Category Archives: autumn

closeup lemon apple butter chicken

Lemon Apple Butter Chicken

December 13, 2023

closeup lemon apple butter chicken

The slow cooker is your time-saving friend all year long. Especially during the end of year holiday rush. You eat and feel better when meals are homemade. Attend holiday events and join shoppers knowing that this Lemon Apple Butter Chicken awaits you at home. Continue reading

maple apple dessert sauce on ice cream

Maple Apple Dessert Sauce

October 17, 2023

maple apple dessert sauce on ice cream

The thrill of the hunt begins each fall at the roadside stands. I look for unfamiliar varieties of apples to try for cooking and eating. This year it’s the Ozark Gold apple. This variety is a little over fifty years old, so not exactly new, but new to me.

ingredients for maple apple dessert sauce

Bright bands of sunny yellow and burnished red decorate this fruit. It’s an early type so I bought up a mess of apples before others take its place. Soon there will be Stayman and Empire and the marvelously crunchy Evercrisp. I do love a crisp apple to remind me of Virginia’s bounty. This chef also likes to add apples to all manner of sweet and savory dishes before the stands close for the season.

Maple Apple Dessert Sauce is a cinch to make and it stores in the fridge for a couple weeks. Plain vanilla ice cream becomes something ethereal. Waffles and pancakes get the salon treatment with an unexpected alternative to syrup. Apple and ginger make a compatible couple. Imagine the decadence of this sweet sauce ladled sparingly on top of Gingerbread Ice Cream  .

waffles with maple apple dessert sauce

This dessert sauce is chunky and thick with apples and toasted pecans. You will need to gently heat it in the microwave if not used right away. It becomes very thick once refrigerated. If you want the sauce to be more pourable, add a few drops of extra maple syrup after heating.

closeup of maple apple dessert sauce

Maple Apple Dessert Sauce

recipe by Michele Humlan, The Good Eats Company

makes about 2 ½ cups


1 ½ pounds apples, peeled and chopped (about 5 cups total)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
⅔ cup pure maple syrup
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
1 ½ cup apple cider
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ cup chopped toasted pecans*
*to toast pecans, keep halves whole for even toasting, then chop; 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes will give a nice color and flavor


  1. In heavy nonreactive saute pan, melt butter over medium heat.
  2. Add apples, salt, maple syrup, brown sugar and cinnamon.
  3. Once mixture begins to sizzle, add apple cider and keep at a low simmer, uncovered, until thickened, stirring gently occasionally, about 35-40 minutes.
  4. If mixture looks thin and watery, it will thicken on standing.
  5. Cool to room temperature and add toasted pecans.
  6. Use immediately or refrigerate up to 1 week.
  7. To serve, very lightly microwave to soften until spoonable and use over ice cream, puddings, cake, pancakes or waffles.
  8. If you’d like this to be  even more pourable, add a few drops of maple syrup to the warmed sauce.
entire kale potato gratin

Kale Potato Gratin

February 14, 2023

entire kale potato gratin


It’s Valentine’s Day and I will honor my main squeeze The Potato. As usual, my goal is to sneak veggies and fruits into most recipes. Hence the kale. I bet even the most ardent potato fans will go for this silky gratin. Continue reading

glasses of cranberry apple brandy cocktail

Cranberry Apple Brandy Cocktail

november 21, 2022

glasses of cranberry apple brandy cocktail


Holiday entertaining season begins this week. Here’s a refreshing beverage to accompany your homemade appetizers.  This Cranberry Apple Brandy Cocktail hits all the right notes and goes with everything. Continue reading

platter of balsamic pecan sweet potatoes

Balsamic Pecan Sweet Potatoes

November 8, 2022

platter of balsamic pecan sweet potatoes


There are two camps of sweet potato connoisseurs. Sweet and not sweet. I’ve done sweet and I’ve done not too sweet. Seems the classic American route is to top with marshmallows. Those who like the dessert level tuber will dip from the casserole top. The savory coalition will dig deeper in the dish. Continue reading

slice of bacon apple cheese tart

Bacon Apple Cheese Tart

October 25, 2022

slice of bacon apple cheese tart

I have a tart which will serve as breakfast, brunch, appetizer, lunch or dinner. It can be made ahead and responds to all manner of substitutions. The words apple, bacon and cheese conjure cool weather comfort. This tart is a warm hug from the autumn kitchen. You can make this recipe your own with lots of other additions.

While local apples are fragrant and crisp, they inspire creativity. There is no need to limit your use of apples to sweet treats. Turkey Apple Meatloaf with apple butter dijon glaze is just the right mix of savory and sweet. Broccoli Apple Ale Soup is full-on savory. Apples, raw and cooked, are super versatile. Virginia apple season is spectacular this year and I am in apple heaven. Continue reading

slice of zucchini fudge cake

Zucchini Fudge Cake

October 4, 2022

slice of zucchini fudge cake

Zucchini is one of the last local summer vegetables at the roadside stands. Slick green squash batons keep company on the racks with many-hued fall squashes, smooth and warty, solid and spotted and striped. Continue reading

bowl of smoky collard greens

Smoky Collard Greens

January 11, 2022

bowl of smoky collard greens

Did you enjoy good luck greens for New Year’s? Along with Pimento Cheese Cornbread, I had Caribbean inspired Hoppin’ John with coconut milk and citrus and purple kale. I feel lucky. Continue reading