Roasted Butternut Squash Salad with Warm Cider Vinaigrette

Ingredients

  • 1 (1 1/2-pound) butternut squash, peeled and 3/4-inch) diced
  • olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons dried cranberries
  • 3/4 cup apple cider or apple juice
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons minced shallots
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 4 ounces baby arugula, washed and spun dry
  • 1/2 cup walnuts halves, toasted
  • 3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Place the butternut squash on a sheet pan. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil, the maple syrup, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and toss. Roast the squash for 15 to 20 minutes, turning once, until tender. Add the cranberries to the pan for the last 5 minutes.

While the squash is roasting, combine the apple cider, vinegar, and shallots in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook for 6 to 8 minutes, until the cider is reduced to about 1/4 cup. Off the heat, whisk in the mustard, 1/2 cup olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper.

Place the arugula in a large salad bowl and add the roasted squash mixture, the walnuts, and the grated Parmesan. Spoon just enough vinaigrette over the salad to moisten and toss well. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and serve immediately.

Butternut Squash Galette

Ingredients

  • 2½ cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup sour cream or full-fat Greek yogurt, strained
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 2 small or 1 large butternut squash, about 21/2 pounds
  • 3 tablespoons oil
  • 1½ teaspoons tsp salt
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 large sweet onions, such as Spanish or Vidalia, halved, thinly sliced in half-moons
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste (optional
  • 2 cups grated Italian Fontina cheese
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme, or 2 teaspoons chopped fresh sage
  • 1 egg beaten with 1 tsp water, for glaze

    Directions
    To make pastry: In a bowl, combine the flour and salt. Add the whole sticks of butter and, using a pastry blender, break up the bits of butter until the texture is like cornmeal, with the biggest pieces the size of pebbles. In a small bowl, whisk together the sour cream, vinegar and water, and pour this over the butter-flour mixture. Stir with a spoon or a rubber spatula until a dough forms, kneading it once or twice on the counter if needed to bring it together. Pat the dough into a ball, wrap it in plastic and chill it in the refrigerator for an hour or up to two days.

    To prepare squash: Peel the squash, then halve and scoop out seeds. Cut into ½-inch to ¾-inch chunks. Pour 2 tablespoons (30 mL) of the olive oil into one or two smaller baking sheets, spreading it to an even slick. Lay the squash chunks on the baking sheet in one layer, sprinkle with ½ teaspoon (2 g) of the salt, and freshly ground black pepper, and roast in a 400 F oven for 30 minutes, or until squash is tender, turning the pieces occasionally so that they brown evenly. Set aside to cool slightly. Leave the oven on.

    While the squash is roasting, melt the butter and remaining tablespoon of olive oil in a heavy frying pan, and cook the onions over medium-low heat with the sugar and remaining teaspoon of salt, stirring occasionally, until soft and tender, about 25 minutes. Stir in the cayenne pepper, if using.

    Mix the squash, caramelized onions, cheese and herbs together in a bowl.

    To assemble the galette: On a floured work surface, roll the dough out into a 16- to 17-inch round. Transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Spread the squash-and-cheese mixture over the dough, leaving a 2 to 2½-inch border. Fold the border over the squash and cheese, pleating the edge to make it fit. The centre will be open. Brush the outside of the crust with the egg-yolk wash, if using.

    Bake until golden brown, 30 to 40 minutes. Remove the galette from the oven, let stand for five minutes, then slide onto a serving plate. Cut into wedges and serve hot, warm or at room temperature.

Cilantro Lime Slaw

Ingredients

  • 1 cup plain greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup tightly packed fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 cup fresh squeezed lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh black pepper
  • 3 green onions (just the green parts)
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 jalapeno, stemmed and cored
  • 1 bag cole slaw mix

Directions

Combine greek yogurt through jalapeno in a blender and puree until smooth. Toss with the cole slaw mix until combined. Season with extra salt, pepper, lime juice if needed.

Crispy Baked Fish Tacos

Ingredients

Crema

  • 1/2 cup plain greek yogurt
  • 1 chipotle chili in adobo sauce
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt

Fish

  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 egg, whisked
  • 1 1/2 pounds firm white fish, such as halibut or cod, cut into 2 inch pieces

Tacos 

  • 12 corn or flour tortillas, warmed
  • 2 fresh avocados, sliced
  • 1 batch Cilantro Lime Slaw
  • Crema
  • Toppings (cilantro, sliced jalapeno, queso fresco, sliced radishes, sliced red onions)

Directions

Combine the crema ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth. Set aside.

Heat oven to 375. Spread the panko in an even layer on a jelly roll pan. Bake for 5-7 minutes, giving the pan a gentle shake halfway through until the panko is toasted and a deep golden brown (be careful that it doesn’t burn). Note: to make the panko even crispier, toss the panko it with 1 tablespoon of oil before toasting it.

Transfer the panko to a medium bowl. Add chili powder, garlic powder, cumin, salt, pepper to the bowl with the panko, then whisk until combined.

Whisk an egg in a small bowl. Dip a piece of fish in the egg and coat all sides. Then transfer the fish to the panko mixture and gently press it on so the fish is coated on all sides. Transfer the fish to a parchment lined baking sheet.

Bake the fish for 10 minutes, or until it is cooked through. Internal temperature should be 145. Transfer to a wire rack, then use a for to roughly flake the fish into smaller pieces.

Fill warm tortillas with slaw, fish, crema, avocados and any desired toppings.

Chicken Tacos

Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ancho chili powder (or more normal chili powder)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 limes, juiced (about 4 tablespoons)
  • 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 24 corn or flour tortillas

Directions

In a large bowl, mix olive oil through limes to fully combine. Add chicken thighs to marinade and toss together to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium high heat. Add the chicken and cook until done, about 5-7 minutes per side. Transfer chicken to cutting board and cut into bite sized chunks. Serve in warm tortillas with salsa and cheese.

Bunny Chicken Pot Pies

Ingredients

 

  • 1 pound bag of frozen cubed chicken, thawed
  • 1 cup chopped carrots
  • 1/2 cup frozen green peas, with a 8 set aside
  • 1/2 cup sliced celery
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 1/3 cup chopped onion
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon celery seed
  • 1 can of chicken broth
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 3 (9 inch) unbaked pie crusts
  • Decorate with green onion, carrots, & peas

Directions

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C.)

Chop up celery and carrots. Place the chopped veggies, peas, and diced chicken in a large pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside. Save about 8 carrot slices and 8 peas for the bunny face.

Roll out your pie crust. Place the souffle dish on the crust and cut a circle with a inch or so beyond the dish. If you want a bottom crust, place the bottom crust in the dish and press on the bottom and sides. There should be some of it sticking out around the top. Place the top crusts to the side.

Use the pie dough scraps to make the ears. Cut out ear shapes and place a popsicle stick on top. Add some scraps of dough on top of the popsicle stick and press along edges. Bake the ears for 10 minutes.

In the saucepan over medium heat, cook onions in butter until soft. Stir in flour, salt, pepper, and celery seed. Slowly stir in chicken broth and milk. Simmer over medium-low heat until thick. Remove from heat.

Place the chicken mixture in bottom pie crusts (or in empty souffle dish) and pour the flour/milk mixture over the top. Cover with the top crust and seal edges. Cut small holes in the top for the eyes and nose. Place in the oven for about 30 minutes, or until lightly brown.

Decorate with green onion for whiskers, peas for eyes and carrots for the nose. Place the bunny ear crusts in the back side.

Baked Ziti

Ingredients

  • 1 (1-pound) package uncooked ziti (short tube-shaped pasta)
  • 1 pound hot turkey Italian sausage links
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 (14.5-ounce) cans petite-diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded fresh mozzarella cheese
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) grated fresh Parmesan cheese

Directions

Preheat oven to 350°.

Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain the pasta, and set aside.

Remove casings from sausage. Cook sausage, onion, and garlic in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until browned, stirring to crumble. Add the tomato paste, salt, pepper, and tomatoes, and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Combine cooked pasta, sausage mixture, and basil. Place half of the pasta mixture in a 4-quart casserole coated with cooking spray. Top with half of mozzarella and half of Parmesan. Repeat layers. Bake at 350°F for 25 minutes or until bubbly.

Pretzel Sparklers

Ingredients

  • 2 dozen pretzel rods
  • 4 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • red white and blue sprinkles

Directions

Place 4 ounces chopped semisweet chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Stir occasionally until melted; remove from heat. Using a pastry brush, coat the upper third of each pretzel rod in chocolate. Cover with sprinkles; stand pretzels upright in a glass. Place in the refrigerator until firm, about 5 minutes.

Red White and Blue Star Cookies

Ingredients

  • 5 cups cake flour (not self-rising), plus more for dusting surfaces
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 12 ounces (3 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract 
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream, plus more for brushing
  • 3/4 cup raspberry jam
  • 3/4 cup blueberry jam
  • 2 tablespoons sanding sugar (red, white and blue if you can find it)

Directions

Sift flour, baking powder, and salt into a large bowl. Cream butter and granulated sugar, with a mixer on medium speed, until pale and fluffy. Beat in yolks and vanilla until well combined. Add flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with cream and beating well after each addition. Shape dough into 4 disks, wrap each in plastic, and refrigerate for at least 3 hours (or up to 3 days).

On floured parchment, roll 1 disk of dough into a 1/8-inch-thick rectangle. Repeat with remaining disks. Stack sheets of dough and parchment, and refrigerate for 1 hour or freeze for 30 minutes.

Spread raspberry jam on 1 sheet of dough, blueberry jam on another. Top each with a plain sheet of dough. Refrigerate for 1 hour or freeze for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut out cookies using a 2 1/2-inch star-shaped cutter, and space 1 inch apart on parchment-lined baking sheets. Brush with cream, and sprinkle with sanding sugar. Refrigerate for 30 minutes or freeze for 15 minutes.

Bake, rotating sheets halfway through, until golden, 16 to 20 minutes. Transfer cookies to wire racks, and let cool completely. If desired, bake dough scraps.

Lemony Green Beans

Ingredients

  • 1 pound green beans
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon rind (original recipe called for 1 teaspoon, but was a bit too lemony)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Directions

Steam green beans 5 minutes or until crisp-tender. Drain and rinse with cold water; drain and place in a bowl. Add grated lemon rind, fresh lemon juice, olive oil, salt and black pepper; toss well.