Sunday, April 13, 2014

Authors in Bloom Blog Hop!

Welcome to my corner of the 
Authors in Bloom Blog Hop!

April 7 – April 16 
10 Days of Giveaways--Gardening Tips--Recipes
Plus a GRAND PRIZE of a Kindle Fire or Nook
Almost 80 authors are participating. We will all post our giveaway, gardening tip, recipe or both on our blogs, beginning April 7 and leaving our contests open through the 16th.  You will have 10 days to enter each individual author contest and then submit your entry for the grand prize!!  To win the grand prize, you must visit each and every author on the hop.  Each site will post the links of participating authors but please feel free to visit the FIRST or LAST  stops of the blog hop to find the author link list at any point in time. 
**Be sure to leave your email addy with your comment so we know how to contact you.

My blog's prize: $15 gift certificate to Gardener's Supply Company (

* * *

The theme of this blog hop is gardening and recipes, so we are supposed to give you a gardening tip and/or recipe. You do not want a gardening tip from me. Trust me. This is what my garden looks like right now.

Yes, it's Spring and I haven't worked in it yet, but I doubt it'll look much different come warmer weather.

To go along with the yummy (and healthy!!!) baked apple recipe I’ll share below, I thought I’d share an apple-related story written by my grandmother, Dorothy P. Hyland (1912-1993).

How about them apples?
After the apples were ripe, Mother would peel and slice the them by the bushel. We put clean sheets on the shed roofs and had to lay those slices of apple closely together to dry. As we didn’t have too much rain, but did have hot sunny days (hot days AND nights) [this was in Wisconsin], the sun was depended upon to dry the apple slices. 

Sunny days would lengthen into weeks before it rained. At night we covered the slices with cheesecloth. The cheesecloth came off in the morning and it was our job to see that no birds or flies bothered those apple slices during the day. After two days all those slices had to be turned over, and what a boring job that was! It took hours to finish that job. All in all, it took the best part of a week before the dried apple slices could be gathered and placed in a tight container to be used for apple pies during the winter. If the orchard produced a lot of apples, the same job had to be repeated for several weeks more. That really cut into my play time.

I made sure the neighbors had lots of ripe apples for their cooking and canning needs and I, personally, ate them by the peck just to get rid of them so we wouldn’t have too many to dry. Apples were my favorite fruit, and Mother always said that if she peeled a potato and called it an apple, I would like it and not know the difference.

Baked Apples
(thanks to Courtney Milan for the yummy recipe)

1. Take one apple. I like Gala apples. Cut it in half, and use a paring knife to take out the seeds and make a little divot in the center of the apple. You now have two apple halves.

2. Get a small bowl. Put rolled oats in the middle--not a lot, maybe about a tablespoon and a half. Add some crushed pecans or walnuts--about three pecan halves will do you.

3. Drizzle a very small amount of olive oil over this. 1 teaspoon is plenty. Mix. Now scoop the oat mixture into the hole in the middle of your apple. If you have too much oat stuff, it's my fault, I never get it right. Put these into some kind of a baking dish. You might want to put it on parchment paper because the apple is going to get messy.

4. This is the point where I remember that I SHOULD have preheated the oven to 375, but who remembers to preheat the oven? Not me. Turn the oven on to 375 and pop those suckers in.

5. How long do you cook it? I HAVE NO IDEA, really, I just put them in and then hope I don't forget them. The thing is, these are really forgiving, as long as you don't undercook them. 45 minutes? An hour? That sounds about right. Do that! I would say that you cannot overcook these, but you can. I will say that *I* have not overcooked them, and that's impressive because I can overcook anything. They should be super-soft to the fork when you take them out.

6. Let them cool. Or don't, because I don't, either, but don't blame me when you burn your mouth.

7. If you want to be extravagant, you can add ice cream or regular cream. I never do this, but I just want to point out that you can dress these up so that you have a heavier more dessert feeling dessert for those who want, and a lighter less dessert feeling dessert for those who don't. If you want to be mildly extravagant, a single half-ounce cut of sharp cheddar cheese makes an awesome pair. But you don't have to be extravagant at all because they're ridiculously sweet and delicious all by themselves.

--Thanks, Courtney!!!!

Be sure to visit all the other blogs, commenting as you go with your email addy, for a chance to win a Kindle Fire or Nook.


  1. apple slices are one of my fvorite snacks!

    Thanks for the chance to win!

  2. When I am "gardening" I like to run my fingernails over a bar of soap so I will not get dirt under them.

  3. I love this: this is a first draft! I like to use a cushioned kneeler nowadays, since I sort of got older and didn't notice until I knelt.

  4. I love participating in these blog hops~ I always come away with a longer TBR as well as new bloggers added to my Bloglovin’ feed :)

    ilookfamous at yahoo dot com

  5. Awesome tip! Thanks!

  6. Nice tips
    bn100candg at hotmail dot com

  7. I love stories passed down from grandparents. I had to smile at the part where she said she ate them to reduce the ones that had to be dried :)
    I LOVE apple crisp

  8. Baked apples! Very creative. I'm going to make this for my sister. My garden looks much like yours but I'm working on it.
    greeniejoey at gmail dot com

  9. Thank you for sharing your Grandmothers story, & that yummy recipe!! Love apples! =)

    Thank you for the giveaway! I hope you have a great day! =)

    BLeigh1130 at yahoo dot com

  10. What a great story about the apples and the recipe sounds delicious. I'm always looking for news ways to use up all the apples we bring home from picking in the fall.
    cchant86 @

  11. Wow! You're garden looks awesome compared to mine!!

    Thanks for the amazing giveaway!
    elizabeth @ bookattict . com

  12. Thank you for sharing that story and for the apple recipe... Thank you for being part of the hop.

  13. Thanks for sharing your apple story and recipe.

  14. Thank you for being a part of this awesome blog hop!

    Alisha Sienkiel

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. Congrats, Alisha! Using, you won my gardening gift certificate! I will email you this notification as well.

  15. Love your writing style! You are a hoot!!! Thanks for sharing. Don't give up on that garden. Dig it all up a little and throw in five packets of flower seeds and enjoy July!!!

  16. Just Hopping by. Deb P

  17. Hi! Great post! Thank you for sharing! :)
    ​And ​thank you for being apart of this awesome hop!