I don’t know who wakes up in the middle of the night and decides what the next “in” vegetable or fruit is going to be until somebody else wakes up and decides it’s something else. I remember when it was carrots; don’t remember what else until kale was “it.” Now, I understand it’s caulifiower. I can’t remember when I didn’t have carrots in the fridge, and I’ve been making caulifiower casserole almost 50 years. I made one dish with kale and swore off. Me n’ Marie Nichols are waitin’ for “it” to be ice cream.

Seriously, adding and substituting vegetables to anything is a great idea. We’re all in such a hurry most of the time, we tend to eat what’s quick and handy. Today’s recipes are both and not too unhealthy.

Easy Apple Cobbler with Caramel sauce

1 (3.4-ounce) package Jell-o French Vanilla instant pudding mix, divided

3/4 teaspoon apple pie spice

3 small granny Smith apples, diced

1/4 cup ginger ale

2 cans Pillsbury crescent roll dough sheets

3 tablespoons butter, melted

Caramel sauce

Chopped pecans for garnish

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly spray a 9x9 inch baking pan with Pam. In a large bowl, Whisk one-fourth cup of the pudding mix with the spice. Add apples and ginger ale. Toss until the apples are well coated.

Unroll crescent sheet and arrange to cover the bottom of the pan with a little up the sides. Cut off excess.

Spread apples evenly over dough. Cover apples with the second sheet of dough. Cut off excess.

Sprinkle reserved pudding mix evenly over surface. Drizzle melted butter over all. Bake 30-35 minutes or until golden and bubbling around the edges. Makes about nine servings. Drizzle each serving with caramel sauce and sprinkle with pecans. Cook’s note: cut excess dough into strips, dip into melted butter.Lay on a parchment lined cookie sheet, sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar and bake until golden.

Cauliflower Dip

4 cups small cauliflower florets

1/3 cup water

6 slices of bacon, finely chopped

1/2 cup finely diced sweet onion

1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, cubed

3/4 cup mayonnaise

8 ounces cheese blend of your choice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 8x8 inch baking dish with Pam. Pulse cauliflower in a food processor until the size of peas. Put cauliflower in a microweve safe bowl; add water, cover and cook until crisp tender. Drain and set aside. Cook bacon until crisp. Remove from skillet.

Reserve all but about a tablespoon for another use. Add onions to the remaining drippings and cook, stirring often, until crisp tender. Add cream cheese and stir until smooth. Stir in caulifiower, mayonnaise and one and one half cups of the cheese. Spoon into the prepared dish. Bake about fifteen minutes. Sprinkle with bacon and cheese. Bake until golden and bubbly. Serve warm with chips of your choice.

Company Cake

1/2 cup butter, melted

1 box spice cake mix

1 (8 ounce) can crushed pineapple, do not drain

1 cup shredded Coconut

2 eggs

1/2 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9x13-inch baking dish with Pam.

Pour melted butter into a large mixing bowl. Add pineapple, coconut and eggs. Beat briefly. Add cake mix and stir until well blended. Stir in pecans. Spread evenly in the prepared baking dish. Bake 25-30 minutes or until a cake tester inserted into the middle comes out clean. Cool. Frost with cream cheese icing if desired.

Cook’s note: A dip of good Mayfield vanilla ice cream and left over caramel sauce from the Apple pie would very nicely here. After all, you are in a hurry.

Caulifiower Casserole

1 large head cauliflower

1 can cream of chicken with herbs

3/4 cup half and half

2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9x13-inch baking dish with Pam.

Separate caulifiower into medium size florets. Place in a large microwave safe bowl with about one fourth cup of water. Cover and cook until crisp tender. Drain and stir in soup and half and half until well mixed. Place, mixture in the prepared dish. Cover with cheese. Bake until bubbly and cheese is golden.

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