Friday, November 27, 2015

The Delights of Baking in the Fall

with guest Sandra Leesmith

This fall we went to New Hampshire to visit our brother and his lovely wife. We have beautiful fall leaves in Arizona. These high country aspen turn gold and glitter when they flutter in the breeze.

But the leaves back in the New England states are spectacular. The pinks and purples just amazed me.

While there in New Hampshire, we went to an apple orchard and picked apples to make apple pie.  This particular orchard has several varieties of apples. You can walk through the orchard and select what type you want to buy.

So I was inspired to bake an apple pie for Yankee Belle, but looking in the archives, you gals have apples covered.

So we also saw lots of pumpkin patches with fresh pumpkins to pick.

But you have many yummy pumpkin recipes already in your archives.

So I decided to use another popular fruit we have in the fall and show you the easiest dessert that I take to potlucks and it is extremely popular. In fact, I’ve learned to make copies of the recipe to hand out because everyone always asks for it. This is so easy and so yummy.

First you need about 3 to 4 pounds of seedless grapes. Wash them and pull out the stems.  If they are big grapes, cut them in half. I select smaller grapes and leave them whole. This is much easier.

Gather your other ingredients and mix them together.

8 oz package of cream cheese
8 oz of sour cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup sugar  (I only use 1/4 cup)

Put the clean grapes in a 9 by 13 inch casserole dish. I use aluminum pans so I can toss them or leave them and not have to worry about the dish.

Blend in the cream cheese mixture.

Sprinkle 1/2 cup raw sugar on the top. Then sprinkle chopped walnuts or pecans. It is ready to serve. This is so refreshing and light after a big meal. You store it in the refrigerator and the nice thing is, you can make it the day before and it will be ready for your event.


  1. Wow -- now that's a recipe I've never seen before! Bet it tastes refreshing on a hot summer day too...the kind of days you have year round, right?

    And those fall colours are beautiful. Autumn is my favourite season. Bracing for snow this weekend so I guess it's really over for another year!

  2. I know about that snow. Cate's photos yesterday were incredible. I don't know if I could ever handle that kind of cold. smile

    November is when leaves turn here in the desert. But they don't have the color you folks have. They are just starting to turn here. Very pretty.

    And this recipe is delightful any time of year. Even on cold days. It is just plain refreshing.

  3. Sandra, this is one of my favorite recipes! One of the ladies in my Bible study group makes this. I usually eat it with my meal and choose it again for dessert over the cakes and pies. :)

    1. I know. Someone brought this during the summer and it has become a favorite.

  4. Actually, my friend's recipe calls for brown sugar sprinkled over top with the nuts. I love that flavor.

    1. The raw sugar tastes the same as the brown sugar, but it gives a little crunch with the nuts which I really like.

  5. Sandra, this looks delicious. It reminds me a bit of a picture I saw on FB yesterday from someone's Thanksgiving feast. She used cranberries rather than grapes. It looked so delicious!

    I'm going to share a recipe soon that my daughter made for Thanksgiving. It was blueberry pie but she made a cornbread crust, YUM! She sprinkled raw sugar on top too and it was such a great crunch.

    Thanks for sharing this recipe with us.

  6. Hi Cate, I wonder if the cranberries were cooked. They can be pretty tart. The grapes are really sweet.

    And yes, the raw sugar does give a nice crunch. The blueberry pie sounds yummy. I love cornbread.

  7. I've never seen this kind of recipe! But I love fruit and nuts and topping so, I can imagine it's perfect. :)

  8. I bet your children will love it, especially helping with the grapes.

    You mentioned a topping, but the cheese mix isn't topping. I might have described it incorrectly. You blend the grapes into the cream cheese mix so it comes out like a creamy dish with the nuts on top. Tastes kind of like vanilla ice cream with grapes inside.

  9. What a marvelous recipe, Sandra! I'd have never thought of layering fresh grapes like this, and it's so stinkin' easy!!!! Love it!!!!!!

    The colors this year were spectacular around here, too. The Northeast woodlands are such a blend that when fall eases in the door, the colors ease up, right along with it. My son's wedding was in late October, and I remember being worried the leaves would be gone and his fiance was planning this gorgeous, fun, fall-fest wedding because they loved fall... And the leaves stayed until five days after that wedding. If we'd had a sharp cold or a storm, they'd have tumbled at that late date, but it was gorgeous.

    I love fall. I love color and cool and sweater weather!!!