Delight-fall Flavors

Stepping out of a brisk fall breeze and into a warm kitchen bursting with scents of pumpkin, cinnamon and apples swirling through the air is nearly unbeatable this time of year. I crave that twinkle of excitement for fall and all that it encompasses…college football and tailgate food, pumpkins, apples, hay bales, the kaleidoscope colors of falling leaves and of course, comfort food. Today I’m getting in the fall spirit and sharing some of my favorite recipes for this time of year. So grab your fall decor, a warm drink in a cute mug, and glorious smelling candles and lets get baking!

autumn-leavesPumpkin Bread

(Bread Recipe courtesy of Bobby Flay)

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened, plus more for the pan
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • Scant 1 cup canned pumpkin puree, not flavored pie filling
  • 2 large eggs

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter a 9-inch loaf pan.

Whisk together the flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and cloves in a small bowl.

Beat the butter, sugar, and oil on high speed in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl a few times, until light and fluffy, about 1 minute.

Add the pumpkin puree and mix until combined. Add the eggs, one at a time, and mix until just incorporated. Mixing on low speed, slowly add the flour mixture and 2/3 cup water and mix until just combined. Spread the batter into the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes. Let cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove from the pan and let cool completely.

Notes: The recipe says to let it cool completely, but it is too good warm to not have with a glass of milk!

Apple Tart

(Recipe courtesy of the Pioneer Woman)

  • 1 whole Sheet Puffed Pastry, Thawed And Cut In Half
  • 4 whole Apples, Cored, Halved And Sliced Very Thin
  • 1 cup Brown Sugar
  • 1 dash Salt
  • Powdered Sugar, For Serving
  • Caramel Sauce, For Serving

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Place puffed pastry rectangles onto a baking pan that’s been sprayed with nonstick spray. Add sugar and salt to apples. Stir to combine. Allow to sit for a few minutes.

Arrange apple slices on the pastry rectangles in a straight line, overlapping as you go. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, or until pastry is puffed and golden brown.

Remove from pan immediately and place on a serving platter. Serve plain, with caramel topping, whipped cream, and/or a sprinkling of powdered sugar.

Notes: We like to have this treat with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream (yep, we’re bad!)

Pumpkin Cream Pie

(For those of us who can’t do the regular pumpkin pie, this is alternative is top shelf: Recipe Courtesy of the Pioneer Woman)

  • FOR THE CRUST:
  • 1-1/2 package Graham Crackers (about 15 Cookie Sheets)
  • 1/2 cup Powdered Sugar
  • 1 stick Butter, Melted
  • FOR THE FILLING:
  • 1 box (3 Oz. Box) Vanilla Pudding (Cook And Serve Variety)
  • 1 cup Half-and-half
  • 1/2 cup Heavy Cream
  • Pinch Of Cinnamon
  • Pinch Of Nutmeg
  • Pinch Of Ground Cloves
  • 2 Tablespoons Whiskey (optional)
  • 1/2 cup (plus 3 Tablespoons) Pumpkin Puree
  • 1/2 cup (additional) Heavy Cream
  • 2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
  • Extra Graham Cracker Crumbs, For Garnish

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

Grind graham crackers in a food processor (or, if you don’t have a food processor, place them in a large ziploc and pound ’em with a rolling pin.) Add powdered sugar and melted butter and process until totally combined. Press into the bottom and sides of a pie pan until nice and firm. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until warm and “set.” Remove from oven and allow crust to cool completely.

In a medium saucepan, mix dry pudding mix with half-and-half and cream. Add spices. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture is bubbly and thick. Remove from heat and stir in whiskey, if using. Add pumpkin and stir to combine. Place lid on pot and set aside to cool. When cool enough, place pot in the fridge to cool completely.

When mixture is cool, remove from the fridge. In a mixing bowl, add 1/2 cup heavy cream and brown sugar. Beat until very light and fluffy. Fold in pumpkin cream mixture until combined. Pour into cooled crust.

Cover and refrigerate for a couple of hours or overnight. Serve with graham crackers crumbled on top.

Notes: Beware the graham cracker mixture is addicting haha. If eating it by the spoonful, enjoy with a glass of milk 😉

 Apple Cider Pork Chops with Garlic Mashed Potatoes

(Recipe courtesy of Food Network Magazine, with a splash of my personal touch)

  • 1 pound small white potatoes
  • 2 cloves garlic (I like to buy the frozen cloves, so easy and lasts)
  • Kosher salt (or table salt you have on hand)
  • 4 1/2 -inch-thick boneless pork loin chops (5 ounces each)
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh sage (dried sage is good too)
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large red onion, cut into 1/2-inch wedges
  • 2 Granny Smith apples, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 3/4 cup apple cider
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk

Put the potatoes and garlic in a saucepan, cover with cold water and season with salt. Cover and bring to a boil, then uncover and continue cooking until tender, about 15 minutes. Cover and set aside.

Meanwhile, rub both sides of the pork chops with the sage, and salt and pepper to taste. Heat a large cast-iron skillet over high heat, then add 1 teaspoon olive oil and sear the chops until golden on both sides, about 5 minutes total. Transfer to a plate. Wipe out the skillet and add the remaining 2 teaspoons olive oil. Add the onion and apples and cook over medium-high heat until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and stir in the cider.

Return the chops to the skillet. Cover and cook, turning once, until just cooked through, 4 to 5 minutes. Drain the potatoes, reserving 1/4 cup liquid. Return the potatoes to the pan; add the buttermilk and mash, adding cooking liquid as needed. Season with salt and pepper. Serve with the pork chops, onion and apples. Drizzle with the pan juices.

Notes: On this recipe Kirby wants me to try chopping the onion and apple more like a salsa so he can “enjoy the flavors with every bite” haha! I’m planning to try this next time!

Creamy Chicken & Wild Rice Soup

(Recipe Courtesy of The Pioneer Woman)

  • 2 Tablespoons Butter
  • 2 stalks Celery, Thinly Sliced
  • 3 Carrots, Peeled And Thinly Sliced
  • 1/2 Large Onion, Finely Chopped
  • Salt And Pepper, to taste
  • 4 cups Cooked Chicken, Cut Into Bite-sized Pieces
  • 2 cups Cooked Wild Rice
  • 4 cups Cream, Or As Needed
  • 2 cups Chicken Broth

Melt butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add celery, carrots, and onion. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cook until tender, about 10–15 minutes, adjusting heat as necessary.

Add chicken and wild rice, then 3 cups cream and chicken broth. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Add the peas and turn off heat. Add more cream if desired. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.

Notes: I serve this soup with warm, flaky biscuits. I’ve been buying a bag of frozen biscuits and just popping in the oven the amount I need. Super easy! I also let the soup simmer for 1-15 minutes to allow all the flavors to combine really well.

Hope you all enjoy sharing these scrumptious fall recipes with your friends and family! Also please accept my apologies for the lack of beautiful photos of these amazing recipes. Copyright prevents me from using them from online, and I’ve discovered that I’m not the best food photographer haha! Thanks for reading and get cooking!
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