Fresh Peach Upside Down Cake

Being such a fan of the Pineapple Upside Down Cake and being in the thick of peach season, we (my siblings and I) decided why not switch out those pineapples with peaches. Should be just as doggone good if not better right?! And, indeed, we were right. :P Read More

Homemade Vegetable Pizza

Now, I am not sure if I ever met, or ever will meet, someone who doesn’t like pizza. I think it must be one of those impossibilites of life. lol But there are pizzas out there that are just way better than others. Homemade for instance. Homemade can never be beat in my opinon. Simple homemade crust with just four ingredients, pizza sauce with just a few spices, and for the topping you don’t even need meat. All-veggie pizzas are amazing and chock-full with flavor, you just don’t miss the meat. Of course you can add meat . . . sausage, pepperoni, bacon bits, whatever you like, but family is always looking for meals for Meatless Fridays and meals that are easy on the budget. This vegetable pizza takes the cake pizza! Read More

Christmastime, what makes this time of year so darn nice?

The start of my Christmas week was blessed first with good weather and second with my sister Catherine coming home from college after long weeks of finals. We were able to get our biggest seed order taken care of (seven more orders to go!) and the farm stand closed up for the year. Then the howling wind came the night before Christmas Eve, storms blew in and out went our power. Yet, I still was thankful because that’s all that happened, we didn’t suffer any damage nor was the weather bitter cold. We got our big generator going and we were even able to make Christmas cookies, apple sauce, rolls, and winter squash soup! Pretty awesome if you ask me! Read More

Apple and Raisin Sweet Yeast Bread Stromboli ♥ New Family Favorite!

I spent many hours this fall season out in the apple orchard picking apple after apple after apple after… well you get the picture.:) I’m definitely not complaining–we had a beautiful crop of most of our apple varieties which was awesome awesome (yes you see double) awesome (now triple)! But apple picking is done for the year and time spent working at the farm continues to dwindle down. This is a good thing in a way, means a bit more time spent doing other things… like baking! Woohoo! So happily and eagerly taking advantage of all those apples I picked for all those months, I decided to try a new recipe rather than the usual apple pie. Have you heard of stromboli before? Me neither. Well I learned that it is an Italian bread creation that is normally filled with cheese and some sort of meat. Sounded yummy to me… cheese, meat and… cheese? But this time I ditched the savory and went with a sweet version. How about apples, raisins and brown sugar? All rolled up in a delicious, sweet yeast bread? Oh yea. mmmhmm. Found a new family favorite is what I did!

Mixed Apple and Raisin Stromboli

3 hours, 30 minutes

30 minutes

4 hours

Yield: 1 9-inch loaf

Mixed Apple and Raisin Stromboli


  • 1 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 1 teaspoon sugar or 1/2 teaspoon honey
  • 1/2 cup warm water (100F on an instant-read or candy thermometer)
  • 1/2 cup warm milk (100F on an instant-read or candy thermometer)
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 to 5 cups AP flour
  • Filling:
  • 4 graham crackers, crushed
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup raisins
  • A little apple juice or cider
  • 2 tablespoon melted butter
  • 5 medium to large apples (a mix of apples would be best. Idared, Jonagold, and Northern Spy are good choices)
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice


    Make the dough:
  1. Proof the yeast by dissolving it in a small bowl with the water and a little sugar or honey. Let it sit for 10 minutes or until it bubbles. I just left it until I had the rest of the ingredients combined.
  2. After warming the milk, cut up the butter and let it melt in the milk.
  3. In a large bowl add 1/4 cup sugar, eggs, salt, and vanilla. Combine and then add milk/butter mixture. Stir in 2 cups of flour and stir vigorously until well combined or use a stand mixer and beat for 1 minute. Add more flour, a cup at a time, until the dough is kneadable. Knead for about 8 minutes (I did this right in the large bowl) and then form into a ball. Spray bowl with non-stick butter spray, cover bowl tightly with plastic wrap, and let dough rise in a warm spot until it has doubled in size (about 2 hours).
  4. Make the filling:
  5. Soak the raisins in the apple juice/cider. Mix the crushed crackers, brown sugar, and cinnamon in a bowl. Toss the apples and lemon juice in the crumb mixture and gently distribute with wooden spoon or hands. Drain raisins then add them with the apples.
  6. Putting it Together:
  7. On a well-floured surface flatten and shape dough into a rectangle with your hands and then use a rolling pin to roll it out to about a 16x12 rectangle. Brush the melted butter over the dough and then evenly spread the filling over the whole dough. Take all the edges of the dough and fold it over the apples about an inch or two. Roll the dough into a log and pinch the seam with your fingers. Place on cookie sheet lined with parchment, seam side down. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise again until it has increased by about 50%, about 1 hour.
  8. Preheat the oven to 375F. Place rack in middle of oven. Brush the top of the bread with butter or an egg wash and bake for about 30 minutes. You may need to reduce the temperature to 350F if it starts to brown too quickly. Keep an eye on it, especially at the 20 minute mark. It is done when it is a dark golden brown (on top and bottom).


Right out of the oven is when it's at its best! But room temperature is also lip-smacking good too! My dad loves it smothered with butter in the morning at breakfast.
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Happy Birthday Ice Cream Cake

My sister Catherine’s birthday is the only birthday in my family that is in the middle of summer. So we often will pig out on ice cream on her b-day and this year is no exception except this time I made her ice cream cake with her favorite brand of ice cream. I’ll show you step by step on how I put it together including the super chocolatey fudgey wudgy layer of fudge. Mmmmm:) :) Read More

In Grandma Anna’s Bay: Jungle of Ostrich Ferns

On the homestead we have about 5 acres of woods and lake front property which includes a wooded bay that my great grandma Anna would often take a stroll through. Descending the hill in the summer it feels like you are entering a jungle of some kind with the hundreds of ferns, all different kinds, that cover the ground floor. It’s a rather spectacular sight but wouldn’t be nearly as spectacular without the ostrich fern. I remember as a kid how fun it was to wade through them since they were almost as tall as me at the time. They certainly have multiplied since then! It’s this time of year that they are just beginning to poke through the ground and the carpet of last year’s leaves, and soon they will start unfurling their fronds. Read More

30 Minutes to Rise and Shine… Cinnamon Bun style!

Having a craving for fresh, warm and gooey cinnamon buns? Of course you do; we all do I think! But when will we ever have time for that? Like never I thought, until I found and tried this super quick, super yummy recipe for 30 minute cinnamon buns! Having only antenna TV, PBS cooking shows are often on and this recipe was demonstrated as I was slowly eating my breakfast one morning. It looked so good, they were done so fast… I couldn’t ignore those buns! So that morning, right after breakfast, I had to throw together my own batch and I gotta tell ya, they were a huge hit with my family! Definitely going to make more soon! Read More

Homemade Macaroni and Cheese

A Christian tradition that has been adopted by many families is to have no meat on Fridays in honor of Christ’s passion and death on Good Friday. My family is among those who still practice this tradition; however, trying to come up with a meatless meal to feed a large family is not the easiest task! I guess why should it be if the whole point of the tradition is to make a sacrifice in honor of the Ultimate Sacrifice, right? So no complaining here… Read More