Apple Elderberry Crisp


The end of summer is upon us, and we welcome autumn fruits and vegetables – squash, pumpkins, apples, and elderberries. Elderberries are edible little berries that ripen from mid-August to mid- September, and there just happened to be bushes full of them by our lake house this weekend. They are very tart, but delicious when made into jams, jellies, wine, pies, or crisps.  My grandmother used to make Elderberry Apple Pie.  Below I did a variation on her pie, and instead made a crisp with the first of the season’s apples.


Apple and Black Elderberry Crisp


1 cup black elderberries

5 medium sized apples

1/4 cup honey

2 teaspoons orange zest

2 tablespoons arrowroot (or cornstarch)

juice of 1 orange


1 1/2 cup whole rolled oats

3/4 cup almond flour

2 tablespoons brown sugar or honey

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon sea salt


Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large bowl mix together the elderberries, apples, honey and orange zest.  In a separate bowl whisk together the arrowroot and orange juice and then add to the fruit mixture. Toss to combine. Pour into a 9 x 13 inch baking dish or large pie dish.

For the topping, mix together all the ingredients with either a paddle stand mixer or your hands. Mix until large crumbs form.  Place crumbed topping over the fruit mixture.  Bake for 30-35 minutes until the fruit is bubbling and the topping is brown. Delicious with vanilla ice cream.




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Pumpkin Bread




With Thanksgiving upon us, it is important to think about those things for which we can be grateful. So in appreciation of my family, I want to share my grandmother’s pumpkin bread recipe.  This recipe is simple and can easily be doubled to make two loaves. I have come up with my own version of the pumpkin bread, using healthier ingredients.  It’s just as great as the original recipe so you can feel good about eating it this holiday.

Grandmommy’s Pumpkin Bread


2 eggs

1 1/2 cups sugar

1 cups oil

1 cup pumpkin

1 3/4 cup flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon cloves

1/2 teaspoon ginger

1/2 teaspoon all spice

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1/3 cup water


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and grease one 12 x 14-inch loaf pan.

In a large bowl beat together the eggs, sugar, and oil.  Add the pumpkin and beat again until smooth. In a separate bowl whisk flour, salt, baking soda and spices.  Add the flour mixture to the egg/pumpkin mixture and beat with the mixer.  Add water and mix.

Pour into loaf pan and bake for one hour. Let cool before slicing. Delicious with some butter spread on top!


Rebecca’s version of Grandmommy’s pumpkin Bread


2 eggs

1 cup coconut sugar

1/2 cup coconut oil

1 cup organic pumpkin puree

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour or gluten free flour blend

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

2 teaspoons pumpkin spice

1/3 cup whole milk or almond milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and grease one 12 x 14-inch loaf pan.

In a large bowl beat together the eggs, sugar, and oil.  Add the pumpkin and beat again until smooth. In a separate bowl whisk flour, salt, baking soda and pumpkin spice.  Add the flour mixture to the egg/pumpkin mixture and beat with the mixer.  Add milk and mix.

Pour into the loaf pan and bake for 45 minutes to one hour.


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Jelly Roll

jelly roll 2

 A Jelly Roll is one of those simple desserts that is so satisfying.  It is among my father’s favorite treats that my Bubbie would make for him when he was a child. So in honor of the holidays here is a delicious recipe from my Bubbie. Make it for your Hannukah party!


3/4 cup flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

3 eggs

1 cup sugar

1/3 cup water

1 teaspoon vanilla

confectioners sugar

good quality raspberry jam


Line a  10×15 inch sheet pan with wax paper and then spray the wax paper with cooking spray. **

In a medium bowl mix the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

In the stand of a mixer, beat the eggs for 5 minutes. Add the sugar and beat for another minute. Continue by adding the sugar, water and vanilla extract.  Gradually add flour mixture and mix until combined. Pour batter into greased baking tray. Bake for 12-14 minutes, until lightly done.

Sprinkle cake with a light dusting of confectioners sugar and invert the cake from the pan onto a clean tea towel. Remove wax paper from the cake.  Gently roll the cake using the tea towel. Allow the rolled cake to cool completely. You can even put it in the refrigerator to speed up the process.

Once the cake has cooled, unroll it and spread a very thin layer of raspberry jam all over. Re-roll and slice! You can dust the cake with more confectioners sugar if desired.

** The best pan to use for this recipe is a 10×15 inch pan.  However, I used a half sheet pan which also worked, but produces a thinner cake.

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Yellow Tomato Jam

                                                    jam 1

With the end of summer upon us, I want to feature a recipe of my grandmother’s that highlights the end of summer’s bounty.  My grandmother Virginia grew up on a farm in Pennsylvania and spent a lot of time with her mother preserving vegetables from their garden.  This yellow tomato jam is a recipe that she would have canned to eat in the winter.

Yellow tomatoes are so delicious this time of year.  The jam would be good as an accompaniment to grilled chicken or any meat.  My grandmother would have spread it on homemade bread. Enjoy!

This recipe was featured by Anne Quinn Corr the food editor for The Centre Daily Times in State College Pa.


Makes about 2 cups

1 1/2 cups sugar

1/2 cup water

1 quart chopped yellow tomatoes

1 lemon, peeled, seeded and chopped

Boil the sugar and the water together for 5 minutes to make a thick syrup.

Stir in the chopped tomatoes and the chopped lemon. Stirring frequently, cook over low heat for an hour and a half, until the tomatoes are translucent.

Note: If canning, fill sterilized jars with the mixture and process in a boiling water bath for 15 minutes.

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Cold Summer Borscht

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After spending a weekend in Hull, Massachusetts in the beach house my grandparents lived in, I was inspired to make a summer dish that my Bubbie often made.  My father said he remembered my grandfather eating a big bowl of cold beet soup in the summer time, with a dollop of sour cream on top.  So here is a cold beet soup inspired by my Bubbie and her beach house.

This recipe is super easy for the summertime and you don’t need to turn on  your stove!


1 lb beets

3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1/4 cup sugar

salt and pepper to taste

1 potato

sour cream



Wash your beets and place them in a large pot. Cover beets with water and bring to a boil. Let beets simmer until beets are tender when pierced with a fork. Remove cooked beets with a slotted spoon.

Coarsely shred the beets in a food processor. Return them to the pot with the beet water. Add cider vinegar, lemon juice, sugar, salt and pepper to taste.  Chill beet soup in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or overnight.

In the meantime, boil a potato until tender.  Drain and run under cold water until cool.  Cut into one inch cubes.

Once beet mixture is cool ladle into bowls.  Add potato cubes to bowl along with a dollop of sour cream and spring of dill.

You could also garnish the soup with grated cucumber, hard boiled egg, parsley, or creme fraiche.

Enjoy! Stay cool this summer.

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Stewed Rhubarb and Gluten Free Rhubarb Crisp

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This simple recipe  of stewed rhubarb is something my grandmother would make as soon as rhubarb was in season.  My mother still makes it all the time.  It is perfect to eat warm on its own or pour over vanilla ice cream.

The crisp recipe is a creation of mine.  It is not too sweet so the rhubarb and strawberries really shine through.

Stewed Rhubarb


1 lb (about 3 cups) chopped rhubarb

1/4 cup sugar plus more if needed

2 tablespoons of water

dash of cinnamon or nutmeg


Place all ingredients into a saucepan. Bring mixture to a boil and then reduce heat.

Simmer the mixture for about 10-15 minutes until the rhubarb is soft and cooked.  Taste to see if you might need a little more sugar. Enjoy!

rhubarb 1

Gluten Free Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp



2 cups rhubarb, chopped

2 cups strawberries, sliced

1/4 cup maple syrup

2 teaspoons lemon zest

2 tablespoons arrowroot (or cornstach)

juice of one lemon


1 1/2 cups gluten free oats

3/4 cups almond flour

1/4 cups walnuts, chopped

2 tablespoons maple syrup

1/2 cup ( 1 stick) unsalted butter

1 teaspoon cinnamon

pinch of sea salt


Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large bowl mix together the rhubarb, strawberries, maple syrup and lemon zest.  In a separate bowl whisk together the arrowroot and lemon juice and then add to the fruit mixture. Toss to combine. Pour into a 9 x 13 inch baking dish

For the topping, mix together all the ingredients with either a paddle stand mixer or your hands. Mix until large crumbs form.  Place crumbed topping over the fruit mixture.  Bake for 40-45 minutes until the fruit is bubbling and the topping is browned.  Allow to cool slightly and enjoy with ice cream!

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*If you would like to make this dish vegan you can sub the butter for coconut oil

*This dish is not too sweet so if you like a little more sweetness you can add more maple syrup to the fruit mixture.

crisp 2

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Grandmother’s Famous Cranberry Bread

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Every Thanksgiving and into Christmas my Grandmommy would make this cranberry bread. There is something about this lightly sweet fresh cranberry bread that just brings you into the holiday season.  This recipe comes from the children’s book “Cranberry Thanksgiving.” In the book Grandmother invites a poor and lonely guest every Thanksgiving and always makes her famous cranberry bread.  We loved reading this book every Thanksgiving and subsequently my Grandmommy always made this recipe.

The version below is my healthy (ish) interpretation of the original recipe. It’s a perfect holiday gift if you are going somewhere for Thanksgiving this year. Just wrap it up and tie it with ribbon!


1 cup whole wheat flour

1 cup all purpose flour

1 cup sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted

1 egg, beaten

zest of one orange

3/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice

1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries, chopped

optional: 1 cup light raisins or 1/2 cup chopped walnuts


Preheat your oven to 350 F.

Sift the flours, sugar, baking powder, salt, and baking soda into a large bowl.

In a separate bowl mix the melted butter, egg, orange zest , and orange juice.  Add this liquid mixture to the  flour mixture.  Mix together, the batter will be quite thick.  Fold in the cranberries.

Bake for 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove from pan and allow to cool on a wire rack.

Enjoy!  Happy Thanksgiving!!

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Here is the original version from “Cranberry Thanksgiving” by Wende Devlin.



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Scalloped Potatoes


I was trying to figure out what to do with the abundance of potatoes that we got from our CSA farm share this week, when I stumbled across my Grandmommy’s recipe for scalloped potatoes.  It is an easy recipe and so delicious.   This version is surprisingly light for a potato dish and can be a great side to almost any dinner.  I tweaked her recipe a little bit by using milk instead of cream and adding parsley and fresh parmesan as well.

Here is the recipe:

1 lb yellow potatoes

1 cup organic whole milk (or heavy cream)

2 tbsp unsalted butter

salt, pepper, fresh chopped parsley

2 tablespoons freshly grated parmesan cheese


Preheat your oven to 350 F and butter a gratin dish or any heavy baking dish.  Then, start peeling your potatoes.


Slice the peeled potatoes very thinly, making sure they are evenly sliced (you could use a mandoline if you have one). Then, make a layer of potatoes in your gratin dish, overlapping them slightly.  Season with salt, pepper and parsley. Continue to make layers of potatoes seasoning well with each layer. Once you have used all of your potatoes, carefully pour about 1 cup of milk over the dish.  Cut the 2 tablespoons of butter into small pieces and dot on the top of your potatoes.

Bake for 1 hour. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with freshly grated parmesan cheese. Pop back into the oven for another 5-10 minutes. Allow to cool slightly and enjoy!


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The Jewish holiday of Purim is right around the corner.  The three cornered cookies called Hamantashen are traditional this time of year. Their triangular shape is said to invoke the memory of the evil Haman’s hat.  This cute triangular pastry can be found with all different types of filling: chocolate filling, prune, apricot, poppy seed, marmalade, or jams.  Here is my Bubbie’s Hamantaschen recipe below with a poppy seed filling (my favorite type). I have also included my recipe for Vegan Hamantaschen. They are equally as delicious!


2 cups all purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

pinch of salt

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cold and cut into small pieces

2 eggs lightly beaten

1 teaspoon lemon zest


Combine dry ingredients in the bottom of a food processor and pulse a few times until combined.  Add butter and pulse until the dough is in crumbly and butter is the size of peas.  Add the eggs and lemon zest and pulse until the dough forms into a ball.  Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for at least an hour.

Poppy Seed Filling:

1 cup milk

1 cup poppy seeds

2 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons honey

1/4 cup sugar

2 teaspoons lemon juice

1 teaspoon grated lemon zest


Bring milk, poppy seeds and butter to a boil. Reduce heat and add honey and sugar.  Simmer mixture until it become thick and all the milk is absorbed.  Stir lemon juice and zest.  Allow to cool completely.

Roll out chilled dough into 1/8-1/4 inch thickness.  Cut into 3 inch circles and place a teaspoon of cooled poppy seed filling into the center of each circle.   Bring the three edges to the center, pinching edges together tightly to form a closed triangle over the filling.

Place on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake in a 350 degree oven for 15 minutes or until golden brown.  Allow to cool.


Vegan Hamantaschen


3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour

3/4 cup all purpose flour

2 tablespoons sugar

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

pinch of sea salt

1/3 cup coconut oil, room temperature, not liquefied

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

2 tablespoons maple syrup

3-5 tablespoons ice cold water


Apricot Preserves


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

In a medium bowl, sift together dry ingredients.

Add oil to the dry ingredients and using a pastry cutter (or fork) blend the oil into the flour.  Dough should have course sand like consistency.

Add vanilla, maple syrup and one tablespoon of water.  Mix to combine with a wooden spoon.  Slowly add water to dough on tablespoon at a time until the dough just holds together.

Wrap dough in a plastic wrap and refrigerate for 15 minutes.

When dough is chilled roll out on a flat surface. Roll to 1/4 inch thickness and out cut 3 inch circles.

Place rounds on a parchment lined baking sheet. Refrigerate dough for another 15 minutes.  Remove from the fridge and place 1 teaspoon of apricot preserves in the center of each circle. Fold up three corners to create a triangle shape. Make sure to pinch each corner so the filling does not leak.

Bake for 10-15 minutes in the oven or until they are a light golden brown. Allow to cool completely.




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brisket2My Bubbie’s Brisket is one of the dishes that I remember most growing up, because my dad would make it all the time.  There is something so comforting about cutting into a soft piece of brisket accompanied by roasted vegetables.  Brisket is a tough cut of beef, but if you cook it long enough it will become very tender.  My grandmothers version uses typical 1950′s ingredients.

1 5-6 lb brisket

4-5 whole garlic cloves

1 can whole cranberry sauce

1 packet lipton soup mix

aluminum foil

roasting pan with lid


Pre-heat your oven to 275 degrees F.

Place a layer of aluminum foil in the bottom of a roasting pan, and place the brisket on top.

Cut small slits into the top of the brisket and stuff garlic cloves into them.

Spread the can of cranberry sauce over the top of the brisket and then sprinkle the packet of Lipton soup on top.

Cover with aluminum foil and then place the lid on the roasting pan.

Cook for about five hours.

You can also do a version of this brisket minus the canned ingredients.  Slice three large onions and place onions on the bottom and top of the brisket.  Cover with aluminum and cook for about five hours.

* when possible try to use local and organic meat products


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