Winners of the Long Island Apple Festival’s apple pie contest, from left, Liana and Gabrielle Lofaso, Christopher McAndrews and Sabrina Sloan and Chris Muscarella. Not shown, Erin Lovett. Photo by Tara La Ware
Winners of the Long Island Apple Festival’s apple pie contest, from left, Liana and Gabrielle Lofaso, Christopher McAndrews and Sabrina Sloan and Chris Muscarella. Not shown, Erin Lovett. Photo by Tara La Ware

The Long Island Apple Festival returned to the Sherwood-Jayne Farm in East Setauket on Sept. 25 for its 27th year. Presented by the Society for the Preservation of Long Island Antiquities, Homestead Arts and the Greater Port Jefferson–Northern Brookhaven Arts Council, the event celebrated the humble apple. One of the highlights of the day was the apple pie contest. First place went to Sabrina Sloan and Chris Muscarella of East Setauket (see their recipe below), Erin Lovett of Lake Ronkonkoma took home second place and Christopher McAndrews of Belle Terre placed third. Liana and Gabrielle Lofaso of Belle Terre won for Best Looking Pie. Congratulations to all!



Apple Pie

Apple pie

YIELD: Makes one 9-inch pie, serves 6 to 8


Crust: 2½ cups all-purpose flour

3 teaspoons sugar

¼ teaspoon salt

1½ cups (3 sticks) cold, unsalted butter, cubed

½ cup ice water


8 cups cored, peeled, sliced apples (Granny Smith or Cortland)

2 tablespoons lemon juice

¼ cup all-purpose flour

2/3 cup sugar, plus 1 tablespoon for top of crust

¼ cup brown sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

¼ teaspoon nutmeg

2 tablespoons butter

1 egg yolk

Splash of water

DIRECTIONS: Preheat oven to 375 F. In a food processor, using a metal blade, pulse your flour, sugar and salt together. Add in cold, cubed butter and pulse. Slowly drizzle in ice water, one tablespoon at a time. You should have a course, crumbly mixture. (If you don’t have a food processor, combine ingredients in a large bowl using a pastry blender or fork.) Before the dough has formed a ball, remove the blade and take dough out, bringing it together by hand. Form the dough into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. It is very important to work with cold dough. In a large bowl, toss apples in lemon juice, flour, sugars, cinnamon and nutmeg. Set aside.

Once dough is cold, take dough out of plastic wrap and divide in half. Return one half, in plastic wrap, to the fridge. On a lightly floured surface, roll your ½ of dough out into a circle, 12 to 14 inches round and about ¼ inch thick. Gently take the corners, lift the dough and transfer it to pie pan. Lightly press sides against the bottom and sides of pan. Trim overhanging dough so that you’re left with ½ inch and fold excess under the edge of the pan. Pour apple mixture into pie pan and cover the top of the apples with pats of butter. T

ake second half of dough from fridge and repeat process of rolling it out to a 12 to 14 inch circle, ¼ inch thick. Cover the entire pie with remaining rolled-out dough. Pierce holes in the top of dough to allow heat to escape (so there isn’t a steam buildup inside the pie.) Seal the edges of the pie by fluting the dough (stamping the dough with a fork) around the edge of the pie pan. In a small bowl, beat the egg yolk and add a splash of water. Brush the egg mixture all over the top of the crust and sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 50 minutes or until crust is golden brown.

Recipe courtesy of Sabrina Sloan and Chris Muscarella of East Setauket.

Glazed Autumn Leaf Cookies

Cooler temperatures, beautiful changing leaves and the familiar scent of pumpkin pie spice are all signs of fall. Whether you’re hosting a pumpkin carving party or decorating sweet treats with family, celebrate the season with pumpkin patch cupcakes and maple-flavored leaf-shaped cookies.

Pumpkin Patch Cupcakes

Pumpkin Patch Cupcakes
Pumpkin Patch Cupcakes

YIELD: Makes 24 cupcakes


2 cups (4 sticks) butter, softened

4 teaspoons McCormick Pure Vanilla Extract

2 boxes (16 ounces each) confectioners’ sugar, sifted

3 tablespoons milk

1 1/2 teaspoons Sunflower color from McCormick Color from Nature — Assorted Food Colors, divided 1/2 teaspoon Berry color from McCormick Color from Nature — Assorted Food Colors, divided

24 unfrosted cupcakes

12 regular marshmallows, halved crosswise

12 small chocolate-flavored taffy roll (Tootsie Roll), halved crosswise

DIRECTIONS: Beat butter and vanilla in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Gradually add confectioners’ sugar, beating well after each addition and scraping sides and bottom of bowl frequently. Add milk; beat until light and fluffy. Remove 2 cups of the frosting into medium microwavable bowl. Tint frosting orange using 1 teaspoon of the Sunflower color and 1/4 teaspoon of the Berry color. Set aside.

Tint remaining frosting green using another 1/2 teaspoon of the Sunflower color and 1/4 teaspoon of the Berry color. Spread top of cupcakes with green frosting. Using a fork, gently touch frosting in different directions to resemble grass spikes. To make the pumpkins, microwave the orange frosting on HIGH 10 to 20 seconds or until runny. Using a fork, dip marshmallow halves into frosting mixture, then place on top of frosted cupcakes. Let stand until pumpkin frosting has dried. Press a Tootsie Roll half in center of each pumpkin for the stem. Decorate leaves and vines with remaining green frosting, if desired.

Glazed Autumn Leaf Cookies

Glazed Autumn Leaf Cookies
Glazed Autumn Leaf Cookies

YIELD: Makes 36 cookies


2 3/4 cups flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened

1 1/2 cups sugar

1 egg

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 teaspoons maple extract

DIRECTIONS: Preheat oven to 325 F. Mix flour, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg in medium bowl. Set aside. Beat butter and sugar in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add egg, vanilla and maple extract; mix well. Gradually beat in flour mixture on low speed until well mixed. Roll dough on generously floured surface to 1/4-inch thickness. Cut out leaves with 2- to 3-inch leaf-shaped cookie cutters. Place on ungreased baking sheets. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until edges start to brown. Cool on baking sheets 1 minute. Remove to wire racks; cool completely.

To glaze cookies, hold a cookie by its edge and dip the top into the glaze. Place iced cookies on wire rack set over foil-covered baking sheet to dry. Let stand until glaze is set. For the variations below, dissolve the designated amount of the Color from Nature Food Colors with water in small bowl. Stir in any remaining ingredients until smooth.

Maroon Cookie Glaze: Use 1/2 teaspoon Berry color from McCormick Color from Nature — Assorted Food Colors, 3 tablespoons water (plus additional to dissolve color), 2 cups confectioners’ sugar and 1 teaspoon cocoa powder.

Forest Green Cookie Glaze: Use 1/2 teaspoon Sky Blue color and 1/4 teaspoon Sunflower color from McCormick Color from Nature — Assorted Food Colors, 3 tablespoons water (plus additional to dissolve color), 2 cups confectioners’ sugar and 1 teaspoon cocoa powder.

Pumpkin Cookie Glaze: Use 1 teaspoon Sunflower color and 1/4 teaspoon Berry color from McCormick Color from Nature — Assorted Food Colors, 3 tablespoons water (plus additional to dissolve color) and 2 cups confectioners’ sugar.

Apple Brownies

Apple Brownies

Apple Brownies
Apple Brownies


1 stick salted butter, melted and cooled

1 cup flour

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

3/4 cup sugar

1 large egg

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

2 large apples, peeled, cored and cut into 1/2-inch cubes (2 3/4 cups)

DIRECTIONS: Preheat oven to 350 F. Butter an 8- by 11-inch baking dish. Mix together flour, cinnamon, baking powder, salt and baking soda in a medium bowl. In a large bowl, beat together butter, sugar and egg for about 2 minutes. Add walnuts and apples. Stir by hand until mixed. Add flour mixture and mix. Spread batter in pan and bake for 40 minutes or until golden brown and slightly firm. Let cool for 30 minutes and cut into 12 bars before serving.

Baked Apples

Baked Apples
Baked Apples


4 large baking apples

4 tablespoons butter, softened

1/2 cup brown sugar

3/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 cup chopped pecans

DIRECTIONS: Preheat the oven to 375 F. Wash and core apples, leaving enough of the core at the base of the apple to contain the filling. Combine the butter, brown sugar, cinnamon and chopped pecans in a small bowl. Roll log shapes of the mixture and press enough into each apple to fill the core. Fill a 2-quart baking dish with about 3/4 cup water, or enough to cover the bottom. Place the apples upright in the dish. Bake for one hour or until the apples are soft and the filling is browned.

Apple Cake

Apple Cake
Apple Cake


1/2 cup flour

2/3 cup sugar

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup milk

3 eggs

2 tablespoons oil

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

4 apples

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

zest of one lemon

DIRECTIONS: Mix together flour, 1/3 cup sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. In a medium bowl, combine milk, 2 eggs, oil and vanilla extract. Add to dry ingredients until combined (use a spoon or fork) Peel and slice apples (thin slices). Mix into batter. Pour batter into a 9-inch springform pan. Bake at 400 F. for 25 minutes until golden. Remove from oven. Leave the oven on at 400 F. Combine melted butter, 1 egg, 1/3 cup sugar and lemon zest. Pour over cake and bake cake for another 10 minutes. Loosen cake from pan sides while hot to prevent sticking. Cool and serve.

Apple Crisp

Apple Crisp
Apple Crisp

YIELD: Makes 4 to 6 servings


4 cups sliced and pared apples

1/4 cup orange juice

1/4 cup sugar

3/4 cup flour

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/3 cup butter

DIRECTIONS: Mound apples in a buttered pie plate and pour orange juice over them. In a separate bowl, combine sugar, flour, and cinnamon. Cut in butter until mixture is crumbly. Sprinkle mixture over apples. Bake at 375 F for 45 minutes or until apples are tender and topping is crisp.

Whether you’re a fitness junkie, busy parent, sleep-deprived student or diehard sweet tooth, peanut butter is an ingredient that sticks for all of life’s moments. With a healthy boost of protein and energy, peanut butter is perfect as a reliable family meal. Try these delicious winning recipes from Southern Peanut Growers’ 2016 annual PB My Way recipe contest.

Veggie Sammies with Peanut Butter Satay Sauce

Grand Prize Winner: Take lunchtime to a new level by smothering your sandwich with a savory PB satay sauce. Save the extra sauce for a healthy veggie dip at snack time. Recipe courtesy of Ben M., San Francisco, California

Veggie Sammies with Peanut Butter Satay Sauce
Veggie Sammies with Peanut Butter Satay Sauce

YIELD: Serves 2


4 tablespoons creamy peanut butter

3 tablespoons lime juice

2 tablespoons water

4 teaspoons hoisin sauce

2 teaspoons soy sauce

2 teaspoons sriracha sauce

2 French baguette rolls (6 inches each)

1/2 cup sliced cucumber

1/2 cup sliced white onion 1

/2 cup sliced red bell pepper

1/2 cup sliced purple cabbage

1/2 cup fresh cilantro

DIRECTIONS: In small bowl, combine peanut butter, lime juice, water, hoisin sauce, soy sauce and sriracha sauce. Mix well. Spread sauce on both sides of bread; then layer with cucumber, onion and bell pepper. Top with cabbage and cilantro leaves.

Peanut Apple Chicken Curry

Family-tested Winner: A grown-up twist on the classic peanut butter and apple pairing, this new take on a traditional Indian dish is a total palate pleaser. It’s easy enough for a weekday meal that the family is sure to love. Recipe courtesy of Jess A., Berkeley, California

Peanut Apple Chicken Curry
Peanut Apple Chicken Curry

YIELD: Serves: 4



1 tablespoon olive oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 teaspoons curry powder

1/4 cup scallions, chopped

1 cup creamy peanut butter

2 teaspoons rice wine vinegar

1 3/4 cups apple juice

1 3/4 cups coconut milk

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)


2 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 small yellow onion, chopped

1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1-inch strips

1 medium apple, peeled, cored and chopped

salt, to taste pepper, to taste

cooked rice (optional)

DIRECTIONS: To make sauce: In medium to large saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add garlic, curry powder and scallions. Saute 1 minute. Add peanut butter, vinegar, apple juice, coconut milk, brown sugar and cayenne pepper. Bring to simmer, reduce heat and cook over low heat, stirring frequently, about 10 to 15 minutes. Meanwhile, in large skillet, heat oil. Add onion and stir fry about 2 to 3 minutes until onions start to become opaque. Add chicken and apples, and stir until chicken is cooked completely. Add peanut sauce and cook until heated evenly, about 2 to 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Serve warm over rice, if desired.

Source: Southern Peanut Growers

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Sweet 'n Sour Pork Chops

It’s hard to believe but the kids on the North Shore are headed back to school this week and fall is just around the corner. For parents, the days are just going to be busier, with sports, homework, meetings, activities, concerts — the list goes on and on…

During this time of year, your slow cooker can become your best friend, making delicious meals that are quick and easy. Get in the back-to-school swing with these delicious slow cooker recipes, Slow Cooked Short Ribs and Sweet ‘n Sour Pork Chops from Thomas H. Sarc’s “Dishing Out Delicious” cookbook, a collection of the Long Island author’s family recipes.

Sweet ‘n Sour Pork Chops


Sweet 'n Sour Pork Chops
Sweet ‘n Sour Pork Chops

4 boneless pork chops, 1 inch thick

3 tablespoons brown sugar

3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

4 teaspoons low sodium soy sauce

2 garlic cloves, chopped

1 package (14 oz.) frozen bell pepper stir-fry blend

4 teaspoons corn starch

DIRECTIONS: Coat a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray. Place on high heat. Sprinkle both sides of pork chops with pepper to taste. Add to skillet and cook 1 to 2 minutes on each side until browned. Transfer to a slow cooker. In a small bowl whisk together brown sugar, vinegar, soy sauce and garlic until sugar dissolves. Pour over chops. Cover slow cooker and cook on low for 4 hours.

Add frozen vegetables and increase heat to high. Cook one hour more or until chops are heated through (145 F) and vegetables are tender. Transfer chops to a platter, reserving the liquid and vegetables in the slow cooker. For the sauce, whisk together corn starch and 4 tablespoons cold water until dissolved. Stir in cooking liquid from slow cooker. Microwave on high for 2 minutes or until the sauce comes to a boil and thickens. Return to the slow cooker. Spoon vegetables and sauce over the pork chops and serve.

Slow Cooked Short Ribs


Slow Cooked Short Ribs
Slow Cooked Short Ribs

3 pounds beef short ribs

1 large onion, finely chopped

1 1/4 cups barbecue sauce

3 tablespoons honey

2 tablespoons flour

2 tablespoons dijon mustard

DIRECTIONS: Place the ribs in a slow cooker. Top with onion. In a medium bowl, whisk together barbecue sauce, honey, flour and mustard. Pour over ribs. Cover and cook on high for 4 hours or low for 8 hours or until the meat is very tender. Using a slotted spoon, remove the ribs from the slow cooker and place on a a platter. Spoon cooking liquid over ribs before serving.

dishing-out-delicious‘Dishing Out Delicious’ is available at Barnes and Noble and

Last year’s winners of the Long Island Apple Festival’s apple pie contest, from left, second-place winner Rosemary Ullrich of South Setauket; Michelle Miller of Setauket (best looking pie); first-place winner James Goddard of Middle Island; and third-place winner Alyssa Turano of Setauket. File photo by Heidi Sutton

The humble apple will be the focus of the largest Apple Pie Baking Contest on Long Island, to be held in conjunction with the 27th Annual Long Island Apple Festival Sunday, Sept. 25, at the Sherwood-Jayne Farm, 55 Old Post Road, Setauket, from 11 to 4:30 p.m. Participants get a chance to show off their favorite family recipes and participate in an old-fashioned blue ribbon competition. The contest is sponsored by Homestead Arts, the Society for the Preservation of Long Island Antiquities and the Greater Port Jefferson-Northern Brookhaven Arts Council.

apple pieEntries must be traditional apple pies only. Pie, including crust, must be homemade by amateur bakers. Early registration is preferred, before Thursday, Sept. 22, but registrations will also be accepted on the day of the festival. Pies must be on the contest table at the Sherwood-Jayne House before 11 a.m. on the day of the festival. A written recipe must be submitted with each entry including the name and address of the baker. Each contestant will receive one free Apple Festival entry.

The judging will begin at 2 p.m. with prizes awarded between 3 and 4 p.m. First-, second- and third-place winners will be announced for Best Tasting Pie, and there will be a prize for Best Looking Pie. Several local judges will participate along with an Everyman judge chosen from our Apple Festival audience. All winners will receive a prize. Past prizes have included a brunch or dinner for two at fine restaurants, theater tickets, gift baskets and gift certificates, to name a few. The first-place winner will be invited to be a judge at next year’s Apple Pie Baking Contest. All pies, including their dishes, will be auctioned off after the winners are announced.

For contest entry forms, visit For more information call 631-692-4664.

Perfect Peach Pie

Roasted White Peaches with Honeycomb and Vanilla Ice Cream

YIELD: Serves 8


1 cup sugar, divided

Roasted White Peaches with Honeycomb and Vanilla Ice Cream
Roasted White Peaches with Honeycomb and Vanilla Ice Cream

1 lemon, zested

4 ripe but firm white peaches, halved and pitted

2/3 cup water, plus 2 tablespoons, divided

nonstick cooking spray

1/3 cup honey

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

4 cups Breyers Natural Vanilla Ice Cream, divided

honeycomb (optional)

DIRECTIONS: Heat oven to 425 F. In a small bowl, whisk 3 tablespoons sugar and lemon zest for about 1 minute or until sugar is fragrant and moist. Arrange peaches, cut side up, in 13-by-9-inch baking dish. Pour water into dish. Sprinkle lemon sugar mixture over peaches and roast 25-30 minutes or until peaches are slightly softened and have released their juices. Meanwhile, lightly spray cooking spray on small baking sheet. In a medium-heavy saucepan over high heat, bring remaining sugar, honey and 2 tablespoons water to boil, stirring constantly.

Reduce heat to medium-high and cook, without stirring, about 5 minutes or until candy thermometer reaches 305 F. Remove from heat and whisk in baking soda until blended and mixture begins to bubble. Gently pour hot mixture onto prepared baking sheet and cool. Spoon 1/2 cup ice cream into each of 8 bowls. Top with warm roasted peaches and warm juices. Sprinkle with honeycomb pieces if desired and serve immediately.

Source: Breyers

Perfect Peach Pie

YIELD: Makes 1 pie

Perfect Peach Pie
Perfect Peach Pie


Pastry for two-crust pie

2 1/4 cups flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup vegetable shortening

1/2 cup cold butter, cut up

ice water

1 egg white


6 cups peeled and sliced peaches

1/2 cup sugar

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/3 cup flour

DIRECTIONS: In a large bowl mix the flour and salt. With a pastry blender or fork cut in the shortening and butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle in 4 to 6 tablespoons ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time. Mix lightly with fork after each addition, until dough is just moist enough to hold together. Shape dough into two balls, one slightly larger. Wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes or overnight (if chilled overnight, let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes). Roll out crusts on a lightly floured surface. Roll out the smaller half of the pastry and place in a pie plate. Sprinkle with sugar to prevent it from getting soggy.

Toss sliced peaches in large bowl with remaining ingredients, then spoon mixture into pie crust. Place the second half of the pie crust on top; cut slits and brush egg white over it. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes at 425 F or until the crust is golden. Serve warm or cold.

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Brie is a very versatile cheese and pairs nicely with a multitude of wines. Stock photo

By Bob Lipinski

“How can you govern a country which has 246 varieties of cheese?”  — Charles de Gaulle, 1890–1970, President of France, 1962 speech

According to popular legend, Emperor Charlemagne supposedly first tasted Brie in around 774 at a monastery and fell in love with its creamy flavors and inviting texture. There are stories that put Brie’s beginnings several hundred years earlier, but those cannot be proven.

At the Congress of Vienna (1814–1815) a jury of ambassadors each brought a cheese from their respective countries for a judging. France’s statesman, Talleyrand, brought Brie and after a vote, the conference delegates proclaimed it the King of Cheeses.

Brie, which is a double-crème, cow’s milk cheese is made in the French province of Brie, in the department of Seine-et-Marne, northeast of Paris, although it is also made in the United States and other countries. Brie is similar to Camembert (France), Coulommiers (France), Crèma Danica (Denmark) and Paglia (Italy).

The term Brie covers a small family of cheeses, which carry the name of the town or village where they are made. The finest Brie is generally considered to be Brie de Meaux while another variety is Brie de Melun.

Prior to aging, the small or large wheels of cheese are washed with a salt brine, then rubbed or sprayed with a culture of pure-white mold spores. After that, the cheeses are taken to the curing room for many months of aging. Brie has a thin, edible, white rind, with a creamy yellow interior.

When Brie begins to get old, the white rind turns brown and an odor of ammonia can be detected. Its texture is soft and smooth, almost honey-like, but definitely not runny. It is mild to pungent tasting with hints of mushrooms, cognac, heavy cream, nuts and even truffles. After one hour or so opened at room temperature, Brie becomes runny with a buttery and earthy flavor and is quite spreadable. It is sometimes flavored with herbs, peppers and mushrooms.

I generally serve Brie at room temperature, and for guests, with the aid of a sharp knife, I remove the top rind and immediately brush the cheese with lemon juice. Next I spread a thin layer of apricot or peach preserves, followed by raisins previously soaked in white wine, in the center. Spread slivered almonds or pecans in a circular fashion around the raisins. Place in a 425 F oven for approximately 7 to 10 minutes. Remove and let rest for 10 minutes, then serve with crackers.

Brie is a very versatile cheese and pairs nicely with a multitude of wines including some reds — Beaujolais, cabernet franc, cabernet sauvignon, grenache, merlot, pinot noir and zinfandel. White wines include chardonnay, chenin blanc, Gewürztraminer, riesling and sauvignon blanc. Let’s not forget Champagne and sparkling wines.

Two New York State Finger Lakes wines I recently paired with Brie were:

Standing Stone 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon: Bright ruby colored with aromas of wild cherry, red candy and spicy blueberries. Should develop into a stunning wine.

Standing Stone 2014 Dry Vidal: Vidal is a white French hybrid of Ugni Blanc and Rayon d’Or, developed in 1929 by Jean-Louis Vidal. The wine has an aroma of grapefruit, kiwi and peaches. It has plenty of acidity, which keeps it clean and crisp tasting. Definitely one of the best dry Vidal wines I have encountered!

Bob Lipinski, a local author, has written 10 books, including “101: Everything You Need to Know About Vodka, Gin, Rum & Tequila” and “Italian Wine & Cheese Made Simple” (available on He conducts training seminars on wine, spirits and food and is available for speaking engagements. He can be reached at or

Pan Roasted Maple Dijon Chicken. Stock photo

As summer comes to an end and the reality of back-to-school season sets in, it can be challenging to get organized and jump back into your day-to-day routine. But even as things get hectic, it’s still possible to create delicious dishes — such as Pan-Roasted Maple Dijon Chicken and Chicken Thighs and Tomatoes — that leave you plenty of time to savor meals together as a family.

Chicken Thighs and Tomatoes

Chicken Thighs and Tomatoes. Stock photo
Chicken Thighs and Tomatoes

YIELD: Serves 4


1 pint cherry tomatoes


kosher salt

olive oil

4 chicken thighs (skin-on, bone-in)

1 cup white wine

1 clove garlic

1 lemon, juice only

DIRECTIONS: Heat oven to 400 F. In cast iron skillet, toss tomatoes with pinch of pepper, kosher salt and light drizzle of olive oil and place in oven. Roast tomatoes for 20 minutes. Set aside. Heat skillet on stove top. Once hot, sear chicken thighs. Flip chicken and sear bottom side for about 1 minute. Remove chicken from pan and set aside. With pan still hot, pour in white wine. Once wine has settled, add minced garlic. Add juice of one lemon. Return chicken thighs and tomatoes to skillet. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes and serve.

Source: Edna Valley Vineyard

Pan-Roasted Maple Dijon Chicken with Butternut Squash and Brussels Sprouts

Pan Roasted Maple Dijon Chicken. Stock photo
Pan Roasted Maple Dijon Chicken

YIELD: Serves 4


1 tablespoon olive oil

4 chicken thighs

4 chicken drumsticks

3/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

16 Brussels sprouts (about 8 ounces), bottom trimmed, outer leaves removed and halved

2 cups diced (1/2 inch) butternut squash

1 1/2 cups chicken stock

2 tablespoons maple syrup

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

DIRECTIONS: In saute pan large enough to hold chicken in single layer, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Add chicken to pan, skin side down, and saute about 4 to 5 minutes per side, or until chicken is browned. Remove chicken from pan and reserve. In same pan, add butter. Allow butter to melt over medium heat. Add sprouts and squash to pan and saute, tossing occasionally, until outsides are golden brown, about 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from pan and hold separately from chicken.

Turn heat to high and add stock, syrup and mustard. Stir and bring to boil, stirring to scrape up brown bits on bottom of pan. Add chicken back to pan, cover and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook over medium-low heat 20 to 25 minutes, or until chicken registers 170 F with instant read thermometer. Add vegetables back to pan, cover again and cook another 8 to 10 minutes until vegetables are tender. Move chicken and vegetables to serving platter, placing vegetables around chicken. Turn heat to high and boil sauce until it is reduced and slightly thickened, about 2 to 3 minutes. Spoon sauce over chicken and serve.

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Savory Black Grape Sorbet

Dessert and summer are a match made in heaven. Sweltering summer afternoons might not be comfortable, but any discomfort can be quickly washed away with a refreshing dessert, such as the following recipe for Kiwi Fruit Sorbet from Lou Seibert Pappas’ “Ice Creams & Sorbets” (Chronicle Books) or Savory Black Grape Sorbet from Family Features.

Kiwi Fruit Sorbet

Kiwi Fruit Sorbet
Kiwi Fruit Sorbet

YIELD: Makes about 1 quart


2 teaspoons grated lime or lemon zest

3⁄4 cup sugar, divided

3⁄4 cup water

2 pounds kiwi fruit (about 8 kiwi fruit), peeled and quartered

6 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime or lemon juice

2 limes, quartered

DIRECTIONS: In a small bowl, mash the zest with 1 teaspoon of the sugar to release the oils. Combine the remaining sugar and water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Cook until the syrup is clear. Remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature. In a food processor or blender, purée the kiwi fruit with the juice, syrup and sugared zest. Transfer to a container, cover and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled, about 3 hours. Freeze in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Or, to freeze without an ice cream maker, pour the mixture into a 9-inch nonreactive square pan. Cover with aluminum foil or plastic wrap and freeze just until solid, 2 to 3 hours. Scrape out into an electric mixer or food processor and process briefly until light and fluffy. Serve at once or transfer to a container, cover and freeze until firm, about 2 hours. At serving time, garnish with a lime wedge to squeeze over each serving.

Savory Black Grape Sorbet

Savory Black Grape Sorbet
Savory Black Grape Sorbet

YIELD: Serves 4


1 1/2 pounds (4 cups) black California seedless grapes, washed and stemmed

1/4 cup sugar

2 tablespoons vodka

2 tablespoons lemon juice

8 large basil leaves

pinch of salt

DIRECTIONS: In a food processor or blender, puree grapes and sugar until smooth. Pour into small saucepan and bring to boil over high heat. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until mixture has reduced by about one-third, about 15 minutes. Stir in vodka, lemon juice, basil and salt then let cool to room temperature. Pour mixture into shallow pan and freeze until hard, 3-4 hours. Transfer to food processor or blender and process until smooth and creamy and lightened in color. Serve immediately.