Dinner and Dessert

Caramel Apple Muffins

10-12 apples
2 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt

2 1/2 cups chopped pecans, toasted and divided

Peel and finely chop apples to equal a heaping 3.5 cups. Set aside.

Stir together sugar and next 3 ingredients in a large bowl.

Stir together flour and next 3 ingredients; add to sugar mixture, stirring just until wet and blended.  Fold in finely chopped apples and 1 cup toasted pecans (saving the rest to sprinkle on top of caramel).

Spoon batter evenly into muffin pan cups, filling cups three-quarters full.

Bake at 350° for 25 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove muffins from pan, and cool, bottoms up, on a wire rack.  Poke deep tunnels in the centers of each muffin and fill with caramel icing.

Caramel Icing Drizzle
2 (14-ounce) cans sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Eggplant and Squash Parmesan

Slow cook a garlic, onion, tomato sauce; bake or pan grill eggplant in olive oil; and thickly slice the squash, set all aside.  Mix together ricotta, an egg, and cottage cheese.  Alternate layers like shown in pictures below, ending with sauce and Parmesan/mozzarella cheese (or choice of Italian cheeses). Bake at 400 for 30-45 minutes.