Tag Archives: autumn

Pumpkin Tiramisu

27 Nov

A unique version of tiramisu that incorporates all the lovely flavors of pumpkin pie. It is super light which makes it the perfect dessert for a large holiday feast. Adapted from a recipe I found on Group Recipes by user Annieamie.

Time: 20 minutes               Serves: 10

Ingredients


  • 1 pint heavy cream
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 8 ounces of mascarpone cheese
  • 2/4 cup canned pumpkin puree
  • 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice, plus more for sprinkling on top
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar (or more if you like it sweeter)
  • 1 tsp  vanilla extract
  • 1 to 2 packages of lady fingers or sliced fresh pound cake cut into finger-length pieces
  • juice (about 2 tbsp) and zest from one orange (may sub Grand Marnier for juice)

How to make it


  • Whip your heavy cream with vanilla and sugar. Chill for at least an hour before starting this recipe. Keep it in the fridge!
  • Mix the mascarpone cheese with pumpkin, spices, powdered sugar and vanilla until blended well.
  • Fold in ONLY 1 1/2 cups of the whipped cream gently.
  • Using a glass trifle dish or a 13×9 inch pan, layer the ladyfingers over the bottom of the pan.
  • Sprinkle either the orange juice or rum over the lady fingers.
  • Layer this over the lady fingers.
  • Using the remaining whipped cream, layer that over the pumpkin/cream layer.
  • Sprinkle generously with pumpkin pie spice and top with orange zest.
  • Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight.
  • If you’re making this in a trifle bowl, you can make more layers but make sure that your lady fingers have been sprinkled with either the orange juice or the liquor.
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Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

4 Nov

I think I’m in love with butternut squash. This soup is lick your bowl good! Adapted from a Fine Cooking recipe.

Time: 1 hour                Serves: 4-7

Ingredients


  • 1 medium butternut squash (2-3 pounds) peeled and cut into about 1-inch cubes (about 7 cups)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil (more if needed)
  • 6 pieces of thick sliced Applewood smoked bacon
  • 1 medium onion, diced (about 2 cups)
  • 1 large Granny Smith apple, cored & diced into about 1-inch cubes (about 2 cups)
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 tbsp fresh rubbed sage leaves, chopped
  • 5 cups vegetable stock (chicken would be OK too)
  • salt and pepper, to taste

How to make it


  • Preheat oven to 425F.
  • Toss squash with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Spread out onto 2 baking sheets, not overcrowding the pieces. Place in oven and roast for about 40 minutes, or until edges are browned. Stir squash up about half way through for more even cooking.
  • Heat a 5 quart stock pot over medium heat. Cook bacon until crispy and place on paper towel lined plate.
  • Add onions to pot and stir. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes. Add apples and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 minutes. Add sage and season with salt and pepper. Cook an additional 2 minutes.
  • Remove squash from oven and transfer to stock pot. Add stock and turn heat up. Bring to a boil, then turn down to a simmer. Cook for 15 minutes, check squash and apple for tenderness. If needed, cook longer. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.
  • At this point you can either use an immersion blender to puree the soup or use a stand blender and go in batches as I did. (I did 3 batches.) Add half of the cooked bacon to the soup before blending. Puree until smooth. Taste and add more salt and pepper as needed.
  • Reheat as needed, crumbling remaining cooked bacon on top to serve.
  • Serves 4 entree portions of 1 3/4 cups or 7 starter portions of 1 cup.

Pumpkin Bread With Cream Cheese Glaze

3 Nov

Moist, slightly sweet, spiced quick bread enhanced by a simple glaze. Enjoy for breakfast, dessert, or with afternoon tea/coffee. Please excuse the appearance of the glaze, I didn’t sift the powdered sugar (oops!) and even though it doesn’t look perfect it tasted it!

Time: 15 min prep, 1 hour cook               Serves: 8

Ingredients


  • Bread


  • 1 cup AP flour
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp pumpkin pie seasoning (I used Trader Joe’s)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil (I used canola. You may also sub 1/4 cup with apple sauce)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • Glaze


  • 3 tbsp cream cheese, softened
  • 4 tbsp confectioners sugar (sifted)
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • dash vanilla extract

How to make it


  • Bread


  • Preheat oven to 350F. Prepare a 9×5 loaf pan with cooking spray and sprinkle lightly with flour.
  • Add first 8 ingredients to a large mixing bowl and mix to combine. Create a well in the center and add remaining ingredients into it. Mix until just incorporated.
  • Spoon into prepared pan. Bake for 50-75 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. (Mine baked for 65 minutes.)
  • Remove from oven and place pan on cooling rack. When cooled enough to handle, carefully remove bread from pan and place on cooling rack. Cool completely before adding glaze.
  • Glaze


  • Combine ingredients and whisk until smooth and well incorporated. Place loaf on a sheet of parchment paper (leave a few inches free on all sides). Drizzle glaze over top of the loaf, allowing it to drip down the sides.

Braised Potatoes and Winter Squash

2 Nov

I’ve made this dish twice and absolutely love it! Adapted from a Fine Cooking recipe.

Time: 30 minutes                Serves: 8

Ingredients


  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 pounds winter squash, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks – about 3 cups (I’ve used butternut and red Kuri)
  • 2 pounds potatoes, cut into 1-inch chunks (Yukon golds/fingerlings/reds work best but russets peeled are fine)
  • 4 medium shallots, peeled & sliced or chopped
  • 1 tsp dried rosemary, crumbled or 1 tbsp fresh rosemary, minced
  • 1 tsp sea salt, more or less to taste
  • black pepper, to taste
  • 2 tbsp course grained mustard or grainy dijon
  • 2 cups chicken stock or apple cider, or combo
  • 1/2 cup white or rose wine

How to make it


  • Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add butter and olive oil, allow to heat for about a minute. Add squash, potatoes, and shallots. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 10-15 minutes. Add more oil/butter if needed, as needed.
  • Add rosemary and salt. Add pepper and stir well to incorporate. Add mustard, broth +/ cider, and wine. Stir well. Bring to boil, cover pan, and reduce to medium low heat.
  • After about 10 minutes, the liquid should be absorbed and the veggies should be fork tender. If liquid remains, continue to cook for about 5 minutes until it absorbs. If the liquid has absorbed but the veggies are not yet tender, add a bit more liquid and continue cooking for an additional 5-10 minutes until liquid absorbs and veggies are tender.

Cream Cheese Stuffed Apple Streusel Muffins

1 Nov

I’ve been itching to bake something seasonal and this fit the bill. Adapted from a recipe from the Closet Cooking blog.

Time: 15 min prep, 25 min cook                 Serves: 12

Ingredients


  • Cheesecake Filling


  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 8 oz. cream cheese, room temp (may used reduced fat)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Streusel Topping


  • 3 tbsp butter, room temp
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup rolled oats
  • Muffins


  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup plain Greek yogurt (I used 0%)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce
  • 1/4 cup oil (I used sunflower)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp almond milk/milk
  • 1 cup unbleached AP flour
  • 3/4 cups whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 cup rolled oats
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 large apples, cored and cut into small cubes (I used Gala and Macintosh)

How to make it


  • Preheat oven to 375F. Prepare muffin tins with liners or cooking spray.
  • Cheesecake Filling


  • Combine ingredients in a mixing bowl. Beat until smooth.
  • Streusel Topping


  • Combine ingredients in a mixing bowl and mix until crumbly.
  • Muffins


  • In a large bowl, combine brown sugar, yogurt, apple sauce, oil, egg, vanilla, lemon juice and almond milk.
  • In a separate bowl, combine flours, oats, baking powder & soda, cinnamon, and salt.
  • Slowly stir dry ingredients into wet, mix until well incorporated. Fold in apples.
  • Spoon half of mixture into prepared muffin tins. Create a small indentation in the batter before spooning 1 tbsp cheesecake filling into each. Top with remaining muffin batter.
  • Sprinkle streusel mixture over top of each muffin. Bake for 20-25 minutes, use the toothpick test.

Apple Cider Beef Stew in a Crock Pot

24 Oct

The first time I made this dish was after watching an episode “The Rachael Ray Show” about a year ago when Rachael made her Autumn Beef Stew. It looked so appetizing so I decided to try it out. I have written the recipe according to the way I made it, with some of the ingredients and cooking methods altered to my needs & tastes.

Time: 1 hour prep, 4+ hours cook                   Serves: 6

Ingredients


  • 1 bulb garlic
  • olive oil for drizzling
  • salt & pepper
  • 2 thick strips bacon, cut into about 1-inch pieces (I used applewood smoked)
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 1 1/2 pounds beef chuck, cut into about 2-inch cubes (I used boneless chuck shoulder Texas broil, trimmed of excess fat) – patted dry
  • 3 large carrots, sliced on an angle into 2-inch chunks
  • 3 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 apple, chopped (I used Honeycrisp)
  • 2 fresh bay leaves
  • 1 1/2 apple cider
  • 3 cups beef stock (I used 3 cups water + 3 tsp Better Than Bouillon)
  • 1/4 cup cold water + 1 tbsp cornstarch mixed (“slurry”)

How to make it


  • Preheat oven to 400F.
  • Cut ends of garlic bulb to expose cloves. Drizzle with oil and season with salt & pepper. Wrap in foil.
  • Roast 45 minutes. Allow to cool somewhat before handling.
  • Carefully squeeze garlic into a small bowl. Add a splash of apple cider and mash into a paste.
  • Season beef cubes liberally with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with 1 tbsp flour and toss to coat.
  • Heat large skillet over medium heat. Add bacon and cook until crisp on both sides. Transfer to paper towel lined plate.
  • Add 1 tbsp butter to skillet. Once melted, add beef cubes to skillet. Cook until crisp and deep brown on each side, in batches if necessary (once first batch is done, transfer to plate with bacon). Add more butter as needed, 1/2 tbsp at a time.
  • Once all beef is browned & transferred, add 1 tbsp butter to skillet. Add carrot, apple, celery, and onion to skillet. Cook to soften for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Sprinkle with 1 tbsp flour & toss to coat.
  • Combine remaining apple cider with beef stock. Mix in garlic paste.
  • Place browned beef, bacon and veggies into crock pot. Add cider mixture and bay leaves.
  • Cook on low for 4-5 hours until beef is tender. Thicken with cornstarch slurry if needed.
  • Serve with Light and Creamy Mashed Potatoes (increase recipe by half to yield 6 servings) or similar.