Trees of Transition

Planting seeds of hope throughout our world through sharing photography and thoughts on teaching, cooking, and life transitions.

Cinnamon Apple Cobbler

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When you have an apple tree, but no pie pans, you make cobbler! For Labor Day, we were in northern Wisconsin, and I forgot to bring supplies to make pies with the apples from the tree up there, so we did this instead: Continue reading



Basil Walnut Pesto

We bought a basil plant last week, and I harvested almost two cups of leaves this week to add to my homemade pesto! Nurturing this plant is making me so happy–I can't wait until the leaves grow full again and I can make more pesto.

This pesto recipe is for people on a budget, so if you don’t have pine nuts, walnuts will work as well. (You also could substitute pecans, if desired). Feel free to adjust nuts and oils to what you have at home, but this much pesto coated enough pasta for about 6-8 people.

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Thai Basil Chicken and Noodles

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You know those weeks when the grocery budget is tight? That’s when I decide to use what is in the pantry and freezer, and this recipe is what resulted from what was in my kitchen last night. My friend came over for dinner, and she helped me fry up these Pad Thai inspired noodles; what is different from regular Pad Thai is that it has more large vegetables, no onion or ginger (it wasn’t in the fridge!), and has more of citrus notes in the flavor.

Here’s the recipe! Watch out because my friend and I ate over half of the pan ourselves…

Makes 4 large servings


1/4 c. soy sauce

3/4 lb chicken breast, chopped (raw)

2 Tblsp. coconut oil

1 (4 oz.) can mushrooms

1 (6.35 oz.) jar bamboo shoots, sliced

1 (8 oz.) can water chestnuts, sliced

2 Tblsp. minced garlic

1/4 c. chopped fresh basil leaves

4.5 oz. (half a package) pad thai rice noodles

1/2 c. coconut milk

3 Tblsp. cornstarch

1/2 c. salted peanuts


Sauce ingredients:

1 1/2 Tblsp. soy sauce

2 Tblsp. lime juice

3 Tblsp. rice vinegar

2 Tblsp. fish sauce

2 Tblsp. brown sugar

1/4 tsp. ground pepper

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Velvety Homemade Chocolate Pudding


Stirring this pudding with a wooden spoon last night brought back memories of cooking dinner at our electric stove. I grew up on the farm where my Mom had my three siblings and I cook dinner once a week. This pudding brightened up the end of many of my meals, and I hope it adds to your meal as well!

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/3 cup cornstarch
2 eggs
4 cups milk
1/2 tsp vanilla Continue reading


Broccoli Cheddar Soup


In the Western hemisphere, autumn is here! I enjoyed this soup today for lunch on this fine October day. The leaves are just starting to change here in Chicagoland. Enjoy!

3 ½ cups chicken broth

6 cups chopped broccoli

½ cup chopped green onion

3 ½ cup milk

½ cup flour

6 oz. cubed sharp cheddar cheese

1 tsp. salt

¼ tsp. pepper

20151009-114227-42147101.jpg Continue reading


Mom’s Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies


I grew up on these healthy cookies–the brown sugar can be substituted with all honey. If you like raisins, they can be added instead of chocolate chips. My Mom would sometimes add raisins and chocolate chips, and I would always hope for my bite to have chocolate in it…so now that I make these cookies, I only add chocolate!

1 cup butter
1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup honey
1 1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
6 cups oatmeal
1 cup chocolate chips Continue reading


Mrs. Holverson’s Fresh Strawberry Pie

Twenty years ago, when I was a teenager, Mrs. Holverson served this pie at a pool party birthday celebration for her daughter, Amy. I loved the pie, so I asked how she made it. She gave me enough directions to know how to make it; I wrote it down in a little cookbook, and I pulled it out when I had a lot of strawberries yesterday. This pie still is amazing!
One more funny thing about that pool party: Mrs. Holverson let all of us girls know that if we wanted to pick strawberries, we could. So for the second half of the party, instead of playing in the pool, I picked a whole flat of strawberries, and then made pie when I got home!

The Recipe:

1 baked 9″ pie shell
4 cups strawberries, sliced
1 cup crushed strawberries
2/3 cup water
1 cup sugar
4 Tblsp. cornstarch
1 Tblsp. lemon juice
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