Jill Fergus

I began cooking as a child and feeding family and friends has always been my passion. My kitchen is a busy one. I love to experiment and embrace the kitchen successes along with the accidents. I love to cook and collaborate with friends. I am seasonally driven (I love the farmer's market!), avoid processed foods and focus on whole and organic (mostly plant-based, but not exclusively) choices. In my home, my family has a variety of eating preferences from plant-based, gluten free, refined sugar free to full on omnivore. My goal is to create dishes to please all, either as is or with minor adjustments to the recipe. Where did "Feed the Swimmers" come from? When my kids began swimming competitively and growing into young adults, I realized, even more, how important nutrition is to performance, growth and overall health and emotional well being. Everyone (including the coach during travel meets) would ask "what are you feeding the swimmers?" This has become my mantra whenever I'm in my kitchen cooking for family and the friends I love.



Roasted Pear Butter with Maple and Bourbon

Roasted Pear Butter with Maple and Bourbon

My new Vitamix made light work of what traditionally required a food mill and a lot of elbow grease!

Fall at the farmers market is wonderful, and apples always steal the show. I decided to expand on the tradition fall treats and give the (generally unsung) pear the front seat! In order to add depth and complexity of flavor, I roasted the pears at the onset, used maple syrup as the sweetener, added the Vitamix Winter Spice Blend and, on an impulse, tossed in some bourbon. The final product is rich with flavor, has a velvety finish (thanks to my Explorian Machine by Vitamix) and beautiful hints of their warming Winter Spice! This recipe makes a large batch as this is wonderful for gifting during the holiday season. Mix it into yogurt, spread it across your favorite toast, add it to your favorite dessert- this will make everyone smile!

The Explorian Machine by Vitamix is the amazing high speed blender we have come to expect from Vitamix, but at their lowest price yet! Click on the link for the details and bring true high performance blending to your kitchen! 


And, visit the  https://thefeedfeed.com/  for more amazing recipes using the Explorian by Vitamix and their Winter Spice Blend!


Bosc are my favorite as I prefer them crispy, but there are so many delicious varieties.  


This is the perfect time to whip out the melon baller from the back of the drawer! 


Roasted Pear Butter with Maple and Bourbon  


makes 10 cups


15 lb pears (I used Bosc) halves and cored, stems removed

2 cups maple syrup 

1 cup bourbon  

2 Tbs lemon juice  

1 tsp vanilla  

1/2 tsp salt

3 tsp Vitamix Winter Spice Blend (click here 


1/2 cup organic cane sugar

Water as needed to purée the cooked pear.  


preheat oven to 400F

1- place pears gave up on parchment line baking sheets and toast for 50 minutes, alternating racks every 15 or so minutes for even cooking.

2- in your largest heavy bottomed pots (Inused two 6 qt pots), add roasted pears with water (adding extra water 1/2 c at a time if needed), maple syrup, bourbon, lemon, vanilla and salt. Cover and simmer until pears are tender.

3- Do not discard sweet cooking liquid. Using a slotted spoon, add pears to your Vitamix, working in batches and purée cooked pears until velvety smooth and set aside. 

4- Transfer remaining liquid to one of the pots, add sugar bring to a boil, stirring frequently, reduce heat to medium and simmer and continue to stir until thick and syrupy, almost caramel like. Add Winter Spice Blend.

5- Return puréed pears to pot with syrup and simmer over med/low heat for one hour or more, uncovered, stirring occasionally to avoid any burning at the bottom. Continue to simmer until desired consistency is reached. Mixture may splatter, adjust heat accordingly. 


Pear butter will keep refrigerated for up to three weeks. If gifting, consider preserving responsibly. 


Thick skÿr with pear butter


Sourdough toast with heaps of ricotta and pear butter


Gluten free toast with fresh chèvre and pear butter with chopped apples.

Goat Milk Ricotta

Goat Milk Ricotta

Apple and Persimmon Pie with Bourbon Caramel and Hazelnuts

Apple and Persimmon Pie with Bourbon Caramel and Hazelnuts