Butternut Squash Risotto

From the Real Women of Philadelphia Recipe Contest Website, here is my last submitted recipe: http://www.realwomenofphiladelphia.com/user_recipe/view/10736/8501/1

This side dish will definitely impress your most revered dinner guests. Many cooks believe that risotto is basically high-maintenance, requiring constant attention. I beg to differ and can leave it absorbing hot stock, ladlefuls at a time, and with a quick glance and stir here and there. Just make sure that there is always a teensy-weensy bit of liquid left before you add another batch of stock—and make sure that the stock is hot because you’ll want to ensure continuous cooking. Just know that cool or room temperature stock messes up this process. Also, you can leave out the saffron if you don’t have any. However, it does add nice color and some added flavor that is hard to describe.

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Total time: 1 hour 35 minutes
Servings: 10

1 butternut squash (2 pounds)

2 tbsp. of olive oil

6 cup(s) of chicken stock

6 tbsp. of (3/4 stick) unsalted butter

1/2 cup(s) of minced shallots (2 large)

1 1/2 cup(s) of Arborio rice (10 ounces)

1/2 cup(s) of dry white wine

1 tsp. of saffron threads

1 cup(s) of freshly grated Parmesan

4 ounce(s) of Philadelphia Cream Cheese, softened and cut into little cubes


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Slice the butternut squash in half and remove the seeds. Smear olive oil on the cut-side of squash and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place cut-side down on a sheet pan and roast for 30-40 minutes, until very tender and easily pierced with a butter knife. Cool. Once cool enough to handle, scoop the flesh from the skin and set aside

Meanwhile, heat the chicken stock in a small covered saucepan. Leave it on low heat to simmer.

In a heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven, melt the butter and saute the shallots on medium-low heat for 10 minutes, until the shallots are translucent but not browned. Add the rice and stir to coat the grains with butter. Add the wine and cook for 2 minutes. Add 2 full ladles of stock to the rice plus the saffron and add kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Stir, and simmer until the stock is absorbed, 5 to 10 minutes. Continue to add the stock, 2 ladles at a time, stirring every few minutes. Each time, cook until the mixture seems a little dry, then add more stock. Continue until the rice is cooked through, but still al dente (fully cooked but still retains a slight chew in the center), about 30 minutes total.

Off the heat, add the roasted squash, Parmesan, and the softened cream cheese cubes. Mix well and serve garnished with chopped fresh flat-leaved parsley, in a cute pumpkin shell, if you really “wow” your friends or family!


Mocha Choco-latte Dessert

Here is my latest recipe entry for the Real Women of Philadelphia, second phase, recipe contest. This week is "Crunch Time" dessert week. Here are the rules for this week:
Time Crunch: Total time to prepare and cook recipe is 30 minutes or less. Recipe calls for no more than five ingredients including the cream cheese and can be prepared in two to three easy steps.

It is hard to come up with something that has not been done before as this contest has been going on for some time now. Hopefully this one will catch the judges eyes and give me the win that I have been hoping for!

Won't you give it a try and post a comment and let me know what you truly think. :-)

My granddaughters came home, for the weekend, from college for the first time today and I wanted to surprise them with a special treat. I worked all day and needed to figure out something that I could put together very quickly. I made these cute little desserts for them and their friends that came over tonight too. They all enjoyed them very much and gave me an top-honors on this new recipe, so I hope you’ll want to give them a try and see if you agree with high marks for me.

Prep time: 10 minutes | Total time: 10 minutes | Servings:

8 ounce(s) of whipping cream
1 tsp. of dry coffee crystals
2 ounce(s) of Philadelphia cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup(s) of milk chocolate hot fudge dessert topping
1 pkg (6 )Chocolate Dessert Shells (you’ll find these either in the grocery bakery section or by the fruits with the shortcake dessert shells)

Place whipping cream and dry coffee crystals in mixing bowl and use whisk until coffee is dissolved into cream.

Add the softened cream cheese and whip with mixer until soft peaks develop. Add the ½ cup of milk chocolate hot fudge dessert topping and fold into whipped cream mixture until well blended and set aside.

Place the chocolate dessert shells into serving plates or into clear glass serving bowls. Either spoon or pipe the mocha choco-late mixture into the indentation in the middle of the shells. If desired, garnish with grated bittersweet chocolate for that crowning touch!



Pimento Cheese Sliders


  • 12 prebaked small square or round dinner rolls
  • 1 ½ cups shredded Kraft® sharp Cheddar cheese
  • 4 ounces PHILADELPHIA® Cream Cheese, softened
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper (cayenne)
  • 4 oz. pimentos red peppers, chopped fine (well drained if using jarred)
  • 1-2 Tablespoons Miracle Whip® or mayonnaise
  • 1 ½ -2 pounds of 85% lean ground beef (Chuck)
  • 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper



1. Make Pimento Cheese: Mix cheddar cheese, pimentos, cream cheese, and cayenne in bowl with beaters until combined.

2. Make patties: Combine beef, Worcestershire, salt, and pepper in large bowl and gently knead until well combined. Divide the meat into 24 small thin patties.

3. Stuff patties: Take a teaspoonful of the Pimento Cheese and place it smack dab in the middle of 12 burger halves. Pull up the sides of the burger to make a cheese pocket that will help to keep the yummy cheese from getting out. Take the other burger halves and cover the burger making sure to completely encompass the Pimento Cheese.

4. Cook Sliders: Place burgers onto a well heated grill (indoors or out) and cook until desired doneness (well done is 170 degrees).

5. Toast the rolls: While the sliders are cooking, cut each dinner roll in half to make a top and bottom for your burger. Place on baking pan and broil until they are nice and golden brown, being careful to watch them closely as you don’t want them to burn.

6. Finishing the Pimento Cheese: Add the Miracle Whip® or mayonnaise and mix well. Grab a small scoop to finish off your sliders.

Putting Slider together: When burgers are done, place them on top of the bottom halves of the toasted dinner rolls and add a rounded small scoop (small cookie scoop worked great) of the Pimento Cheese that now includes Miracle Whip® or mayonnaise; place tops on and tent with foil and let them rest for 5 minutes. Enjoy!