macaroni and cheese, and even that isn’t a requirement for the meal (although in my opinion it should be). What can we do to get more Wisconsin cheese at the table? Here are a few ideas, since I know I’m not the only Wisconsinite who wants to give thanks for cheese!
Apple Cake is a great fall harvest gift. Give an apple cake to a friend and everybody smiles. Eat that apple cake together and celebrate friendship, food, and fall.
Apples are the quintessential fruit of fall. So many apples fall from a single tree that apples symbolize the abundance of the harvest. We associate apples with wholesome goodness. Apple pie means true-blue American. And warm apple cake brings sweet pleasure on a crisp fall day.
In past years, our family has gotten carried away with apple exuberance. We picked too many apples and I spent the rest of fall finding new and unusual ways to cook them. We even carved our apples into apple-lanterns which we used as Halloween decorations and as a fall table centerpiece. Keep reading to see our apple-lanterns and get a delicious apple cake recipe.
July fourth desserts! – Nothing better to motivate kids to great behavior!
July fourth desserts got my kids to finish their hamburgers and corn-on-the-cob dinner. July fourth desserts got them to put down the party’s appetizer bowl of potato chips. July fourth desserts even got them to delay gratifying their sweet tooths earlier in the day. Yes, my children closed that cookie jar when I said if you eat sweets now you’ll miss out on dessert tonight.
July fourth desserts are a parents friend, – when used skillfully. And what parent of two has not achieved an ounce of skill? The trick to this successful, humane child manipulation is to alert the children early in the day to the wondrous desserts that will fill the table after dinner. It’s the old carrot-and-stick technique, but children never jump through hoops for carrots. With the right desserts however, parents are amazed at what good behavior they’ll get. So put away that stick, get baking or shopping, and make your children smile. Keep reading to see my July fourth desserts and get tips on turning devils into angels.
Yesterday my co-worker, Renee, said she had watched Donna Weihofen bake an apple pie on TV. She said Weihofen made the pie look so easy and so delicious that now Renee is craving apple pie, as well as pumpkin bread, baked squash, and all the other fall comfort foods. Not me though, I said, I don’t need fall comfort food because I’m clinging to summer. If I can deny the on-coming winter by continuing to eat garden salads and corn on the cob I will. I won’t surrender warmth so easily that one TV show about apple pie makes me cook cold-weather comfort food.
Well, mine was a lot of talk I confess today, or maybe I’m just a wimp. Last night we got our first blast of arctic wind and this morning I was baking an oven apple pancake. I was trying to take the chill out of the house by running the oven. Heating the house with the stove rather than the furnace was a feeble, last act of defiance, I admit. And by nighttime, I’d turned on the furnace. (But those few hours of chilly defiance saved me a fortune on my heating bill! I’ll swear to it!)
But don’t be impressed that I was up baking before breakfast. This recipe was easy because I didn’t have to peel the apples. Peeling apples is one prep chore I don’t like to do, probably because I’ve peeled too many apples in years passed. Renee says peeling apples is easy, – no work at all. “I’ve peeled so many potatoes for my family I can peel an apple in no time,” she said. No doubt she can; Renee’s been cooking ‘Slow Food’ since before it became trendy.
This recipe for oven apple pancake also worked for me because the ‘pancake’ could bake in the oven. Ordinary pancakes require babysitting at the stove. With this recipe, you just put apples in a pie plate, cover them with a mix of eggs, milk, flour, and spices, then bake them while everybody gets dressed for the day. In a half hour you slice up a delicious custard enfolding hot cinnamon apples. It truly was a great breakfast and made a delicious, after-school snack. Hot or cold, it’s a winner. Click on “Continue reading…” for the recipe.