Tony and Sarah Nasello
Halloween is right around the corner, and we've been working on some creative delights that can be enjoyed by trick-or-treaters of all ages. Whether you're hosting a party for adults, a classroom celebration, or just looking for a new treat to soak in the season, these Jalapeño Mummy Poppers, Candy Corn Pumpkin Scones and White Chocolate Strawberry Ghosts are sure to please even your most ghoulish guests.
With all of the political hullabaloo this election season, I've decided that the only party I wish to be a member of these days is the Dinner Party. A good meal has the ability to heal us in many ways, and I believe that if our elected officials, as well as those running for office, were forced to sit at the same table and break bread together on a regular basis, our country — and the world — would be a better place.
This week we're sharing the recipe for one of our favorite comfort foods, Italian Stuffed Peppers, featuring a savory mix of Italian sausage, onions, bell peppers, tomatoes, cheese, herbs and a bit of cooked rice, just to hold everything together. These Italian stuffed peppers are a wonderful blend of flavor and nutrition, complete with ingredients from the four main food groups, including protein, dairy, grains and vegetables.
As I write, a warm, 70-degree breeze is coming through my window, and but for the steady stream of falling leaves, you would never guess that this is October. Our schedules speak another story, however, as our lives have become filled with school, church and sporting activities. Oftentimes these events are accompanied by a request for food, which means that the season for large-batch comfort food has arrived, and my grandmother's sloppy Joes are one of our go-to favorites.
It's apple season, and a couple weeks ago our dear friends, Dave and Denise Akkerman, of Fargo, paid a quick visit to our home to drop off a bounty of freshly picked Honeycrisp apples. Dave and Denise picked the apples that morning right from their very own tree, giving us the perfect excuse to make one of our favorite savory apple dishes, Apple Cheddar Bread Pudding.
Our son, Giovanni, turns 12 years old Wednesday. Over the years, we have watched him move from his early, omnivorous toddler days where he would eat anything — even kalamata olives and calamari — to his "picky eater" preschool days where he wouldn't eat anything other than chicken nuggets, cheese pizza, plain pasta and French fries.
Autumn is nearly upon us, my favorite time of year. But, with the onset of after-school activities, football games and the general business of life to attend to, finding time to properly feed my family can be a challenge. I just love it when I come across a recipe that allows me to cheat a bit, but tastes so good that no one will ever notice. Today's Easy Chicken Pot Pie is exactly that kind of recipe.
Two weeks ago, our son Giovanni officially became a middle schooler, and in just two more weeks he will enter his final year as a tween. Our skinny, knobby-kneed little boy is now filling out and changing before our very eyes as his body prepares for an imminent growth spurt. And as Gio's appetite grows right along with him, it has become a challenge to find a snack satisfying enough to hold him over until dinnertime. Thank goodness for monster cookies.
I just love the power of social media. Several years ago, thanks to Facebook, we reconnected with Susan Adie, a dear friend from our days working with Clipper Cruise Line, a small-ship cruise line with a focus on expedition travel. Susan was an expedition leader on many of our voyages, and we worked with her on a variety of ships and itineraries across the globe, from Norway's High Arctic realm of Svalbard, through the murky waters of the Brazilian Amazon and the crystal clear sea of the Caribbean, all the way down to the pristine wilderness of Antarctica.
There are few words more powerful in the food world than bacon — at least, among carnivores. Just saying the word out loud in a crowd can elicit a jumble of excitement, with necks craning and nostrils flaring, everyone wondering, "Where's the bacon?" This was a question we heard often earlier this month at North Dakota's Banquet in a Field, where we served Candied Bacon as one of the dozen or so appetizers inspired by North Dakota crops and livestock. This appetizer debuted at the 2015 banquet, and was so popular that the North Dakota Pork Council asked us to bring it back again this year.