Candied Squash Seeds

Great for snacking, scattering over salads or serving atop soup!

Ingredients:
1½ cups winter squash seeds
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1½ tablespoons packed light brown sugar
¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon fine sea salt

Method:
1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Line a 9-by-13-inch rimmed sheet pan with parchment paper. Set aside.

2. Scoop the seeds out of the squash and into a large colander. Rinse seeds thoroughly under cold running water. Use your hands to separate any lingering squash flesh from the seeds. Shake off as much water as you can, then pat dry with paper towel.

3. Stir together the melted butter, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt in a medium mixing bowl, until completely combined. Add the seeds and toss to coat. Evenly spread the seeds in a single layer on the prepared pan.

4. Bake for 25-30 minutes, stirring once or twice, until the seeds are golden and crispy.

Sautéed Apples

Kissed with fragrant cinnamon and brown sugar, these apples are a sublime brunch side.


Ingredients:
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 apples, such as Melrose, peeled, cored and sliced ⅓-inch thick
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
Pinch of cinnamon

Method:
1. In a large skillet, melt the butter. Add the apple slices and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned in spots, about 5 minutes.

2. Stir in the sugar and cinnamon, reduce the heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and lightly caramelized, about 10 minutes longer.

How-To: Dry Chili Peppers

Two simple ways to preserve these spicy peppers to use in recipes all winter long!

Ingredients:
Basque or any other thin-skinned chili peppers

Method:
Air-dry method: Wash your chili peppers thoroughly after picking to remove any dirt, then dry. Place on a plate or a wire rack in a dry, well ventilated room. You can also string the chilies up on string or thread and hang to dry. Within several weeks, you will have dried chili peppers and you can grind them up or use them as ornaments as desired.

Oven-dry method: Wash your chili peppers thoroughly after picking to remove any dirt. Cut them in half, lengthwise to expose the pepper innards. Arrange the chili peppers over a baking sheet. Bake at low heat, about 100°-135°. There is no set time to bake the chili peppers for drying. Keep an eye on them, turning every few minutes or so. You can leave the oven door cracked for some air flow. It will take several hours with this method. Keep in the oven until the moisture has been baked out of them. Use as desired!

Garlic Pumpernickel Croutons

These garlicky nibbles are fantastic scattered on over soup or salads.

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons salted butter
1 large minced garlic clove
3 cups torn pumpernickel bread
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper


Method:

1. Preheat oven to 400°. Microwave the butter and minced garlic clove in a microwave-safe bowl on high until butter is melted, about 30 seconds.

2. Spread the torn pumpernickel bread on a baking sheet. Drizzle with the butter mixture; toss to coat. Bake in preheated oven 8 to 10 minutes, until crisp. Season with salt and pepper; store in an airtight container until ready to use.

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