Being a gracious guests this holiday season

Even if you were not invited to a POTLUCK, you can always bring a dish. My preference is for a home-made dish. Nothing says you value a friendship or love someone more than bringing a dish of something.

Here are some ideas. They are very simple and do not require tons of time nor ingredients. I do not know if this will make you the king among men, but at least you will win the favor of your host.

Banana Bread
2-3 ripe bananas
1/2 cup melted butter
1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
Pinch of salt
1 egg-beaten (you can add a table spoon or two of yogurt as well to make it more moist)

Mash bananas in large bowl, then add all and mix. Put in a buttered/sprayed loaf/foil pan and bake at 350 for about 40-50 minutes. Wait for top to brown and also do a knife stick to test for wetness.

Apple Pie (mostly homemade)
2 crust you roll out (our your own homemade concoction)
6-8 apples (I prefer 6)
2 tbsp flour
2 tbsp juice of a lemon (fresh)
1/s tsp each of cinnamon and nutmeg
1/2 cup of sugar (depending on the tartness of the apples

Butter, egg/milk

In a large bowl add sliced apples and other ingredients, mix well.

Dump all ingredients into a rolled out crush. Add 4 teaspoons of butter in 4 areas or 1/2 tsp in 8 areas.  Cover with second crust and using a knife, make 1 inch slits.

Paint top crust with beaten egg or milk.

Bake 45 -50 min at 350 and watch for golden color.

Apple Cider-6 cups (

  • 6 medium apples (any kind)
  • 6 cups of filtered water
  • 1/3 cup turbinado sugar or maple syrup (or to taste)
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1/2 fresh vanilla bean (or 1 tbsp extract)
  • 1 whole star anise
  • 2 orange peel slices

Wash and cut the apples into quarters. Add them to a large pot with about 6-7 cups of water and start heating. Meanwhile, throw in a cinnamon stick, half a vanilla bean (or some extract), 2 slices of orange peel (about 1 inch square), and sugar.

Leave the pot uncovered and bring to a boil. Allow to boil vigorously for about 30 minutes. Then, cover and let the cider simmer on lower heat for about 2 more hours.

After about 2 1/2 hours of cooking, remove from the heat and allow to thoroughly cool. Then, using a handheld potato masher, turn the apples into applesauce inside the pot to fully release their flavors.

Pour the cider through a strainer to remove all the apple pulp. You can either use any kitchen strainer and a wooden spoon to strain the liquid, or (recommended) you can filter through cheesecloth or a nut milk bag.

Serve warm, either by itself or with some coconut whipped cream and caramel sauce. Store leftovers in the refrigerator in mason jars for 5-7 days.

Welcome to the holiday season.  In about a week it will start to be Christmas (even with Thanksgiving looming). Get ready.  All the dishes you want to try-bring them on.

Happy Eating!!!


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