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American Apple Pie
Pie with baked and browned crustWe always chuckle when we hear, “As American as apple pie.” The first recipe for apple pie was written in 1381 England, and used figs, raisins, and pears as sweeteners. Early apple pie recipes rarely called for sugar, an expensive and hard-to-get item at the time. (Never fear . . . our recipe calls for sugar). This is an excellent, and easy to make apple pie. Get the recipe here.

Old Fashioned Cherry Pie
Old Fashioned Cherry PieThis is the classic cherry pie of old, made from fresh sour cherries (we list some alternatives in case you don’t have a cherry tree in your back yard). This recipe even includes directions for making your own delicious pie crust from a very old recipe Lea found in an old church cookbook many years ago. The recipe also is listed below. It is, by far, the best pie crust we have ever had. It is very easy to make, and it never fails to please. Find the pie recipe here.


Classic Peach Pie

Peach Pie with Butter Dots

Peach Pie with Butter Dots

The delicate flavor of the peach is very unique and produces a very delicate aroma and taste sensation that is highly valued throughout the world. The sweetness of the ripe peach is due primarily to the natural sugars giving the fruit a very sweet taste. Served with an outstanding flavorful crust, the peach pie becomes a work of art that is well received at the dining table. This peach pie is classically prepared, and quick and easy to assemble. Mix peaches, cinnamon, nutmeg and tapioca for a special treat that will bring them back for more. Get the recipe here.

Raisin Pie
Raisin PieBefore there was refrigeration, fresh fruits were not readily available, but most homes had dried raisins on hand. This pie became a favorite because the ingredients were always available and the pie kept well. Some recipes include milk, making it more like a custard pie, and others include water, but they all seem to agree on the necessity of a double-crusted pie, usually with a lattice top. Get the recipe here.

Nestle’s Toll House Pie
Nestle's Toll House PieLarry wasn’t kidding when he summed up what this pie is; a chocolate chip cookie on a pie shell! Why is the toll house cookie one of the best loved cookies, and why is this pie version of it so special? Let me count the ways; Butter, sugar, brown sugar, vanilla, chopped nuts, and a whole lot of semi-sweet chocolate chips on a pie crust! Get the recipe here.

Lea’s Pumpkin Pie
:ea's Pumpkin PieLea received this recipe on a postcard from Dottie Vaughn in 1970 when we lived at 924 Sunset Ridge Drive, Danville, Illinois. This recipe has always been our favorite pumpkin pie! The original recipe name was “Prue’s Pumpkin Pie”, but Lea figures that she has made it enough, she’ll will make it her own! Creamy pumpkin mixed with brown and white sugar, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger delivers the silkiness and flavors that have well passed the test of time. Get the recipe here.

Old Fashioned Homemade Pie Crust
Lea's Pie CrustNothing shouts “home-made!” like a buttery pie crust. Yes, you can easily make your own homemade pie crust, and the result is so much better than store-bought frozen pie crusts. The most classic pie or pastry crust is made with butter, but can take some practice to master (f you handle it too much it will end up tough). A more forgiving pie crust is one that is made with a mixture of butter and shortening. That way you get the flavor of the butter, with the easy flakiness that comes from using shortening. Our recipe goes one better: butter flavored shortening! Get the recipe here.

You can be this year’s pitch-in dinner rock star, with tried and true recipes for some of the best flavors that have withstood the tests of time! With easy-to-follow instructions on how to prepare each recipe, you’ll easily master old favorites with new successes.

Comfort food is what we like to call it, and we all love it. Food that warms the soul and creates a warm and comfortable feeling to combat the cold weather doldrums. Here are some of our dishes that fill the bill and are great additions to the wintertime dinner table.

Roasted Pumpkin with Maple Chipotle Glaze
Roasted Pumpkin with Maple Chipotle GlazeHere’s a spin on traditional pumpkin dishes for the fall and winter seasons. Using a small 2-pound pie pumpkin that is first boiled and then roasted, the wedges are colorful and full of flavor. Chipotle peppers in adobo sauce combined with maple syrup create an exciting mix of flavors, and the roast delivers the beautiful fall color. Get the recipe here.

Barbecued Pork Spareribs
Smoked BBQ Pork RibsIf you haven’t tried to barbecue pork ribs, here is a detailed set of instructions to take you through the steps of creating a flavor much like an outdoor campfire style Kansas City sauce. The BBQ is wonderfully delightful with an additional pepper-caramel note after the flambe step. The sauce exchanges flavors with the dry rub during the tented process, and creates a flavor that is better than either one by itself. Get the recipe here.

Polish Sausage with Peppers and Onions
Polish Sausage with Pepper and OnionsThis is one of those surprise recipes that are tossed together with whatever ingredients you have on hand, and it instantly became a hit, being spread throughout cooking sites with their own little variations of it. There are many similar recipes available on line now, but this is the original that Lea put together for an impromptu lunch one chilly day. Get it here.

BBQ Pulled Pork SandwichBBQ Pulled Pork Sandwich

You have a number of options with this recipe; If you want to serve the large, stadium size buns (5″), you will need to increase your pork accordingly because you will be going from a 1/3 lb serving to 1/2 pound per sandwich. You lose about 1/3 of the weight when you slow cook pork, so you can adjust your recipe as needed. The recipe is located here.

Baked Pasta Beef Tacos
Baked Pasta Beef TacosThis is a hardy comfort food that uses jumbo pasta shells stuffed with a rich, spicy blend of cooked ground beef, cream cheese, and chili powder with taco sauce topped with cheeses and sour cream. The combination creates a Mexican flavor delivered in a pasta shell! Garnish with diced tomatoes, lettuce, sliced avocados, ripe olives, or verde sauce, if desired. This is a very versatile dish that you can customize to make your own. The recipe is located here.

What recipes do you use to spice up your wintertime tables? Do you have favorites that will be passed on to your families? Drop us a note and share your thoughts. Happy cooking!

Black Pot with Coals on LidThe cooler weather brought by the fall season brings fond memories of camp outs, bonfires, black pots, apple and pumpkin pies, and hearty chili soup to warm the soul. Raised in the Midwest, we experienced the colors and weather of all four seasons, including the final harvest of the season, the jovial hayrides behind a farm tractor or hay truck, vast pumpkin patches, and the growing excitement of the approaching holiday season.

:ea's Pumpkin PieWhen I think of pumpkins, the aroma and flavors of the seeds of a pumpkin we had just harvested toasting in the oven come to mind. Lea is held in high regard for her outstanding pie crust and her scrumptious apple and pumpkin pies. These are favorites, and often requested, at our church.

Gene Vaughn's Chili in Black PotChili soup brings back memories of my dad’s continuing development of his chili recipe, and how he was always experimenting with it. In particular, I remember him trying to include lettuce in it (Don’t try this at home, kids), and his one attempt at using chocolate candy bars as an ingredient (not successful! Candy makers will tell you that paraffin wax is a common ingredient in chocolate.) Nevertheless, over the years he developed a recipe that was popular with the local National Guard unit he served in. His recipe is named Gene Vaughn’s 2-Alarm Chili.

Coney Island Style Chili Cheese Hot DogI, on the other hand, have a couple versions of chili soup that are really popular with our church family, Chipotle Chili Soup (Medium Heat), and the Campfire Chili I have made since back when I was a boy on overnight camp outs. If you don’t have a lot of time to spend nurturing a chili to perfection, you can always fall back on our 30-Minute Chili Sauce that works just as well in a bowl as it does seasoned up over spaghetti, or spread on a chili cheese hot dog.

Do you have a favorite fall recipe? Drop us a line, or a link, and let us know. We would be happy to share it here on our cookbook. We are really looking forward to some great fall and winter time dishes!

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