Apple Season is Here – Enjoy!

PinExt Apple Season is Here – Enjoy!

Many years ago when I was a family and consumer sciences teacher, the students could hardly wait to work

300px Apples Apple Season is Here – Enjoy!

in a foods lab. “Are we cookin’

today” was an often heard remark.

Fall especially brought an abundance of different foods to prepare and sample.

One of the most versatile and interesting was the use of apples.  At that time we had five unit kitchens with four students in each. Each kitchen was to choose a different method of preparing apples and then all would sample the results.

There was much “ours is better than yours”. “No, wait ‘til you try this” and “I didn’t think you could do all this with apples”.

Thus began the basis for my apple cookbook, From the Apple Orchard Recipes for Apple Lovers.  Who would AllBooksRushScanned 001 Apple Season is Here – Enjoy!AllBooksRushScanned 0011 Apple Season is Here – Enjoy!have thought this cookbook would be one folks tell me they refer to every fall?

If you have a problem wondering what to do with all those apples, I invite you to check out this book at 10 book AppleOrchard e1347384664951 Apple Season is Here – Enjoy!http://www.imagesunlimitedpub.com and get one for yourself – and a friend. Apples continue to be one of nature’s most beautiful and bountiful fruits.

Best to you and your family,

Lee Jackson, CFCS

Family and Consumer Life Studies

http://www.imagesunlimitedpub.com

 Apple Season is Here – Enjoy!
PinExt Apple Season is Here – Enjoy!

Secrets of a Blog Writer

PinExt Secrets of a Blog Writer
Spain and Louisburg CiderFest 009 145x300 Secrets of a Blog Writer

I'm at an apple orchard event.

I’ve been writing this blog for the past 3-4 years. I know a little about you – that you’re interested in kids and cooking. But you probably don’t know a whole lot about me because I’m usually on some topic about eating tips and helping kids stay healthy or about Mom’s helping kids stay well – my top passions.

Today I want to include some things you may not know about me. Yes, I’m a long-time blogger, but here are 5 other things about me:

1. I taught high school family and consumer science classes for over 20 years.

2. In my first year of teaching, I taught all the “home ec” classes, biology classes, and PE (physical education) classes.

3. Love apples. Growing up, we had an apple orchard on our farm -  this whetted my appetite for that bountiful fruit.

4. I was a child-recipe-clipper. While my young friends cut out paper dolls, I cut out recipes.

5. I just sent out a large mailing for my apple cookbooks this week. If you’re one of my customers, expect some mail. If you’re not, just email me at Lee at images unlimited pub.com and I’ll send you a charming flyer with all our books illustrated in full color. Be ready for apple season.

I know I’m off topic today but I thought this might be fun – besides, it’s too hot to think too deeply. Please continue to visit  here– share your thoughts and concerns and ask questions. What are some topics  about which you’re needing more information? I’ll try to help by searching for answers. Let me know – I’d love to hear from you.

Best to you and your family,

Lee Jackson
Food Writer
http://www.imagesunlimitedpub.com

 Secrets of a Blog Writer
PinExt Secrets of a Blog Writer

6 Tips for Shopping Smart at the Grocery Store

PinExt 6 Tips for Shopping Smart at the Grocery Store

Going to the grocery store with a plan will save time and impact the health of your family. In order to eat healthier, spend less

300px Veggies 6 Tips for Shopping Smart at the Grocery Store

veggies (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

time in the store, and possibly save more money, you need to have a market plan.

A good place to start your list is with vegetables and fruits. The emphasis here should be on green and yellow vegetables and citrus fruits. Five or more servings per day are the recommended amounts.

These are often the very foods we choose to skip while adding the snacks, soda pop, and sweets to our shopping carts. Not good. If we are to live healthier lives, the emphasis should be on real food.

Here are tips for shopping healthier when going to the grocery store:

1. Do most of your shopping along the outer perimeter of the store. This is where you’ll find the fresh produce and other fresh foods.

2. First, stock up on plant-based foods such as yams, squash, carrots, cabbage, cauliflower, onions and garlic.

3. Choose a good variety of salad vegetables, such as raw spinach, romaine lettuce, radishes, peppers, green onions.

4. Select fruits that are in season. These will be the choicest and generally the least expensive. If you can preserve seasonal fruits through canning or freezing, this may be a good way to incorporate fruits into your family meals later in the year.

5. Add rice and beans unless they are already in your pantry or food storage area. You may want to even pick up prepackaged (not canned) bean soups. Choose brown rice over white. (Yes, here you may have to use an “inside aisle”).

6. If possible, buy local and organic. This is not always possible, but if this is available in your area, more power to you.

Before you go to the store you have checked your cupboard for needed items and have checked the ads to see if any of the specials are what you need. Armed with your list of healthy foods and suggestions, doing your grocery shopping should be a breeze.

Here’s to your health,

Lee Jackson
Nutrition Advocate
http://healthykidseatingtips.com

 6 Tips for Shopping Smart at the Grocery Store
PinExt 6 Tips for Shopping Smart at the Grocery Store

Bunny Salad Idea for Easter

PinExt Bunny Salad Idea for Easter
PearPhoto Bunny Salad Idea for Easter

A pear (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Here is an idea for a bunny salad kids will love to create. Children enjoy working with food, especially if provided with encouragement and inspiration. Carrying out the bunny theme with food is not difficult and they will be pleased with their results.

Bunny Salad

1 fresh pear cut in half, remove seeds and stem
or use canned pear halves
Raisins
Red cherries, candied or maraschino
Shredded cheese
Marshmallows
Lettuce

Prepare fresh pear or drain juice from canned pears.
Wash lettuce and put a lettuce leaf on individual plate.

To make bunny:

Place pear halve face down on lettuce leaf.

Put 2 raisins on the pear for the eyes.

Use a red cherry for the nose.

Put several pieces of shredded cheese on each side of face for whiskers.

Cut two marshmallows in half and use for ears of bunny.

Add a marshmallow for the bunny’s tail.

There you have it – one sweet bunny. These salads multiply well for any number of guests. Recipe taken from Amy Houts first book in the Food and Fun series, Cooking Around the Calendar With Kids: Holiday and Seasonal Food and Fun. See more at Cooking/Calendar.

To your childrens’ creativity,

Lee Jackson
Nutrition advocate and author

http://healthykidseatingtips.com

 Bunny Salad Idea for Easter
PinExt Bunny Salad Idea for Easter

Apples at Their Peak of Flavor and Freshness

PinExt Apples at Their Peak of Flavor and Freshness

9780930643225 214x300 Apples at Their Peak of Flavor and FreshnessThe crisp Fall air brings with it the wonderful smell and taste of fresh picked apples.

Here are some tips for picking and storing apples:

  • Twist or turn the apple from the branch. If you pull it, the buds next to it will break off and not bear fruit next year.
  • Don’t rely on redness as a guide to flavor.  Apples come in all shades of reds, yellows and greens. Choose clear colored apples. Often those with an intense green undercast or undertone are not completely ripe. Those with a dull yellowish-green undercast may be too ripe.
  • Choose apples that are free from bruises, blemishes and skin breaks. They should be firm with no soft spots or bruises.
  • When apples are thumped lightly with the knuckle, they should sound hollow, but not dull. Their smell should be flowery and aromatic.
  • For crisp, juicy apples, store in their plastic bag in the crisper part of the refrigerator, at 30 to 32 degrees. The freezing point of apples, which is damaging to the fruit, is about 28 or 29 degrees. Wash just before using, as their protective coating helps keep them from becoming dehydrated and bruised.

Apples are best when at their freshest. Orchards and roadside stands are overflowing with their best products of the season.  This is the ideal time to  visit apple orchards, stands, and produce centers, and savor the delectable fruits of the harvest.

I hope you enjoy this recipe for cookies, from my apple cookbook, From the Apple Orchard – Recipes for Apple Lovers:

Apple Cookies

2 1/4 cups flour
l teaspoon baking powder
l teaspoon baking soda
l/2 teaspoon salt
l/4  teaspoon cinnamon
l/4  teaspoon nutmeg
l/2 cup (l  stick) butter or margarine
l cup brown sugar
l egg
l/4 cup milk
2 cups apples, peeled and grated
l/2 cup chopped nuts

Sift dry ingredients. Cream butter and brown sugar. Add egg. Stir in dry ingredients with milk, apples, and nuts. Mix well. Drop by teaspoon on greased cookie sheet.

Bake at 375 degrees F. for 10-12 minutes. Glaze cookies with the following while still warm:

l  cup confectioners’ sugar
l tablespoon soft butter or margarine
l-2 tablespoons milk
l/2 teaspoon vanilla

Makes 3-4 dozen cookies

Enjoy visiting apple orchards and savoring the fruit of their bounty!

Best to you,

Lee Jackson
Apple cookbook author: From the Apple Orchard – Recipes for Apple Lovers,
Apples, Apples Everywhere – Favorite Recipes From America’s Orchards

 Apples at Their Peak of Flavor and Freshness
PinExt Apples at Their Peak of Flavor and Freshness

Enjoy the 4th of July with a Refreshing Treat Kids Can Make

PinExt Enjoy the 4th of July with a Refreshing Treat Kids Can Make
5061049945 3a185fc6ea m Enjoy the 4th of July with a Refreshing Treat Kids Can Make

Image by jnn1776 via Flickr

Here is a page from Amy Houts’s childrens cookbook: Cooking Around the Calendar With Kids: Holiday and Seasonal Food and Fun. For this and many other food and family fun ideas buy this cookbook and enjoy cooking with kids throughout the year.You can find this cookbook by Amy and other cookbooks at  Images Unlimited Publishing website: http://www.imagesunlimitedpub.com.

Amy writes: “Families all across America gather on July fourth to celebrate freedom. Bands march and drums beat. It’s a time for picnics and fireworks. For an Independence Day celebration, plan to serve a refreshing frozen treat. This will help you and your child cool down and supply extra water the body needs in hot weather.

Here is her “right-for-summer” treat:

Ruby Fruit Cups

Try this sugar-free, frozen treat this Fourth of July

1 quart fresh strawberries or
1 (16-oz) package individually frozen strawberries
1 fresh pineapple or
1 (20 oz.) can unsweetened, crushed pineapple
2 bananas
1 lemon
1 (6-oz.) can frozen, unsweetened
orange juice concentrate
1 cup cranapple juice
1 cup water

First, children can help prepare fruit. Rinse, stem and place
strawberries in a large bowl. For frozen strawberries, do not
thaw.

If you are using fresh pineapple, adults need to slice off
tough, outer skin and crown. Then cut the pineapple in half,
lengthwise. Remove the core and discard. Dice pineapple into
1/2 inch cubes. For canned pineapple, add to the bowl; do not
drain. Children can peel and slice the bananas. Add to the
bowl.

Half the lemon. Stick a fork in one half of the lemon, and
hold it over a separate, smaller bowl. Move the fork up and
down while squeezing the lemon to release the juice or use a
juice squeezer. Repeat this method with the other half of the
lemon. Remove the seeds from the lemon juice, and add to
the larger bowl of fruit.

Children can help add the orange juice concentrate, cranapple
juice, and water to the fruit bowl.

Ladle into 4-oz dessert cups or paper/plastic cups. Place
on a cookie sheet and freeze overnight. Let thaw about
1/2 to 1 hour, depending on room temperature, before
eating so the consistency will be like a slush.

Yield: 12 fruit cups

Enjoy this refreshing treat and have a
Happy 4th of July week-end!

Best to you,

Lee Jackson, CFCS
Images Unlimited Publishing

 Enjoy the 4th of July with a Refreshing Treat Kids Can Make
PinExt Enjoy the 4th of July with a Refreshing Treat Kids Can Make

Apple Recipes by the Hundreds

PinExt Apple Recipes by the Hundreds
300px Various apples Apple Recipes by the Hundreds

Image via Wikipedia

Whether you have a bushel or a peck or only a pound, you will find over a hundred ways to use apples in this apple cookbook, From the Apple Orchard – Recipes for Apple Lovers. Others have said: “Good to the Core“. The Mountain Airy News. “I purchased this book while in Georgia as a Thank You gift for a neighbor who took care of our plants while we were away. I should have purchased two, as it was hard for me to give it away after have read it, almost cover to cover. Where can I buy another?”  E.C., California.

You can get your autographed copy now when you order at http://www.ImagesUnlimitedPub.com.

Lee Jackson,CFCS
Author of From the Apple Orchard – Recipes for Apple Lovers
Apples, Apples Everywhere – Favorite Recipes From America’s Orchards

 Apple Recipes by the Hundreds
PinExt Apple Recipes by the Hundreds

Making Apple Roll-Ups

PinExt Making Apple Roll Ups
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Image by massdistraction via Flickr

Kids love fruit roll-ups from the store, but you can make them easily at home. What better time to make apple roll-ups than when this fruit is at its peak?

Apple Roll-Ups

6-8  apples
1/4 – 1/2  cup water
about 2 tablespoons honey

Wash, peel, core and cut-up apples.  Add water to apples in saucepan.

Cook over low heat just as you would for applesauce. Cook until apples are soft and break-up easily. Stir occasionally. Do not let apples scorch!

Put in blender or food processor and blend or process until apples are quite smooth.

Mix in about 1 tablespoon honey per cup of applesauce, depending on tartness of apples.

Add more water if apple mixture is too thick to spread evenly.

Cover bottom of cookie sheet pan with plastic wrap.

Spread apple mixture thinly over plastic wrap in pan. May need to use more than one pan.

Put in 150° F  oven with the door slightly open. Leave in oven for 12 hours, or until apples are almost dry, but still pliable.

When mixture cools enough to handle, roll up, as with a jelly roll, starting from wide end.

Store in plastic wrap until ready to use. Then slice each roll into bite-sized pieces.

Note: can use dehydrator for drying apples. Lightly grease trays and spread puree evenly and thinly onto trays. Set temperature at 130-140° F. Dry until fruit feels dry and pliable with no sticky spots.

Any applesauce that is leftover can be spread out on a cookie sheet and dried in this manner for a taste treat just like the store-bought varieties. Add nuts for a nutty-fruity roll.

Enjoy apples – ‘tis the season!

Lee Jackson
Author of From the Apple Orchard – Recipes for Apple Lovers
Apples, Apples Everywhere – Favorite Recipes From America’s Orchards
and Littlest Christmas Kitten
http://www.imagesunlimitedpub.com

 Making Apple Roll Ups
PinExt Making Apple Roll Ups

What To Do With All Those Apples?

PinExt What To Do With All Those Apples?

Chef Crombie here helping you answer the question of what to do with all the apples you bought this week-end. The apple harvest is plentiful this year and you must fill your larder with all things apple while they are at their best.

Whether you have a bushel, a peck, or only a pound of apples, this apple cookbook by Lee Jack97809306432251 214x300 What To Do With All Those Apples?son will put you on the path of heavenly bliss. From the Apple Orchard – Recipes for Apple Lovers has over 150 fabulous apple recipes from which to choose. You will find a vast assortment of pies, cakes, and desserts but also so much more. There are apple salads and relishes and compotes, coolers, fizzies and breads; jams, jellies and butters.

There are even a few ethnic recipes such as Apple Kolache (p. 62-63) and Apple Strudel (p. 116). One of my favorite recipes is the Apple Pandowdy on p. 148.

Wondering what variety of apples to use for your recipe? This apple cookbook helps you decide what variety to use for which recipe. Check it out here and you will know how to prepare all of those apples.

Here’s to enjoying the fruit of the season,

Chef Crombie

P.S. Make sure you join Lee and me by signing up where you see “Invitation to Join Us” under Pages here at the top.  Thanks!

 What To Do With All Those Apples?
PinExt What To Do With All Those Apples?

Drive to an Orchard

PinExt Drive to an Orchard
1359996991 38f6111dbd m Drive to an Orchard
Image by WxMom via Flickr

I drove 75 miles to deliver apple cookbooks yesterday. Nebraska City, Nebraska is having an Applejack Festival this weekend, September 18-19, and Tree Adventure at Arbor Day Farm needed more books. I wanted to make sure they had them in time.

Arbor Day Farm is owned and operated by The National Arbor Day Foundation which is a non-profit educational organization dedicated to promoting tree planting and conservation throughout the United States. There are lots of signs at Arbor Day Farm to “Plant Trees”.

While there I stopped to buy some apples and had a piece of apple pie. The pie was absolutely delicious. (I don’t usually do this, but they looked and smelled very inviting)!

It was a beautiful fall day. As you drive into the area you see many, many apple trees still loaded down with fruit. That is what fall is all about! That is why I love what I do.

In one of the apple cookbooks I delivered, Apples, Apples Everywhere – Favorite Recipes from America’s Orchards, there is a write-up about the Orchard at Arbor Day Farm and one of their favorite recipes.

I now share the recipe with you that was shared with me for the cookbook:

Apple Pie A’Plenty

Filling
8 cups sliced apples (Jonathan makes great pies)
2 – 2 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 cup flour
1 tablespoon cinnamon

Topping
1 1/2 cups flour
2/3 cups sugar
12 tablespoons butter or margaring

Make pastry for a double crust pie. Pat pastry into a 9 x 13 inch pan, forming and crimping edges as usual. Peel and thinly slice enough apples (about 8 cups) to fill pastry lined pan. Combine apples with sugar, flour, and cinnamon. Place this apple filling mixture in pan and sprinkle with topping. Bake at 375 degrees F. for 1 hour or until done. Servings: 15-18

I hope you get  to visit an orchard this week-end. If you are at the Applejack Festival in Nebraska City, make sure you visit Tree Connection at Arbor Day Farm and ask for my apple cookbooks!

Best to you,

Lee Jackson
Books for cooks and apple lovers
kids, families, and parenting professionals
http://www.ImagesUnlimitedPub.com

 Drive to an Orchard
PinExt Drive to an Orchard