Raspberry and Nut Smoothie

Another one from Real Simple. This one was a big hit with Simon.


  • 3/4 cup milk (we used almond milk)
  • 3/4 cup frozen raspberries
  • 1/2 banana
  • 1 tablespoon nut butter (we used almond butter)
  • 1 tablespoon agave nectar or honey


  1. Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth and frothy.

Kale-Apple Smoothie

Simon and I have been making smoothies together. I found several combinations to try in the February issue of Real Simple. I like that these are single-serving recipes, not that I couldn’t experiment or cut them down myself, but I do tend to make about three servings when I’m just throwing things together. This particular one wasn’t a favorite for Simon, but I liked it. You do taste the celery, so if that’s a taste problem, you’ve been warned.


  • 3/4 cup kale, chopped and hard stems removed (about one leaf of curly kale)
  • 1 small stalk celery, chopped
  • 1/2 banana
  • 1/2 cup apple juice
  • 1/2 cup ice
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice


  1. Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth and frothy.

Sour Cream Apple Pie I

I made the *wrong pie* tonight and I’m still kind of irritated about it. Honestly, I’m the only one who thought it wasn’t right. The problem was that I couldn’t locate the original recipe on allrecipes.com and went with another that seemed right, but clearly wasn’t. I came home after dinner, obsessed a bit more and—woohoo!—found the correct recipe. I feel much better. My life may now continue.


2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup white sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 egg
1 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups apples, peeled and chopped
1 recipe pastry for a 9 inch single crust pie
1/3 cup white sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons butter


Stir together 2 tablespoons flour, salt, 3/4 cup sugar and nutmeg in bowl. Combine egg, sour cream and vanilla in another bowl; mix well. Add egg mixture to dry ingredients; mix well. Stir in apples and spoon mixture into unbaked pie shell.

Bake in a preheated 400 degree F (205 degrees C) oven 15 minutes.

Reduce temperature to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) and bake 30 minutes more. Remove pie from oven. Increase temperature to 400 degree F (205 degrees C).

Prepare cinnamon topping and sprinkle over pie. Return to oven and bake 10 minutes more. Cool on rack.

To Make Cinnamon Topping: Combine 1/3 cup sugar, 1/3 cup flour and 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon in bowl. Cut in 2 tablespoons butter or regular margarine until crumbly, using a pastry blender.

**The lesser recipe omitted the egg, used a cup less apple, and had no nutmeg in the custard-like sauce. The result is a pie that is more mushy, less apple-y, and less fall/wintery spicey. Now why would you want those results? Geesh. In a more positive light, I’m not a big fruit pie girl, but I ADORE this sour cream apple pie. It is awesome.

Holiday Green Beans

It’s official: Needs More Butter has become my virtual three-ring binder. My original binder is practically obsolete and it’s high time I transfer a few tried-and-true recipes. Here is my favorite special green bean recipe. It’s a wonderful replacement for green bean casserole during the holidays.

2lb fresh green beans
2 T butter
1 C chopped walnuts
2 T walnut oil
2 T minced parsley
s&p to taste

Cook beans in boiling water until tender (approximately 5 minutes). Then rinse in cold water and drain.

Melt butter and oil in a skillet over high heat. Add beans and heat for 4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add walnuts and parsley, toss together, then serve.

**I never use walnut oil and the recipe still turns out nicely because it’s so simple and unfussy. This dish travels well. You can cook the green beans at home, then complete the final steps once you’ve arrived for the big family dinner.

Homemade Playdough

With this winter storm I can only imagine the number of times “homemade playdough” or some variation has been googled in the past few days. There are lots of recipes out there, and this is the first one we’ve tried, but it was a winner for us. I just left it white this time, but I read a tip that if you’re going to add food coloring, add it to the water before you mix it in with the dry ingredients.


  • 2 cups baking soda
  • 1 cup corn starch
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • food coloring


Mix all ingredients with a fork until smooth. Boil until thick (about 4 minutes). Let cool.