1/2 cup red cinnamon hearts
1 gallon apple cider
16 orange slice halves
16 (3 to 4 inch long) cinnamon sticks
Pour cinnamon hearts into bottom of 5 quart slow cooker. Add cider. Cover; cook on low for 3 to 5 hours, or until cider is very hot and candy has melted. If you’re able, stir occasionally to help the candy dissolve.
Place 1 orange slice half and 1 cinnamon stick in each cup. Pour hot cider over top.
Makes 16 servings.

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Fresh Raspberry pie

Fresh Raspberry Pie
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 cup water
1 package (3 ounces) raspberry gelatin
4 cups fresh raspberries
1 graham cracker pie crust (9 inches), baked
Whipped cream, optional
In a saucepan, combine sugar and cornstarch. Stir in water until smooth; bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Cook and stir for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat; stir in gelatin until dissolved. Cool for 15 minutes. Place raspberries in the crust; slowly pour gelatin mixture over berries. Chill until set, about 3 hours. Garnish with whipped cream, if desired.
Makes 6 to 8 servings.

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Peanut butter icecream topping

Peanut Butter Ice Cream Topping
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
3 tablespoons butter or margarine
Pinch of salt
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup evaporated milk
Vanilla ice cream
Peanuts, optional
Combine brown sugar, corn syrup, butter and salt in a 1 1/2 quart microwave-safe dish. Cover and microwave on high for 4 minutes, or until mixture boils, stirring twice. Add peanut butter; stir until smooth. Stir in milk. Serve warm over ice cream. Sprinkle with peanuts, if desired. Cover and store in the refrigerator. To reheat, microwave on medium for 1 to 2 minutes, or until heated through.
Makes 2 3/4 cups.

Its never too late…

For what it’s worth: it’s never too late to be whoever you want to be. I hope you live a life you’re proud of, and if you find that you’re not, I hope you have the strength to start over.
F. Scott Fitzgerald

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Stuffed peppers

Stuffed Peppers
4 medium-sized green, yellow or red, sweet peppers, or a mixture of colors
1 cup cooked rice
1 (15 ounce) can chili beans with chili gravy
1 cup shredded cheese, divided
1 (14 1/2 ounce) can petite diced tomatoes, with onions, celery and green pepper
Wash and dry peppers. Remove tops, membranes and seeds, but keep the peppers whole. In a bowl, mix together rice, beans and half of the cheese. Spoon mixture into peppers. Pour tomatoes into 5 quart slow cooker. Place filled peppers on top, keeping them upright. Do not stack the peppers. Cover; cook on high for 3 hours. Carefully lift peppers out of cooker and place on a serving platter. Spoon hot tomatoes over top. Sprinkle remaining cheese over peppers.
Makes 4 servings.

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Oven apple butter

Oven Apple Butter
40 large tart apples (about 13 pounds), quartered and cored
1/4 cup water
8 cups sugar
1 cup cider vinegar
4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 cinnamon stick (3 inches)
In a large kettle, cover and simmer the apples and water until tender. Press through a sieve or food mill. Measure 1 gallon of pulp; place in a large heavy roaster. Add sugar, vinegar, cinnamon and cinnamon stick. Cover and bake at 400 degrees for 3 hours, stirring often. Uncover and bake for 1 hour longer, or until very thick, stirring occasionally. Remove cinnamon stick. Pour hot mixture into hot jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Adjust caps. Process for 10 minutes in a boiling-water bath.
This apple butter needs less stirring than those prepared on top of the stove. It is important to tightly cover the roaster for the first 3 hours of baking to avoid excess evaporation.
Makes 8 pints.

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