Dating New Sides…

Posted by on Oct 27, 2014 in Thanksgiving, Vegetables | 4 comments

Sifting through Thanksgiving issues of food magazines, I see adopting new vegetable and side dishes and not offending family favs-- is a trend. Based on that I am moving ahead and trying a few—first up Squash with Dates and Thyme from Bon Appétit. The recipe calls for 3 pounds of acorn squash but I used a wedge of Japanese pumpkin and delicata squash.








The rich sweet winter varieties are easy to handle, roast beautifully and do not require peeling, which means we can eat the skin too! You will need about 2 tablespoons of oil (I used a combination of olive and coconut oils) for each pound of squash, a bundle of fresh thyme, garlic, and soft-pitted dates.  Lube everything up quite well and crush the cloves of garlic.








Pile them on a baking sheet, season and roast for 40 minutes or so, tossing the wedges half way through.








A few notes I will add—the variety of squash will determine the cooking time.  I suggest sticking to one type which simplifies the tracking and tossing. The slightly caramelized dates are the subtle star of the dish.  Roasting them for the full 40 minutes might turn them into charred rubble, especially if they are small.  I used large Medjool dates and found that adding them after 10 minutes was the key to sweet and toasty date nuggets. I am making this again!

Bon Appétit!


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Con-grab-ulations Butternut Squash

Posted by on Dec 4, 2013 in Thanksgiving, Vegetables | 2 comments

Con-grab-ulations Butternut Squash

I thought my “little bird” dish might get some attention.  Maybe naming the-- red bird of Thanksgiving leftovers a peep potpie --was unseasonable.  I stand corrected, Poult Potpie (not to be confused with a young kangaroo, koala, wombat, wallaby, or possum).

Butternut squash roasted alongside donut shaped Italian Cipollini with Honeycrisp Apples layered in the red fowl bowl, won in the attention grabber category.








The recipe is only a guide—squash, apples, and those darling onions vary in weight and shape.  Of course, pre-cut squash is available too.








Honeycrisp apples are one of my favorite apples this part of the year.  They can be quite large, are super versatile; sweet and delicious in slices, and firm enough to bake.








The sweet (chip-oh-lee-knee) onion roasts and caramelizes beautifully due to the high sugar content without a trace of astringency.








Toss the squash and onions with oil and maple syrup; add salt and pepper to taste.  Pile them onto a foil or parchment covered baking tray and roast them for 20 minutes, tossing halfway through.








Meanwhile toss the apples with a little more oil and  fresh thyme leaves.  Add them to the squash-onion mixture and return to the oven to finish.  It is a good idea to stir them now and again.








Serve the vegetables topped with toasted walnuts and dried cranberries.

This savory dish is a brilliant side to compliment holiday dinners along with the  coveted sweeter  traditional ones.  It especially appeals to Veggie heads. You know who you are!

Roasted Butternut Squash with Apple and Cipollini Onions


  • 1 butternut squash peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch cubes (4 cups)
  • 8-10 Cipollini onions, peeled, ends trimmed
  • 1-2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil,
  • divided use
  • 1 Tablespoon pure maple syrup
  • 2 large Honey crisp apples (about a pound), peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme, stems removed, leaves roughly chopped
  • Kosher salt and pepper (to taste)
  • ¼ cup dried cranberries
  • ¼ cup toasted walnuts, halved


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Toss squash and onions with 1 tablespoon oil, maple syrup, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper; spread onto a rimmed baking sheet lined with foil or parchment paper. Roast squash, tossing halfway through, until tender and lightly browned about 20 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, toss apples with enough oil to coat them lightly; add thyme.
  4. After squash and onions have roasted for 20 minutes add apple mixture to the squash and distribute evenly. Roast until apples are tender, lightly browned, and onions are just starting to crisp, another 20 minutes.
  5. Transfer roasted squash and apple mixture to a platter and top with cranberries and walnuts.
  6. Serves 6-8
  7. © Copyright 2013 Peggy Barrett Lunde
  8. All Rights Reserved

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Turkey Peep Potpie

Posted by on Dec 2, 2013 in Thanksgiving | 1 comment

Turkey Peep Potpie

Thanksgiving Dinner for our family was on Friday.


We played Old Maid and I lost.  We played Apples to Apples and I won!







On Saturday I faced the delicious bits of everyone’s favorite part of the meal (leftovers).

Dry and boring turkey sandwiches made palatable with buckets of mayonnaise are not my style.  Grab a dish and try this.








Stuffing (yes, we stuff our bird),








vegetables (Chanterelle Mushroom, Chestnut, and Green Bean Casserole),









Roasted Butternut Squash, Cipollini Onion, and Honeycrisp Apples with walnuts and cranberries,



















Mascarpone Mashed Potatoes,








and deep rich gravy creatively made new is my tradition-- a stacked potpie for your precious peeps.














Cover and store in the refrigerator for a late night reheat in the oven or freeze for a weeknight meal when a rebellious day calls for wrap around comfort.








Turkey, Cranberry, and Brie Pizza is always on the carte du jour after church on Thanksgiving Sunday.

How do you line up your leftovers?

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The Turkey is on the move…

Posted by on Nov 15, 2013 in Holiday, Thanksgiving | 2 comments

The Turkey is on the move…

Graciously Ty phoned to say,” Mom, I am working on Thanksgiving.  It is my regular shift.  Could we celebrate on Friday?”

My accommodating heart did not miss a beat.  I said what I always say, “Of course whatever works for your family.”











There was something else—Ty wants dinner to be at their home this year. He wants to take on the turkey.  Move over MP!

Thanksgiving pleasures-treasured recipes, turkey tales, and fading stars will morph into homespun stuffing and spectacular sides. I know for sure, there will be an epic bird, retooled traditions with familiar dishes; and tongue-in-cheek drama saturated in the precious part of generational love.

Meanwhile, consider this, Bart Simpson.








Sweet and Savory Cranberry Catsup








Simply combine the ingredients in a heavy bottomed pan.















Bring the mixture to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes.








Give it a whirl.









Spice it up to your taste...








A new fangled condiment for the holidays could be this sweet savory pungent and slightly spicy blend of cranberries and shallots.








Serve the catsup with sweet potato fries, pork, meatloaf or burgers.

How about cocktail-sized turkey meatballs with cranberry catsup dipping sauce?

Sriracha -cha!

Cranberry Catsup


  • 1 (12 ounce) package fresh cranberries
  • 2/3 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2-3/4 cup chopped shallots (2-3 ounces)
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1/2 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Hot chili sauce such as Sriracha to taste


  1. Combine cranberries, brown sugar, chopped shallots, cinnamon stick, cider vinegar, water, and salt, in a medium, heavy saucepan over medium-high heat; bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer. Cover and cook 10 minutes or until thick, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; let stand 10 minutes. Remove cinnamon stick. Pour into a blender or food processor; process until smooth. Add hot chili sauce to taste. Transfer to a bowl; cover and chill.
  2. Makes about 3 cups
  3. --adapted from—Cooking Light



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Jake Merriam

Posted by on Nov 23, 2012 in Thanksgiving, Wild Game | 0 comments

Jake Merriam

--part two








After 16 hours MP retrieved the wild turkey breasts from their suspended state in brine land.

Competition rules were not clearly stated.

MP selected the prettiest breast for himself--then he proceeded to cheat.

MP called home.

He texted our friend and Italian chef, Alessandro Pirozzi.







Proscuitto, yellow sweet pepper, smoked mozzarella, and Marsala were the items MP gleaned from the conversation.

I reminded him he doesn't like Marsala.








The breast was butterflied, pounded flat,



and lined with thin slices of proscuitto.





I suggested he saute the pepper with fresh garlic; cooling them before topping it with the







smoked mozzarella and fresh sage.








Rock, roll, and tie the breast.  Brown the turkey in olive oil and butter.








Deglaze the pan with stock or Marsala.  Cover and bake at 375 degrees  until the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees.








While Jake Merriam rested, I made gravy and finished up his ugly brother--








Surgery saved the wounded twin--



which I prepared with a light citrus and thyme sauce.



The precious wild turkey was lean and tender profiting from a foraging diet of native grasses and bush seeds.








Wild Turkey Braciole with Proscuitto, Sweet Pepper, Smoked Mozzarella and White Wine Sauce.

Our dueling turkeys are the talk of the town!

Glazed Orange Turkey Roast


  • 1 fresh turkey breast (about 2- 2 1/2 pounds)
  • 1 Tablespoon canola oil
  • Kosher salt and pepper to taste
  • Peel of one medium orange, cut into strips
  • 3-4 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 1 cup fresh orange juice
  • 2 Tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup cold water


  1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Heat the oil in an ovenproof skillet. Salt and pepper the turkey breast and place skin side down in the oil. Cook until the skin is golden brown and turn the breast over.
  3. Pour the orange juice over the turkey; add thyme and orange peel.
  4. Cover and bake, basting occasionally until internal temperature reaches 160 degrees F. (30-35 minutes).
  5. In a small cup, combine cornstarch with cold water.
  6. Remove the turkey from the oven and place on a cutting board.
  7. Remove thyme sprigs and orange peel from marinarde.and discard.
  8. Stir brown sugar into marinade remaining in skillet. Bring to a simmer and stir in cornstarch mixture. Stir until slightly thickened.
  9. Slice roast into thin slices. Place on a heated platter and top with orange glaze
  10. Serves 4


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Gobble, Gobble, Gobble, Wild Turkey, Wild Turkey

Posted by on Nov 21, 2012 in Thanksgiving | 0 comments

Of course I was at Target when I got the call.  Target in Bozeman is the best shopping for socks and tights.  I follow that with a well defined Super Walmart excursion.  I buy all new spices for the holidays and chat with friendly strangers who shop in slow motion.

When I answered my phone MP asked me where I was-- in an unusual hushed breath.  He really didn't care because it was his moment.

He almost secretly went on,"You will never guess what we got."








I leaned on my shopping cart and had a flash back to a novel I read.  Dead foxes were left hanging on out buildings as a warning to tourist interlopers by gun toting cigarette smoking locals.

I hurried back to see the gift in person.  Meet Mr. Merriam.   As I admired the beautiful almost metallic sheen of his polka-dot feathers I contemplated just how the game bird might be prepared.

I do know that a wild turkey isn't eaten like our fattened domestic birds.  Wild turkeys fly at night to escape their predators.  Their legs are not drumsticks--but strong and sinewy for running.

Because we are in Montana and because I love to cook doesn't make me The Pioneer Woman.

MP delivered the plucked bird to me--but just the breasts.

First up.








I assembled what I thought would bathe the breasts for a whole day.

Apple juice, Kosher salt, brown sugar, orange peel, peppercorns, bay leaves, fresh rosemary, and garlic.








I brought the brine to a boil








and simmered it for a few minutes before








cooling it completely.








We added the breasts to the brine and covered them with pure water.








We put Mackenzie River Pizza on speed dial.  MP gave me a breast and kept one --the competition begins.

--to be continued

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