What’s Cooking? Spring Ahead!

Who doesn’t love Daylight Savings Time? We’ll soon get to enjoy an extra hour of daylight before the sun sets. Birds are winging their way home. The temperature rises and the banks of snow dissolve. Green shoots peek out of the soil and trees develop pink branch tips. We notice a spring in our step!

This Marketplace Pop-Up Collection, Spring Ahead, inspires us with the paintbox colors and iconic imagery of springtime. Even if we’re not quite ready to relax on that handmade loveseat in the garden, enjoying a leisurely sunset, it’s never too soon to plan ahead. Aren’t you totally ready for a new season?

Those first robins are really the heralds of spring. Sport one of Lisa and Scott Cylinder’s inventive bird pins, fashioned from found objects and impeccable artistry. Stephani Briggs captures floral beauty in gold and gemstones, and she would love to design a bespoke piece for you based on your favorite flower. Jae Song’s eye-popping swing coat and summery culotte dress are adorned with stylized birds or flowers in a range of vibrant colors.

If you want spring in your home year-round, Marlene Rye draws stunning poppies in soft pastels. Amy Gillespie creates sculptural, impressionistic wall pieces with felt, paint, and a variety of hardwoods. Ed Branson’s blown glass has always evoked burgeoning plant life in kaleidoscopic hues. Flowers are the focus of much of Deana Blanchard and Chuck Young’s work, from sculpture to garden gates. Roger DiTarando’s irresistible goats and kids – and all of his bronze creatures, great and small – speak to the animal lover inside us all. Gaze at them from your perch on that metal garden bench by Matthew Evald Johnson.

What else is cooking at Paradise City? We call it Celebration Chicken. It tastes like a holiday in your mouth, and it’s a splendid dish for the changing of the seasons.

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This Week’s Recipe

Celebration Chicken

We started making this recipe when butternut squash was first coming into the markets, and our herbs weren’t covered by a layer of snow. It’s very adaptable – we’ve added fresh figs in season, pears, sausage, and even tried it successfully with a spatchcocked chicken and chicken thighs. We do love sheet pan dinners – everything is roasted in the oven on one pan, which produces a symphony of flavors. And clean-up is minimal!


¹⁄3 cup olive oil for herbs, plus 2 Tbsp oil for chicken
All or any combination of sage, thyme, and rosemary. Fresh is nice, but dried works too. 
1 peeled, halved lengthwise, and seeded butternut squash
2 large red onions, cut into ½-inch-thick wedges 
2 large firm unpeeled apples, such as honey crisp or Granny Smith, cored and cut into ½-inch-thick wedges 
½ cup fresh or frozen cranberries 
1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt 
¾ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 
6 large bone-in chicken breasts, with skin
4 oz. bacon jam or Stonewall Kitchen’s Maple Bacon Onion jam
Any type of garlic pepper rub for poultry or steak


Preheat the oven to 425° and set a rack to the middle position. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and oil lightly.

  1. Combine the oil and herbs in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer. Cook until the oil is very fragrant, about 3 minutes. 
  2. Cut the halved squash crosswise into ½-inch-thick half-moons. In a large bowl, combine the squash with the onion, apple, cranberries. Pour the herbed oil over the vegetables. Sprinkle with the salt and pepper. Gently stir everything together, then turn out onto a rimmed baking sheet and spread into an even layer.
  3. Slide your fingers between the skin and meat of the chicken. Spoon some of the bacon jam under the skin and press until it spreads over the whole breast. Oil both sides of the breasts lightly, nestle into the vegetable mixture skin side up, and sprinkle some of the garlic pepper rub on the skins.
  4. Roast until the squash is tender and the chicken is browned and cooked all the way through, 40 to 45 minutes.