Swedish Apple Pie

Please welcome guest blogger Christine Verleny.

christinespieI am a baker, I am.

I have always been surrounded by amazing chefs – Dori, Kara, Ellen and my ex-husband Jeff. I gained 20 pounds while married, the evidence of a well-fed life.

All of these folks (sorry guys) dim in comparison to my Grandma Tommie. Tommie Augusta Ruby Pearl Jesser to be exact. She was a force in the kitchen. An empty fridge? Not a problem, let me combine a few things and create an amazing meal.

As good as her food was, it was her baking that could bring you to your knees. Chocolate chip cookies, snickerdoodles, peanut butter cake with homemade chocolate frosting, and cheesecake were her finest baked goods. I have memories of my Grandma, cigarette hanging from her mouth, stirring up something delicious with her favorite wooden spoon. (I inherited that spoon after she died at the age of 92.)

I am lucky I have had chefs in my life, because I am a baker. It is my favorite thing to do in the kitchen. Thank you Grandma Tommie.

The first year Kara, Ellen and I went apple picking, I was confronted with an enormous bag of apples, freshly picked, and I knew I wanted to do something different, something that would not require me to make a crust. I dove into my roommate’s cookbooks and found the recipe for Swedish Apple Pie. Apparently, the Swedes hate making crusts.

The recipe is quick, easy and delicious. Use any apples you enjoy. Denser apples may not breakdown as much, but the different textures are wonderful when mixed. I have discovered that each time I bake this, it turns out slightly different and that is fine with me.

Swedish Apple Pie

Preheat: 400ºF

Fill deep pie pan (or an 8 x 8 square pan) 2/3 full with sliced apples.
Mix: 1 TBSP of sugar (optional) and 1 TSP cinnamon and sprinkle over apples.
Mix together:
1 cup sugar
1 cup flour
1 sticks butter, melted
1 egg
1 cup nuts – optional
Make sure the butter is slightly cooled before adding to the mixture (or it will cook the egg).

Pour batter over apples and bake for 45 minutes until golden brown.

Please enjoy with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream. That will make me happy.

headshotchristine

Christine is an actor and jewelry designer, living in New York City.

The Wedding Singer’s Guide to Zucchini

Please welcome guest author SingerAimNYC of “The Wedding Singer’s Guide to Life”, an honest, encouraging and at times anecdotal look at event planning, the art of the party and more (that’s where the “life” comes in) from an unusual and humorous perspective inside the industry.

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Two summers ago I planted my first garden. It was at my father-in-law’s house in the country, at which I was spending half of every week. The space had been dormant for a few years, so my husband and I decided to revive it. We planted the usual suspects, as we had been instructed by my husband’s dad. It was a great summer for growing that year and yields were high. (I still have jars of canned peppers). Perhaps the most prolific of the garden plants was the zucchini. Before I grew my own veggies, I liked zucchini. Occasionally… in a stir fry or as an accompaniment to grilled salmon, but since that summer the thought of going without homegrown sweet delicious zucchini is horrifying.

The first giant zucchini was really an accident. One day I looked in the garden and saw some lovely little babies sprouting from the plant. I decided to let them get a little bit bigger, and a day or two later… I had raised behemoth squash.

I couldn’t have been more proud of my accomplishment, although I think the cat had some issues with it! Then came the advice, and inevitably the criticism. Some people said my giant zucchini wouldn’t taste as sweet as it’s normal sized counterparts. They said the skin would be too tough, they said I had gone too far! I wouldn’t listen.

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