Slow Cooker Apples with Oats and Raisins


6 honey crisp apples, cored and cut into chunks (skin optional)
2 cups sugar or Splenda
1 cup oats
1 cup raisins
1/4 cup brown sugar or Splenda brown sugar
1/4 cup butter, cut into medium pats
1 cup water

How I made it:

Break out the crock pot.  Toss the apples and sugar in the pot.  Add raisins and oats and toss.  Add brown sugar, toss again.  Drizzle with water and top with pats of butter.  Set to cook on low for 4 hours.

How it turned out:

BEST APPLESAUCE EVER!!  Eat it straight, over ice cream, hot or cold.  Breakfast or dessert or snack.  I’m making this weekly from now on.

Super Rich Chocolate Cakes


1 cup bittersweet chocolate
6 tablespoons butter, unsalted
1/4 cups sugar
2 eggs
1/4 cup all-purpose flour

How I made them:

In the top of a double boiler, melt the chocolate, then add the butter and sugar until just melted. Add eggs and whisk until well combined; add flour and mix until just combined.

Spray four individual ramekins with cooking spray with flour (Pam for Baking or Baker’s Joy). Distribute batter among the four molds. Place molds on a cookie sheet and bake for 10 to 12 minutes.

How they turned out:

Served with whipped cream, they are so rich and yummy you can’t eat the whole little cake. 

 Espress-ive Cheesecake


2 cups graham cracker crumbs
4 tbs melted butter
2 packets Starbucks VIVO instant espresso + 1 tbs water
3 8-oz packages, light cream cheese
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1/4 cup melted butter
whipped cream and chocolate covered coffee beans for garnish

How I made it:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Wrap aluminum foil around outside of a spring form pan (to prevent melted butter leaking out).  Combine graham cracker crumbs and melter butter and then press into bottom of pan.

Dissolve instant espresso in 1 tbs water.  In a large mixing bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth.  Beat sugar in until light and fluffy, then eggs one at a time.  Then add the espresso and melted butter.  While most people stop beating once things are mixed, you can get a lighter fluffier cheesecake if you whip some air into the batter with the beaters (only works if you’re using a Kitchen-Aid, though).

Bake for 40 minutes.  My uncle’s trick is to bake for 10 minutes less than the recipe says, then turn the oven off and let the cheesecake sit in the oven to finish.  That works if you have oodles of time.  Otherwise, take it out at 40 minutes, let come to room temp, then put in the refrigerator to chill.

Garnish with whipped cream and espresso beans.

How it turned out:

ZOWEE!  That’s some strong coffee!!  The Starbucks instant coffee is definitely more potent than your grandma’s Sanka.  It was yummy, but so intense that really you could only eat a little slice.