Apple Pie with a Basket Weave Crust (Recipe and Video)

Basket Weave Crust on Apple Pie

Basket Weave Crust on Apple Pie

Another Apple Pie with Basket Weave Crust.

Another Apple Pie with Basket Weave Crust.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Apple Pie is always in season, but this time of the year it takes center stage. Here’s my recipe and a video how-to.  Just click on Apple Pie with a Basket Weave Crust

 Happy baking, hon.  


Basic Pie Crust:  Double Crust

2 1/2 cups flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup vegetable shortening

1/3 to 1/2 cup ice water

Food Processor Directions:  Insert steel blade in food processor.  Mix flour and salt, then place the mixture in the food processor.  Add shortening and process until mixture resembles cornmeal (about 5 seconds).  Slowly pour ice water through feed tube and process until dough forms a ball (about 5 to 10 seconds).  Chill dough for easier handling.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.


6 cups apple slices (I use a combination of Granny Smith and other varieties)

3/4 cup sugar

2 teaspoons lemon juice

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

approximately 1 Tablespoon flour

dash salt

1 egg, beaten (used to brush on top of crust before baking)

Combine apples, sugar, lemon juice, salt and spices.  This mixture will give off a lot of liquid so use a slotted spoon when spooning into pie crust, allowing you to spoon the apple mixture without the excess liquid.

Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat to 400 degrees F.

Split dough in half, form two dough balls and roll out each half into a circle.  Line a 9-inch pie dish with the bottom crust.  Spoon apple filling into the crust and smooth apples into an even layer. Sprinkle 1 Tablespoon of flour on top of filling mixture.

Basket Weave:  To form the basket weave, cuts the dough into 8 strips.  First lay 4 strips across the filling.  Secondly, carefully weave remaining strips through the dough strips already laying across the filling.  Then press top and bottom crust edges together and flute edges.

Egg Wash:  Without brushing fluted edges, brush top of pie with beaten egg.

Bake the pie at 400 degrees F for 15 minutes.  Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F  and bake for another 40 – 45 minutes.  Pie is done when top crust is lightly browned, the apple filling is bubbling, and the apples are tender when tested with a sharp knife.

Extra Dough Rolling Tips c/o friend, writer, musician, painter and fellow pie-baker, Ilana Katz Katz:

1) Flour a silicone pastry mat and roll dough on mat.

2) A pastry scraper will help get pastry dough off of the pastry mat if it’s stuck.

3) If getting the pastry dough off the mat proves challenging, put the silicone mat with rolled dough on it into the fridge. Once the dough’s cooled down, it should be easier to peel off.

*This pie freezes well.  Let pie cool completely before wrapping in saran wrap and aluminum foil.  A couple of days before serving, defrost at room temperature.

Serving options:

Serve warm–after removing from oven, let cool about 20 minutes.

Serve room temperature–cool completely.

Rewarm defrosted pie– warm in a preheated 250- 275 degrees F oven, uncovered, until desired temperature.

Pecan Pie

Pecan Pie.

Pecan Pie.

I love pecan pie. So, why have I only made it a few times in my life? Because I have a house of picky eaters! But in honor of Thanksgiving, and because I won’t be the only one eating the pie, I tried a new recipe. (previous post with different recipe.)

Luckily, I have a good sense of smell and picked up the “take-me-out-of-the-oven-NOW-scent” because the recipe called for another 10 minutes of baking time. The dark brown crust meant my pie could have come out of the oven even earlier. That won’t stop me–I bet it’s going to delicious.  Happy baking, hon.

Gather ingredients.

Gather ingredients.

Ready to go in the oven.

Ready to go in the oven.






Pecan Pie


3 Tablespoons  margarine

3 eggs

1 cup dark corn syrup

1/4 cup dark brown sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 1/4 to 1 1/2 cups (10 -12 ounces) chopped pecans

9-inch pie shell


  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
  2. Melt margarine in a small pan on stove.
  3. In mixing bowl, beat eggs. Add corn syrup, sugar and vanilla, and stir until well blended. Add melted margarine and pecans and mix well.
  4. Pour mixture into unbaked pie shell.
  5. Bake for about 25 to 30 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Pie Crust:  I make my own.  To find out how, click either gluten-free pie crust or regular pie crust.


Red Wine Minestrone with Swiss Chard and Pearl Onions



It’s that time of year again. Thanksgiving and the winter holidays turn me into a cooking/rearranging/cleaning whirling dervish! I was looking for a new soup recipe when I came across this one in Hadassah Magazine. It accompanied an article about kosher food trucks, specifically The Cinnamon Snail which travels all over the Eastern seaboard. I like the The Cinnamon Snail’s tagline, “Food to Inspire Peace and Bliss.”

If you have a food processor, the chopping and dicing in this recipe will go quickly. The preparation is worth it because this minestrone is tasty.  Happy cooking, hon!

Red Wine Minestrone with Swiss Chard and Pearl Onions

Gather ingredients.

Gather ingredients.

Almost done.

Combine ingredients in a soup pot.







2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

16 small pearl onions, peeled

1 small yellow onion, diced

2 celery stalks, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 medium carrot, finely chopped

3 cups vegetable broth

2 cups red wine

1, 28-ounce can diced tomatoes (juice included)

1 cup ditalini, elbow or small-shell pasta

1 cup drained, rinsed canned pinto beans

1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (the original recipe calls for 1 teaspoon but I wanted to cut the spiciness. season to your spiciness-taste level)

1 teaspoon dried thyme

1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano

1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves (I used about a Tablespoon dried basil leaves)

1 bunch Swiss chard, stems removed, chopped (I used about half the bunch)

Salt to taste


  1. Heat oil in large soup pot over medium-high heat. Add pearl onions and cook, stirring frequently, until lightly browned, 5 minutes. Add onions, celery, garlic and carrot and continue to sauté until vegetables soften slightly, 5 minutes.
  2. Add broth, wine and tomatoes, bring to a boil, add pasta and boil until pasta is only partially cooked, 4 minutes.
  3. Stir in beans, red pepper flakes, thyme, oregano, basil and Swiss chard and cook until pasta is al dente, 2-3 minutes. Season to taste.

Makes about 3 quarts.

Source: Street Vegan:  Recipes and Dispatches from the Cinnamon Snail Food Truck by Adam Sobel



Infinity Scarf, Honey Cowl

Honeycomb patterned cowl.

Honeycomb patterned cowl.

Beautiful yarn.

Beautiful yarn.







If you want something warm for winter or a pretty gift to give, this was an easy, enjoyable pattern. I made this as a gift for my sister-in-law (shout out to Kim).

Infinity Scarf, Honeycomb Cowl

Finished Measurements:  22 inches in length by 12 inches in width for short version (44 inches in length by 12 inches in width for longer version)

Yarn:  100% superwash merino wool, 225 yards (206 meters), 1 (2) skeins

Needles:  One US 8 (5.0mm) 26″ (66 cm) circular needle for short version or One US 8 (5.0 mm) 36″ (91 cm) circular needle for longer version.  Change needle size if necessary to obtain gauge.

Notions:  One stitch marker for beginning of round. One yarn needle for weaving in ends.

Gauge:  5 sts = 1 inch (10 cm) in honeycomb pattern.

Notes:  For an in-between size, 1 skein and 160 sts will create a 32 inch long by 8 inch wide cowl.  2 skeins at 160 sts will create a 32 inch long by 16 inch wide cowl.

Pattern Stitch:  Slip Stitch Honeycomb

Note:  When working rounds 2 and 4, slip as if to purl and keep yarn in front)

Round 1:  Knit

Round 2:  *Purl 1, slip 1 wyif* repeat across round

Round 3:  Kint

Round 4:  *Slip 1 wyif, Purl 1* repeat across round


Cast on 110 (220) stitches.  Being careful not to twist stitches, place marker and join for working in the round.  Knit 4 rounds.

Repeat the 4 rounds of “Slip Stitch Honeycomb Pattern” above until work measures approximately 11 inches.  Make sure that you have enough yarn left over for the following:  Knit 3 rounds and bind off loosely.




Amazing Marathon! New York City Marathon Video, Redux, too.

NYC Marathon course, bib, .and mile marker bracelet

NYC Marathon course, bib, and mile marker bracelet.

Hubby and Teen Daughter.

Hubby at Mile 22 and Teen Daughter.

Happy New York Marathon Day!

I’m re-posting this video from last year in honor of the big event today, the New York Marathon. This year, Hubby is running in the Philadelphia Marathon. I bet the enthusiasm will be the same. I know I made it, but I just love this video. The excitement is palpable and contagious!  Hon, thanks for watching.

November 2, 2014, I got high.

Not from drugs, drinks or too much sugar, but from witnessing Hubby and 49,599 other marathoners reach their goal–running the New York Marathon. Thanks to one of my college girfriends, (shout out to Kim) Hubby and I arranged meeting points along the route. It was her hubby’s third marathon (shout out to Oliver–Woohoo!) At our first meeting spot in Brooklyn,Teen Daughter and I were joined by Pratt Daughter and her roommate. Then Teen Daughter and I rode the rails all over the city. Seeing Hubby during the Marathon was unbelievable. So much training, discipline and hard work.  In other words, AMAZING!

Hon, I hope my 3 minute 53 second video gives you a taste of the day.

Click here to watch:  New York Marathon Video

Zombies Unite! Redux.


Happy Halloween!

I posted this a couple of years ago, but think it’s worthy of sharing again.  My daughter and some friends are planning on watching horror movies tonight.  Guess where I’ll be?  On the couch right next to them having a blast.  Pass the popcorn!

For those that like zombies, monsters, witches, spiders, skeletons, horror movies, haunted houses, dressing up, trick-or-treating and, of course, candy! Hon, I like all of those things. Surprised?

When I was in high school, my friend and I would rent two movies whenever I slept over. First, we’d watch a horror movie, then a comedy. We loved all the horror movies and psychological thrillers of the ’80’s. Halloween, Friday the 13th, The Exorcist; you name it, we watched it. While watching the movies, we’d cling to each other for dear life, shriek our brains out and then laugh hysterically.  My friend’s mom would called down from the top of the stairs, “Girls, you’re making too much noise! Please stop screaming!”  Of course, that made us laugh until we cried. In another post, I’ll tell you the practical joke my friend’s younger brother played on. He gets points for creativity!

I recently saw The Conjuring and loved it! The Woman in Black and World War Z were scary.  And, although I don’t care for the Saw movies, an old-fashioned horror movie makes me feel like I’m on a rollercoaster right there in the theatre.  So fun!

So what’s up with the zombies?

I passed a house decorated for Halloween a bunch of times before I stopped to take a closer look. The zombies drew me over, but the ghouls on the porch kept me there. They are freaky! They make my Halloween decorations look quaint in comparison. Some of the zombies have eyes that light up at night. They look like they’re coming out of the bushes.  Check out the giant spider web on the porch! Who’s the unlucky bloke (yes, bloke!) that’s been trapped?









Guess where I’ll be on Halloween?  Driving by the zombie house. I bet they’ll have dry ice to set the mood.

Do you have fun plans?

The Top Ten Coolest Things I Saw In California

Wedding decor handcrafted by the bride.

Wedding decor handcrafted by the bride.

California Dreaming

 I went to California for the weekend.  Hubby and I were guests at our dear friends’ son’s wedding.  It was outdoors.  It was beautiful.  I danced my dessert off.

Before this trip, I had only been to Los Angeles and San Francisco. The wedding was in San Luis Obispo, which is about halfway between LA and SF.  We drove up the coast to Carmel-by-the-Sea. Hon, I’m already (California) dreaming of a trip back to the West Coast.

Here are the Top Ten Coolest Things I saw In California this weekend.  

Driving up the coast with mountains on one side and the Pacific Ocean on the other.

Driving up the coast with mountains on one side and the Pacific Ocean on the other.

Do you see the tiny line in the mountain? That's the road we drove on. Yikes!

The tiny line carved out of the mountain is the road we drove on.  Yikes!








 1. I’m combining these two photos to make up #1. Driving on the edge of mountains–cliffs, really–is a bit harrowing, but pretty cool. Hubby rented a convertible (picture me in an Audrey Hepburn-style scarf) so guess what I did?  Turned around and took pics of the views behind us!

Cows, cows and more cows.

Cows, cows and more cows.

2. Everywhere we drove, cattle were grazing. Cows with calves and steer with horns were wandering over hills, sitting in the shade, and chewing their cud. Moo!

Aoudads on San Simeon

Aoudads on San Simeon

3. These Aoudads, a kind of Barbary sheep, were hanging out on the road to the Hearst Castle. Apparently, William Hearst had a large menagerie back in the day. At one point, he owned 250,000 acres of land and brought all kinds of animals to his ranch.

Woman and cockatiel.

Woman and cockatiel.


4. Many marble statues adorn the Hearst Castle. I really liked this one.

Wineries are everywhere.

Tuscany or California?

5. The countryside is dotted with wineries. Vineyards carpet the hills and Mediterranean architecture adds European flavor.  Salute!

West Coast succelents.

West Coast succelents.

6. Hon, you know how I love texture and color?  This garden has both.  I love the contrast between the colors and the grey rocks.  I have no idea what these plants are called, so if you do, would you please let me know and I’ll add the info?

Roman Pool at the Hearst Castle.

Roman Pool at the Hearst Castle.

7. This indoor pool is enchanting. Maybe it was the millions of tiny blue mosaics or the lighting or the smaller pool room, but standing at water’s edge I felt a romance or drama or mystery coming on.

Hummingbird in flight.

Hummingbird in flight.

8. I can’t believe I got this photo. Have you ever tried to photograph a hummingbird? Enough said!

9. What could be cooler than watching young, male Elephant Seals swim, snooze, spar, snort and scratch?  I guess they get itchy, too!

Galerie Rue Royale, artist: Devon,

Artist DeVon featured at Galerie Rue Royale, Carmel-by-the-Sea

10. Energy! Powerful! Superhero! Wow!

Peacock, Puppy and Boy

Peacock stutting his stuff.

Peacock strutting his stuff.

To top off my Series of Blue, I’m leaving  you with a Shel Silverstein poem,  perfect for kidlit lovers…and kids.

Put Something In

Draw a crazy picture,

Write a nutty poem.

Sing a mumble-gumble song,

Whistle through your comb.

Do a loony-goony dance

‘Cross the kitchen floor,

Put something silly in the world

That ain’t been there before.

Hot dog in a cool pool. Lucy loves the baby pool.

Hot dog in a cool pool. Isn’t Lucy adorable?

Boy with Kite, Acadia National Park, Maine.

Boy with Kite, Acadia National Park, Maine.

Iridescent Blue



This is the next to last installment in my Series of Blue.

The sun shining through vivid red, yellow and orange leaves invites me to breathe in the crisp autumn air, but iridescent blue takes my breath away.

I have to stop and study the line

where blue becomes indigo and indigo becomes violet,

where water, waves, day and dusk mingle,

 and where colors crash, whisper, and then fall silent.

Dale Chihuly blown glass.

Dale Chihuly blown glass, Denver Botanic Gardens, CO

Dale Chihuly blown glass.

Dale Chihuly blown glass.









Dale Chihuly blown glass.

Dale Chihuly blown glass.


Delphinium, Breckenridge, CO.

Links:  Dale Chihuly in Denver:  Pink and Purple Color Comparison.



Crock Pot Pepper Steak


Crock pot Pepper Steak.

Crock Pot Pepper Steak.

I’m interrupting Series of Blue to bring you dinner. Pull up a chair, sit at my table, and join me for this delicious dish served over a bed of rice. We have lots to catch up on. Afterwards, there’ll be dessert because…well, hon…there’s always room for dessert.

Crock Pot Pepper Steak


2 pound pepper steak strips

3 Tablespoons olive oil

1 Tablespoon corn starch

2 Tablespoons cold water

1 beef bouillon cube

1/4 cup hot water

3 Tablespoons soy sauce

1 teaspoon white sugar

1 teaspoon salt

dash pepper, ginger and garlic powder

1/2 cup onion chopped

2 large green peppers (or a mix of peppers), seeded and cut into strips

1 (14 1/2 ounce) can stewed tomatoes with liquid

honey to drizzle


  1. Rinse pepper steak and pat dry. In a skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Cook beef in skillet about 8 minutes, turning once, until brown.
  2. In a small bowl, blend cornstarch with cold water until smooth.
  3. In a separate bowl, blend hot water with crushed beef bouillon cube.
  4. Stir soy sauce, sugar, salt, pepper, ginger and garlic powder into bouillon mixture.
  5. In 3- to 4-quart slow cooker, layer beef, onions and stewed tomatoes.
  6. Pour bouillon mixture on top of layers. Pour cornstarch on top of bouillon mixture.  Add peppers.  Drizzle honey on on top of that.
  7. Cover; cook either on Low heat setting 6 to 8 hours or until beef is tender, or High setting for about 3 hours and then turn to Low for approximately another 2 hours.  
  8. Test beef for doneness and tenderness. Length of cooking time will depend on thin/thickness of steak to be cooked.

Yield:  4 servings.

Sources:  and