Family Recipes

Western Spaghetti

Susan Gage

My family loves this recipe!

Stuffed Pumpkin

Valerie Amaya
Springdale, AR

1 medium pumpkin
1 cup wild rice
1 lb chorizo
1 medium onion chopped
1 green apple chopped
8oz mushrooms chopped
1 tbsp oil
Salt and pepper
Fresh sage to taste
Cook wild rice according to package directions and set aside
Preheat oven to 375
Sauté the onion, apple, mushrooms and chorizo on medium heat in the oil until chorizo is cooked through and the onion is soft.
Season generously with salt and pepper
Stir in the cooked wild rice and sage to taste
Set aside mixture
Using a sharp knife cut around the stem of the pumpkin creating a large enough hole to remove the seeds
Throughly remove the seeds from the pumpkin but save the top of the pumpkin
Firmly pack the rice and veggie mixture in the pumpkin. You will want to pack as much as possible so that each serving has enough filling
Place the top of the pumpkin back on
Lightly grease a cast iron Dutch oven and place the pumpkin inside
Cover with the lid of the Dutch oven and cook for at least 90 minutes or until the pumpkin is soft and cooked through
Remove from oven and use a large spoon to scoop out the pumpkin with the filling

Each year I look forward to seeing what type of squash will “volunteer” to grow from compost. This year I had a huge cheese pumpkin vine that took over the back section of my yard. The pumpkins are dense, delicious and aside from watering, took zero effort on my part to grow.

Mexican Rice

Kristin Amaya
Springdale Arkansas

1. Use a large, heavy-bottomed enameled cast iron pan with a good fitting lid. I use a Lodge 3.6 quart enamel cast iron casserole dish with lid and I swear the right pan is KEY to this!! I have anecdotal "proof"!

2. Heat 3-4 tablespoons of olive oil on medium-high heat. Add one diced yellow onion and 2 c jasmine rice (I don't rinse it). Saute while stirring continuously several minutes till the onion is translucent and rice is toasted (I like mine to get some good amounts of brown on it).

3. Add in 4 c of hot water into which you have dissolved 1-2 T Knorr Chicken-Flavored Bouillon Powder. I like mine a tad salty, so I go with the full 2 (sometimes heaping!). It should immediately come to a boil. If it doesn't, let it come to a boil, then go to the next step.

4. Turn down to the lowest heat setting. Add in a small can of tomato sauce. Stir and cover tightly.

5. DON'T TAKE THE LID OFF. Resist the urge! Set a timer for 30 minutes and WALK AWAY.

6. After the timer ends, lift the lid and fluff the rice. It should be ready to serve. If you like you can fold in a handful of torn up cilantro. (YES…DO IT).

PS…the best part is if any of the rice sticks to the pan…scrape it off and eat it before sharing with your family.

This is just the rice I developed based on feedback from my husband and his mom over the last 4 years. It’s not the healthiest, but it’s the tastiest!

Stuffed Poblanos

Kristin Amaya
Springdale, Arkansas

This is a pretty flexible recipe. I basically use what I have on hand. Make it your own.

1. Cook enough brown rice or quinoa in broth of your choice so that you have about 2 cups cooked.

2. Cook 1 lb of ground turkey (or protein of your choice) with a diced yellow onion and some garlic (I use 3-4 cloves) in olive oil. Add salt, pepper, cumin, Mexican oregano, chili powder to taste. Mix in a can of diced tomatoes (Rotel works well!) and a small can of diced green chilies. Sometimes I add mushrooms!

3. Combine the grain and the protein into one big bowl. Sometimes here I like to add enchilada sauce (a small can, or half a large one); red or green, your choice. Crumble in half a block of queso fresco (I usually use the 10-oz round).

4. On a dry cast iron skillet, toast 6 whole poblanos till charred on all sides. (I don't peel mine, but if you want to, put them in a gallon ziploc after they're charred and close it for a few minutes. The steam will help loosen the skin, and you can peel it off.)

5. Pull the top/stem out of each pepper, slice it lengthwise so you can open it up but leave each pepper in one piece. Remove the seeds and ribs.

6. Rub a paper towel with olive oil on the bottom of a baking dish. Put a pepper in the pan and spoon enough filling into it so that it's full, but you can still close up the pepper. Turn the pepper seam-side down or in a way that the filling won't fall out. Repeat for all the peppers.

7. Spoon any remaining filling into the dish around the peppers. Cover the whole thing with the crumbled other half of the block of queso fresco.

8. Bake uncovered at 350 till hot through, usually 20-30 minutes.

When I was growing up, my mom made stuffed bell peppers a lot, and they became one of my favorite recipes when I started cooking for myself as an adult. When I married Gilbert, I found out that his favorite dish of his mom’s is chile relleno. I tried making them, but it was a messy process, I hate frying things, and I don’t even like eggs (the breading is VERY eggy). But we both love poblanos so much, I thought I would try a fusion. This is a variation on my mom’s stuffed bell peppers, but using G’s favorite, the poblano, plus some more flavors from his mom’s home-cooking. We love them!

Honey roasted carrots

Kristie King

6 carrots cut up
2 tbsp honey
1 tbsp olive oil
Half tsp ea of sea salt and pepper
Mix all together
Bake 400’ for 30 mins

I’m all about easy, sweet and healthy..
mostly thanksgiving

Diane’s Alternative Thoroughbred Pie

Stephanie Wade

2 eggs lightly beaten
1 stick of butter melted and cooled
1 cup sugar
½ cup flour
1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
½ cup white chocolate chips
½ cup peanut butter chips
1. Preheat oven to 375
2. Mix all ingredients together in a medium bowl.
3. Pour mix into 1 deep dish pie shell or split between two regular pie shells
4. Bake for 40-45 minutes, until top is a golden brown
5. Serve plain or with a scoop of ice cream or whipped cream

This is my mom’s go to for potlucks because it really is that easy to make. Originally called «Derby Pie» until that was trade-marked by a bakery in Kentucky. This version is my all time favorite. The original uses a full cup of chocolate chips (I add a little more because I like it chocolatey!) and bourbon. It’s a staple when you visit Kentucky, where I am originally from. You’ll most likely have it with bourbon there but this version is my favorite as it reminds me of my mom’s house around any holiday! When you enjoy any leftovers, warm it in the microwave for a few seconds so the center is warm and gooey and enjoy it with some vanilla ice cream or whipped cream!