10 Minute Apple Sauce

My husband and I bought a ton of apples at an orchard last week. We have been extremely busy, but I wanted to make sure I used them to bake/cook before they go bad. I have made this 10 minute apple sauce several times but never with the seasonings below. This is Alton Brown’s recipe, but it is so easy to change ingredients and vary the recipe depending on your tastes. I’ll explain my changes within the recipe.  After making this apple sauce at home, I honestly will never buy apple sauce from the store again. It lasts a long time in the refrigerator as well. The ingredients for this recipe are items I always have on hand (huge bonus).  


  • 3 Golden Delicious apples, peeled, cored, and quartered
  • 3 Fuji apples, peeled, cored, and quartered (I used 3 Cortland)
  • 1 cup unfiltered apple juice (I used apple cider)
  • 2 tablespoons cognac or brandy
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon (or more depending on taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/8 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger Continue reading

Simple Potato & Leek Soup

This past week, my cross country season came to an end.  With all the commotion involved, including school work for my job and graduate school, there hasn’t been much time to cook. Last week, I purchased potatoes and leeks from the farmer’s market and needed to use them before they went bad.  I was short on time and groceries. This soup was so simple to create and very inexpensive.  I looked at several recipes online and threw together what I had.  It wasn’t too shabby! Read below for tips on cleaning leeks and freezing soups.

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Spaghetti Squash with Bell Peppers

Only recently have I started experimenting with spaghetti squash.  After cooking it for the first time, I was amazed at how much it looks like spaghetti.  Yes, I know it is called spaghetti squash. I am still experimenting with different ideas for this vegetable, but the possibilities are endless.  I’ve made a “pasta” bake in the past with spaghetti squash, marinara sauce and crumbled Italian sausage.  I mixed it all together, sprinkled mozzarella cheese over the top, and baked it in the oven.  It was delicious!  I didn’t even miss the pasta. For this recipe, I wanted the squash to be a side dish and not a main dish.  All I did was throw in items I had around the kitchen/garden.


  • 1 spaghetti squash
  • 1 bell pepper (I used brown because that’s what I had in my garden)
  • Butter (2-3 T) or more to taste
  • Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
  • Oregano, fresh and chopped (can use dried if no fresh)
  • salt and pepper to taste

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Simple Jerk Chicken

I found this meal idea years ago and have used it ever since.  It is a simple recipe for those nights when you don’t have a lot of time.  This chicken .  It goes well topped with a mango salsa (mango, red onion, jalapeno, lime juice, cilantro and an optional ingredient is blueberries.  The mango salsa makes it light and refreshing.  This is a must in our house during the warmer months (into fall).  When I made this recently, I served it with spaghetti squash  instead of mango salsa.  It transformed the meal into more of a fall dish than a summer dish.


  • 3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp. ground allspice
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic salt
  • 1/4 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1/4 tsp. table salt
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper, or to taste (I usually double the cayenne, but used one minced Thai chili pepper instead)
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
  • 1 lb. boneless skinless chicken (thighs, breasts, or a combo)

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Revised Cilantro Lime Rice

Cilantro Lime Rice is usually made with cilantro and lime. I wanted to dress it up and give it more flavor so I added jalapenos and pineapple. I felt it still needed some sweetness, so I added some of the sauce from the Tequila Glazed Grilled Chicken Recipe.


  • 4-5 C cooked brown or white rice (I used brown)
  • 1/4 (or to taste) chopped cilantro
  • juice of 2-3 limes
  • 8 oz. crushed pineapple, drained
  • 1/8 C (or to taste) of the pineapple sauce made from the Tequila Glazed Grilled Chicken Recipe
  • 1 jalapeno, diced (you can remove the seeds and membrane if you don’t want it too spicy)


1. Mix together all ingredients to taste. That’s it!

 Printable Recipe!