Episode 42: Chicken With Caramelized Onion and Cardamom Rice, Pesto Cheese Stuffed Shells, and Tricolored Beet Tart


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Your house will be filled with the aroma of caramelized onions and warm spices if you make this chicken dish. We loved this version of chicken and rice, including onions, cinnamon, cardamom, and clove. Fresh herbs at the end brightened up the whole dish.


  • We both found this easy and quick enough for a weeknight but special enough for company. A dinner party contender for sure.

  • Barberries weren’t readily available in our grocery stores. Currants weren’t in the pantry either. We used raisins instead and thought it worked well.

  • PS: Thanks Nathan and Alexandra!

Pesto Cheese Stuffed Shells: Half Baked Harvest

Baked pasta is a cozy winter dish that can serve a crowd. This recipe gilds the lily with fresh pesto in the filling and drizzled on top.


  • Pipe in the cheese filling to avoid the mess of spoons. No piping bag? Pile the filling into a zip-top bag and snip off a corner.

  • Serving a smaller crowd? Half of this recipe generously serves 4 people. Freeze the other half before baking and have comfort food ready for you whenever you like.

TriColored Beet Tart: Cooking Light

Vegetarians deserve a festive centerpiece, too. Beets are the star in this recipe with a vibrant red that really pops. The hazelnut and goat cheese topping make it extra special.


  • We used the Instant Pot to cook the beets and liked the no-mess, no-fuss way of making them.

  • Since this is best the day it is made you can save a bit of time by cooking, peeling, and slicing the beets the night before. They’ll keep well in an airtight dish or zip-top bag in the fridge until you need them.

  • If you don’t have hazelnuts, walnuts or almonds would work well.

  • Don’t forget to thaw your puff pastry dough! Overnight in the fridge is best but a couple hours on the counter works, too.

From the Smorgasbord:

We have two holiday favorites we can’t wait to taste:

  • Bread ‘n’ Spread: Break out the cocktail rye bread or Triscuits for this retro olive, cream cheese, and beef spread.

  • Tom and Jerry’s : Nothing warms our hearts or bodies like twinkle lights and a mug of this creamy drink. Egg, sugar, butter and brandy are the holidays in a cup.

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