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It’s that time of year when all those beautiful yet odd looking squashes appear; delicata, turban, acorn, butternut. They’ve always intrigued me, but to be quite honest I don’t really cook with them that often. Ok, just about never. Liz recently brought in a couple of servings of her amazing butternut casserole for Joyce and I to taste. Wow was it delicious!

Butternut Squash Casserole

Ingredients:

1 1/2 lb. butternut squash, peeled, seeded, cut in 1 inch cubes (3 cups)

2 Tbsp. olive oil

8 oz. dried extra-wide egg noodles

4 Tbsp. butter

6 shallots, chopped

1 Tbsp. lemon juice

1 8 oz.  carton mascarpone cheese

3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1/2 cup fresh Italian parsley, snipped  (4 Tbsp. dried)

l cup panko (Japanese-style) bread crumbs

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 425F. In bowl toss squash in oil; place in oiled 15x10x1-inch baking pan. Roast, uncovered, 30 minutes, unti lightly browned and tender, stirring twice.

2. Meanwhile, in Dutch oven cook noodles according to package directions. Drain; set aside.  In same Dutch oven melt 2 tablespoons of the butter.  Add shallots; cook and stir over medium heat 3 to 5 minutes, until shallots are tender and butter just begins to brown. Stir in lemon juice.

3.  Add noodles to shallot mixture. Stir in mascarpone, 1/2 cup of the Parmesan, 1/4 cup parsley, 1/4 teaspoon salt and black pepper, and the browned butternut squash.  Transfer to a greased 2-quart casserole dish.

4.  In small saucepan melt remaining 2 tablespoons of butter, stir in bread crumbs, remaining Parmesan cheese, and parsley.  Sprinkle on noodle mixture. Bake, uncovered, 10-15 minutes, until crumbs are golden.

Serves 8

My Favorite Bruschetta

I love food. That’s all there is to it. I am in love with food. And without question one of my favorite things about Good Earth is the gourmet food section of the store.While I appreciate great tasting food I also admit I’m not a big fan of long complicated recipes. Make it a tasty recipe, but make it simple!

You can’t get much more simple than this.

Bella Famiglia Mixed Vegetable Bruschetta is divine right out of the jar. Big junky veggies in a savory tomato base makes it a favorite of mine, but it’s not just for crackers or crostini. Recently I made two dishes for dinner using just one jar. Super simple and delicious!

Quick and Easy Bruschetta Pizza Sauce:

Ingredients:

  • 6 ounces (1/2 jar) Bella Famiglia Mixed Vegetable Bruschetta
  • 8 ounces (1/2 can) tomato sauce
  • 6 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese
  • toppings of your choice
  • ready made pizza crust

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Combine Bella Famiglia Mixed Vegetable Bruschetta and tomato sauce in a bowl and spread evenly over pizza crust. Top with your favorite veggies or meats (I used chopped red onions and sliced yellow bell peppers.) Cover with shredded mozzarella and bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until cheese is melted and golden brown.

Chunky Tomato Pasta Sauce:

Ingredients:

  • 6 ounces (1/2 jar) Bella Famiglia Mixed Vegetable Bruschetta
  • 8 ounces (1/2 can) tomato sauce
  • 1 pound cooked ground beef
  • shredded parmesan cheese
  • 4 cups cooked pasta

Directions:

Combine Bruschetta and tomato sauce with ground beef and heat through. Simmer for 10 minutes until warm. Toss with your favorite pasta and top with parmesan cheese. Super simple, right? And oh wait until you taste it…..

One of our most popular….

This post is short, sweet and to the point…

Stonewall Kitchen Spicy Corn Relish. 

Without exception, Stonewall Kitchen’s Spicy Corn Relish has been our best selling, and for good reason. The tangy, spicy, sweet flavor of this relish is most unique and absolutely top-notch. Recently I simply added one can of black beans for a perfect side dish.

Super simple and a sure winner! Here’s another version with a few more ingredients to try as well.

I always keep the jars from Stonewall Kitchen and re-use them as drinking glasses. Love them!

Ladies Night at Good Earth

Thanks to all of you ladies who were completely undaunted by the rain showers and sparse parking this past Wednesday to come out for Ladies Night. We had just over 200 women fill the store for a relaxing, delicious and FUN evening! We thought that the idea of  a Ladies Night would be well received when we decided to host this event and your enthusiastic response has proven us right. Thanks to your loyal patronage, Good Earth has been able to make a generous donation to the Montgomery General Hospital Pediatric Emergency Department. Here are a few pictures from the evening followed by the recipes for the food we served.

Here are the simple recipes from the night:

BBQ Pulled Pork

Ingredients:

Salt and Pepper

2-3 lb. trimmed boneless pork loin

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 cup apple cider vinegar

One bottle of Stonewall Kitchen Bourbon Molasses Barbecue Sauce

6 Sandwich Buns

  1. Rub salt and pepper over a 2-3 lb. trimmed boneless pork loin. Heat 2 tablespoons vegetable oil over medium-high heat in a heavy pot. Brown the roast on all sides.
  2. Remove roast and place in a crock pot. Add 1/2 cup of apple cider vinegar and 1/2 the bottle of BBQ sauce to roast. Cover and cook on low for 10 hours until the pork can be pulled apart with a fork.
  3. Shred the pork, removing excess fat, and toss with remaining BBQ sauce.
  4. Serve warm on a sandwich bun – as an option, top with coleslaw.
Teriyaki Meatballs
Ingredients:
1 bottle Robert Rothschild Asian Ginger Teriyaki Simmer Sauce
1 jar Stonewall Kitchen Red Pepper Jelly
50 – 60 small meatballs
Combine first two ingredients and mix well. Pour over meatballs and cook in a crock pot on low for 3 to 4 hours.

Easy Polenta Bites

Polenta is an Italian staple made from cornmeal. Ever cooked it? Ever even heard of it? I must admit, I’d have to say no to both of these questions before recently. Ok, I had heard of it, but had no idea what it was. While there are several varieties of Polenta available, Good Earth carries a delicious Bella Famiglia Heat and Serve Polenta Chub. Picture Italian cornmeal in a package resembling slice and bake cookies. Yep, that’s what we’ve got – and oh it’s good!

Recently I grilled sliced Polenta and had a feast! It makes a great appetizer or side dish and can be topped with just about anything you can imagine…..

Directions:

  1. Slice Bella Famiglia Polenta into 1/2 inch thick pieces. Brush lightly with olive oil.
  2. Grill Polenta slices on medium-high heat. Cook for about 3 to 4 minutes on each side, turning gently with a spatula.
  3. Top each Polenta slice with your topping of choice. The possibilities are endless, but here are a few ideas:
  • sliced avocado, sliced grape tomatoes, chopped scallions and capers.
  • salami nuggets, tomato bruschetta, and shaved parmesan cheese.
  • lump crab meat, chopped shallots, and fresh lemon juice.

Discover your own unique and savory combination – and enjoy! Or should I say buon appetito!

Without question this has been a fantastic peach season. Since we got our first batch at Good Earth in May, I have been devouring them at a pretty good pace. Alas, peach season is coming to an end so it’s time to stock up and freeze them. There’s nothing like a scrumptious peach cobbler in the middle of a snowstorm in February. 

For years I’ve used a very simple method for freezing peaches. In fact, I thought everyone did it this way until I began talking with customers at the store who admitted to being a bit intimidated by the process. Here’s what I’ve done with great success:

Bring 4 cups of water to a boil in saucepan. Gently place a peach in the water for 30 seconds. Using a slotted spoon, retrieve peach and place in cold water for 30 seconds. Gently peel skin off. Slice peach into eighths and remove pit. Fill 1 gallon freezer bags with approximately 6 to 7 peaches, depending on size. Seal freezer bags airtight and lay flat in freezer. Will keep for up to 6 months. No need to add sugar and preservatives.

Looking for a new recipe to use the fresh herbs in your garden? You’ve likely heard of Beer Can Chicken, right? Simply place a whole roasting chicken on top of an opened beer can and cook it. The liquid infuses into the chicken making it both flavorful and moist.  Well here’s a variation of that very popular dish. I call it, “Wow, This Is Good.

I found a vertical chicken roaster at a local kitchen supply store and purchased it in lieu of using beer cans. Actually, I purchased two. One roasted chicken is never enough to provide for delicious leftover chicken sandwiches. You clearly have a bit more leeway using these roasters instead of beer cans in that they can be filled with any type of liquid or marinade.

Infused Chicken on the Grill:

sweet basil and beer

Ingredients:

  • 2 roasting chickens, about 4 1/2 to 5 lbs each
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • coarse sea salt and cracked ground pepper
  • 3/4 cup dry white wine (I used Sauvignon Blanc)
  • 3/4 cup beer
  • 2 sprigs each, fresh rosemary, thyme and sweet basil
Directions:
  1. Preheat grill at medium heat. Rinse and pat dry roasting chickens. Rub each chicken with 1 Tbsp olive oil and season with coarse sea salt and cracked ground pepper. Set aside.
  2. Fill one reservoir with wine and sprigs of fresh rosemary and thyme. Fill the other with beer and fresh sweet basil.

    rosemary, thyme and white wine

  3. Place chicken roasters on top of each vertical roaster. Carefully place onto prepared grill and cover. Cook for 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours. Juice should run clear when chicken is fully cooked.
  4. Carefully remove from grill. Carefully take chickens off of vertical roasters and allow chicken to stand 5 to 10 minutes before carving.

a captive and willing audience

Fortunately for me, I had an immediate opportunity to try out this recipe with a very willing and hungry group of people. Janelle’s friends were more than delighted to sample the dinner.

The votes were essentially split down the middle in terms of preference. Half favored the beer and basil, the other half the wine, rosemary and thyme.

I found them both very good and flavorful. Of course, the best part is that despite 6 hungry teenagers I still had a bit of chicken leftover for sandwiches the next day.

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