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Apple Pear Sauce

Apple Pear Sauce

Apple Pear Sauce

Homemade applesauce is always welcome at the table, but why not put a tasty twist on tradition with the addition of pears.

This combination is good enough on its own, but by cooking them in cranberry juice cocktail along with a couple sticks of cinnamon, it’s easy to make a seasonal treat. It’s just as easy to double or triple the recipe and share with family and friends.

And if you like the idea of making simple hand-crafted items to complement your home, then pick up a copy of Cooking, Baking, and Making: 100 Recipes and DIY Ideas for All Seasons and Reasons and learn how to make easy No-Sew Placemats like these that will be the perfect addition to your fall table.

No-Sew Placemats

No-Sew Placemats

Apple Pear Sauce

3 medium cooking apples, peeled, cored, and coarsely chopped
2 medium pears, peeled, cored, and coarsely chopped
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup cranberry juice cocktail
2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 (3- to 3 1/2-inches each) cinnamon sticks

In a medium saucepan, combine apples, pears, sugar, cranberry juice cocktail, water, lemon juice, and cinnamon sticks. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, partially covered, until apples and pears are tender, 10 to 12 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Remove cinnamon sticks. Mash with a potato masher to desired texture. Serve warm or chilled. Makes about 2 cups.

Fudge Brownies

Fudge Brownies

Fudge Brownies

Fudgy home-baked brownies will add a sweet touch to any occasion. A time-honored treat, they’re the perfect choice for a summertime gathering.

Whether it’s a backyard get-together, a family reunion, or a picnic by the lake, these crowd-pleasing goodies are simple to make and are easy to transport.

One thing is certain: old-fashioned goodness never tasted so good.

FUDGE BROWNIES

Nonstick cooking spray
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 1/3 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 tablespoon brewed coffee
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
3/4 cup flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8×8-inch square baking pan with foil, letting ends extend beyond edges on 2 sides. Coat foil with nonstick cooking spray. In a large bowl, whisk together butter, vegetable oil, and sugar. Add eggs, coffee, and vanilla; whisk to combine. Add flour and cocoa powder; stir until smooth. Spread into prepared pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out with moist crumbs attached, 25 to 30 minutes. Cool completely on a wire rack. Remove brownies by lifting foil ends; peel off foil. Place on a cutting board and cut into squares. Makes 16 brownies.

Fresh Tomato Salsa

Fresh Tomato Salsa

Fresh Tomato Salsa

Savoring red ripe tomatoes is one of the simple pleasures of summer. And when they’re combined with a mixture of other fresh-from-the-garden ingredients and turned into salsa, they’re even better.

Perfect for pairing with tortilla chips, topping off burgers, or embellishing any hot-off-the-grill meat, this refreshing salsa is a delicious way to make use of a bountiful garden.

FRESH TOMATO SALSA

5 medium tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1 small green bell pepper, chopped
2 medium jalapeño chiles, seeded and minced
1/4 cup minced white onion
2 medium scallions, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/8 teaspoon pepper

In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients. Cover, and refrigerate at least 1 hour. Makes about 3 cups salsa.

If you enjoy easy seasonal recipes like Fresh Tomato Salsa then pre-order a copy of Cooking, Baking, and Making: 100 Recipes and DIY Ideas for All Seasons and Reasons and get this refreshing summer recipe for Grilled Chicken with Mango Salsa! Summer never tasted so good.

Grilled Chicken with Mango Salsa

Grilled Chicken with Mango Salsa

Herb Cheese Spread

Herb Cheese Spread

Herb Cheese Spread

Easy recipes that can be prepared in a short amount of time are as welcome as a summer breeze. And when they make good use of seasonal ingredients, they’re even better.

By combining a package of cream cheese and a few other ingredients with garden-fresh herbs, a flavorful appetizer can be whipped up in a matter of minutes. Just cover and refrigerate for an hour or up to three days, and spread over assorted crackers.

HERB CHEESE SPREAD

1 (8-ounce) package regular or reduced-fat cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons butter, softened
1 tablespoon milk
1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1/8 teaspoon minced garlic
Salt to taste
Assorted crackers

In a medium bowl, combine cream cheese, butter, and milk. Beat with an electric mixer until creamy. Stir in chives, parsley, garlic, and salt to taste. Cover, and refrigerate at least 1 hour. Serve with assorted crackers. Makes 8 servings.