Apple-Cranberry Pie with Oatmeal Cookie Crust

3 cups old fashioned (rolled) oats
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
6 Tbsp light brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup butter, melted
7 cups Granny Smith apples, peeled & thinly sliced
1 cup cranberries, fresh or frozen
3 Tbsp lemon juice, freshly squeezed
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground allspice
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp lemon zest, grated
3 Tbsp all-purpose flour
1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup sour cream

Prepare crust: Combine all crust ingredients in a medium-sized bowl, and mix well. Press firmly and evenly into the bottom and sides of a 9 or 10-inch pie pan (or 9-inch deep dish), forming a thick crust. Reserve about a cup of the crust mix for the topping.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Prepare filling: Place sliced apples and cranberries in a large bowl. Drizzle with lemon juice and sprinkle with spices; toss until well coated. Add rind. Sprinkle in flour and mix again. Gradually add brown sugar and sour cream as you mix. Don't worry if the apple slices break a little while being mixed and tossed.
Distribute the filling into the unbaked crust. Sprinkle the reserved crust crumbs over the top and pat neatly into place.
Bake for 45 to 50 minutes or until the apples are soft and the crust is nicely browned on the edges. Note: If the top appears to be browning too quickly during baking, cover loosely with foil (check after about 30 minutes).
Serve hot, warm or at room temperature and with (or without) ice cream or whipped cream. My personal favourite is warm with ice cream and caramel sauce.

Chewy Chunky Blondies



2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups (packed) light brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup butterscotch chips or Heath Toffee Bits 
1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts or pecans
1 cup sweetened shredded coconut

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Butter a 9×13-inch baking pan and put it on a baking sheet.

Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

Beat the butter on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Add both sugars and beat for another 3 minutes, or until well incorporated. Add the eggs one by one, beating for 1 minute after each addition, then beat in the vanilla. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the dry ingredients, mixing just until they disappear into the batter. Using a rubber spatula, stir in the chips, nuts and coconut. Scrape the batter into the buttered pan and use the spatula to even the top as best you can.

Bake for about 40 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the center of the blondies comes out clean. The blondies should pull away from the sides of the pan a little and the top should be a nice honey brown. Transfer the pan to a rack and cool for about 15 minutes before turning the blondies out onto another rack. Invert onto a rack and cool the blondies to room temperature right side up.

Cut into 32 bars, each roughly 2-1/4 x 1-1/2 inches.

Spaghetti Squash with Chunky Tomato Sauce


2 or 3 small spaghetti squash 
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 large yellow onion, diced
1 large can (28oz) crushed tomatoes
1 teaspoon basil (dried or fresh)
½ teaspoon dried oregano
2 cloves garlic, minced
salt and pepper to taste
Mozzarella or Parmesan, grated (I like mine with crumbled Feta)


Cut squash lengthwise, remove the seeds with a spoon and place the halves skin-side down in a baking dish with 1 inch of water. Sprinkle with some pepper and drizzle with olive oil. Cover the dish with foil and bake at 350 degrees F for about 45 minutes, or until the squash can be easily pierced with a knife.

While the squash is cooking, heat olive oil in a large frying pan and sauté the onion until tender, about 10 minutes. Season with a bit of salt and pepper. 

Add crushed tomatoes, basil, oregano, and garlic. Simmer uncovered for 15 minutes.

While the sauce is simmering, remove the squash from the oven and allow to cool enough so it’s easy to handle. Here’s the fun part: using a fork, scrape the inside flesh of the squash. It should come off in strands (that look like spaghetti pasta!).

Spoon sauce over the squash. Add cheese (if using) and serve.

NOTE: I like to serve this using the squash skins as a individual serving bowls.

NOTE: To make grating the mozzarella easier, freeze the cheese for about 10-20 minutes— the frozen cheese will be much easier to grate.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins


3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup oil
2 eggs
3/4 cup canned pumpkin puree (NOT pumpkin pie filling)
1/4 cup water
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 cup chocolate chips


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Grease and flour muffin pan or use paper liners.

Mix sugar, oil, eggs. Add pumpkin and water. In separate bowl mix together the baking flour, baking soda, baking powder, spices and salt. Add wet mixture and stir in chocolate chips.

Fill muffin cups 2/3 full with batter. Bake in preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes.

This recipe is also linked to...

Food on Friday: Parsnips and Pumpkin

Spiced Apple Cookies


1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 1/3 cup dark brown sugar, tightly packed
1/4 cup milk
1 egg
2 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup unpeeled apple, peeled and finely chopped

Ingredients for the Glaze:

1 Tbsp butter, melted
1 cup icing sugar 
1 tsp maple syrup
approx. 2 Tbsp milk, as needed


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper or silicone liners.

Beat together shortening and brown sugar until full combined. Add egg and milk and mix ingredients well.

In a separate bowl combine flour, soda, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and salt. With the mixer on low, slowly add dry ingredients, scraping down the sides as necessary, until everything is fully combined.

Stir chopped apple and walnuts into the batter with a wooden spoon.

Drop cookies by rounded teaspoonfuls about 2-inches apart on a lined cookie sheet. Press the tops of the cookie down with your top two fingers so they are slightly flattened.

Bake for 12-14 minutes or until cookies hold their shape and are slightly browned on the edges.

To make the glaze, whisk together all glaze ingredients in a small bowl. Add a more milk if you’d like the glaze thinner. When the cookies have cooled for a few minutes, drizzle each cookie with glaze.