Sweet Chips and Salsa

Fruit salsa is a favorite dessert at our house.  Although there is not much healthy about the fried chips, it feels healthier than some of the other things we eat for snacks and desserts.

There are a lot of ways to make cinnamon-sugar tortillas listed all over the internet.  While these are tasty, they all seem to be too big, too hard, or do not hold the fruit very well.

For sweet chips I find what works the best are fried wonton wrappers or even eggroll wrappers cut down in size and fried.

The best part about Asian wrappers is that they stay crispy after frying and coating.  They never turn into moon rocks like some baked tortillas can.  They are also way less work than buttering and coating each side prior to baking.

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Chocolate Covered Cherry Cheesecake Bites

Sometimes you just don’t know if you want a dessert or a piece of candy.  Chocolate covered cherry cheesecake bites are a little bit of both!

For this recipe you can start with a frozen cheesecake, just like I did. Or you can make your own cheesecake and use it.  I suppose you would get way more, square shaped, cheesecake bites out of one you made yourself in a square pan than you can get out of a round pan.  Round is the only way I could I buy one the day I went shopping.

If you buy a frozen cheesecake for this, allow it to thaw before trying to cut it into pieces.  Cutting up a frozen cheesecake will result in fractured pieces.  You can bet that this is based on experience!  It took me just a minute to realize the error of my ways…….

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Holiday Green Jello Salad

Green salad was at every holiday meal my mom was involved in. I can’t remember a holiday at her house, or anyone else’s for that matter where this dish wasn’t present. She loved green salad and if no one else was making it, you were guaranteed she would. It had never been any other color until her later years when she started substituting cranberry or cherry jello for the lime. When I was younger I preferred mine with pecans in it, and surprise cream cheese chunks that didn’t completely dissolve into the mix. Now I am a puritan in the nut arena. I also prefer to eat this made with cranberry jello, and cherry is a close second.

I don’t make this in my kitchen anymore. It was more of a tradition at my house rather than a “craving” for me, you know, one of those things that you were expected to put on your plate but kind of pushed around. However, this is now a part of Ron’s holiday traditions so it should be his cookbook version that appears in this post.  Thus is not a dish he pushes around his plate.  He loves it!

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Grape Jelly

Concord Grape Jelly is not anything I ever gave much thought too.  If you needed or wanted grape jelly you just went to the store and bought some right?  Well, after making this, my mind has been forever changed about that.  I don’t know that I can ever eat grape jelly from the store again.  I tried to eat some that I had in the refrigerator to see if I could actually tell a difference.  Let me tell you, they difference is undeniable.

One of my neighbors, and occasional reader of the blog – Hi Rick! – has been growing Concord grapes in his backyard for a few years.  This is the first year there were enough grapes for the birds and for jelly.

Having never seen or eaten a Concord grape, I was a little taken aback by the texture.  It tasted just like grape jelly, but the skins are tough and you need to pop the insides into your mouth.  The texture is kind of rubbery, but slippery.  I have never eaten a raw oyster, but this is what I suspect a small raw oyster might feel like in your mouth if you tried to chew it instead of swallow it.

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Peach Crumble

Peach Crumble is a recipe I saw on the local news when they were doing one of their featured recipe clips.  You know the ones I am talking about, every TV station seems to have one of those.  I usually don’t watch a whole lot of TV.  It tends to be running in the background though when others are in the house.

I have been so focused on fall recipes that it seems I have forgotten it is actually the end of summer.  Porter peaches are a pretty big deal around these parts.  I managed to miss that whole season and did not get one single Porter peach this year.  Shame too, they are actually really good!

Luckily, this recipe uses frozen peaches.  It also uses oats, and if you have read my apple crisp post, you know oats are not one of the things I like in my desserts. But, Andy did like it.  Said it reminded him of granola.  He likes that kind of thing.

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Pina Colada Pie

Pina Colada Pie is in the regular dessert rotation at my house.  It is a newer recipe and not one that I have lugged around for years or anything.

It actually turned up in my life through a Facebook post of a friend who had found a recipe online and had posted to her timeline for someone to make it for her.  Whew, that was a long run-on sentence.

Being who I am, I bought the stuff for it during my next trip to the grocery store.  As time went on, I forgot about the recipe.  I stumbled over the cream of coconut in the pantry and remembered why I had it and why it was sitting on top of a package of a package of store bought cookies.

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Caramel Dip

Caramel Dip is served with sliced apples and crushed peanuts at my house.  Large marshmallows are also delicious dipped in this caramel.

This recipe reminds of me of the cooler days of an early Illinois fall.  This was often found at small festivals and craft fairs that were once popular in small rural towns.

Fat free sweetened condensed milk can be used, but why? Let’s face it, there is nothing outside of the apples that are healthy in this recipe.  Caramel dip is a decadent pleasure that should not be eaten if calorie or carb counts are an issue.

Margarine is also an acceptable substitute, but for the same reasons listed above, why?

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Apple Crisp

I know I say all the time that pumpkin is my quintessential fall food, but man apples also hold a special place on my table in the fall too.

The second the heaviness of summer starts to dissipate, I have an urge to make apple crisp.  Not just any apple crisp, THIS apple crisp.

It does not have oats in the recipe.  I don’t have anything against oats.  I will eat an oatmeal cookie, but given other options it isn’t my first choice.  I will not eat oatmeal for breakfast, unless they are steal cut.

I came across this recipe years ago when I collected cookbooks.  My favorite at the time was Beat This! by Ann Hodgman.  I did not use the apple crisp recipe from that book since I don’t care for oats in my apple crisp.  But if I did, I would have used hers.

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No-fail Fruit Cobbler

We rarely had dessert growing up unless it was a special occasion or Sunday lunch. However, I do remember occasionally, on a random Saturday night, my mom would whip up this cobbler as a treat. It was always a very welcomed surprise.

This cobbler is truly, endlessly versatile. You can use any fruit, it can be made any size, and you can customize it any way you want.

The fruit can be canned, frozen, or fresh. My sister-in-law even made one with a can of pie filling and said the results were tasty. My family’s preference has always been a can of fruit cocktail or peaches. Ron and I have done some experimenting and our new favorite is frozen blackberries, often with extra sugar sprinkled on top of the cobbler right before it goes in the oven for some extra crunch.

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Banana Bread with Strawberry Butter

Banana bread and strawberry butter ran hand-in-hand with the $30 salad, at a restaurant we used to eat at in Florida.  Of course, you know the drill if you have been a follower of my posts, either the restaurant doesn’t exit or it is out of my geographical location.  In this case, it is both.

The banana bread would come out in the bread basket served with the menu.  I’m not sure why they even bothered to serve yeast rolls.  You could look across the restaurant tables and see lonely yeast rolls hanging out in those bread baskets.  Obviously, the banana bread smeared with strawberry butter was the preferred choice.

I have two banana bread recipes, but I prefer this one to go with strawberry butter.  The other banana bread recipe has a pretty strong banana and brown sugar flavor that seems to overpower the strawberry butter.  It’s also almost too moist and dense for the addition of any butter.  I say almost because folks still seem to butter it when I carry it somewhere

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