Gratitude Pairs well with Apple Pie

I have come to know November as the month of gratitude. I, like most people I know, encounter many obstacles in my daily living. When I slow down and remember the things I’m grateful for, my mind is free and my day is a little lighter. 

First, I am grateful for my nursing profession, allowing me to help so many people and transform my passion into Anchor Healthcare Advocates. My science-based love of the human spirit and connection with my clients have helped shape the woman I am today.

Second, I am grateful for the veterans who were -- and are -- in my life. My dad served in World War II.  Many of these veterans came home left to deal with what they had seen and done in silence. I am thankful that today’s veterans are given coping methods for their post-traumatic stress. The Exalted Warrior Foundation continues to shape the lives of our veterans using adaptive yoga techniques. Having recently earned my yoga instructor license, I’m fully aware of the healing benefits of yoga and how important it is to keep our brain healthy.  

Third, and closest to my heart, I am grateful for my family. Without their unconditional love and support, I’d be lost at sea. They are my anchor!

In gratitude and peace,
Diane Eggert, BSN, RN
Owner & Principal Advocate

“Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

Dedicated to my Dad Joe.

Dedicated to my Dad Joe.

This has been my go-to recipe since I was a teenager. I’d hand the list of ingredients to my dad to buy. I didn’t know it until much later, but baking has been a form of meditation for me. It stimulates all my senses: touching the ingredients, hearing the crispness of the apples while I peel them, and finally the smell. Oh, the sweet smell!
The tasting was my dad’s specialty.

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I have.   

(makes two 9-inch pie crusts)
2 cups flour (I use Bob’s Red Mill 100% stone-ground whole-wheat pastry flour)
1 tsp salt
¾ cup unsalted butter, chilled
½ cup ice water
The good stuff
7-8 medium tart/juicy apples (I use granny smith)
1 tbsp flour
Dash of salt
2/3 – ¾ cup sugar, depending on tartness  
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp lemon juice
¼ tsp cinnamon
Sift flour on waxed paper. Add salt. Mix. Cut shortening into flour mixture with a wire pastry blender. Do this quickly so the shortening doesn’t become too warm. Particles range in size from rice grains to navy beans.

With one hand, sprinkle ice water into mixture while tossing the dampened particles with a fork in the other hand. Continue to add water until the particles are uniformly moistened and barely stick together.

Form the mixture into a ball. Let pastry stand 5-10 minutes. Chill in frig for 30 minutes (this gives you time to peel the apples). Cut ball into 2 portions, one slightly larger than the other.

  While pastry is in the frig, cut apples in quarters, then cut quarters into 3-4 slices. Set aside. 
Take pastry out of the frig and place on floured pastry cloth or waxed paper. Use outward strokes with a rolling pin to form the bottom crust. Fold pastry over and move into pie pan (ungreased). 

Blend flour, salt, and sugar. Sprinkle about ¼ of mixture on bottom of pastry-lined pan. Mix the remainder with quartered apples. Set aside. 

Roll out remaining dough for top of pie (not too thin). Make decorative gashes in center to allow for air vents during cooking. Moisten rim of bottom crust, fill with fruit, then place top crust. Crimp with tines of fork or fingers.

Bake for 15 minutes at 450 degrees F, then reduce to 325 for 35 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature. Enjoy within 24 hours of baking!

Remembering My Dad

I was adopted when I was a few days old.  My dad will always be the only father I have ever known.  He died nearly five years ago.  Today I am reminded of the many gifts he gave me.

I called him on a regular basis to ask about certain foods as I considered him an expert in seasonal fruits and vegetables.  I know now that in January, grapefruit are excellent to buy since it is their peak season.  I've never seen someone love citrus so much!  And in June when I go to the grocery store I had to buy a cantaloupe.  I can still see him picking up the cantaloupe, smelling it and giving it a thump or two to see if it was ripe. The nutritional benefits of cantaloupe include Vitamin C, Vitamin A, Vitamin B6, Niacin, dietary fiber and folic acid.  Almost sounds like the perfect food!

This is how my dad ate his cantaloupe

This is how my dad ate his cantaloupe


He loved to stop at local farmers markets and vegetable stands he would pass while driving.  Little did he know he was ahead of his time.  The movement toward organic foods and non-genetically modified food trend has really skyrocketed.  I've learned everything I know from my dad about fruits and vegetables.   He shared his appreciation of having garden style fresh food.  My healthy eating lifestyle is directly a benefit of having my dad.  Thanks dad!

Photo source:  Pinterest