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AUTUMN RECIPES

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Gather guests around an outdoor fire pit or an indoor fireplace, and comfort them with a cup of warm cider. It's a great way to share after doing invigorating yard work, harvesting fall produce or taking in--or participating in--outdoor sports games.

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Fall Harvest Gathering

Make It Special!

Soup Service

Serve the Squash and Bean Soup in squash bowls, following the "How To" recipe tip.

Serve the Slow Cooker Potato and Double-Corn Chowder in bread bowls. To make, cut off tops of small, round bread loaves, and scoop out the bread from the loaves, leaving a 1-inch-thick wall (use the scooped-out bread for bread crumbs another time). Ladle soup into loaves just before serving; replace tops.

Buffet Best

Have guests serve themselves buffet-style. Have TV trays or other trays available for guests to place their dishes and silverware on. They can then easily balance their meals on their laps while watching the football game or sitting by the fire.

Make it easy for guests to grab silverware and a napkin by wrapping each place setting in a napkin with a piece of raffia or twine, like a package.

Centerpieces that "Center" Around Fun

Arrange pom-poms, team banners and mums for a football party.

Arrange apples and bandanas in a wicker basket for an apple-picking party.

Arrange paint brushes, rollers, scrapers, etc., in a paint bucket for a painting party.

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Preparation Guide

Up to 2 Weeks Before

Make Apple-Cranberry Chutney for Fall Cheese Platter

The Day Before

Make Slow Cooker Potato and Double-Corn Chowder and Squash and Bean Soup cover and refrigerate.

Make squash bowls; cool, cover and refrigerate. Or prepare bread bowls; return to bag and close tightly.

Make Caramel Apple Bars

Make Orange-Sesame Dressing for Tossed Greens with Sesame and Oranges

cover and refrigerate.

Cut cheese for Fall Cheese Platter ; store covered in refrigerator.

Assemble Herbed French Bread up to the point of baking; wrap in aluminum foil and refrigerate.

30 Minutes Before Guests Arrive

Prepare Peachy Spiced Cider .

Assemble the cheese platter.

As Guests Arrive

Serve cups of Peachy Spiced Cider.

About 30 Minutes Before Serving Meal

Unwrap squash bowls and place on cookie sheet. Cover loosely with aluminum foil and reheat in 300° oven until hot.

Reheat soups over low heat, stirring occasionally, until hot.

Prepare step 1 of Tossed Greens with Sesame and Oranges.

Heat the bread.

Just Before Serving

Toss the salad.

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Fall Harvest Gathering Menu

Peachy Spiced Cider

Fall Cheese Platter

Slow Cooker Potato and Double-Corn Chowder

Squash and Bean Soup

Herbed French Bread

Tossed Greens with Sesame and Oranges

Caramel Apple Bars

Coffee*

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RECIPES

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Peachy Spiced Cider

This peach-and-apple cider is brewed in a coffeemaker to get every last ounce of flavor from the orange and spices.

3 cups peach juice

2 cups apple juice

4 orange slices, 1/4 inch thick, cut in half

1 teaspoon chopped candied ginger

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1. Place peach juice and apple juice in water reservoir of coffee maker.

2. Arrange orange slices loosely in paper filter in filter basket. Sprinkle remaining ingredients over oranges.

3. Brew cider

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Fall Cheese Platter

Your family and friends will fall for this spectacular cheese platter--and making it takes so little extra time!

Cranberry-Apple Chutney (See Below)

16 slices (1 ounce each) assorted cheeses, such as Cheddar, Colby-Monterey Jack, Monterey Jack with jalapeño peppers and Swiss

1/4 cup hazelnuts, (filberts)

Crackers

1. Make Cranberry-Apple Chutney.

2. Cut cheese with 1-, 1 1/2- and 2-inch leaf-shaped cookie cutters.

3. Place cheese on medium platter, overlapping leaves. Sprinkle hazelnuts on platter to look like acorns. Serve with chutney and crackers.

Cranberry-Apple Chutney

2 medium apples, chopped (2 cups)

2 cups cranberries

1 medium red bell pepper, chopped (1 cup)

1 small onion, finely chopped (1/4 cup)

3/4 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 cup golden raisins

1/2 cup white vinegar

1 1/2 teaspoons finely chopped gingerroot

1 clove garlic, finely chopped

Mix all ingredients in 2-quart saucepan. Heat to boiling, stirring frequently; reduce heat. Simmer uncovered about 1 hour, stirring frequently, until mixture thickens and fruit is tender. Store covered in nonaluminum container in refrigerator up to 2 weeks

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Slow Cooker Potato and Double-Corn Chowder

Use your slow cooker to create this heavenly, hearty chowder.

1 bag (16 ounces) frozen hash brown potatoes, thawed (4 cups)

1 can (15.25 ounces) whole kernel corn, undrained

1 can (14.75 ounces) cream-style corn

1 can (12 ounces) evaporated milk

1 medium onion, chopped (1/2 cup)

8 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1. Mix all ingredients in 3 1/2- to 6-quart slow cooker.

2. Cover and cook on low heat setting 6 to 8 hours (or high heat setting 3 to 4 hours) to develop flavors.

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Squash and Bean Soup

Impress your family and friends with this hearty soup of zucchini, two kinds of squash and beans. It's easier than you think!

1 medium yellow summer squash

1 medium zucchini2 cups cubed peeled Hubbard or acorn squash (10 ounces)

1 medium onion, chopped (1/2 cup)

4 cups water

4 teaspoons vegetable or chicken bouillon granules

1 tablespoon chopped jalapeño chili

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

2 cans (15 to 16 ounces each) kidney beans, drained

1 can (15 to 16 ounces) garbanzo beans, drained

1 can (12 ounces) beer

1/3 cup shredded reduced-fat Cheddar cheese

Chopped fresh cilantro, if desired

1. Cut yellow squash and zucchini lengthwise into fourths; cut crosswise into 1/4-inch slices.

2. Heat yellow squash, zucchini and remaining ingredients except cheese and cilantro to boiling in Dutch oven; reduce heat. Cover and simmer about 10 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Sprinkle with cheese and cilantro

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Grilled Garlic with French Bread

Enjoy the buttery flavor of grilled garlic and olive oil on thinly sliced French bread. Irresistible!

3 large garlic bulbs

1 tablespoon olive or vegetable oil

16 thin slices French bread

1. Carefully peel paperlike skin from around each bulb of garlic, leaving just enough to hold garlic cloves together.

2. Place each garlic bulb on 12-inch square of heavy-duty aluminum foil. Brush bulbs with oil. Wrap foil securely around each bulb.

3. Heat coals or gas grill. Cover and grill 4 inches from medium coals 25 to 35 minutes or until garlic is tender when pierced with toothpick or fork.

4. Grill bread 4 inches from medium coals about 5 minutes, turning once, until golden brown. To serve, gently squeeze garlic out of cloves; spread on bread.

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Tossed Greens with Sesame and Oranges

Whip up this quick-fix salad for an elegant dinner party or just an everyday lunch. Either way, there will be requests for seconds!

1 can (11 ounces) mandarin orange segments

Orange-Sesame Dressing (See Below)

5 cups bite-size pieces lettuce

1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms (3 ounces)

1 cup canned bean sprouts, rinsed and drained

1/3 cup sliced red onion

2 teaspoons sesame seed, toasted

1. Drain orange segments, reserving 2 tablespoons syrup or juice for dressing. Place orange segments in shallow glass or plastic dish. Make Orange-Sesame Dressing; pour over oranges. Cover and refrigerate at least 15 minutes.

2. Toss lettuce, mushrooms, bean sprouts and onion in large salad bowl. Spoon oranges and dressing onto salad; toss lightly. Sprinkle with sesame seed before serving.

Orange-Sesame Dressing

3 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar

2 tablespoons liquid reserved from mandarin oranges

1 tablespoon honey

1 teaspoon sesame oil

1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Shake all ingredients in tightly covered container.

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Caramel Apple Bars

Do you have extra apples but don’t feel like making a pie? Try this easy-to-make bar with layers of brown sugar and oats surrounding apples and melted caramel.

1 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened

1/4 cup shortening

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 cups quick-cooking oats

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

4 1/2 cups coarsely chopped peeled tart apples (3 medium)

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 bag (14 ounces) caramels

1. Heat oven to 400ºF. Mix brown sugar, butter and shortening in large bowl. Stir in 1 3/4 cups flour, the oats, salt and baking soda. Reserve 2 cups oat mixture; press remaining oat mixture in ungreased rectangular pan, 13x9x2 inches.

2. Toss apples and 3 tablespoons flour; spread over mixture in pan. Heat caramels over low heat, stirring occasionally, until melted; pour evenly over apples. Sprinkle with reserved oat mixture; press lightly.

3. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until topping is golden brown and apples are tender. For 36 bars, cut into 6 rows by 6 rows while warm. Store covered in refrigerator.

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