For the past three years, my husband and I have spent our fall seasons in the hot California desert, where daily high temperatures rarely dip below 95 until at least mid-November. This never dampened my love of the season (it’s my favorite one); however, I didn’t realize just how much I missed the real fall until a few weeks ago, when autumn in North Carolina began to arrive.
Lo and behold, there are still places in this country where the leaves change colors, and the air is thin and crisp in the mornings! Where the sky is bluer than it is any other time of year, and where families anticipate Halloween for weeks in advance. It’s glorious! This rediscovery of a real fall has brought my “Autumn Cheer” to new heights, resulting in decorating the house and, yes, new recipes. Always appreciative of those who share seasonal recipes, I thought I’d share a couple of these with you.
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread (Yummy – and will make your home smell divine!) –courtesy of AllRecipes.com
- 3 cups white sugar
- 1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 2/3 cup water
- 4 eggs
- 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon ground nutmeg
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour three 1 pound size coffee cans, or three 9×5 inch loaf pans.
- In a large bowl, combine sugar, pumpkin, oil, water, and eggs. Beat until smooth. Blend in flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, and salt. Fold in chocolate chips and nuts. Fill cans 1/2 to 3/4 full.
- Bake for 1 hour, or until an inserted knife comes out clean. Cool on wire racks before removing from cans or pans.
Butternut Squash Soup (super easy!) – courtesy of Food Network.com
- 1 (2 to 3 pound) butternut squash, peeled and seeded
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 6 cups chicken stock
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Cut squash into 1-inch chunks. In large pot melt butter. Add onion and cook until translucent, about 8 minutes. Add squash and stock. Bring to a simmer and cook until squash is tender, about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove squash chunks with slotted spoon and place in a blender and puree. Return blended squash to pot. Stir and season with nutmeg, salt, and pepper. Serve.
The Perfect Grilled Cheese (courtesy of seriouseats.com)
Louisa’s Tip: add tomatoes, bacon, or ham for a nice twist! For a gourmet style grilled cheese, use bakery-style Italian or French bread and Gouda cheese.
1. Melt butter in a nonstick pan over low heat.
2. Butter one of two slices of bread, then add a slice of your favorite cheese. Assemble.
3. Put the sandwich in the bottom of the pan and cover the pan.
4. Cook over very low heat for about 15 minutes. Check every few minutes to make sure the heat isn’t too high and causing the underside of the sandwich to burn.
5. When the underside of the sandwich is golden brown and the cheese is melting out the sides, turn over the sandwich and brown the other side over medium heat.
What are some of your favorite fall recipes? Share with us in the comment section below and your recipe may be featured on the HUN!