Cal Orey
Special to the Tribune

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November 12, 2011
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What's Cookin' at Callie's Cabin: Wake up to Autumn apple turnovers

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. - Welcome to my world of sweet and savory apple turnovers. These old-fashioned finger food pastries are a flaky feast whipped up by dropping a fruit filling on dough, turning it over, and sealing it. Then, it's baked to a light brown crust to provide a warm dessert or snack. It's a perfect treat to enjoy on a cold, mid-fall morning on the South Shore.

This week due to soaring work demands I did what I do to boost my spirits--grab my bathing suit and hit the pool. Swimming laps in an indoor pool while there is slushy snow outdoors is a way to escape to a Mediterranean-type utopia. Once back home, I felt energized and turned to the kitchen to make a batch of semi-homemade apple turnovers. As I put together these DIY turnovers it brought me back to past tough times before the Great Recession.

Several years ago, as a magazine journalist I hit a rough patch. Five of the national magazines I wrote for folded within one month. The solution for survival as a writer was landing copywriting jobs at Tahoe/Reno for real estate firms. I remember writing blurbs for million dollar homes. One day, a Realtor showed me a multi-million dollar home in Nevada so I could write up an ad. I recall the heated floors, panoramic views of the Lake in each and every room. It was the spacious gourmet kitchen and pantry larger than my cabin that had me at first glance. I came home to my rustic cabin with Old Tahoe charm, made a cup of tea on an old stovetop, and went to work as a writer on a mission to survive.

Years later, things turned for the better like waking up to an apple turnover. Today I find myself living life as a working author with a lively book series. Promoting a new book and waiting for a completed one to come back for edits can be exciting but it is work. And sometimes, these must-do tasks can be like clouds over my head--and that's where my swimming and baking whisks me away to a warm, cozy place. Enter: Apple turnovers.

Autumn Apple Turnovers

2 tablespoons brown sugar

2 teaspoons honey

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1⁄4 teaspoon nutmeg

Orange rind, 1 tablespoon

3-4 Fuji apples, peeled and diced

2 tablespoons European style butter

1 can refrigerated crescent roll dough

2 tablespoons European style butter

Raw organic sugar

In a bowl, combine brown sugar, honey, cinnamon, nutmeg, and orange rind. Sautee apples in butter, mix in dry ingredients. Separate crescent rolls; place apples on each triangle roll and top with another triangle. Seal edges with a fork for the wow effect. Put on ungreased pan. Brush with butter and sprinkle with sugar. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 or till golden brown. Makes 4 large turnovers. Serve warm with whipped cream or cheddar cheese.

Yes, smelling the aroma a buttery apple pastries baking in the oven in the afternoon is heavenly. Tasting the fresh apples with notes of cinnamon in a flaky pouch topped with a crunch of raw sugar is oh-so comforting. Waking up to a fresh cup of Thanksgiving Blend flavored coffee, and an apple turnover with sweet cream are little things that make any kitchen in the Sierra a gourmet delight.

Motto: Take time to enjoy life's down-to-earth pleasures. A dip in a pool and the taste of a fresh fruit pastry puts life's challenges into perspective.

- Cal Orey is an accomplished author and journalist. Her books include The Healing Powers series (Vinegar, Olive Oil, Chocolate and Honey) published by Kensington. Her website is www.calorey.com.


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Tahoe Daily Tribune Updated Nov 12, 2011 02:45AM Published Nov 12, 2011 02:44AM Copyright 2011 Tahoe Daily Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.