Stuffed Banana Peppers+


  • 6 to 8 large banana peppers
  • 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded sharp Cheddar cheese (could use less)
  • 1 small tomato, diced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1/2 small green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 to 2 jalapeño peppers, diced
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 12 to 16 bacon slices (takes more than one package if you really want to fully wrap peppers)
  • could add bread crumbs to soak up some of the cheese?

How to Make It

Pre-step: works well to partially cook the bacon before wrapping the peppers

Step 1

Cut a slit lengthwise in each banana pepper, cutting to, but not through, other side. Remove seeds.

Step 2

Combine cheese and next 6 ingredients. Spoon mixture evenly into each pepper, and wrap each with 2 bacon slices; secure with wooden picks. Place peppers on a rack in a broiler pan.

Step 3

Broil 5 1/2 inches from heat 4 to 5 minutes on each side or until golden.

Persian Rice and Sweet Corn Salad+

Makes 8 cups.

Note: This light and colorful salad is a meal in itself, and would be terrific with a salad of sliced cucumbers and herbs, or some flatbread and baba ghanoush. For a special finish, sprinkle with chopped pistachios or pomegranate seeds. From Robin Asbell.

• 3 ears sweet corn, shucked

• 2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided

• 1 c. basmati rice

• 1 pinch saffron

• 1/8 tsp. ground cinnamon

• 3/4 tsp. salt, divided

• 1 (15-oz.) can chickpeas (also called garbanzos), drained

• 1 large red bell pepper, chopped

• 1 large tomato, chopped

• 1/2 c. fresh spearmint, chopped, plus more for garnish

• 1/2 c. fresh dill, chopped, plus more for garnish

• 1/2 c. whole milk Greek yogurt

• 2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice

• 1/2 tsp. freshly cracked black pepper


Cut the corn kernels from the cobs and reserve.

In a 2-quart pot, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the corn. Sauté, stirring, for about 2 minutes, until the corn is browned in spots and starting to stick to the pot. Scrape the corn into a large bowl.

Add the rice to the pot and stir, and crumble in the saffron, and stir for a few seconds. Add the cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1 1/2 cup water, and bring to a boil. Cover and lower the heat to low, cook for 15 minutes. Take off the heat to cool.

When the rice is cool, add it to the bowl with the corn, and add the chickpeas, peppers, tomatoes, mint and dill.

In a small bowl, stir the yogurt, lemon, pepper, remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt. Pour over the rice and fold in.

Serve immediately, garnished with fresh mint and dill, or store, tightly covered, in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Nutrition information per 1-cup serving:

Calories 230 Fat 7 g Sodium 320 mg

Carbohydrates 38 g Saturated fat 2 g Total sugars 5 g

Protein 6 g Cholesterol 5 mg Dietary fiber 4 g


Slow Cooker Pulled Pork+


  • 2 medium yellow onions, thinly sliced
  • 4 medium garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup chicken stock or low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt, plus more as needed
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 (4-1/2- to 5-pound) boneless or bone-in pork shoulder (also known as pork butt), twine or netting removed
  • 2 cups barbecue sauce (optional)


  1. Place the onions and garlic in an even layer in the slow cooker and pour in the stock or broth. Combine the sugar, chili powder, measured salt, cumin, and cinnamon in a small bowl. Pat the pork dry with paper towels. Rub the spice mixture all over the pork and place the meat on top of the onions and garlic. Cover and cook until the pork is fork tender, about 6 to 8 hours on high or 8 to 10 hours on low.
  2. Turn off the slow cooker and remove the pork to a cutting board. Set a fine-mesh strainer over a medium heatproof bowl. Pour the onion mixture from the slow cooker through the strainer and return the solids to the slow cooker. Set the strained liquid aside.
  3. If the pork has a bone, remove and discard it. Using 2 forks, shred the meat into bite-sized pieces, discarding any large pieces of fat. Return the shredded meat to the slow cooker, add the barbecue sauce, if using, and mix to combine. If you’re not using barbecue sauce, use a spoon to skim and discard the fat from the surface of the strained cooking liquid, and then add 1/4 cup of the liquid at a time to the slow cooker until the pork is just moistened. Taste and season with salt as needed.



Raspberry Almond Thumbprint Cookies+

Makes about 3 dozen cookies



  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1  teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup raspberry jam*


  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 to 3 teaspoons water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract

*Substitute 1/2 cup of your favorite flavor jam.


  1. Combine butter, sugar and 1/2 teaspoon almond extract in bowl. Beat at medium speed, scraping bowl often, until creamy. Add flour; beat at low speed, scraping bowl often, until well mixed. Cover; refrigerate at least 1 hour or until firm.
  2. Heat oven to 350°F.
  3. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Place 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheets. Make indentation in center of each cookie with thumb (edges may crack slightly). Fill each indentation with about 1/4 teaspoon jam.
  4. Bake 14-18 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Let stand 1 minute on cookie sheets; remove to cooling rack. Cool completely.
  5. Combine all glaze ingredients in bowl with whisk until smooth. Drizzle over cookies.


Egg Bake+


  • Pillsbury southern style 8 ct biscuits
  • 2 c cheddar cheese
  • 3 lbs. fresh pork breakfast sausage
  • 12 eggs
  • cooking spray
  • 1 c milk
  • black pepper and other seasonings as desired (ancho chili, basil, thyme)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray the bottom and sides of a 4 1/2 quart glass baking pan. Cut the biscuits into eighths with a pizza cutter. Cook the sausage and stir to crumble while cooking.  Add biscuits and sausage to the pan and sprinkle with half of the cheese.  Mix milk, eggs and spices thoroughly and pour over the contents of the pan.  Sprinkle with remaining cheese.  Cook for 30-40 minutes or until set.

Brussels Sprout Rösti*

Serves 8.


• 4 egg whites

• 1 tbsp. lemon juice, plus more for serving

• 4 c. lightly packed finely shredded Brussels sprouts (about 12 oz.) (used food processor on whole sprouts)

• 1 medium onion, finely chopped in processor

• 2 garlic cloves, minced

• 3/4 c. flour or chickpea flour

• Kosher salt and black pepper

• 1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes

• Flavorless oil, for frying

• Balsamic Dijon Yogurt (recipe follows)


In a large bowl, whisk together the egg whites and lemon juice. Add the Brussels sprouts, onion and garlic, and stir to combine. Stir in the flour, 3/4 teaspoon salt, a lot of turns of black pepper, and a few pinches of red pepper flakes.

In a large skillet, heat a thin layer of oil over medium-high heat until shimmering. Using an ice cream scoop, scoop about one-eighth of the Brussels sprout mixture into the pan, and use a spatula to pat it out into a pancake. Cook on both sides until browned, 3 to 4 minutes on each side.

Place on a plate lined with paper towels, sprinkle with salt and a squeeze of lemon, and serve with Balsamic Dijon Yogurt.


Balsamic Dijon Yogurt

Makes about 1 1/4 cups.


• 1 c. plain full-fat Greek yogurt

• 2 tbsp. Dijon mustard

• 2 tbsp. honey

• 1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar

• 1/4 tsp. kosher salt


In a medium bowl, mix together the yogurt, mustard, honey, vinegar and salt.


Peanut Butter, Banana and Chocolate Chip Bread+


  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ½ cup creamy peanut butter
  • ¼ cup butter, softened
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 ripe bananas, mashed (about 1½ cups)
  • ½ cup semi sweet chocolate chips


Step 1.

Heat the oven to 350ºF. Coat an 8-by-4-inch loaf pan with cooking spray.

Step 2.

Whisk together the flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

Step 3.

Beat the peanut butter, butter, and sugar with a mixer on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Beat in the eggs one at a time on medium speed, and then beat in the vanilla extract. Beat in the flour mixture on low speed. Fold in the mashed bananas.

Step 4.

Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of the bread comes out clean, 50 to 60 minutes. Cool the bread in the pan for 10 minutes; then remove it to a rack to cool completely.

Adapted from Panera’s Peanut Butter Banana Bread recipe


Boilermaker Chili+


  • 2 pounds ground beef 80% lean
  • 1 pound bulk hot Italian sausage
  • 2 (15 ounce) cans medium spiced Bush’s chili beans
  • 2 (15 ounce) can hot spiced Bush’s chili beans
  • 2 (28 ounce) cans diced tomatoes with juice
  • 1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
  • 2 large yellow onions, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 2 green jalapeno peppers, partially seeded and chopped
  • 3 strips of cooked bacon, finely chopped
  • 4 cubes beef bouillon
  • 1 cup beer
  • 1/3 cup chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons hot pepper sauce (green chile habanero)
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 Tbsp white sugar
  • 1 (10.5 ounce) bag corn chips such as Fritos(R)
  • 1 (8 ounce) package shredded Cheddar cheese


  1. Heat a large (8-10 qt) stock pot over medium-high heat. Crumble the ground chuck and sausage into the hot pan, and cook until evenly browned. Drain off excess grease.
  2. Pour in the chili beans, spicy chili beans, diced tomatoes and tomato paste. Add the onion, bell peppers, jalapeno peppers, bacon bits, bouillon, and beer. Season with chili powder, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, oregano, cumin, hot pepper sauce, basil, pepper, cayenne, paprika, and sugar. Stir to blend, then cover and simmer over low heat for at least 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
  3. After 2 hours, taste, and adjust salt, pepper, and chili powder if necessary. The longer the chili simmers, the better it will taste. Remove from heat and serve, or refrigerate, and serve the next day.
  4. To serve, ladle into bowls, and top with corn chips and shredded Cheddar cheese.

This makes a LOT of chili. You could halve it and still have plenty.  This yields a pleasantly spicy chili, but could be made hotter as desired. You can modulate that by the amount of seeds retained from the jalapeno and the amount of cayenne and/or hot pepper sauce used.

Seared Porterhouse with Oozing Maitre d’ Butter+

Total Time: 1 hr 5 min
Prep: 15 min
Inactive: 10 min
Cook: 40 min

2 to 4 servings


2 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus 8 additional tablespoons, softened
1 cup minced shallots
Coarse sea salt
2 teaspoons green peppercorns
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice, plus a “few grates” lemon zest
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons freshly chopped parsley leaves
2 porterhouse steak, about 2 1/2 pounds and about 2 1/2 inches thick
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Make the butter: In a medium saute pan, heat 2 tablespoons of the butter over medium heat, then add the shallots. Season with salt, to taste, and cook until they are translucent, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer the shallots to a medium bowl. Add the green peppercorns, mustard, lemon juice, lemon zest and Worcestershire sauce. Whisk to blend so all of the flavors start to meld together. Use a fork to blend in the other 8 tablespoons of butter. Season with salt and pepper, to taste, and stir in the parsley.

Roll the butter into a cylinder (like cookie dough) in plastic wrap or parchment pepper and refrigerate until ready to use.

Cook the steak: Heat a cast iron skillet large enough to hold the steak until it begins to visibly smoke. Use a kitchen towel to “blot” any excess moisture from both sides of the steak and season with salt and pepper. Shut the heat off underneath the skillet and use a pair of tongs to put the steak squarely in the pan. Raise the heat high and brown on the first side, 3 to 5 minutes. Resist the temptation to move it as it cooks. Lower the heat and cook for an additional 8 to 10 minutes. Turn it on its second side and brown for 3 to 5 minutes. Lower the heat and cook for an additional 8 to 10 minutes. Turn the steak on the edge with the fat “cap” and brown that for 3 to 5 minutes. Lower the heat and allow the steak to cook for an additional 3 to 5 minutes on each side. Slice the maitre d’ butter into1/2-inch rounds and set aside.

Testing for doneness: The simplest way to check for doneness is to make a small incision by the center bone in the thickest part of the steak. It should be a little less cooked than you would like to allow for “carry over” cooking and the “finishing” touch of running the steak under the broiler. For rare, a 2 1/2-inch porterhouse steak should take around 30 to 35 minutes to cook. Add about 4 minutes for medium-rare and 4 additional for medium. If using an instant-read thermometer, rare registers between 125 and 130 degrees F. For medium-rare, 130 to 135 degrees F and between 135 and 140 degrees F for medium.

Remove the steak from the pan to a cutting board and let rest for 10 minutes. Cut into slices and transfer the whole thing to a heatproof platter with the meat still arranged around each side of the center bone. Top the steak with a single layer of the butter slices, put it under the broiler until the butter softens, about 30 to 45 seconds. Serve immediately.

Shrimp with Spicy Roasted Red Pepper Cream Sauce

8 oz spaghetti (or other pasta)

8 oz roasted red peppers, drained

4 oz 1/3-less-fat cream cheese

1/2 cup low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth

minced garlic to taste (1/4 cup?)

1 to 1-1/4 pounds peeled cooked shrimp

red pepper flakes to taste

cayenne pepper to taste

1/2 cup chopped parsley

grated parmesan cheese to taste (1/2 cup?)


Cook pasta to end coincident with cream sauce.


Place the red peppers, cream cheese, broth and garlic in a food processor and process until smooth, scraping down the sides as necessary. Pour mixture into a large skillet.


Cook sauce mixture over medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring often, until thoroughly heated.


Add shrimp, crushed pepper flakes and cayenne and cook 3-5 minutes until thoroughly heated.


Remove from heat and pour over hot pasta. Sprinkle with parsley and parmesan and serve.


Serves 4.