Thursday, October 28, 2010

But I'm Blaming My Dwindling Metabolism for the Fact That My Jeans Are Getting Tight

When a friend from another state calls and leaves a message on your answering machine, the entirety of which is the instruction to proceed immediately to Williams-Sonoma and purchase large quantities of their pecan-pumpkin butter, you do so.  At least, I do.  And then you call her back when you're on your way home from the mall to report that you have done so, and she tells you to go to the pumpkin butter company's website, look up the recipe for Dessert Squares, and make them immediately.  Because she shares your love of a quality baked good, you walk to the store, buy the necessary ingredients, and bake the bars that afternoon.  And then your family eats the entire 9x13 pan in four days.

The best part?  The recipe requires no fancy equipment, just stirring a few things together in a bowl or two, and it begins with yellow cake mix*.  Which means it's super easy, and which reminds me of another begins-with-yellow-cake-mix recipe that's also perfect for fall.  It's from my friend Di, who first made it for me one night during dental school when I went over to hang out and watch television with her while the guys were rocking out yet another late-night study session at our kitchen table.  It's good warm from the oven, it's good cold from the pan, eaten with a spoon bite by bite every time you walk by the pan on the counter, it's good reheated in the microwave with some vanilla ice cream on top.  So if pumpkin's not what we're in the mood for, this works, too:

Di's Apple Crisp

1 box yellow cake mix
1 c. sour cream
2-3 apples, peeled, cored, sliced
1/4 c. brown sugar
cinnamon to taste (1T or so)
1 egg
1 stick butter

Mix the cake mix and butter together until crumbly.  Reserve 2/3 cup of the mixture.  Press the rest into a buttered 8x8 baking dish.  Layer apple slices on top of crust.  Mix the egg and sour cream together and pour over the apple slices.  Add brown sugar and cinnamon to the reserved 2/3 cup of cake mixture and sprinkle over the top.  Bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes.

There.  Now we all have something to bring to this weekend's Halloween festivities.

*This post sponsored by Heather, and yellow cake mix.

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