Potluck Picnic with Apple Crisp

Potluck Picnic with Apple Crisp

Welcome to my Potluck Picnic … a weekly newsletter containing an assortment of
recipes, tips, humor and
stories to inspire you to appreciate, cook, eat and share good food.
So pull up a chair and join the conversation!


quote of the week

Winston Churchill Quote about Pessimism and Optimism


on the foodie trail

Goat Cheese Chocolate Almond Donut

Last weekend, I had the privilege of joining my future daugther-in-law, her mom and her sister in Chicago to shop for a wedding dress! This mom of two boys … whoops, I mean, men … could not have been happier to watch the process. Dresses were modeled, analyzed, and rejected. To witness the moment she saw the mental vision of her perfect dress come to life in the mirror and tears form in her eyes in confirmation was a moment I will never forget.

What does this have to do with a donut? It was the result of a road-less-taken. I prefer country roads to interstates when I’m not on a time constraint and the road that led me out of the Chicago area toward home passed through the town of West Dundee where, in search of coffee, I found Craft Donuts + Coffee.

Craft Donuts & Coffee

Needless to say I added a good 20 minutes to my trip … worth every minute! I was torn between the Fluffernutter, the Pumpkin Pie Filled and the Goat Cheese Chocolate Almond. My decision was made when I thought, “what would my friends most like me to try?”

One Goat Cheese Chocolate Almond donut please!

Whipped goat cheese sandwiched between halves of a glazed donut, topped with chocolate frosting and slivered almonds, this confection hit all the sweet and savory notes. If you have been known to say that something is “too sweet”, a combination like this will be right up your alley. I have yet to find anything that is “too sweet” for me.

Then again, I’m not sure I’ve ever found a food that is “too” anything for me!


what’s up in the garden

Delicata Squash

Probably the most familiar squash varieties are Acorn and Butternut. Spaghetti squash has become very popular in the past few years. Trending now? Delicata squash.

Why so popular?

  1. Easy to grow – even in a small garden.
  2. Smaller in size – serves 2 to three people.
  3. Tender, edible skin – no need to peel!

To prepare the roasted squash rings pictured below: wash the squash, cut in half lengthwise, scoop out seeds, cut into 1″ thick rings, toss with olive oil, salt, pepper, cinnamon, cayenne and brown sugar, and roast at 400 degrees F for 20 minutes (turning rings over after 10 minutes).

Roasted Delicata Squash


this week’s recipe: apple crisp

Apple Picking

We have now been living on our acreage for one full year (i.e. one apple season). With two apple trees on our property, we have been anxious to discover if these apples would be good baking apples. The best way to find out, in my opinion, is trial by apple crisp.

Verdict? Guilty of deliciousness!

This is a very simple recipe … let the apples and spices shine and enjoy the diffusion of fall scents throughout your house.

Warm Apple Crisp

Apple Crisp

Apple crisp may be the simplest of comfort desserts. Warm spices and a crumb topping enhance the apples and beg for a scoop of ice cream. Try this recipe soon!
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Total Time 1 hr 5 mins
Servings 6 people


  • 6 cups peeled and sliced apples
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg optional
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice optional
  • 1/4 teaspoon cardamom optional


  • Lightly coat an 8 inch x 8 inch pan with butter.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Distribute apple slices evenly in pan.
    Assembly of Apple Crisp
  • Combine flour, sugar, salt and spices in a bowl. Cut thin slices of butter into flour mixture with a fork until crumbly. Sprinkle on top of apple slices.
  • Bake for 45 minutes or until lightly browned and bubbly. Remove from oven and allow to cool for at least 30 minutes.


Apples: My favorite apples to use in this dessert are Jonathon and Macintosh. If you like apples that hold their texture, Granny Smiths work well. Using two or three varieties of apples will create a very flavorful result.
Keyword apple, dessert, recipe

Warm Apple Crisp


if you haven’t tried this one yet …

Butternut Squash Soup

Does this look like a perfect fall lunch to you? Warm up with a bowl of thick soup made from butternut squash, chicken broth, onions, garlic and thyme and garnished with a simple cashew cream and some toasted pepitas or cashews.

Butternut Squash Soup with Cashew Cream

what can you bring to the next potluck picnic?

Comment below in the “LEAVE A REPLY” box to share:
1. What is your favorite fall dessert?
2. Do you have a quote that inspires you to challenge yourself?

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