Makhani Chicken

Makhani Chicken is a rich buttery dish. Chicken cooked in a beautiful full flavor curry sauce filled with classic Indian spices.

Chicken Makhani varies greatly from one region to another and by the time it hits my American table I am sure I’ve dumbed it down somewhat. But, I have tried to stay true to the New Delhi version using fresh tomatoes, cream, cashews, onions, and those glorious Indian favorites like kasuri methi leaves, kashmiri red chili, garam masala, and those spices that shouldn’t work but always work so well in Indian curries: cinnamon, cloves, cardamom.

Continue reading “Makhani Chicken”

Bourbon Peppercorn Glazed Meatloaf

Bourbon Peppercorn Glazed Meatloaf is a tender and juicy meatloaf drizzled in a savory barbeque bourbon whisky glaze. A few extra steps that will produce an unforgettable meatloaf. Good and good equals OMG!

I am always looking for a way to make meatloaf sexy, but it’s not possible. It’s meatloaf. From its earliest conception there really wasn’t anything sexy about meatloaf. It has been around since the fifth century in medieval Europe. It stated as a Mediterranean dish of finely diced meat scraps congealed with fruits, nuts, and seasonings. If that doesn’t say greasy hair and sweatpants, I don’t know what does.

A culinary scrap heap it became a way to use up vegetables, stretch protein, and clean out the icebox during war ravaged days and the great depression. Today it is a culinary classic all its own and has seen a revival thanks to the farm-to-table evolution. It may not be sexy, but it connects us to our past. It is enduring, sentimental, a quintessential comfort food, and it’s tasty.  

Continue reading “Bourbon Peppercorn Glazed Meatloaf”

Sheet-Pan Sausage and Fall Vegetables

This sheet pan sausage and vegetables recipe offers up great fall flavors and with easy prep it makes for a perfect quick and easy dinner in no time.


I love fingerlings. The shape, the flavor, how quickly they cook up. What is not to love? Fingerlings are an actual variety of potatoes. They get their name from they shape which is long and slender much like a finger. Their flesh tastes rich, nutty, and buttery. The flesh of fingerling potatoes is also firmer and hold up very well during cooking. Not to mention, they are delicious! However, if you do not have fingerlings available to you you may swap in baby red or gold potatoes which have a similar texture.

Continue reading “Sheet-Pan Sausage and Fall Vegetables”

Penne with Sausage and Pumpkin Tomato Sauce

This baked penne recipe is our favorite cozy comfort food. I add pumpkin to the tomato sauce for a silky-smooth sauce and replace the mozzarella with a creamy parmesan fondue.

Are you tired of the same old pasta dish? This recipe takes the boring midweek pasta to the next level with a few restaurant worthy additions. Of course, I have heard of adding pumpkin to tomato sauce, but I have never gone there. This year, with an outstanding pumpkin harvest, I decided to give it a try. I have one word, Wow!

Continue reading “Penne with Sausage and Pumpkin Tomato Sauce”

Pork Ragu with Squash and Sage Pappardelle

This is one of those perfect fall dishes that takes advantage of the fall vegetables and herbs. Pork simmered in a rich and savory broth served with pappardelle, sage, and thinly sliced butternut squash.

Our fall vegetable garden, much like the season itself, is filled with color. Pumpkins, squashes, and gourds are bursting throughout the garden and I do mean bursting. These vine plants can take over a garden if you are not careful. I give them their own garden away from my stalks, but there is a movement towards three-sister planting.

Three-sister planting is the process of planting corn, beans, and squash together. The Three Sisters, work together to help one another thrive and survive. I tried it once but it really messed with my compulsive organization personality. It felt cluttered and messy and I just could not deal with it. So my pumpkin and squash live together in their own little plot and we all seem to be happy with that.

One of the benefits of having them off by themselves is I do not accidently step on or nick the rind as it ripens and readies for harvest. This will lead to rapid deterioration. This gives us plenty of pumpkins which we use for our Fall Festival that includes pumpkin bowling and painting. Activities loved by all the children. And it gives me plenty of butternut squash. I love cooking with butternut squash.

Benefits of Butternut Squash:

Butternut squash is rich in important vitamins, minerals, and disease-fighting antioxidants. It is low in calories, rich in fiber, and can protect against conditions like high blood pressure, cancer, and mental decline. But I love how versatile and easily it is to cook with. It can be added to both sweet and savory dishes and the burst of color is so much fun to work in recipes. For this recipe I fried it in butter with fresh sage leaves and added to my pasta. Those little half-moons add a brightness to the dish and they are absolutely delicious fried. It adds crunch to an otherwise soft dish.

Ragu vs Bolognese:

I wanted to use a Ragu for this dish. I just like how its hearty, rich flavor compliments fall dishes and vegetable like butternut squash. The main difference between Ragu and Bolognese is that Ragu sauce is thicker in texture. It uses a full-body red wine like burgundy or cabernet sauvignon. Ragus are also heavier on meat and minced elements. Whereas Bolognese is more of a red sauce with meat, ragu is meat in a red sauce. I added a whole white onion and garlic cloves to give it a bold and savory full flavor and opted for pork. And believe me, it is bold and delicious!

Pork Ragu with Squash and Sage Pappardelle

Cedar Oak Farms
Do not be intimidated by the cooking time. It is a simmer and forget three hours that will make your home smell cozy and warm, filled with bold scents. Your neighbors might be stopping by with bowl in hand as this simmers and releases its fragrant aromas.
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 3 hrs
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 4


  • 1 large onion peeled and chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 pounds boneless pork shoulder, fat trimmed
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 3-4 sprigs of thyme
  • 1-2 sprigs of rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 cup strong red wine
  • 3/4 cup chicken broth
  • 1 can (15 ounces) canned pureed tomatoes
  • 2-3 bay leaves
  • 1 medium butternut squash
  • 1/2 cup butter, 1 stick
  • 12 fresh sage leaves
  • 1 batch (4 servings) homemade pappardelle
  • salt
  • freshly grind black pepper


  • Cut the pork into 1” chunks. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large stock pot or Dutch Oven. Add the pork, onions, garlic, and herbs to the pot and fry for 5 – 6 minutes.
  • Stir in tomato paste. Deglaze the roast in 2–3 steps with red wine. Boil it down completely with each addition. Add the chicken broth and pureed tomatoes. Add bay leaves and bring to a boil. Then cover and simmer slowly over low to medium heat for 2 1⁄2–3 hours.
  • In the meantime, wash and core the butternut squash and cut into thick wedges. Use a vegetable slicer or mandolin to thinly slice the wedges together with the skin. Fry them with the butter and sage in a large skillet over a medium heat for about 4–5 minutes. Season with salt.
  • Cook the pappardelle in plenty of boiling salted water. Fresh pasta cooks up quickly, usually in 6 minutes, drain. Carefully fold in the squash.
  • Finally, season the pork ragu with salt, and pepper. Stir in the rest of the olive oil.
  • Plate the pappardelle and top with the pork ragu.
Keyword Pasta, Pork