Easy, Scrumptious Apple Dumpling Cobbler


(Becky, the Mama.)

What is it about being snowed in that turns even makes even the most anti-cooking folks fire up the oven and don an apron? Here’s a recipe that is not only easy to make, and scrumptious,  but will make your house smell like Pure Love.

I know, I know… the last recipe I posted was an apple dessert, too.  But as you read in that post,  I had somehow purchased THREE  huge bags of apples and so, forgive me,  but since I am still up to my ears in apples…. here’s another  fabulous apple recipe I created that used up the last of my surplus.   You’ll take one bite and think, “Oh. My. Goodness. This tastes like my grandmother’s home-made apple dumplings.”  (And if you didn’t have an Apple Dumpling-Baking-Granny,  the Apple Dumplings at Cracker Barrel are a pretty close second.)

A few decades ago, my mother went through a spell of baking Apple Dumplings from a recipe in the red and white checked Better & Homes and Gardens Cookbook.  They were delicious!  People raved about them and begged for more.   But they were also a LOT of trouble.   For my taste they were also a little too sweet and there was too much pastry-to-apples ratio.

This recipe is ridiculously fast and easy and creates a just-right-sweet “cobbler” of apples that make their own “dumplin’ syrup” and is topped with just one flaky pastry crust (thank you Pillsbury for making this part simple, too). Serve warm with a dollop of vanilla ice cream and you’ll be in Apple Dumplin’ Gang Heaven.

One hint:  the only time-consuming part of this dish is peeling and chopping apples.  To make this effort go faster, conscript every able-bodied adult and child over 8 years-old to come in the kitchen and peel at least 2 apples each, while you do the chopping. Promise them they will be sweetly rewarded for their labor.

Finally, a little bit of fun news from “First Magazine for Women” (you will often see this at  grocery check-out counters).  Last week the editor of the magazine gave a lovely review for our book, Nourished.  Here’s a picture of the article:

First Collage

As long as you are huddled up inside eating dumplings this week you might as well buy a copy of our funny, uplifting, practical book to cozy up and read as well.  🙂  And our heart-felt thanks to those of you who have already read the book and perhaps posted a review on your blog or on Amazon or sent us a note or email.   We are soooo thankful for your encouragement!  Be sure to join us on our Facebook Fan Page, too, at We Laugh, We Cry, We Cook.


Apple Dumpling Cobbler

6 to 8 peeled, chopped apples (about teaspoon size pieces) to make about 6 cups total

1/3 cup brown sugar

1/3 cup white sugar

2 t. cinnamon

1/2 t. nutmeg

1 small to medium fresh lemon

1/2 t. salt

1 T. flour

2 T. butter

1 Pillsbury  refrigerated pie crust

Sugar and Cinnamon to sprinkle on top (about 1 T. sugar and 1 t. cinnamon, but just eyeball it to your liking)


Turn oven to 350 degrees

In a large mixing bowl put apples, brown and white sugars, flour, spices and  salt.  Mix thoroughly.  Butter a 9 by 11 casserole pan and pour the apple mixture into it.   Squeeze a fresh lemon over the top of the apples and then dot with butter.   Place one Pillsbury refrigerated pie crust on top of the apples, tearing it and patching it (pinch pieces together) to create a rustic, “quilted-together” pastry crust as shown below.   Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar.   Note that you just kind of  loosely fold the edges and tuck them around the apples.  I also cut a heart shape in the middle, though as you can see, I am not a pastry artist.  No worries about it looking messy, it will come out delicious and beautiful.

DSC_0198Bake for about 30 to 40 minutes or until crust is golden and flaky and apples pierce easily with a fork and the juices are golden brown and syrupy.   Serve warm, using a big spoon to place in bowls,  and top with ice cream.



Mint Chocolate Ice Cream Pie with Warm Fudge Sauce

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This week marked our wedding anniversary. I asked my six-year-old grandson George if he’d like to help me make an “Anniversary Pie” for his Poppy.
“Is it your secret recipe?” he asked. (He saw a cooking show where some chef talked about a secret recipe and has been curious about any “secret recipes” I might have lurking in my brain.)

“Yes!” I said. “It will be OUR secret recipe because I’m making it up right now, with you.”

“How long have you and Poppy been married?” Georgie asked.

“For nine years now!”

“And you and Poppy never fight and you never died! You did good!”

Forget Disneyland. In my husband’s arms is my happiest place on earth.


Indeed, that might be the hallmark of a great marriage: you don’t fight and you don’t die. In fact, in a great marriage, you thrive, you blossom, you grow.

Here’s what I wrote on my Facebook Status about Greg, my husband, the Love of My Life:
“Nine years ago today, I married Greg Johnson, and each day of those nine years have been the happiest and most peaceful, fulfilling and giving, romantic and stable of my entire life. When you live with someone whose eyes always mirror love, delight, acceptance… when you know you are cherished every moment of every day, it changes you into the best possible version of yourself. And you have so much more to give to the world, because your brain is no longer working so hard to simply try to survive or make sense of your life. Being well loved expands your capacity to love and be more present to others. I love and adore you, Mr. Johnson for who you are and who you have helped me become when I am with you. Who knew marriage could really be like this, ‘after all these years’?

A wonderful marriage is definitely worth celebrating. One of my husband’s favorite treats is mint chocolate chip ice cream. One of my favorite treats is warm chocolate sauce. This ice cream pie, like us, is the perfect marriage of both.

Now that I’ve shared our secret to a happy marriage (choose to cherish each other daily), I’ll go ahead share my “secret recipe” (shhhhhh, don’t tell anyone) for this absolutely mouth-watering, silly-easy, pie. It’s wonderfully refreshing on a hot summer day, and you’ll spend just a few minutes in the kitchen putting it together.

And speakin’ of happy marriages, and the color green…  our lime green book, Nourished, is full of tips to nourish both your own life and your marriage! grunge image of a field

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Chocolate Mint Ice Cream Pie with Warm Fudge Sauce

One pre-made chocolate graham cracker or chocolate cookie pie shell
1 quart of your favorite chocolate chip ice cream (I’m from Texas and partial to Blue Bell “the best ice cream in the country”)
One recipe chocolate sauce (below)
About 10 Andes Mint Candies

Chocolate Sauce
1 c. half n’ half
1 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips
½ t. vanilla
Pinch salt

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Let ice cream soften just enough so that you can scoop and pack it into pre-made chocolate pie shell. Decorate the top of the ice cream pie with Andes Chocolate Mints, by cutting them at a diagonal and placing around the pie in a pretty design.

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Cover with plastic wrap and let harden in freezer.
Simmer half n’ half in a small saucepan, add the chocolate chips and stir until the chocolate is melted and well mixed.  Add vanilla and salt. Remove from stove and let cool until warm but not piping hot. (Leftover sauce will keep in fridge for a week or more.  Just microwave a few seconds to reheat and liquefy.)

Cut and serve the ice cream pie, drizzling some of the warm sauce over the top and serve immediately.

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Peaches & Pretzels Caramel Sundae

(Becky, the Butter Lovin’ Mama)

I love a great variety of foods for lunch and dinner, but for some reason I get stuck on one breakfast and can’t let go.  Maybe I’m such a one-note breakfast wonder because, as a general rule,  I can’t put two coherent thoughts together before 10:00 A.M.  Last year’s breakfast was coffee with a side of a few raw almonds and dried cherries.   Then I’d have an additional snack of PBJ toast as soon as my pre-frontal cortex came online enough to trust myself with a toaster and a knife.

Lately, I have been on a salted caramel banana nut smoothie  kick for breakfast,  a recipe I invented and posted about a month ago,  and have made every day since.  Sometimes I shake things up by subbing ½ cup of coffee for ½ of the almond milk.  So I was lying in bed the other night thinking of my new love for things salty caramely, fruity and sweet when I literally sat up, struck with a food idea. I grabbed a pen, turned on the bedside lamp and wrote down “pretzels,” “peaches,” “caramel” and “ice cream.”  I could taste the combination in my imagination: the salty, the sweet, the warm caramel, the cold ice cream.  I went to sleep dreaming of the perfect peach sundae.

Sure enough, my imagination proved accurate.  I love this sundae, perhaps a bit too much.

It is taking a lot of will power not to make it my new daily breakfast.

Peaches & Pretzels Caramel Sundae

Peaches & Pretzels Caramel Sundae

Makes Two Servings


1 T. butter (Earth Balance for Vegans)

¼ cup brown sugar

¼ cup half n half or cream (Vegans use coconut milk. You can also use evaporated skim milk or even plain dairy or almond milk, though the sauce won’t be quite as rich, it will definitely save some calories. )

2 fresh ripe peaches, peeled and sliced (I used sweet white peaches)

2 scoops vanilla ice cream (I used vanilla frozen yogurt; vegans will want a non-dairy vanilla – there are many wonderful varieties. Or try Rachel’s vegan soft serve recipe — it would be awesome with this.)

½ cup chopped pretzels (Just start with a nice big handful of pretzels… it will yield approximately 1/2 cup of chopped pretzels.)

¼ cup chopped salted nuts (I used salted roasted cashews, starting with 1/3 cup whole nuts)


To make quick caramel sauce, melt butter in small saucepan, then add brown sugar and cream or half-n-half.  Stir and simmer until sugar has melted and smooth syrupy sauce forms.  It doesn’t take long, just a minute or two. Take off heat and let cool.

Caramel sauce bubbling away in the skillet

In a blender or food processor, chop pretzels and nuts together, until they are the size you want for sprinkling on top of the sundaes.

Chopped pretzels and nuts for topping

Into each of two pretty dessert bowls put 1 sliced, peel, chopped peach. Place a generous scoop of vanilla ice cream on top of this (or two small scoops as pictured).

Ladle one tablespoon of warm caramel on top of each sundae.  Sprinkle each dessert with a tablespoon or two (your preference) of the pretzel nut mixture.  Top this with one more spoon full of caramel.  (This assures that the nuts and pretzels are sufficiently surrounded and coated with caramel.)

Serve, dig in, smile.

Variations: Try bananas, pineapple or strawberries or other fruit. Try other flavors of ice cream or Rachel’s vegan soft serve recipe. I think a combo of strawberries and cheesecake or white chocolate ice cream would be heavenly.  You can also skip making your own caramel sauce and use a bottled variety of your choice.

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