Wave those red, white and blue pies!

So, some of my recipes and pies were features on Hallmark.com!


These pictures I took in my kitchen before taking my pie babies to the profession photo studio.



Here they are in all their picture-perfect, heartfelt and fourth of July-iness.


They asked for red, white and blue pies and one to have stripes…that was a new one for me, but it turned out to be easier to pull off than I thought it was going to be.

If you need some patriotic pies for your cook-out, these recipes will do the trick!


Pumpkins, Pumpkins Everywhere: Wild Rice Stuffed Pumpkin


I know it’s December, but the pumpkin-ness continues at our house with a new recipe from Vegetarian Times, a Wild-Rice Stuffed Pumpkin.

I have to admit the whenever cooking dinner involves scraping out a pumpkin I groan a little. Dissecting the mighty orange orb is not an easy task, although it looks very impressive when finished.

Needless to say I marched on determined to stuff this pumpkin with yummy goodness.

Ok, first you should know that the recipe was for 12 servings. I assume they assumed you were making this for Thanksgiving or a grand dinner party (Lyn, it might work out well for your Meatless Monday Dinners).

I was making it for 3 people, so I had to do some math. It started with buying a 3-4 pound pumpkin instead of a 6-8 pound pumpkin. I rinsed him off and set him aside.

Then I cooked 2 servings of wild-rice according to directions. Then I transferred it to a medium sized mixing bowl.

Then I lightly steamed in 2 handfuls of fresh spinach by bringing a 1/2 cup of water to boil in the bottom of a skillet, then cooked the spinach for 4 minutes or until it wilted.


After draining the spinach and I let it cool in the colander while I chopped the veg: 1 1/2 cups of mushrooms, 1/4 of a large onion, 1/4 cup of celery, and 6cloves of garlic. I reduced to 3, because the mega recipe calls for 9, but in the future I will go with the 9 recommended for a flavor boost.



Add it to the skillet with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and your spices: 1teaspoon of thyme, 1 teaspoon of sage. Then I sautéed it all for 10 minutes.



While things are sautéing, it’s time to gut the pumpkin. I have to admit I was dreading this part. I hate dealing with those little strands and can’t figure out any tricks– if you have any let me know!

Come here little pumpkin, pumpkin….





Once the 10 minutes were up, I added 1/2 cup of frozen corn to the pan and a cup of red kidney beans and sautéed everything for 3 minutes more.




Next I folded in a 1/4 of a cup of pecans. The recipe says to toast them, but the flavor gets lost in the casserole, so I would skip that step if I were you.


Combine 1/4 a cup of olive oil and a teaspoon each of garlic powder, sage, and thyme in a small bowl. Brush the inside of the pumpkin with the olive oil mixture.

I filled the pumpkin with the rice mixture. Putting the lid back on. I baked it at 350 for 2 hours or until the sides of the pumpkin were tender enough to be pierced with a knife tip.





The pumpkin barely fit in the oven!


After the two hours, I removed the pumpkin’s lid and baked it for 10-20 minutes.





We had ours with spicy roasted brussel sprouts and veggie loaf topped with warm apple butter.


meatless monday — homemade black bean burgers

when buying frozen foods, i will say that black bean burgers and for that matter most vegetarian burgers are really not that bad considering they are pre-made, frozen and reheated.  a weekend or so again however i cooked up a big pot of black beans (i highly recommend this activity not only are dried beans super cheap they are easy to cook and healthy for you!)  so i decided to try to make my own black bean burger patties.  in true farris fashion i didn’t even research a recipe, directions who needs directions.  i figured i know how to do meatballs and hamburger patties i can do it the same way with black beans.  and ya know what? it worked!  along with some deviled eggs and pasta salad i think i got myself a winning recipe for the rest of the summer.


2 cup black beans –drained of almost all the liquid

1/3 cup red onion — diced

1/3 cup zucchini — diced

1 egg

1/2 Tbsp jerk seasoning

1/4 cup flour

1-2 Tbsp olive oil

*  Mash black beans, its ok if some are left whole, the beans have been mashed enough when they start to stick together.  Mix in onion, zucchini, egg, and jerk seasoning, stir well.

*  Gradually begin to stir in flour, only use enough flour to help absorb moisture to allow black bean mixture to form patties.  Form patties out of 1/3-1/2 cup of black bean mixture, depending on how large of a burger you are wanting.

*Heat oil in a skillet over medium-med-high heat.  Cook patties browning them on both sides 2-3 minutes per side, to make sure the middle of the patties get cooked place a lid over the skillet and reduce heat cooking for another 2-3 minutes.

meatless monday: veggie buffalo wings with guacamole salad

this 70 degree weather has made my taste buds start to think summer is here.  for meatless monday i whipped up one of my favorite summer dishes guacamole salad along with some morning star vegetarian buffalo wings and i also couldn’t pass up on some of my whole-wheat beer bread.  let summer begin!!!


RECIPE:  Guacamole Salad


1 pinte grape tomatoes, halved

1 yellow bell pepper, diced

1 can black beans, drained

1/2 cup red onion, chopped

2 jalapeno peppers, minced

1/2 tsp grated lime zest

1/4 cup lime juice (2 lime)

1/4 cup olive oil

1/2 tsp black pepper

1/2 tsp minced garlic

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

2-3 avocados pitted, peeled and diced

* whisk together oil, lime juice, and seasonings, mix all ingredients together, toss with dressing.