Cheater's Apple Pie

  • 3 lbs apples (peeled and sliced)
  • 2 Tbs minute tapioca
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 Tbs lemon juice
  • Dash of salt
  • 1 Package pie crust (feel free to make your own... I am no pastry connoisseur..)
  1. Heat the oven to 400°F
  2. Combine apples, tapioca, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, lemon juice, and salt in a large bowl.  Allow to sit for 15 minutes.
  3. Line a 9-inch pie pan with first crust and fill with apple mixture.  Cover with the top crust, seal, and flute the edges (curl them in and make them look pretty).  Cut a few slits in the top crust.
  4. Bake 45-50 minutes, or until oozy bubbles are forming that pop slowly, and crust is golden brown.
Yields 8-12 servings

Vietnamese Vegetable Spring Rolls

  • 12 Spring rolls skins (ensure they are rice paper)
  • Thai basil (fresh) (a handful)
  • Mint (fresh) (a handful)
  • Cilantro (fresh) (a handful)
  • 1-2 Carrots (julienned)
  • 1/2 Cucumber (peeled and julienned)
  • 1 1/2 cup rice noodles (vermicelli)
  • ~1 cup alfalfa sprouts
  • 1 cup Hoisin sauce
  • 1/4 cup crushed peanuts

  1. Fill an at least 9x9 cake pan with hot water, and place one spring roll skin in for 1-2 minutes.
  2. Remove skin, and like a burrito fill with rice noodles, cilantro, mint, Thai basil, carrots, cucumbers, and alfalfa sprouts.  Drizzle with Hoisin sauce, and roll tightly.
  3. Repeat process for remaining spring roll skins.  Garnish remaining Hoisin sauce with crushed peanuts, and use for dipping.
  • These rolls are great with tofu or shrimp added also
  • Hoisin sauce, rice noodles, and spring roll paper are usually available in your grocer's Asian food isle.  If not, check your local Asian market.
  • When purchasing Hoisin sauce, look for one without MSG, it is far healthier and not as salty.

Yields 12 rolls.

Coconut Chicken Curry

This has been a staple in my group cooking repertoire for quite some time so I don't know why I am just now posting it... That being said, it is tried and true delicious and pleases a crowd well!

  • 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2-inch chunks
  • 1 teaspoon salt and pepper, or to taste
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons curry powder
  • 1/2 onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 (14 ounce) can coconut milk
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can stewed, diced tomatoes
  • 1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1/2 head cauliflower (chopped)
  • 1 bell pepper (chopped)
  • 1 cup snow peas
  1. Season chicken pieces with salt and pepper.
  2. Heat oil and curry powder in a large skillet over medium-high heat for around two minutes. Stir in onions and garlic, and cook 1 minute more. Add chicken, tossing lightly to coat with curry oil. Reduce heat to medium, and cook for 7 to 10 minutes, or until chicken is no longer pink in center and juices run clear.
  3. Pour coconut milk, tomatoes, and tomato sauce into the pan, and stir to combine.  Add cauliflower. Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, approximately 30 to 40 minutes.  With about 10-15 minutes remaining add snow peas and bell pepper.
  4. Serve over steamed white rice.

  • This recipe is also good with tofu, or no meat at all and lotsa veggies
  • If you don't have curry on hand, it is simply a blend of spices, so you can make your own (courtesy of Alton Brown) and I personally like to add a dash of cinnamon in there as well: 


2 tablespoons whole cumin seeds, toasted
2 tablespoons whole cardamom seeds, toasted
2 tablespoons whole coriander seeds, toasted
1/4 cup ground turmeric
1 tablespoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon cayenne


Place all ingredients in a container with an airtight lid. Shake to combine. Store in a cool dry place for up to 6 months. When ready to use, grind and add to dishes according to taste.

Yields 6-8 servings



Blueberry Cream Muffins

Healthy? No.
Delicious?  Yes. 
We all deserve a splurge every now and then =)

4 eggs
2 cups white sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups sour cream
2 cups blueberries
Zest of 1/2 lemon

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).  Line your muffin tin with papers.
  2. In large bowl beat eggs, gradually adding sugar. Continue beating while slowly pouring in oil. Stir in vanilla. In a separate bowl, stir together flour, salt and baking soda.
  3. Stir dry ingredients into egg mixture alternately with sour cream. Gently fold in blueberries. Scoop batter into prepared muffin cups.  Sprinkle with sugar.
  4. Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes. 

  • Fresh blueberries are better, but frozen can be used.  Simply add them in still frozen and follow directions accordingly.
  • Unsweetened applesauce (not chunky) can be subbed for half the oil without destroying the integrity of the muffin.  If you desire to replace all the oil, this probably isn't the recipe for you.
  • Reduced fat or fat-free sour cream can be used.

Yields 24 muffins.

Moroccan Chicken and Quinoa

1 cup quinoa (I like red, any color will do)
1 Tbs olive oil
2 bay leaves
1/4 tsp ground cloves (or 5 whole cloves crushed)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 Tbs ground dried turmeric
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 1/2 lbs chicken breast, in cubes
2 cans (~14oz) white beans
1 can (~16oz) crushed tomatoes
4 cups chicken stock or broth (divided)
3 carrots, chopped
1 zucchini, cubed
1/2 medium onion, chopped

1. In a small saucepan, prepare the quinoa according to package instructions, subbing chicken stock for water.  (Rule of key with quinoa is one part grain, two parts water)
1 1/2. Salt and pepper chicken to taste, and if you like it spicy sprinkle also with cayenne pepper.  Drizzle with olive oil, and let it hang out until it gets to join the party.  (yes I forgot this step and don't feel like renumbering everything...)
2. In a separate large pan, heat olive oil over medium heat.  Then add onions and cook until tender.
3. Mix in bay leaves, cloves, turmeric, cayenne, cumin, and salt to taste.  Then add chicken and cook until browned.
4. Add crushed tomatoes, white beans, and chicken stock.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer 25 minutes.
5. About 10 minutes before cook time is up, add carrots and zucchini.
6. Remove bay leaves and serve over quinoa.

  • Garbanzo beans can be subbed for white beans, they are actually more authentic... I just don't really care for the texture.
  • Sub in whatever vegetables you have on hand; eggplant is tasty, as is spinach, squash, or many others.
  • Golden raisins are a tasty addition in the last ten minutes as well.
  • The stew can also be served over rice, lentils, couscous, whatever you have available.

Yields 4-6 servings.


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