Archive for the ‘Fruit’ Category

How to Can Apple Pie Filling

Every year we head to a local apple orchard to pick apples or just buy them directly from the source. With the especially hot and dry summer we had in Wisconsin, it’s pretty difficult to find an orchard where you can pick your own (instead you just purchase them already bagged).

So far I’ve bought 15 pounds of apples from an orchard in Appleton, Wisconsin (ironic, right!). I used some to can Cranberry Apple Butter, which would be fantastic in Apple Butter Granola now that I think of it. But my true goal was to make apple pie filling.

Apple pie filling can be used in so many things, such as:

  1. Apple pie
  2. Apple crisp
  3. As a topping for pancakes/waffles
  4. In a yogurt parfait with granola
  5. Heated up in a bowl with some vanilla ice cream or whipped cream

For those of you who don’t like, or can’t, can (pardon the pun!), you can easily make this recipe and divide it among freezer bags.

I did a lot of research before deciding which canning recipe to try. Ball is the absolute expert on this subject. Although I found a tasty looking recipe on, I trusted Ball to make sure these methods are proven and safe.

One of the main difference between the Ball recipe and the other ones I’ve seen is the use of ClearJel versus cornstarch. The more I read, the more I discovered that cornstarch hasn’t been shown safe to can with because heat infiltration during the water bath canning process can’t be measured as easily. I also read that cornstarch can alter the look and taste of the pie filling when it’s heated up.

Therefore, I bit the bullet and bought some ClearJel (which you can pretty much only find online). I bought mine from for only $3.99/pound. Since the shipping is expensive, I decided to make my shopping trip worth it and buy Carob Covered Raisins and Whole Wheat Fig Bars. Everything I tried was delicious and arrived at my house within a few days.

This recipe made a little more than 7 pints, so I used the extra to make a mini apple pie with some dough from a galette I made earlier that day (funny how perfectly that worked out). It was delicious without being too sweet. The only thing I did different was not blanch the apples before making the filling (find Ball’s original recipe for apple pie filling here). I didn’t think it was necessary because the apples were already sliced thin enough when I used this handy device:



Canning Cranberry Apple Butter

For me, nothing screams fall like apple picking, changing leaves and knee-length riding boots. It may only be early October, but I have successfully enjoyed all three.

When you combine my love of apples with my new favorite hobby, canning, it was only a matter of time until the two joined forces in the kitchen.

Well, that match made in heaven happened this past weekend. I canned my own Apple Pie Filling (post to come soon) and this delicious Cranberry Apple Butter.

This has been the easiest thing I’ve canned so far. So if you’re a newbie like me, it’s a great starting point. I saw this recipe on one of my favorite food blogs, Mommie Cooks. When I saw that Julie used a slow cooker to make the apple butter, I was sold. Not to mention a bag of frozen cranberries was sitting in our chest freezer since last Thanksgiving, so I couldn’t wait to use that up!


Canning Instructions: Prep your jars and lids for canning. Ladle butter in 3 pint jars (or 6 half-pint jars) and process in a water bath canner for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, let jars rest in the rack (after being lifted to the top rim of the canner) for 5 minutes. Place jars on a dish towel on the counter and let cool for 24 hours before removing the bands and storing.

Question: Are you an apple butter fan? This is one of those foods that I hated when I was younger but now love as an adult.

King Arthur Flour Brown Bag Banana Bars

Happy Friday! If you’re like me, at least some of the weekend is devoted to baking. I find it relaxing and there’s always something tasty to show for it at the end.

This recipe for banana bars is from King Arthur Flour’s 200th Anniversary Cookbook. Their Baker’s Companion Cookbook has been my bible for the past 4 years. But the 200th Anniversary has a bunch of classing and unique recipes. An influx of brown bananas was the perfect excuse to test a new recipe. Plus, I got to use my poppy seeds that have been sitting in my spice cabinet for 3 years.


When do you like to bake? What things do you make? Links welcome!

Don’t forget! You still have until Sunday night to enter the Sweaty Bands Giveaway!


Coffee Banana Chocolate Smoothie

I’m not much of a drink person. On a day-to-day basis, you’ll seldom see me with anything but water, coffee or tea on hand (I hardly ever drink a glass of milk, juice or pop).

But lately I’ve been getting into smoothies for an easy and healthy breakfast option. Like this Maple Blue Smoothie – delicious and antioxidant-packed.

I found this recipe in “Smoothies: 50 Recipes for High-Energy Refreshment“. I’ve also experiemented with substituting the blueberry yogurt and fresh blueberries for blackberries.

In the same book, I also found a recipe for a Banana Latte Smoothie, which I used as a blueprint to make my own. I especially love that it uses leftover coffee (just keep it in the fridge until you are ready to make the smoothie).



Question: Do you make smoothies at home? What ingredients do you like to use?


Blueberry Maple Smoothie

Although it’s only four days into the New Year, the gym crowd is already starting to dissipate. So instead of being stuffed to the brim, Gold’s is just packed.

I squeezed in a quick 8:15 Bodypump class and my side of the room was unusually fit (don’t underestimate petite women, these ladies could lift!). When I got home, I had a small breakfast of cottage cheese and apple butter (the perfect mix of muscle-building protein, fat and sweetness).

My days usually start out super healthy like this, but I tend to slip around 4 pm. Before you know it, I’m taking off slivers of fruitcake after dinner and derailing my diet (and trust me, those slivers – or as we call them, “sidecars” – really add up). How do you stay motivated to eat healthfully all day?

Speaking of eating better, I just wrote an article for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel about taking baby steps toward a more nutritious diet.

For me, it’s a lot easier to think of things in terms of a “do” list instead of a “don’t” list. DO eat more veggies, DO eat fish twice a week versus DON’T eat white sugar, DON’T east processed foods. Maybe it’s because I respond more to positivity :)

One of the recipes I included in the article, for a Blueberry Maple Smoothie, is a definite “do.” (Get the recipe here).

It’s delicious, filling and soooo pretty (isn’t that important when it comes to food?!). I’m also wildly impressed with my photography skills. B was at work while I made this so I get to take 100% of the credit :)

Question: Which healthful eating tip do you swear by?

Pondering New Year’s Resolutions

Working on an article about healthful eating in the New Year has got me thinking about my own resolutions.

I definitely believe in them…just not the kind that only starts on January 1. I believe in making goals year-round.

Two of my mini-goals that I’m always striving for are 1. Eating more fruits and vegetables and 2. Sitting down at the table to enjoy meals (versus mindlessly eating on the couch, which is all too easy to do). For lunch today, I accomplished both.

Not only is this salad loaded with superfoods (like spinach, berries and almonds), it has some special touches too, such as Rick’s homemade candied pecans and almonds and a to-die-for raspberry vinaigrette from Apple Holler.

Superfood Salad

Created by Alysha
Serves 1

2 cups baby spinach
1/3 cup frozen blueberries, thawed
1/3 cup sliced frozen strawberries, thawed
2 tablespoons crumbled feta cheese
2 tablespoons candied nuts (almonds and pecans)
1 1/2 tablespoons raspberry vinaigrette dressing

In a large bowl, such as a pasta bowl, combine spinach, fruit, cheese and nuts. Top with dressing. Enjoy!

Question: What are your New Year’s resolutions? Do you believe in them?

Happy New Year!

Happy Anniversary, She’s on the Run!

Although it seems like just yesterday that She’s on the Run came to be, one whole year has gone by (I can’t even believe it).

But when I look at my first post, it reminds me how much has changed.

I’ve moved, switched jobs and have been through more life experiences than I’d care to admit (such as being hit by a tough economy firsthand). I’ve also had my share of good times and discovered a new passion. Take this blog for example. It combines my two great loves: cooking and writing. And it’s great to look back at all my culinary accomplishments this past year (and laugh at the ones that haven’t gone so well).

To celebrate, I’m compiling my favorite recipes.

Cookie Dough Truffles
For those of you who make chocolate chip cookies just to sneak bits of the dough, these tiny treats are for you.

Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese

The most delicious way to cook with butternut squash.

Taffy Apple Salad
I’ve easily made this salad a dozen times (including a tasty batch last week). The combination of apples, pineapple and marshmallows puts me over the moon.

Potato Carrot Zucchini Pancakes
A unique twist on traditional potato pancakes.

Tater Tot Casserole

This may not be the best looking dish of the bunch, but it’s definitely the most comforting.

Pumpkin Doughnut Muffins
Shaped like a muffin but with the flavor of a doughnut…make these for a truly special breakfast.

Rhubarb Crisp
My preferred way to use up Summer’s fresh rhubarb.

Gnocchi with White Beans
This dish is easy and impressive – definitely worthy of serving to company.

My Birthday Cake
So what if I didn’t exactly make this? The carrot cake from Simma’s is the best I’ve ever had. in. my. life.

Happy Birthday, She’s on the Run! Here’s to many more!


Welcome to She's on the Run! I'm Alysha, a copywriter and food writer living in Milwaukee. I live to run, write and explore wonderful food - this blog is how I find balance while constantly being on the run. Feel free to reach me at with any questions or comments.
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