A couple of months ago, Mark and I went over to my friend Hefina’s house for lunch. She made this scrumptious apple crisp (recipe below) that is absolutely to die for. Ours didn’t have the booze in it (we don’t drink in food and otherwise – lol), so rest assured it is good without the spirits too.

As we drove home, I thought about how there’s just something special about Hev’s cooking – it just feels good and tastes yummy. For YEARS I’ve eaten there and would come home raving about the food – how good it tasted, how satisfying it was. I would often wonder if it was the company, the conversation, the combo of these with the food or just the food.

So, one day, several years ago, Mark called Hev to ask her how to cook her ‘magic’ brussel sprouts. For years I didn’t like brussel sprouts and then she made them and they are a favorite now – same with parsnips. Who knew?

Anyway, Mark followed the instructions to the finest degree, and after much consideration, we all have decided that the ‘magic’ comes from Hev’s loving way. She sings while she cooks, she dances while she bakes, she sends good thoughts into the food and that’s just that extra special something that you just can’t put your finger on but you definitely know (and can taste) it is there!

Mark makes no bones about it. He’s an achiever cook, just like he is an achiever in every area of his life, and he is there to get the food on the table as fast as possible – with or without the ‘extra special something!’

I’m grateful he cooks, and I’m grateful for Hev for teaching me how our energy does make its way into everything. For you Top Chef fans, you know that Carla felt the same way… and, of course, the technique has to be there too. No amount of love will allow us to swallow burnt buns!

So, the next time you cook… take a moment and pour some love, good thoughts, and special blessings into your food and see what kind of rave reviews you get!

Christina’s Apple Crisp with Bourbon Cream

Filling:

6 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, chopped (about 31/2 pounds)
1
/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 tablespoon lemon juice

¼ cup maple syrup

Topping:

1 cup of all-purpose flour

¾ cup brown sugar

¼ teasp ground cinnamon

¼ teasp salt

8 tablesp (1 stick) butter cut in pieces

¼ cup of coarsely chopped pecans

Bourbon Cream:

1 cup heavy cream

¼ cup confectioners sugar

1 tablespoon bourbon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F

For the filling::

Butter a 9 by 13-inch casserole dish. In a large bowl mix all the filling ingredients together and toss to coat all the apples. Pour in the prepared baking dish.

For topping:

In a food processor combine the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt in large bowl. Pulse to blend. Pulse in the butter
until mixture forms pea size lumps. Add the pecans and pulse 1 or 2 more times. Sprinkle over filling. Bake c
risp for 45 to 50 minutes. Cool 10 minutes before serving.

For Bourbon cream:

In a medium sized bowl, beat the cream until it begins to thicken. While beating, add the sugar and bourbon and beat until
soft peaks form. Dollop over servings of apple crisp.

Add vanilla ice cream to warm apple crisp for a taste bud EXPLOSION! :)