6833 Whitneyville Ave SE, Alto MI 49302 * (616) 868-6676 * CountryHarvestGreenhouse.com

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Fabulous Fail-Proof Dutch Apple Pie

Seriously, it doesn't get any better than this.  It makes a fantastic gift, bake sale item, potluck dish - or just plain family dessert.  This pie is always a hit.

If you're a sucker for rave reviews, you'll want to serve this pie asap!


1 unbaked pie shell

1/2 c sugar (adjust as needed for tartness of apples)
1 t cinnamon
6-8 baking (or "pie") apples, peeled, cored, and sliced

3/4 c flour
1/2 c sugar
1/3 c margarine

For filling, mix sugar, cinnamon and apples. Stir until well mixed. Place apple mixture in unbaked pie shell. Make Dutch apple topping by mixing flour, sugar and margarine with a fork until crumbly. Sprinkle over top of apples.

Bake at 425 for 15 minutes, then at 350 for 45 minutes or longer, until apples are tender and crust is lightly browned.


Good apple choices are firm apples, like Northern Spies. Mushy apples apples and crunchy Dutch Topping don't mix!

Should be eaten in two or three days, or topping will get mushy. Not that it will last that long anyways!

Can be frozen! Double wrap with plastic wrap, put in ziplock freezer bag and freeze. Does not have to be thawed to bake. Simply follow baking directions above and adjust time at 350 as needed. This is usually method, since I love to make a bunch of pies in the fall and enjoy them through the year.

Makes a very nice gift! You can get pie boxes at stores that sell Wilton products and other retailers.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Honeyed Applesauce

Dark with spices, this applesauce freezes well. Makes about 2 pint jars.

8 cups (about 3 lbs) apples cored, peeled, and quartered
1 cup clover or mild honey
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt (or to taste)
1 tsp lemon juice

1. In a large saucepan, combine the apples with 1/2 cup of the honey; cover and bring to a simmer. Cook until the apples are tender, about 20 minutes.

2. For chunky applesauce, just mash the apples in the saucepan. For a smoother sauce, press the apples through a conical sieve or a food mill (or use your blender). Add enough of the remaining honey to sweeten to taste. Stir in the spices, salt and lemon juice. Enjoy just-made or freeze in pint jars for up to six months.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Sweet Corn Salsa

This recipe is simply divine! Those who love sweet corn and sweet flavors will love this delicious mix.

Sweet Corn Salsa / Sweet Salsa

1 can sweet shoepeg corn - or 2 ears fresh, blanched sweet corn
2 cans black beans
1/2 c celery, chopped
1/2 onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
1/2 c red wine vinegar
1/2 c sugar
1 c olive oil (can reduce to 1/2 c)

Boil sugar, vinegar and oil til sugar dissolves. Cool, then pour over veggies. Marinate -- best if overnight. Drain before serving.

Photo source, allrecipes.com

Monday, May 3, 2010

Orange & Asparagus Salad

Here's a fresh, colorful and easy way to use Michigan-grown aspargus.

2 c cut-up fresh or frozen Michigan asparagus
6 oz bag spring or European lettuce mix
11 oz can mandarin orange sections, well drained
1/3 c thinly sliced red onion
1/4 c honey roasted cashews
1/2 c raspberry vinagrette dressing

Steam or microwave asparagus until tender-crips. Drain and let cool. Combine cooked asparagus, lettuce, oranges, onion and cashews. Pour dressing over all. Toss to evenly coat. Serve immediately.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Save Those Spring Bulbs!

Are your beautiful spring bulbs done blooming? Don't throw them out! You can enjoy them for many years to come if you plant them in your yard.

Tulips, daffodils, paperwhites, crocus, hyacinth -- all of them can be planted in your yard and they will greet you next spring with their cheery blooms. (See the bottom for a special note on Easter Lilies.)

When the ground thaws enough for you to dig in, you can go ahead and plant your bulbs. This article provides information on planting bulbs (note: it focuses mainly on fall planting, but provides good tips on how to plant bulbs).

Here's a few tips from my own experience:

- plant them in places that you won't later be planting annuals or perennials. Bulbs are hard to locate after they die back and you don't want to contiually dig them up as you plant your other flowers

- If digging up or relocating bulbs, be sure to dig deep enough so that you get the entire bulb and don't split the bulb or merely remove the green leaves.

- Don't plant the bulb too deep; some bulbs will send up leaves but be unable to bloom if planted too deep

- Bulbs are prolific reproducers. Every few years you can thin out your crop, which will enable remaining bulbs to bloom better. (If bulbs in a crowded location don't bloom, it signals a need to thin them and provide some breathing room.)

A little effort now will provide great rewards next year, and in years go come. So put on your gardening gloves and plant your bulbs this month. It's the ultimate in being earth-friendly and recycling.
* Easter Lilies can be planted after Easter and will re-bloom this summer. They will not come back the next year.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Fabulous Rhubarb Bread Recipe

Rhubarb season will be here soon and Country Harvest Greenhouse will be selling rhubarb. Here's an excellent recipe for enjoying rhubarb:


This recipe comes from my "A Taste of Shipshewana" cookbook. I treasure my Amish cookbooks and the many fabulous recipes they contain. This sweet, dark bread became an instant hit in my house.

1-1/2 c brown sugar
2/3 c vegetable oil
1 egg
1 c sour milk
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp salt
1 tsp soda
2-1/2 c flour
1-1/2c chopped rhubarb
1/2 c chopped nuts

1/2 c brown sugar
1 tsp butter

Stir together in order given. Pour into 2 greased and floured loaf pans. Crumble topping ingredients together and place topping evenly over each loaf. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes or until done.