If you use store bought canned peach pie filling, you’re going to find more filling than peach in that can. The same can be said for cherry, etc. Y’all may remember when I phoned Comstock and made them aware of the shortage of fruit in their pie filling. Hence, the recipe for making your own. I did find the canned apple to contain adequate apples. I will still make my own. There’s recipes galore for making strawberry pie filling. Ain’t figgered out how to do the cherry yet. Spice cake mix is a delicious substitution.

Making your own Italian dressing mix is also easy, economical and once again, you can control the salt content. Besides being way tastier.

The marinated vegetables in the salad are a little much, on their own. Spooning them over salad greens was the perfect way to serve. Don’t forget to use a slotted spoon.

There was nothing I could add nor omit to improve the apple fritter cake. It is really crumbly and not easy to cut. So I suggest gently removing it from the pan, pouring a big glass of cold milk and taking up your fork.

Peach Cake

1 (15.25 ounce) French vanilla cake mix

1 (21 ounce) can peach pie filling

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9x13 baking dish with Bakers Joy.

In a large bowl, stir cake mix, pie filling, eggs and vanilla until well blended. Spread evenly in the prepared pan. Bake 35-40 minutes.

Homemade peach pie filling

1 (15-ounce) can sliced peaches

1/2 cup peach juice from the canned peaches

1/3 cup sugar

1 heaping tablespoon cornstarch

1 teaspoon lemon juice

1 teaspoon vanilla

In a medium size, heavy saucepan, whisk together sugar and cornstarch. Add juice to sugar mixture. Bring to boil. Cook until bubbly and thickened. Add fruit, return to boil, cook until thickened again. Add lemon juice and simmer one minute. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla. Cool. Use as desired.

Cook’s note: Weigh the completed pie filling to meet the 21 ounces called for in the recipe. If there’s more, use as a garnish or add a dollop of whipped cream and eat it then and there.

Apple Fritter Cake

1 stick butter at room temperature

1/2 cup sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla

1/2 cup buttermilk

2 eggs

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoons soda

1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed

2 granny Smith apples, peeled and diced

1 teaspoon apple pie spice

For the topping:

1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9x5x3 inch pan with Bakers Joy.

In a medium bowl, toss diced apples with brown sugar and apple pie spice. Set aside.

With an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar until light. Add vanilla, milk and eggs. Beat until well blended. Whisk together flour and soda. Add dry ingredients to the creamed mixture. Beat on low speed until well blended. Spread half of the batter in the prepared pan. Spread half of the apples over the batter. Spread remaining batter over the apples. Spread remaining apples over the batter. Sprinkle brown sugar evenly over batter. Bake 55-60 minutes. Cool in pan 5 minutes. Turn onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Cook’s note: Variations, Add chopped nuts to the apple mixture. Bake in muffin tins. Frost with cream cheese icing. Drizzle with caramel sauce.

Marinated Salad

1 large English cucumber, partially peeled, quartered and sliced.

16 ounces grape tomatoes, halved

6-8 scallions sliced. Use all white and some green

Cover and refrigerate.

For the dressing:

2 tablespoons Italian dressing

1 cup white vinegar

1/2 cup sugar

Whisk together until sugar is dissolved. Cover and refrigerate. Add to salad mixture one hour before serving.

Italian Dressing Mix

3 tablespoons dried oregano

3 tablespoons dried basil

2 tablespoons dried thyme

2 tablespoons dried rosemary

2 teaspoons garlic powder

1 teaspoon onion powder

1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt

Mix well. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

For the dressing:

3/4 cup oil

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

1 (fat) tablespoon dry mix

Whisk together until well blended. Shake well before each use. Refrigerate leftovers.

Miss Olivia Sipe, oliviasipe@msn.com, is the owner of Miss Olivia’s Table in Maryville.

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