Potluck Items

Penne with Butternut Squash and Goat Cheese
Recipe courtesy Giada De Laurentiis


  • Vegetable oil cooking spray
  • 1 (2-pound) butternut or kombucha squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 3/4-inch cubes
  • 1 onion, diced into 1/2-inch pieces
  • Olive oil, for drizzling
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound penne pasta
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) goat cheese, crumbled
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts, toasted (see Cook’s Note)
  • 1 packed cup chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 1/3 cup finely grated Parmesan


Put an oven rack in the upper third of the oven. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Spray a baking sheet, liberally, with vegetable oil cooking spray. Set aside.

Mix the squash and onion together and arrange in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet. Drizzle witholive oil and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Bake for to 40 to 45 minutes until the vegetables are golden and cooked through. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool slightly.

While the squash mixture is cooling, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain and reserve about 2 cups of the pasta water. Put the pasta, goat cheese and 1 cup of pasta water in a large serving bowl. Toss until the cheese has melted and forms a creamy sauce. Add the squash and onion mixture, the walnutsand the basil. Toss well and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Garnishwith Parmesan and serve.

Cook’s Note:

To toast the walnuts, arrange them in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake in a preheated 350 degree F oven until lightly toasted, about 6 to 8 minutes Cool completely before using.

Modifications – wrap a bulb of garlic in foil and roast in the oven with the squash and onions; squeeze out cloves and mash in with the goat cheese before mixing with pasta.  Also used whole wheat penne instead of regular pasta.


Bread and Butter Pickles

16 cups sliced cucumbers with peel, 1/8 inch thick
6 cups medium onions, thinly sliced
1 Large red pepper, seeded and slivered
1 Large green pepper, seeded and slivered
1/2 cup coarse pickling salt
5 cups granulated sugar
2 tbsp mustard seed
1tsp turmeric
1 and 1/2 tsp celery seed
3 cups white vinegar

Place cucumber into a large bowl. Add onion, red pepper, green pepper and salt. Cover and let stand on counter 3 hours. Drain well.

Combine last 5 ingredients into large pot. Heat on medium-high, stirring occasionally, until mixture boils. Add vegetables. Heat until it just reaches a boil. Using slotted spoon or sieve, fill hot sterilized jars with vegetables to within 1 inch of top. Pour hot syrup over vegetables to within 1/4 inch of top. Seal. Makes 6-7 pints.


Dilled Vegetables

This recipe is for dills of any kind.

15 cups of water
3 cups of vinegar
a little less than a cup of pickling salt

For each quart put in –a couple of cubes of garlic
–a sprig of dill including stems

Boil the water, salt and vinegar
Add to jars with cukes, carrots, beans or any other veg?
Seal in boiling water bath
Makes 8 quarts


Hot and Spicy Carrot Pickles

Hot and Spicy Carrot Pickles recipe – Homemakers

by Andrew Chase
All over India, spicy pickled carrots are served as a tasty side dish preserved in oil. The carrot pickles here are inspired by the taste of Indian pickles but are a hybrid, using the techniques of North American pickling for safekeeping. If you need to top off jars for accurate headspace, use extra lemon juice.


3 lbs  (1.5 kg)  carrots
12 green hot peppers (finger, serrano or jalapeño)
1/4 cup  (60 mL)  pickling salt
3 tbsp  (45 mL)  black mustard seeds
1 tbsp  (15 mL)  coriander seeds
2 tsp  (10 mL)  cumin seeds
4 tsp  (20 mL)  Indian hot pepper powder or cayenne pepper
1 tsp  (5 mL)  turmeric
1 tsp  (5 mL)  fenugreek seeds (optional)
4 cloves garlic, sliced
1-1/2 -inch (4 cm) piece gingerroot, peeled and thinly sliced
4 strips lemon rind (each 2 inches/5 cm long)
1-1/3 cups  (325 mL)  white vinegar
1/2 cup  (125 mL)  brown sugar
1 cup  (250 mL)  lemon juice


Peel or scrub carrots; trim off ends. Cut into 3-1/2-inch/9 cm long batons.

Halve hot peppers lengthwise; with small spoon, scrape out seeds and discard.

Mix carrots and hot peppers with salt. Let sit, stirring a few times to evenly distribute salt, until carrots are tender, about 90 minutes. Rinse under cold water; drain well.

In dry skillet over medium-low heat, toast mustard seeds until they turn grey; transfer to mortar and crush coarsely (or wrap in wax paper and crush with bottom of heavy pan).

Separately toast coriander and cumin seeds until fragrant; mix well with mustard seeds, hot pepper powder, turmeric, and fenugreek (if using).

Divide equally, along with garlic, ginger and lemon rind, among 4 sterilized 500 mL canning jars. Pack jars with carrots and hot peppers, putting 6 hot pepper halves in each jar.

In saucepan, bring vinegar and sugar to boil; add lemon juice and return to boil. Pour into jars, leaving 1/2-inch/1 cm headspace. Seal with prepared discs and bands. Process jars, immersed in boiling water, for 10 minutes. When cool, shake jars to distribute spices. Let sit at least 10 days before opening. Refrigerate after opening.

Makes four 500 mL jars.


Pickled Beets

10 lbs fresh small beets with stems removed
4 cups water
2 cups vinegar
2 cups sugar

1 clove of garlic, 2 whole cloves and 2 whole allspice per jar
add 1tbsp of salt per quart

Place beets in a large stockpot with water to cover. Bring to a boil, and cook until tender, about 15 minutes depending on the size of the beets. If beets are large, cut them into quarters. Drain, cool and peel.
Sterilize jars and lids by immersing in boiling water for at least 10 minutes. Fill each jar with beets, garlic, cloves and allspice.
In a large saucepan, combine the sugar, water, vinegar, and pickling salt. Bring to a rapid boil. Pour the hot brine over the beets in the jars, and seal lids.
Place a rack in the bottom of a large stockpot and fill halfway with water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then carefully lower the jars into the pot using a holder.
Leave a 2 inch space between the jars. Pour in more boiling water if necessary until the water level is at least 1 inch above the tops of the jars. Bring the water to a full boil, cover the pot, and process for 10 minutes.

Zucchini Relish

10 cups of  shredded zucchini
4 cups of chopped onions
1/4 cup pickling or kosher salt
5 cups sugar
2 1/4 cups of distilled white vinegar
1 tbsp celery seed
1 tbsp ground turmeric
1 tbsp black pepper
1-4 tbsp crushed chili pepper (depending on taste)

Combine zucchini, onion and salt in a large bow cover and refrigerate 8 hours or overnight.
Rinse zucchini mixture in colander, drain and squeeze dry pat with paper towel to dry further.
Place zucchini mixture, sugar, vinegar, celery seed, turmeric, and pepper in large non aluminum dutch oven ans simmer 30 minutes while stirring.
Sterilize jars, lids and bands.
Ladle hot relish through funnel into hot jars. Leave 1/2 ” headspace. Cover with lids, screw on bands.
Process jars in large pot of simmering water for 15 minutes. cool and test seals.
Makes 8 cups. Store in cool dark place at least 2 weeks before using.



Zucchini Candy

Soak thin slices of zucchini in juice concentrate (such as five alive) overnight. Dehydrate.



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