800px-US_Flag_BacklitOne of my favorite activities is having folks over for dinner and dessert. With being on the road, it doesn’t happen nearly enough, so I get excited when I can set aside an evening for it. I’m definitely no Martha Stewart; I stick to the simple recipes. I often think I’d like to learn to prepare more fru-fru fare, one day when I’m not so busy with other things. But, alas, that day has not come yet. And besides, I much prefer grilled chicken to duck Soufflé, so perhaps I’ll always stick with simple. We’ll see.

Since July 4th is just around the corner, and we’ll be celebrating our freedom with family, friends, and food, I thought I’d share with you two of my favorite, simple recipes I’ll be making on Saturday. I’d also love to learn new recipes, so please share yours with me on Facebook! Enjoy! And if you try either of these, let me know how it goes!

 

Apple Pie with Crumb Topping

A family friend who used to prepare desserts for a restaurant chain shared this recipe with us when I was in seventh grade, and I’ve been making it ever since. How can a dish with so few ingredients be so delicious? Put on some good apple-slicing music to make the prep time fly by. Enjoy!

Ingredients:
5 cups sliced apples (Granny Smith’s work nicely)
1 9-inch pie shell (I like Pillsbury deep dish)
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 cup sugar

Topping:
½ cup sugar
½ tsp cinnamon
¾ cup all-purpose flour
6 tbsps butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

Preparation:

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • Peel, core, and slice apples 1/4 inch thick and arrange in unbaked pie shell.
  • Mix ½ cup sugar and 1 tsp cinnamon.
  • Coat apples thoroughly with mixture.
  • For topping:
  • Blend sugar, flour, and cinnamon.
  • Cut butter into this mixture until it is crumbly.
  • Pack topping over and around apples.
  • Bake at 400 degrees for 35-40 minutes.
  • Cover edges of crust with foil if browning too quickly.
  • Let cool and serve.

 

Serious Chocolate Brownies

My mom has been making these for as long as I can remember. I picked up the recipe in junior high and have been baking them ever since. They’re so quick and easy, but still from scratch! Hope you love them as much as we do!

Ingredients:
1 cup oil (or 2 sticks butter)
1-1/2 cup flour
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
2 tsps vanilla
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
8 tbsps cocoa (use name-brand if possible)
¾ bag semisweet chocolate chips (use name-brand if possible)

Preparation:
Combine all dry ingredients and mix thoroughly.

2. Stir in oil, eggs, and vanilla.
3. Stir in chocolate chips.
4. Bake on 350 for 25 minutes.
5. Let cool for 10 minutes; then cut into squares.

 

Happy Fourth of July!

 

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