Category Archives: Recipes: Main Dishes

Thanksgiving Yum’s

I’m going to be taking a (much-needed) vacation this week – from work & my blog.  Since it is Thanksgiving week, here are some recommendations for Thanksgiving dishes, if you’re still in search…

Appetizers & pre-meal snacks:

The key is to serve appetizers that won’t be too heavy & spoil everyone’s appetite for the main meal!

The Stir gave some great ideas on their website for 5 Simple Thanksgiving Appetizers using seasonal ingredients: Recipes

Blue Cheese and Walnut Spread from Martha Stewart

Fruit Gobbler from FamilyFun

Side Dishes:

Caramelized Sweet Potato, Beet & Goat Cheese from the TravelBite

7 Layer Side I made last Thanksgiving
(green bean casserole, gravy, mashed potatoes, candied pecans, sweet potato, Copes Corn, Stuffing)


Turkey Cupcakes I made last Thanksgiving

Double Layer Pumpkin Cheesecake

Turtle Pumpkin Cheesecake by cbsop


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Fall Harvest Pizza…3 Cheese Butternut Squash Pizza

I made this pizza about a month ago, so I apologize for the delay.  It was absolutely delicious & highly recommended. 

Ingredients: Organic pizza dough, red onion, apple, mozzarella, gorgonzola, cheddar, olive oil, garlic, butternut squash & spices.

You’ll need: a pizza stone or round baking sheet.

Cook time: 25 min (butternut squash) + 5 min (cool time)+ 10-15 min (pizza cook time) = 40-45 min


Slice butternut squash length-wise, rub a little butter and brown sugar, then place on a baking sheet in a 400 degree (F) oven for 25 minutes. 

While butternut squash is cooking, prep the rest of the ingredients:

Slice 1/4 of a red onion and saute in a hot pan with a little olive oil, until just about fully cooked (still slightly hard).

Grate 1/4 cup mozzarella cheese.

Grate 1/4 cup cheddar cheese.

Chop up 1/2 an apple.

Remove butternut squash from oven & allow to cool for a little bit (put in fridge to speed up the cooling time).  Once cool enough to touch, chop up 1/2 into good sized chunks (remove skin).

Heat oven to 425 degrees F.

Roll out the dough on some flour & a little cornmeal, to about an 3/4 inch thick.  

Crush a clove of garlic in a couple tablespoons of olive oil with some basil (dried), oregano, salt & pepper.  

Brush the olive oil mixture over the entire crust.

Evenly spread the ingredients on the dough.

Place pizza in oven for 10-15 minutes, until dough a golden brown & cheese melted.


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Pumpkins, pumpkins…everywhere!

Blame it on the Autumn leaves falling or the pumpkin displays in front of the stores around town – I have been on a major pumpkin kick lately!  I even went out on a mission yesterday afternoon to find a pumpkin cupcake…thankfully I found a delicious one at New Moon Cafe!  Unfortunately, this didn’t fully fulfill my pumpkin craving, so I have collected a few creative pumpkin recipes to try.  

Click on the photos for the recipe


Pumpkin Pie Dip by Sugar & Spice & Frugal Advice

Fried Pumpkin Ravioli by The Hip Hostess

Roasted Pumpkin on a stick
(drizzle oil, sprinkle herbs & bake in 350 oven 30-40 min)


Roasted Pumpkin Salad from ExclusivelyFood

Thai Pumpkin Satay from CooksRecipes

Savory Pumpkin Tart with Aged Cheddar by CooksRecipes

Roasted Pumpkin Whole Wheat Pizza by LaDue & Crew


Pumpkin Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting from The Yuca Diaries

Pumpkin Pie Cookie Bites by AndreasRecipes

Mini Pumpkin Tarts by FamilyFun

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Quick Meals…Vegetarian Stir-Fry

I had a bunch of leftover veggies in the fridge from my CSA, so I decided to throw them into a stir-fry (along w/a few other items).  Turned out delicious.

Ingredients: (for 4) snap peas, 1 (large or 2 small) yellow squash, 1 (large) zucchini,  1/2 onion, 1/2 can water chestnuts, soy sauce, Soy Vay’s Veri Veri Teriyaki (or any Teriyaki sauce) & 4 cups rice.  Optional items I threw in: nuts (crushed), chives & 1 package Seitan.


Cook time: approx 25-30 minutes.

Cook the rice in a rice cooker or on the stovetop per directions while you cook up the stir-fry ingredients.

1. Wash & chop up the squash, onion & zucchini

2. Wash & snap ends off of snap peas

3. Chop up the Seitan

4. Wash & chop chives into little pieces

5. In a little bit of oil (sesame or olive oil) cook the veggies up for a few minutes in a wok or large pan on medium-high heat

6. Add in the Seitan, water chestnuts & chives to the pan/wok

7. A minute later, add in the snap peas

8. Add in about a tablespoon of soy sauce

I love this Teriyaki sauce- made by Soy Vey (company started by a Chinese-Jewish couple)!  

9. Pour in some of the Teriyaki sauce (to taste)

10. Add in about 1/4 a cup of nuts (optional).

Once the veggies have been cooked (don’t over-cook, they should still have a slight crispness to them), serve warm over rice.

Yum yum!

Was even yummy for lunch re-heated the next day – a great leftovers meal!!

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Recipes… Parmesan risotto, asparagus, chicken & walnuts

This recipe is very similar to my post on 7/12/11, except I changed a couple of the ingredients- fiddleheads are no longer in season & I was curious what flavor walnuts might add.

Ingredients (4-6 servings):  1 clove garlic, approx 1/2 cup walnuts, a chunk of parmesan cheese, 2 chicken breasts, box of parmesan risotto, chicken broth, 1/2 onion, butter & asparagus

Directions (about 30-35 minutes):

Follow directions on the box on how to make the parmesan risotto.  I change the water requirement to 1/2 chicken broth & 1 1/4 cups water, but that’s just a recommendation for added flavoring.  I also typically add a little parmesan cheese, too.

Wash, trim, cut and steam your asparagus.

Dice 1/2 an onion, put into pan with a little butter.

Wash, chop & your chicken.
Add the chicken to the onion in a little chicken broth and butter, add a clove of garlic and some herbs to taste.

Put on low and cover the chicken for a couple minutes, until cooked through.

Put the walnuts in a bag and crush them into pieces with a mallet or anything hard in your kitchen!

Toss the walnuts in a pan with some butter & lightly toast.
NOTE: You can also toast them in the oven for a few minutes at 350 for better flavor… 

Add the cooked chicken & onions to the (fully cooked) parmesan risotto, mix.

Mix in the toasted walnuts & asparagus.

Grate a little fresh parmesan on top & serve hot.  A great side or main dish!

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Recipes…Fiddlehead and asparagus parmesan risotto

I apologize for not posting this recipe sooner, when fiddleheads were in season (early June)!  Our first drop-off of CSA (community supported agriculture) included: fiddleheads, asparagus, lettuce & radishes.  I had never cooked fiddleheads before, so I called my mom to see how to cook them & then searched around for a recipe that they would be good in.  I couldn’t find one, so I (naturally) made one up!


What I came up with: sautéed fiddleheads, steamed asparagus & toasted pine nuts in parmesan risotto!


Asparagus (about a handful), 0.08 lb pine nuts, box parmesan risotto, olive oil (for the risotto), approx 1 cup fiddleheads, 1/2 an onion, butter, chicken (or vegetable) stock, 1 clove garlic & a little chunk of parmesan (for flavor/accent).

(Cook time approx 30-35 minutes) 


Cook the risotto per the instructions on the box…note my slight change below to the liquids, though.

Per instructions, toast the risotto in a little olive oil.

I added 1/2 cup chicken broth for added flavor & then cut down the water to 1 3/4 cups, since the chicken broth is so thick.

Once the risotto starts boiling, add some chunks of parmesan for added flavor.

Rise off, cut the ends off and cover the asparagus in a large pot (with a little bit of water in the bottom).  Steam until cooked 2-5 minutes, depending on how crunchy and/or how fresh it is.

Chop up 1/2 an onion.

Cut off the brown sections of the fiddleheads the sides & stems).

Thoroughly rinse off the fiddleheads & drain, then put in a pot of boiling water w/some salt.  Boil for 1 minute (no more!!)

Sauté up the chopped 1/2 onion in a little butter

Add the fiddleheads to the onions

Add a clove of garlic to the onions & fiddleheads and saute until lightly browned & add in a little extra butter

Your asparagus should be done by now, so remove it from heat & set to cool a minute or two.

Lightly toast the pine nuts in a dab of butter (or use the same pan as the fiddleheads & onion)

Once cooled to touch, chop up the asparagus

To the cooked pot of risotto, stir together the fiddleheads & onion mixture, the toasted pine nuts & steamed asparagus.

Grate a little fresh parmesan for accent on the top & serve hot.  It’s a great meal in itself or a hearty side with some fish or meat.


Notes about fiddleheads: Fiddleheads are not recommended to be eaten raw- can cause stomach upset.  Best to eat fresh.  If unable to eat fiddleheads right away (in first day or two), then best to freeze them until ready to consume.  Cut & wash before freezing.

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Fun Foods for 4th of July!

A long weekend is upon us-July 4th-a time for bbq’s, beers, bon fires and fireworks! 

Here are some ideas I’ve come across for you to serve at your 4th of July festivities…


Deviled Eggs- Looove the idea to put them in a carton!

Red, White, and Blue Nachos

7-Layer Southwestern Dip

Chicken Satay with Peanut Chutney Sauce

Garlic-Spinach Dip with Pita Chips
The recipe says to serve with tortilla chips or toasted pita wedges- I’d recommend pita wedges or pita chips!


Snow Peas with Toasted Almonds

Orzo, Feta, and Tomato Salad

Spinach Tortellini with Beans and Feta

Red, White, and Blue Potato Salad

Roasted Potato Salad with Mustard Dressing

Grilled Vegetable Focaccia

Main Dishes

Grilled Salmon with Garden Mayonnaise

BBQ Chicken with Spicy Peach Glaze

Chipotle Barbecue Burgers with Slaw

Bulgur Bean Burgers

Sweet-Hot Baby Back Ribs


4th of July Cupcakes

Star-studded Blueberry Pie

Fruit Cheesecake Flag

Red, White, and Blue Trifle

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