Need an easy and quick weeknight dinner that won't break the bank? This recipe has got you covered on all fronts! 


for the polenta: 

1 cup dry polenta
3 cups chicken stock
2 tablespoons half and half
1 tablespoon butter

In small stockpot, bring chicken stock to a boil over high heat. Add polenta, reduce heat, and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring frequently. Add half and half and butter and mix until melted. Remove from heat and set aside. 

for the sausage mixture: 

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound ground italian sausage
2 small garlic cloves, grated
1 teaspoon lemon zest
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon tomato paste 
1.5 cups cherry tomatoes
1.5 cups fresh spinach leaves, packed tightly
salt, if needed

In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add italian sausage and cook until browned, about 8 to 10 minutes. Reduce heat to medium. Add garlic, lemon zest, and lemon juice, and cook until fragrant, approximately 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in tomato paste, then add tomatoes. Cook until bursting, mashing with the end of a wooden spoon, approximately 10 minutes. Add spinach leaves and stir until wilted and evenly combined. Remove from heat and set aside. Salt if needed. 

for the egg: 

2 eggs
1 tablespoon butter
1/4 teaspoon crushed red chili flakes

In a small skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Crack eggs directly into pan and cook until whites are opaque, approximately 5 to 7 minutes. Sprinkle with red chili flakes. 


Divide polenta evenly among 2 bowls, then top with sausage mixture and egg. Finish with crumbled feta. 


You won't even miss the dairy in this Macadamia nut cream! 


1 bunch small carrots
1/2 cup Macadamia nuts
2 tablespoons mint
1 clove garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon honey
4 tablespoons water 

Preheat oven to 400 F degrees. Toss carrots in olive oil and pinch of salt and pepper. Roast for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, blend remaining ingredients in food processor. Drizzle carrots with "cream" when complete. 

Five Seasons


This amaretto cheesecake will turn skeptics into believers! Just in time for Valentine's day, here is one of our favorite dessert recipes yet. 



For the Crust:

1.5 cups graham cracker crumbs
¼ cup finely ground almonds
½ cup melted butter
3 tablespoons sugar

Combine all ingredients. Press onto the bottom of and ¾ inches up the sides of a 9 inch spring-form pan.

For the Filling:

3 eight-ounce packages cream cheese
1 cup sugar
3 eggs
½ cups melted butter
½ teaspoon almond extract
¼ cup Amaretto liqueur

For the Whipped Cream:

1 cup heavy cream
3 tablespoons sugar
1/8 teaspoon almond extract
/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted 

Preheat oven to 450⁰F.  Let cheese and eggs come to room temperature.  Beat together cream cheese and sugar.  Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition.   Blend in butter, almond extract, and Amaretto.  Turn mixture into spring-form pan, and bake 20-25 min.  Cool on a rack.  Refrigerate at least 12 hours before serving.  Remove sides of pan.

To make whipped cream, whip ingredients on medium high speed for 5 minutes, then fold in almonds (reserving several for garnish). Place large dollop of whipped cream in center of cake and garnish with toasted almonds. Serve chilled.


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Fat Tuesday is around the corner and we are feeling indulgent. This savory bread pudding is truly amazing and can be served alongside a salad as a full meal!


1 French baguette, cubed into 1-inch pieces (approx. 6 cups)
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
3/4 pounds Italian sausage

2 large leeks, green parts only, sliced and chopped (approx. 6 cups)
2 cups chopped Cremini mushrooms
1 cup shredded Jarlsberg cheese
1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
2.5 cups heavy cream
4 eggs
1/2 cup white wine

Preheat oven to 350 F.  

Toast bread cubes for 15 minutes. Whisk eggs, cream, and cheese together. Once toasted, soak bread cubes for 20-30 minutes. 

Melt butter over medium heat in large sauté pan and brown sausage, about 10 minutes; add salt and pepper. Add leeks and cook until softened, about 10 minutes. Add mushrooms and cook 5 minutes. Add wine and cook until evaporated, about 5 minutes.

Add meat mixture to bread mixture in a 9x13 baking pan. Bake for 45 minutes. 

Happy Mardi Gras!
Five Seasons


We love a good party--in honor of an upcoming baby, a football game (read: the Super Bowl), or Mardi Gras. Skewers are a must for these occasions and these are two of our favorite seasonal (yet simple) versions! 



6 large carrots, cut into half inch pieces
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons honey 
1.5 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 large bunch of mint
16 ounces hard feta, cut into quarter inch cubes 

Preheat oven to 375 F. Roast carrots for approximately 30 minutes until tender. Skewer with feta cubes and a small piece of mint.



6 pears
3/4 pounds prosciutto di parma, thinly sliced 
1 cup balsamic vinegar 

Using a melon baller, make approximately 4 dozen pear balls. Wrap pears in prosciutto and skewer. Meanwhile, heat the balsamic vinegar over medium high heat until boiling. Reduce heat and simmer approximately 30 minutes until it has the consistency of syrup. Drizzle over wrapped pears (or serve on the side). 


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Inspiration for this dish comes from a dear friend and we are eternally grateful! Although there is no rice in this dish, we promise you won't miss it. 


1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon sesame oil 

1/2 teaspoon salt
2 chicken breasts, cut into 1/2 inch pieces

1 carrot, finely chopped
1/2 white onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, grated 
1/2 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
4 tablespoons soy sauce
1.5 teaspoons fish sauce
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 head cauliflower, pulsed in a food processor until fine 
3 tablespoons green onion, chopped
Lime wedges for serving
Sriracha (to taste) 

In a wok, melt butter over high heat. Add chicken and sesame oil, and sauté until cooked, about 5 minutes. Add all remaining ingredients except cauliflower. Cook for approximately 5 minutes until  fragrant and carrots are cooked through. Add cauliflower and cook for 2 more minutes until combined. Garnish with green onion, lime wedges, and Sriracha (if desired). 

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In our opinion, any night is taco night. While we love all kinds of tacos, these shrimp tacos are easy and one of our favorites! 


For the Slaw: 

1/2 head of green cabbage, thinly sliced 
1/2 carrot, peeled 
1/4 cup chopped cilantro 
1 tablespoon fresh squeezed orange juice
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 tablespoon olive oil 
1/2 clove of garlic, grated 
1 teaspoon honey 
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper 

Combine all ingredients in bowl (can be made up to an hour in advance). 

For the onions: 

1 red onion, sliced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1.5 tablespoons butter

In skillet, heat butter over high heat. Add onions and cook until browned, about 8-10 minutes. Remove from skillet and set aside. 

For the Shrimp: 

1 pound jumbo Gulf shrimp
1 teaspoon hot sauce (we love Cholula!)
1 tablespoon lime juice (about 1/2 a lime) 
1/2 clove of garlic, grated
1/2 teaspoon cumin 
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon butter

Combine ingredients and let sit for 15 minutes. Using the same skillet in which the onions were cooked, heat butter over medium high heat. Add shrimp and cook until shrimp are pink and cooked through, about 3 minutes per side. 


6 corn tortillas
1/2 cup coarsely grated cotija cheese
1 avocado, diced
Cholula (optional)
Lime wedge (optional)


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We cannot get enough of this ice cream during the Holiday season. Although we prefer the homemade variety, for a shortcut, just use store bought vanilla bean ice cream with crushed peppermint! 


1.5 cups whole milk

1 cup sugar

3 cups heavy cream

2 tablespoons vanilla extract

1 vanilla bean, split and scraped 

1 cup crushed peppermints or candy canes 

Combine milk, sugar, vanilla, vanilla bean, and cream in a bowl, and mix with a hand mixer on medium speed until sugar is dissolved. Turn ice cream maker on and pour in mixture. Let mix until thickened, about 20 minutes. Add crushed peppermint and mix until combined. Transfer mixture to air right container and let chill unt desired consistency. 

Cranberry Chutney

Spice up your Thanksgiving turkey with this cranberry + orange + jalapeño chutney. Oh, and did we mention, there's also a hint of smokey bacon??


1 piece of bacon, chopped
1/2 cup shaved red onion 
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar 
1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon olive oil 
1/4 teaspoon grated ginger
1/2 jalapeño, seeded and sliced in thin strips
12 ounces fresh cranberry
2-3 tablespoons fresh squeezed orange juice (about 1/2 an orange) 
1/2 cup sugar

In small sauté pan, render bacon fat (cook over medium-low heat until bacon is golden, about 10 minutes). Remove bacon pieces and reserve for later use. Increase heat to medium-high and add onion and salt. Cook for approximately 5 minutes until softened and browning. Add vinegar and cook 1-2 minutes longer. 

Meanwhile, in a saucier pan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add ginger and jalapeño, and sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add cranberries and orange juice. Cook for approximately 10 minutes, stirring frequently and mashing as you stir. Add onions and sugar and continue cooking and mashing until desired consistency (typically about 5 minutes longer). 

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Pomegranate + Tarragon Chicken Salad

The perfect al fresco lunch for a mild autumn (almost winter!) day. 


1 whole chicken, roughly chopped 
3 tablespoons pomegranate seeds
2 tablespoons chopped tarragon
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
2 tablespoons chopped green onions
2 tablespoons slivered almonds
1.5 tablespoons lemon juice (about 1/2 of a lemon)
1/2 cup Greek yogurt (we love FAGE!) 
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper

Gently combine all ingredients in bowl. Enjoy over a bed of arugula or on its own. 

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Banana Oat Cookies

Versatile, delicious, healthy, and indulgent--at the same time. Can't beat it! Try these cookies as a post-dinner snack or a morning pick me up. Feel free to add nuts, dried fruit, or your other favorite cookie add-ons.

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2 ripe bananas 
1 cup quick oats
1 piece of bacon, cooked and crumbled
1/4 cup dark chocolate chunks 
1./2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon honey 

Preheat oven to 350 F. Combine ingredients using a potato masher. Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden. Let rest 5-10 minutes before serving. 

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Butter Pecan + Rosemary Ice Cream

This will definitely be on our Thanksgiving menu. Enjoy! 



1.5 cups whole milk

1 cup brown sugar

3 cups heavy cream

2 tablespoons vanilla extract  

1 cup chopped Rosemary Pecans (see recipe on Journal) 

Combine milk, sugar, vanilla, and cream in a bowl, and mix with a hand mixer on medium speed until sugar is dissolved. Turn ice cream maker on and pour in mixture. Let mix until thickened, about 20 minutes. Add chopped pecans and mix until combined. Transfer mixture to air right container and let chill unt desired consistency. 



Five Seasons  

Rosemary + Butter Pecans

Although we typically do some prep for the week on Sunday, we also like to lounge around in a cozy blanket watching Netflix. That's why we keep it simple. This week, we asked our friend and dietitian, Blair Buras, to share her amazing rosemary buttered pecans recipe. Try these today and you won't regret it on Monday--trust us! Side note: these pecans also serve as a delicious base for other great recipes (coming later this week). 


1.5 pounds pecan halves
3 tablespoons butter, melted
2.5 tablespoons finely chopped rosemary 
3/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt 

Preheat oven to 250 F. Spread pecans on a large baking sheet. Toast in the oven for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, combine remainder of ingredients in small bowl. Once toasted, toss pecans in melted butter mixture. Return to oven and bake for 10 minutes longer. 


Thank you for sharing, Blair! Go follow @BlairBuras on Instagram for healthy recipes that don't compromise on flavor. 

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Sick of standard tailgating fare?? These homemade wings are a sure fire(y) way to win over football fans and foodies, alike (yes, we know there is overlap!). A Fifth Season staple, we actually indulge in this tangy, garlicky starter year-round.



For the wings: 

2 pounds of chicken wings 
1/2 cup hot sauce (we use Southern Art No. 1) 

2 teaspoons honey
2 cloves of garlic, grated
2 teaspoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons butter, melted

For the dressing: 

3.5 ounces Greek yogurt (we use Fage) 
1/8 cup buttermilk
1 clove of garlic, grated
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons crumbled blue cheese (optional)

Preheat oven to 425 F. Combine hot sauce, honey, garlic, tomato paste, and butter. Pour marinade over wings (reserving about 2 tablespoons to baste the wings at the end) and let marinate for 30 minutes. Arrange wings on baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes, flipping half way through. Once finished, brush with remaining wing sauce. 

Combine all dressing ingredients (smashing blue cheese crumbles if used). Serve on the side. 

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Pumpkin Burger Banh Mi

We are huge fans of meatless Monday. Not only does it give us the opportunity to eat more plants, it forces us to be creative with our food! This Monday, we tried a veggie burger using pumpkin as the base. We served ours Banh Mi style, but it would also be great on top of a Southwestern salad (think: iceberg lettuce, pico de gallo, cotija cheese, etc.).


1 French baguette
8 Easter radishes, sliced paper thin
1 bunch of cilantro, roughly chopped
1 carrot, peeled
Nuoc Cham (see below)
Pumpkin Burger (see below)

For the Nuoc Cham:

1 clove of garlic, grated
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons lime juice (about 1 lime)
3 tablespoons fish sauce
1 jalapeno, halved, seeded, and sliced thin

Combine all ingredients and let jalapenos steep until desired spiciness (each pepper is different!).

For the Pumpkin Burger:

1 Pie Pumpkin
15 ounces black beans, rinsed
1 cup dry quinoa
4 tablespoons chopped green onion
1/2 teaspoon coriander
3/4 teaspoon turmeric
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup flour

Halve the pumpkin and remove seeds (reserving for roasted pumpkin seeds). Cut pumpkin into large chunks (about 2 inches) and boil in 2 quarts of salted water for approximately 25 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook quinoa according to package instructions (we like to substitute chicken stock for water).

Once pumpkin is done cooking, remove from water and, using a spoon, scrape the pumpkin "meat" from the shell (it should come right off!). Dump out the water and place pumpkin meat back into the pot over lowest heat possible (the heat will allow some of the excess water to evaporate). Add remainder of the ingredients and combine.

To cook the patties, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat.  Working in four batches, cook two patties at a time (patties should be about 1/3 cup each), for five minutes per side until brown and crisp. Tip: you will need to add more olive oil for each batch.

To serve, slice bread in half and place patty inside. Top with radishes, cilantro, and carrots, then finish with the nuoc cham.


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Persimmon Margaritas

We love a margarita in its purest form (tequila, lime, orange, Topo Chico, end of story), but the addition of sweet persimmon is a no-brainer. Top these orange cocktails off with a festive stirrer and you've got yourself Halloween party perfection!

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1 persimmon, muddled 
1/4 cup Tequila (we prefer Don Julio)
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice (about 1 lime)
1 tablespoon fresh orange juice
6 ounces soda water (we like Topo Chico) 

Mix all ingredients (except Topo Chico) in a cocktail shaker. Pour over glasses which are filled to the brim with ice, and top off with Topo Chico (we usually do about 75% margarita mixture and 25% Topo Chico). 


Five Seasons


Fifth Season: Linguine alla Carbonara

Sometimes, all you really need in life is a plate of homemade pasta. Linguine alla carbonara holds a special place in our hearts as it originated in Rome, one of our favorite cities on the planet (and did we mention, it's delicious??). 


1/2 pound linguine
4 ounces pancetta, chopped
1/2 large yellow onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, grated
1/2 cup white wine 
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
2 eggs
3 tablespoons chopped parsley 
Salt & fresh cracked black pepper to taste 

Cook linguine in large pot of salted boiling water.

In a skillet, brown pancetta over medium-high heat, then remove with slotted spoon to paper towel to drain. In same skillet, sauté onion for 3-5 minutes on medium-high heat, then add garlic and cook for 1 minute longer. Add pancetta back to the skillet, along with wine and broth. 

Meanwhile, whisk eggs, parmesan, and parsley in a bowl. As soon as the linguine is cooked, toss into the bowl with egg mixture until fully coated. Then, combine pasta with pancetta mixture, adding salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste. Garnish with parsley and parmesan. 



Although we are familiar with the ubiquitous labeling of pumpkin as passé, we can't help ourselves! The tiny pumpkin seed packs a punch, both in flavor and health benefits. Replete with zinc, Omega-3 fatty acids, and more, these roasted seeds are perfect for a midday snack or as a nutrient-rich addition to salads. Additionally, this sweet and spicy seasoning mixture is anything but basic. Introducing our signature "Five Seasoning"--use it on everything from pumpkin seeds to baby back ribs. 


1 5-lb pumpkin, yielding approximately 3/4 cup pumpkin seeds
2 teaspoons Five Seasoning

1 tablespoon butter  

Five Seasoning:

3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon cane sugar
1/4 teaspoon cayenne 


Preheat oven to 350 F. Toss pumpkin seeds in butter and Five Seasoning and arrange on baking sheet. Cook for 15 minutes. Enjoy immediately or refrigerate for up to a week. 


Five Seasons


Decorative gourds are everywhere--mantles, centerpieces, front porches, and now, dinner plates. This stuffed acorn squash is as beautiful as it is flavorful. We like to use the carnival variety because of its mellow flavor and bold stripes. Packed with healthy grains, protein, and a vegetable high in dietary fiber and other nutrients, this dish is so well-rounded that the only side you'll need is a glass of your favorite wine. 


For the squash: 

2 acorn squash, cut in half down the middle
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons olive oil

For the ground venison: 

3/4 pound ground venison (turkey or sirloin are great substitutes!)
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup chopped green onion, plus some for garnish
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
1/2 cup quinoa
1/2 cup chopped walnuts, toasted

1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Sprinkle salt, pepper, garlic powder, sugar, and olive oil on cut side of squash. Place cut side down on baking sheet and roast for 25 minutes.  Once complete, reduce heat of oven to 375 degrees. 

Meanwhile, cook quinoa per box instructions. 

Over medium heat, saute ground meat with all ingredients, except walnuts and quinoa. Cook until ground meat is browned and water is dissolved, about 10-15 minutes.  Add quinoa and walnuts to mixture and stir to combine. Evenly distribute mixture into each of the four squash "bowls". Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and bake in oven for 10 minutes.  Garnish with green onions and serve.  


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