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Honeynut Flatbread

You can use any winter squash for this recipe, and add other toppings to your taste…or just grab what’s in your fridge. If you want to add greens to the flatbread, add them just as it comes out of the oven.

I’m making two flatbreads, cut the ingredients in half if you only want to make one.

What you need: 

  • 2 pizza crusts
  • 1 cup honeynut squash, sliced or cubed
  • 8 oz Blue Cheese or chevre (or any crumbly cheese), crumbled
  • 1 Cup Sliced Mushrooms
  • Half an Onion Sliced
  • Vermont Maple Spice Blend
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Oil or Butter

Heat oven to 450 F

First, quickly saute the squash, mushrooms,  and onions until they get tender and golden. Season with Vermont Maple and Salt & Pepper. Layer the cheese and toppings on the crusts. Bake for about 10 minutes until the cheese is melted and the crust is crispy. I like to broil them for about 2 minutes to make sure the cheese is nice and melted. 

Let cool slightly before cutting into your pie. Serve hot!

Garlic Butter Smashed Sweet Potatoes

I find the best crispy potatoes are boiled first and then baked with a delicious dressing. This makes the inside fluffy and soft, with a crunchy exterior that packs a flavor punch! Play around with the dressing flavors. Use this recipe as a guide!

*Also, potato skins are packed with nutrients. When they get all crispy you’ll want to eat them!

What you need: 

  • 2-3 Sweet Potatoes, Leave the Skin On
  • Oil for Baking Sheet
  • ¼ Cup Melted Butter (Oil if You Want a Plant Based Recipe)
  • 4 Cloves of Garlic, Made into Paste
  • ½ Tablespoon Vermont Maple Spice Blend
  • 1 Tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Salt & Pepper

Bring a large pot of water to the boil, salt generously. Slice the potatoes into ½ inch rounds. I like to leave the skin on, but if you insist you can peel them. You’ll be missing out! Boil them for about 10-15 minutes until fork tender but not falling apart. While the potatoes are boiling, whisk the rest of the ingredients into a dressing. 

Drain and transfer spuds to an oiled baking sheet. Using the bottom of a glass or a fork, gently smash each piece. Use half of the dressing and spoon over the pieces. Bake at 425 F for 10 minutes. Then flip all the pieces, spoon the rest of the dressing, and bake for another 10 minutes until extra crispy!
You can serve these with a bowl of my Tahini Dressing as a dipping sauce. 

Roasted Muscadine Grapes & Shallots with Sausage

You don’t need to add sausage to this recipe, it just takes it up a notch. This a great dish served alongside a roasted chicken or Roasted Kale Salad.

What you need:

  • 2 shallots, quartered
  • 1-2 cups grapes, seeded if needed
  • Glug olive  oil
  • Salt + Pepper
  • Optional : 2 of your favorite pork sausages

Preheat oven to 425 F

I like the crunchy texture you get from making rough meatballs with the sausage. All you need to do  is  cut one side of the casing and pinch out your meatballs. If that is too much work for you…then simply cut the sausage into half inch thick slices. 

Toss  the sausage with the shallots and grapes with olive oil  on the baking sheet. Season and  bake for about 25 minutes until the sausage is crisp and the shallots and grapes are caramelized.

Great  served with a grain salad!

Substitutions:

  • Use any type of onion.
  • leave out the sausage and add more onions or shallots
  • Ditch the grapes

Corn Fritters

I was just reading a book where the author was adamant that if you want someone to try a new veggie, then you should fry it! This is wisdom. I don’t need to be tricked into eating corn, but the idea of a corn fritter is so decadent that I can’t resist.

What you need:

  • Oil for Frying, Sunflower is My Prefered Oil
  • 1 Cup Flour
  • ¾ Cup Seltzer or Club Soda
  • 2 Cups Fresh Corn Kernels
  • ½ Cup Chopped Kale Leaves
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Optional: Lemon Juice

*You can make a spicy & creamy dipping sauce by adding 1 tsp of gochujang sauce with ¼ cup of yogurt or mayo and a splash of lemon juice. 

Pour enough oil in a deep pot, so that it comes up halfway. To use less oil, I usually use a smaller pot and make more batches. Heat over medium-high till it’s 350 F. Don’t have a thermometer? If you place a grain of rice in the oil and it pops up and starts cooking, then your oil is hot enough!

Whisk together the flour, seltzer, salt & pepper. Gently fold in the corn and kale. Now it’s time to fry! Use a large spoon to carefully dollop the batter into the hot oil. Fry until the fritters are golden brown for about 3 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel lined plate. Sprinkle it with salt and a squeeze of lemon juice. Serve hot!

Chicken Paprikas & Hungarian Dumplings

This is the first recipe I ever learned, so it holds a special place in my heart. It’s from the cookbook of my childhood: The Frugal Gourmet. Although I know the recipe by heart, I can instantly find it in the book because those pages are the most tattered and worn. Edit this recipe to your pantry and tastes, and don’t skimp on the paprika!

Chicken Paprikas

What you need: 

  • 3 onions, diced
  • 1-2 tomatoes or half pint cherry tomatoes, diced
  • 2 peppers (preferably green), diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon paprika or north african harissa
  • 2 chicken breast or 2 thigh quarters
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • Salt & pepper
  • Glug of Oil
  • ½ sour cream or yogurt, more for serving
  • 2 tablespoon flour

In a large pot heat oil. Add paprika and heat for 1 minute, then add onions an dcook till translucent about 5 minutes. Add the rest of the except the sour cream and flour. Bring toa boil, then simmer and cook covered for about 20-30 minutes till the chicken is cooked. 

Remove the chicken and set aside. Temper the sour cream and flour.* Add the cream mixture into the stew. Shred the chicken and add it back into the pot. 

Serve with more paprika, cream, and of course dumplings! (In a pich I use egg noodles.)

*What does it mean to temper? It is a technique where you bring two different temperature ingredients together so they do not get lumpy. Whisk the sour cream and flour together, and slowly introduce a cup of the cooking liquid. This should gently warm the cream up enough to avoid lumps in the stew. Vola! You know how to temper…and hopefully control your temper.

Hungarian Dumplings

A larger version of german spaetzel…

What you need: 

  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoon Oil
  • ½ c water
  • ½ c milk
  • 2 ½ c flour
  • 2 ½ teaspoons salt
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • Large pot of boiling water, at least 4 quarts

Toss the salt and baking powder with the flour. In a separate bowl, use a mixer to blend the eggs, oil, water, and milk. Slowly mix the flour into the wet mixture. Mix well and set aside to rest for a moment. 

Make dumplings by dumping the batter into salted boiling water. When the dumplings float to the surface, they are cooked and can be removed. There are a few ways to drop the batter. You can use two spoons like you would with cookie batter, you can push the batter through the holes of a spatula, or make a make-shift piping bag out of a plastic storage bag. Whatever gets the job done. I prefer the spoon method, But loved the spatula as a kid. 

When they are done cooking, put them in a bowl and toss with a little butter or oil to keep from sticking. Of course these are delicious with Chicken paprikas, but any stew will do!

Five-Spice GingerSnaps

I have fond memories of baking ginger molasses cookies with my Grandma Joyce. She knew they were my favorite cookies, so we always made them together. I’ve given them a bit of an upgrade by adding Chinese Five-Spice to & using raw sugar to roll them in before baking. I love how the large chunks of sugar glisten!

This recipe is straight out of her recipe tin, with my additions of course, and so I’m going to write the recipe just as she did!

“Cream 3/4 c shortening (or butter) & 1 c sugar, add 1 beaten egg. Add 4 Tbls of molasses, 1 t cinnamon, 1 t Chinese Five-spice, 1 t ginger, pinch of salt, 2 t soda (baking soda), 2 1/2 c sifted flour. Form balls size of walnut. Roll in raw or granulated sugar. Use ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 F for 12 8 minutes.”

Watermelon & Cucumber Gazpacho

This is a great dish when you want to impress a guest and you want to make something simple. Gazpacho is a cold soup made with raw vegetables, so it is a snap to whip up!

What you need: 

  • 1 smallish seedless watermelon, cubed
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • 1-2 cucumbers, skin removed and diced
  • 1-2 jalapenos, seeds removed & diced
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 2 Tablespoons Aronia Berry Vinegar, or Red Wine Vinegar
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Optional: Feta or Chevre to crumble on top

Puree watermelon, tomato, cucumber, jalapeno, oil, and vinegar until smooth. Season with salt & pepper. Cover and chill for at least an hour. 

When you’re ready to serve, ladle out portions and top with cheese, fresh herbs or micro greens, and nuts for crunch! This can be made a day ahead, and this recipe serves 6 as a starter.

Corn & Sweet Potato Chowder

I love this soup! It’s the perfect late summer mishmash of the last of the season’s sweet corn and fall sweet potatoes. Make a big batch to freeze & you’ll have a taste of late summer all winter long!

What you need: 

  • 2 Cups Corn Kernels
  • 2 Cups Sweet Potato, Diced
  • 1 Onion or 2 Shallots, Diced
  • 3 Cloves of Garlic, Diced
  • 1-2 Bell Peppers, Diced
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 2 Teaspoons Curry Powder
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Herb Seasoning, like Garden Citrus Blend
  • 2 Cups Corn Stock or Veggie Stock
  • 1 Cup Heavy Cream, Milk, or Yogurt
  • Butter
  • Aronia Berry Vinegar or Sherry Vinegar
  • Half a Bunch of Kale, De-stemmed & chopped

*Make it Plant Based: Swap oil for butter & coconut milk for dairy.

If you want a good corn flavor, make corn stock before starting the soup.

In a large pot, add a dab of butter along with the sweet potatoes, onions, garlic, and bell pepper. Cook for 5 minutes until onions become translucent. Season with salt, pepper, herbs, and curry powder. Add the flour to the pot and coat all the ingredients. Add the stock and cream and bring to a gentle boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 20 to 25 minutes. 

Season to taste a dash of vinegar and adjust any seasonings. Throw in the kale, the residual heat will cook it enough, and the corn. Serve hot!

Lemon Garlic Wax Beans

A classic combo…

What you need: 

  • Half Pound of Beans, Trimmed
  • Half a lemon, juiced
  • 3 Tablespoons Oil, Olive or Sunflower
  • 2 Garlic Cloves, Minced
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Optional: red pepper flakes and almonds 

First, you need to blanch the beans. What is blanching? It’s when you briefly cook something and then very quickly cool it down. This technique helps green beans keep a vibrant green color and a snappy texture. (This is also a great technique to peel peaches if you are making a pie.)

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Salt generously. Toss in the green beans and cook for about 2 minutes, they should be intense green and tender-crisp. Quickly submerge them in a bowl of cold ice water, or run cold water over them in a colander. Drain. 

Whisk lemon juice, oil, and garlic. Season with salt & pepper to taste. Toss the beans in the vinaigrette to coat. Top with cheese, pepper flakes, and almonds!

Corn Bruschetta

Bruschetta’s only rule is that you have a crispy layer of olive-oil-doused bread as a vehicle for something yummy. Today it’s corn and cherry tomatoes!

  1. Toast or Grill your Crusty Bread
  2. Rub with a garlic clove and douse with oil
  3. Chop the corn off of one cob, and toss with a handful of chopped cherry tomatoes
  4. Sprinkle with oil and vinegar, add a pinch of salt & pepper
  5. Enjoy!