Chipotle Butternut Squash Soup
2 cups diced peeled butternut squash
1 carrot, finely chopped
1 green onion, sliced
½ teaspoon ground cumin
1 Tablespoon olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups vegetable broth
1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 (3 ounce) package cream cheese cubed
¼ cup minced fresh basil
1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, chopped
1 (15 ounce) can black beans, rinse and drained
1 (11 ounce) can Mexicorn, drained
2 cups fresh baby spinach
1 package smoked polish sausage
Fresh sage leaves
In a large stockpot sauté the sausage, squash, carrot, onion, garlic in oil, until browned. Add cumin, broth, tomatoes, cream cheese, basil, chipotle pepper and simmer for 12 minutes. Add black beans, Mexicorn and spinach.
Garnish with fresh sage leaves.
Pamela Hornbacher-Retzler – Caro, MI
4 slices thick-cut bacon, chopped
1 onion, chopped
3 ribs celery, finely chopped
2 Tablespoons fresh thyme
1 small butternut squash – peeled, seeded and diced
1½ Tablespoons flour
3 ½ cups vegetable stock
½ cup clam juice
1 pound skinless cod fillets, cut into large pieces
½ cup heavy cream
A pinch cayenne
Salt and pepper to taste
In a large pot, cook the bacon over medium-high until crispy, about 3 minutes. Add the onion, celery and 1 tablespoon thyme and cook, stirring frequently, until the vegetables are tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in squash and flour and cook, stirring until the flour begins to brown, about 2 minutes. Stir in the stock and clam juice and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer the chowder until the squash is tender, 10 to 12 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
Add the cod, cover and simmer until the fish flakes apart easily with a fork, 4 to 5 minutes. Stir in the cream and cayenne. Divide among bowls and sprinkle with the remaining 1 tablespoon thyme.
Richard Rizzio – Troy, MI
Sauerkraut and Squash Soup
1 medium onion, diced
2 cups diced butternut squash
2 cups diced potatoes
½ pound smoked sausage – diced
½ cup chopped ham
2 cups well drained sauerkraut
1 (14 ounce) can chicken broth
1 can cream of mushroom soup
½ soup can water
½ cup milk
1 teaspoon caraway seed
1 teaspoon celery seed
Sauté onion a few minutes in 1 tablespoon oil; add diced squash and potatoes – mix well. Add the rest of the ingredients and cook over medium heat until squash and potatoes are tender
Rhonda Marvin – Laingsburg, MI
2 ¼ cups sifted all-purpose flour
¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup Pioneer granulated sugar
¾ cup Pioneer brown sugar
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
½ cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup buttermilk
4 cups grated unpeeled zucchini
1 (6 ounce) package –about 1 cup – mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
¾ cup packed Pioneer brown sugar
1/3 cup butter (no substitutes)
3 Tablespoons whipping cream
¾ cup chopped pecans
Prepare three (9-inch) round baking pans with baking spray then line with parchment rounds.
Prepare the praline topping. In a heavy saucepan, combine brown sugar, butter and cream. Cook and stir over low heat until sugar is dissolved. Divide evenly among the 3 pans and sprinkle ¼ cup pecans into each pan; set aside to cool in refrigerator while preparing cake.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Sift flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, chocolate chips and salt into medium bowl; set aside. Beat sugar, butter, vanilla and oil in large bowl until well blended. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in zucchini until incorporated. Mix in dry ingredients mixture alternately with buttermilk in 3 additions; mix each until combined. Pour batter into prepared pans. Bake cake until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 30-40 minutes. Cool cake for 5 minutes before flipping the cake layers onto parchment; let cool completely.
Pumpkin Caramel Buttercream:
1 ¼ cups Pioneer granulated sugar
3 sticks butter
2 teaspoons vanilla
½ cup pureed pumpkin
½ cup Sander’s caramel
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ginger
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
¼ teaspoon cloves
Combine caramel, pumpkin and spices; set aside.
Place sugar, butter and vanilla in stand mixing bowl and place on the bowl shield.
Turn the mixer onto stir and slowly pour in the caramel/pumpkin mixture. Once added turn mixer to speed 2 and incorporate for approximately 5 minutes, turn mixer to speed 3 and continue to beat for another 5 minutes, turn mixer to speed 4 and continue beating for approximately another 20 minutes. You have to BE PATIENT with this process it can take up a half hour depending on room temperature, etc. Continue to beat until the frosting is no longer liquid and is smooth and creamy.
Spread buttercream in between cake layers and top of cake with the praline side up; decorate as desired.
Susan Nickels – Farmington Hills, MI
2 sticks unsalted butter, melted
1 package (14 ounce) Halloween Oreos
1 cup salted mixed nuts
1 cup firmly packed Pioneer brown sugar
Using a food processor, pulse the Oreos until coarsely ground. Transfer to bowl. Pulse the nuts until coarsely ground; add to the Oreo crumbs along with the brown sugar; mix well. Pour in the melted butter and mix well. Divide evenly into three buttered 9-inch cake pans. Set aside while preparing cake.
2 ½ cups Pioneer granulated sugar
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
3 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla paste
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 (15 ounce) can solid-pack pumpkin
½ cup sour cream
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, combine sugar and butter until blended. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each. Beat in vanilla paste. Combine flour, baking soda, salt and spices. Add to egg mixture alternately with pumpkin and sour cream, beating well after each addition. Divide the batter evenly over the cookie crunch in each of the cake pans, smoothing the top. Bake 25-30 minutes in preheated oven or until a cake tester inserted in center comes out clean. Remove from oven and let cool completely on a wire rack.
3 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese
3 sticks softened unsalted butter
1 Tablespoon vanilla
3 cups Pioneer confectioners’ sugar
Using an electric mixer, whip the cream cheese and butter until smooth and creamy; gradually add the confectioners’ sugar mixing until smooth. Add the vanilla extract, mixing well. When cakes are cool, unmold them. Frost the Oreo side of each layer and then stack them, cake side down. Spread remaining frosting on top and sides. Refrigerate for about 1 hour before drizzling with chocolate topping.
½ cup heavy cream
1 ¼ cups dark chocolate chips
In a saucepan, bring the cream just to a simmer. Add chocolate chips, stirring until completely melted. Drizzle over top of cake and garnish as desired.
Carol Socier – Bay City, MI
Well-dressed Pumpkin Cheesecake
What makes this my pumpkin cheesecake recipe so special? Let’s begin with the crust…it has a taste that is so unique and tantalizing! It complements the pumpkin cheesecake so well! And what makes this pumpkin cheesecake different from any other one you might have had before? It is lightly spiced with just the right amount of cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice as to not overwhelm the bright pumpkin flavor. Add a special whipped cream with my distinctive ingredient of adding some dry white chocolate instant pudding powder and you have a “Well-Dressed Pumpkin Cheesecake” that will be the talk of the town!
1 ¾ cups Dulce de Leche filled sandwich cookies (I used Pepperidge Farms Dulce de Leche Milano Cookies), pulverized in a blender or food processor to make crumbs
¼ cup unsalted butter, melted
3 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1 (15 ounce) can pureed pumpkin
3 eggs plus 1 egg yolk, at room temperature
¼ cup sour cream, room temperature
1 ½ cups Pioneer granulated sugar
½ teaspoon Saigon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
2 Tablespoons all-purpose unbleached flour
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Non-Stick Cooking Spray (to coat the whole inside of a 9-inch springform pan)
Whipped Cream Topping:
2 cups heavy whipping cream
½ cup Pioneer confectioners’ sugar
2 teaspoons white chocolate dry instant pudding powder (I used Hershey’s White Chocolate Instant pudding)
Saigon Cinnamon (needed for garnishing the whipped cream topping)
Preheat oven to 350°F.
In medium bowl, combine the cookie crumbs with the melted butter and mix well until combined and looks like wet sand. Press the crumbs down flat into a parchment bottom lined 9-inch springform pan that has been sprayed with Non-stick Cooking Spray. Bake crust for 5-7 minutes, or just until set.
For baking the cheesecake, reduce the oven to 300°F. Put a roasting pan of hot water on the lower rack and bake the cheesecake on the middle rack. This generates steam and the steam will help prevent the cheesecake from dying out and cracking.
For cheesecake filling:
Note: Make sure all your ingredients are at room temperature before you begin the cheesecake!
Beat softened cream cheese until smooth on med-low speed. Add pumpkin puree, eggs and the one egg yolk, sour cream, sugar and the spices. Add the flour and vanilla. Beat together until combined on medium-low, without overmixing as that can cause the baked cheesecake to crack. Pour cheesecake batter into cooled crust. Spread out evenly and place in 300°F oven for 1 hour. Turn off the oven and let sit for another hour without opening the oven door. Take out of oven and let the baked cheesecake sit out on cooking rack for another 20 minutes and then cover with aluminum foil and refrigerate for at least 4 hours without removing the springform pan yet.
Whipped Cream Topping:
Place all the topping ingredients into a cold stainless steel mixing bowl and beat with mixer (use the whisk attachment if you have one) until mixture thickens and stiff peaks form. The whipped cream should be able to stay in position when you turn the whisk attachment, or beater, upside down. Place whipped cream into a decorators piping bag with a large star tip.
Making your Cheesecake Well-Dressed:
Make the whipped cream topping…see the recipe above. Take your chilled cheesecake out of the refrigerator and carefully remove the springform pan sides. Use a cake lifter to easily remove your cheesecake onto a server board or platter. Finely, pipe mounds of the freshly made whipped cream topping, using a large star tip, onto the top of your finished cheesecake. I started around the parameter of the cheesecake and worked my way to the middle. Once you have all the whipped cream topping the way you want it to look, lightly sprinkle the top of the whipped cream with a little Saigon Cinnamon to give it some added dimension and taste! Now your well-dressed cheesecake will be the star of the show! Enjoy!
Donna Bardocz – Howell, MI
3 Tablespoon butter
2 cups butternut squash strips, cut thin
1 small onion, chopped
2 cups cooked chicken, cut in strips (I use rotisserie chicken) *
1 cup dried cranberries
2 teaspoon sage
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
8 ounces sliced Swiss cheese, cut in 2” squares
1 ½ cups baby spinach leaves
1 box (2 sheets) frozen puff pastry, thawed
1 egg, slightly beaten
2 Tablespoon sesame seed
In a large skillet, melt butter. Add squash and onion, and sauté until mostly tender, about 10 minutes. Add chicken, cranberries, and seasonings, and cook 8 minutes more.
Unfold the puff pastry in a flat surface. Make 2”cuts from the long ends of the pastry. Spoon chicken filling in a strip down the middle of the pastry sheets – dividing equally between them. Lay spinach leaves over top.
Fold strips from the cuts over the filling, tucking ends under. Brush with egg, and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
Place on a parchment lined baking sheet, and bake at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes, or until pastry is golden. Cut slices to serve.
* You can use leftover cooked turkey breast, if preferred
Sally Sibthorpe – Shelby Township, MI
40 potsticker wrappers
1 Tablespoon oil
¼ cup water
Gyoza dipping sauce
3 cups cooked acorn squash
1 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon hoisin sauce
1/8 teaspoon sesame oil
2 garlic cloves
1 ½ Tablespoon chives
¼ teaspoon black pepper
In a large bowl combine the dumpling ingredients and mix to incorporate well.
Place one teaspoon of dumpling filling in the center of a potsticker wrapper and dab water around one half of the edge. Fold in half taco style.
Pleat the seal of the dumpling overlapping the edges.
Heat 1 Tablespoon of oil in a large pan over medium heat and place 10 dumplings in the pan, flipping after 1 minute per side and edges until golden brown.
Once all edges are brown, add ¼ cup of water to the pan and cover with a lid to steam about 2 -3 minutes. Flip dumplings until desired crispness. Repeat with remaining dumplings in batches of 10.
Serve warm with a side of Gyoza dipping sauce and optional Sriracha. Enjoy!
Serves 5 hungry adults
Melissa Kildow – Grand Blanc, MI
Zucchini Wrapped Chicken Enchilada Supreme
5 cloves garlic, minced
½ Tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, diced small
2 (15 ounce) cans chopped tomatoes
2 cups chicken broth
1 Tablespoon cumin
½ teaspoon chili powder
¼ teaspoon salt
3 cups shredded Rotisserie chicken
3 cups shredded Co-Jack cheese
3 large zucchini
½ cup grated cheddar cheese
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place garlic and onion in a fry pan. Sauté for 4 minutes to begin to soften then add remaining ingredients for enchilada sauce; season with salt. Simmer for 20 minutes.
Once thickened, adjust seasoning to taste (additional chili powder/salt)
Place shredded chicken in bowl. Spoon in half of enchilada sauce. Stir until well coated.
Wash zucchini – cut ends off. Cut zucchini in half lengthwise. Slice zucchini thinly. Lay out 3 zucchini slices – middle first – one piece each side slightly overlapping.
Place large spoon of chicken mixture on zucchini slices. Sprinkle with cheese. Press firmly. Roll zucchini up over chicken. Place in baking dish loose end facing down.
Spoon remaining enchilada sauce over rolls. Bake 20 minutes until zucchini is tender. Add more cheese on top. Bake another 5 minutes.
Top enchiladas with cilantro, salsa and sour cream. Enjoy!!
Linda Schmidt –Kawkawlin, MI
6 cups pitted and halved sour cherries
5 ½ cups Pioneer granulated sugar
1 box sure-jell
4 vanilla beans
1. Slice vanilla beans horizontally, scrape out vanilla beans. Set aside. Halve the beans crosswise so they fit into the jars. Set aside.
2. Mix fruit and sure-jell, add scraped out vanilla bean and sugar and bring to a boil.
3. Boil for 5 minutes, stirring constantly.
4. Skim off foam.
5. Ladle into prepared sterilized jars and add the reserved halved vanilla beans into each jar.
6. Place sterilized caps onto jars.
7. Place jars into deep pot of boiling water, bring to a boil and process for about 20 minutes.
8. Remove jars, let cool.
Pamela Gilbeau – Dearborn, MI
2 ½ cups chopped peaches
½ cup red tart cherries, chopped
2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
4 ½ cups Pioneer granulated sugar
1 package Sure-Jell
¾ cups water
1 Tablespoon Peach Schnapps
Combine peaches, cherries, lemon juice and sugar. Let stand 10 minutes – stirring occasionally.
Stir Sure-Jell and water in small saucepan; bring to a boil on high heat, stirring constantly – boil 1 minute. Remove from heat and add to fruit mixture, stir until sugar is dissolved. Add peach schnapps and stir. Fill jam jars, let stand at room temperature for 24 hours and then freeze.
Pamela Hornbacher-Retzler – Caro, MI
Pumpkin Pie Jam
3 ½ cups pumpkin
½ teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon ginger
½ teaspoon allspice
¼ teaspoon cloves
¼ cup pectin
1 cup Pioneer granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
Heat pumpkin, add spices and boil. Add sugar. Continue to a boil for 1 minute stirring constantly. Place in jars to seal.
Cheryl Williams – Bay City, MI