Hoop’s Apple Compote

2 Golden Delicious apples
2 Gala apples
2 Granny Smith apples
1 ½ cups fresh cranberries
1 ½ cup raisins
1 cup light brown sugar
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves
3 oz cranberry or plum wine or juice (a sweet cranberry wine gives the best flavor)

1. Peel, core, and cut apples into bite-sized pieces and place in a large mixing bowl. (After cutting the first two apples, pour on the wine or juice. This will add flavor, start macerating the fruit, and keep the apples from turning brown.)
2. Add cranberries, raisins, brown sugar, cinnamon, and cloves to apples and mix thoroughly.
3. In a large saucepan, cook mixture covered until apples are softened and have lots of liquid. Adjust heat to keep cooking and avoid sticking.
4. Remove lid and cook until liquid is reduced to the desired consistency. (i.e. if using on pancakes, waffles, or French toast, you may want a more liquid syrup; if you’re using it as a side dish, you may want it a little thicker to make it more “forkable.”)

NOTE:  This is Hoop’s own concoction and is open to many variations. The zest of orange adds a good dimension of flavoring.


Hoop’s Green Bean Delight

1 can Green Beans, drained
10 ea Grape Tomatoes, halved longways – I’ve also used canned diced tomatoes and fresh tomatoes cut into chunks.
4 – 6 button mushrooms, fresh, sliced (they shrink when cooked) – I’ve also used canned mushrooms packed in water
½ Sweet Onion, diced
1 tbsp EVOO (extra virgin olive oil) or oil of choice
Salt, pepper, & garlic powder to taste
4 servings Instant mashed potatoes – fresh made mashed potatoes can be used.
½ cup cheddar type cheese per taste – shredded – I used a Cabot Vermont Cheddar

1. In a preheated pan to just above medium, add 1 tbsp EVOO, place onions and mushrooms with salt, pepper, & garlic powder and cook until onions are translucent.
2. Add green beans and cook until beans are heated through.
3. Add tomatoes and cook no more than 2 minutes, then turn off heat & let stand.
4. Prepare mashed potatoes.
5. Add cheese to potatoes while they are still hot & mix thoroughly.
6. Pre-heat oven to 350F.
7. Place green bean mixture in an oven-ready dish (I sprayed the dish with vegetable spray) and top with the mashed potatoes.
8. Bake for about 20 minutes (until potatoes are lightly browned) prior to serving.

NOTE:  This is a dish that Hoop thought about, tried, and developed. It has lots of room for personal taste adjustments: i.e. – no mashed potatoes, but topped with French’s onions, slivered almonds, pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds, etc. First used at 2009 Thanksgiving dinner at the Lindseys’ home.

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