Apple Cider Punch

Recipe courtesy of Country Living


  • ½ gal. apple cider
  • 1 qt. white grape juice
  • 1 bottle sparkling apple cider
  • 8 oz. orange juice
  • 8 tsp. star anises
  • 3 large Golden Delicious apples
  • Ice
  • 16 oz. dark rum (optional)


  1. In a punch bowl or large pitcher, combine apple cider, grape juice, sparkling cider, and orange juice. Add star anises and slices from 2 apples.
  2. To serve, fill tumblers with ice. Add 1 ounce rum to each glass, if desired, and top with punch. Garnish each with 1 apple slice.

Baked Apples

Recipe courtesy of
2 1/2 ounces of rolled oats (Not instant…no sir)
4 ounces all purpose flour
5 ounces light brown sugar, packed
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
Pinch kosher salt
1 stick cold unsalted butter, diced
4 Braeburn apples (Fuji will due in a pinch)
Honey (Tupelo would be my choice)
  1. Combine all the dry ingredients in a bowl along with the diced butter. Rub the mixture briskly between your finger tips until a loose sandy mixture forms with occasional moist clumps. Refrigerate this mixture while preparing the apples to keep the butter firm. (see note)
  2. Cut a small layer off the bottom of each apple to create a flat, stable bottom surface. With a paring knife, cut a cylindrical cone out of the top of the apple, moving about 1-inch outside of the core, similar to removing the top of a pumpkin when carving a Jack O’Lantern. Remove the top and discard.
  3. Using a melon baller or a teaspoon, remove the remaining core and seeds, taking care not to puncture the base of the apple.
  4. Place apples on a baking sheet or pie dish and fill, almost to the top, each center with honey. Spoon in mixture till full, then pack it down lightly. Add additional mixture until heaped and overflowing over sides of the apples.
  5. Bake on the top or middle rack of a 350 degree oven for 40 minutes or until the oat filling is golden brown. To check if apples are done, take tongs and squeeze the apples gently. If they give, they are done. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.
This mixture is called a streusel and it’s one of the most powerful multitaskers in the dessert universe and can be baked onto or on top of just about anything. I always make extra and freeze it in an old yogurt container so that I always have it on hand…until I use it up.

Twice-Baked Honeynut Squash with Gouda and Sage

Recipe courtesy of It’s Not Easy Being Green
  • 2 pounds Honeynut or Butternut Squash (about 3 Honeynut or 1 medium Butternut)
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon finely minced fresh sage
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 ounces shredded Dutch Aged Gouda cheese (about 2 cups)
  • 1/4 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • pinch nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh breadcrumbs
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Wash the outsides of the squash and cut lengthwise down the middle. Use a spoon to scoop out the seeds and place cut side down on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake until tender and a knife easily slides into the squash, about 25 minute for Honeynut and 40 minutes for Butternut. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
  2. While the squash is baking melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the minced fresh sage and cook slowly until the butter is chestnut color. Immediately pour the butter into another dish and allow to cool slightly.
  3. Toss one tablespoon of the sage browned butter with the breadcrumbs and set aside. Scoop the insides of the squash into a mixing bowl being careful not to break the skin of the squash. Mash the squash and add the remaining butter, the eggs, cheese, yogurt, salt, pepper and nutmeg. Spoon the mixture back into the squash shells. Mound the breadcrumbs on top of the squash.
  4. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees. Return the squash to the oven and bake until the breadcrumbs are golden brown and the squash is slightly set and hot throughout, about 15 minutes for Honeynut and 25 minutes for Butternut. Serve hot.
The squash can be made ahead of time and baked for the second time right before serving. Make your breadcrumbs from a strudy bread like a baguette or sourdough for a coarse crumb that will toast better.

Smith Meadows’ Oven Baked Steak

2 10-12 oz. Smith Meadows Free-Range Steaks

Hot Cast Iron Frying Pan or Griddle

1 Baking Dish (Large enough for 2 steaks)

1 cup dry red wine

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Pat the steaks completely dry with a paper towel while you heat up the pan or the griddle. If the pan or griddle is new or very dry, wipe the surface with a paper towel soaked in olive oil. If the pan or griddle are seasoned this step may not be necessary. Carefully sear the steak on both sides and the edges. Do not let the meat sit on the hot surface for more than a few seconds. Immediately place the steaks into a shallow baking dish with a cup of wine. Bake in the oven for 7-10 minutes (7 for rare, 10 for medium rare) Remove and flip the steaks. Return them to the oven for another 7-10 minutes on 350. Remove the baking dish, cover with a cotton towel or a lid of some sort. Let the meat rest for a few minutes before serving. Enjoy!

Brown Rice Couscous, Goat Cheese and Shiitake Zucchini Blossoms

Recipe courtesy of

12 zucchini blossoms
1 cup cooked brown rice couscous or quinoa
1/4 cup shiitakes, sauteed in olive oil
1 Tbs goat cheese, crumbled
1 Tbs parsley, chopped
1 Tbs basil, chopped
1 tsp oregano
Salt and pepper to taste
1 clove of garlic
2 Tbs Olive oil
Juice of half a lemon
1 Tbs butter

Mix together the cooked couscous, cooked shiitakes, goat cheese, fresh herbs. Season with a bit of salt and pepper and taste it. Adjust seasoning.

Stuff the blossoms with about 1-2 tsp of the mixture and roll the tops to seal in the filling.

Heat the olive oil in a large non stick pan. Cook the garlic clove slowly until it infuses the oil and then remove it. Brown the stuffed zucchini blossoms for about 1 minute on each side. Add the lemon juice. Turn the heat off and add the butter. Swirl the pan to create a bit of a sauce. Serve immediately.