Sizzle Simmer Sauté Cookbook

By Jennifer Alexander Ruple

A collection of seasonal recipes created from ingredients found at local farmstands and grocery stores.

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Summer

Elote Asado (Mexican Grilled Corn)

Elote Asado is a popular way of serving corn on the cob at festivals and markets in Mexico. In this version, fresh corn is grilled in their husks then brushed with crema, rolled in crumbled Cotija cheese, and finished with a sprinkle of fresh cilantro and a squeeze of lime. Soaking the corn prior to grilling keeps them from burning, plus the steam that’s produced inside the husks keeps the corn moist. Cotija cheese and Mexican crema can be found at most local grocery stores.

Cherry Pie Crumble Bars

These bars are the perfect summertime treat. What’s not to love about a crumbly, buttery crust, layered with sweet cherry filling and topped with more crumbles? Serve Cherry Pie Crumble Bars by themselves or a la mode (with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream).

Tomatoes with Italian Herbs & Garlic

Sun-kissed cherry tomatoes are delicious in their own right; however, when marinated in good-quality extra virgin olive oil, a mixture of dried Italian herbs, fresh basil and minced garlic, they become magical. Allow tomatoes to marinate for a few hours to soak in all that rich goodness then enjoy them spooned over warm, cheesy flatbread; mixed into fresh pasta; or topped over fish or chicken.

Cheesy Baked Zucchini

Everyone has dishes they remember from childhood. This one reminds me of when my family was living in the quaint town of Grand Haven, Mich. in the late 70s. On summer weekends, neighbors would take turns hosting evening get-togethers after we all spent the day at the beach. My mom would bring a similar zucchini dish to these parties – it was always a hit!

Peach Caprese Salad

Luscious peaches take center stage in this fruited version of the classic Caprese Salad. Paired with medallions of fresh mozzarella cheese and thinly sliced basil leaves, this salad is dressed with extra virgin olive oil, a sprinkle of salt and pepper, and finished with balsamic glaze. The sweet-savory combination makes it the ultimate summer salad.

Fall

Mashed Potato Squash

Creamy-white colored mashed potato squash is similar in size and shape to acorn squash. When cooked, its insides bear a stark resemblance to its namesake both in taste and texture. Simply roast, whisk with butter, salt and pepper and enjoy this side dish with fewer calories and carbs than potatoes.

Apple Crumble

An autumn crowd pleaser, this apple crumble takes just minutes to pull together and is perfect for any get-together. To save even more time, don’t peel the apples. They will become soft while baking. When deciding on apples to use for this recipe, choose a type that will hold their structure while baking. Keep Granny Smith, Honeycrisp or Braeburn in mind when heading to the orchard.

Pumpkin Cheesecakes

Chocolate cookie crumb crusts are a tasty alternative to traditional graham cracker crusts. The perfect make-ahead dessert, store cheesecakes in an airtight container in the freezer until ready to serve.

Pumpkin Penne with Ricotta and Spinach

Rich and cheesy, this vegetarian pasta will warm you up on a chilly fall evening. For the pasta, choose a tube-style variety such as penne or rigatoni, one that will hold all the creamy pumpkin sauce. The addition of fresh sage leaves brings autumn flair to the dish, and it smells so good while baking.

Butternut Squash Casserole with Sausage and Fennel

This casserole is rustic, warm and highlights the best of the season – creamy butternut squash, sweet apples and caramelized fennel. It’s paired with Italian sausage and topped with a layer of Gruyere cheese resulting in a hearty and flavorful dish perfect for any autumn evening. 6 servings

Winter

Holiday Olive Wreath

Dress up the hors d’oeuvres buffet with a wreath assembled from a ring of fresh rosemary and topped with gourmet olives, mozzarella cheese balls and cherry tomatoes. For the best selection of olives, visit the olive bar at a local grocery store. You’ll find many varieties and olives stuffed with cheeses and meats such as feta, gorgonzola and prosciutto. Since the olives are sold by the pound, you’ll only pay for the amount you need.

Hot Cocoa Cookies

These cookies are rich and chocolatey just like a cup of hot cocoa. Dark chocolate chips and cocoa powder meld into a cookie with a fudgy center and crispy outer layer, all topped with mini marshmallows. Recipe yields 25 cookies.

Pasta e Fagioli

Pasta e Fagioli, also known as Pasta Fazool, is a thick and hearty Italian soup. Its name simply means pasta and beans, but it’s also chock-full of vegetables including carrots, celery and onions. This soup can easily be made vegetarian by swapping the beef for two cups of fresh spinach.