Monthly Archives

May 2011

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Grilled German Bratswurst

Years ago Ranger Craig and I had a college friend who came to visit from time to time.  He was originally from Wisconsin and every time he stayed with us he would grill his famous bratwurst.

I was never a huge brats fan until these luscious brats touched my lips.  I was hooked.  Immediately.

I’ve met several people from the great state of Wisconsin and this method for preparing brats seems to be tradition.  No more throwing it on the grill plain Jane.  It’s got to be slow simmered with onions and garlic and a few pints of beer.  Add some macaroni salad or potato salad, fresh fruit and maybe some chocolate cake with Mexican Chocolate Sauce and a good old-fashioned American barbecue is born.

Wishing everyone a delicious, happy and safe Memorial Day!

Best Ever Brats Recipe


6-8 your favorite brand of Brats (My new favorite is Uli’s German Bratwurst)

1 large onion, halved and sliced

10 cloves garlic, crushed

Veggie oil

36 oz dark beer (or Heineken)

Buns for the Brats


Pickle relish

Mustard (Dijon or yellow)


In a large skillet, heat a few tablespoons of oil on medium high heat.  Add the sliced onions and sauté for about 5-8 minutes or until the onions are translucent.  Next, add the garlic and sauté for a minute longer.

Add the beer and let it come to a slow boil.  Once the beer and onion mixture have reached a slow boil, add the brats.  Turn the heat down to simmer, and let the brats cook for about 8-10 minutes, or until the brats are mostly cooked through.

While the brats are simmering in the beer, preheat your grill.  When the brats are ready, grill on medium heat until nicely browned.

Place the grilled brats back into the beer and onion mixture and let them soak on slow, simmering heat for another few minutes.  Serve the brats on a platter with some of the sautéed onions and garlic.  Serve with sauerkraut, pickle relish, deli mustard, and large sturdy stadium buns.

*If I have time, I reduce the onion garlic liquid in the pan and caramelize the onions a bit.  But be careful not to brown the garlic.

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Mexican Chocolate Sauce

I think I’ve firmly established the fact that I love chocolate.  I love all kinds of chocolate; spiced chocolate, chocolate with cocoa nibs, chocolate with candied orange peel, and I am totally in love with the new seasonal Theo chocolate caramel ginger and rose bar.

My two sassy gals even know where I hide my chocolate stash in the house (I have to keep moving it!), and they always figure out where I’ve hidden my “on the road” chocolate treats in my car.  Yes, I even hide chocolate in my car.  Except during the summer.  I tried that, it doesn’t work.

Chocolate bars are a simple and sweet treat that usually tames my chocolate craving.  But during the spring and summer I like to prepare my family festive chocolate desserts.  Light, simple and super chocolatey (is there such a thing?).

Mexican chocolate sauce does the trick.  It’s rich and a little spicy, drizzled over fresh tropical fruit and maybe a little slice of chocolate cake and WOW!  It’s beautiful and exquisitely delicious.  It’s vacation on a plate!

Mexican Chocolate Sauce

Serves 4


8 ounces dark chocolate

½ cup cream

½ cup water

1 teaspoon cinnamon

6 drops almond extract (can substitute with a coffee extract)

Pinch of cayenne (optional)


Melt the chocolate in a double boiler or microwave.  In a medium sauce pan, heat the cream and water on medium low.  Once the cream and water are heated through, add the melted chocolate and whisk to combine.  Heat thoroughly but do not boil.  Take the chocolate sauce off the heat and add the cinnamon and almond extract.  Mix thoroughly.

Serving suggestion: Place a slice of pound cake (or chocolate cake) on a plate and drizzle with chocolate sauce.  Top with several thin slices of papaya and garnish with fresh mint leaves.  Enjoy!

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Eggplant Parmesan

I think I’m going through an eggplant phase.  Last week I craved a slow cooked ratatouille  and ended up testing three different recipes.  The result was so yummy I had to blog it.

So you’d think I’d be tired of eggplant by now.  But I’m thinking eggplant parmesan sounds like another perfect eggplant dish to satisfy my eggplant craving.

Every time I prepare this divine little dish I think of my friend Daniella LaDolce.

When I lived next door to Daniella, I would open my windows and catch the most delicious smells coming from her house.   I would secretly hope  Daniella would bring me some leftovers the next morning.  And she usually did.  :)

Daniella prepares the most delicious Italian food.  My favorite is her Eggplant Parmesan.  I love this dish so much, I probably made it 20 times before the Bennett Crew finally asked me to take it off the dinner menu.

Well, it’s back!  And I still love it, as much as I did twelve years ago.  And guess who else loved it?  You got it, the Bennett Crew.  Ranger Craig couldn’t get enough, every time he went back to the kitchen I noticed a little more eggplant parmesan missing from the baking dish.  Tink wanted to take the entire tray of eggplant parmesan back to college and Suzie Q decided it was her new favorite dish… again.

Thanks Dani for sharing with me your friendship, love of great food, and your eggplant parmesan recipe!

Daniella’s Eggplant Parmesan

I love this recipe, but when I’m feeling just a little bit lazy I skip the breadcrumbs and eggwash and lightly dust the eggplant in a little flour.  Then I proceed with the recipe as written.  Voila!  A quick Eggplant Parmesan.


1 -2 eggplant,  peeled (if you like) and sliced about ¼ inch thick slices


2 cups fresh mozzarella, shredded or sliced

1 cup Romano cheese, shredded

2 eggs whisked with 1 tablespoon water and a pinch of salt and pepper

1 cup seasoned bread crumbs

½ cup flour

Salt and fresh cracked black pepper

Safflower or Olive oil (or a mixture of both)

Chopped fresh Italian parsley (for garnish)

3 cups simple tomato sauce (recipe to follow)


Preheat the oven to 350F.

Salt the eggplant slices and let them sit in a colander in a large bowl to drain the excess liquid from the eggplant.  Rinse the eggplant slices and pat dry with a paper towel.

Fill three plates, one with the flour, one with the egg wash and one with the bread crumbs.  Heat about one cup of oil over medium heat in a large sauté or fry pan.  You may need to add oil during frying.

Dip each slice of eggplant in the flour, shaking off the excess.  Next, dip in the egg wash and then into the bread crumbs.  Pan fry the eggplant slices just until golden brown.  Place the eggplant slices on a paper towel lined cookie sheet to absorb the excess oil.  Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper.

Once the eggplant slices have been browned, place ¼ cup tomato sauce into the bottom of an 8×8 baking dish, or if using 2 eggplants, a 10x15x2 rectangular baking dish.  Mix together the mozzarella and Romano cheeses.  Layer slices of eggplant over the sauce and then top with a little more sauce and a sprinkling of cheese mixture.  Continue layering the eggplant, sauce and cheese.  I usually end up with 3-4 layers.

Cover with foil and bake for about 15-20 minutes.  Remove the foil and bake for another 10 minutes.  Remove the eggplant from the oven and let it rest for about 10 minutes before serving.  Slice into squares and serve with additional sauce and parmesan cheese.

Simple Tomato Sauce

1 28oz can tomato sauce (I like Muir Glen Organic Tomato Sauce)

2 tblsp olive oil

1 onion small diced

3 cloves garlic, small diced

½ cup dry red wine (optional)

1 tsp dried oregano (or ½ tsp fresh chopped oregano)

1 tablespoon tomato paste

Pinch of red pepper (optional)

Salt and pepper to taste


Heat a sauce pan on medium heat and add a drizzle of oil and the onions.   When the onions have become translucent, add the garlic and sauté just until fragrant.  Do not brown the garlic as it will taste bitter.  Add the red wine to the onions and garlic and reduce the wine by half.

Add the tomatoes, oregano, tomato paste and red pepper.  Mix thoroughly.  Bring to a lively simmer and then turn down the heat to a slow simmer.  Taste the sauce for salt and pepper.

Let the sauce simmer for about 5-10 minutes.  If the sauce appears to think, add about ¼ cup of water at a time to thin the sauce.  Taste again for seasoning.

A little tip:  if your sauce tastes a little to “bright” or has too much acidity, try adding a pat of butter to your sauce to mellow out the acid.

Buon Appetito!

Contact Kid Friendly Sides vegetarian

Roasted Ratatouille with Fresh Herbs served over Toasted Baguette Slices

It was a busy first day of the work week and once again I arrived home late with all my grocery bags in hand, only to realize it was 5pm.  Great.  I knew I had something in mind for dinner but I couldn’t remember what it was.

I checked my frig and thanked myself for thinking ahead (by one day!) and purchasing a beautiful piece of Alaskan Halibut the day before.  I know what you’re thinking.  It’s what I was thinking.  What am I going to do with that beautiful piece of Halibut?  Ha!  The million dollar question, right?  

Well, I’m feeling oh so very smug right about now.  No, actually I feel a little bit brilliant.  Because not only did I use my beautiful piece of halibut, I also used my sad-looking eggplant (that didn’t get used for eggplant parmesan), 4 bright green organic zucchini that have been waiting to be used in my whole grain zucchini muffins (that obviously is not going to happen now),  and one brilliant shade of yellow pepper that I bought because frankly, it was so beautiful.  Add in my Walla Walla sweet onion, organic garlic, fresh rosemary and sage, 5 or 6 juicy red tomatoes and I had a sweet and distinctly rich ratatouille to serve with my halibut. 

My secret surprise?  A toasted garlicky baguette slice under the flavorful ratatouille!  Ahhh… life is good. (for tonight anyway :) )

Roasted Ratatouille with Fresh Herbs

This little dish does have quite a few “steps”, however, if you prep all your veggies first and then follow the steps the dish will come together beautifully.  Once you’ve prepared this dish a few times (hopefully you’ll like it that much!) it will become easier to pull all the steps together more quickly.  This is such a great way to use all that spring, summer and fall produce. Feel free to substitute with different types of squash, but always add the eggplant… it gives this dish its signature sweet flavor. 


1 large eggplant, thick sliced (or 2 smallish eggplant)

4 small zucchini (or 2 very large zucchini), thick sliced

1 sweet onion, halved and sliced

4 cloves garlic, chopped

1 yellow or orange bell pepper, roasted and diced

4 large summer tomatoes, or use 5-6 canned organic whole tomatoes, chopped

1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary

1/2 tablespoon finely chopped fresh sage (or more if you like sage)

2 tablespoons butter

Olive oil

salt and pepper

1 baguette, sliced (either multi grain or French)


Pre-heat the oven to 400F.  I use my convection oven option when roasting veggies.  If you don’t have convection oven options, roast the veggies at 425F.  Layer the sliced eggplant on a cooling rack or platter and sprinkle liberally with salt.  Let them sit for about 15 minutes or so to eliminate excess liquid. 

While the eggplant are resting, place the sliced zucchini on a parchment lined cookie sheet and drizzle with a little oil, salt and pepper.  Roast the zucchini until they look toasty but not too soft, about 8-10 minutes. (I’ve tried roasting the eggplant and zucchini together to save time, however, the two veggies don’t cook evenly for the same amount of time)

While the zucchini are in the oven, heat a large skillet on medium and add the butter and a drizzle of olive oil.  Once the butter is frothy, add the sliced onions and saute until nicely wilted and a little golden about 5-8 minutes.  Next add the garlic and saute for an additional minute or two. 

When the zucchini are done, add them to the onions and garlic.  Fold in the diced roasted yellow pepper and the chopped tomatoes and any juices that accumulated.  Let this sit over low heat while you put the eggplant in the oven. 

Next, rinse the eggplant and quarter the slices.  Season the eggplant once again with salt and little black pepper and drizzle with a bit of oil.  Place in the oven and roast for about 8-10 minutes or until a little toasty and soft to the touch. 

When the eggplant is done, add them to the veggies in the skillet.  If using canned tomatoes I like to add about 1/4 cup of the tomato juice to the skillet. 

Toss in the rosemary and sage and then taste for salt and pepper.  Turn off the heat and let the veggies sit so the flavors can meld together while you prepare the baguette slices.

Place the baguette slices on a parchment lined cookie sheet and brush with a little olive oil.  Toast in the 400F oven until lightly golden brown.  When they are done remove them from the oven.  Slice a clove of garlic in half and rub the garlic on each of the baguette slices.  The bread will be hot so be careful.

To serve, place a baguette slice in the bottom of a bowl or on a plate and top with the ratatouille.  Serve with grilled fish, chicken, pork or beef or all by itself as a hearty lunch or light dinner.

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Heidi’s Peanut Butter Cups

Chocolate!  It’s time. It’s time I posted something über delicious and almost naughty.  And these little darlings are just that.  So delicious and so decadent and rich they almost feel like your breaking a rule or telling a fiblet (Fiblet… my word for when my two darling daughters don’t QUITE tell me the honest to gosh truth).

In trying desperately to describe to you how wonderful and rich and “decadent” these confections taste, I decided I needed to pull out my handy Thesaurus.  I’m giggling as I read the synonyms for decadent.  Wicked, self-indulgent, and immoral.  Not quite the words I was looking for… but I did say they tasted almost naughty.

I think I could say these candies are a little self-indulgent but not the least bit immoral!  A treat to be savored to the last bite.  Crunchy, crumbly and densely chocolate confections that put smiles on my family’s faces and made little giggles escape from my girls mouths.

Thanks to my dear friend Heidi Rodgers for this latest and greatest chocolate treat.  Yes, she and my other culinary gal pal, Linda, are my go to treat recipe professionals.  Thanks ladies for keeping the Bennett Crew well stocked in yummy, and almost naughty :), treats.

Better Than Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups

Recipe created by Heidi Rodgers


1/2 cup butter

3/4 cup crunchy peanut butter

3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs (about 10 squares)

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1 cup milk chocolate chips

1/4 cup whole milk

1/4 cup chopped peanuts


Line a 12 cup muffin tin with paper liners.

Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat.  Stir in peanut butter, graham cracker crumbs, and sugar.  Mix well.  Remove from heat.  Divide mixture evenly among muffin cups, about 2 Tbsp. per cup.

Combine chocolate and milk in another saucepan.  Stir over medium until chocolate has melted.  Spoon as evenly as possible over peanut butter mixture.  Top with chopped nuts.  Refrigerate until set, about 2 hours.

Contact Kid Friendly Salad Sides vegetarian

Cabbage, Carrot and Dried Cherry Salad with Creamy Yogurt Dijon Dressing

This is my new “go to” salad.  For some reason I’ve been on a cabbage kick lately.  Not sure what got that started but my frig has constantly been full of purple cabbage, savoy cabbage, and Napa cabbage.  I think it’s due to all that beautiful cabbage staring at me when I walk through the produce section of the market.  It can’t help but jump into my basket!  

I often prepare a broccoli slaw recipe from cookbook Author, Kathleen Daelman.  She uses broccoli slaw with dried cranberries and a tangy buttermilk Dijon dressing.    It’s fantastic, but because I had all that cabbage in my frig, and lots of carrots, maybe I could come up with something similar, only using the cabbage.  

As you can see, it was a delicious idea; thin sliced Napa and purple cabbage, and shredded carrots.  I was completely out of dried cranberries but I had a huge bag of dried cherries.  No buttermilk either, however, I always have plain yogurt hanging around.  A great substitution! 

My new “go to” salad is born!  I love it when dishes on a whim come together so beautifully and so tasty!  Crunchy sweet carrots, spicy purple cabbage and tender, mellow Napa cabbage all tangled together in a tangy and spicy, but sweet yogurt dressing.  Add a little grilled chicken or fish and voilla!  You just made dinner.  :)

Serves 4 (or 2 if you really love salad!)


1 small head organic purple cabbage, thinly sliced

1 head organic Napa cabbage, thinly sliced

2 cups shredded carrots (I buy the bagged organic carrot shreds)

1 cup dried cherries (use more if you like)

Salt and pepper

1 cup (or a little more if you love dressing) plain yogurt ( I love Nancy’s plain lowfat organic yogurt)

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

2-3 tablespoons honey

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard (a little more if you love spicy)


Place the purple cabbage, Napa cabbage and carrot shreds in a large bowl.  Hold the cherries until the end or they all fall to the bottom of the bowl.  Sprinkle the salad with salt and pepper.

Whisk together the yogurt, vinegar, honey and Dijon.  Taste to be sure flavors are perfectly suitable for you.  Add a sprinkle of salt and pepper if needed. Sometimes I’m feeling my dressing a little sweeter so I add a dash more honey.  And sometimes I want a little more spice so I’ll add a dash more Dijon.  This is definitely a dressing you can play with to make it your own.

Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to coat.  Now toss the salad with the cherries and serve!

This is a delightful spring and summer salad and it pairs deliciously with grilled meats and fish.  Great for barbeques and picnics.  If you’d like to make this a travel dish, prepare the salad and dressing but don’t toss them together until you are ready to serve the salad.  Enjoy!

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Straw and Hay (Paglia e Fieno)

I don’t think the Bennett Crew wants to see another plate of pasta any time soon.  This is clearly my fault.  After I made this recipe the first time, I realized I hadn’t used the right type of pasta.

So I tried it a second time using the perfect pasta.  It was delicious.  But I got so excited about how spectacular it tasted, I forgot to add the sweet spring peas.  Great.  I couldn’t possibly post this without the peas so I decided to make it one last time.

I guess third times a charm because the Paglia e Fieno was perfect!  And so perfectly delicious that after serving it to my hungry crew and downing a plate myself I realized I forgot to take a picture!

Despite not getting the third perfect picture of the perfect Paglia e Fieno, I can tell you the dish is simply divine.  A smooth and creamy sauce infused with just a hint of garlic and mellow onion, delicately wrapping the spinach and egg pasta.  With each bite of silky sauced pasta are bits of bold flavored proscuitto, thin slivers of earthy cremini mushrooms and sweet spring baby peas.  All the flavors balanced and beautifully decadent.

As you can see the picture of the Paglia e Fieno without the spring peas made it into the blog.  I didn’t have the heart to make it one more time for dinner, just for a picture.  I’ll need to wait a few more weeks and by that time, we will have tired of spring peas and moved onto the newer and more exciting summer produce.  So in the interest of utitlizing all those spring peas now in season, I decided to post the picture anyway.  You get the “picture” right?  :)

Paglia e Fieno (if you’re wondering how to pronounce this it sounds like PAHL-ya eh FYAY-no)

Serves 4-6


1/2 lb spinach linguine or taglietelle, cooked

1/2 lb egg linguine, cooked (sometimes you can find “straw and hay” packaged together)

2 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 small onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 cup sliced organic cremini mushrooms

1 cup organic peas

1/2 cup diced proscuitto or ham (omit the ham for a vegetarian version)

1 pint heavy cream

1/2  cup freshly grated parmesan

Salt and pepper

Chopped fresh Italian parsley (for garnish)


In a sauce pan heat the butter and oil over medium heat.  When the butter has melted and is frothy add the onion.  Let the onion saute until wilted and fragrant, about 3-5 minutes.

Next stir in the cremini mushrooms and let them cook with the onion for a minute or two.  Next add the garlic and let it cook for just a minute.

Stir in the heavy cream and turn down the heat to medium low.  Let the cream simmer for a few minutes until it’s thickened slightly.  Then stir in the peas and ham.

Season the sauce with salt and pepper, and a pinch of red pepper flakes for a little bite to the sauce.

Pour the sauce over the cooked pasta and toss gently.  To serve family style, transfer the pasta to a baking dish and sprinkle the top with the parmesan cheese.   Or plate on individual plates and top with the parmesan cheese.

Turn the oven broiler on high and set the baking dish (or plates) in the center of the oven.  Let the parmesan on top brown and then remove from the oven.  Let the pasta sit for a few minutes before serving.  Dust with chopped fresh Italian parsley.

*Although I love this dish prepared traditionally with the spinach and egg pasta, you can certainly substitute a whole grain or brown rice pasta.  It will still be delicious.

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Warm Farro with Wilted Baby Spinach and Crispy Pancetta

Meet my new discovery, Farro.   Well, it’s not really a “new” discovery, I’ve just finally figured out how to cook with it.  Farro is one of those new again ancient grains to gain popularity in the mainstream food arena.  A grain that feels and cooks much like brown rice or barley, but  more complex and stubborn.  As you can tell I’ve wrestled with perfecting the cooking of this little grain.   

Farro is the Italian name for Emmer wheat.  The first bite will have you hooked; rich and nutty flavor with just a bit of crunch keeps your spoon or fork digging in for more.  A fabulous alternative to brown rice or couscous, and deliciously pairs with veggies, caramalized onions, wilted spinach, chard and anything else you can think of.   

Ok, so now you know what farro is, let me tell you how I cook it.  I’ve experimented with several methods and the method I’ve had the most luck with is simply boiling in water for a recommended amount of time, taking it off the heat, and letting it sit for a while to soften.  When the grains have popped open and become soft, that’s when I think farro tastes and feels the best.  

I’d really like to tell you it was my culinary brilliance that figured out my favorite method for preparing farro, but honestly, it was because I had to quickly take the pot of farro off the heat so I could leave my house.  I’d lost track of time experimenting with recipes and forgot I had to pick up my daughter from school!   The farro was just going to have to wait and I’d deal with the disaster when I got home.  To my surprise it wasn’t a disaster at all, it was a delicious discovery.  I love when that happens!

If you can’t find farro where you live, here is a link to our local Emmer Farro grower, Bluebird Grain Farms.  They will ship right to your door!  

Serves 4-6


2 cups Emmer Farro (whole grain, if using cracked farro cut the cook time in half, or follow cooking instructions on the package)

4 1/2 cups water or veggie or chicken broth

8 oz – organic baby spinach ( or more, depending on how much you like spinach!)

8 – 10 slices pancetta (basically it’s Italian bacon)

1 small onion, halved and thin sliced

2 cloves garlic, minced


Olive oil

Salt and pepper

Chopped fresh Italian parsley (for garnish, optional)


In a large pot, heat the 4 1/2 cups water.  Season the water with a little salt, and then add the farro.  Let the farro simmer for about 30 minutes.  Check the farro, if it is soft and plump and you like the texture then it’s ready.  However, if it’s still a bit crunchy and the kernels haven’t burst, take it off the heat and let it sit for another 30 minutes in the hot water.  

While the farro is cooking, heat a skillet on medium and add a pat of butter and saute the onions.  Once the onions are soft and golden, add the garlic and saute for a minute longer.

Transfer the onions and garlic to a bowl and set aside.  In the same skillet over medium heat, add the pancetta.  Let the pancetta cook and crisp, like bacon and then transfer to a dish and set aside. 

Last, again in the same skillet, add a drizzle of olive oil if needed and heat on medium heat.  In batches, add the baby spinach to the pan and let the spinach wilt.  You just want the spinach to wilt slightly, not cook down until soggy.  Transfer the spinach to the dish with the onions and garlic. 

When the farro is done, drain if needed and place in a large bowl.  Season with salt and pepper to taste. 

Toss the farro with the spinach, onions and garlic.  Once it’s blended to your satisfaction, crumble the pancetta over the top and serve.  Dust with fresh chopped Italian parsley if desired. 


I surfed the net for additional farro recipes, and I love the farro post on the blog Orangette, a fellow Seattlite.  Sounds yummy! PS: I love Molly’s book too!  Definitely worth purchasing, a great read!

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Fresh Raspberry Pan Sauce over Roasted Cornish Hens

When I was little I couldn’t wait for the  summer sun to ripen all the bright red raspberries in our garden.  

I’d spend hours milling about the sweet smelling berry bushes eating the sun warmed berries, when really I was supposed to be picking them for my Mom to bake a cobbler.   It was always a happy day at our house when Mom made her famous rasbperry cobbler.  And if for some reason I didn’t collect enough of those delicious little red berries, Mom would add in other fruits from our garden creating what I called “every fruit in our garden cobbler”  It was divine. 

Raspberries are still one of my favorite berries.  They jazz up a scoop of vanilla ice cream, top flourless chocolate cake with beautiful color and sweetness, add festive flair and fresh taste to cereal or oatmeal, or simply delicious as a quick sweet melt in your mouth snack. 


Another favorite way to enjoy berries is in a sauce over poultry or pork.  Raspberry pan sauces deliciously compliment the distinct flavors of roast pork or Cornish hens.  If Cornish hens aren’t your favorite, this delightful sauce would compliment split chicken breasts, pan seared chicken breasts or thighs, or a whole roasted chicken.  You’ll often find raspberry sauce served with pan seared or roasted duck.  The rich flavors of the duck beautifully compliments the fresh flavors of the raspberries. 

For the best flavor, I highly recommend free range and naturally or organic raised poultry.  Not only is it a much healthier option, but it tastes so much better and the texture is more palatable. 

This is definitely a dish that is dressed to impress.  A new favorite in the Bennett house, it’s so beautiful and delicious I could lick my plate!

Keep dinner simple… Enjoy the flavors of life!

Serves 4 – 6


4-6 Cornish Hens (substitute with split chicken breasts or one whole chicken)

6-8 cloves of garlic, slivered

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

Salt and pepper

2 tablespoons chopped shallots

1/3 cup raspberry preserves

1 ½ teaspoons raspberry vinegar

1 ½ pints fresh organic raspberries (or more, however I always end up eating the other half pint while cooking)

Dash of port or red wine, I like to add about ¼ cup (optional)

Grated fresh ginger, about 1 teaspoon (optional)


Pre-heat the oven to 350F.  Place the four Cornish hens in a large baking dish.

Season the cavity of each hen with salt and pepper.  Divide the garlic slivers and place in the cavity of each hen. 

Rub each hen with a little butter and season liberally with salt and pepper.  Place the baking dish in the oven. 

The hens will need to cook for about 45 minutes, but the best way to test doneness is with a meat thermometer.  When the thermometer reads 160F around the leg joint area the chicken will be done.  Remove from the oven and let the hens sit for about 5 minutes.

In a sauce pan over medium heat, add 2 tablespoons unsalted butter.  When the butter is melted and frothy add the shallots and sauté until nicely wilted, about 2 minutes.

Whisk in the raspberry preserves, whisking until the preserves have melted and combined with the butter and shallots. 

Whisk in the vinegar, and then add 1 pint of fresh raspberries. At this point, feel free to add the wine and ginger if using.  I love a dash of port in this sauce!

Let the sauce come to a lively simmer and then take it off the heat. 

Place each hen on a plate.  Add another half pint of raspberries to the sauce and then ladle the sauce over each hen.  Garnish with fresh chopped Italian parsley. 

This dish is delicious served with a wild and brown rice, quinoa or couscous to soak up the chicken juices and sauce.  Yum!