A Really Sweet Weekend

So, my parents are on their way back home to Tennessee. It was a nice Thanksgiving weekend, though a little crazed with two extras in the house 24/7. I tend to walk around sort of wondering “Who moved my cheese?” because I’m such a creature of habit, and holiday weekends definitely throw a wrench into my cherished routine. We had a great visit, though. More about Thanksgiving dinner later, but I wanted to show you what my mom and I did on Thanksgiving morning.

We baked. Yummy. First, we made a bunch of pumpkin bread and chocolate chip banana bread, and a pumpkin pie.

The chocolate chip banana bread recipe is amazing, but it’s a closely-guarded family secret; I’d post it but then I’d have to go on a mad killing rampage in order to protect myself from the wrath of my mother. The pumpkin bread is also totally awesome; it actually came from my kindergarten class somehow; my mom and I have been making it ever since. Here is the recipe. (This is the copy of it that I wrote out for my Grandma way back in the day)


I also tried a new cheesecake recipe. I make cheesecake more often than most; we love it in this house. It’s easier to make than most people think. This time, instead of my old stand-by recipes, I tried the recipe for Junior’s Cheesecake (yum!) out of the New York Cookbook by Molly O’Neill.

Good Lord, that was some amazing cheesecake. We took it to the home of an elderly friend of the family on Friday, and her daughter-in-law, who has lived in Manhattan for thirty years, told me that it tasted identical to an authentic Junior’s Cheesecake. That was a super-high compliment and so I can definitely say that the recipe is a winner. Yay! We all won!

We also made one more thing. It started out in this bag. Any guesses?

I don’t know what you guessed, but you were probably wrong (har har har!).

It was a Paper Bag Apple Pie. YUM. And it was gorgeous, too. See?

Want the recipe? Okay. Get a pencil. (or I guess just copy and paste! This is the 21st century, you know!)

Paper Bag Apple Pie

1 unbaked 9″ pastry shell
3-4 large apples (we used more like 6-7; you be the judge)
1/2 cup sugar (for filling)
2 Tbsp. flour (for filling)
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
1/2 cup sugar (for topping)
1/2 cup flour (for topping)
1 stick butter or margarine

Set up the pastry shell/pie crust in a pie pan. Pare, core, and slice the apples. You should end up with about 7 cups (or so, give or take). Put them in a large bowl.

Make the filling: Combine sugar, flour, and spices. Sprinkle over the apples. Toss to coat well, spoon into pie crust. Drizzle with lemon juice.

Combine the sugar and flour for topping in a small bowl. Cut in the butter/margarine. sprinkle over apples to cover top. (You may have to press it into place)

Slide pie into a heavy brown paper bag, large enough to cover the pie. Loosely fold the open end over twice and fasten with paper clips or staples. Place on large cookie sheet for easy handling.

Bake at 425 degrees for one hour. Apples will be tender and the top will be bubbly and golden. Split the bag open and remove the pie. Cool on wire rack. Serve plain or with ice cream.

The taste? OOOOOH, good. My mom has made the pie with mixed berries, too. Try it out, and let me know what you think!

Hope you all had a great weekend! I’m off to try and catch up with some of you right now!



  • Melissa

    Good gravy, you are KILLING me! First off I would gain 20 pounds if I lived with you. And secondly, seriously…how do you make all this stuff gluten free?

  • Kat

    I’m with Melissa. Just gaining weight by looking at all the yumminess.

    You must be a darn good baker. Nom, nom. The cheesecake. OMG I want that cheesecake so badly. Right now and it’s almost midnight here 🙂

    Love the recipe you wrote down for your grandma and the fact that you still have it 🙂

  • Michelle

    Actually… I was going to guess paper bag apple pie. Maybe it’s just a *thing* around here? They’re SOOOO good though.

    And may I say that you had wonderful handwriting for a kindergartener. That’s truly impressive. Are you sure it wasn’t second grade maybe? 😉

  • Mom24

    You amaze me with all the items you have from your childhood! What a cute recipe card.

    Your house must have been delicious. I’m very jealous.

    The New York Cookbook is one of my favorites. It’s great to cook with and fun to read. I’ll have to try the cheesecake.

    The pie looks delicious. I love apple pie too.

    Glad you had a good Thanksgiving.

  • Melisa

    Melissa: Um, gluten free? No idea. But if I discover it, I’ll let you know. There’s gotta be a way, right?

    Kat: We are pretty good at baking; I’m not shy about saying that. 🙂 And actually, my mom had the recipe card in her book. She kept EVERYTHING of my Grandma’s, I think.

    Michelle: Hmm. Well I’ll give you extra credit points for mentally guessing the right answer. And I have to say that though it IS entirely possible that I wrote that in kindergarten because I went to the 2nd and 3rd grade classroom for reading (but I’m not certain about my motor skills…), I don’t know for sure. So let’s say that it was definitely written sometime between kindergarten and 2nd grade. 🙂 Unfortunately, my current handwriting isn’t nearly as good. That’s what the computer does, you know.

    Sue: It’s only because my mom keeps EVERYTHING. 🙂 Even things you wouldn’t normally keep, but that’s a post for another day. 🙂

    Stacey: Oh, you have the cookbook! Isn’t it awesome???? Definitely try the recipe: your fam will love it.

  • Shawna

    You are amazing!

    We made mini-turkey’s (cornish hens)
    w/frozen mashed potatoes, store bought pumpkin pie, and anything else packaged and pre-made I could find.

    No time to get all this done! ARGH!

    I’m truly impressed. Keep up the good work!

    Shawna (www.gardeningnude.com)

  • devilishsouthernbelle.net

    OMG, all those baked goods look seriously yummy!

    I love cheesecake, too. I want to bake one next with a gingersnap crust!

  • Mags

    I LOVE the kindergarten recipe. 🙂 It makes me sad that we just copy and paste now instead of handwriting recipes. I have a bunch from years ago, but have stopped and have them on spreadsheets.

    I think I shall start writing some more out-at least my favorites. So when I die, someone may covet that handwritten recipe. Maybe.