Fall is here and the first step to getting ready is prepping your kitchen. It is good to clean out your pantry and kitchen at the beginning of each season. I am not saying, throw everything away, but it is smart to reorganize and take inventory of what you have – you don’t want to be caught baking a pie and realize you are out of a main ingredient. Here are fall pantry staples I know you will be using the entire season.
- Spices: cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, allspice, ginger, cardamom, turmeric
- Almond butter
- Canned pumpkin
- Whole-wheat flour
- Old-fashioned oats
- Nuts: pecans, walnuts, and almonds
- Brown sugar
- Dried thyme, rosemary, sage and bay leaves
- Your favorite whole-wheat pasta
- Root vegetables
- Chicken stock – canned or homemade
- Winter squashes
Make sure you keep a collection of hearty recipes close by for those cool fall nights to keep you cozy.
Here is one that is filling and light that everyone will enjoy:
BUTTER PECAN MASHED SWEET POTATOES
- 4 sweet potatoes (about 2 pounds) – peeled, diced and cooked to be tender
- 1 1/2 tablespoons butter – I use I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter or Country Crock
- 2 tablespoons fat-free milk
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup chopped pecans, toasted
Mash sweet potatoes until desired consistency, put into a serving dish and set aside. Heat butter in a small saucepan over medium heat until melted. Stir butter, milk, and salt into potato mixture and top with pecans. You can use a small amount of natural brown sugar mixed in to add a little sweetness. Serve warm with your favorite meat.
With summer winding down and gardens producing great veggies, I thought I would share one of my favorite summer salads. It is quick, easy and very filling. You can serve it with just about any kind of meat. I hope you enjoy!
- 1 1/2 lbs red potatoes, cut in half
- 3/4 lbs of fresh, trimmed and snapped green beans
- Chopped fresh basil
- 1 small red onion, finely chopped
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar, I like raspberry flavored
- 2 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- Dash of Worcestershire sauce, I just about 1/3 a cup
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- Place the potatoes in a large pot, and fill with about 1 inch of water. Bring to a boil, and cook for about 15 minutes, or until potatoes are tender. Add the green beans to steam after the first 10 minutes. Drain, cool, and cut potatoes into quarters. Transfer to a large bowl, and toss with fresh basil, red onion, salt and pepper. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the balsamic vinegar, mustard, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce and olive oil. Pour over the salad, and stir to coat. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper if needed.
Summer is always a fun time of year, and it’s full of great food and friends. It’s a time to unwind, enjoy the sunshine and be grateful for all that God has blessed you with.
When I prepare meals or socials I like to do quick and easy recipes; so here is one for you to enjoy and it is somewhat healthy.
1 container Mozzarella balls
1 package Old Wisconsin Honey Brown Sausage Snack Bites
1 small package of Spinach leafs
1 small package Cherry Tomatoes
Balsamic Vinegar (I used Raspberry flavored)
1 package skew sticks
Alternate placing 1 of each item on the skew until the skew is half full. Once all ingredients are used, drizzle with balsamic vinegar and let set in refrigerator until ready to serve. Can also be put in a dish without the skews and served as a salad.
Enjoy!!! Thanks Marcia L. for the recipe.
It’s been a cold and long winter but Spring is just around the corner, fingers crossed. With that in mind, thought I would add a grilling recipe. Hope you enjoy!
- 4 tomatoes (1 pound), quartered
- 1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes (10 ounces)
- 1 pint small mixed heirloom tomatoes, halved if large
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 cup Feta cheese
- Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 large garlic clove
Once grill is ready, arrange large sheets of heavy-duty foil on a work surface, layered. Mound the tomatoes in the center the sheets, drizzle with the olive oil and season with sea salt and ground pepper; then place garlic clove on top. Fold up the foil to create tight packet. May have to divide into two packets.
Set the packets on the grill and cover. Grill over moderately high heat for 18 – 20 minutes, until the tomatoes begin to soften and burst. Carefully cut open the foil packets. Serve over a toasted crostini or grilled ciabatta bread and sprinkle feta on top before serving.
As the holidays grow closer it reminds us to stop and enjoy life. Talk with family, reunite with old friends and appreciate what you have.
I recently lost a life-long friend to cancer. It really puts life into prospective. People come and go in your life and you may have a lot of acquaintances but how many true friends do you really have? Something to ponder.
My Dad taught me growing up to always find the good in people; be positive and truthful; remember that when others are mean or sad there is something going on in their lives that is making them that way; and most of all, always take time for friends and family!!!
So my recipe I am sharing today is one that you can share with your friends and family anytime of the year.
PEANUT BUTTER PIE
- 1 graham cracker crust
- 1 box instant vanilla pudding (or white chocolate)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cup + 1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar
- 1 cup peanut butter
- 1 8-oz block cream cheese
- 1/4 cup chopped peanuts, chopped fine (optional)
- Chocolate syrup for drizzling (optional)
- Whip the pudding and confectioner’s sugar together. Set aside.
- Whip together the peanut butter, cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla.
- Sprinkle a little of the peanut butter mixture on the graham cracker crust. (less than 1/4 cup)
- Fold in half of the whipping cream into remaining peanut butter mixture and mix until blended.
- Pour into the graham cracker crust.
- Top with whipping cream.Optional: Sprinkle nuts on top when ready to serve and drizzle with chocolate syrup. Or you can reserve some of the peanut butter and sugar mixture and put on top (see picture below). Store in refrigerator.
People come and go in your life but a true friend is always there. No matter how long it has been since you have seen them or spoken with them. Take time to make that phone call or drop them a letter. Do it now while they are still here!!!
Today, I am sharing two of my favorite holiday recipes for you to share with your friends and family. I hope you enjoy it as much as my family and friends do.
- 4 egg yolks
- 1/3 cup sugar, plus 1 tablespoon
- 1 pint whole milk
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 3 ounces bourbon
- 1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 4 egg whites
In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat egg yolks until they light in color. Gradually add 1/3 cup sugar and continue to beat until it is completely dissolved. Add milk, cream, bourbon and nutmeg and stir to combine.
Place the egg whites in the bowl and beat to soft peaks. With the mixer still running gradually add 1 tablespoon of sugar and beat until stiff peaks form.
Whisk the egg whites into the mixture. Chill and serve. Top with a sprinkle of nutmeg and cool whip (optional).
Milk Gravy and Biscuits
- 1/4 cup bacon or sausage drippings
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp salt or to taste
- 1 tsp ground black pepper or to taste
- 4 cups of milk
- Bacon/sausage crumbles
- Biscuits, homemade are the best but Grands are good
Heat bacon/sausage drippings in a skillet over medium heat; whisk flour into drippings until smooth. Reduce heat to low and cook the flour mixture until it turns a caramel brown color, stirring constantly, about 15 minutes. Be careful, the roux burns easily. Stir in salt and black pepper.
Whisk 1/2 cup milk into the roux until thoroughly blended. Continue whisking milk into the gravy, 1/2 cup at a time, whisking in each amount of milk completely before adding more. Bring gravy to a simmer and whisk constantly until thick, smooth, and bubbling.
Add crumbled bacon or sausage then serve over biscuits or toast and enjoy. I have this for any meal of the day!!!
One of my favorite, fast, comforting dishes is beef stroganoff. So, thought I would share this one with you. This takes about 20 minutes to make and is very filling..
1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
1 pkg. (11.6 oz.) VELVEETA CHEESY SKILLETS Dinner Kit Creamy Beef Stroganoff
Brown meat with mushrooms in large skillet; drain. Return meat mixture to skillet. Add milk, water, Seasoning Mix and Pasta; stir. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; cover.
Simmer 8 to 10 min. or until pasta is tender and most of the liquid is absorbed, stirring frequently. Remove from heat.
Stir in VELVEETA Cheese Sauce.
I serve with garlic bread or a bread stick.