Stuffed Purple Pepper Witch Cauldrons

Stuffed Purple Pepper Witch Cauldrons

Purple bell peppers, disguised as a witch’s cauldron, make for a fun Halloween dinner! Filled with cheese, rice, and sautéed veggies, they are topped with tiny cherry tomatoes and goat cheese curds for a bubbling finish.  Add a Wilton tree branch treat stick as the perfect stirring branch to complete the Halloween vibe.

6 large purple peppers
1 cup diced red onion
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
1 cup chopped tomato, seeds removed
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
½ teaspoon garlic powder
6 ounces crumbled goat cheese, 1 ounce of the larger crumbles removed and set aside.
3 tablespoons sour cream
1 cup cooked rice
10-12 very small cherry tomatoes
6 Wilton treat sticks, plastic tree branches

Heat the oven to 375˚F. Slice off the tops of the peppers, discard the seeds, stem, and membranes. Set the peppers aside and finely chop the remaining top. You should have about ¾ cup of chopped pepper tops after you have removed all the tops from the six. Finely dice the onion to make 1 cup. Heat the oil over medium heat in a sauté pan and add the peppers, onions and half the salt.
Sauté until most of the moisture is gone from the mixture, then add the tomato and the rest of the salt. Cook until most all the tomato water has cooked away, then add the smoked paprika, garlic powder, 5-ounces of the goat cheese, sour cream, and the rice. Stir until well combined. Fill the peppers, leaving 3/8-1/2” space at the top, place on a baking tray then in the oven to bake for 20 minutes.
After 20 minutes, remove from the oven and top with the cherry tomatoes, pressing them halfway into the mixture in the pepper. Place back in the oven for 5 more minutes.
Remove from the oven and set the oven temperature to broil.  Arrange the remaining 1-ounce of larger goat cheese crumbles in and around the tomatoes. Place under the broiler and watch carefully to just slightly melt and just brown the top of the cheese. This should be 5 minutes or less. Remove from the oven. Let rest 5 minutes and add the decorative treat sticks to each pepper-cauldron and serve.

Oven-fried Pattypan Squash Steaks

Oven-fried Pattypan Squash Steaks

These seasonal veggies make the perfect meatless summer dinner – Oven-fried Pattypan Squash steaks. Thickly sliced veggies topped with panko breadcrumbs and parmesan, then oven-fried and topped herbed sour cream. 

Olive oil
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon ancho chili
Pinch cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
4 large pattypan squash, sliced into 1/2” thick slices
2 eggs
1-1/2 cups of Panko bread crumbs
½ cup grated parmesan cheese
1 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
1 tablespoon marjoram leaves
1 tablespoon thinly sliced chives

Preheat the oven to 425˚F. Using the olive oil, grease well a sheet tray. 

Combine the flour, chili, cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper in one shallow container. Add the eggs to a second shallow container, whisk to combine. Add the panko and parmesan to a third shallow container. Dip the squash slices in the flour first, shaking off any extra. Add to the egg, shaking off extra, then add to the panko pressing on the crumbs. Place on the grease sheet tray and lightly brush olive oil over the top of the coating. Bake for 20 minutes, turn and bake another 15 minutes until the coating is brown and crispy.

While the pattypan squash bakes, combine the sour cream with the fresh herbs. Whisk together well. Serve the squash steaks warm topped with the sour cream.

Lemon Risotto With Fried Halloumi Cheese & Cherry Tomatoes

Lemon Risotto With Fried Halloumi Cheese & Cherry Tomatoes

Lemon juice and zest gives this warm and comforting Lemon Risotto a double punch of flavor. Topped with pan-seared sweet grape or cherry tomatoes and pan-fried Halloumi cheese slices,  it’s a luxurious winter entrée to enjoy on a chilly day.

Lemon Risotto
4 cups chicken stock
3 tablespoons butter
1 large shallots, chopped
1 cup arborio rice
4 tablespoons lemon juice
½  cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
4 teaspoons grated lemon peel
Kosher salt
Fresh ground pepper
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley


Add the chicken stock to a pot and bring to simmer over medium heat. Reduce heat to low and cover to keep warm. Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add shallots and sauté about 6 minutes or until the shallots are tender. Add rice and sauté about 2-3  minutes. Add the lemon juice and stir until absorbed, about 1 minute. Add 1 cup hot broth and simmer until absorbed, stirring frequently. Add remaining broth 1 cup at a time, allowing broth to be absorbed before adding more and stirring frequently until rice is creamy and tender, about 30-35 minutes. Stir in cheese and remaining lemon juice and peel. Season the risotto with salt and pepper. Transfer to warm bowls and top with the sautéed tomatoes, Halloumi cheese, and a sprinkle of fresh chopped parsley. Makes 4 servings


Sautéed Tomatos & Halloumi Cheese 
1 tablespoon, plus 2 teaspoons olive oil
8 ounces halloumi cheese
1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes
2 springs fresh oregano or ½ teaspoon dry


Slice the halloumi in slices about ¼” thick. Heat one tablespoon olive oil in a medium sauté pan over medium high heat and fry the halloumi cheese slices for about 2 -3 minutes on each side until golden brown. Remove and drain on a plate lined with paper towels. Add the remaining 2 teaspoons olive oil to the sauté pan then the tomatoes and oregano. Sautéing for 4-5 minutes until the tomatoes start to pop. Add the over the top of the Lemon Risotto with the fried Halloumi cheese and tomatoes.

Rustic Stuffed Acorn Squash

Rustic Stuffed Acorn Squash

Loaded with vitamins, Acorn Squash has more potassium, calcium, magnesium, and folate than any other variety of squash. After baking the squash, we pile the center high with a flavorful stuffing including applewood smoked bacon, toasted walnuts, apples, gruyere cheese, and fresh fall herbs. Then sprinkled with more cheese, it’s bake until golden brown on top.

1 tablespoon butter, melted
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
Kosher salt
Fresh ground black pepper
2 large or 3 medium acorn squash, halved and seeded
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons fresh sage, divided
2 pieces applewood smoked bacon, cut into thin strips to make lardons
½ cup onion, finely chopped
1 celery rib, finely chopped
2 apples, Fuji, Honey Crisp, or other firm apple, cored and cubed
2 cups breadcrumbs1 cup toasted chopped walnuts
¼ cup boiled cider
¼ cup shredded gruyere cheese
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
Fresh ground pepper

Preheat the oven to 400˚F.

Combine the melted butter, garlic powder, ½ teaspoon salt, ⅛ teaspoon pepper, and 2 teaspoons sage; brush over cut sides and cavity of squash. Place in a large roasting pan, cut side up, and roast in the oven for 1 hour, until the squash is tender but still holds its shape.

While the squash bakes, sauté the bacon lardons over medium heat in a large sauté pan. Remove the cooked bacon lardons, drain on paper towels and set aside. Leaving the fat remaining in the pan, place the sauté pan back on the heat and add the onion and celery with a pinch of salt. Sauté until the vegetables are starting just to soften. Add the apples and sauté until the apple are soft and a small knife can pass through one of the apples.

Add the croutons and walnuts to a large bowl. Pour the warm vegetables over the croutons and walnuts. Add the boiled cider, cooked bacon lardons, the rest of the sage, ⅔ of the gruyere cheese, the parsley, ½ teaspoon salt, and ⅛ teaspoon pepper. Mix well. Add evenly to the squash cavities and sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Place back in the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Makes 6 servings, serve immediately.


Chive and Cheddar Irish Potato Bread

Chive and Cheddar Irish Potato Bread

We took an old Irish Potato Bread recipe and turned leftover Thanksgiving mashed potatoes into a delicious quick bread. Using no yeast, this tasty bread rises to the occasion with baking powder and is filled with cheddar cheese, fresh chives, and grated potatoes.

1 ½ cups leftover mashed potatoes
1 ½ cups grated raw potato (preferably russet)
1 extra large egg plus 1 extra large egg white
⅓ cup melted unsalted butter, slightly cooled
¾ cup whole milk
¼ cup snipped chive pieces
½ cup finely grated cheddar cheese
3 ¼ cups all-purpose flour, plus 2 additional tablespoons for dusting and kneading
1 ½ tablespoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt

Butter for serving

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and position a rack in the center of the oven. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Place the mashed potatoes in a large bowl. Peel the raw potato and grate it through the large holes of a box grater. Place the grated potatoes in a clean kitchen towel and wring tightly to squeeze out any excess moisture; add to the mashed potatoes.

Stir in the egg, egg white, butter, milk, chives, and cheddar cheese until well combined. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add in three batches to the potato mixture, stirring well with a wooden spoon after each addition until the mixture forms soft, but sticky dough.

Lightly flour a clean work surface. Turn the dough out onto the floured surface and knead for 60 seconds, adding flour in small increments to keep the dough from being too sticky. Shape into an 8-inch loaf, and place on the prepared parchment lined baking sheet. Use a sharp knife, slash a ½” deep X in the top of the dough.

Place in the oven and bake until golden brown, firm, and somewhat hollow sounding when tapped, about 60-65 minutes. Remove from the oven and using the parchment, move the bread to a cooling rack. Slide the parchment out from under the bread and cool for one-two hours on a wire rack before slicing. Serve warm with butter. Makes one loaf, about 12 servings.

Roasted Maple Butternut Squash with Israeli Couscous, Parsley and Pine nuts

Roasted Maple Butternut Squash with Israeli Couscous, Parsley and Pine nuts

As a tasty side dish with meat, chicken, or burgers, our quick and easy roasted maple butternut squash pairs perfect with Israeli couscous, parsley, and pine nuts. Bring to your next seasonal get-together, tailgating, or as a side dish for any fall meal.

2 cups small diced butternut squash
3-1/2 teaspoons, plus 1 tablespoon of olive oil, divided
1 tablespoon maple syrup
Kosher salt
1 cup chopped onions
1 cup Israeli couscous
1¼ cups unsalted chicken stock
½ cup chopped parsley
½ cup toasted pine nuts
½ cup yellow raisins
1 ½ teaspoons of lemon juice

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Add the butternut squash, 1½ teaspoons of olive oil, 1 tablespoon of pure maple syrup and ½ teaspoon salt to a bowl. Stir until well combined and pour onto a parchment lined sheet tray. Bake for 30 minutes or until a small knife easily passes through the squash. Remove from the oven and set aside.

While the butternut squash bakes, add 2 teaspoons of olive oil to a saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté for 5 minutes. Add one cup of Israeli couscous and sauté for one more minute. Add 1 ¼ cups of chicken stock and ½ teaspoon kosher salt. Continue cooking for 8-10 minutes, or until the couscous absorbs all the stock and is tender. Remove from the heat and add the butternut squash, parsley, pine nuts, raisins, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, and 1½ teaspoons of fresh lemon juice. Season with salt to taste and serve warm or at room temperature. Make 4-6 servings.