I’m not a fan of simply eating an apple, but I love almost anything with apples in it. I hope the marshmallow apple salad makes it to your holiday feasts. It stays very nice overnight and the apples did not turn brown.

I used the homemade apple pie filling in the cake, adding 20 ounces to the other ingredients. I used my stand mixer on the lowest setting. I beat only until mostly blended. Blend in any stray cake mix with a big spoon.

I hope you’ll consider making your own dry ranch dressing mix. The sodium level in store bought is 60 grams in one fourth of a teaspoon. It contains a high amount of MSG as well. I’m on a rampage to make my own of all the salt-filled, MSG-laden premade mixes. I share ’em as I test ’em.

Tortillas are available in several tasty, somewhat healthy varieties. I cannot bear the plain flour unless I make it myself. However, mine are slightly crispy around the edges and won’t cooperate for rolling. I used the jalapeno tortillas for my pinwheels. I was pleased that the tortilla did not get soggy after setting in the refrigerator for 24 hours. Of course they were soft. They were soft to start with.

Apple Filling

2 tablespoons butter

4 tart apples, thinly sliced

3/4 cup brown sugar

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1 tablespoon water

In a heavy saucepan, cook apples with butter and sugar until tender. In a small bowl, mix water and cornstarch until smooth. Stir into apple mixture. Cook until thickened. Substitute ginger ale, apple juice or apple cider for the water if desired. Use as directed in recipes calling for canned apple pie filling.

Apple Dump Cake

1 butter recipe cake mix

1 (20-ounce) can apple pie filling or recipe equivalent amount

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix cake ingredients altogether and spread in a well buttered 9x13 baking pan. Bake 30-35 minutes. Serve warm with whipped cream, powdered sugar, topping of choice or plain.

Marshmallow

Apple Salad

1 (20-ounce) can crushed pineapple, drained (Reserve juice)

1/2 cup sugar

1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon white vinegar

1 egg, beaten

1 (8-ounce) container extra creamy CoolWwhip

3 large sweet/tart apples diced

4 cups miniature marshmallows

1 cup peanuts, optional

In a small, heavy saucepan, combine sugar, flour, vinegar and pineapple juice. Bring to boil. Cook and stir two minutes. Add a small amount of the hot sauce to the egg, stir well. Add another small amount and stir again. Add all the egg mixture to the saucepan and stir until smooth. Bring to boil and cook two minutes. Cool completely. Fold cool whip into the cool sauce. Add apples, marshmallows and pineapple. Mix gently. Cover and refrigerate at least one hour. Add peanuts just before serving.

Cheddar Bacon Pinwheels

2 (8-ounce) packages of cream cheese, at room temperature

1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

6 slices crisp bacon, chopped

1 tablespoon dry ranch dressing mix

1 tablespoon dried chives (2 if using freshly chopped)

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon onion powder

1/4 teaspoon pepper

8-inch tortillas (Jalapeno, whole wheat, etc.)

Beat cream cheese until smooth. Add all remaining ingredients except tortillas. Mix altogether and set aside for 10-15 minutes. Spread evenly on the tortillas. Roll up, place seam side down on a plate, cover and refrigerate until firm. Cut into half-inch slices. Serve. Refrigerate leftovers.

Ranch dressing mix

1/2 cup dry buttermilk

1 tablespoon dry parsley

1 teaspoon dry dill weed

1 teaspoon onion powder

1 teaspoon dry onion flakes

1 teaspoon dried chives, optional

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1/4 teaspoon paprika

Blend in the blender. Cover tightly and refrigerate.

For dressing:

1 tablespoon dry mix

1 cup mayonnaise

1 cup milk

For dip:

1/4 cup mix

1 cup sour cream

2 tablespoons buttermilk

Miss Olivia Sipe is the owner of Miss Olivia’s Table in Maryville.

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