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Fall Recipes: Butternut Squash, Apple and Sage Soup

English: Cucurbita pepo (butternut squash). Lo...

English: Cucurbita pepo (butternut squash). Location: Maui, Foodland Pukalani (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Butternut Squash, Apple and Sage Soup

Nothing says fall like a pot of soup on the stove, and soup made with the best of autumn’s ingredients says it even louder.  This recipe puts it all together with ease and a dash of pizzazz.
Place 2 butternut squash (about 4 pounds), halved and seeded, in a 425˚ oven.  Sprinkle with 8-10 chopped sage leaves and salt and pepper, dot with 2 tablespoons butter and roast for 1 hour.  After cooling the squash scrape out the flesh and set aside.

In a large sauce pot heat 2 tablespoons olive oil and sauté one small chopped onion until tender.  Add squash, 4 cups chicken stock, 1 cup apple cider, 1 tablespoon brown sugar, 3 dashes Worcestershire sauce, pinch nutmeg and ⅛ teaspoon red pepper flakes.  Season with salt and pepper and simmer for 30 minutes.

Puree cooked mixture in the pot with an immersion blender, or if you don’t have one, use a regular blender then return to the pot.  Reheat the soup and season with salt and pepper to taste, then just before serving stir in ½ cup heavy cream. Top individual servings with peeled, diced apple, or a dollop of sour cream.

This recipe serves 8 as a side dish with grilled German sausage over sautéed green cabbage and sliced red peppers.  Delicious comfort!


Servin’ it Up for Summer

A 1-liter glass bottle and bowl Bertolli brand...

A 1-liter glass bottle and bowl Bertolli brand Riserva Premium extra virgin olive oil. Olive oil from Italy, Greece, Spain, and Tunisia, and bottled and packed in Italy. Olive oil purchased in a Stow, Ohio store. Photographed in Kent, Ohio, United States. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For an easy, summer meal, do it all on the grill, including corn on the cob, roasted peppers and asparagus, savory pork loin and summer peaches with cream.

Shuck four ears of corn and clear away the straggling silk by twisting each cob in a paper towel with both hands.  Combine one teaspoon garlic salt and one quarter cup extra virgin olive oil, brush each ear thoroughly with oil mixture and wrap individually in foil.

Wash and slice a large red sweet pepper in strips, about one half inch wide and cut two large bunches asparagus down to the tender part of the stem (about four inches long).  Place veggies in large bowl and toss in two tablespoons of olive oil, two teaspoons dried basil, one teaspoon salt and a shake of course ground pepper.  Wrap in foil, allowing veggies to lie in a flat formation, stacked no more than two high.  Peel and slice five ripe peaches and toss in a mixture of one fourth cup honey and two tablespoons lime juice.  Wrap in foil for later.

Rub pork loin with one tablespoon minced garlic, one half teaspoon sea salt, shake of course ground pepper and two teaspoons ground oregano.  Wrap in foil and place immediately on hot grill along with the corn.  Your pork loin should cook to a temperature of 135 degrees, or for about fifteen minutes.  The corn will take the same amount of time.  After they have cooked for seven minutes add package of veggies to the grill. While they grill turn each of the packages at least twice.  Just before removing everything from the grill, unwrap pork loin and let it cook on all sides for about 30 seconds.

After removing other foods from the grill, while you’re serving, put peaches on the grill.  Leave for about seven minutes.  Serve warm peaches in bowls with a splash of cream.

Quick, easy, healthy, delicious!

Dinner Done Right

Shepherd’s Pie is a traditional dish from the British Isles, loved for its deep meaty flavor and hearty textures.  It is easy to make and a dish that will immediately move you to the top of the list of genius cooks.

Brown 3 pounds of steak (your favorite cut), thinly sliced into bite sizes, one large chopped onion and two cloves of minced garlic in enough olive oil to cover the bottom of the skillet, sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper.  When the onions are tender and the meat browned on all sides add one quarter cup Worcestershire sauce, 2 cups of Swanson’s Beef Broth (it is less salty than other brands) one bottle of your favorite dark ale, and three to four carrots sliced.  Bring to a boil and reduce heat to simmer.  After twenty minutes add one bag of petit frozen peas and continue to simmer. 

While the beef mixture simmers, cut six large peeled red or gold potatoes into bite sized pieces and place in a pan of salted water on high heat.  When the potatoes boil turn down, but let the water continue to boil for fifteen minutes, or until the potatoes are fork tender.   Drain the potatoes thoroughly in a colander so that they are dry.  Return to pan, add six tablespoons of sliced butter, garlic salt and coarse ground pepper to taste, two teaspoons of ground sage and one third cup heated half and half.  Mash potatoes until creamy and spices are incorporated.

When the beef has simmered for one half hour and the liquid has reduced by about a third, transfer to oblong glass pan.  Sprinkle mixture with two tablespoons of flour, spread mashed potatoes over the top and sprinkle with one half cup of shredded cheddar cheese.  Bake pie in a 350 degree oven for fifteen minutes, or until cheese is melted and bubbly.

Serve immediately from oven with a green salad or sliced tomatoes.  When you receive rave reviews, be humble and say it was just something you threw together.

Football Sunday CHILI!!

Boilermaker Tailgate Chili


  • 2 pounds ground beef chuck
  • 1 pound bulk Italian sausage
  • 3 (15 ounce) cans chili beans, drained
  • 1 (15 ounce) can chili beans in spicy sauce
  • 2 (28 ounce) cans diced tomatoes with juice
  • 1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 2 green chile peppers, seeded and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon bacon bits
  • 4 cubes beef bouillon
  • 1/2 cup beer
  • 1/4 cup chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons hot pepper sauce (e.g. Tabasco™)
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon white sugar
  • 1 (10.5 ounce) bag corn chips such as Fritos®
  • 1 (8 ounce) package shredded Cheddar cheese


  1. Heat a large stock pot over medium-high heat. Crumble the ground chuck and sausage into the hot pan, and cook until evenly browned. Drain off excess grease.
  2. Pour in the chili beans, spicy chili beans, diced tomatoes and tomato paste. Add the onion, celery, green and red bell peppers, chile peppers, bacon bits, bouillon, and beer. Season with chili powder, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, oregano, cumin, hot pepper sauce, basil, salt, pepper, cayenne, paprika, and sugar. Stir to blend, then cover and simmer over low heat for at least 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
  3. After 2 hours, taste, and adjust salt, pepper, and chili powder if necessary. The longer the chili simmers, the better it will taste. Remove from heat and serve, or refrigerate, and serve the next day.
  4. To serve, ladle into bowls, and top with corn chips and shredded Cheddar cheese.

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