Sugared Cranberries

by Marcia Hawkins

  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups fresh cranberries
  • 1/2 cup superfine sugar

Combine granulated sugar and water in small saucepan over low heat, stirring mixture till sugar dissolves. Bring to simmer; immediately remove from heat. (Do not boil as cranberries may pop when added.) Stir in cranberries. Pour mixture into bowl. Cover and refrigerate over-night. Drain cranberries, reserving liquid if desired. Place superfine sugar in a shallow dish. Add cranberries, rolling to coat with sugar. Spread sugared cranberries in a single layer on baking sheet. Let stand at room temperature for 1 hour or until dry. Can be stored in airtight container in cool place for up to a week. 

Makes about 9 servings, 1/3 cup each.

Recipe courtesy of Cooking Light, a favorite of Susan, our floral arrangement designer.

Pesto Cheese Torta

by Marcia Hawkins

  • 3 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese, softened
  • 2 sticks butter, softened
  • 1 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup basil pesto
  • Pita chips or crackers

Combine cream cheese and butter in medium bowl. Add Parmesan and garlic; mix well. Lightly butter 9-inch pie dish. Spread 1/3 of cheese mixture in bottom of pan. Top with 1/2 cup pesto, spreading evenly. Gently spread with half of remaining cheese mixture. Repeat layers, using remaining pesto and ending with cheese mixture. Refrigerate for 1 1/2 hours. Serve with pitas. Makes 1 nine-inch torta.

Recipe courtesy of Susan, our floral arrangement designer.

Stuffed Blue Hubbard Squash

by Marcia Hawkins


  • One blue hubbard squash, cut in half lengthwise, and seed/pulp removed
  • Two 16 oz. packages pork breakfast sausage, thawed 
  • Two Granny Smith apple, coarsely chopped
  • One Vidalia onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 stick of butter
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fairenheit.
  2. Butter the entire surface of both halves of the squash, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  3. Bake squash cavity-down on a large baking sheet for 30-45 minutes or until flesh is soft when pierced with a fork.
  4. Meanwhile brown sausage in a fry pan on medium heat, for about 10 minutes. Add chopped onions and apples to the mixture and cook another 5-10 minutes.  
  5. Remove squash from oven and stuff with sausage apple mixture. Sprinkle brown sugar on top, and bake cavity-side up at 400 degrees Fairenheit for another 10 minutes. 
  6. Cool for 10-15 minutes and enjoy! 




Roasted Apple Pork Skewers

by Marcia Hawkins


  • 1 bottle Stonewall Kitchen Apple Grill Sauce, available at Uncle Johns Home & Garden
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh sage
  • 6 (1-inch thick) boneless pork chops
  • 2 large red bell peppers


  1. Combine Roasted Apple Grille Sauce, crushed pepper and sage in food processor; process until pureed.
  2. Cut each pork chop into eight cubes; place in bowl.
  3. Pour 2/3 cup grille sauce mixture over pork cubes and toss to coat.
  4. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate several hours or overnight.
  5. Pour remaining sauce into microwavable serving dish; refrigerate, covered.
  6. Preheat oven to 450° F.
  7. Seed and cut each red pepper into 24 pieces.
  8. Place a pork cube and piece of red pepper on 48 4-inch wood skewers.
  9. Place skewers on foil lined baking sheet.
  10. Bake until internal temperature reaches 155° F., about 8-10 minutes
  11. Arrange on serving plate and season with salt and pepper if desired.
  12. Microwave reserved sauce until warm; serve as dipping sauce for pork skewers.

Recipe courtesy of Stonewall Kitchen

Cranberry Pumpkin Bread Pudding

by Marcia Hawkins

Quick and easy to prepare (don’t let all the instructions fool you), this recipe can be prepared up to several days ahead of time and is delicious served with vanilla ice cream or sweetened whipped cream.

  • ¾ cup milk, whole or low fat
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • ¾ cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 6 cups stale bread cubes (1/2” cubes)
  • ½ cup dried cranberries
  • ¼ cup almond liqueur such as Amaretto, optional

Heat oven to 350°F; butter a 9” square baking pan. Set aside.

Pour the milk and cream into a small saucepan and cook over medium heat stirring occasionally until small bubbles form around the edge of the pan, just before the mixture comes to a boil. Remove saucepan from the heat.

Place the eggs, vanilla, pumpkin pie spice, brown sugar and pumpkin puree in a medium bowl and whisk to combine. Add the hot milk mixture and whisk to combine.

Place the bread cubes in a large bowl and add the pumpkin/milk mixture, cranberries and liqueur. Stir to combine. Allow to sit, stirring occasionally, until it absorbs most of the liquid, about 20 minutes. Transfer the bread mixture to the prepared baking pan.

Make a water bath by placing the baking pan in a larger pan and place water in the larger outer pan so that it comes halfway up the side of the smaller pan. Bake the bread pudding in the water bath until it is set and golden, 40 to 45 minutes.

Carefully remove the smaller pan from the water bath and place the pan on a wire rack to cool for 30 minutes. Serve warm. Yields 1- 9" square pudding.

Chef’s Notes: Don’t skimp on the type of bread for cubes here; I like to use a good, bakery quality sourdough or other type of artisan bread

Recipe courtesy of Bev Shaffer 

Roasted Red Pepper Cheesy Bread

by Marcia Hawkins

Quick and easy to prepare, this recipe is perfect to substitute for your Friday night pizza and it's even more enjoyable on a cool fall evening!

  • Wind & Willow Roasted Red Pepper Dip Mix (available at our Home & Garden Store)
  • 1 French baguette
  • 4 Tbsp. butter
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella

Slice baguette lengthwise then cut in half.

You will be left with 4 large slices. Butter the bread slices and sprinkle slices evenly with half of the dip mix. Cover the bread slices with cheese then top with the remainder of dip mix. Bake in the oven until cheese is melted and bread is toasted, approximately 10 minutes.

Chef’s Notes: Substitute your favorite cheese for all or part of the mozzarella. Try using cheddar and fontina!

Recipe courtesy of Wind & Willow

Caribbean Pumpkin Coconut Soup

by Marcia Hawkins

Thick creamy and spicy—this soup uses the bounty of fall.

  • 2 lbs. pie pumpkin
  • 2 qts. vegetable broth
  • 2 leeks, cut in half lengthwise, cleaned well and chopped
  • 2 chilies (mild or hot), diced
  • 2 Tablespoons grated fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 bunch (4 to 6 leaves) collard greens, cut into thin strips
  • 1 can (14 oz.) coconut milk
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme
  • ½ teaspoon ground allspice

Cut pumpkin in half top to bottom and remove seeds. Cut the halves into chunks that will fit in your veggie steamer and steam them for 20 to 30 minutes or until they are very soft. (You may also steam, covered, in the microwave.)

Bring the broth to a boil in a medium soup pot. Add the leeks, chilies, ginger, garlic and salt. Cook on medium low heat for about 30 minutes. Add the collard greens and cook for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Scoop out the pumpkin pulp, place in a blender or food processor, and process until smooth. Add a small amount of the broth as needed to facilitate processing. Combine the blended pumpkin with the rest of the soup. Stir in the coconut milk, lime juice, thyme and allspice. Taste and add additional salt if needed.

Cook for about 5 additional minutes, until heated through and serve. Yields 6 servings.

Recipe courtesy of Bev Shaffer

Chef’s Notes: Allspice is a cured, unripe berry from a tropical evergreen tree; when ground, it releases aromatic notes reminiscent of cloves, cinnamon and nutmeg.

Oven Roasted Veggies

by Marcia Hawkins

  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
  • 3 medium tomatoes, cut into wedges
  • 3 medium zucchini, diced
  • 2 medium orange or yellow bell peppers, diced
  • 1 large red onion, diced
  • 1 teaspoon Hepp's sea salt (find in our Home & Garden Store)
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Mix tomatoes, peppers, onions, and zucchini with minced garlic and place into a 9x13 glass pan. Drizzle the olive oil over the veggies, and top with the lemon juice, herbs, Hepp's sea salt, and pepper. Mix once more so that the flavors will marry together. Bake uncovered for 18-20 minutes. Serves 4-6.
Recipe courtesy of Sue Kutrubs

Asparagus Puffs

by Marcia Hawkins

  • 1 jar Robert Rothschild Farm Raspberry Honey Mustard Pretzel Dip

  • 1 puff pastry sheet
  • 2 oz. prosciutto, thinly sliced

  • 12 asparagus spears

  • Salt and pepper to taste

Thaw puff pastry and roll out sheet onto cutting board. Brush Raspberry Mustard Pretzel Dip onto puff pastry sheet.

Cover with one layer of the thinly sliced prosciutto. Using a very sharp knife, slice into thin strips about 1/2 in wide. Wrap each strip in a spiral around each asparagus spear. (Make sure very end of asparagus is cut off to remove hard stalk).

Place onto parchment lined baking sheet and season with salt and pepper. Bake in 400 degrees F oven for 12-15 minutes. Yields 12 asparagus puffs.

Recipe courtesy of Robert Rothschild Farm

Colorful (and Flavorful) Gazpacho Salad

by Jim Marshall
This bright and flavorful combination of veggies makes for the perfect salad for picnics, potlucks, cookouts and salad buffets!
5 medium tomatoes, cored and chopped
1 cup chopped peeled cucumber
3/4 cup chopped red onion
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1/2 to 3/4 cup frozen corn, thawed
1 Tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 Tablespoon red wine vinegar
2 garlic cloves, pressed
1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
8 cups torn romaine lettuce
1 cup diced, peeled jicama, if available [if not substitute celery]
1/2 cup minced fresh cilantro
In a large bowl, combine the tomatoes, cucumber, onion, red pepper and corn. In a small bowl, whisk together the lime juice, vinegar, garlic, oil, salt, pepper and pepper flakes. Drizzle over tomato mixture; toss gently to coat.
At this point, mixture may either be refrigerated until ready to serve.
Just before serving, combine the romaine, jicama and cilantro. Place 1 cup on each of eight salad plates; top each with 1/3 cup of the tomato mixture.
Makes 8 servings.
Recipe courtesy of Chef Bev Shaffer
Bev Shaffer is a chef, food and travel writer (she authored the popular “Ask Bev” column that appeared in the Cleveland Plain Dealer), author of five cookbooks (her latest, CAKES to die for!), and culinary instructor. Chef Bev is a frequent and popular television and radio guest, cooking on all Cleveland network stations and public television. Links to her blogs, “Gadget Freak” and “Eat Plants” can be reached through her website,