Whatcha cooking? Readers share their recipes…

Thanks to our talented Instagram friends, here are some yummy comfort foods to whip up! Even we (who never cook) have been inspired to get in the kitchen and make things with…ingredients. Need some creative new recipes to try? Here’s what you’re cooking. Enjoy!

Pane di Pasqua (Italian Easter Bread)

Shared by @not.enough.thyme/Rachelle Brown, Not Enough Thyme, Litchfield Hills Personal Chef

This recipe has been passed down for three generations. During these times, what’s most important is family and traditions. Take this recipe and make it with your children. This Italian Easter Bread is a fluffy sweet bread, traditionally in a wreath shape with brightly colored eggs baked inside. It’s great as is, with coffee, or even as french toast.

Bread: * 1/2 cup warm water * 2 packets of Rapid Rise Yeast (or regular-will take longer to rise) * 1/2 cup of butter melted * 3/4 cups milk * 1/2 cup sugar * 2 eggs lightly beaten * 1-1/2 teaspoons of salt * 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract or Anise * 5-6 cups of flour * zest of 1 orange and reserve 1/2 of the juice * 1 egg for the final egg wash before baking.

Colored Eggs: * 5 eggs uncooked * 3 teaspoons of vinegar * your choice of food coloring

  • In a large mixing bowl, dissolve the yeast in the warm water. Mix and let sit while you follow next step (hot water from tap, but no hotter as it will kill the yeast.)
  • In a saucepan, melt the butter. Add the milk and heat just until it’s warm.
  • Add your melted milk and butter mixture to the yeast and mix.
  • Add the sugar, 2 beaten eggs, salt, extract, orange zest, and juice. Mix to combine.
  • Add 5-1/2 cups of flour one cup at a time, mixing in between each addition. The dough will be sticky.
  • Sprinkle a surface with flour. Knead for 5 minutes. Add extra flour if needed. (do not add too much flour because the dough will not be light and fluffy; sticky dough is good dough)
  • Put dough into a lightly oiled bowl, cover and let rest in a warm area until doubled 1 to 1-1/2 hours.
  • While the dough is rising, let’s do the eggs. Boil 1-1/2 cups of water. Get 3 small cups. Add 15-20 drops of food coloring to each cup. Add 1 teaspoon of vinegar to each cup. Then add a 1/2 cup of the boiling water to each cup. Now dip the raw eggs into each cup and let sit until desired color is reached (these will be baked in your dough).
  • Once the dough has doubled, punch down and divide into 3 equal parts. Roll out 3 long rolls about 20 inches apart (you can even make 2 smaller wreaths too).
  • Braid the 3 strands together and shape into a circle, pinching and tucking the ends together. Do this on a greased baking sheet. 
  • Gently push the 5 colored eggs into the dough. 
  • Let rise one more time until doubled, about 45 mins to an hour.
  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Combine the last egg for the egg wash. Brush all over the bread for a glossy golden brown finish.
  • Bake for 25-30 mins until golden brown.

Taco Mac and Cheese (Gluten-Free)

Shared by @lowkeyglutenfree/Meaghan Penrod

  • 1 package gluten-free pasta (I like Tinkyada brown rice pasta)
  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 1/2 bag of frozen mixed bell peppers
  • 1/2 bag of frozen corn
  • 1/2 of a white onion, diced
  • 1 T. canola or coconut oil
  • 1 t. salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup crushed gluten-free tortilla chips (I used Tostitos)

For the sauce:

  • 1/2 cup white cheddar shredded cheese
  • 1/2 cup yellow sharp cheddar shredded cheese
  • 3/4 cup almond milk (or your choice of milk)
  • 1.5 T. Earth Balance butter (or your choice of butter)
  • 2 T. gluten-free flour or corn starch
  • 1 packet Gluten-Free McCormick’s taco seasoning

Instructions on @lowkeyglutenfree‘s awesome website lowkeyglutenfree.com

Grammie’s Bread Pudding

Shared by @cate_nix/Cate Nixon

  • 1 1/2 cups stale bread, cubed
  • 3 cups of milk
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon 
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup of extras (raisins, nuts, chocolate chips, really anything you’d like!)

Grease a 1.5-liter baking dish and add bread cubes. Heat milk and cinnamon on the stove and pour over bread. Let the bread soak at least 30 minutes, crustier breads will need an hour. Preheat oven to 350°. Combine eggs, sugar, and salt and stir into the bread mixture. Fold in your extras. Set baking dish into a pan with hot water. Bake 45-55 minutes or until a knife comes out clean. 

Note: This is an excellent pantry pull recipe. You can use any kind of bread you have (on holidays my grandmother makes this recipe with jelly donuts), any kind of extras, any flavors! Chocolate milk instead of regular, brown sugar, bananas, apples—the only limitation is your imagination! In the photo, I used brown sugar, cranberry, almond, and extra cinnamon.

General Tso Chickpeas + Broccoli

Shared by @cookingwithriccis/Sarah Ricci – cookingwithriccis.com

When I was pregnant with Darren, I craved Chinese food! I made this General Tso Chickpeas and Broccoli dish on repeat with a side of roasted chicken for Jonathan. Now as a family of four, we are making this frequently!

Using basic household ingredients, this homemade General Tso Sauce comes together in a flash. This stir-fry dish is creamy, VEGAN, and loaded with fresh veggies like broccoli and red bell peppers. The best part is that this meal is ready in less than 30 minutes!!

Get the recipe here.

Snowball Cookies

Shared by @fromgabiskitchen/Gabi Schneiter

  • Melt 1 stick of butter with 1/2 cup sugar, 1/4 c. dark cocoa, 1/4 c. milk, and a tablespoon of espresso coffee.
  • Ground finely, 150 g. (around 10) of any kind of plain butter cookies (I use Maria cookies).
  • Pour the warm mix on top of the cookies. Mix and refrigerate 2 hours.
  • Scoop tablespoons of the dough, form a ball and roll on coconut.

You can experiment with this dough and add it to whatever you have in your pantry. I added pureed figs and pecans.

Unstuffed Keto Cabbage Soup

Shared by @holly.noyes/Holly Noyes, modified from Kasey Trenum’s website

  • 1/2 of a small onion diced
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 1/2 lbs 80/20 ground beef (I use kielbasa, baked in the oven for 30 min then add to the crockpot)
  • 3 cups beef broth
  • 1 14 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 8 oz can tomato sauce (I use Prego)
  • 1/4 cup Bragg’s Aminos
  • 1 small/medium cabbage chopped
  • 3 tsp Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1/2 tsp parsley
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  1. Brown ground beef (or kielbasa) with onions and garlic then drain.
  2. Add all ingredients to Crock-Pot and place lid on top. Cook for 3-4 hours on high or 6-7 hours on low or until cabbage reaches desired tenderness.

Prosciutto Wrapped Chicken & Nutty Basmati Rice

Shared by Simone Pirre

  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breast
  • Kosher salt & cracked black pepper
  • 12-16 slices prosciutto
  • ½ stick melted butter
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 1 tablespoon chopped sage
  • Pinch red pepper flakes
  • ¼ cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup Basmati rice
  • 1 tablespoon pine nuts
  • 1tsp parsley
  • 1tsp butter
  • 1 tablespoon EVOO

Brine the chicken breast for 20 minutes in warm water and ¼ c. kosher salt.  Remove chicken and pat dry.  Heat oven to 450°.

Wrap each chicken breast in prosciutto.

Brush the chicken breast with melted butter, season with S&P, place in a baking dish and bake for about 20 minutes or until cooked through. Remove from oven and cover with foil.  Let it rest for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, saute melted butter, garlic, red pepper flakes, and sage until sage gets a little crispy.  Add in the wine and let simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Spoon the sage-butter sauce over chicken breasts and plate.

To make the rice….

On medium heat, add butter and EVOO to saucepan. When melted, add uncooked rice. Mix rice in with butter/evoo mixture until it starts to brown.  Add pine nuts.

Add 2 cups water and pinch of salt to rice. Cook until water absorbed and rice is cooked. Add a pinch of parsley and mix.

Gluten-Free Dutch Baby

Shared by @butterandsugarforever/Maya Noren

This is a super-simple recipe and even has very easy proportions that make it a snap to memorize, allowing you to whip this recipe up at a moment’s notice. Top your Dutch Baby with whipped cream if you’re fancy, some jam, or just a spot of syrup.

  • 3 eggs
  • 3/4 cup gluten-free flour
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 3/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 Tbsp unsalted butter

Place a 9″ non-stick ovenproof saute pan in a cold oven. Preheat the oven (with the pan in it) to 450°. While the oven & pan are heating, add the eggs, flour, milk & vanilla extract to a blender and blend on high for about 30 seconds. You want the mixture totally combined and even frothy, so scrape down the sides of the pitcher if you need to.

Once the oven has come to temperature, remove the HOT pan from the oven. Place your butter in the pan and watch it melt away. I sometimes even stick the pan back in the oven for a quick second to get the butter to brown a bit. Mmmmmm…. nutty, nutty beurre noisette.

While the butter is finishing melting, give your batter one more quick spin around the blender and then pour it all into the pan. Return the pan to the heated oven for 10 minutes. Give the pan a spin in the oven and bake for another 5-6 minutes more. It’s really cool to see how the Dutch Baby puffs up as it bakes. You’ll know it’s done if it is nice and puffed up, is definitely browning on the edges, and is pulling away from the sides of your pan.

Remove the pan from the oven and let cool just slightly before sliding the Dutch Baby out of the pan to your serving plate. If there is any pooled up butter left in the pan, drizzle it over your Dutch Baby and serve. The Dutch Baby will deflate which always makes me sad, but it tastes so good that I just drown my sadness in Dutch Baby goodness. It is best straight out of the oven with a little jam, powdered sugar, or syrup. And, if you’re feeling fancy, throw a dollop of fresh whipped cream on top. Serves 2-3.

Visit Maya’s website here!

We love your recipes, keep them coming and we’ll post some more!

Lora + Bev