Stuffed Poke Chops…

“Observe that noses were made to wear spectacles; and so we have spectacles. Legs were visibly instituted to be breeched, and we have breeches. Stones were formed to be quarried and to build castles; and My Lord has a very noble castle; the greatest Baron in the province should have the best house; and as pigs were made to be eaten, we eat pork all year round; consequently, those who have asserted all is well talk nonsense; they ought to have said that all is for the best.”

-Voltaire, Candide

Stuffed Pork Chops with Apples, Bacon and Smoked Gouda with a Honey, Rosemary and Sweet Onion Applesauce


_ _ I was always the “good kid” in high school– I never attended a party until my senior year and even then I was usually the DD (ahh the life of a minivan driver). I didn’t imbibe, rarely broke curfew and was WAY too terrified to even attempt something as illicit as shoplifting… Any aura of “coolness” I may have accrued despite authoring a food blog, has officially been destroyed with these admissions but c’est la vie (“la vie” har har). Despite having absolutely no penchant for illegal activities, I have always had an intense fascination with criminal shows, from Law and Order in its many forms, to CSI and Criminal Minds.

_ _ One night during my freshman year of college, I had returned to Ithaca on a holiday break, and because my friend’s parents were sick of having us in the house, we scandalously went to hang out in a local park after-hours. When a cop car cruised by, everyone panicked and dashed for the woods– two boys ran the 4 miles to the other side of the forest before taking a wide loop back around; one girl stopped about 5 feet into the trees, realized we were being ridiculous and strolled back to the car to wait for the rest of us; and one other girl and I crouched low to the ground several yards in and I made her close her eyes with me, convinced that if the police were looking for us they would see the light reflecting off our eyeballs… really, Anna? In retrospect, we all should have recognized that loitering wasn’t exactly going to get us arrested, but the mass mentality of fear lead us all to act absurdly… and I learned that I had been taking in more lessons from those TV shows than I realized– it’s the smallest details that get people caught!

_ _ Perhaps because of this mind set, I don’t like using recipes from other people without giving due credit– it’s intellectual thievery! So it’s all that much more exciting to me when I make food sans recipe and it turns out amazing: I give you, stuffed pork chops with a savory applesauce paired with a light salad.

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Apples Aren’t Just MacBooks…

“Good apple pies are a considerable part of our domestic happiness.”

-Jane Austen, Letter to Cassandra

Cinnamon Apple Cheesecake Bars Drizzled with Caramel


_ _ Most of my generation has become completely and thoroughly digitally-obsessed. Facebook, Twitter and even the now outdated Myspace have taken away our ability to communicate with each other without the protective barrier of a computer screen… And not to rant (but I’m going to), the self-absorption involved with social media is mind blowing! It’s not as if this has never been said, but to honestly believe that your 1,250 “friends” will be interested in the fact that “Doug is wishing he was at the beach” is beyond narcissistic. Doug, we all wish we were at the beach. Thank goodness I have this blog, where I know EVERYONE cares what I have to say… Wah waaaah. Oh the harsh mirror of a reality check.

_ _ If you can pull yourself away from the fascinating updates of a constantly changing newsfeed, head to the kitchen and throw together these apple-cheesecake bars. You can even make that your status and see how many people “like” it.

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Crispy Apple Fries…

“By the time Halloween arrived, Harry was regretting his rash promise to go to the deathday party. The rest of the school was happily anticipating their Halloween feast; the Great Hall had been decorated with the usual live bats, Rubeus Hagrid’s vast pumpkins had been carved into lanterns large enough for three men to sit in, and there were rumours that Albus Dumbledore had booked a troupe of dancing skeletons for the entertainment.”

-J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Apple Fries with Cinnamon Sugar and Caramel Dipping Sauce


_ _ As we grow up, we’re all told that we’re beautiful and unique snowflakes. However, time passes and we age; we become cynical; and we enter the job market, in which we are told there are at least fifteen other snowflakes applying for the same position that are just as qualified as we are. I’m not bitter… But I do have something that sets me apart. As you may be able to tell from the picture, I have what is non-clinically referred to as “toe thumbs.” Only 1 in 1,000 people have this affliction and I was mocked my whole life for my weirdly shaped appendages but after struggling with touch-screen texting and feeling unworthy to hitch hike for years, I realized that these bulbous digits are what set me apart from the masses… I can rejoice in my individuality! And I give these apple fries two big toe-thumbs up.

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I Used To Think I Was Boring, But Then I Got A Lot More Boring…

“All the knives and forks were working away at a rate that was quite alarming; very few words were spoken; and everybody seemed to eat his utmost in self-defense, as if a famine were expected to set in before breakfast time tomorrow morning, and it had become high time to assert the first law of nature.”

-Charles Dickens, Martin Chuzzlewit

Chocolate-Strawberry Jam


_ _ Despite being the target of significant mocking from my friends (who have now been downgraded to “associates” for their unsupportiveness), I’m proud to have channeled my inner 70-year-old woman this past week. Putting my slow cooker to more use than I had since I purchased it, I spent my days making chocolate-strawberry jam, homemade pizza sauce, and peach butter, as well as baking scones, homemade brownies, and handing out Werther’s candies to the neighborhood children… and I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that I spent the hours while the slow cooker was at work, watching an excess of “pawn” shows, including but not limited to, Antiques Road Show. I also successfully canned all these homemade jellies and condiments, and thus began my love affair with mini mason jars.


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Slow Cooker Peach Butter

“Training is everything. The peach was once a bitter almond…”

-Mark Twain

Spiced Honey Peach Butter


Like the classic apple butter… but with peaches. Perfect for summer! Because this is a recipe done in a slow cooker, you should make it on a day that you can spend your time around the house.

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Grilled Peaches…

“…People who love downy peaches are apt not to think of the stone, and sometimes jar their teeth terribly against it.”

-George Eliot, Adam Bede

Grilled Peaches with Raspberry-Balsamic Sauce and Whipped Cream


_ _ As I snuggled into the couch this morning and began to eat this delicious concoction, I sighed and looked around contentedly, thinking “what a lovely Saturday morning.” ….And then I remembered it’s not the weekend, it’s Thursday. I have way too much time on my hands. Someone give me a job!! The reality is however, that this is a very easy thing to throw together and can be breakfast but is sweet enough for dessert.

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