Sunday, October 23, 2016

My Personal Autumn Kitchen

I live for autumn. I truly do. I'm sharing my own personal recipes for the season - 

Sharon Day's Autumn Sandwich 

Fluffy roll or croissant. Turkey slices. Very thin slices of Granny Smith apple, melted brie, and pepper/pear jam.

I also use the pepper/pear jam for Asian food. I mix it with some soy sauce and a dash of vinegar. I tempura dip bits of chicken and fry and then toss with the jam mix.

Almond Joy Cookies

Heat oven to 325. Line pan with parchment or a tiny spray of Pam. Mix a can of sweetened condensed milk, 14 oz of coconut, a bag of semisweet chocolate chips, and 2/3 c. crushed lightly salted almonds. Pack together and scoop out onto cookie sheet. Cook about 12 minutes or so until golden on the edges. Let cool on the pan. Do not remove hot or they fall apart. Let cool before removing.

Chai Hot Cocoa/Coffee

No need to make this one complicated. Swiss Miss makes a Dark Chocolate Sensation that is very good cocoa with the appropriate amount of chocolate versus milk flavor. You can also use this spice mix in coffee or black tea (makes chai flavor). I keep it in an old empty spice shaker container. 

Mix: 1/2 c. nondairy creamer, 2 tsp ground ginger, 2 tsp ground cinnamon, 1 tsp ground cardamom, 1/2 tsp cayenne (optional)

Movie Time Bark

Melt a big bag of chocolate chips (white is ideal, but you can use any flavor). Take a cookie sheet and line with waxed paper. Spread broken pretzels, peanuts, and candy corn around on it. Now, spread the chocolate over top of it. Put in fridge until set and then break into chunks.

Cheeseburger Soup

Crock pot time of year! I love making soups and chilis. This is one of my favorites!  This recipe I got from Taste of Home and it is the best one I've found yet. Their recipes are always spot-on! 

1/2 pound ground beef
3/4 cup chopped onion
3/4 cup shredded carrots
3/4 cup diced celery
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
4 tablespoons butter, divided
3 cups chicken broth
4 cups diced peeled potatoes (1-3/4 pounds)
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups (8 ounces) process cheese (Velveeta), cubed
1-1/2 cups milk
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup sour cream

1. In a 3-qt. saucepan, brown beef; drain and set aside. In the same saucepan, saute the onion, carrots, celery, basil and parsley in 1 tablespoon butter until vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes. Add the broth, potatoes and beef; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 10-12 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
2. Meanwhile, in a small skillet, melt remaining butter. Add flour; cook and stir for 3-5 minutes or until bubbly. Add to soup; bring to a boil. Cook and stir for 2 minutes. Reduce heat to low. Stir in the cheese, milk, salt and pepper; cook and stir until cheese melts. Remove from the heat; blend in sour cream. Yield: 8 servings (2-1/4 quarts).

Inside-out caramel apples

Cut tart Granny Smith apples in half. Scoop out most of the insides. Fill with caramel sauce or melted caramels. Cover in plastic wrap. Refrigerate. When set, cut into slices.

I try to take advantage of the flavors of the season, whether it's squash soups with carrots or persimmons and pomegranates. I love caramel and I always associate it with autumn. I will make an apple pie, but toss some cut up caramels in with the mix or red hot candies for a candied apple pie. 

The crockpot becomes the standard for living and I make a pumpkin chili that is very thick and robust, lots of stews and such. One of my favorites is a mix of diced carrots, one can of white beans, and a stalk of diced celery in the bottom of a crock pot, some chicken skinless boneless breast halves atop it. I then mix up 1/2 c. Italian dressing with 1 tsp chopped rosemary poured atop of it. I might slow cook chicken with some sliced peppers and onions and then pull it apart, add BBQ sauce and put it on cheddar biscuits with thin pickle slices.

Don't forget the pumpkin ale! 

Enjoy the season! Cooking and heating up the house is okay again! 

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