Category Archives: fall

Melanie’s Beef Stew

Thank goodness I had this saved on email so I didn’t have to call Melanie and ask her for this recipe (for the 5th time at least). I’m making this tomorrow for a break from turkey leftovers.

Brown some stew meat (about 1 lb) and throw it in a crockpot.

3 cups water
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp. worchestershire sauce
clove of garlic
1 medium onion, sliced
2 bay leaves
1 T. salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp paprika
1 tsp sugar
Simmer for at least 2 hours
Add carrots and red potatoes, cook until tender (usually a few more hours)
Blend 4 Tbsp flour in cold water until smooth.  Stir into stew to make gravy.
We also throw in some extra salt, maybe some seasoning salt, and I always throw in a little garlic.   Just use whatever you love.

Acorn Squash and Garlic Pasta with Parmasean

We had mixed reviews on this one – Joshua and I really liked it; Nathan and Jacob didn’t.  I got the inspiration here.

I cooked 1 small acorn squash, and after it was cool, chopped the flesh fine.  While I was cooking about 1 lb of dry ziti pasta, I combined in a large skillet: 4 T refrigerated, minced garlic and 4 T olive oil.  After heating it thoroughly, I added 3/4 cup pasta water and boiled for 2 minutes. Then I added the squash flesh and boiled another 3 minutes.  I tossed in the drained pasta, and after dishing into bowls, added a good amount of shaved parmsean cheese to the top of each serving.  Add salt to taste.

Apple and Pear Crisp

from Ina Garten. SO good. Making it, I thought there was just way too much topping for that much fruit – I’m used to crisps that are mostly fruit with a bit of topping. There is so much topping, and it works its way down into the fruit. Delicious. The types of apples and pears are her suggestions – use what you’ve got (I did!).  I also upped the cinnamon and nutmeg a tad.

  • 2 pounds ripe Bosc pears (4 pears)
  • 2 pounds firm Macoun apples (6 apples)
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange zest
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

For the topping:

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup old-fashioned oatmeal
  • 1/2 pound (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, diced

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Peel, core, and cut the pears and apples into large chunks. Place the fruit in a large bowl and add the zests, juices, sugar, flour, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Pour into a 9 by 12 by 2-inch oval baking dish.

For the topping:

Combine the flour, sugars, salt, oatmeal, and butter in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on low speed for 1 minute, until the mixture is in large crumbles. Sprinkle evenly over the fruit, covering the fruit completely.

Place the baking dish on a sheet pan and bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour, until the top is brown and the fruit is bubbly. Serve warm.


Super Easy Cinnamon Apple Cider

I saw this recipe on The Family Kitchen and we loved it. Nathan and I thought it would be a fun treat from the kids, so we were pretty shocked that it tasted as good as it did.

Add 1 container frozen apple juice, the required water (usually 3 cans) and 1/4 – 1/3 cup of Red Hot candies.  Simmer until the candy dissolves and the juice is steaming. (The original recipe called for 1 movie sized box of red hots, or 1/3 cup (more than a full box) but we thought that 1/4 cup was just perfect.)

Best Pumpkin Bread

One batch of this recipe made everything you see above.  And really, you want that much.  It’s delicious, and also freezes well.  Change around the spices to suit your tastes.

1 – 29 oz can pumpkin puree
1 1/2 cups oil
4 cups sugar
6 eggs

5 cups flour
1 T cinnamon
2 t nutmeg
1 1/2 t EACH: cloves, baking powder, baking soda, salt

Mix everything together and pour into well greased pans.  Bake at 350.  I did 20 minutes for the minis, about 28 minutes for the small, and 45-50 for the large (9X5).

Then lick the beaters.


Apple Cider Syrup

Oh, friends.  This is heaven.  Heaven heaven heaven.  We made if for breakfast this morning and oh my goodness.  This is going to be a fall staple in our house now.  It tastes like you’re eating an apple pie, minus the apples and crust.  We used it on waffles, but have plans to use it as an ice cream topping, and who knows what else.  SO GOOD.  Thank you Melanie at Sisters Cafe for the recipe.  She also has a pumpkin pancake recipe on the same post that I think it would be fabulous paired with.

3/4 Cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 TBs cornstarch
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
2 cups fresh apple cider (or juice would work)
1 Tbs fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup butter

Mix sugars, cornstarch, cinnamon and nutmeg well. Add apple cider, vanilla and lemon juice. Bring to a boil and continue boiling for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in butter. Store leftovers in the refrigerator, use within a week or two.