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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.

Pasta Salad

Pasta Salad

Pasta Salad

Perfect for potlucks, backyard barbecues, or to tote to your favorite picnic spot, this pasta salad is a tasty twist on tradition.

By adding a splash of the liquid from a jar of marinated artichoke hearts, it’s easy to boost flavor in the vinaigrette. And you can use store-bought Italian dressing in place of making the vinaigrette, if desired.

Pack into a Mason jar and attach a fork for a fun and convenient way to savor this summer salad.

Check out The Daily Meal’s 12 Perfect Picnic Recipes for Your Next Outdoor Get-together  including this recipe for Pasta Salad. Enjoy!

PASTA SALAD

1 (16-ounce) package rotini (corkscrew) pasta
1 (7.5-ounce) jar quartered marinated artichoke hearts, drained, chopped and reserving 2 tablespoons liquid
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 pound sliced provolone cheese, cut into strips
1/4 pound sliced Genoa salami, cut into strips
1/4 cup minced red onion
1 small red bell pepper, chopped
2 medium tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1 (3.8-ounce) can sliced pitted ripe olives, drained
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

Begin cooking rotini according to package directions.

Meanwhile, prepare vinaigrette. In a medium bowl, combine the 2 tablespoons reserved artichoke liquid, olive oil, vinegar, sugar, salt, oregano, basil, garlic powder, and pepper; whisk until well blended. In a large bowl, combine provolone cheese, salami, onion, pepper, tomatoes, artichoke hearts, olives, Parmesan cheese, and parsley.

Drain rotini; rinse with cold water and drain again. Add rotini to cheese and salami mixture; drizzle with vinaigrette. Toss to combine. Cover and chill for at least 1 hour and up to 1 day in advance. Makes 12 servings.

Cooking, Baking, and Making: 100 Recipes and DIY Ideas for All Seasons and Reasons by Cynthia O’Hara

Packed with DIY Ideas, Holiday Recipes, DIY Recipes, DIY Cooking, and more, The Harried Housewife’s forthcoming book, Cooking, Baking, and Making: 100 Recipes and DIY Ideas for All Seasons and Reasons, will be available September 19, 2017. Pre-Order Sale Price!

Cooking, Baking, and Making book by Cynthia O'Connor O'Hara

#1 New Release!

Here are some ideas featured in Cooking, Baking, and Making:

* Host a springtime luncheon and include recipes like Herbed Cucumber Tea Sandwiches and Smoky Bacon Deviled Eggs. Present these tasty tidbits on Tiered Serving Platters made with dishware you already have, or with dishes bought from the dollar store.

* Enjoy an alfresco get-together during summer with seasonal recipes like Bacon and Cheese Stuffed Burgers and Grilled Chicken with Mango Salsa. Make a pretty and practical Frozen Ice Bucket to chill a bottle of wine; serve wine in glasses decorated with unique Wine Charms that you’ve made for guests.

* Chase away the chills during the cool months of autumn with hearty bowls of Corn and Crab Chowder. Buy pot holders from the dollar store and use fabric glue to embellish them with autumn-inspired decorations. Use Embellished Pot Holders for handling the chowder and serve on No-Sew Placemats that are made from fabric remnants.

* Gather with those near and dear during the winter holidays and savor a taste of the season with Creamy Eggnog Cupcakes. Entertain with ease by setting up a Velvety Mashed Potatoes with Assorted Toppings Martini Bar. Give tasty gifts to those you love such as Homemade Bottles of Crème de Menthe.

* Make Custom Coffee Mugs and fill with coffee beans; place in festive gift bags and decorate with personalized Salt Dough Gift Tags—which also can be used as Christmas tree decorations.

 

 

Strawberry Jammer Cocktails

Strawberry Jammer Cocktails

Strawberry Jammer Cocktails

DIY recipes like this one that make good use of sliced fresh strawberries, a touch of strawberry jam, and a splash of prosecco help make every occasion extra special.

Ideal for spring and summer celebrations, these refreshing strawberry cocktails are brimming with effervescent goodness. Whether it’s to honor Mom on Mother’s Day, to sip during the warm months, or whenever you need impressive holiday recipes, these vibrant cocktails are sure please.

So raise your glass and toast to crowd-pleasing cocktails overflowing with a fresh taste of the season. Cheers!

STRAWBERRY JAMMER COCKTAILS

2 cups sliced strawberries
2 tablespoons strawberry jam
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
Prosecco, chilled
Fresh strawberry slices (optional)
In a blender or food processor, combine sliced strawberries, jam, sugar, and lemon juice; process until smooth. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve; discard seeds. Divide puree into six champagne glasses; slowly add prosecco. Garnish each glass with a strawberry slice, if desired. Makes 6 servings.