From the Kitchen of Mary Jean Griffin

Fall and winter are times of the year when cooking a favorite recipe just smells so much better. Whether you are preparing for a holiday get-together or for a family event, you’ll find these tasty recipes are great for any time of the year.

Apple Crumble with Toasted Oat Topping

Apple Crumble
6 medium apples
½ cup unsweetened applesauce
½ cup old-fashioned rolled oats
3 tbsp toasted wheat germ
3 tbsp packed light brown sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tbsp canola oil
1 tbsp unsalted butter, cut into small piece

Preheat oven to 350°. Coat a 12 x 7-inch baking dish with nonstick spray. Thinly cut apples into lengthwise slices, removing the core and stem. Place apples and applesauce in prepared baking dish. Spread apples evenly after tossing to coat. In a small bowl, mix the oats, wheat germ, brown sugar and cinnamon. Drizzle with oil and add butter pieces. Mix with fingers to work oil into dry ingredients. Sprinkle oat mixture evenly over apples. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until topping is golden and apples are bubbling. Serve warm. Makes six generous servings.


Pumpkin Harvest Muffins

Pumpkin Harvest Muffins
½ cup margarine or butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1¼ cup canned pumpkin
2 eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1½ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp nutmeg
¼ tsp salt
1 cup milk, room temperature
½ cup chopped pecans
½ cup chopped raisins

Preheat oven to 350°. Combine butter, sugar and pumpkin until smooth; add eggs and blend well. Mix flour, baking powder and spices. Stir, add alternating with milk to egg batter. Do not over mix. Fold in nuts and raisins. Pour into greased or paper-lined muffin tins. Sprinkle top with cinnamon and sugar before baking. Bake for 25 minutes or until done. Do not open oven door while baking or muffins may fall. Yields: 2 dozen. Can be frozen for later!


Orange-Cranberry Mold

3 cups raw cranberries
3 large seedless oranges, including peel
1 cup sugar
2 packages lemon Jello
2 cups hot water
2 cups ice water

Coarsely grind cranberries and oranges in a food processor. Add sugar to the mix. Dissolve the Jello in hot water and then ice water. Stir the sweetened, ground fruit into the Jello. Pour into oiled ring mold or individual molds. Chill until firm. Can be served on lettuce with mayonnaise. Serves 6 – 8


Cheese Cocktail Spread

1 ½ large package, cream cheese
2/3 large package, Velveeta cheese
2 cucumbers, grated
Grated onion to taste
Red pepper to taste
Salt to taste
2 tbsp chili powder
½ lb pecans

Mix cheeses, cucumbers, onion, pepper and salt. Mold onto parchment paper in a pan and chill. Remove from pan to serving dish and top with coarsely chopped pecans and chili powder. This may be served with crackers or is an excellent sandwich spread. Serves about 40-50.

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