Scandinavian Cardamom Apple Pie

February 11, 2011 § Leave a comment

This recipe is inspired by Scandinavian baking.  Cardamom is a popular ingredient in the Scandinavian baking style and it also happens to be one of my most favorite spices.  Apples highlight cardamom perfectly and I just love the rustic look and elegant flavor balance of this pie.  Best of all, this pie has three ingredients in addition to the dough (which I usually have prepared ahead of time anyway) — it is so easy to make that you are sure to have a stress-free baking session.  I love this pie for entertaining!


  • 2 – 10″ pre-prepared pie crusts (you can use your favorite recipe or buy frozen crust)
  • 6 cups apples (peeled, cored, and sliced) — I used 2 lbs of organic Granny Smith apples and it was the perfect amount
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 tspn cardamom
  • 1 tspn cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp flour (for dusting pie pan)
  • Butter (for buttering pie pan)
  • Small amount of sugar, cardamom, and cinnamon for sprinkling on top


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Combine apples, cardamom, cinnamon and sugar in a bowl and mix to make sure all ingredients are evenly distributed.
  3. Place bottom crust into a buttered and floured pie pan and pour spiced apple mixture into the pie crust.
  4. Place top crust on top and seal edges (make sure you seal them well otherwise, apple juices will bubble out).
  5. Cut 4-5 slits away from the center of the pie (this allows the apple juices to evaporate out) and sprinkle cinnamon, cardamom, and sugar on top of the crust.
  6. Cover pie with foil loosely and bake on middle rack for 20 minutes.  Then remove the foil and bake for another 20-30 minutes until the pie is brown and crusty.  Sprinkle some more sugar on top.

My Favorite Summer Salad

June 29, 2010 § Leave a comment

Summer is the perfect time to enjoy a fresh salad.  The lettuce at your local farmers’ market is crisp and fresh while the fruit, that usually goes on top of my summer salads, is juicy and sweet.  I want to share a recipe for one of my favorite summer salads.  It’s quick, easy, refreshing, and light.  I never get tired of this salad and it’s one of my quick and easy “go to” summer lunches.


  • 1/4 cup Trader Joe’s Gorgonzola crumbles
  • Trader Joe’s Cranberry, Walnut, Gorgonzola dressing
  • Green leaf or Romane lettuce
  • 1/2 of an apple (I prefer Fuji or Honeycrisp apples)
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup coarse chopped pecans
  • Salmon fillets (or another type of fish, cut into a tick steak or fillet)
  • An orange
  • 1 tbsp. orange marmalade
  • Salt and pepper
  • Olive oil


  1. In the morning, mix 1 tbsp. of orange marmalade with the juice from 1/2 an orange.  Season your salmon with the citrus mix, salt, and pepper.
  2. When you are ready for lunch or dinner, preheat your oven to broil.  Don’t worry about the heat the oven will make, it won’t be on long enough to heat up your kitchen.  If you don’t want to use your oven, you could grill the salmon outside or use a cedar plank in your barbecue to cook the salmon.

3.  While your oven or grill is preheating, lightly coat your salmon with a thin layer of olive oil and top with thin orange halves (cut enough orange halves to cover the top of the fish).  Add some of the marinade to the top of the fish before it goes into the oven or on to the grill.

4.  Put the salmon in the oven for 5 minutes.  While the salmon is cooking, cut and rinse your lettuce.  Place the lettuce into a large salad bowl.

5.  After five minutes in the oven, turn the salmon over and cook it for an additional 6 minutes.  While the salmon is finishing up in the oven, cut your 1/2 of an apple into bite size slices.  Add the apples, pecans, Gorgonzola crumbles, and cranberries to the salad.  Add dressing and toss.  Add more dressing to taste (Start with a little dressing in the salad.  Remember it’s better to have too little than to have too much).

6.  Once the salmon has cooked through, take it out of the oven (this should only take the 6 minutes of cooking time in step 5.  If you have a very thick fish steak or fillet, it will take longer than 6 minutes.  Check on it every 2 minutes or so, until it is cooked completely).  Plate your salmon next to, or on top of, the salad.

Apple Cake

June 5, 2010 § 1 Comment

I love making a breakfast treat on Monday that will last me the rest of the week.  When I am running out the door at 6:00 a.m., to head for work, it’s really nice just grabbing something already made and then filling up a thermos cup with coffee.  Breakfast is done in an instant.

This apple cake was great for just that.  I made it  Monday night, let it cool, and then put it in a glass cake stand.  It was there for me every morning until Friday.  I just cut off one wonderful wedge at a time….what a time saver!  It goes great with coffee because it is not too sweet and has a great spiced flavor from the cinnamon and nutmeg.


  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 large apples, peeled, cored, and cut into chunks (I used Fuji apples)
  • 1/2 cup chunky all natural apple sauce ( I love Trader Joe’s chunky apple sauce)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
  • Powdered sugar for dusting the top of the cake


1. Preheat your oven to 350°.  In a medium saucepan, bring apples and 1/4 cup water to a simmer over high heat.   As soon  as the water starts to simmer, reduce heat to medium and cover the saucepan.  Cook the apples until they are very tender (about 10-15 minutes).  Mash the apples with a whisk, while still on medium heat.  Try to get most of the water to evaporate (about 2-4 minutes).  Remove the saucepan from heat.

2. Whisk the dry ingredients (do not mix in the brown sugar) together in a medium to large-sized bowl.  Once all the dry ingredients, except for the brown sugar, are whisked in a bowl set aside.

3.  Whisk the brown sugar into the cooked apple mixture.  When the brown sugar has melted, mix in the chunky apple sauce, oil, and the eggs.

4.  When the wet ingredients have been mixed, pour them into the bowl with the dry ingredients.  Mix.

5.  Pour the batter into a 8-inch nonstick round cake pan.  Bake in the oven until golden brown and a toothpick, inserted into the middle, comes out clean (about 30-35 minutes).  Cool the cake, in its pan,  on a wire rack for about 30 minutes.  Turn the cake out of the pan and l;et it cool on the wire rack until it is completely cooled.  Dust with powdered sugar.

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