Cranberry Orange Pie

It’s that time of year– the air is crisp, the leaves are turning color and the days are getting shorter. Autumn! I saw fresh cranberries in the produce isle at the grocery store, a sure sign of fall. In a moment of weakness, I bought two bags. (It said to buy two on the package, who am I to argue with the bag?!) What to do with them..
Cranberry Orange Pie
Jeff makes this pie every thanksgiving and it’s absolutely delicious. A fresh cranberry orange pie. It’s early for thanksgiving but what the hell. And by the way, the pie is half way gone already.

Cranberry Orange pie
by James McNair

1 bag cranberries
1 c. sugar
1.5 T flour
.25 t salt
3 T OJ
2 T minced zest
2 T melted butter

Combine and pour into dish lined with unbaked crust. Egg wash & sugar the top crust. Bake 10 mins. @450 F then 45 mins @ 350 F.

Real yogurt is making a come back

This New York Times article confirms what I've always known. Americans have an insatiable appetite for sweets– they want candy. So when yogurt was first introduced in the early 1940's, it flopped until sweeteners and fruit were added.

Things are changing, thank goodness. FAGE is opening a factory in the states to make their delicious strained yogurt. I've always enjoyed plain full-fat yogurt. I eat it for breakfast, strain it and use it as a replacement for sour cream, use it to make salad dressing and use it as a marinade base. I've even made my own yogurt using Stoney Field yogurt as the starter culture.

A year or so ago I was turned onto FAGE greek-style yogurt after seeing it in the grocery store. It's an extremely thick strained yogurt with a great tangy taste. Highly recommended. You can get single serves with a side of honey– food of the gods.

Link. Thanks, Jeff!

Fall is for apple pie.

I really enjoy fall. I also enjoy having our own small version of an orchard. Picking your own fruit is great– to know that what you grew and tended to is now rewarding all of your hard work. It's an annual tradition that I look forward to renewing each year. Pictures to the left: sequence of making an apple pie. The apples are granny smith apples, but you wouldn't know it from looking at them. This year the fruit actually turned slightly red. Maybe I left it on the tree too long.

In any case, the fruit is wonderfully crisp and tart– perfect for a pie. Below is the recipe I found some time ago for apple pie that I adjusted after making it a few times.

Apple Pie

7 c. of apples, peeled, cored, sliced (about 9 large or 14 small)
3/4 c. sugar
2 tb flour
1 1/2 ts cinnamon
1/4 ts nutmeg
1 tb lemon juice
2 tb butter
2 pastry crusts, unbaked (rolled refrigerated are perfect)

Sprinkle lemon juice over cut apples to prevent oxidation and to increase tartness. Combine sugar, flour, nutmeg, cinnamon and toss with apples. Line 9 inch pie plate with pastry. Fill with apples, leveling and dot with butter. Add top crust and pinch edges shut. Cut slits in top crust for steam to escape. Bake 400 F for 50 minutes, adding aluminum foil to perimeter after 25-30 minutes to prevent over browning of crust.

I've always wanted to try adding sharp cheddar cheese to the top crust allowing it to crisp adding a saltiness to complement the sweet and tart apples.

Original recipe from

The pie turned out wonderfully, serving it warm with it's best friend– vanilla ice cream.

How to quickly make iced tea.

Here are the steps that I follow when I want a glass of iced tea quickly.

1. Fill a glass measuring cup with 1 cup (8 oz) of water. Heat in the microwave for 2 minutes. Obviously, YMMV.
2. Add one tea bag and step for 3-4 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, fill a 12 oz glass with ice cubes or half fill with crushed ice.
4. Add sweetner if desired to hot tea.
5. Pour hot tea over ice and stir until most of the ice has melted.

You can also double the water and tea bags for two glasses of tea. Please don't drink bottled tea, even if it's the only thing available. It's rotten.