September 20, 2013 by Scott Klepach
It’s getting colder, so here’s a tasty recipe that will help you get warm and cozy!
» 2 lbs. butternut squash
» 2 – 14 oz. cans vegetable broth
» 1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
» 1 tablespoon butter
» 1 – 9 oz. package cheese ravioli
» 1 tablespoon molasses
1. Peel squash, halve lengthwise. Remove seeds and discard. Cut squash into ¾-inch pieces.
2. In large sauce pan, combine 1/2 cup water, squash, vegetable broth and red pepper. Cook covered over medium heat for 20 minutes or until
squash is tender.
3. Transfer to blender. Cover and blend until smooth. Repeat until all of mixture is smooth.
4. Return blended mixture to saucepan. Bring just to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered for 5 minutes. Add butter, stir until just melted.
5. Meanwhile, prepare ravioli according to package directions; drain. Ladle into bowls. Drizzle with molasses. Enjoy!
Like a little spice, or a lot? Add a teaspoon (or more!) of ground cayenne red pepper to give this dish an extra zing!
September 20, 2013 by Scott Klepach
Text and photos by Juanita Farris
One of my favorite things about the holidays is making seasonal meals with my family. It’s something my husband looks forward to the most. I usually make one recipe a week as a countdown to Halloween, but this year I decided to have one “Spooky Feast” day. Here are five recipes to get your family excited for October 31!
Breakfast: Pumpkin Hot Chocolate and Flap Jack-o-Lanterns
Warm up with hot chocolate and seasonal pancakes!
Pumpkin Hot Chocolate
(Adapted from The Harvest Table)
» 3 cups hot milk
» 2 tablespoons sugar
» 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
» 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
» 6 tablespoons of your favorite hot cocoa mix
1. Combine hot milk, sugar, vanilla and spice in a blender. Process until frothy.
2. Pour into 3 to 4 coffee mugs, filling each 2/3 full.
3. Stir 2 tablespoons of hot chocolate mix into each cup, stirring until blended.
4. Garnish with whipped cream and a sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice.
(Adapted from The Harvest Table)
» 2 cups all-purpose flour
» 2 tablespoons sugar
» 1 tablespoons baking powder
» 1/2 teaspoon salt
» 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
» 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
» 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
» 2 eggs, beaten
» 1 3/4 cup milk
» 1/2 cup canned pumpkin
» 2 tablespoons melted butter
1. Mix flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and spices in a large bowl.
2. Whisk eggs and milk in a separate bowl. Add pumpkin and butter.
3. Add egg mixture to flour mixture and stir until just blended. Pour batter by 1/4 cupfuls into a greased hot griddle or skillet.
4. When bottom is almost done, make a pumpkin face on top with raisins.
5. Cook until done and serve with syrup
Lunch: Pumpkin Hot Pockets
(Adapted from TasteofHome.com)
Have your kids help you make this silly lunch. You can use any cookie cutters you want. (We used a ghost and pumpkin cutter.)
» 1 package refrigerated pie crust
» 3 tablespoons honey mustard
» 1/2 pound ham, thinly sliced
» 1/2 cup Swiss cheese
» 1/2 cup Monterey Jack Cheese
» 2 egg yolks
» 4 to 6 drops of red food coloring
» 1 egg white
» 2 to 3 drops of green food coloring
1. On a lightly floured surface, roll pie crust into a 15-inch circle. Using a floured cookie cutter, cut out eight pumpkins. Repeat with remaining dough.
2. Spread mustard over eight pumpkins. Layer with ham and cheeses to within 3/4-inch of edges.
3. In a small bowl, beat egg yolks with enough food coloring to achieve orange color.
4. In another small bowl, beat egg white with green food coloring.
5. Brush orange food coloring over the edges of pie crust. Top with remaining pumpkins. Press edges to seal.
6. Brush stems with green mixture and the pumpkins with orange.
7. Transfer to a baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes, or until browned.
Dinner: Snake Stromboli
(This is our version of a recipe we found on FoodNetwork.com)
This was the first seasonal recipe we made after having our son. It’s become a tradition we look forward to all year long!
» 1 16-ounce refrigerated pizza dough
» 1-8 oz. can of marinara
» 4 oz. mozzarella cheese
» 4 oz. shredded cheddar cheese
» 1/2 cup sliced bell peppers
» 1 can of chopped red pepper
» 1 package pepperoni, sliced
» Assorted food coloring
» 1 strip roasted red pepper
1. Roll out pizza dough and press onto sprayed pan.
2. Spoon sauce into center of dough and top with cheese, peppers, and pepperoni. Be careful not to over stuff the Stromboli; it will leak while baking.
3. Wrap the dough up to resemble a snake and make an S-shape. Press two olives into one end to make eyes and the slice of red pepper to make a tongue.
4. Decorate the snake with food coloring.
5. Bake until golden, 30 to 40 minutes.
Dessert: Witch Hat Cookies
(Adapted from pinterest.com)
» 1 package of fudge-striped cookies
» 1 bag of Hershey Kisses
» Vanilla frosting
» Green food coloring
1. Lay cookies on plate, stripe-side down.
2. Mix food coloring into frosting and pipe a ring around the center of the cookies.
3. Attach a Hershey Kiss to the center of each cookie.
* Juanita Farris is a former optician who loves her new stay-at-home mom job. After a busy day of playing with her 1-year-old she loves to read, cook and write.
May 30, 2013 by Scott Klepach
Text and photo by Jill St. George
Experimenting with pizza crust is trendy for those looking to improve their eating habits. So in an attempt to feed my family healthier, I decided to go green — as in mini green pizzas.
First things first, you’ve gotta like zucchini.
Zucchini pizza can be topped with anything you’d top a dough-crusted pizza with. I love veggie pizza, so I topped mine with green peppers, mushrooms and black olives, but a few slices of pepperoni would be tasty, too.
I’m all for tricky ways to get a kid to eat his veggies, so I simply smothered a couple slices with parmesan, mozzarella and cheddar, and to my surprise my 4-year-old son ate it right up.
Zucchini pizza has become a part of our dinner menu rotation — which of course, makes Mama happy!
• 3 large zucchinis
• 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
• ½ cup organic spaghetti sauce
• ½ cup tomato paste
• Parmesan cheese
• Mozzarella cheese
(or any others you prefer)
• Toppings of your choice
Slice three large zucchinis length-wise, then lay them out in a baking pan. Next, lightly drizzle them with olive oil. For the red sauce, mix equal parts spaghetti sauce and tomato paste, then spread a thin layer over each zucchini slice. Sparingly top each slice with shredded parmesan cheese, and then top with the remaining ingredients of your choice. I added mozzarella, black olives, green peppers and mushrooms, and then topped it off with a little more mozzarella and some basil. Pop them in a 350 degree oven for about 25 minutes and voila! — little green pizzas.
February 13, 2013 by Scott Klepach
Through unrelenting perseverance, my husband and I (really, my husband — I’m the softy) have managed to get our son interested in broccoli. Our trick? We simply insist. There was no option: if those “little trees” were on his plate, he had to try them, even if just one bite.
But a tasty way to combine carbs (most kids love ’em) and veggies is with a dish my family calls “green spaghetti.” The recipe is super simple, and the results are delicious. Even if you hate your vegetables.
• 1 lb. spaghetti noodles (or as much as you need for your family)
• 1 cup olive oil
• 4-5 garlic cloves, chopped
• One head of broccoli, separated and chopped roughly.
• ½ head of cabbage, chopped
• salt and pepper, to taste
• 1 can garbanzo beans, drained
• ½ cup parmesan cheese
• red pepper flakes, to taste (These are hot so they are optional)
Directions: Boil noodles per package directions. When finished, drain and set aside. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-low heat in a large pan. Let the garlic infuse the oil, but be careful not to burn. After a few minutes, add broccoli and cabbage and cook until wilted and a little soft. Add salt and pepper. Stir and taste a floret or piece of cabbage to test for seasonings. Add garbanzo beans and stir until heated through. Mix noodles and vegetable mixture in pot, pan or bowl, then add parmesan and red pepper flakes. Enjoy!
Note: The “green” comes from the vegetables, and we use all sorts in this recipe. One of my favorite combinations is and fennel and garbanzo beans (pictured). I add a little lemon before serving. Delish!
February 2, 2011 by Scott Klepach
I’m always trying to find ways to change my spaghetti recipe, and I was delighted to find these two suggestions.
(courtesy of Darcy L. Thompson)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees
Mix the following:
1 ½ lbs. lean ground beef
2/3 cup white rice (DO NOT use instant rice)
½ cup water
1 tsp seasoning salt
1/8 tsp pepper
¼ cup onion flakes
Roll into 1- to 1 ½-inch round meatballs in a lightly sprayed 9×13 pan.
In mixing bowl, combine one large family size (26 oz.) can of tomato soup, 1-2 cans of Italian stewed tomatoes (crushed up and smooshed w/your hands) and one cup of water.
Pour tomato soup mixture over meatballs in pan and cover with foil.
Cook for 45 minutes to an hour. Sometimes it may take a little longer. Test the meatballs in the middle of the pan to make sure that the rice in the meatballs is thoroughly cooked. I serve ours over rice or with egg noodles.
After it’s all cooked, the rice pokes out of the meatballs, hence – porcupines!
Noemi K. recommends making octupus spaghetti:
“We make Octopus spaghetti. We cut hot dogs into fourths and then split the spaghetti noodle (dry) into two parts. Insert four of the split noodles in a piece of the hot dog. Boil in water until cooked. Spaghetti makes the legs and the hot dog is the body of the octopus.”
June 1, 2007 by Robin Beckett
from Laura Larson, Cubmaster for Cub Scouts Pack 266
1 package Lipton Chicken Noodle Soup mix
1 cup instant rice
1 can chicken meat
1 cup water
In a pot, bring water to boil. Add soup mix. Then add rice. Cover and cook for 5 minutes or until rice has cooked through. Add drained chicken meat. Heat through and serve.