Morning Show (458)

By Loretta Paganini

Serves 6

1 (2 lb.) butternut squash

3 Tbsp. olive oil

2 Tbsp. butter

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 shallot, finely diced

1/2 cup dry white wine

2 cups Arborio rice

4 cups chicken stock

2 Tbsp. parmesan cheese, freshly grated

1/4 cup crumbled gorgonzola cheese

Salt and pepper

2 oz. diced pancetta

1/2 cup walnut pieces, toasted


Remove the top and bottom of the squash. Peel away the skin, cut in half lengthwise, remove the seeds and cut the flesh into 1/2-inch dice.  Repeat process with the other piece.


Place on a large baking sheet, drizzle with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Mix well and cook in a preheated oven at 350°F for 15 minutes, until soft and slightly browned.


Add the remaining olive oil to a heavy sauté pan and brown the pancetta.  Add the butter, garlic and shallots and sauté gently for 3 minutes, until softened but not colored.


Add the rice and stir well to coat the grains with the oil and butter. Add the wine and deglaze the pan for about 2 minutes or until the alcohol has evaporated. Add the hot stock a ladle-full at a time, stirring until each addition is absorbed into the rice. Keep rice covered with liquid at all times. Continue adding stock in this way, cooking until the rice is creamy but the grains are still firm. This should take about 20 minutes.


Remove the squash from the oven; add to the risotto with the parmesan and remaining butter.


Remove from heat and stir in Gorgonzola and walnuts. Season to taste with salt and pepper and stir gently.  Serve immediately.

Tuesday, 20 October 2015 11:56

Geek of the Week: Back to the Future II

Well, here we are, October 21st 2015.  The date, in the future, that Marty McFly and Doc Brown traveled to in Back to the Future II.

Matt Singer from breaks down every one of the movie's predictions about the future to see where reality stacks up against fiction.

Check it out!  HERE.

Thursday, 15 October 2015 09:25

Bacon Potato Skins

Serves 8


5 large baking potatoes

6 oz shredded cheddar cheese

½ cup sour cream 

½ cup crumbled cooked bacon

¼ cup chopped scallions

Salt and pepper to taste


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F


Prick a potato with a fork then bake potatoes in oven on a cookie sheet  until fork tender.  Allow them to cool.  Cut in half and scoop out half of the potato inside of each half. Leave some flesh inside the potato halves.


Take the scooped out potato filling and mix with cheddar cheese, half the scallions and bacon.  Set aside. 


Heat vegetable oil to 360-380 degrees F.  Fry the potato halves until slightly crisp.  Set aside on paper towels to drain excess oil. 


Place potatoes on a parchment lined cookie sheet and load each potato half with potato cheese mixture. 


Place potatoes in oven to bake 5-8 minutes or until the cheese is melted.


Top with a dollop of sour cream and remaining scallions and serve. 

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Friday, 09 October 2015 07:32

Spicy Tomato Black Bean Soup

Serves 8-10

Olive oil, for drizzling, plus 1/4 cup 
Salt and freshly ground black pepper 
1 white onion, dice 
1 green pepper, dice

2 Yukon potatoes, diced 
1 (16 oz.) can of black beans drained and rinsed 
2 cloves garlic, crushed 
3 ½ cups chopped tomatoes

2 cups white wine

6-8 cups chicken stock

¼ cup tomato paste

3 Tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped

1/2 tsp. paprika

1 tsp. red chili pepper flakes
Salt and pepper to taste


In a large stockpot, heat 1/4 cup olive oil and sauté onions, green pepper, red pepper, potato, and garlic until tender.  Add the tomatoes and cook for 3 more minutes. Deglaze with white wine. Add chicken stock, and black beans.  Add cilantro, spices, salt, and pepper to taste.  Bring to a boil. Simmer about 20 minutes. Serve hot, garnished with fresh cilantro.

Wednesday, 07 October 2015 05:37

Geek of the Week: New Products from Microsoft

Microsoft announced their new line of Windows 10 devices, yesterday...all intended to interact with each other:

3 Lumia smartphones (priced between $139 and $549) are set to hit shelves in December.  The Continuum "Display Dock" can connect your Lumia smartphone to a keyboard, mouse and HDMI you can use it like a little computer when you're on the go.  

Microsoft Band 2 (cost: $249, available 10/30), has a curved display and a barometric sensor for extreme athletes to measure changes in altitude.

Surface Pro 4, the next in the line of Microsoft tablets.

And their first-ever laptop, the Surface Book (starting at $1,499 and available Oct. 26).

Friday, 02 October 2015 07:18

Apple Butter Tart

Serves 12

Apple Topping:

3-4 Granny Smith apples, peeled, sliced in thin 1/8 inch slices

1 Tbsp. granulated sugar

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1/4 tsp. nutmeg

Water and lemon juice (for storing apples while peeling and cutting to prevent browning)

1/2 cup apple jelly


Apple Filling: 

2 Tablespoons apple brandy

1 Tbsp. granulated sugar

2 apples, peeled, cored, and diced

1 tsp. cinnamon

1/8 tsp. salt


In a medium sized saucepan, combine all ingredients and cook until apples are semi-tender.  Adjust flavors to taste. Allow to cool.  Blend in a food processor into an apple sauce consistency 



Tart Dough:

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1 Tablespoon vanilla bean paste

4 lg. egg yolks

1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut into chunks


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.


In a food processor, pulse the flour, sugar, and salt until combined.


Add butter chucks, process until mixture resembles cornmeal. Pulse as you add yolks and vanilla until dough start to come together.


Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and blend dough by pushing it away with the heel of your hand and gathering it up with a pastry scraper into a ball.


Wrap dough in plastic wrap, flatten it into a disk and chill for at least 30 minutes or overnight.


Roll out pastry on a lightly floured surface with a rolling pin to 1/8-inch thickness. Press the pastry gently into the pan and run the rolling pin over the top to cut the edges of the pastry.


Line tart with parchment paper and weigh down with pie weights. Par-bake in preheated oven at 350°F for 6 minutes until light golden brown. Remove from oven and remove pie weights and parchment.  Place tart back into oven and bake an additional 4 minutes to dry out the center part of tart.  Remove from oven and allow to cool.


Spread apple mixture into the tart shell and then arrange apple slices on top

Place tart back into the oven and allow to bake 15-20 minutes until apples are baked.  


When tart is cooled, warm up apple jelly and with a pastry brush, brush a thin layer over the tart to make it shiny. 

Wednesday, 30 September 2015 05:15

Geek of the Week: Karma Wifi Hotspot

Pay-as-you-go Internet is finally here!

Introducing the Karma wifi hotspot. The battery powered device delivers 4G/LTE wifi (powered by the Sprint's nationwide network) to up to 8 devices, and is about the size of a coaster...but don't ever set your drink on it!

The unit itself costs $149 and data is about $14/GB.

Buy 10Gigs of data and use it all tomorrow, or use it a little at a time over the next two years. It never expires. There are no contracts, no extra fees and you do not have to sign-up for Sprint.

This is perfect for anyone who owns a boat or RV, goes hunting or camping, travels for work or with the family...and wants to stay connected without burning through your cellphone data plan.

Go to for more information.

Friday, 25 September 2015 04:45

Pina Colada Cake

Makes 2 cakes each can serve  8-12


2 large eggs
2 cups granulated sugar
2 cups AP flour
1 20 oz. can crushed pineapple with liquid
2 teaspoons baking soda
½ teaspoon ground ginger
1 Tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
½ cup finely chopped maraschino cherries 

For garnish:
toasted coconut flakes


Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
2. Prepare two 8x2 baking pans by greasing it with butter and flour and placing a parchment round in the center. 
3. Cream together sugar and eggs. Add vanilla and pineapple with juice. 
4. In a bowl mix together flour and baking soda, salt, and ginger. 
5. Add flour mixture to egg mixture until incorporated. Do not overmix.
6. Fold in cherries.
7. Pour batter evenly into prepared pans. 
8. Bake until golden brown and spongy firmness in center, approximately 20-30 minutes. 


Coconut Rum Cream Cheese Frosting


8 oz. package cream cheese, softened
4 oz. unsalted butter (1 stick), softened
1 cup powdered sugar (can use more if needed)
2 Tablespoon coconut rum

Whip together all ingredients until reach desired frosting consistency.  To Decorate Cake:  Spread frosting over cooled pineapple cake. Garnish with toasted coconut flakes.  Place cake in refrigerator to chill. Serve cold.

Tuesday, 22 September 2015 09:15

Geek of the Week: Fall Foliage Map

We're into the “Leaf-Peeping” season and this map shows where, in the country, the fall foliage is at its peak. If you're planning a weekend road trip, take a look at this helpful map from  And if you're planning a vacation to Tennessee's Smoky Mountains, this website is your one-stop site for information and cabin rentals.

Click here for the map

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