This week’s column is dedicated to Dustin, a young man who is personable and a hard worker whom I believe has a great future ahead of him.

Cranberry Pear Cobbler

2 1/2 pounds ripe pears (5 pears), peeled and sliced (about 5 cups)

1 cup thawed frozen or fresh cranberries

2 tablespoons sugar

1 to 2 tablespoons flour

2 teaspoons freshly grated orange peel

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon


1 package (9 ounce) yellow cake mix without pudding in the mix

1/2 cup low-fat buttermilk or to make yourself (1 1/2 teaspoon vinegar and enough fresh milk to equal 1/2 cup. Let stand 5 minutes)

1 tablespoon white sugar

1 tablespoon brown sugar

whipped cream (optional)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray 11 by 7 inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Combine pears, cranberries, 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, flour, orange peel and cinnamon in large bowl; toss to coat. Pour into prepared baking dish. Bake 19 to 21 minutes or until filling at edges is bubbly. Meanwhile, combine cake mix and buttermilk in medium bowl; mix until well blended. Spoon scant 1/4 cupfuls mixture in 6 mounds over filling. Sprinkle evenly with 1 tablespoon granulated sugar and brown sugar. Bake 19 to 21 minutes or until topping is golden brown. Serve warm with whipped cream, if desired.

Hurry-Up Lasagna

1 jar (48 ounce) tomato and sliced mushroom pasta sauce

2 packages (9 ounce each) fresh fettuccine, uncooked

4 cups (30 ounce) Sargento whole milk ricotta cheese

1 cup minced fresh parsley

4 ounces thinly sliced pepperoni, divided

3 cups (12 ounce) Sargento fancy shredded pizza double cheese, divided

Spread 1 cup sauce in bottom of 13 x 9 inch baking pan. Carefully place one-third uncooked fettuccine over sauce, making sure fettuccine is covered with sauce. Combine ricotta cheese and parsley. Layer 2 cups ricotta mixture, half of the pepperoni, 1 cup sauce and 1 cup shredded cheese. Repeat layers 2 cups ricotta mixture, pepperoni, sauce and 1 cup shredded cheese. Top with remaining fettuccine and sauce, making sure sauce completely covers fettuccine. Cover and bake in pre-heated 375 degree oven 1 hour. Uncover; bake 5 minutes more. Sprinkle with remaining 1 cup shredded cheese. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Apple Awesome

5 medium baking apples, peeled, cored and sliced

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup dark brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) cold butter, cut into small pieces

1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter the bottom and sides of an 8-inch square glass oven-proof baking dish. Arrange apple slices in baking dish. Sprinkle with lemon juice. In a large bowl whisk flour, sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Using a pastry cutter, cut in butter until mixture forms crumbs. Stir in shredded cheese until combined. Sprinkle crumbly mixture over top of apple slices. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes or until apples are tender.

Our thought for the week: “Laughter is the jam on the toast of life; it adds flavor, keeps it from becoming too dry, and makes it easier to swallow.”