Harvest Wild Rice

Are you looking for the perfect grainy side dish, that is loaded with roasted butternut squash, dried cranberries and pistachios? You are?! Well that is fantastic! I have that recipe, right here for you. It pairs perfectly with my Apple Cider Pork Chops. https://tfwohmyinc.com/2020/10/01/apple-cider-pork-chops/

The butternut squash is cut into small bite sized cubes, that are tossed in some cayenne, smoked paprika, brown sugar, salt and olive oil. Roasted until nice and caramelized. I use a wild rice blend, that gives this dish a beautiful hearty fullness. I cooked the rice in homemade chicken broth, but you can absolutely use, store bought. Once rice was cooked, I tossed in dried cranberries, pistachios, chopped up fresh thyme and rosemary, and the roasted butternut squash. Zested some of an orange on top to give it a little bit more brightness in each bite. So simple and it’s autumn in each mouth full. A little sweet, a little spice and a lot of savory.

Recipe

Serves 4-6

Prep Time 1hr

Ingredients

• 2 cups butternut squash cut into bite sized cubes

• 1 cup uncooked wild rice blend, cooked

• water, chicken broth and or vegetable broth to your rice in. Use the amount the rice container recommends

• 1 1/2 Tbsp of olive oil

• 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper

• 1/8 tsp smoked paprika

• 2 Tbsp brown sugar

• 1/2 tsp salt

• 1/4 tsp cracked black pepper

• 1/2 cup dried cranberries

• 1/2 cup salt pistachios shelled

• 1 tsp thyme minced

• 1 tsp rosemary minced

• 1 orange zested

Directions

1) Preheat oven to 375F. Line a baking sheeting with parchment paper

2) Start making your rice. The rice will take about 30- 45 mins. This is because it’s a wild rice blend.

3)While oven is heating up, cut up the butternut squash into bite sized cubes. Lay them on the lined baking sheet, and toss them with the cayenne pepper, smoked paprika, brown sugar, salt, pepper and olive oil. Place in oven for approximately 20-30 mins. With tossing half way through. You want to get a nice caramelized coating on them before bringing them out.

4) When squash is finished roasting, let cool for about 5-10 mins.

5) One rice is good to go and finished cooking, place in a serving bowl. Fluff with fork and let cook for 5 mins.

6) Take the squash, dried cranberries pistachios and herbs along with a pinch of salt and toss all together. On top with a zested, zest an orange on top of the rice. ENJOY!

Apple Cider Pork Chops

This is the perfect Fall dish. Packed with sweet, tangy, cinnamon punch. These Pork Chops sit in an Apple cider brine for 18-24hrs. Then cooked on a bed of cabbage and topped with apples. It’s still light, but comforting enough to make you feel like you had that cozy meal, that you crave this time of year.

The cabbage has a sauerkraut taste to it and the apples have that baked apple cozy warm comfort feeling, you get with an apple crisp. Pork, apples and cabbage are a classic pairing. And in my opinion, a Fall staple. So go ahead and make this for either a group of friends or a week night meal, that everyone will love.

Recipe

Serves 4

Prep time 1hr

Brine Time: 4-24hrs

Cook time 45mins

Brine Ingredients

• 4 thick bone in Pork Chops

• 2 large sprigs of Rosemary

• 6-8 sprigs of Thyme

• 1/4 cup Salt

• 3 cups Apple Cider

• 1/2 cup Apple Cider Vinegar

• 1/2 cup Bourbon (I used Makers Mark)

• 2 Cinnamon Sticks

• 2-3 smashed garlic cloves

• 1 tsp Pepper

Directions

1) In a zip lock bag or a large baking dish, place the pork chops, herbs and cinnamon sticks.

2) In a bowl combine the rest of the ingredients. Stir well and then pour over the pork chops. If in a baking dish, wrap with plastic wrap. Place the pork chops into the fridge and let marinate in the brine for 4hrs or over night until ready to cook.

Dish Ingredients

• 2 apples quarters and core removed (I used Granny Smith and Honeycrisp)

• 1/2 head of Cabbage cut into quarters and then thinly sliced strips

• 1/2 a Red onion sliced into strips

• 1/2 cup Apple Cider

• 1/4 cup Apple Cider Vinegar

• 1/4 cup Bourbon

• 2 Tbsp Maple Syrup

• 1 sprig of Rosemary

• 4 sprigs of Thyme

• 1 Cinnamon Stick

• 1 cup Brown Sugar

• 1 tsp ground cinnamon

• Olive Oil

• 2 Tbsp unsalted butter

Directions

1) Preheat oven to 400F. Pull Pork Chops out of the fridge and out of the brine. Pat dry with a paper towel.

2) In a large iron skillet or an oven proof pan, heat stove top on medium high heat. While skillet is getting hot, pat dry your pork chops with a paper towel. Add about 1Tbsp of olive to the skillet. Place your pork chops 2 at a time down in the skillet. You want to give them a good sear 2-3 mins a side. You don’t want to cook the pork chops all the way through. You just want a good carmalized crust. Once all pork chops are seared, move them to a plate for later.

3) quarter your apples with skin on, cores removed, and slice your cabbage and onions.

4) Take 1/2 a cup of your brown sugar and ground cinnamon and mix them together in a bowl. Take each chunk of apple, and roll it in the brown sugar and cinnamon. Just so they are lightly coated. Set aside until ready to use.

5) Reheat the same skillet the pork chops were seared in. Toss in your cabbage and onion, along with your rosemary, thyme and cinnamon stick. Cook for about 2-3 mins until it starts to get a little soft and cooked down. You don’t want to cook it down too much. You want to have a nice thick bed to lay your pork chops on.

6) Turn off heat on stove top. Now that cabbage is slightly cooked, place your pork chops on top of the bed of cabbage.

7) In a bowl combine the apple cider, apple cider vinegar, the last half of brown sugar, maple syrup and bourbon. Mix together and pour over the pork chops.

8) Take your butter and cut it into 4 pieces. Place a piece of butter on each pork chop. Take your chunks of apples and place one chunk on top of the butter on each chop. Then fit the rest of the apples where you can find a spot. Sprinkle a pinch of salt and some fresh ground black pepper on top of the dish. Now carefully place in the oven for 15mins. At the 15min mark your going to want to take a spoon and baste the chops and apples. Bake for another 5-10 mins. You want the temp to read 155F-160F. Pull the pork out and let rest, for 5-10 mins before serving. ENJOY!

Roasted Tomato Tortellini Soup

It’s Soup Season! Yes! Soup in my honest opinion has a season. I personally feel, this particular season starts when you have that first Fall rainy day. When that cool damp air turns into a Fall crisp air. Soup Season lasts until almost mid Spring. Once that warm weather sets in here in NE Ohio, I’m so over soup. Are you a all the time, doesn’t matter what time of year it is Soup person or just certain times of the year?

Daniel (my husband) has been hinting at Tortellini soup for over a week now. So guess what he got? That’s right, a heaping bowl of it last night. It was a beautiful Fall day yesterday, but then in the late afternoon evening it turned into a Fall rain. So it was perfect for this cozy soup on Meatless Monday.

In a Dutch oven I cut up 4 large heirloom tomatoes, 3 medium sized vine tomatoes and then 8 Campari tomatoes. Chopped up one and half yellow onions, 3-4 large cloves of garlic, fresh thyme, oregano and basil. Added salt, pepper, chili flakes, a cup of chicken broth (you can use veggies broth) a cup of white wine and a drizzle of honey. Do a light stir and then a light drizzle of olive oil. Roast in the oven at 375F for about 2hrs, or until the veggies are nice and roasted.

Once they are finished roasting, let cool on your counter for about 30-40 mins. This is so you can fully handle the removal of the herbs off their stems, if they have not fully called off. Also when you blend it’s not so hot.

In whatever type of blender you have in two batches or one, add your roasted veggies, 3/4 cup of heavy cream, 1/2 cup Parmesan and more 2 cups more of broth. Blend in your blender, until smooth. Pour back into your Dutch oven or another pot if doing in two batches. Taste your soup so see if you need more salt and or pepper. And then add spinach or whatever type of green you prefer.

Boil water and cook your fresh or frozen cheese tortellini. Once cooked you will drain and set aside. You are not going to place your tortellini, in the pot of soup. If you do that, you will continue to cook the pasta, which is not what you want to do. So instead bowl your soup, place as many tortellinis on top of your soup, top with extra parm and a sprinkle of chili flakes. And there you have it, a cozy bowl of comfort on a rainy Fall day.

Recipe

Servings 4-6

Time & Prep 3hrs

Ingredients

• 4 large heirloom tomatoes

• 3-4 medium vine tomatoes

• 8 Campari tomatoes

• 1.5 large yellow onion

• 3-4 large garlic cloves

• 3-4 sprigs of fresh thyme

• 2-3 sprigs of fresh oregano

• 1/2 cup whole basil leaves removed from stem not chopped up

• 1 cup of chicken or vegetable broth, plus another 2 cups for after blending

• 1 cup of white wine

• 1 tsp salt

• 1 tsp cracked black pepper

• chili flakes to your desire

• 1/2 Tbsp of honey

• olive oil

• 3/4 cup of heavy cream

• 1/2 cup of Parmesan grated, plus more for topping soup

• 3 cups of spinach

• a package of fresh/frozen cheese tortellini

Directions

1) Pre heat oven to 375F. While oven is heating up, cut up all your larger tomatoes in 1/4’s and smaller tomatoes in 1/2. Chop up you onions and smash your garlic. Add all to the pot. Continue to add your herbs, broth, wine, S&P, chili flakes and honey. Give a light stir so everything is just a little wet. Drizzle a little olive oil on top. Place in the in the oven for 2hrs or until everything is lightly roast and the liquid has reduced by half.

2) Bring roasted tomatoes out of the oven and let cook for about 30-40 mins.

3) If there is still herbs attached to the stems, remove all the herbs, by gently sliding your fingers down the stem. Discard your stems.

4) Bing a pot of water to a boil for your tortellini. The water can start to boil while your blending your soup together.

5) In one or two batches, ladle all the veggies into the blender/food processor/vitamix. If doing in batches, divide your cream, parm and your extra cup of broth. This is so everything gets blended together.

6) Once all is blended, pour back into either your Dutch Oven, or another pot. Bring to a simmer. Do a taste test and see if you need more, salt, pepper and or chili flakes. At this time of you wish you can also add more Parmesan to melt into the soup. Once simmering, add your spinach and cook until spinach is wilted.

7) When soup is simmering, cook your tortellini. Follow package directions. Drain your pasta, and set aside in a bowl.

8) Ladle your soup into a bowl and top with as many tortellinis as you wish. Sprinkle some extra parm and chili flakes on top. ENJOY!

Thai Chicken Burgers

These Thai Chicken Burgers, are packed with flavor. All the fresh Thai flavors are packed into one bite. They are a great anytime of the year burger, since you make them on your stove.

Making these burgers on the stove vs. the bbq is key, when making them. The bbq will dry them out completely. On the stove you steam them without steaming them. When trying to figure out the correct balance of texture and flavor when creating this dish, the bbq went all wrong in so many ways. First, it dried them out. Second because they were dried out, they lost all their flavors. Ground chicken can be tricky to work with when making a burger. You need the right balance of moisture and binder to make these stay intact and juicy. By adding peanut butter and shredded zucchini you can achieve both a great binder and moisture to the meat.

The other key to keeping them moist and juicy is steaming them without steaming them. I pan cooked the burgers on one side. Once I started to get a good sear, on the burger, I added a bit of water to give them that extra bit of moisture they needed. Plus it deglazed the pan and added more flavor into the patties. I then flipped them over and repeated with the seat and water. Until cooked through to 165F.

Now I used a Thai seasoning from our local Shaker Heights Spice store Spice For Life https://spice-forlife.com/about-us , if you’re don’t live in Shaker Heights, but have your own Thai spice blend use that. I’m sure it will be wonderful.

I topped the burgers with a slaw that was mixed with a coconut peanut dressing, jalapeños, and some Asian pickled cucumbers. But you can place what ever your hearts desire is with these.

Recipe

Serves 6

Prep Time to serving Time 3hrs

Ingredients

• 2 lbs of ground chicken

• 1 Tbsp heaping of peanut butter (I used creamy)

• 1 1/2 Tbsp grated ginger

• 3 large garlic cloves minced

• 1 large zucchini grated and ringed out in a paper towel

• 1 1/2 Tbsp of Thai seasoning. If you can’t find Thai seasoning, 1 Tbsp of red curry paste will do

• 1 1/2 green onions minced

• zest of one lime

• 1 Tbsp soy sauce

• 1-2 cups of water

Directions

1) In a bowl combine all the ingredients and blend together with your hands.

2) Once all blended, take a 1/2 cup measuring cup and scoop out the meat. Roll into a ball and then form into a patty. Place on a baking sheet lined with plastic wrap or on a plate. Repeat until all the burgers are formed. You should have 6-8. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for up to 2hrs. You really want the flavors to mold together.

3) In a skillet on medium high heat, add some olive oil. Place no more then 3-4 burgers in the skillet at a time. Cook on one side until it starts to lightly brown. Add 1/4 cup of water around the outside of the skillet around the burgers. Move the skillet around so everything deglazes and the water and flavors deep back into the burger. Now flip the burger and repeat. Wait for it to brown and add another 1/4 cup of water. Cook until internal temperature reaches 165F. Remove and start the next batch of burgers.

4) Once burgers are made, you can top them with jalapeños, your favorite Asian slaw and Asian cucumbers. ENJOY!

Recipe below for cucumbers.

Asian cucumbers

Ingredients

• 1 large cucumber slices thin in rounds

• 1 Tbsp granulated white sugar

• 3 Tbsp rice wine vinegar

• salt to taste

• 1/4 tsp chili flakes

Directions

1) combine all the ingredients into a bowl. Place in fridge and let sit for 1hr at minimum.

Peach Bourbon Crisp

Ok. Ok. I know it’s end of peach season. I also know I have not posted anything in about a month. Our kids started back to school after being home for 6 months. Spring Break is officially over. And with that being said I’m figuring life out all over again. Getting fully caught up on laundry, cleaning out and getting rid of what we don’t need. It’s been WONDERFUL! It feels sooooo good to get rid of clutter. So basically I have put this blog on the back burner, but I’m ready to dive in for the Fall season for you guys.

I love to cook with alcohol. Bourbon, Rum, Tequila, Wine and Port. Do you? I feel the alcohol gives an extra layer of flavor and depth depending on what you use and how you use it. Probably one of my favorite ways is deglazing a pan when cooking to make a sauce. Mmmmmmm. I love hearing the sound of the alcohol hitting that hot skillet. Sizzling as it breaks up all the flavor in the brown. And then the smell that comes after, that tingles your taste buds. Oh I love it!

But this is not that type of dish. This is a crisp. I love the warm cooked fruit, with the oatmeal crisp topping. I’m not really a vanilla ice cream or any kinda of ice cream on my crisp. I like to keep them separate. I know, I know I’m weird. But if you enjoy the ice cream with the crisp add it.

There are about 5-6 peaches and 1/8 cup of bourbon. If peaches are sweet don’t use the full amount of sugar I put in. You can really taste the warmth of the bourbon, in every bite.

Serving 6-8

Time – 1hr 30mins

Ingredients

• 4-5 cups of sliced peaches with skin on (this is about 5-6 peaches

• 1/4 cup corn starch

• 1/4 tsp cinnamon

• pinch of salt

• 1/2 cup granulated sugar

• 1/8 cup bourbon

• 1/2 tsp vanilla

• 2 cups Old Fashioned Rolled Oats

• 3/4 cup All Purpose Flour

• 1/4 tsp cinnamon

• 1/4 tsp salt

• 1/2 cup brown sugar

• 3/4 cup of unsalted butter at room temperature

Directions

1) Preheat oven to 350F.

2) Slice all the peaches into half moons.

3) In a bowl combine peaches, starch, 1/4tsp cinnamon, pinch of salt, granulated sugar, bourbon and vanilla. Stir all together, until well combine. Place in an 8×8 baking dish

4) In a separate bowl combine the oats, flour, 1/4 tsp cinnamon, salt, brown sugar and butter. Blend and incorporate all ingredients together with your fingers. You want to make sure it’s all blended and butter is evenly distributed.

5) Place crumble topping on top of the peaches. Place in oven for 40-50 mins until peaches are bubbling and topping is crispy.

6) remove from oven, let’s cook for about 15mins before serving. ENJOY!

Rosemary Peach Scones

We went peach picking on the weekend. Took a little road trip about an hour west from our house. Headed out to a family owned and working orchard. Quarry Hill Orchards, out in Berlin Heights, OH. It was an awesome experience, and fun family activity. We paid $5 each to get a picking time. So for my family it was $20. You get an education lesson on picking the peaches. They then take you out to the orchard, where you get in your cars and drive about 8mins up the road. They take you through the types of peaches you will be picking that day. They hand you 2 baskets. You can pick as much as you want of the peaches that are ready. You pay for peaches at the end by pound. The family is super nice and easy to talk to. We honestly can’t wait to go go back!

We have been enjoying these peaches since Saturday. They are so good. I have frozen a bunch. So we can enjoy them here and there.

Today though I made Rosemary Peach Scones. The perfect balance between sweet and savory. Light and airy, not too dense.

I start with grating my butter. This is a perfect way to incorporate your butter if your going to be binding the flour and butter together with your hands. After I grated into the bowl I placed in the freezer.

I then mixed all the dry ingredients together, the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.

Chopped up 2 Tbsp of fresh rosemary from my garden tossed it in and then added the frozen butter. I mixed it all with my fingers to blend the butter and dry ingredients together.

I then chopped up the peaches with the skin on into little bite sized cubes. I also whisked heavy cream and 2 eggs together. I added the liquid and the peaches and folded it all gently together.

Once gently folded, take out of your bowl and onto a floured surface knead your dough. Not too much, as you don’t want to over work the butter, or squish the peaches. Form into a large circle about 1 inch thick. Place on a lined baking sheet.

Once in the baking sheet your going to cut it into 8 triangles. Don’t worry if not perfect. They aren’t supposed to be. Once they bake they take on their own shape. Spread the scones out so they have room to breath while in the oven. Brush and egg wash on and sprinkle some sugar. Bake at 450F for 16 mins.

Take out of the oven and let cool. Don’t let cool too much. You want to enjoy warm.

Prep and cook time – 45mins

Serves 6-8

Ingredients

• 2 cups of all purpose flour plus extra for kneeling

• 4 tsp baking powder

• 1 tsp salt

• 2 tsp sugar and more for sprinkling on top

• 5 Tbsp of grated cold butter

• 2 Tbsp of freshly chopped rosemary

• 2 peaches chopped into bite sized cubes

• 2 eggs 1 eggs for egg wash

• 3/4 cup of heavy cream

• 1 Tbsp water

Directions

1) preheat oven to 450F

2) Grate your butter and place in the freezer. Chop up your rosemary and your peaches and set aside.

3) In a large bowl, combine all your dry ingredients. Whisk them to make it airy and to blend evenly.

4) Add your butter to the dry ingredients and blend while kneading the butter and dry together with your fingers. Once that is incorporated add the rosemary. Make sure it’s all evenly distributed.

5) In a bowl or a large measuring cup, whisk your heavy cream and eggs together. Once all mixed, add to your dry mixture. Gently fold about 2-3 times.

6) Now add your peaches. Gently fold everything together. Do NOT over do it.

7) On a lightly floured surface, place your dough and knead gently until it all comes together. Again don’t over work the butter or the peaches. Form into a 1 inch thick disk. Transfer onto a lined baking sheet.

8) Cut into 8 pie slices. Technically 8 triangles. Evenly space them out. Whisk together the last egg, and water. Brush on top of the scones, and sprinkle with extra sugar. Bake for about 14-16 mins. They will be all puffed up and a little golden on top.

9) Remove from oven, and let cool for about 5-10 mins before serving. ENJOY!

Rosemary Peach Scones

We went peach picking on the weekend. Took a little road trip about an hour west from our house. Headed out to a family owned and working orchard. Quarry Hill Orchards, out in Berlin Heights, OH. It was an awesome experience, and fun family activity. We paid $5 each to get a picking time. So for my family it was $20. You get an education lesson on picking the peaches. They then take you out to the orchard, where you get in your cars and drive about 8mins up the road. They take you through the types of peaches you will be picking that day. They hand you 2 baskets. You can pick as much as you want of the peaches that are ready. You pay for peaches at the end by pound. The family is super nice and easy to talk to. We honestly can’t wait to go go back!

We have been enjoying these peaches since Saturday. They are so good. I have frozen a bunch. So we can enjoy them here and there.

Today though I made Rosemary Peach Scones. The perfect balance between sweet and savory. Light and airy, not too dense.

I start with grating my butter. This is a perfect way to incorporate your butter if your going to be binding the flour and butter together with your hands. After I grated into the bowl I placed in the freezer.

I then mixed all the dry ingredients together, the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.

Chopped up 2 Tbsp of fresh rosemary from my garden tossed it in and then added the frozen butter. I mixed it all with my fingers to blend the butter and dry ingredients together.

I then chopped up the peaches with the skin on into little bite sized cubes. I also whisked heavy cream and 2 eggs together. I added the liquid and the peaches and folded it all gently together.

Once gently folded, take out of your bowl and onto a floured surface knead your dough. Not too much, as you don’t want to over work the butter, or squish the peaches. Form into a large circle about 1 inch thick. Place on a lined baking sheet.

Once in the baking sheet your going to cut it into 8 triangles. Don’t worry if not perfect. They aren’t supposed to be. Once they bake they take on their own shape. Spread the scones out so they have room to breath while in the oven. Brush and egg wash on and sprinkle some sugar. Bake at 450F for 16 mins.

Take out of the oven and let cool. Don’t let cool too much. You want to enjoy warm.

Prep and cook time – 45mins

Serves 6-8

Ingredients

• 2 cups of all purpose flour plus extra for kneeling

• 4 tsp baking powder

• 1 tsp salt

• 2 Tbsp sugar and more for sprinkling on top

• 5 Tbsp of grated cold butter

• 2 Tbsp of freshly chopped rosemary

• 2 peaches chopped into bite sized cubes

• 2 eggs 1 eggs for egg wash

• 3/4 cup of heavy cream

• 1 Tbsp water

Directions

1) preheat oven to 450F

2) Grate your butter and place in the freezer. Chop up your rosemary and your peaches and set aside.

3) In a large bowl, combine all your dry ingredients. Whisk them to make it airy and to blend evenly.

4) Add your butter to the dry ingredients and blend while kneading the butter and dry together with your fingers. Once that is incorporated add the rosemary. Make sure it’s all evenly distributed.

5) In a bowl or a large measuring cup, whisk your heavy cream and eggs together. Once all mixed, add to your dry mixture. Gently fold about 2-3 times.

6) Now add your peaches. Gently fold everything together. Do NOT over do it.

7) On a lightly floured surface, place your dough and knead gently until it all comes together. Again don’t over work the butter or the peaches. Form into a 1 inch thick disk. Transfer onto a lined baking sheet.

8) Cut into 8 pie slices. Technically 8 triangles. Evenly space them out. Whisk together the last egg, and water. Brush on top of the scones, and sprinkle with extra sugar. Bake for about 14-16 mins. They will be all puffed up and a little golden on top.

9) Remove from oven, and let cool for about 5-10 mins before serving. ENJOY!

 

Fig and cheese

Figs are in season! I love fresh figs. They are dense and sweet and a little jammy tasting. A perfect fruit to pair with a creamy cheese spread. This is a great appetizer for either a brunch or a light afternoon snack.

I’m really into whipped cheese these days. There is something about making an already creamy cheese into an even creamier cheese. The silky smooth texture is like nothing else.

What I did was I whipped ricotta, goat cheese, garlic, rosemary along with some salt and pepper in a food processor. I then placed it down, added some quartered fresh figs, with a drizzle of honey. Honestly you can’t get any easier then this. And you will impress your family/crowd.

Serves 10

Prep 10 mins

Ingredients

• 1 1/2 cups ricotta

• 3/4 cup goat cheese

• 2 sprigs of rosemary leaves removed. About 1 Tbsp

• 1 large cloves of gsrlic

• salt and pepper

• Figs 1/4 about 4-5

• drizzle of honey

• crackers and or baguette to spread on

Directions

1) In a food processor combine the first 5 ingredients. Blend until completely smooth and silky.

2) place on a dish or with cheese on a board.

3) Cut up the figs into quarters, and place them on top of the whipped cheese or on beside. Now drizzle with honey. Spread a the cheese on a cracker or on a baguette top with a fig. ENJOY!

Mediterranean Orzo Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

When you get your box from Perfectly Imperfect Produce, and there is everything to make something Mediterranean you roll with it. These cabbage rolls will become your next anytime of the year meatless Monday dish.

Eggplant, zucchini, yellow squash, cherry tomatoes, cabbage, bell peppers and onions. So what to do with everything you roast it. I chopped up all the veggies except the cabbage. Roasted them with some salt, pepper chili flakes and some minced garlic, tossed in olive oil.

Place on a baking sheet. It’s fine if your pan is crowded, everything will shrink once roasted. Bake at 400F for 45mins to one hour. Try not to burn the veggies

When the vegetables are close to being done, cook the orzo. When orzo and veggies are complete toss them together with some of your favorite marinara sauce and crumbled feta cheese.

Let the orzo mixture now sit. Now you can do one of two things. You can stop here and serve as is, or you can stuff cabbage leaves. I say stuff the cabbage leaves. But you can’t go wrong either way.

In boiling water take leaves that you have torn off in full and place them in the water for about 2 mins each leaf. Cool off the leaves so you can work with them.

Your now going to stuff the leaves as you would for any cabbage roll. Two to three leaves per roll. Lay a good amount of orzo in the center of each roll. You may need two heads of cabbage.

Fold over and pull tight. Fold each side over and then roll forward. To form little packages.

Place a good amount of marinara sauce on the bottom of your baking dish. Place all your rolls on top of the sauce. Add more sauce covering the cabbage and sprinkle feta on top. Bake 350F for 45mins.

Once out of the oven let cool for a few minutes before servings cabbage rolls can become very hot, since everything steams inside of them. And now your ready to serve.

Prep to serving time 1.5 – 2hrs

Serving 4-6

Ingredients

• 1 eggplant chopped into bite sized bites – small

• 1 zucchini chopped into bite sized bite – small

• 1 yellow squash chopped into bite sized bites – small

• 1 red bell pepper chopped into bite size bites

• 1/2 red onion chopped into bite sized bites

• 20 cherry tomatoes sliced in half

• 1/2 tsp chili flakes

• 1 tsp sea salt

• 2 cloves of garlic

• olive oil

• 1 cup of crumbled feta plus some for on top of the cabbage rolls

• box of orzo

• 2 heads of cabbage

• 1/2 cup of marinara sauce for the orzo and 2 cups for the cabbage rolls

Directions

1. Pre heat oven to 400F. Chop all your veggies except the cabbage. Place all veggie in a large bowl. Drizzle with olive oil, your salt and chili flakes. Place on a lined baking sheet. Bake for 40-60mins. Take out of oven at 30min mark and move the veggies around. Place back in until all is roasted but not burnt.

2. While veggies are roasting cook your orzo. When orzo is finished cooking drain the orzo and place in the bowl that your veggies were in. Toss around so that oil and salt that is on the edges of the bowl coat the Orzo.

3. Start boiling a large pot of water. Carefully remove the leaves of the cabbage. Once the water is boiling and the leaves are all carefully removed, place in the boiling water. Cook the leaves for about 2mins. Remove with tongs and let dry/cool off on a paper towel. You want to absorb the water with the paper towel.

4. When veggies are finished roasting, remove from the oven take a spatula and move the veggies around so they don’t stick. Allow to cool for about 10 mins, before placing in the orzo.

5. Once roasted veggies have cooled down, place in the orzo. Add your 1/2 cup of marinara sauce, minced garlic and feta toss all together.

6. In a 8×8 casserole dish take 1 cup of the marinara sauce and layer on the bottom.

7. Take the cabbage and layer 3-4 pieces to make a square all overlapping in the middle. Place a good amount of orzo mixture in the center of the cabbage where they all over lap. Note : if you want to make smaller rolls, use only one leaf per roll. They may fall apart but they will be smaller and less filling. Once you have the filling in the center of the cabbage, fold the one side up and over. Tuck the edge under the orzo the best you can. Roll one time over. Fold in either side of the cabbage leaves like a burrito, and then finish rolling up. Place on top of the marinara.

8. Once you have the bottom of the dish filled, cover with the last cup of marinara sauce. Sprinkle your feta on top and bake in the oven at 350F for 30mins. Until cheese on top started to brown a bit and sauce is bubbly.

9. Remove from oven and cool. You may have extra orzo leftover. That is fine. Place some on a dish and place your cabbage rolls on top. ENJOY!

BBQ Meatloaf

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Meatloaf is cousin’s to the Dutch meatball. I didn’t know that until I just looked it up. HA! Meatloaf has been around for forever. Originally a German, Belgium and Scandinavian meat dish. German-American meatloaf has been around since, Colonial times in Pennsylvania. Ground beef, pork and liver were the main  ingredients. Now doesn’t that sound… yummy?! I know to me, not really. Now I feel Meatloaf has come a long way since then. Meatloaf has come along way since the 1940’s, when it started to enter American home’s as a low maintenance dinner and easy for leftovers. Meatloaf became a full staple on the dinner table in homes in the 1950’s. With that being said, I feel my generation, and the generations before me leading back to the 1950’s are the generations of – No one makes meatloaf like my Mother or Grandmother. It’s one of the most debatable dishes when it comes to that. So debatable, that if you see it on a menu, it better be damn good. Am I right or am I wrong? I feel I’m right here.

When my husband, then boyfriend was at Purdue we took a day trip into Indy. We ate dinner at The Weber Grill Restaurant.  I honestly forget what my husband ordered, it was probably steak. We do though, to this day still remember what I ordered. I ordered the BBQ Meatloaf with mashed sweet potatoes and grilled veggies.  This was probably one of the best meatloafs I have ever had. And you know what it wasn’t, my mom’s. Now my mom’s meatloaf is good. And my dad would always eat the leftovers in a sandwich, as many do. But this meatloaf was different. It had BBQ flavors throughout each bite. Not your tomato/tomato sauce/ketchup flavors that most meatloafs had.

So once we got married, and I was able to fully experiment in the kitchen I created my own version of BBQ meatloaf. I think it has become one of his favorite dishes. I hear him every so often talk about it to others, – “You know Shayne, makes aBBQ meatloaf. It is quite tasty”. Back to my BBQ meatloaf. When I started making it I used Bison and or ground beef. I would use Bison all the time for this dish, however it’s just so expensive. But your welcome to use Ground Bison, Ground Beef, or a Meatloaf mix. I recommend to not use the meatloaf mix. I find it just ends up more dry in the end product. I use BBQ sauce two times in this. In the meatloaf and on top. My go to sauce is Stubbs Sweet and Spicy. I just find it gives the perfect balance of sweet, spicy & smokey flavors your looking for in every bite. So what I do

I pre heat the oven to 350F. I place all ingredients into a bowl. Ground beef or bison sometimes both.  Green onion, red onion, dried parsley, smoked paprika, garlic, egg, parmesan, salt, pepper and Stubbs sweet and spicy bbq sauce.

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I blend it all together with my hands and makes sure all the ingredients are incorporated and equally throughout the best I can. I line a loaf pan with parchment paper, with some tabs sticking out. I do this so when it is finished, it’s easy to lift out and place on a platter for serving. I then place the meat in the pan and place in the oven for about 30-40 mins until internal temp reaches 130F.

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When it gets to the 30-40 min mark or 130F, I pullout the loaf. I then drizzle more BBQ sauce and spread it out over the loaf. I place it back in the oven, until the internal temp reaches 160F. I turn on the broiler and broil until it starts to lightly crisp and bubble.

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When it comes out of the oven, let it sit for about 10-15 mins. It will stay warm as the loaf pan is warm and there is so much heat running through the loaf. You also want the juices to rest before cutting it. Serve with mashed potatoes of regular or sweet potato and a veggie.

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Prep and cook time 1hr 15min

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 2lbs ground beef or ground bison or a pound of each
  • 1/2 cup diced green onions
  • 1/2 cup diced red onions
  • 2 large garlic cloves minced
  • 1 egg
  • 1 Tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1 Tbsp dried parsley
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan
  • 3/4 cup of Stubbs sweet spicy bbq sauce or any of your favorite bbq sauces. Plus more to cover the top of the meatloaf

Directions

  1. Pre heat oven to 350F. Line a loaf pan with parchment paper. Keep some tabs sticking out so it’s easy to lift meatloaf out when finished cooking
  2. In a large bowl blend all the ingredients together with your hands to make sure all the flavors blend well together and you get that egg fully mixed in.
  3. Place your meat in the loaf pan.
  4. Cook for 30-40 mins until you reach 130F internal. Take out and pour more bbq sauce on top of the meat loaf.
  5. Put back in oven until internal temp reaches 160F. Now turn your broiler to on and broil until it starts to bubble and get a little crispy.
  6. Remove from oven and let rest for 10-15mins to let the juices all rest into the meat. Pull out of the pan and let rest for about 5-10 mins. Then cut the loaf in 1/2 inch slices. Serve with mashed potatoes, sweet potato and veggies. ENJOY!

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