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      Recipes — Mexican rum vanilla extract

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      Dad's favorite apple pie

      Dad's favorite apple pie

      It's pie time! What's your favorite? Mine, apple. My dad was an apple pie junkie! He had four daughters who all tried to master the apple pie for his birthdays and the holidays. One of the many sweet things about him, was that he always ate whatever we baked.  And there were some real flops!  He would say they were perfect and asked for seconds. I remember a time when my sister forgot to peel the apples. He ate it happily, laughed, and asked for seconds. As I think of it now, I'm convinced that he was always generous in his compliments so we'd keep trying! We all four finally mastered the many versions of apple pie and he loved every last one of them. He knew what he was doing, creating a legacy of daughters who would continue making him his apple pies:).




      • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
      • 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
      • 1 Tbsp cornstarch
      • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
      • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
      • 8 cups thinly sliced and peeled apples, about 7-8 medium apples
      • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
      • 1 tsp VanillaPura Mexican/rum vanilla extract



      • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
      • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
      • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
      • 1/2 cup butter, cut into little cubes and softened a little


      Use your favorite pie crust recipe



      In a bowl combine white sugar, flour, cornstarch, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

      1. In a large bowl combine sliced apples and lemon juice,  and vanilla, then add the mixed dried ingredients and using a spatula stir everything together until thoroughly combined. Set aside.
      2. Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C).
      3. Place pie crust in pie dish and tuck it in with your fingers. Trim excess dough if needed and flute the edges.
      4. Spoon the apple filling into the crust but leave most of the liquid in the bowl.
      5. To make the crumble topping, combine the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, and butter cubes in a bowl and use a fork, pastry cutter, or your hands to combine until thick and crumbly. Sprinkle topping over apple filling.
      6. Place pie dish on a large enough baking sheet covered with parchment paper and bake for 20 minutes. Then turn the temperature down to 375°F (190°C) and bake for 30 more minutes until the topping is golden brown and the filling is bubbling up. If the edges brown to quickly cover them with a pie shield after 20 minutes.
      7. Let the pie cool completely before cutting into it to allow the filling to thicken up. Cover leftovers with plastic wrap and store in the fridge for up to 4 days.
      8. Top with Whipped cream. Add a splash of vanilla and it will make all the difference











      Pumpkin cheesecake gingerbread trifles

      Pumpkin cheesecake gingerbread trifles

      Halloween is right around the corner and I’m getting excited!  I usually host a family Halloween party full of fun games, food, treats, and of course prizes! It’s really the only time of year I can gather them all up. With nieces and nephews now having their own little’s, its very rare we see everyone on the traditional holidays.   It’s just another opportunity to laugh, eat good food, and make some more memories.

       This trifle recipe reminds me of a party we hosted a few years back, entitled, “The HUNGRY Games”.  All families were invited to come representing their district. The food was fabulous and the games all surrounded some type of food.  For example, archery, which was aimed at an apple on the opponent’s heads. And of course the "tribute trifle challenge, where each team was required to make a yummy trifle dessert from the unknown ingredients in a chosen bag.  It was super fun and they really created some great trifles and some scary Halloween versions too.

       Trifles are the perfect party dessert. I like to create them in individual servings. It’s a party! Presentation counts as part of the decorations:).  Because they need to be made ahead of time, you're left with plenty of time for other preparations, and time to enjoy your guests when they arrive.

      This trifle recipe is fun and delicious! Pumpkin cheesecake, gingerbread cookie crumbles, and googley eyes?! It's sure to be a hit at your next Halloween party.


      • 1 ½ cups cold heavy cream
      • ¼ cup powdered sugar
      • 1 teaspoon VanillaPura Mexican/rum vanilla extract
      • 8 oz cream cheese softened
      • 1 ¼ cups pumpkin puree
      • ¾ cup powdered sugar
      • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
      • 2 cups crushed gingersnaps
      • 1 bag of large marshmallows
      • I box of milk duds for the eyes


      Using a hand mixer or stand mixer, beat cream, ¼ cup powdered sugar and vanilla extract until soft peaks form.

      In a separate bowl, beat cream cheese, pumpkin puree, ¾ cup powdered sugar, and cinnamon until smooth and combined. Fold ½ cup of whipped cream into pumpkin mixture.

      In small glasses or individual trifle dishes, layer the crushed gingersnaps, pumpkin cream, and whipped cream. Top with the marshmallow/milk dud googley eyes. 

      **If your not a fan of gingersnaps, cookie butter cookies, Oreos, or graham cracker crust crumbles would be good too. That's what's great about a trifle, you get to create whatever you like!

      pumpkin Bread

      pumpkin Bread

      It’s officially fall and my favorite season:). Going outside is a treat! The air is cooler and crisp, but not cold…yet.  The colors of fall are warm and inviting and I find myself being pulled outside to just soak it all up before its all gone. Pumpkins are starting to pop up at the stores and onto front porches. Advertisements are reminding us of pumpkin pie, pumpkins lattes, pumpkin bread….

       My oldest son is a sucker for all things pumpkin.  He’s sending in his college applications, and I find myself wanting to make all his favorites before he leaves! Just thinking about it makes me teary eyed.  It seems like yesterday that we were planning awesome Halloween costumes. This momma hen is going to get it all in!  I’m jumping onto the pumpkin wagon and I’m going to spoil him with all his favorite pumpkin goodies before he flies the coop.

      Jenn Segal over at once upon a chef has shared her grandmother’s recipe that she grew up eating as a girl. I love recipes that have stood the test of time. They invoke a memory just by the aromas coming from the oven. This recipe is super easy and simple to make. Something you can whip up before the kiddos get home from school. Add in some semi-sweet chocolate chips if you are a chocolate lover. It's delish!

      She also includes freezer friendly instructions.  If you don’t have time to bake, just pull it out of the freezer and its just as good.  Happy Autumn! 



      • 2 cups all-purpose flour, spooned into measuring cup and leveled-off
      • 1/2 teaspoon salt
      • 1 teaspoon baking soda
      • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
      • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
      • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
      • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
      • 1 teaspoon of Mexican vodka VanillaPura extract
      • 1-1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened
      • 2 cups sugar
      • 2 large eggs
      • 1 15-oz can 100% pure pumpkin



      1. Preheat the oven to 325°F and set an oven rack in the middle position. Generously grease two 8 x 4-inch loaf pans with butter and dust with flour (alternatively, use a baking spray with flour in it)
      2. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, cloves, cinnamon,nutmeg,and vanilla. Whisk until well combined; set aside.
      1. In a large bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar on medium speed until just blended. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Continue beating until very light and fluffy, a few minutes. Beat in the pumpkin. The mixture might look grainy and curdled at this point -- that's okay.
      1. Add the flour mixture and mix on low speed until combined. Add the flour mixture and mix on low speed until combined.
      1. Turn the batter into the prepared pans, dividing evenly, and bake for 65 –75 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Let the loaves cool in the pans for about 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
      1. Fresh out of the oven, The loaves have a deliciously crisp crust. If they last beyond a day, you can toast individual slices to get the same fresh-baked effect.

      Freezer-Friendly Instructions: The bread can be frozen for up to 3 months. After it is completely cooled, wrap it securely in aluminum foil, freezer wrap or place in a freezer bag. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before serving.