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by Sarah Steimer

I picked up this cranberry pepper jelly at a market in Lincoln Square (in Chicago) on a whim. I've had raspberry pepper jelly before, which I loved, and I wanted to try one that would seem a bit more seasonal. I still like the raspberry version better, but this was really delicious.

I picked up this cranberry pepper jelly at a market in Lincoln Square (in Chicago) on a whim. I’ve had raspberry pepper jelly before, which I loved, and I wanted to try one that would seem a bit more seasonal. I still like the raspberry version best, but this was really delicious.

  • 2 slices of good bread
  • 1/2 small onion (or a little less than 1/4 cup), thinly sliced
  • about 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons pepper jelly (I used cranberry, but most often see either plain pepper jelly or raspberry pepper jelly)
  • a few slices of a sharp cheddar cheese OR a few slices of pepper jack cheese

Heat a small sauté pan before adding the olive oil to the pan. Once the oil is warm, add the onions and caramelize for about 10 minutes.

Place the cheese and onions on the bread. Smear the opposite slice with the jelly. Grill in a panini press or in a pan until the cheese has melted and the bread is crisp.

Makes one panini.

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by Sarah Steimer

This was the result of having some fresh veggies and needing a simple dinner idea for my family when they came to visit.

  • 1 green zucchini, small to medium
  • 1 yellow squash, small to medium
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 cup corn, fresh or canned
  • 1/3 red onion
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro
  • 1 cup shredded cheese (pepper jack is great)
  • 8 soft tortillas

    Using both yellow and green zucchini with the red pepper really pops some color into an otherwise bland-looking quesadilla.

Dice the onions and pepper. Thinly slice the zucchini to about a 1/4-inch thick or less. In a medium saucepan, heat a few tablespoons of olive oil and add your vegetables. Saute over medium heat, adding salt and pepper, until tender.

Place half the cheese on four of the tortillas, then evenly distribute your vegetables on top. Add cilantro and more cheese – this way the lid will stick. Place another tortilla on top.

Cook the quesadillas in a pan, on a grill OR (I found this to be the easiest) in a sandwich-maker. Cut the quesadillas into quarters before you cook them, so the flipping process isn’t easier and you don’t drive yourself nuts trying to keep all the veggies inside.

Serve with plain, low-fat yogurt (healthier than sour cream!) and salsa.

Makes four quesadillas.

Recipe: Sarah Steimer

Photos: Sarah Steimer

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