Monday, October 12, 2009

Busy People's Fast & Frugal Cookbook by Dawn Hall

Photo and recipe used with permission from Dawn Hall and Thomas Nelson Publishing

I don't normally 'gush' about anything. I get excited, but I try to keep myself in check when I find something I like. I can't contain this: I adore Dawn Hall!

I got to speak with Dawn yesterday on the phone for quite some time. I called to interview her for today's post at the blog, Food for Thought. Once we got to talking, we couldn't stop. I knew that we had a few things in common, but after chatting for a bit, the parallels between our lives just kept going on. I could well have stayed on the phone to no end with her, but the kids kept interrupting and dinner needed to be made, so we said our good-byes and promised to keep in touch.

Today is the debut of Dawn's 10th book, her 8th Busy People's cookbook, Busy People's Fast & Frugal Cookbook. I've looked over recipes, read other reviews and talked with the woman herself and I can tell you this: There is nothing fussy about this or any one of her cookbooks - it's just good food, simply (and frugally!) prepared in 30 minutes or less and with 7 ingredients or less - and healthy to boot. It's the perfect addition to any busy person's collection (and aren't we all busy nowadays?) with the added benefit of each and every recipe fitting into a tight budget - and I know we all fit into that category lately.

You can read more about Dawn at or at her website, on the Cooking for Busy People Fan Page on Facebook, on Twitter, on her television show, Cooking for Busy People and at That's more than enough Dawn to keep you busy for a while!

Here is a recipe of hers that I like for several reasons; my kids would all like it, it's super-fast to make and I can definitely fit it into my budget. Everything you need to know to make this is here (and in the book!) from timing to equipment to shopping lists. Also check out one of her soup recipes posted today at A Thousand Soups. You can purchase a copy of Busy People's Fast & Frugal Cookbook at

Apple Pie with Granola Crumb Topping

The crust is very flaky, the filling is very tasty and the crumb topping is sweet and crunchy, thus the ideal combination for a quick and easy home-style light apple pie that is every bit as delicious as the high calorie versions but a lot easier on the waist line!


10 fillo (phyllo) dough sheets
½ cup oatmeal
1/3 cup Splenda brown sugar blend
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
2 tablespoons light butter
1 (20-ounce) can no sugar added apple pie filling
1(.14-ounce) pouch Alpine spiced cider sugar-free apple flavor drink mix from a (1.4-ounce) box of 10 pouches


Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees.

Make Pie Shell:

Take 10 sheets of fillo (phyllo) dough and lay them flat.
Spray each sheet of dough with butter flavor cooking spray. Individually stack the sheets into a pie plate like tire spindles, crossing in the center. Allow the extra to hang over the sides of the pie plate.
With sharp scissors, cut the fillo (phyllo) dough hanging off the edges of the pie plate.
Place pie dough in oven for 6-8 minutes or until golden brown.
Make Granola:

Take the cut off excess of fillo (phyllo) dough and finely chop it. Place in a medium size mixing bowl.
Add to mixing bowl ½ cup oatmeal, 1/3 cup Splenda brown sugar blend, 1 teaspoon pumpkin spice mix and 2 tablespoons light butter.
Using a spatula cut the ingredients together. Set aside.
Spray a baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray.
Spread the oatmeal mixture on the baking sheet. Bake for 4-5 minutes, just until the butter melts.
Remove from oven and with a spatula stir the oatmeal mixture around the baking sheet making a caramelized granola.
Make Pie Filling:

In a microwave safe mixing bowl combine 1 (20-ounce) can no sugar added apple pie filling and 1(.14-ounce) pouch Alpine spiced cider sugar-free apple flavor drink mix from a (1.4-ounce) box of 10 pouches.
Cover with wax paper and cook in microwave for 2 minutes. Stir and heat for 1 additional minute.

Assemble Pie:

Place the apple filling in the made pie shell.
Top with the granola that you made and serve.

Yield: 6 servings

Calories per serving: 188 (15% fat); Total fat: 3 g; Cholesterol: 5 mg; Carbohydrate: 37 g; Dietary Fiber: 2 g; Protein: 2 g; Sodium: 125 mg

Diabetic Exchanges: 2 1/2 carbohydrate, 1/2 fat

Helpful Hint:

This pie needs to be eaten the same day it’s made or the crust will become soggy.
This pie comes together very quickly so have all of your ingredients sitting out.
This pie does not freeze well.
Phyllo Dough (also spelled Fillo Dough) is in the freezer section. It comes in 1-pound boxes. Each box has about 40 sheets in one box of Phyllo dough. It is super simple to work with, so do not be intimidated to use it, if you never have before.

Supplies List :

Pie plate
Sharp scissors
Cutting board
Medium sized mixing bowl
Baking sheet
Microwave safe mixing bowl
Wax paper
Microwave oven

Grocery List :


Light butter


10 fillo (phyllo) dough sheets


Oatmeal (1/2 cup needed)
1 (20-ounce) can no sugar added apple pie filling
1 (.14-ounce) pouch Alpine spiced cider sugar-free apple flavor drink mix


Splenda brown sugar blend
Pumpkin pie spice
Butter flavor cooking spray
Non-stick cooking spray

This recipe is provided by Dawn Hall and is from Busy People’s Fast & Frugal Cookbook - re-printed with permission.


kat said...

I'm always looking for good ways to make quick pies

Dawn Hall said...

Anne, It was my pleasure and honor to meet and get to know you,too! Everyone who reads this should know, Anne is an incredible person! She is able to do in half a day what most of us accomplish in a whole day and she is as humble as they come! How she does it all ceases to amaze me! I am truly in awe of her! Thank you Anne, for being a living example of a godly woman to the max! You inspire me! If you are looking for an incredible woman to interview, she's your gal, folks! I anticipate seeing her on the cover of Today's Christian Woman Magazine~ Honestly! Dawn Hall, Author of Busy People's Cookbooks

redbox rules said...

Ok now my stomach is growling! thanks for that! :)