Roll Call of Fall Favorite Foods

I’m not sure what it is about fall and winter that bring a variety of foods to our mind, but aren’t we all thinking about comforting casseroles, warm soups, and pumpkin everything?  I thought I’d gather together some of my favorites in those categories and highlight them all in one post for you today!  My recipe index here on my blog could be overwhelming, so maybe this list of a few favorites will help your October to be delicious!

meat loaf meal
I’m not a mac and cheese fan, but this recipe is fabulous!!!  I’d eat it every day if I could!

Casseroles
Mexican Chicken Casserole
Countryside Chicken Bake
The Best Ever Mac and Cheese
Taco Casserole
Baked Pasta with Sausage, Tomatoes and Cheese

Breads
Nutty Orange Coffee Cake – Perfect for breakfast or brunch!
French Breakfast Puffs – Breakfast or brunch
Butter Dips – Delicious with supper!
Low-Fat Baking Powder Biscuits – Any time you need a biscuit – breakfast or supper!

Soups
Spicy Chicken Corn Chowder
Sausage Corn Chowder
Butternut Squash Soup – I made this again last week.  It’s heavenly!
Taco Soup
Baked Potato Soup

Oh, this cake!!!!  Love it.

Pumpkin
Pumpkin Muffins – Great addition to breakfast or a fall supper!
Pumpkin Roll Step by step instructions in my post!  You can make this!
Pumpkin Crunch Cake – Fast and incredible!
Pumpkin Bread – Make small loaves to share.
Pumpkin Scones with Berry Butter – Oh my goodness, these are fantastic!!

Pumpkin Scones with Berry Butter Recipe
Picture credit:  Taste of Home

 

If you’ll be hosting any fall event, having guests over, or cooking supper for your own family and want to try something new and delicious, here’s a great list to pull from!  These are some of my favorite fall foods that are tried and true!

If you need suggestions for other categories – salad, easy bread, breakfast, etc.) just leave a comment.  I’ll be happy to help you!

With love from my country kitchen,

Denise Signature 150 px

 

Sour Dough Bread

sour dough breadOver 30 years ago I received a mason jar containing the sticky substance called, Sour Dough Bread Starter.  I have kept that dough going all these years, making untold number loaves of bread, English Muffins, and  Cinnamon Rolls!  If you’ve ever had sour dough, you know what a delicious flavor the “sour” starter gives the bread.  I don’t know the science behind it, I only know it’s good and I want it the rest of my life!

Sour dough is also a very easy dough to put together.  Beginning a starter can be a little tricky, so if you know someone who has a starter already, ask for a cup of theirs to be sure it will be active and cause your bread to rise!

But if you want to try your hand a beginning a starter here’s what you need:

To start: Place in a mason type jar:
1 cup warm water
3/4 Cup sugar
3 tbl. instant potato flakes

Stir and let set on counter all day. It should be in a place that is a little warm.  Place lid on jar and cover lightly (don’t fasten all the way down). Let set 3-4 days.

The starter will have a fermented fragrance.  It will also have little bubbles on top and kind of “sizzle.”

To make bread with that starter:

Add the same ingredients again to starter. Let set all day on counter.
The Next day you can make bread:
Ingredients
6 cups bread flour
2 1/2 tsp. yeast
1 tbl. salt
1/3 C sugar
Mix, then add:
1 C of the starter (place remaining cup back in the fridge)
1 1/2 C very warm water (110 degrees)
1/2 C oil

Mix, then turn out on floured board and knead lightly. Place dough back in oiled bowl. Cover and set in warm place ’til dough is doubled in size.

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Punch down dough. Divide in half. Place in two greased loaf pans. Let rise ’til about an inch higher than bread pan.

Sour Dough rising 1

Bake at 375 degrees about 25 min.  Allow to cool before slicing (if you can resist!).

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As I mentioned, you can make all kinds of other breads from this starter. My favorite way to eat this bread is toasted – either for breakfast or as a grilled sandwich.  It’s fantastic!!

I hope you’ll give this a try.  Maybe in 30 years you’ll still be making up hot loaves from the starter your received in 2017!

Who else has used sour dough starter?  Who loves sour dough?  

With love from my country kitchen,

Denise Signature 150 px

Hello Pumpkin!

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When we recently experienced a very cool morning, all I could think about was baking! I dug into my trusty recipe box and found a tried and true Southern Living recipe for Pumpkin Bread, just a plain, straightforward recipe with nothing extra added, which meant I had all the ingredients! It makes 3 loaves, too! Since I intended to share 90% of the results, that was an added blessing! I baked them up in small pans, yielding 6 delicious loaves. They’re a perfect size wrapping up to give to friends! Even if you make them in the regular size pans, you’ll have one to keep, one to freeze, and one to give away!

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If you’re in a baking mood as I have been, and are hungry for something simply pumpkin, you’ll love this recipe!

Pumpkin Bread

Ingredients

  • 3 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin

How to Make It

Step 1

Stir together flour and remaining ingredients in a large bowl until smooth. Divide batter evenly among 3 greased and floured 9- x 5-inch loaf pans.

Step 2

Bake at 350° for 50 minutes to 1 hour or until wooden pick inserted into center of each loaf comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire rack 10 minutes. Remove from pans, and cool completely on wire rack.

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It couldn’t be any easier!  Whip up a loaf, perk some coffee, and invite a friend over for some sweet Pumpkin fellowship!

With love from my country kitchen,

Denise Signature 150 px

(L)Oven Monday – Easter Dinner 2017 Recap

Easter dinner 2017 a

If you’ve been reading my blog more than a week, you know how I treasure Sunday dinner.  It makes my heart sooo happy! But how does Sunday dinner get even better?  It’s when Sunday dinner is Easter Sunday dinner.  On top of good food, there’s the blessing of remembering Christ’s resurrection from the dead and celebrating that truth that He lives!

So, yesterday, we did indeed have a big Sunday meal, but we started with a wonderful church service where Christ was exalted! We sang of His resurrection and heard God’s truth about how to be sure you can have eternal life!  Then we came home for dinner and included our daughter and son-in-law and a couple of other special people.  We also incorporated a few family traditions, which brings memories and makes memories.  It was a great day!

Here’s the menu:

 Brown Sugar Glazed Ham
Ruth’s Chris’ Sweet Potato Casserole
Tarragon Asparagus – New recipe
Deviled Eggs
Caesar Salad in Parmesan Bowls
Bunny-Shaped Breadsticks – New recipe
Coconut Cake with Lemon Filling

Let me roll the pictures so you can have a peek into our day and see that I also incorporated all the principles I’ve recently shared about Sunday dinner!

I worked early in the week and got the Coconut Cake baked and layers put in the freezer.  Then at the end of the week, I made the lemon curd and the icing.  It simplifies the process so much!  By Saturday night here’s what was already prepped:

The cake, the rolls, the Sweet potato Casserole, Deviled eggs, and the salad ingredients were totally ready. The table was all set, too.  I also had the roasting pan for the ham set out and ready to bake the main entree.

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When I got home from church it only required to put the finishing touches on everything and bake the casserole.

Here’s how things turned out on Sunday~

Caesar Salad in Parmesan Cups –

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Sweet Potato Casserole – The best in my book!

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Terragon Asparagus – This was new, and it was pretty good.  My asparagus wasn’t as fresh as I’ve ever gotten, so I’m going to try this again before giving it a final verdict!

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Bunny Breadsticks – Another new recipe.  These were fantastic on Saturday when I made them, but they don’t really do well the next day.  Sooo, I won’t make these for Sunday any more, but I sure will use this recipe for other days when I have time to make them for that day.  They were delicious right out of the oven!!  And how cute are they???? They can be baked into regular bread sticks if you want to make them other times of the year!

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Coconut Cake

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One tradition that we’ve had for years is Easter sunrise service outside at home.  That was a challenge (and very cold) when we lived in Indiana, but we would don our coats and head to the tree house where we would have our own Sunrise service!  Then we would come inside and have Cinnamon rolls and scrambled eggs.  Now that it’s just my husband and me, we simply eat breakfast on the patio and read Scripture together.  It’s usually warm enough that we don’t shiver, thank the Lord!  Here’s what we had yesterday:

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We had Fresh farm eggs, Prosciutto, Cream Cheese Coffee Cake, Fresh fruit and Coffee.
It was a great way to start Easter Sunday!  This is a reminder that traditions aren’t just for when your kids are at home.  Keep those traditions going even when they’re gone.  It will continue to build strong home ties, and will also give your grown kids the security of knowing that you’re still making the most of your marriage!

So, another Easter dinner is in the (memory) books, and I’ll have to say, it’s a memorable chapter!  I thank the Lord for the blessing of celebrating our Savior’s life and getting to do it at church AND at home around the Sunday dinner table.

Did you have Easter dinner?  Did you cook?  What made it special for your family?

With love from my country kitchen,

Denise Signature 150 px

(L)Oven Monday – Comfort Food Classic

meat loaf meal

I recently needed to fix a meal for a couple who had spent many days and nights in the hospital.  They needed a nourishing, comforting meal.  That’s when I jumped on my blog’s recipe index to look for my long-time favorite recipe for Meatloaf. I mean you can’t get more comforting than meatloaf and the trimmings for a great home cooked meal, right? It was then that I was shocked to find that I have never shared that recipe here on my blog!  What?  I’ve been making it for YEARS!

I will fix that need today and share this incredibly easy and yummy meatloaf!It’s from Taste of Home and it’s called “Mom’s Best Meatloaf” for a reason!  It’s not over-seasoned; it’s just right!

To accompany the meatloaf, I made the best macaroni and cheese I’ve ever had.  A sweet friend at church brought this cheesy heaven to my husband and me when we were caring for my mother-in-law in several years ago.  I asked my friend for the recipe, and also if she minded if I shared it with you!  She happily passed it on.  Thank you, Bethany!

Here was my menu for the Comfort Food Meal:

Mom’s Best Meatloaf
Macaroni and Cheese
Southern Green Beans
Fried Apples
Low-Fat Baking Powder Biscuits

meat loaf

Mom’s Best Meatloaf

Ingredients

  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 3/4 cup soft bread crumbs
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chopped green pepper
  • 1 tablespoon ketchup
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon prepared horseradish
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 teaspoon dill weed
  • 1-1/2 pounds lean ground beef (90% lean)
  • Additional ketchup

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, combine the first 11 ingredients. Crumble beef over mixture and mix well. Press into an ungreased 8-in. x 4-in. loaf pan.
  2. Bake at 350° for 1 hour. Drizzle top of loaf with ketchup; bake 15 minutes longer or until a meat thermometer reads 160°. Yield: 6-8 servings.

mac and cheese

My Favorite Ever Macaroni and Cheese

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil, add pasta, and cook until done; drain.
  2. In 9×13 inch baking dish, stir together macaroni, shredded Cheddar cheese, cottage cheese, sour cream, Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper. In a small bowl, mix together bread crumbs and melted butter. Sprinkle topping over macaroni mixture.
  3. Bake 30 to 35 minutes, or until top is golden.

This meal is comfort heaven!  Make it for someone who needs some love – or make it for your own family to show your love!

What’s your best comfort food meal?

With love from my country kitchen,

Denise Signature 150 px

 

(L)Oven Monday – The Best Food Gifts from Your Kitchen

As I make my preparations for a more “simple” Christmas this year, I’m reminded that giving gifts from what you love is the best kind of gift to share.  If I do what I love – I bake and the receiver knows that it was prepared especially for them with lots of (L)oven from my oven!

I have many recipes on my blog that I have given away, and I’m going to compile a short list of some of my favorites for you today.  These are simple to make and are LOVED by those that receive them.  Let’s get shopping/baking…

  1. Nutty Orange Coffee Cake – – This is a fancier form of Monkey Bread.  It’s made from canned biscuits, cream cheese and cinnamon and sugar.  It’s pretty, it’s easy to make and is so good it became a Christmas tradition for our breakfast!Nutty orange Coffee cake.jpg
  2. Cranberry Crumble – Another great coffee cake that anyone would LOVE to receive!
    cranberry-coffee-cake
  3. French Bread Loaves – A good old crusty bread tied up in a linen kitchen towel is as lovely as it is delicious!
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  4. Homemade Granola – Gifted in a jar with a pretty ribbon, this granola is perfect for any breakfast lover!
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  5. Cream Cheese Coffee Cakes – These are more like Danishes and who doesn’t love a Cream Cheese Danish????  This recipe makes four, so it really makes great use of your time in the kitchen!
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  6. Deep Dish Hershey Brownies – This is my family’s favorite brownie recipe and I’ve made them for years.  Any chocolate lover will be delighted to receive a plate of these!
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  7. Microwave Caramel Popcorn – This is the easiest caramel popcorn!  It makes a nice pile of popcorn for the snacker on your list!

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You can also go here for a list of some fabulous cookies to bake up and place in cellophane bags or pretty Christmas tins.

Food is a wonderful gift of love from your oven to the recipient.  Get baking and finish your gift list!

Which of these recipes will you make and give away?

With love from my country kitchen,

Denise Signature 150 px

Oh-So Moist Pumpkin Muffins

 

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Saturday afternoon found me happily  not busy after a very busy week.  It was a very cool fall day, and I was home alone.  My mind went to one of my favorite activities – baking. I needed to have something for Sunday breakfast, and also wanted to send something over to my neighbors.  So, I decided to venture out and try a new Pumpkin Muffin recipe!  I have my old standby that I still love, but, like anything else, I wanted to try something new!  

The recipe I found calls for Coconut oil, which I’ve just started using this year.  It doesn’t make the muffin taste like coconut – it just gives a great texture!  Don’t be afraid to try it, but if you don’t have any or don’t want to use it, you can use vegetable oil instead.  If you’ve ever had a dry muffin, you know you never want to go there. ever.again.  But these are Oh-SO MOIST!

My husband came home when these had just cooled.  When he’s home, he really watches his sweet/bread intake, but he ate four of the little ones I baked without blinking an eye!  That’s when I knew I needed to share this recipe and my tweaks with you!

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Oh-So Moist Pumpkin Muffins
Makes about 18 Regular sized muffins

Ingredients:
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon Pumpkin Pie spice
2 eggs
1 15 ounce can pure pumpkin puree
1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Coarse sugar crystals – optional

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Spray muffin pan with cooking spray.
Measure out the flour, sugars, baking soda, salt and spices in a medium bowl and whisk together. Set aside.
In another bowl, whisk together the eggs, pumpkin puree, coconut oil and vanilla extract.
Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir together. Do not over mix, just stir until all the dry ingredients are mixed in completely.

I use an ice cream scoop to distribute the batter into each muffin cup. They will be nearly full. This will help give your muffins a nice rounded top. Sprinkle with sugar crystals for a nice little crunch on top.
Bake your muffins for 20-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean.

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I used autumn colored sugar crystals – that’s why there’s green and red dots on top!

I like putting these in the muffin tin, rather than papers because it also made the edges of the muffins a little crispy – which we love.

I hope you’ll try these if you get a little time in the kitchen this week (they don’t take long at all!).  Like me, you may be replacing your “standby recipe” with this one!!!

With love from my country kitchen,

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