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October Recipes


Layer Cake

1/2    Cup Pecan Pieces

3       Cups All-purpose Flour

2 1/2 tsp. Ground Cinnamon

1       tsp. Salt

1       tsp. Baking Soda

1/2    tsp. Nutmeg

1/4    tsp. Allspice

1       Cup Light Brown Sugar

1/2    Cup Granulated Sugar

3       Large Eggs

3/4    Cup Canola Oil

3/4    Cup Unsweetened Applesauce

1       tsp. Vanilla Extract

4       Cups Granny Smith Apples (or Pink Lady, peeled, diced, about 2 large apples) 

Salted Caramel Frosting:

6     Tbsp. Water 

3/4  Cup Granulated Sugar

3/4  Cup Heavy Cream

2     tsp. Vanilla Extract

1     Cup Unsalted Butter plus 2 Tbsp. (room temperature)

1     tsp. Salt

3     Cups Confectioner’s Sugar

Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Spread the pecans on a rimmed baking sheet and toast until fragrant, 5 to 6 minutes. Cool, then set aside.

Keep the oven at 350 degrees F. Grease three 9-inch round cake pans and line the bottom with parchment paper.

Cake: Whisk together the flour, cinnamon, salt, baking soda, nutmeg and allspice in a bowl. Beat sugars, eggs, oil, applesauce and vanilla with an electric mixer on medium speed until combined, 45 seconds to a minute. Reduce the mixer speed to low and slowly add the flour mixture, scraping down sides of the bowl as needed. Fold in the apples and pecans. Divide batter among prepared pans. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 18 to 20 minutes. Cool in pans on wire racks 5 minutes, then invert onto racks to cool completely. Serves 10 to 12.

Frosting: Combine sugar and 6 Tbsp. water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and cook, without stirring, until mixture turns a dark amber color, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from heat and slowly add heavy cream and vanilla, stirring with a wooden spoon until smooth. Cool 30 minutes. Beat butter and salt with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes. Reduce speed to low and slowly add the confectioner’s sugar, scraping down the side of the bowl as needed. Slowly add cooled caramel. Increase speed to medium-high and beat until fluffy 1 to 2 minutes. Refrigerate 30 minutes. 

Place one cake layer on a cake stand or serving platter and top with 3/4 cup frosting. Repeat 2 more times. Frost sides with remaining frosting. Garnish with candied pecans if desired.


1    Pork Butt (7 lb., bone-in, skin- on, cut into 3 pieces) 

1/2 Cup Apricot Jam

2    Medium Onions (thinly sliced)

4    Jalapeno Peppers (seeded, thinly sliced) 


1  Tbsp. Ground Cumin 

1  Tbsp. Ground Coriander

1  Tbsp. Paprika

5  tsp. Salt

2  tsp. Freshly Ground Black Pepper

Sweet-and-Spicey Sauce:

1    Cup Apple Cider Vinegar

1/4 Cup Ketchup

1    Tbsp. Brown Sugar

1    Tbsp. Granulated Sugar

1/2 tsp. Red Pepper Flakes

1    tsp. Salt

1/4 tsp. Black Pepper

Thick Sliced Bread for serving

In a small bowl combine the cumin, coriander, paprika, salt and pepper. Mix well.

Cover a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil. Place the pork pieces on the baking sheet and rub them with the spice mixture. Spoon jam on pork and turn to coat all sides. 

Pre-heat oven to 300 degrees F.

Scatter onions and jalapenos around the pork. Cover with aluminum foil, crimping edges to seal. Roast until pork shreds easily, 4 to 5 hours.

Transfer the pork to a large bowl. Shred meat using two forks; discard bones, skin and fat. Add the onions, jalapenos and pan drippings and toss to combine. Serve with bread and sauce. Serves around 10.

Sauce: Whisk together apple cider vinegar, ketchup, brown sugar, granulated sugar, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper in a small sauce pan. Bring to a simmer, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Makes 1 1/4 cups sauce.


2       Cups All-purpose Flour 

1 1/3 Cups Granulated Sugar

4        tsp. Baking Powder

1 1/2  tsp. Ground Allspice

1        tsp. Baking Soda

1        tsp. Cinnamon

1/2     tsp. Ground Cloves

1        Can (10 3/4 oz.) Campbell’s Condensed Tomato Soup 

1/2     Cup Vegetable Shortening

2        Eggs

1/4     Cup Water


1   Pkg. (8 oz.) Cream Cheese (softened)

2   Tbsp. Milk

1    tsp. Vanilla Extract

1    lb. Bag Confectioners’ Sugar

Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 13x9 inch cake pan.

Stir the flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, allspice, baking soda, cinnamon and cloves in a large bowl. Add the soup, shortening, eggs and water. Beat with an electric mixer on low speed just until blended. Increase the speed to high and beat for 4 minutes. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.

Bake for 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let the cake cool in the pan on a wire rack for 20 minutes. 


Beat the softened cream cheese, milk and vanilla extract in a medium bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Slowly beat in the confectioners’ sugar until the mixture is the desired consistency. Frost the cake and serve. Serves 12. Store leftovers in refrigerator.


1/2   Cup Packed Brown Sugar

1/2   Cup Bottled Hot-style Barbecue Sauce, Chili Sauce or Ketchup (your choice)

1/2   Cup Bottled Chipotle Salsa, Hot Picante Sauce or Salsa 

1/4   Cup Molasses

1      Tbsp. Fresh Oregano (snipped) or 1 tsp. Dried Oregano (crushed)

1 1/2 tsp. Dry Mustard 

1 1/2 tsp. Ground Cumin or Chili Powder

1       (31 oz.) Can Pork and Beans in Tomato Sauce 

1       (16 oz.) Can Pinto, Cannellini, Great Northern, Black or Butter Beans (rinsed and drained)

1       (16 oz.) Can Red Kidney Beans (rinsed and drained)

1       Large Onion (finely chopped)

8       Slices Thick-cut Bacon (crisp cooked, cut in 1-inch pieces)

1       Cup Beef Brisket (cooked, chopped fine)

12     oz. Bulk Pork Sausage or Ground Beef (cooked and drained)

In a large bowl, combine brown sugar, barbecue sauce, salsa, molasses, oregano, mustard and cumin. Add undrained pork and beans, drained pinto beans, drained kidney beans, onions and bacon; stir gently to combine.

Pour the bean mixture into a 2 1/2 to 3 Quart casserole dish. Bake, uncovered at 325 degrees F. for 2 1/2 to 3 hours or until desired consistency, stirring occasionally. Beans will thicken as they cool. Makes 12 side-dish servings.

Slow Cooker Directions: Prepare mixture as listed above. Pour into a 4 1/2 to 6 quart slow cooker. Cover and cook on low heat setting for 5 to 6 hours or on high heat setting for 2 1/2 to 3 hours.


1  Gallon Fresh Apple Cider

1  Medium Orange (sliced into rounds)    

1  (1 1/2 inch) Piece Fresh Ginger (sliced)

5  (3 inch) Cinnamon Sticks   

1  Tbsp. Whole Cloves

More Orange Slices for Garnish (optional)

Using a 5 quart or larger crock-pot, pour in the cider. Add the sliced (1/4 inch thickness) oranges, sliced (1/4 inch thickness) ginger and cinnamon sticks. Tie the cloves in a cheesecloth or use a tea ball and add them to the cider. Cook on low heat for 4 hours, until the flavors meld. Remove spices and keep warm. Serve in mugs garnished with additional orange slices if desired. Serves 16 8 ounce drinks.

Notes: Do not use sparkling cider, spiced cider, hard cider or clear apple juice. 

Optional add-in spices:  4 star anise pods, 1/2 tsp. whole black peppercorns or 1/2 tsp. whole allspice berries.

For Spiked Cider: add Whiskey, Rum or Bourbon.



1       Box (1 lb.) Elbow Macaroni

1/2    Cup Butter (unsalted)

1/2    Cup Flour

1 1/2 Cups Milk (whole)

1 1/2 Cups Half-n-Half

4       Cups Medium Sharp Cheddar Cheese (freshly grated, divided)

2       Cups Gruyere Cheese (freshly grated, divided)

1/2    Tbsp. Salt

1/2    Tbsp Black Pepper

1/4    tsp. Paprika

Special Notes: Please grate blocks of cheese. The pre-shredded cheeses have an added ingredient to keep them from clumping in the bags and this prevents them from melting smoothly in sauces.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Grease a 9x13 inch baking pan (3 quart). Set aside.

Boil the elbow macaroni according to directions for al dente, less it by 1 minute. Drain them and toss with a bit of olive oil to keep them from sticking.

Grate the cheeses and mix them together, then divide into a 3 cup pile (for the sauce), a 1 1/2 cup pile (for the inside layer) and a  second 1 1/2 cup pile (for the top) for a total of 3 piles.

Melt the butter in a large sauce pan over medium heat. Sprinkle in the flour and whisk to combine.  Cook for approximately 1 minute, whisking often. Mixture will look like wet sand. Slowly pour in about 2 cups or so of the milk and half-n-half, while whisking constantly, until smooth. Slowly pour in the remaining milk and half-n-half, keep whisking constantly, until combined and smooth.

Continue to heat over medium heat, whisking constantly until thickened to a very thick consistency. (like a thick creamed condensed soup).

Stir in the spices and half of the 3 cups of cheese mixture. Stir to melt and combine. When all that is melted stir in the remaining part of the 3 cups cheese mixture. Stir to melt and combine and all smooth.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the drained elbow macaroni with the cheese sauce, stirring to combine fully. Pour half of the cheese and macaroni mixture in the 9x13 baking pan, sprinkle 1 1/2 cups (2nd pile) of cheese over that. Pour the remaining cheese and macaroni in the pan and top with 1 1/2 cups (3rd pile) of cheese and bake for 15 minutes until cheese is bubbly and golden brown. Serves 8 to 10.