Squash Stuffed with Sausage and Wine-Soaked Onions

Mike and I installed a doggie door this summer for Madison.

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I think she has finally achieved her ultimate goal in life – to come and go as she pleases.

All I’m saying is that it was a little TOO easy to train her to use this door.

She’ll always come back in for food, though.

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What You Need:

  • One large summer squash (about 10′ long and fairly thick)
  • 1 cup diced onions
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1 cup chopped green pepper
  • 1 chopped jalapeno
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup garlic scapes, chopped
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1/2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 lb. hot Italian (or your favorite) sausage, sliced into 1″ pieces
  • 3 cups tomato sauce, either your favorite jar sauce, or homemade this way

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What You Do:

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Preheat oven to 325F

Halve the squash lengthwise from stem to end and scoop out the inside seeds so you’re left with a hollow “bowl”.

Place face-down on parchment paper and bake for about 40 minutes.

While the squash is baking, take a large skillet and partially caramelize the onions by cooking them with the water on medium heat, covered, for about 10 minutes or until they soften and become fragrant.

Add the green pepper, jalapeno, cherry tomatoes, garlic scape and wine, and continue to cook, covered, for about 15-20 minutes or until all vegetables are soft and cooked through, the cherry tomatoes are puckered and split, and the wine has cooked off.

Remove from heat, drain and set aside in a large bowl.

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In a separate skillet, heat the coconut oil on low-medium heat, and add the sausage. Cook for about 15 minutes, turning the sausage periodically to prevent burning and to cook through each piece.

When the sausage is done, drain on a paper towel to absorb the grease, and add to the vegetable mixture, stirring thoroughly to combine.

Remove the squash from the oven and flip over so the scooped-out side is facing up.

Scoop the sausage filling into each squash liberally.

Place back in the oven for 10 minutes.

Cover each piece with tomato sauce and serve.

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Spiced Mulled Wine

Mike and I have a Christmas tradition that is very near and dear to my heart.

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We always get our Christmas tree from Emery Farm, and pick up a few delectable food items from the farm store before we leave, like apple cider donuts and whoopie pies.

At Emery Farm, they also give everyone who purchases a Christmas tree a free, hand-decorated ornament. We’ve amassed a collection of these over the last few years.

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Then, we head home, pull out all the Christmas decorations that have been in storage for the year, put on a fun Christmas carol station on Pandora, and brew up a festive pot of spiced mulled wine.

I look forward to this day almost all year. Or at least as soon as Thanksgiving comes to a close. It’s even better now that we have a real mantle to decorate over a real pellet stove that keeps us warm and toasty while we sip mulled wine and hang ornaments.

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Mulled wine is just such a fantastic invention for the holidays. It tastes good, it smells wonderful, and it’s easy to make in large batches for parties. We’ve varied the recipe over the years but this is the one we always go back to.

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What You Need:

  • One 1.5 Liter bottle red wine of your choice (I used Little Penguin Shiraz)
  • 1 orange, partially skinned for garnish and then sliced
  • 1/4 cup + 1 tbsp brandy
  • 1/4 cup agave (can substitute with honey if you don’t have agave)
  • 10 whole cloves
  • 2 cinnamon sticks + extra for garnish

What You Do: 

Put all ingredients into a large pot and bring to a light simmer.

Simmer for about 15 minutes and then serve with orange skin and cinnamon sticks for garnish.

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