December 2018

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Pumpkin Blondies

  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 1/2 cups light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 cups white chips
  1. In a medium sauce pan over medium heat, melt the butter and bring to a boil. Once the butter is boiling, continue cooking the butter while swirling the pan frequently to avoid burning. When the butter becomes a deep amber color, remove it from the heat and allow to cool for 20 minutes.
  2. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 9×13 pan with foil or parchment paper and coat with nonstick spray. Set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl combine the cooled butter and sugar. Using a wooden spoon or rubber spatula, stir to combine. Add in the pumpkin pie spice, vanilla, salt, baking powder, egg, and pumpkin and mix until smooth. Alternately you could do this with a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on the low setting.
  4. Evenly mix in the flour until incorporated.
  5. Stir in the white chips.
  6. Spread the batter evenly into the prepared pan. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until set in the middle.
  7. Allow the blondies to cool completely before slicing into bars.

November 2018

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Paradise Pumpkin Cheesecake







1 C graham cracker crumbs

1/2 C finely chopped nuts

1/4 C melted butter

1/2 tsp ginger

Cheese layer

8oz. cream cheese

1/4 C sugar

1/2 tsp vanilla

1 egg

Pumpkin layer

1, C of pumpkin ( cooked and pureed ) or 1- 16oz canned pumpkin

1,  5-oz. can evaporated milk

1/2 C sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp ginger

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1/2 tsp salt


1/3 C butter 

1 C brown sugar

1 C walnuts, chopped


Combine  all crust ingredients. Press into bottom of 9” springform pan. Combine all- cheese layer ingredients. Pour over crust. 

Combine all pumpkin layer ingredients. Pour over cream cheese layer.

Bake at 325 for 1- 1/2 hours or until set. 

Combine topping ingredients. Pour over top and put back in oven. Bake 5 to 10 min. Serves 16

October 2018

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Pumpkin Hummus

  • 1–2 cloves of garlic
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 can of chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed
  • 2/3 cup pumpkin purée (from fresh pumpkin or canned)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon salt or more
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh rosemary, mincedDIRECTIONS:1. Purée all ingredients except rosemary in a blender or food processor. Add more olive oil or water as necessary to achieve desired consistency. Stir in the rosemary at the end.2. Serve with pita bread, fresh vegetables, or tortilla chips.

September 2018

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Grilled Rosemary Pork Chops

  1. Whisk together the soy sauce, water, brown sugar, and rosemary in a bowl, and pour 1/2 of the marinade into a resealable plastic bag. Add the pork chops, coat with the marinade, squeeze out excess air, and seal the bag. Marinate in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours. Set the remaining marinade aside.
  2. Preheat an outdoor grill for medium heat, and lightly oil the grate. Remove the pork chops from the marinade, and shake off excess. Discard the remaining marinade.
  3. Place pork chops on the grill and cook until the pork is no longer pink in the center, brushing occasionally with the reserved marinade, 4 to 5 minutes on each side. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the center should read 145 degrees F

August 2018

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Classic Caprese Salad

    • 5 large heirloom tomatoes, sliced
    • 1/2 pound fresh mozzarella balls (about 2), drained and sliced
    • 1/2 bunch fresh basil leaves
    • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
    • 2 teaspoons dry white wine
    • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
    • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
    Alternating layers, arrange tomatoes, whole basil leaves and cheese on a plate. In a medium bowl, whisk together lemon juice and wine. Slowly whisk in oil. Season with salt and pepper. Drizzle over tomatoes and cheese and let sit for 10 minutes before serving.

July 2018

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Orzo Summer Salad

  • pound Orzo
  • 1/2bag baby spinach, roughly chopped
  • 3pieces scallions, finely chopped
  • 1pint grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2pound feta
  • 1lemon, juiced and zested
  • 1/4cup olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook orzo according to package instructions (approx. 7 minutes).
  2. While the orzo is cooking, roughly chop baby spinach and add to a large bowl.
  3. Juice and zest 1 large lemon and add 1/4 cup olive oil to a separate small bowl and whisk together.
  4. When orzo is done cooking, drain thoroughly and add to the large bowl, pouring over spinach leaves. {TIP: Adding the orzo while warm will slightly cook the spinach so you get softer, brighter spinach leaves}
  5. Pour the lemon-olive oil dressing over the orzo, crumble the feta and add the chopped green onions and halved grape tomatoes. Season generously with kosher salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Mix thoroughly and serve immediately or refrigerate until ready — this salad gets better with time as the orzo soaks up all the lemon and olive oil
  7. {TIP: Remove salad 15 minutes before serving if chilled to allow the olive oil to come back to room temperature.}

June 2018

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Apple Chicken Salad with Rosemary Pecans

• 2 tbsp butter

• 1 1/2 cups pecans

• 1 tsp seasoned salt

• 2 tbsp rosemary

• 2 tbsp olive oil

• 2 whole chicken breasts

• 4 sprigs fresh thyme

• 2 cups able cider

• 2 apples, cored / chipped

• 1 cup celery, chopped

• 1/3 cup raisins

• 1 cup mayonnaise


Preheat oven to 350 place butter on a  cookie sheet in the oven and allow to melt while preheating.

Remove pan from oven, spread pecans on butter sheet. Season w/ rosemary and seasoned salt. Bake 7 to 10 min.

Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large sauté pan  over medium heat . Place chicken in pan and sear. Add thyme and sauce 1 minute.

Pour apple cider, bring to a boil then turn heat to low and poach for at least 20 minutes

Remove chicen, turn heat to high and boil. Reduce liquid to 1/2 cup. consistency should thicken.

Mix shredded chicken , apples, celery, raisins, mayo, and apple cider reduction in a bowl. Enjoy!

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Zucchini Pie

• 3 cups of squash – sliced thin or coarse grated

• 1 cup bisquick

• 1/2 cup chopped onion

• 1/2 -1 cup grated cheese ( your choice )

• 2 Tsp parsely

• 1/2 Tsp pepper ( salt to taste )

• 1/2 cup canola or olive oil

• 4 eggs slightly beaten

mix all ingredients, Pour into a 13×9 glass dish or pan. Bake at 350 for 60 min til there is some golden browning on top.


May 2018

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Mint Julep



Place the mint leaves in the bottom of an old-fashioned glass and top with the sugar. Muddle these together until the leaves begin to break down. Add a splash of seltzer water, fill the glass 3/4 full with crushed ice, and add the bourbon. Top with another splash of seltzer, stir, and garnish with a sprig of mint. Serve immediately.

April  2018

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Arugula salad with Lemon-Parmesan Dressing






  • 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon peel
  • 4 cups (packed) baby arugula
  • 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes

Blend first 4 ingredients in processor. Season dressing with salt and pepper. Transfer to bowl. Cover; chill up to 3 days.

Combine arugula and tomatoes in large bowl. Toss with enough dressing to coat.

It makes a great side dish, but this salad is even better as a pizza topping. Brush the with olive oil, sprinkle it with sea salt and shredded mozzarella, then bake. When the pizza comes out of the oven, top it with the salad.

December  2017

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Roasted Brussel Sprouts, Cinnamon Butternut squash, Pecans, and Cranberries




Roasted Brussels Sprouts:
    • 3 cups Brussels sprouts, ends trimmed, yellow leaves removed
    • 3 tablespoons olive oil
    • Salt, to taste
Roasted Butternut Squash:
    • 1 and ½ pound butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cubed into 1-inch cubes (Yields about 4 cups of uncooked cubed butternut squash)
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 3 tablespoons maple syrup
    • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
Other Ingredients:
  • 2 cups pecan halves
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 2-4 tablespoons maple syrup (optional)
    1. Preheat oven to 400 F. Lightly grease the foil-lined baking sheet with 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
    2. Make sure Brussels sprouts have trimmed ends and yellow leaves are removed. Then, slice all Brussels sprouts in half. In a medium bowl, combine halved Brussels sprouts, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, salt (to taste), and toss to combine. Place onto a foil-lined baking sheet, cut side down, and roast in the oven at 400 F for about 20-25 minutes. During the last 5-10 minutes of roasting, turn them over for even browning, the cut sides should be nicely and partially charred but not blackened (see my photos).
Roasted butternut squash:
    1. Preheat oven to 400 F. Lightly grease the foil-lined baking sheet with 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
    2. In a medium bowl, combine cubed butternut squash (peeled and seeded),1 tablespoon of olive oil, maple syrup, and cinnamon, and toss to mix.
    3. Place butternut squash in a single layer on the baking sheet. Bake for 20-25 minutes, turning once half-way through baking, until softened.
    4. _Note:_You can roast both Brussels sprouts and butternut squash on 2 separate baking sheets at the same time, on the same rack in the oven – that’s what I did.
  1. In a large bowl, combine roasted Brussels sprouts, roasted butternut squash, pecans, and cranberries, and mix to combine. (OPTIONAL): For more sweetness, add 2 or 4 tablespoons of maple syrup, if desired – do not add all maple syrup at once, start with 2 tablespoons, then add more, if desired, and toss with the salad ingredients to combine.

November  2017

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Carmelized Butternut Squash





Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Cut off and discard the ends of each butternut squash. Peel the squash, cut them in half lengthwise, and remove the seeds. Cut the squash into 1 1/4 to 1 1/2-inch cubes and place them on a baking sheet. Add the melted butter, brown sugar, salt, and pepper. With clean hands, toss all the ingredients together and spread in a single layer on the baking sheet. Roast for 45 to 55 minutes, until the squash is tender and the glaze begins to caramelize. While roasting, turn the squash a few times with a spatula, to be sure it browns evenly. Taste for seasonings and serve hot.

October  2017


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Calico Corn Salsa




  • 1-1/2 cups frozen corn, thawed
  • 1 cup frozen peas, thawed
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/8 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 can (15 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 medium tomato, chopped
  • 1/3 cup chopped red onion
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
  • Baked tortilla chips
  • In a large bowl, combine the corn and peas. In a nonstick skillet, cook cumin and oregano in oil over medium heat for 2 minutes. Pour over corn mixture; stir to coat evenly. Stir in the beans, tomato and onion. In a small bowl, whisk the lime juice, mustard, garlic and salt. Stir in cilantro. Pour over corn mixture and stir to coat. Serve with tortilla chips. Refrigerate leftovers


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New England Pumpkin Soup





A 2 to 3-pound Sugar Pumpkin

4 tablespoons of Butter

1 clove of chopped garlic

1 small 3- inch onion sliced thinly and chopped

3 ½ cups of vegetable stock

1 tablespoon of lemon juice

1 teaspoon of ground Ginger

2 Bay leaves

Salt and Pepper to taste

1 ¼ cup of milk or cream



1Tablespoon of plain yogurt or heavy cream per bowl of soup

Thinly sliced foliage of Green onions or Chive foliage added when you serve


1} Clean your pumpkin, peel, remove seeds and pulp, cut pumpkin meat into 1- inch cubes.


2} Melt your butter in a medium size pan. Add your onions and garlic and cook on low heat until soft but not brown.


3} Add your cubed pumpkin meat and mix with your onion and garlic. Kook together for 3 to 5 minutes.


4} Add your vegetable stock and bring to a boil on medium heat. Season to your taste with salt and Pepper. Add your ginger, lemon juice, and Bay leaf. Cover and simmer over a low heat for 20 minutes, until the pumpkin is tender and soft.


5} Remove the Bay leaves and cool slightly. Process in Food processor or insertion mixer until smooth. Pour into a clean pot.


6} Add the 1 ¼ cups of milk or cream, blend with a wooden spoon and reheat gently until hot. Pour into bowls, swirl with 1 mounded tablespoon of your yogurt or heavy cream. Sprinkle with chives or green onions and serve. If you have a large crowd you can double or triple this recipe. Serve with a nice piece of crusty bread for dipping. Enjoy!



September  2017

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Tomato-Phyllo Tart

  • 5 tablespoons olive oil
  • 7 sheets phyllo dough, thawed if frozen
  • 8 plum tomatoes, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup crumbled feta
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 375°F. Brush a rimmed baking sheet with olive oil. Unroll phyllo sheets and cover with a clean kitchen towel. Place a sheet of phyllo on baking sheet and lightly brush entire surface with olive oil. (It won’t matter if phyllo tears slightly.) Top with a second sheet of phyllo, keeping remaining sheets covered, and brush with olive oil. Repeat stacking and brushing until all phyllo has been used. Reserve any extra oil.

Arrange tomato slices decoratively on phyllo in a single layer, leaving a 1/4-inch border on all sides. Sprinkle feta over the top, then sprinkle with thyme and rosemary and season with salt and pepper. Drizzle any remaining olive oil over top.

Bake tart until edges are golden brown and phyllo is crisp, about 30 minutes. Let tart cool in pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board, cut into 12 squares and serve warm


August  2017

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Slow Cooker Pumpkin -Blueberry Bread





  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1½ cups sugar
  • ¾ cup canned pumpkin
  • ½ cup half-and-half
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus 1 tbsp
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1½ tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¾ cup fresh blueberries
  • ½ cup chopped pecans


1. Coat a 4–quart oval slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray. Line the bottom and sides with parchment paper.

2. In a medium bowl, combine eggs, sugar, pumpkin, half-and-half and vegetable oil.

3. In a large bowl, stir together 2 cups of flour, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice and salt.

4. Add pumpkin mixture into flour mixture. Stir until combined. Toss in blueberries with 1 tablespoon flour; fold into batter.

5. Spoon into slow cooker and sprinkle with pecans.

6. Cover and cook on high setting for 2–2.5 hours. Turn off slow cooker and carefully remove the lid so the condensation from lid does not drip onto bread. Let cool (about 30 minutes), and enjoy!

July 2017

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Turkey Meatloaf with Fresh Thyme

Pre-heat oven to 325

Olive oil for sautéing
2 medium sweet onions chopped up
3 tablespoons fresh thyme (pull the little leaves off of the woody stems)
3-4 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
4 tablespoons ketchup (we use Heinz Simply Ketchup)
2 LBs lean ground turkey meat
1/2 cup plain bread crumbs
1/4 cup fresh parmesan cheese
1 large egg beaten
Ketchup for topping.

Heat the olive oil on low/medium in a medium sauté/frying pan and add the chopped onions.  Sauté until slightly translucent. *Hint* In our house we always start the onions with a few tablespoons of olive oil but usually use a little water if they start sticking to the pan to cut down on the amount of oil we use.  After the onions have been sautéed for a few minutes, add the Worcestershire sauce, 4 tablespoons of ketchup and the fresh thyme leaves and cook for about 5 minutes.  Pull the pan off of the stove and let cool.

Line a large cookie sheet (with sides) or a Pyrex cooking dish with a sheet of tin foil for easy clean-up later.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the ground turkey, bread crumbs, parmesan cheese, egg and cooled onion mixture.  Make sure to take off any rings you have on because we are about to get messy! Using your hands, mix all ingredients together.  Once everything is mixed, form a “loaf” on the cookie sheet.  Grab your ketchup bottle and pour a generous amount of ketchup over the top of the “loaf”.  Using a spoon, spread the ketchup evenly across the top.

Slide your cooking sheet into the oven (middle shelf if you can) and let it bake for about an hour or until the internal temperature of the center of the meatloaf reaches 165.

Not only does this make a great dinner, but even better is leftovers on a sandwich for lunch the next day!

Dig in!


June 2017


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Strawberry Buckle


Preheat the oven to 375

1/2 cup Smart Balance spread or other vegetable spread
1/2 cup white sugar
1 egg
2 cups flour
21/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup French vanilla yogurt (we use stony fields farm)
2 pints strawberries cut up

1/2 cup+ sugar
1/2 cup + flour
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup smart balance or other spread

Cream together 1/2 cup smart balance, 1/2 cup sugar, egg, 21/2 teaspoons baking powder. Stir in flour and yogurt a little at a time. Spread batter into a 9×12 Pyrex style pan and sprinkle strawberries over the top. In a separate bowl, combine softened 1/2 cup smart balance 1/2 cup + of sugar and 1/2 cup flour. Add cinnamon.

Bake at 375 degrees for 1 hour and 15 minutes.

** hint place a baking sheet under the pan in case the strawberry juice bubbles over.

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The Real Mojito



10 fresh Van Wilgen Grown Mojito mint leaves

1/2 lime, cut into 4 wedges

2 tablespoons white sugar, or to taste

1 cup ice cubes

1 1/2 fluid ounces white rum

1/2 cup club soda


  1. Place mint leaves and 1 lime wedge into a sturdy glass. Use a muddler to crush the mint and lime to release the mint oils and lime juice. Add 2 more lime wedges and the sugar, and muddle again to release the lime juice. Do not strain the mixture. Fill the glass almost to the top with ice. Pour the rum over the ice, and fill the glass with carbonated water. Stir, taste, and add more sugar if desired. Garnish with the remaining lime wedge.
  2. Enjoy!


May 2017

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Balsamic Strawberry Asparagus





  • 1 pound asparagus, ends trimmed
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 20 medium strawberries, sliced
  • 10 leaves basil, chopped
  • Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 400◦.

Place asparagus on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil.

Roast asparagus for 8-10 minutes, until just tender.

Boil. While the asparagus is roasting, boil the balsamic vinegar until reduced to about ¼ cup.

Serve and divide asparagus amongst plates and top with sliced berries, basil, and salt and pepper. Use a spoon to drizzle each serving of asparagus with the balsamic syrup and serve!


April 2017

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Strawberry Muffins

John Franke

  • 2 ½ cups fresh strawberries, sliced and slightly mashed
  • 3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 1 ¼ cups canola or coconut oil

Preheat oven to 425◦.

Combine dry ingredients in large mixing bowl. Combine eggs and oil in a separate small mixing bowl.

Mix the strawberries into egg mixture.

Blend in flour mixture until thoroughly combined.

Spoon into greased muffin tins until nearly full.

Bake at 425◦ for 5 minutes. After that, reduce heat to 350◦ and bake an additional 15-19 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.


March 2017

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Gluten Free Lemon Bars

John Franke

Gluten Free Lemon Bars


For the crust:


1/2 Cup of butter or margarine, melted

1/2 Cup of Gluten Free Flour, such as Cup4Cup

1/2 Cup Almond Flour

1/4 Cup Powdered Sugar


For the filling:


1 Cup of Sugar

2 Meyer Lemons, juiced

2 Eggs

3/4 Tsp Baking Powder

1 Tsp Lemon Zest 

Pinch of Salt, optional

Powdered Sugar or Sugar Substitute, such as Splenda, optional


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly grease an 8×8 inch pan.


In a microwavable 2 quart bowl, melt butter or margarine for 30 seconds.

Add flours and powdered sugar to combine.  Press into prepared pan.

Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until mixture begins to brown around the edges. Remove from oven and cool for 5 minutes.


With the same bowl, no need to clean it, add the juice of lemons and lemon zest. With a whisk or spatula, add sugar to combine.  Add eggs, stirring to combine.  Add baking powder and salt.  Pour filling over the warm crust and return to the oven for 25 minutes.  Filling will rise slightly and begin to brown when done.


Remove from oven and cool for 30 minutes.  Dust bars with powdered sugar or sugar substitute.  Slice bars into diamonds.  Store bars refrigerated for up to three days.


For traditional Lemon Bars, substitute Gluten Free flour and almond flour with all purpose flour.


January 2017

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Sprout Salad

Alan Eddy

Sprouts are a crop that you can grow organically in your kitchen all winter long.  Sprout kits are available in the Van Wilgen’s store (North Branford location).  Select your favorite seeds or beans for sprouting according to the kit instructions.

The first step in making the salad is to make your favorite vinagrette dressing, or as follows:  mix one part balsamic or wine vinegar, one part water, and two parts olive oil.  Add garlic powder and black pepper (fresh from a grinder or cracked pepper out of a shaker).  Shake well and shake again immediately before using.

The next step is to take a head of organic Romaine lettuce, cut off one inch from the stem end, and submerge in cold water in a large bowl for ten minutes.  Drain the lettuce and tear it into one or two inch pieces.  Spin in a salad spinner and store in a one gallon clear zipper-lock plastic bag in the fridge.

Take a fresh batch of sprouts from your sprouter, rinse them in cold water, and marinate them in the vinaigrette for twenty minutes.  Put the Romaine lettuce in a bowl and put the marinated sprouts on top.  Then add whatever you want to complete the salad.  If you put in chunks of cucumber, cubes of tofu, or slices of radish, marinate those in the vinaigrette as well.

Be creative.


December 2016

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Lemon Rosemary Button Shortbread

Gina Amoroso 




2 cups flour
1 cup cold unsalted butter, cubed
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
Zest of 2 lemons, divided
1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
32 small fresh rosemary sprigs

1. Preheat oven to 325°. Put flour, butter, granulated sugar, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer. Add the zest of 1 lemon and rosemary. Mix on low speed, then increase to medium and mix until dough is no longer crumbly and just comes together.

2. Form dough into a disk and chill 30 minutes. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out dough until 1/2 in. thick. Cut dough into circles with a 1 1/2-in. cookie cutter. Reroll scraps as needed. Arrange on baking sheets 1 in. apart and chill 15 minutes.

3. Bake until light golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes.

4. Mix powdered sugar, lemon juice, and the remaining zest until smooth. Spoon 1/2 tsp. glaze over each cooled cookie, spreading with the back of the spoon; then press 1 rosemary sprig into center of each cookie.


November 2016

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 Turkey & Green Apple Salad

Gina Amoroso 





  • ¼ c. fresh mint
  • 1 small shallot
  • Juice of 1/2 large lemon (about 2 tablespoons)
  • 2 tbsp. gin
  • 1 tbsp. Honey
  • ¾ c. canola oil
  • 1 lb. leftover turkey
  • 2 large Granny Smith apples
  • 2 green onions
  • 6 tbsp. chopped pistachios
  • 5 oz. mixed green salad greens

  1. To make dressing: In a food processor, pulse together mint, shallot, lemon juice, gin, and honey until shallot is minced. With food processor still running, slowly drizzle in oil.
  2. In a medium bowl, toss turkey, apples, green onions, 4 tablespoons pistachios, and 1/2 cup dressing to combine.
  3. Divide greens evenly among plates. Drizzle with remaining dressing and top each salad with about 1 cup turkey-apple mixture. Garnish with remaining pistachios.



October 2016

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Connecticut Yankee Apple Chutney

Alan Eddy




This recipe is designed to be prepared fresh for a meal or made ahead and kept in the freezer.  It will keep in the refrigerator about 3 days.

Serve it with roast turkey or chicken, turkey ham, pot roast, lamb, wild game, or vegetarian dishes such as tofu with curry, quinoa salad, or root vegetable stew.

Use homegrown apples of the following Van Wilgen’s varieties:  Granny Smith or McIntosh.

(Our online partner Bower & Branch has 18 varieties of apple trees:  to place an order, speak to any Tree & Shrub or Perennials staff person.)

Alternatively, purchase local apples such as Paula Red, Opalescent, Jonagold, Baldwin, Melrose, Cortland, Pink Lady, or Ida Red.

Combine the first 8 ingredients (A1 – A8) in a large pot and cook on the stove until the onions are transparent.  Then add the 5 remaining ingredients (B1 – B5).  Stir, cook a little longer until apples are soft but not mushy, and serve at room temperature (or hot or cold as you wish).

A1.  Cider vinegar, ½ cup
A2.  Cranberry juice, ¾ cup
A3.  Dark brown sugar, ¼ cup
A4.  White onions, 2 small, peeled and chopped
A5.  Green pepper, 1, chopped
A6.  Soy sauce, 2 tbsp
A7.  Allspice, ground, 2 tsp
A8.  Ginger, ground, 2 tsp
B1.  Raisins, ½ cup
B2.  Dried currants, 1 cup
B3.  Zest of one lemon (grated lemon peel)
B4.  Dried cranberries, ½ cup
B5.  Apples, 5, cut into 1-inch chunks but not peeled




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Crock Pot Butternut Squash Chilli

Elaine Blackstone




1 Butternut Squash, peeled and cubed

1 lb ground beef

1 c. chopped onion

3 c. chopped tomato

2 TBS tomato paste

1 1/2 tsp ground oregano

1 1/2 tsp ground cumin

1 1/2 tsp chilli powder

1/2 tsp salt

2 garlic cloves

1 can beef broth

1 can kidney beans

Add all ingredients to crock pot, cook on low setting all day. Stir  to combine ingredients , serve hot with warm bread.





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Sweet Hubbard Squash Pie

Elaine Blackstone





hubbard sq2 1/2 pounds hubbard squash –

cut into chunks and seeds removed

1/2 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar

3 large eggs

1/2 cup heavy cream

1 1/2 teaspoons apple pie spice

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons salted butter, softened

1 (9 inch) unbaked pie crust

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).

Line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil. Arrange squash on lined baking sheet.

Roast in preheated oven until the skin is browned and flesh is tender, about 45 minutes; allow to cool before handling. Remove flesh from squash using a spoon.

Reduce temperature setting on oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).

Place 2 cups of squash in a food processor and process until smooth. Add the brown sugar, eggs, cream, apple pie spice, salt, and butter; process until smooth.

Pour the squash mixture into the pie crust. Bake until the filling rises, about 1 hour


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Butternut Squash Soup

Gina Amoroso





  • 3 medium shallots, chopped
  • 2 cloves of roasted garlic
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 butternut squash, peeled and chopped, seeds discarded.
  • 1 tart green apple, peeled, cored, chopped
  • 1 can light Coconut Milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • Pinches of curry, cayenne, salt and pepper


Place chopped butternut squash on sheet pan, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cover with tin foil. Roast in oven at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes or until tender.

Place shallots, salt and pepper in a medium stock pot and cook on medium heat until they are translucent. Add butternut squash, apple, and garlic. Stir until combined.

Add coconut milk, and water. Let simmer and add curry and cayenne. In about 15 minutes use an immersion blender to smooth out stock.




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Pumpkin Cake

Trevor Hicks




2 cups of honey

1 cup of oil

2 cups of pumpkin ( canned is ok)

4 eggs, lightly beaten

3 cups of whole wheat flour

2 tbsp cinnamon

3 tsp baking powder

2 tsp baking soda

2 tsp almond extract

1tsp salt

1 cup chopped nuts

1 cup raisins ( or chocolate chips )

Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl. Pour into a well greased bunt pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 1hr 25min.




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Apple Pie in a Paper Bag 

Jason Scire





6-7 cups of peeled, sliced apples
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 cup softened butter
Unbaked 9 inch pie shell
Brown paper bag
Paper Clips


Preheat oven: 425 degrees
Peel and slice apples
Combine apples, 1/2 cup sugar and 2 tablespoons of flour
Add nutmeg and toss well
Turn into pie shell and sprinkle with lemon juice
Combine remaining 1/2 cup flour with remaining 1/2 cup sugar, rub in butter.


sprinkle this mixture evenly over the apples


Place pie in large, heavy paper bag.
Fold end over twice and fasten with paper clips
Place on cookie sheet
Bake for 1 hour
Split bag open, and remove to cool


* Paper bag ensures a perfect bake, ENJOY!

September 2016

Recipe IconCharred Peppers with Creamy Sriracha Sauce 

Gina Amoroso





Peppers ( your choice ) I used Shishito Peppers

1 1/2 tbs olive oil

1/2  teaspoon of sesame oil

a few lemon wedges

generous amount of coarse sea salt

Ingredients for Sauce: 

3 tbs of greek yogurt

1 tbs of rice vinegar

1-2 tbs  of Sriracha


In a bowl mix peppers with olive oil and sesame oil and coat well

Arrange the peppers on a pan or seasoned cast iron skillet, place on the top shelf of the oven at 35o degreees

Once they are charred on top , remove pan or skillet and flip peppers over and place back in the oven for another minute or two until charred on 2nd side.

Remove from oven, sprinkle with sea salt and fresh lemon

For Sauce: 

Combine yogurt, Sriracha and rice vinegar in bowl. Mix well, add a dash of salt and pepper.



Recipe IconBaby Key Lime Pies 

Darlene Pastet 





What’s better than key lime pie? LITTLE BABY key lime pies!




  • 1 and 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (about 10 graham crackers)
  • 6 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar


  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • one 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/2 cup key lime juice, squeezed fresh from your fresh picked citrus.


Preheat the oven to 350°F…. Line muffin pans with liners and set aside.

Make the crust.

  1. If you’re starting out with full-sheet graham crackers, you can use a food processor or blender to grind them up. Or crush them in a zipped top bag with a rolling pin. Mix the graham cracker crumbs, melted butter, and granulated sugar together with a rubber spatula in a medium bowl until combined. The mixture will be thick, coarse, and sandy. Press a heaping Tablespoon of mixture down into each liner, making sure the crust is tight and compact.
  2. Pre-bake the crusts for 5 minutes. Remove from the oven.

     Make the filling: 

.. In a large bowl using a handheld or stand mixer , beat the cream cheese on high speed until smooth, about 1 minute. On medium-high speed, beat in the egg yolks, scraping down the sides as needed. On high speed, beat in the sweetened condensed milk and lime juice until combined. Pour the filling evenly into each crust. Bake for 15-16 minutes or until the centers of the pies only slightly wiggle. Allow the pies to cool at room temperature in the pan set on a wire rack. Once completely cool, place the pan in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours and up to 1 day.

.. I like to add fresh whipped cream to the top of each one just before serving.

As a side note these freeze well for approx..2 to 3 months.

.. yield 16 mini tarts

.. prep time approx. 30 min

.. total time 3 hours includes chilling time.


August 2016

Recipe IconFresh Strawberry Cobbler

Elaine Blackstone 





  • 3 cups fresh strawberries, diced
  • ½-3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 cup milk
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 stick butter, melted

Preheat oven to 375.

In a medium bowl, add strawberries and ¾ cup sugar.

Stir to coat strawberries in sugar and set aside.

In a large bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and sugar.

Add in milk, vanilla extract and melted butter.

Stir until combined. A few lumps are ok.

Grease a 9-inch casserole dish.

Pour batter evenly into dish.

Spoon strawberries evenly on top of batter. Do NOT stir.

Baked for 35-40 minutes or until golden.

Serve warm or cold.

Even though the strawberries were already sweet I was glad I added in the full amount of sugar. Strawberries can have a slightly bitter taste so it was perfect.


Any kind of berry can be used.

Be careful not to over stir batter too much. A few lumps is best.

Feel free to cut down on the sugar.


Recipe Icon Pesto 

Jill Chambers





½ cup of fresh basil-firmly packed

¼ cup snipped fresh parsley

¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese

2 Tablespoons pine nuts (could also use chopped walnuts or pecans)

1 clove of garlic, halved

2 Tablespoons olive oil

2 Tablespoons butter, softened

Salt & pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in food processor, until smooth.

Can spread on cooked fish, chicken, baguettes, tossed with pasta, etc.

Can be stored in tightly sealed container 1-2 weeks or frozen up to 6 months.


Recipe Icon


Jill Chambers 





½ hr. -45 min.

1 zucchini

2 med onions

1 eggplant

1 squash

2-3 peppers

2-4 tomatoes

2 cloves of Garlic-chopped or minced

Cube all veggies & place in a large skillet with 2-3 Tablespoons of olive oil.

Season with salt & pepper, a shake or two of red pepper flakes & oregano

2-3 Tablespoons of Marjoram

2-3 Tablespoons of Basil, (or fresh if you have it)

1 Bay leaf

Cook med-low heat till veggies get soft then add ¼-½ cup of red wine and simmer for the remainder of time or until desired consistency. You can add more wine if needed


Recipe Icon

Linguini with Fresh Tomato Sauce

Elaine Blackstone







Makes 6 servings

4 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons minced garlic

3 pounds very ripe tomatoes, chopped, liquid reserved

1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh basil

3 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1 pound linguine

Freshly grated Parmesan Cheese

Heat 1 tbsp oil in heavy small skillet over medium-low heat. Add garlic and stir 3 minutes: do not brown. Transfer to large non-aluminum bowl. Mix tomatoes and liquid, remaining 3 tbsp oil, basil and vinegar. Season with salt and pepper. Let stand 6 hours.

Just before serving, cook linguine in large amount of boiling salted water until just tender but still firm to bite. Drain well: transfer to large bowl. Add olive oil and toss well. Add sauce and toss again. Add Parmesan Cheese.



Recipe IconRoasted Cherry Tomato Sauce

Kate Van Wilgen 





Tom sauce

4 Cups of Cherry Tomatoes
3-4 Medium Cloves of Garlic
5-6 Fresh Basil leaves
3 Tablespoons of Olive oil
¼ Teaspoon of Salt
Sheet pans
Tinfoil/parchment paper
Blender or food processor
Wash tomatoes, rinse basil and peel 3-4 garlic cloves (per baking sheet).

Line a baking sheet or pyrex dish with foil/parchment paper.  Lay tomatoes in a single layer over baking sheet.  Place whole, peeled garlic cloves in the plan with the tomatoes.  Lay 5-6 basil leaves over the tomatoes and drizzle with 3 tablespoons of olive oil.  Sprinkle with salt.  Bake in pre heated oven at 325 until tomatoes are wrinkly- about 50 minutes. Carefully scoop up tomatoes, garlic and basil into a food processor or blender.  Pulse tomato mixture until desired consistency.  Enjoy with your favorite fresh pasta or if your like me a hunk of fresh bread for dipping is just delicious!