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,

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(L)ovin’ Monday

Every Monday I’m showing you what’s been in my Oven that I’m lovin’!  Ready?

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This was Thanksgiving Dinner at my mom’s last Thursday at 1:00.  Don’t you wish every day’s lunch looked like this…

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Ha, well, maybe not that  much food, but tell me, is it just me, or do others find lunch a difficulty?  I’m usually well into a busy day and just need a quick bite to eat, but I find it hard to stop my day and fix something that’s tasty and quick.

As a matter of fact, even breakfast poses problems.  I’m not ready to eat when I first get up, and by the time I’m ready for a bite, it’s too late to want to get into any big cooking ordeal to accomplish what I need to give me energy for the rest of the morning!

Recently I prepared these Make-Ahead Omelets and froze them.  I made tiny ones for the shower I hosted.  I took the leftovers and froze them in a plastic container, putting sheets of waxed paper in between the rows of omelets.

 

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Then I popped a frozen muffin into the microwave and it made the perfect breakfast!  In a matter of about 4 minutes everything was hot and ready to eat.  That’s better than instant oatmeal – and a lot tastier!

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Then another help came for lunch.  I had made Sloppy Joe’s for our meal after Sunday night church, and had plenty left over.  Wrapping them individually in waxed paper, I warmed them at about 80% power for about 45 seconds.

It dawned on me then – why don’t I make up something like this at the beginning of each week and have it prepared in the fridge?  Lunch could be less than a minute away each day!  If you take your lunch to work, it would be so easy to have it packed and ready in the morning before you head out the door.

I’ve come up with a few ideas of things that would be made ahead and ready.  Here’s my starter list:

Breakfast:

Omelets

Waffles

Baked  Oatmeal

Lunch:

Sloppy Joes

Broccoli Soup

Salad in a jar – Like this one (I haven’t made this particular recipe, but I made one similar and they are great do-ahead salads!)

Chicken Salad – Ready for sandwiches, or to eat alone.

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I hope this encourages you to prepare ahead for your busy mornings and lunchtimes.  When you’re heading into Christmas, why not take away a little stress by having some nutritious breakfasts and lunches all ready to serve?

What quick tips do you have for breakfast and lunch?

With love from my country kitchen,

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My Three Go-To Meals

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There are always busy fall/winter days that demand a fast supper meal.  For those days, I try to keep the ingredients on hand for the entree’s  listed above  because they are:

  1. Done in under 30 minutes
  2. Filling
  3. Delicious!!!

To make White Castle Sliders, Cheese Ravioli with Tomatoes, and Sausage Corn Chowder, all I need to keep on hand is:

2 pounds hamburger
Hawaiian Rolls – I freeze these
Frozen Cheese Ravioli – I recently tried Aldi’s brand and it was very good!
Tomatoes (I freeze the cherry tomatoes and use them for this dish if I don’t have fresh on hand)
Red Onion
Parmesan Cheese
Canned Corn
Cream Corn
Evaporated milk
Potatoes
1 pound Sausage

These are all very basic staple items to keep.  Having them on hand allows me to put a great meal together so quickly!  

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White Castle Sliders
2# hamburger (80/20)
Dried Onion Flakes
Seasoned Salt
Sister Shubert Rolls
Sprinkle dried onion flakes in the bottom of a 9 x 13 dish.
Press beef over onion flakes, make a one huge patty.
Sprinkle with Seasoned salt.
Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes, or until done.
Drain and Pat grease off.
Top with cheese slices.  Place back in oven for 2 minutes to melt.
Remove and slice into hamburger patties, the size of your buns.
Pasta dishes are great for quick meals, but this one isn’t your normal Spaghetti and pasta meal!  This is one of our favorites – in a hurry or not!  Add some toasted French Bread and a salad and your meal is complete!
ravioli

Cheese Ravioli with Tomatoes

Ingredients:

1 pound cherry tomatoes
2 shallots, cut into wedges (I use red onion instead)
Cooking spray
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
12 ounces frozen cheese ravioli

2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

Preparation

1. Preheat oven to 425°.
2. Halve half of tomatoes. Arrange cut tomatoes, whole tomatoes, and shallots on a jelly-roll pan coated with cooking spray.  Drizzle with 1 tablespoon oil; toss.
Bake at 425° for 35 minutes.
3. Add 2 tablespoons oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper to pan. Bake 10 minutes.
4. Cook ravioli according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain ravioli, reserving 1/4 cup cooking liquid. Add ravioli to tomatoes; toss. Add cooking liquid, if needed. Garnish with chopped basil.Drizzle with 1 tablespoon oil; toss. Bake at 425° for 35 minutes.
3. Add 2 tablespoons oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper to pan. Bake 10 minutes.
4. Cook ravioli according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain ravioli, reserving 1/4 cup cooking liquid. Add ravioli to tomatoes; toss. Add cooking liquid, if needed. Garnish with chopped basil.

 

This chowder is so hearty and comforting!  It’s been a favorite of our family for years! You could add some quick biscuits or just crackers and a salad to round it out.

corn-choweder

Sausage Corn Chowder

1 LB Bulk Pork Sausage
1 med onion
3 medium potatoes, cut into 1/2 cubes
2 cps water
1/2 tsp dried marjoram
1 tsp salt
crushed 1/2 tsp pepper
1 15 1/4 oz can whole kernel corn, drained
1 14 3/4 oz can cream style corn
1 12oz can evaporated milk

Preparation:
Crumble pork sausage into 4 qt dutch oven; cook over medium heat for 5 minutes. add onion; cook about 5 minutes more or until sausage is brown. Add cubed potatoes, water, seasonings, bring to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer about 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Stir in the whole kernel corn, cream style corn and evaporated milk. heat chowder through.
6 Main dish servings

There are other meal ingredients that I have kept ready for those busy days and I’ll share some of those next week.  In the meantime, tell me what  ingredients do you keep in your pantry and freezer and what meal do you make with them?

With love from my country kitchen,

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Balsamic & Dijon Chuck Roast (& Soup with Leftovers!)

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When I have a busy day ahead of me and don’t want to have to be fussing much in the kitchen for supper, I pull out the crock pot!  I love  a roast cooked in the slow cooker, because it’s so tender and moist!

This Chuck Roast is so flavorful, thanks to the Balsamic Vinegar.  It gives it a depth of flavor that is  rich and delicious!  It made for the perfect meal on a busy day.  I added a  slaw on the side, and that was it!  Dinner was complete with only about 15 minutes of prep!  Here’s how I did it…

Balsamic and Dijon Chuck Roast

Ingredients

  • 2-3 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil
  • 4 pounds Chuck Roast
  • 1 medium to large yellow onion, chopped
  • 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2-3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 5 sprigs fresh thyme or 1 tsp dried
  • 2 cups beef broth – I added water and chicken stock b/c I was out of beef
  • 1 bag Baby  carrots
  • 1 pound very small baby potatoes, white or red
  • salt & freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Heat oil in a large dutch oven over high heat. Season chuck roast well with salt and pepper, add to pan and brown well on all sides (a few minutes a side). Remove roast and set aside.
  2. Add chopped onion to drippings in pot and reduce heat to medium. Saute onions until soft, about 5 minutes. Add balsamic vinegar, increase heat to medium-high and boil until reduced and slightly syrupy, about 4-5 more minutes. Stir in Dijon.
  3. Transfer onions to a crock pot.
  4. Set roast on top of onions in pot. Pour in 2 cups broth and add thyme. Place potatoes and carrots around roast in the liquid.  Cover and cook on low 6-8 hours or until very tender.

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If (and that’s a BIG if) you have any leftovers, you’ll want to make this soup for tomorrow’s lunch!  I had about 8 oz. of meat left, as well as carrots and potatoes.  It made a hearty little pot of soup the next day!!!  Most of the work was done already in the crock pot – it’s just a matter of adding some bouillon and seasonings!

Beef Soup
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I’m not going to be able to give you measurements for this soup – it all depends on how much you have leftover to put into the pot!  Just “eye ball it”, adding enough liquid to make it a hearty soup.

Balsamic Beef and Veggie Soup

Shredded Balsamic Chuck Roast
Cooked carrots and potatoes from last night’s supper
Drippings from roast
Beef Bouillon – or Beef broth
Water – To mix Bouillon ( I added half water, half chicken stock)
Salt and pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients in a saucepan and cook until heated through.

I’m not sure what was better – supper or the soup the next day!  You try it and let me know which you like best!

With love from my country kitchen,

Make Soup with Leftover Mashed Potatoes!

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They say that “Necessity is the mother of invention,” and such was the case with the Potato Soup I made last week!  I had a LOT of leftover mashed potatoes that I wanted to use up, and the first thing that came to my mind was soup!  I have a  couple of Potato soup recipes that we love, but when you have red-skinned potatoes that are perfectly  cooked, mashed and ready for use, it’s a sure-fire ingredient for a delicious soup and also a 30-Minute meal!  Here’s how I made it:

3 Cups Leftover mashed potatoes (I used red-skinned potatoes with the skins on)
1/2 C Onion, diced
2 Tbl Butter
2 Cups Chicken broth
1/4 Cup milk
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 Cup Grated cheddar Cheese
1/2 Cup light Sour cream
Crumbled Bacon bits
Chopped Green onions

In saucepan, melt butter.  Saute’ onions until soft.  Add chicken stock and milk. Blend in mashed potatoes and stir until smooth.  If it seems too thick, add more broth.  If it’s too thin, add more potatoes. Add seasonings.  Add cheese and stir until melted.  Remove from heat, add sour cream and stir until blended.  Heat on stove just until warmed.

Spoon into bowls and top with bacon bits and green onions.

potato Soup

I don’t know about you, but I often get stumped about what to fix for lunch.  This was a great entree for noon, and really took only a little more time than stirring water into a can of soup!  I’m certain it was far better!  

The next time you have extra mashed potatoes, don’t toss them – try this recipe instead!  It’s so creamy and delicious you’ll want to make again again!

With love from my country kitchen,