Sutton Foster Is Proud of Her Quarantine Garden, and All the New Recipes She’s Tried Because of It

From Woman’s Day

During quarantine, Sutton Foster has boldly gone where few New Yorkers have gone before: into the garden. The actress and Broadway star left New York City to quarantine at her lake house, finally giving her the opportunity to have her dream garden. “I’ve always wanted to grow a garden, but I live in New York City so it’s a little tricky,” Foster tells Woman’s Day. “I’ve never had the time, and all of the sudden I’m like, oh my gosh, we’ve been here the whole summer, and we’ve grown carrots from seeds!”

And carrots aren’t all Foster has been able to grow. “I have an herb garden, and chili peppers and jalapeños,” she says. “And we had these random seeds that grew gourds, and we’re growing a pumpkin that we’re going to carve for Halloween. It’s cool stuff like that where it’s like, oh my gosh we grew a pumpkin!”

Though growing produce has been a major source of Foster’s excitement, another reason she loves her garden is because of the cooking opportunities that come with it. And having grown everything from herbs to Brussels sprouts to squash, she’s been able to up her game in the kitchen. “I love cooking,” Foster says. “I’m making a lot of soups right now. I just made a chicken, mushroom, and rice stew, and it’s great to have for lunch.” As Foster begins rehearsals for The Music Man and filming for Younger, her plan is to make a new soup each week to take for lunch. “I’ve been doing a little bit of everything,” she says. Up next: Pumpkin apple soup using the apples she and her family picked on a recent visit to an orchard.

Foster has enjoyed getting her 3-year-old daughter Emily involved in the kitchen, too. “One of the things we’ve been making recently are smoothies,” Foster says. She has partnered with Lactaid milk to make a Cookie Monster smoothie bowl that her daughter loves. “My daughter is 3, so we drink a lot of milk around here,” Foster says. “I love milk, too, but I have a sensitivity, so I love Lactaid because it’s actually real milk it just doesn’t have the lactose, so it doesn’t upset my stomach. So we can use it in everything. We love to make the Cookie Monster smoothie bowl, and Emily likes to help make the googly eyes and the cookies. It’s so cute.”

Her daughter may be young, but Foster says Emily is an adventurous eater who loves a variety of foods from salmon to veggies to smoothies. “I make really great homemade french fries,” Foster says. “And a Bolognese sauce made from tomatoes that I grew from my garden. That’s what I’m most proud of, I think. I’m like, I grew tomatoes from the Earth!”

As Foster gets back to work, she’s hoping to continue cooking with her family. These days that means a new soup each week among other fun recipes. And of course,

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The Pantry Kitchen’s ‘Weeknight Challenge’ yields stuffed squash recipes and many unexpected gems

The goal with the first challenge of Season 2 of the Pantry Kitchen Challenge was to get everyone in an autumnal mood, and to introduce the new “wild card” rule designed to throw a different wrinkle into each round. Wellll …. perhaps we should have been more specific?

Round 1 was “The Weeknight Challenge” with a 30-minute prep time limit, and squash, apples, nutmeg and soda as the ingredients. We didn’t foresee that folks would interpret the 30-minute limit in two different ways: 30 minutes to prep the dish and get it ready for cooking or 30 minutes from prep to plating.


So to be fair, we selected the top three finishers in both categories. (And props to those of you who saw “30-minute prep” and decided this meant 30 minutes total!) You hustled and came up with some pretty impressive stuff. This challenge garnered 45 entries! Many of you saw the ingredients list and thought stuffed squash or butternut squash soup. So bonus points for those who went above and beyond those two staples.

In the “30-minutes from prep to plating” category, Paul Shapiro wins for butternutchos, turning butternut squash into tortilla chips for a unique plate of nachos. Runners-up: Darci Rogojin, whose autumn doughnut holes with nutmeg cream soda icing looked delectable, and Beth Cavalli, who combined Western ingredients with Mexican and Asian flavors — tamarind soda! — to create a tamarind stir-fry!

In the “30-minutes prep, then cook to your heart’s content” category, the mother-daughter tandem of Joan and Keri Segna wowed us with this gorgeous stuffed pumpkin dinner called Filled with Goodness. Runners-up: Thomas Finnegan transformed the ingredients into an interesting chicken curry with squash and apples, while Jeff Abrams also stuffed a pumpkin in spectacular fashion to produce pumpkin and apple English pudding with root beer glaze.

Here are the top 12 submissions! Thanks for playing. See below for details on Round 2.

Season 2 Round 2 “The Entreé Challenge”



  • You have to use all four ingredients, but you can use as many additional ingredients as you desire. 
  • Wild card rule for Round 2: You have to make an entrée. Defined as: more substantial than appetizers. You cannot make dessert for this round. Sorry dessert lovers!
  • Deadline: Create a dish, tell us how successful you were and email photos (JPG files!), your recipe and a description of your dish to food editor Stefanie Loh ([email protected]) by Friday, Oct. 16. 
  • Judging will be based on creativity, how well you incorporated the four ingredients, presentation and adherence to the wild card rule. We’ll name the top three entries and select several of the most interesting submissions to be published in a future edition of The Mix.

Pantry Kitchen Challenge Season 2 Round 1 Best Reader Submissions

*To download a PDF of recipes from this round, click here.

Butternuchos (30 minutes flat)

Paul Shapiro turned slices of butternut squash into tortilla chips for this plate of “butternuchos.”  (Courtesy of Paul Shapiro)
Paul Shapiro turned slices of butternut squash into tortilla chips for this plate of “butternuchos.” (Courtesy of Paul Shapiro)


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End-of-Season Garden Recipes: Part 2


Zucchini Gratin & Soup pic

© Provided by Davenport-R Island-Moline KWQC
Zucchini Gratin & Soup pic

(“Chef Steph”) Stephanie Godke, Mississippi River Distilling Co., comes back to PSL to delight viewers with terrific recipes for the end-of-the-garden vegetable season. The emphasis is on tomatoes and zucchini. YUM! Watch the interview segment for all the nuanced details related to preparing the selected dishes.


  • 1 squash cut into 1/2 dice ( zucchini and summer squash)
  • 2 tomatoes diced
  • 3 assorted sweet peppers (I used red, yellow, orange and green)
  • 1/2 cup white or yellow sweet corn
  • 1 large onion diced
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 ribs of celery diced
  • One can or jar of green salsa or green enchilada sauce
  • Cumin, crushed red peppers and cilantro to taste

Sauté the vegetables in a dab of olive oil in a heavy pot. Pour in the sauce and season with a tsp of cumin and a handful of cilantro. Let this cook down and serve with tortilla chips. Maybe a dab of sour cream.

Tomato Jam

  • 4 cups ripe, fresh, Italian plum tomatoes, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 2 lemons , peeled, sliced thin, and seeded
  • 4 cups sugar
  • 3 tablespoons freshly chopped ginger root
  • 2 cinnamon sticks (optional)

Combine all ingredients in a large pot over low heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Or use the crock pot. Simmer until the jam is thick and clear, about 1 to 1-1⁄2 hours. Toward the end of the cooking time, stir often to prevent scorching. Remove cinnamon; pour jam into sterilized jars leaving ¼-inch head space and seal. Process 10 minutes in boiling water. Makes about 2 pints.


  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 onions halved, sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 zucchini (1 pound, cut into 1/4″ slices)
  • 2 summer squash ( 1 pound, cut into 1/4″ slices)
  • 7 small tomatoes (1 pound, cut into 1/4″ slices)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons (1 each herb) thyme and oregano
  • 2 ounces goat cheese crumbled

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray bottom of 13x9x2 inch casserole dish with cooking spray or brush lightly with oil.

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in large skillet; add onions and saute until translucent; add garlic and sauté another minute; transfer to casserole dish and spread to cover the bottom of the dish. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon Thyme and Oregano combined.

Alternately layer zucchini, summer squash and tomato in casserole dish. Drizzle remaining olive oil on top. Season with salt, fresh ground black pepper and remaining herbs. Cover dish with foil and bake for 40 minutes; uncover dish, sprinkle goat cheese on top and continue baking, uncovered, for another 30-35 minutes, until browned.

Copyright 2020 KWQC. All rights reserved.

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From the Kitchen: Keep-it-simple recipes to try when you’re at an impasse | From The Kitchen

School. It’s started. And how! Zoom school, home school, schoology, e-learning, virtual school, in-person school. Whew!

Those days are well in the past for lots of us but we have grandtots who are in the scholarly stratosphere from pre-K to grad school and we feel the emotions of the roller coaster that students, parents and teachers are now on regarding school.

I looked for recipes today that I thought would be appealing and easy to make — not on a busy weekday morning, but sometime where there is breathing room to be in the kitchen for a few minutes.

The standard for monkey bread is to layer several stacks of biscuit dough into a tube pan, covered with a syrupy sauce. I was never certain any of the inner pieces were baking through.

Baking in a single layer somewhat eliminates that pull-and-peek motion you have to employ for the bundt pan version to see if the inside is still “doughy.”

Chili mac is a time-honored dish to set before picky palates. French’s makes it easy with just a few ingredients and their seasoning packet. There isn’t any standing over a pot or simmering for hours. A mixing of ingredients and 20 minutes is all you need.

The ground beef can be ground turkey, ground chicken, a soy meat crumble or substituted with chopped squash, mushrooms or more beans. Whatever your family likes.

The pepperoni bites are best served hot from the oven. You might remember them, not only as an after-school snack but also as an appetizer or party food when you are able to have a gathering. I won’t tell if you make them just for yourself alone — no crowd.

They are unassuming, just another way of having a pepperoni pizza, but with a couple of twists: individual servings, made with puff pastry. You will look like a fancy cook and delight everyone when they bite into the crisp and flaky pastry.

You don’t have to stick with pepperoni. Crumbled cooked Italian sausage would work well. Or you could just go for cheese and sauce alone.

The keep-it-simple recipes today may give you some ideas if you are at a “what to make” impasse.

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