Paella Stuffed Acorn Squash


  • 2 acorn squash halved through the stem end and seeded
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 ounces of thinly sliced chorizo
  • 1 small onion chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1/2 cup of arborio rice
  • 3/4 teaspoon of smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup roasted red peppers (fresh or jarred) drained and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas


  • Preheat oven to 350
  • Brush cut side of acorn squash with olive, salt and pepper and place cut side down on a baking sheet and bake approximately 40-50 minutes
  • While squash bakes heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in medium sized pan over medium heat
  • Add chorizo and cook approximately 3 minutes, stirring often until it starts to brown
  • Add onion and garlic and cook another 3 to 5 minutes stirring often until onion is translucent
  • Add the rice, paprika and cayenne, stir 1 minute
  • Add the stock and bring to a boil
  • Reduce the heat to medium-low, stirring occasionally until the rice is al-dente, approximately 15-18 minutes
  • Stir in the red peppers and peas and season to taste
  • When squash are fully baked turn them over and fill each with rice mixture
  • Place under broiler until spots start to brown, approximately 8-10 minutes

Source: Unknown (believed to be Food Network Magazine)


Basic Bread Stuffing


  • 12 cups dry bread cubes
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 3 teaspoons  salt
  • 3⁄4 teaspoon  pepper
  • 3⁄4 teaspoon  poultry seasoning
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon  sage
  • 1 cup melted real butter (not margarine)
  • 1⁄2-1 cup  hot chicken broth or 1⁄2-1 cup  turkey broth, to moisten


  • In large bowl combine bread, onion, celery and all seasonings.
  • Add melted butter and toss gently to mix.
  • Add hot broth and moisten to desired consistency.
  • Stuff into the cavity of the turkey before roasting, if desired.
    • Or
  • Pour into a large casserole (9×13) and bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 35-45 minutes, not letting the top get too crispy.


Roasted Turkey Breast w/Gravy


  • 2 (3-pound) fresh bone-in turkey breast halves
  • 8 tablespoons butter (1 stick), at room temperature, plus 2 tablespoons
  • Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
  • 2 shallots, peeled and sliced
  • 2 cups good quality low-sodium chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour


  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  • Dry the skin of the turkey breasts with paper towels and put in a roasting pan on a wire rack, breast side up.
  • Rub butter all over the surface of each breast (4 tablespoons per breast) and season them well with salt and pepper.
  • Add the shallots to the bottom of roasting pan and cover shallots with the stock.
  • Transfer the pan to the oven and roast until an instant-read thermometer registers 165 degrees F and the juices run clear, about 1 hour. (Begin checking the internal temperature after 45 minutes to prevent overcooking.)
  • Remove the turkey breasts from the oven to a cutting board and tent with foil. Allow to rest while making the gravy.
  • Strain pan drippings into a small pot over low heat and bring to a simmer. In a small bowl mash together the remaining 2 tablespoons butter and flour with a fork, until a paste forms.
  • Whisk into the simmering stock, season with salt and pepper, to taste, and cook until thickened.
  • Carve the turkey breast meat from the bone and arrange the slices on a serving platter. Serve with gravy on the side.


Italian Stuffed Peppers

  • 1 lb lean ground turkey 
  • 6 medium to large red bell peppers seeded and cut in half length-wise
  • 1- 24 oz. jar of spaghetti sauce
  • 1 tsp basil/oregano seasoning (or any blend of Italian herbs)
  • 1 tsp garlic powder (or 1 garlic clove, pressed)
  • 1/2 tsp each of salt and pepper
  • 1- 10 oz. package of frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry with cheesecloth or clean towel
  • 2 tbs grated parmesan cheese for filling
  • Extra parmesan to sprinkle over the top of each pepper


  • Preheat oven to 450
  • Line baking sheet with foil or parchment paper
  • Place peppers cut side up on baking sheet
  • Cook ground turkey in frying pan over medium heat
  • Once cooked through add the remaining ingredients and thoroughly stir
  • Fill each pepper with turkey mixture
  • Cover peppers with foil and bake for 30 minutes for a firm pepper — 40-45 minutes for a softer pepper
  • Remove foil, sprinkle with parmesan cheese and place under broiler until cheese melts

These freeze really well!!!


Mocha Cupcakes

Ingredients for the Cupcakes:

  • ½ cup brewed coffee, at room temperature
  • 1½ teaspoons espresso powder
  • ½ cup whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1⅓ cups all-purpose flour
  • ⅓ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup light brown sugar
  • 1 egg, at room temperature

Ingredients for the Espresso Buttercream Frosting:

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2½ cups powdered sugar
  • 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1½ teaspoons espresso powder

Make the Cupcakes:

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a standard-size muffin tin with paper liners.
  • In a measuring cup, whisk the espresso powder into the brewed coffee until completely dissolved. Add the milk and vanilla extract; set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  • With an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the butter and both sugars until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the egg and beat until combined. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the flour mixture in three additions, alternating with two additions of the coffee mixture, mixing each until just combined. Using a rubber spatula, give the batter a final stir to ensure everything is incorporated.
  • Fill each muffin cup about two-thirds full with batter. Bake for 17 to 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Cool completely before frosting the cupcakes.

Make the Frosting:

  • In a small bowl, whisk the espresso powder into the vanilla until dissolved; set aside.
  • Using the whisk attachment of a stand mixer, whip the butter on medium-high speed for 5 minutes, stopping once to scrape the sides of the bowl.
  • Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the powdered sugar a little at a time, waiting until it is mostly incorporated before adding more.
  • Once all of the powdered sugar has been added, scrape the sides of the bowl and increase the speed to medium-high and whip until fluffy, about 1 to 2 minutes.
  • Add the espresso and vanilla mixture and continue to mix at medium-high speed until it is completely incorporated, scraping the sides as necessary.
  • Frost the cupcakes as desired.


Graham Cracker Toffee


  • 14-16 sheets of graham crackers
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) salted butter
  • 1 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup chopped pecans, toasted


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Line an 11 x 15-inch baking sheet (or jelly roll pan) with parchment paper or aluminum foil.  (If using aluminum foil, mist it with baking spray.)  Arrange graham crackers touching side by side in a single layer, breaking some of the graham crackers in half if need be so that that they fit.  Set aside.

In medium saucepan, heat the butter over medium-high heat until melted.  Add brown sugar and stir to combine.  Continue cooking until the mixture reaches a boil, stirring constantly.  Let the mixture boil for about 2 minutes, then remove from heat and pour over graham crackers.  Use a spatula or spoon to spread the mixture evenly over the graham crackers.  Bake for 6-7 minutes or until the butter mixture is bubbly.

Remove pan and immediately sprinkle the the chocolate chips evenly on top of the graham crackers.  Let sit for a few minutes until the chocolate is melted, then use a spoon to spread the chocolate around as much as you’d like.  Sprinkle nuts (or your desired topping) evenly on top of the melted chocolate.

Let sit for about two hours and them cut and serve. Sometimes, if I am in a hurry, I will cool the cookies in the freezer for a quicker serve time.



Becky’s Meatballs


  • 4 large cans of tomato puree (1 lb. 13 oz)
  • 4 cans of tomato sauce (8 oz)
  • 16 oz of water (fill 2 of the tomato sauce cans with water)
  • 3 cans of mushrooms
  • Parsley flakes
  • 5 lbs ground beef (80/20)
  • 5 tsp salt
  • 5 tsp black pepper
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups of Italian bread crumbs
  • 1 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 can of tomato juice (12 oz)
  • Minced onion

1.  To a very large pot add the tomato puree, tomato sauce, water, mushrooms and parsley and bring to a boil.
2.  In a large bowl mix the hamburger, salt, pepper, eggs, Italian bread crumbs, parmesan cheese, and tomato juice until well combined.  Use a large fork or spoon and don’t handle any longer than necessary or the meat will get tough.
3.  Roll hamburger mixture into 2 inch balls.
4.  In a large frying pan over medium/high heat sprinkle the bottom of the pan with minced onion.
5.  Add meatballs and brown on all sides.  Brown meatballs in batches being sure not to overcrowd the pan.
6.  Placed browned meatballs into sauce pot (do not add the grease accumulated from frying).
7.  Once all meatballs have been browned and added to the sauce, simmer for at least an hour.

Source: Family friend