Let me tell you about the harrowing saga…

imac applestore

Let me tell you about the harrowing saga that filled our weekend… I was working away… attempting to write a post. Everything was painfully slow… and then all I could see is that little colorful ‘death wheel’ as I like to call it spinning around… computer unresponsive. Thankfully, I purchased the Apple Care extended warranty (adds two years on to the regular one year warranty). So I was able to call support to get some much needed help. I’m not an Apple genius. I try to keep up, but whew, some things are beyond me, and this was one of them! I got a great support person I could understand, he was clear, we went through steps and he determined I needed to wipe the hard drive and reload Mac OS X Lion. “Uuuuhhhh”,  I heard myself stutter “ooooo-kkkkkk”, but really my innards were screaming NOOOOOOO! “Do you have a backup?” he asked. “Yes” I replied, without hesitation. I mean I have an external hard drive plugged in, I assume it works? I have taken a trip through the TIME CAPSULE just to see what riding in space is like… it miraculously captures your info from each day… We wiped it clean, and reloaded Lion. After that, the computer was unresponsive. We determined that we would make an appointment and take it to the ER (Apple store)… luckily we were able to take it that night. Genius Brian ran the first diagnostic on it. “Everything looks like it should”. Oh. Great. I don’t want everything to look like it should or these problems are going to keep happening, I mean I DO want everything to be ok, but not unless it really is… He said there is one more test… he ran it… and it could not recognize the hard drive. Ok… now we have a diagnosis… that’s a relief! It was scheduled to have the hard drive replaced, and I am sooooo very thankful that it was still under warranty (I LOVE YOU APPLE CARE!)! We were able to pick it up the next morning…

It was nice to have it back in our hot little hands. The backup worked like a miracle. It costed us nothing. Dropping it off we even got a parking spot in the front of the store, WHEN does that ever happen. One more thing… next week is tax free weekend… which means it would have taken MUCH longer for the computer to be worked on, because the Apple store becomes a zoo during tax free weekend! After all, that’s when we bought it a few years ago! It was worth standing in the heat for hours to not pay tax on it!

All this blah blah blah, to say… if you’re about to purchase an Apple product… do not hesitate to buy the Apple Care extended warranty. It’s worth Every. Single. Penny.  We, in Charleston, SC, are so fortunate to have the Apple store right here. First class all the way.

So glad to be back among the living… !

Catch you back here tomorrow!

Image: Apple.com


How To Make An Apple Pie…

Apple pie. It’s the most American dessert on the planet. I call it “health pie”, ha ha… apples are fruit and fruit is healthy! Ok, so that may be pushing it, but it’s better than a pie without fruit, look at it that way! With the use of a good pie crust (thank you Pillsbury!), this recipe comes together so quickly you won’t believe it. People will want your recipe… the paparazzi will be snapping pictures of you and following you around like a movie star, seriously, it’s that good!

APPLE PIE  (adapted from Better Homes & Gardens  New Cookbook, 12th edition):


2 3/4 pounds of thinly sliced peeled tart apples (Granny Smith)

1/2 cup granulated sugar (or a wee bit less)

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour  (I also sprinkle maybe a few teaspoons in the bottom of the empty pie crust before I add the apples)

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon (I use a little more)

1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Milk to brush on top crust (optional)

Raw Sugar  to sprinkle on top crust (optional)

2 pie crusts (homemade or I use 1 box Pillsbury Pie Crust in a red box, refrigerated section in grocery store)

I use a deep dish pie plate, that way I can sneak in more apples… generally buy a 3# bag and use about 2 3/4# of them… leaves a few to munch on as a snack!

Personally I use Granny Smith and no lemon juice… the original recipe calls for whatever type apple you like, if it’s not granny smith, then add 1tablespoon of fresh lemon juice.

Other than the crust, there aren’t a lot of ingredients… see, quick and easy!

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Peel and slice your apples…

Line a pie plate with one pie crust…

In a large mixing bowl add the sugar, flour, cinnamon and nutmeg. Give it a good stir, then toss in the apples… and gently toss to coat the apples with the sugar mixture.

Add the apple mixture to the lined pie plate… and place the second crust on top of the apples, then pinch to form a seal, you can do this with your fingers then press with a fork, or your thumbs to make it look nicer… doesn’t really matter what it looks like because it’s going to taste so darn good! Hey, who’s old looking hands are those??!! Egads! Do you realize how difficult it is to crimp a pie crust with you non-dominant hand while taking a photo of yourself with your other hand? Hmmm, awkward, but wanted to show you it’s just pressing the two together, however you can do it…

Cut slits in the top crust to allow steam to escape. This is important so that you don’t end up with a soggy pie crust! I cut the slits in the crust and then use the knife to separate it a wee bit so it doesn’t fall back together… soggy pie crust = sadness, trust me… hmmm, sounds like I know from experience…

Some people like to brush the top crust lightly with milk, then sprinkle sugar. I did it this time, sprinkled (very lightly) raw sugar. Sometimes I do this, most of the time I don’t. I like it both ways. Top with a pie crust shield like Mrs. Anderson’s pie crust shield if you’ve got one, otherwise foil works, it’s just more cumbersome. You cover the edge of the pie to prevent over browning. Usually with this shield I can leave it on the entire time (60 minutes), but check it after the pie has been in the oven for a while and make your decision…

I place the pie dish on a foil lined cookie sheet. Sometimes it gets wacky bubbly and overflows and turns to glue. Very time consuming to get clean. Foil is my friend.

Ok, it’s ready to pop in the 375 degree oven for 40 minutes. Remove foil/shield and bake 20 minutes more or until fruit is tender (I stick a fork in a slit and if it goes through the apple easily then the fruit is tender) AND the FILLING IS BUBBLY. That’s how you know it’s done. Watch the edges where the juice leaks out, it should be bubbling.

When done, take out of the oven and cool on a wire rack. And may I say… good luck with that part! The waiting is a killer, sometimes you just have to dive in with a fork to “see if it’s ok”… oh, so what if it’s runny until it cools. My secret trick for waiting for it to cool without eating it… LEAVE. THE. HOUSE. It’s foolproof!

Warm pie and vanilla ice cream is nice, but if you don’t make it too sweet you really don’t need the ice cream, and if you leave off the ice cream then this dessert is HALF THE FAT… ha… boy, can I justify a pie or what?! Enjoy!

Catch you back here tomorrow!

Foods that should never cross your lips… # 7!

Image: Prevention.com

We are wrapping up a great segment of Foods That Should Never Cross Your Lips (very insightful article by Prevention magazine). I’ve tried to present this to you one food at a time so that you can adjust and make the switch (at least on those that are meaningful to you)… I realize it’s difficult to make a big change all at once, but little by little it seems to be more possible! This week’s food to avoid? Conventional apples. Ugh. It’s one of the harder ones for me, just because organic apples cost so much more than conventional, but after you read this I think you’ll agree, it’s worth saving up for your apples… unless you want to wash and peel… then you lose some of the vitamins and fiber, but at least you are also losing the chemicals!

Conventional Apples

Mark Kastel, former executive for agribusiness and codirector of the Cornucopia Institute, a farm-policy research group that supports organic foods, gives us the scoop:

The problem: If fall fruits held a “most doused in pesticides contest,” apples would win. Why? They are individually grafted (descended from a single tree) so that each variety maintains its distinctive flavor. As such, apples don’t develop resistance to pests and are sprayed frequently. The industry maintains that these residues are not harmful. But Kastel counters that it’s just common sense to minimize exposure by avoiding the most doused produce, like apples. “Farm workers have higher rates of many cancers,” he says. And increasing numbers of studies are starting to link a higher body burden of pesticides (from all sources) with Parkinson’s disease.

The solution:
 Buy organic apples.

Budget tip: If you can’t afford organic, be sure to wash and peel them. But Kastel personally refuses to compromise. “I would rather see the trade-off being that I don’t buy that expensive electronic gadget,” he says. “Just a few of these decisions will accommodate an organic diet for a family.”

Whatever you may decide, I just wanted you to have the latest information. For now, unless I hear otherwise, organic apples it is…

Catch you back here tomorrow!

Pan-Fried Pork Chops and Homemade Applesauce Recipe!

Image: MyRecipes.com

You know sometimes how healthy, light fare just doesn’t sound very fair? That’s when you should make something like this. It’s still healthy, especially if you leave out the carbs (i.e. mashed potatoes swimming in butter). If you have a drawer full of apples that haven’t been eaten and are on their way to retirement this is a great recipe… It’s so tasty… From Cooking Light Magazine… Click HERE if you would like to be taken to the MyRecipes.com website to make it quick to print… and on to the recipe…!

Pan-Fried Pork Chops and Homemade Applesauce


  • Applesauce:
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 3 apples, peeled, cored, and coarsely chopped (about 4 cups chopped)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • Pork:
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 (5-ounce) bone-in center-cut pork chops
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil


  • 1. To prepare applesauce, melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add apples to pan; cook 4 minutes, stirring frequently. Add 1/2 cup water, sugar, juice, and 1/8 teaspoon salt to pan; cook 25 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cover and cook 25 minutes or until apples are tender. Mash gently with the back of a spoon.
  • 2. To prepare pork, heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Place flour in a shallow dish. Sprinkle pork evenly with 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper; dredge pork in flour. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add pork to pan; cook 5 minutes or until golden. Turn pork over; cook 3 minutes or until desired degree of doneness. Serve with applesauce.

Cooking Light

Ahhh, so are you going to give it a whirl? You will be thrilled at how tasty this is! Catch you back here tomorrow!

Whoa, a thing of beauty… an apple or…

Image: apple.com

Whoa, a thing of beauty, eh? So many decisions to be made… Mac or Dell? Desktop or laptop? Ok, I’m waiting to hear from those of you out there who have experienced both… which do you prefer? We have had a Dell for a very long time, like forever. I love Dell… my curiosity has gotten the best of me and I, like half of America has been pulled into the great marketing and awesome looks of the Apple products. When we get a computer we like to get one that lasts. Good question for y’all: Does a laptop last as long as a desktop? Or not usually? Other than the convenience factor of a laptop, what are the pluses? Minuses? I’m thinking it would do my brain good to learn something entirely new… I’ve got the iPad mastered, so maybe it wouldn’t be such a stretch to get an Apple computer? I have always had a desktop, I’m comfortable with them, they aren’t portable (are they? ha ha) . I’m like a sponge just wanting to absorb some information, so if you have it… and you have a moment, please share your thoughts!

Check out my photo blog at http://almostdailypic.wordpress.com if you get a chance! Until tomorrow…

Apple crisp recipe… heat your house and your innards at the same time!

My version of APPLE CRISP

You know how it is when you’re chilly… the house feels chilly… it’s hibernating time and you want something sweet, but semi-healthy (ha ha)… well I’ve got the recipe for you! APPLE CRISP! I used almost a full 3# bag of granny smith apples AND there is oatmeal involved… therefore… HEALTHY’ish… Enjoy, it’s best topped with a little vanilla ice cream! Remember it’s a recipe, which is simply a guide, use more of what you like and less of what you don’t… the apples however are essential!

This recipe does more than make your house smell divine… it helps heat it up, and when you eat it… ahhhhh, finally warm! It’s better than vacuuming to get warm, hee hee…

APPLE CRISP (recipe adapted from Novia Scotia Apple Crisp that appeared in the Post & Courier newspaper years ago!)

Apple portion:

1- 3# bag of granny smith apples – PEELED AND SLICED

cinnamon, nutmeg and a little sugar – if you use sweet apples you may not need sugar!


1/3 cup flour

2/3 cup rolled oats (use the regular oats, not the 1-minute kind)

1 cup brown sugar

1/3 cup butter (or whatever you have that resembles it)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Peel and slice apples. Arrange apples in a buttered baking dish (lasagna size pan or large casserole if you don’t have lasagna pan). Although I used 11×17 and it worked fine!

Sprinkle apples with cinnamon (I use quite a bit, use how much you like) and just a light sprinkle of nutmeg (it’s stronger). Then sprinkle a tablespoon or two of sugar over top of the apples.

In a medium bowl mix the flour, rolled oats, brown sugar together. Cut in the butter (can use two knives and cut it up in small pieces while mixing in with flour, etc.), until mixture resembles coarse bread crumbs (it was cold when i made it last so they were bigger hunks, it’s OK).

Spread this mixture over the apples.

Bake at 375 F until apples are tender (poke with fork) and topping is lightly browned (35-40 minutes).

Serve with ice cream…. ooohhh la la!