Grandma’s Old-Fashioned Glazed Spiced Raisin Apple Squares

Originally posted on Once Upon a Spice:


I found this recipe in my mother’s old recipe box and revised it slightly, mostly so it could be understood. My mother came to the US, from northern Italy, in her late teens. While she was fluent in both languages, her American writing and spelling was a little lacking. Yet, her intermingled English and Italian words were quite charming and I wouldn’t trade the worn, yellowed recipe cards for all the espresso in Italia :-)

These lightly spiced raisin apple squares are reminiscent of cookies, cake and pie, but with far less prep and equally superior results. The aroma, while baking, evokes fall time warm and fuzzies too.  These scrumptious squares are a prefect anytime snack, but preferably in the early mornings with a creamy, steamy “cuppa.”  Mmmmm :-)



1 c raisins

2 c water

1/2 c butter

1 large apple, cored and chopped fine

1 large egg


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Guest Chef Wednesday! Jenny’s Excellent “To Die For” 5 Ingredient Crock Pot Beef Roast

Originally posted on Once Upon a Spice:

Pot Roast photo source: Jenny :-)

For those that know me, I am somewhat pedantic about prepackaged items. Yes, I’m finicky, and a bit of a purist, but I have found some very good and healthy quick to prepare items lately that I’m not ashamed to say that I use; sometimes ;-) With all of the Whole Foods, Trader Joes and the like cropping up everywhere, it’s become relatively simple to find wholesome goodies sans a list of unpronounceable ingredients a mile-long.

In fact Jenny, my friend who initially gave me this recipe, suggested that I visit my local health food store for the prepackaged salad dressings and gravy mix—she’s sort of a snob too :-) The blend of mixes just simply “work.” I consider them one fine combination that ends up serving as an extremely tasty gravy, combined with the juices of the slow-simmered roast and fresh veggies. Also, when it…

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Sweet Treats–Play with Your Food! Zebra Cake & Chocolate Art Bowls

Originally posted on Once Upon a Spice:

food-hacks-2 “The Zebra Cake” Two flavors of cake mixes, chocolate & vanilla. Why not add bright pink food color to the vanilla? Fun? Yes!! This is a “scoop of chocolate & scoop of vanilla” literally! Start with 1/2 C vanilla in the middle, allow to spread a bit, on top add a 1/2 C scoop of chocolate…repeat! Don’t mix batter just allow to spread until pan is 2/3 full. Bake, Cool & Frost! Genius!

food-hacks-3 “The Chocolate Art Bowl” Hints: Use cooler, but melted chocolate or BOOM! Layer layer layer! Fill with COOL foods :-)

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Frozen Concoctions!

Originally posted on Once Upon a Spice:

gummy pops Gummy Bears in Sprite or other clear citrus beverages

Remember Ice Pops as a kid? Even still? These frosty gadgets place a curve into ice twists as we once knew them. You can make your own personalized versions with these clever doodads; adding all sorts of ingredients to you liking. Juices, sodas, spirits, fruit, herbs and spices, even candies. Place them in drinks to create different flavors or simply not to dilute your favorite beverages.

Suggestions: How about Strawberry Margarita pops with slices of strawberry and lime? Apple juice with thin wedges of apples and a sprinkle of cinnamon? Vanilla yogurt with fresh blueberries and mini chocolate chips?  The list is as endless as your creativity!  Here are what some of the companies have to say about their ingenious products.

Sim1 Ice Pops with Reusable Silicone Jackets

Silicone Design’s

Silicone Popsicle Molds, Ice Pop Molds and Ice Pop Maker, Set of…

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Stuffed Pizza Monkey Bread; Fast Easy & Delish

Originally posted on Once Upon a Spice:

Pizza Bread 1 2 Tubes of Your Favorite Biscuits, Prep & Dice Toppings, Slice Down Center of Each Biscuit–Leave about 1/4″ Around Bottom & Sides. Fill. Pinch Top Together

Pizza Bread 2 Sprinkle Bottom of Pan with Grated Parmesan, Salt & Pepper To Taste. Place Pinched Side Down in Pre-Greased Tube or Bundt Pan. Sprinkle with Salt & Pepper. Bake @ 400* for 30-35 minutes. Cool Pan on Wire Rack for 10 Minutes. Invert Onto Serving Plate.Pull Apart. Plate, Add Sauce & Enjoy!!

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Amish Apple Cinnamon Teacake

Originally posted on Once Upon a Spice:

Processed with VSCOcam with a4 preset

This is the next best thing to coffee cake that I have ever found. You’ll use 2 bowls, 1 medium, one small, a baking pan and a knife to swirl in the cinnamony goodness. I added my own personal twists to the original Amish recipe that I found years ago in Ohio’s Amish country, but only minor, small changes.This simple bread is so delicious in its simplicity that I simply could not taint it! No kneading, just mix and bake! Perfect with a nice cup of steaming coffee, tea or cold milk at anytime of day. Preferred Season? To me,  Autumn seems best :-)



1/2 cup butter, softened

1 cup sugar

1/2 tsp each of salt, cardamom or nutmeg

1 egg

1 cup buttermilk or 1 cup milk plus 1 tablespoon vinegar or lemon juice

2 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 medium apple; peeled & chopped…

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Need a Crowd Pleaser? Chocolate Coconut Oatmeal Almond Sweet Cream Pizza

Originally posted on Once Upon a Spice:

Best Close The Pie in its Entirety–Before the Cut

Cookies & Cream…Mmmmm, they just communicate don’t they? They speak loudly of home and the comfort and love found there. This delicious sweet pizza combines all of the components of satisfying, salty, sugary, creamy, delectable crunchiness all in one big charming pie. Plus, it makes a luscious statement for all sorts of gatherings. Share the love!?

Best Cut A piece of pizza or pie? Both!

Cookie Crust…


Cream together…

1 c butter

1 c white sugar

1 c brown sugar, firmly packed

Add until combined…

2 large eggs, well-beaten

1 tsp vanilla

1 tsp salt

1 tsp baking soda

1 1/2 c white flour

2 cups oatmeal

1 1/2 c sweetened coconut; reserve 1/2 cup for garnish; toast 1/2 cup in microwave in one minute intervals until golden brown.

1 c chopped toasted nuts; walnuts or pecans are best

1-12 ounce package of mini…

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