It’s My 9th Birthday Today!

9th birthday

Nine years just flew by and I’m still having fun, thanks so much for all your support!

Signature

Stuffed Peppers Italian Style with Sausage and Mozzarella

melrose peppers Normally when you see a recipe for stuffed peppers you’ll see the bell shaped variety being used but I look forward to this time of year because a very special pepper starts to show up in Italian markets around Chicagoland, they’re called Melrose Peppers. I’ve done posts on them in the past like this one.

They came to be called Melrose peppers because as the story goes, many years ago a family from Calabria, Italy eventually settled into a suburb of Chicago called Melrose Pk. They brought with them the seeds of this very special, delicious thinned skinned pepper.They quickly became popular among gardeners in the Italian community and then soon after that they started appearing in all the fruit and vegetable stands, and the rest is history.

stuffing peppers Even though I’m featuring and stuffing my favorite Melrose peppers for this recipe, you can honestly use any type of elongated pepper such as a cubanelle or the sweet and long red pepper variety.

All you’re going to do is cut off the top then take a knife and make a slit down one side but not all the way, you still want the pepper to remain in tact, then just scoop out the seeds.

Then buy the best Italian sausage available, mine always has fennel and red pepper flakes for a little heat. If you can buy it in bulk go ahead, if not just remove it from the casing. Place it into a bowl then add a good amount of shredded mozzarella and mix well, that’s your stuffing!

stuffed peppers Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil, then drizzle all over with olive oil and place your peppers onto it after you stuff them with the mixture.

stuffed peppers Then it’s a quick drizzle all over the top, add salt and pepper and place them into a 400 degree oven for about half an hour, depending on what type of pepper you’re using.

stuffed peppers You’re aiming for soft and tender and of course the sausage being fully cooked as well as seeing the cheese has melt.

stuffed peppersstuffed peppers When you’re ready to serve spoon some warm marinara over the top and onto the serving plate.

stuffed peppers The flavor combination is divine, this is stuffed peppers at it’s finest!

stuffed peppers

Add some crusty bread with a nice green salad and dinner is served!

Come follow me on Instagram to see what else I’m cooking up during the week

Signature

Savory Squash and Brussels Sprout Flatbread

brussels sprout and squash flatbread

I can’t tell you how much I love making making flatbread pizzas, every body seems to love them and when I’m pressed for time I can whip one up in a few minutes. What I like about flatbread pizza is that you can make them so many different ways, actually using whatever you have on hand in your fridge. They bake up with a nice crispy crust that’s able to hold up to whatever you place on top, think leftover chicken, veggies, cheese, you don’t need much of each, actually less is more. Here’s some other ones I’ve made in the past.

I use lavash bread, there’s many different brands and you can find them at almost any large grocery store, I keep a couple of packages in my freezer at all times. Honestly, even if you take them straight out of the freezer they only take a few minutes to defrost, which is great for busy days and unexpected guests.

making squash puree

Last week I bought a butterkin squash at my farmers market, which is now officially closed for the season, sniff sniff.  They told me I should try it, that it was creamy and delicious, a cross between butternut squash and pumpkin. I loved it and would buy it again, to me it tasted like a more intense butternut squash and it had an amazing orange color, so fall like!

I decided to make a puree from it by first roasting it then scooping out the cooked pulp and smoothing it all out in my food processor, you could actually do this with any type winter squash, it’s nice to have on hand and I’ve been using it in a bunch of different things all week.

brussels sprouts and squash flatbread

For instance, I used some of the puree for the base of my flatbread, I put a couple of tablespoons into a little ricotta and spread it on as my first layer, it was a nice little twist and enhanced all the flavors of the other ingredients that I used on top.

My next layer was shredded mozzarella, then pre-roasted delicata squash rings, ending with shaved, pre- roasted brussels sprouts that were tossed in olive oil and parmesan cheese, both were leftovers in my fridge and when all put together it was out of this world good!

A few tips for the flatbread, brush olive oil on both sides, place on a baking sheet, top with ingredients and bake at 400 degrees for no more then 10 minutes, that’s it!

Want to see what I’m cooking up during the week? Follow me on Instagram here.

Signature