Apple Walnut Squares with Caramel Glaze

apple walnut squares1

I did say apples are my favorite Fall fruit, didn’t I? Already?  They are! Last week after I made my Home-made Apple Tarts I realized I had bought more apples than I needed.  I saved the apples to use this week in my Apple Walnut Squares with Caramel Glaze.

Don’t you love to make a mistake that comes in handy later? I do….like the time I was going to make a lemon pie and the filling overcooked,  turning brown, so we had to improvise and create an original dessert. Lemon Cheesecake and Strawberry Trifle. It was a great lesson for Stella,  who was helping me that morning….and a wonderful dessert…and no one was the wiser. Only Stella and I knew the truth. We love having kitchen secrets.

apple walnut squares3

I remember when I was a little girl,  going to family reunions and my great aunt and I couldn’t wait to eat.  So,  we went around sampling all the food to make sure it was “worthy of my grandmother’s table.” She was my grandmother’s baby sister. I never asked…but, I think she must have been very mischievous growing up. ;) I’ll always remember the fun we had. Such sweet memories. I hope I’m making plenty of fun memories with my little ones.

apple walnut squares2

Oh, I love this recipe…it’s so tender and moist. Perfect with a cup of coffee for breakfast!

Here’s to another favorite recipe…Apple Walnut Squares….Enjoy!

Apple Walnut Squares with Caramel Glaze

Ingredients

  • 2 cups plain flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup toasted walnuts,chopped
  • 3 apples coarsely chopped with peel on
  • Glaze:
  • 1/2 stick butter...(4 TBLS)
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 3 TBLS canned milk, (Evaporated Milk) NOT sweetened condensed ..you may use half n half

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven 350*
  2. Lightly grease or PAM a 9x13 baking pan.
  3. Mix oil, sugar and eggs and whip until combined and fluffy.
  4. Sift dry ingredients together.
  5. Add apples to oil mixture.
  6. Add nuts to flour mixture.
  7. Mix both mixtures together.
  8. Spread evenly into prepared baking pan.
  9. Bake 45 minutes to 1 hour or until golden brown and cake begin to pull away from sides.
  10. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
  11. Top with glaze.
  12. Glaze: bring butter and brown sugar to a boil.
  13. Boil for 2 minutes.
  14. Add milk
  15. Boil one minute longer
  16. Remove from heat
  17. Allow to cool a few minutes
  18. while still warm, drizzle over cake
  19. Enjoy!
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Savory Cream of Carrot Soup

savory cream of carrot soup1

I’ve been craving something lately,  I just didn’t know what. My eyes have been bothering me, so when I saw this recipe for carrot soup …it just looked so good that I couldn’t let the weekend pass until I made Savory Cream of Carrot Soup.  It is so very good, and the fact it’s delicious and good for my eyes…..well, it’s a win-win. And I had enough to freeze…. win-win-win. [Read more...]

Home-Made Apple Tarts

homemade apple tart

Fall is officially here.  I know it’s technically been here a few weeks, but in Georgia the season kinda drags its feet. Then slowly but surely the weather gives in, until the nights and the mornings are finally cool. You know it’s here because the leaves turn loose and begin tumbling to the ground…..And it’s apple season. Time for any and all things apple, my favorite Fall fruit. Today I made Home-Made Apple Tarts. After supper, we had Apple Tarts and coffee. And in the morning,  we will do it all over again…..

I have to admit, the first time I made these I was a little nervous. You see,  apple tarts are my mother in law’s specialty. And I make a point to never enter a competition with my mother in law. There’s no way to win. Not for me nor for you with yours. She was his first love and nothing will ever compete with that.  So, with this fact always in mind, I tread very carefully across this most hallowed ground. ;)

I remember when we were dating and I had made my perfect roast beef for dinner. We stopped by later to see his mother and he must have been smokin’ something, I never knew what got into him. To this day.  I caught my breath when I heard him say to her  ”It was the best roast beef I have ever put in my mouth.” I looked at him and thought “What have you done? Have you lost your mind???” He told me later, that he was trying to put the words back into his mouth as they stumbled out, but they wouldn’t stop coming… It was something we will never forget. She stopped what she was doing and looked at him, then she looked at me, then back at him. I knew he had stepped in it. There was no cleaning up that mess. We didn’t stay long.

She has made apple tarts for him since he was a little boy.  It’s a comfort food for him and he loves them.  I dreaded having him try mine.  I worried about the crust. I was concerned it might be tough. I worried about the filling, I knew she only used dried apples….I didn’t have her recipe, but I did have one from a dear lady I knew years ago.  When I finished with my first batch and tasted the first one…..oh me, oh my.  They were out of this world. I wasn’t worried any more. And further more, not only would my husband approve, she would, too!

I love my mother in law. We’ve always been kindred spirits. We love the same things: cooking, gardening, shopping and her son.

homemade apple tarts closeup

The tart has perfect layers of tender and delicate crust.

homemade apple tart apples

Although some recipes call for dried apples, fresh apples are perfect. You simply cook them until the juice evaporates. The filling is a simple stewed apple, sugar and cinnamon combination. I used Granny Smith Apples.

homemade apple tart filling2

Roll out crust into 5 inch rounds. Place a tablespoon of filling in the middle and fold over, crimp with a fork.

homemade apple tarts filling

Fry in 1 inch oil, on medium heat. You don’t want the oil to be smoking….

homemade apple tarts frying

Drain well on paper towels. Sprinkle with granulated sugar while still warm.

homemade apple tarts sliced

This recipe makes about 15 apple tarts.

Homemade Apple Tarts wide

Whew!…..It’s always nice to pass the mother in law test, don’t you think?   I’m not even going to tell you what he said about my Home-Made Apple Tarts!……no way….  I will say this…they won’t last long!

Enjoy!

Home-Made Apple Tarts

Ingredients

  • 4 large baking apples .....I used two Granny Smith and two Fuji. The Granny Smith tend to cook down faster and the Fuji will not fall apart so easily. You may use either or some of both.
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1-2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 TBLS butter
  • Crust:
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 Tsp. Salt
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup salad oil
  • hot salad oil for cooking

Instructions

  1. Peel and slice apples. Place in large boiler...(just apples) and turn heat on medium. Cover them with a lid. Watch the apples and stir them as they cook a little, but not too much. After about 3-4 minutes remove lid and add sugar and cinnamon mixture. Cook uncovered until done. If you stir too much they will all cook apart. Don't cook them that long..maybe 3 more minutes. Remove from heat and stir in flavoring and butter. Stir and set aside to cool.
  2. For Crust:
  3. Mix all ingredients and add additional flour so that you can handle the dough. Once dough is smooth, place in plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 30 minutes or until you are ready to assemble tarts.
  4. To assemble:
  5. Roll out half of the dough about 1/8 inch thick, on a well floured surface.
  6. Once it is rolled out, dust it with a little flour and fold into a square.
  7. Roll it out again. This makes the wonderful flakey layers. ..but this can be our little secret....
  8. Cut into 5 inch circles. (I used a large wide-mouth peanut butter jar)
  9. Wet the edges with water.
  10. Place a tablespoon of filling in the center of the dough round.
  11. Fold over and press together with fingers
  12. With a fork, crimp edges.
  13. Fry in hot oil until both sides are lightly browned.
  14. Drain on paper towels.
  15. Sprinkle with granulated sugar
  16. This recipe will make about a 12-15 tarts
  17. Enjoy!
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Ronald Reagan’s Marriage Advice to His Son, Michael

ronnie nancy

Recently, I came across this letter from President Reagan to his son, Michael in 1971. He sent it to him just a few days before Michael was to be married.  Reagan wasn’t president yet, but he was a husband and a father. And we all know he had one flaw against him when he became president. He was the first divorced president in our history. There’s a hint of it in this letter when he mentions to Michael that he of all people understands what it is to be from an unhappy home….and that now, Michael has the chance to get it right. [Read more...]

Happiness is God’s Will for Us

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A couple of weeks ago I was wondering whether or not God wants His people to be Happy. I found that He certainly does. So much so, that Jesus devoted a whole sermon on just exactly how we can be happy! Another word for happy is blessed.  I think it’s safe to say that happiness is God’s will for us! [Read more...]

Eggplant Parmesan

Eggplant parmesan1

I don’t now about you, but Eggplant Parmesan is one of my favorite dishes.  It satisfies something deep down in my being….makes me think I must have Italian ancestors somewhere back there….wouldn’t that be nice?  And, I wish I still had relatives there living a beautiful villa in a quaint little Italian Village…..that would work! I can claim this: My son proposed to his sweetheart in a city park overlooking the country side in Monterubbiano, Italy. I’m thinking that counts for ‘honorable mention’ at the very least…..;) And when I painted the backdrops for our Nutcracker production my husband nicknamed me Michalangela. There,  you see? I have many reasons to claim Italian heritage… [Read more...]

Savory Squash Fritters

savory squash fritters plate

I hate to throw good food out. Don’t you?  I remember my mother taking left over mashed potatoes and making potato cakes. She would add a little chopped onion, egg and flour to make it all hold together. It was always such a delicious treat. I’m sure her example influenced me to not throw out good food.  There’s always something to be made.  Did you know leftover squash makes the best little fritters?  A few days ago I stewed squash for supper.  Today I decided use the leftovers and make Savory Summer Squash Fritters for Sunday Dinner. [Read more...]

Chocolate Buttermilk Pound Cake

chocolate buttermilk pound cake3

For years I made Miss Marie’s Chocolate Pound Cake and loved it. I still do. In fact, even when I make this Chocolate Buttermilk Pound Cake, she is always on my mind. She passed away 12 years go and I miss her.

I remember, many years ago, going into my daughter’s room to have “The Talk’ with her. She was in the 5th grade. I decided it was about time….boy, I dreaded it. This is important. I mustard up as much courage as I could and climbed the stairs to her room. [Read more...]

The Day I Looked for God and Saw Him

the day I looked for God

Yesterday began with tons of uncertainly. I had to leave town for a visit that potentially could cause all sorts of hurt and hard feelings.  I dreaded making the trip, but had put it off as long as I could. I had to go.  And then I hate to leave town. My husband depends on me for support and he too, has several things going on that have caused him sleepless nights.   I knew he needed me here for encouragement and even though he knew I wouldn’t be gone long, it made for a long day for him. As I drove out of town I began to pray for the Lord to watch over things at home, to give him peace of mind for this day and grant me favor with my most unpleasant task. [Read more...]

How to Find Happiness

how to find happiness

This week, with all the talk swirling around Victoria Osteen’s comments on the idea that God wants us to be happy ~ for our benefit, not God’s… I decided to do a study on happiness, from a Biblical point of view, and see what God really says about it.  Do you know what I found? A whole chapter devoted to happiness!  It begins: Blessed is the man….also translated “Happy.” God obviously puts a great deal of emphasis on how to find happiness.  He didn’t want us to be mistaken about what happiness is. [Read more...]