Grandma’s Apple Turnovers

Marti Mickkleson isn’t much of a cook, and Grandma Bertie is a ghost, but both would approve of my grandma’s Apple Turnover recipe. Not only do they have cheddar in the crust, we have reason to believe they contain magic.
Bake up a batch and see for yourself!

Grandma's Apple Turnovers


  • ½ C butter
  • 1½ C flour
  • ¾ t salt
  • 1½ C shredded cheddar cheese
  • ¾ C oats
  • ½ C water


  • 2 C finely chopped apple
  • ⅓ C brown sugar
  • ¼ C raisins
  • 2 t lemon juice
  • ¾ t cinnamon
  • ¼ t salt
  • 1 T flour


  • ¾ C powdered sugar
  • lemon or apple juice


  1. Preheat oven to 375°.

Pastry Dough

  1. Mix Butter and flour until crumbly.
  2. Add other dry ingredients and mix thoroughly.
  3. Stir in water.
  4. Roll dough into a log and slice into 12 equally sized peices. With a rolling pin, roll out each piece into a circle about 5 inches in diameter.


  1. Mix all ingredients into the finely chopped apples. (If the apples are extra juicy, add a little more flour.)

Making the Pies

  1. Place a scant ¼ cup filling on each circle.
  2. Fold over the circles and seal edges with a fork. Cut a small slit in top of each and place on ungreased baking sheet.
  3. Bake for 20-25 minutes (or until lightly browned) at 375°.


  1. Add lemon or apple juice (lemon is the best!) to powdered sugar, a little at a time, until it’s a drizzle consistency. Spoon over turnovers.


Recipe by Kay Charles/Patricia Lillie: ‎

The Kindle edition of Ghosts in Glass Houses, the first Marti Mickkleson Mystery, is available at Amazon. The print edition can be found at  Amazon or Barnes and Noble.
Read a sample.


Oy, Cranberries!

“The Indians and English use them much, boyling them with Sugar for Sauce to eat with their Meat, and it is a delicious sauce.”
John Josselyn, 1663, while visiting New England

I adore cranberries in any way, shape, or form.  My mother found this recipe in a magazine in 1965 and has been making it for holiday dinners ever since. In our family it’s known both by its formal name, Cranberry Waldorf,  and Yummy Pink Stuff. Pre-holiday planning conversations usually go something like this:

Mom: Should I make the Cranberry Waldorf?
Me: If you want me to show up, you’d better.

If she ever stops making it, I’ll get worried.

I don’t have a picture of it all sparkly and yummy in its pretty glass dish, so here’s a picture of the page in Mom’s recipe notebook with the original clipping tucked inside.

And, of course, here’s the recipe!

Cranberry Waldorf


  • 2 cups raw cranberries
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 3 cups mini marshmallows
  • 2 cups unpeeled tart apples, diced
  • ½ cup walnuts
  • ½ cup green grapes
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup whipping cream, whipped


  1. Grind cranberries and combine with sugar and marshmallows. Cover and chill overnight
  2. Add apples, walnuts, and salt to the cranberry mixture. Stir gently until well combined.
  3. Fold in whipping cream and chill.
  4. Serve in a pretty glass bowl. Garnish with more grapes if desired.


  1. Mom’s note on the original clipping says DO NOT use Cool Whip. She has used Dream Whip (a powdered whip cream mix for those of you who don’t remember it.)
  2. Mom also noted a version she found in 2016 that uses crushed pineapple in place of the grapes. As for me, I’m a purist. I like grapes.


Recipe by Kay Charles/Patricia Lillie:

The Kindle edition of Ghosts in Glass Houses, the first Marti Mickkleson Mystery, is currently on sale for 99 cents until the end of December! 
Read a sample.

This Calls for Comfort Food

It’s cold outside. There’s white stuff swirling in the air and falling on the ground. Inside, everyone has colds.

This means comfort food. Soup. Grilled cheese sandwiches. Mashed potatoes.

Creamy, creamy pudding.

Tapioca pudding, to be exact.

Aside from flipping sort-of-meat patties on a Burger Buster grill, Marti Mickkleson isn’t much of a cook—but even she could make this old-fashioned tapioca pudding just like Mrs. Partridge used to make.

Warning: No matter how tempting it is, do not spit, flick, or otherwise attack your sister with the tapioca pearls. It will only get you in trouble with both Grandma Bertie and Mrs. Partridge. It doesn’t exactly please RachelAnne either. Marti says, “Trust me on this one.”

Mrs. Partridge’s Tapioca Pudding


  • 1/2 cup seed or small pearl tapioca (not instant or minute tapioca)
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup half & half 1
  • scant ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla


  1. Place the tapioca in a medium saucepan, add 1 cup of the milk and stir to combine. Let the pearls soak at room temperature for at least 1 hour.
  2. In a bowl, beat the eggs with a whisk or fork. Add remaining 1 cup of milk, half & half, sugar, and salt. Beat until combined. Add to the mixture in the saucepan and stir well.
  3. Cook over medium heat 2, stirring frequently 3, until the mixture just comes to a simmer, about 10 minutes. (Don’t let it boil!)
  4. Reduce the heat to low 4 and cook, stirring frequently, until the mixture starts to thicken and the tapioca pearls are softened and translucent, about 15 minutes.
  5. Remove from heat. Stir in vanilla.
  6. Pour into a bowl, let cool for 5 minutes, then give it a good stir. Press a sheet of plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the pudding to keep a skin from forming and cool until ready to serve. The pudding will thicken as it cools. May be served warm, at room temperature, or chilled (let cool until room temperature before chilling.) Refrigerate any left overs.


  1. You can use 3 cups whole milk, but don’t try to use skim. It just doesn’t work.
  2. Barely medium. The low side of medium. Like, medium is in sight but you’re not quite there yet.
  3. Frequently. You don’t have to stir it constantly, like some recipes say, but don’t neglect it. At this stage, be sure to get the bottom and corners of the pan. The tapioca collects there. Tapioca should never be allowed to congregate.
  4. Keep a close eye on it. Even at low heat, it will want to boil. Don’t let it! You know what’s good for it, even if it doesn’t.


Recipe by Kay Charles/Patricia Lillie:

The Kindle edition of Ghosts in Glass Houses, the first Marti Mickkleson Mystery, is currently on sale for 99 cents! 
Read a sample.