Tag Archives: autumn

Butternut Apple Soup

If you buy a big butternut squash and roast it on the weekend, you’ll have squash to use as a base for meals all week long without spending tons of time cooking. Of course, my obsession with soup is showing again, as I present you with a quick soup recipe that will leave you feeling warm and satisfied.

Butternut Apple Soup

Ingredients:

Ingredients

Ingredients

  • 1 large apple (Heritage Farms CSA)
  • 2 cloves garlic (Apple Ridge Farm)
  • 1 onion (Jett’s Natural Produce)
  • 2 T. olive oil
  • 2 c. chicken or vegetable stock (I used homemade chicken stock)
  • 1/2 c. white wine (left over from a work event)
  • 1.5-2 c. roasted butternut squash (Heritage Farms CSA)
  • 8-10 sage leaves (my garden)
  • 3 tsp. garam masala or yellow curry

Directions:

  1. Dice apple (no need to peel—keep those nutrients!) and onion. Chop garlic and half the sage leaves.
  2. Heat olive oil over medium heat in large pot and add apple, onion, garlic and sage, cooking and stirring until onion is translucent.
  3. Add wine and stir, scraping any browned bits from bottom of pan.

    Apple Mixture

    Apple Mixture

  4. Add stock and wine to cover apple mixture. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer until apples are tender, about 10-15 minutes.
  5. Add butternut squash and garam masala. Continue to cook over low heat until mixture is heated through.
  6. Using an immersion blender, or working in batches with a regular blender, purée the soup.
  7. Ladle hot soup into bowls.
  8. Chiffonade the remaining sage leaves and sprinkle on top.

    Luxorious Soup

    Luxorious Soup. If you have toasted squash seeds sitting around, sprinkle them on your soup, too, for a little crunch texture.


Weekend Hodgepodge

FALL IS HERE! The sky is bright in contrast with the golden leaves, the air is crisp, yet the sun is warm, and I can smell the occasional whiff of a fireplace as I wander my neighborhood. I love autumn—It is by far my favorite season. The colors, the weather, the food—Ahh! So, being that this was the first weekend that truly seemed to embody fall this year, I relished every moment. I spent the weekend devoting myself to the sights, smells, tastes and feelings of the season.

Herb Roasted Chicken Breast

I began the weekend with some Friday night cooking. These simple ingredients became herb roasted chicken, served with roasted beets and turnips. Recipe soon!

Turnip Man

As I was preparing the veggies, I couldn't help but play with my food!

Butternut Spinach Quiche Slice

Friday night, I also whipped up this quiche using one of my favorite fall ingredients—Butternut squash. I'll be posting this recipe soon, too!

I also cooked up a big pot of chicken stock Friday night. You should be jealous of how my home smelled that night.

Pumpkin

Saturday morning, I got up early to tackle the pumpkin we received in our final CSA share for the season. (Yes, final. * sniff, sniff * Our farmer's fields succumbed to the rainy weather.) Instructions on how to turn a pumpkin into something useful will be up later this week!

Zumbathon

Having successfully transformed the pumpkin into puree and toasted seeds, I took a brisk walk to Moravian College to participate in a Zumbathon hosted by my sister-in-law's sorority. Two hours of looking like a fool, having fun and getting a great workout to support breast cancer education!

Kevin Bear Rocks

After a quick shower, Kevin & I were off for a short hike to Bear Rocks, one of our favorite places along the Appalachian Trail. We were looking for a geocache hidden here, but didn't find it.

Colleen Bear Rocks

I must have been feeling a bit masochistic to climb this after two hours of Zumba.

Us Bear Rocks

We made it!

View from Bear Rocks

The View from Bear Rocks is always worth the climb, especially at dusk.

Bake Oven Knob Sunset

After searching every crevice in Bear Rocks for the geocache, we hiked back the other way on the AT to view the sunset from Bake Oven Knob. Still rocky at BOK, but a little easier to navigate in the dark than Bear Rocks!

Jumbars Strata

Sunday morning started off with some great takeout from Jumbars. I enjoyed the flavors of fall in this whole wheat strata with sage and apples, topped with sausage gravy. Kevin had a sausage & farmers' cheese omelette.

Sage Scones

Inspired by breakfast, I whipped up a batch of stinky cheese and sage scones to pair with soup I anticipate making this week. Yet another recipe to look forward to seeing here!

Saucon Rail Trail

We walked off our breakfast with a few mile jaunt on the new Saucon Rail Trail, finding several geocaches along the way. The rail trail is quite beautiful and passes some seriously large homes!

Vulture

This vulture was circling and swooping right over our heads.

Flint Hill Farm Cows

After our walk, we drove to Flint Hill Farm to check the place out as part of Lehigh County Open Gate Farm Day. We got to buy some fresh butter, made from milk from these cows!

Flint Hill Farm Horse

I was envious of this horse's hair.

Flint Hill Farm Goat

A kid goat! Since the farm is an educational center, too (offering programs and service opportunities, plus training for handicapped individuals), we also got to see a milking demonstration.

So, all in all, this weekend was a huge dose of autumn. Now, at 12:33AM, with the apartment smelling like spices and a cool breeze coming in the window, I am off to bed to catch up on sleep!


Autumn Meatloaf—It’s What’s for Dinner!

Last week, my husband said that he really wanted meatloaf for dinner. However, we were out of eggs and breadcrumbs. I dig around in the fridge a bit, searching for something to replace the moisture and glue-like nature of the eggs and bread. I ended up with some fruit and vegetables for moisture and a tad of goat cheese for stickiness. This meal is actually a hybrid of local ingredients from the Lehigh Valley and Maine! The apple is from the farmer’s market behind my parents’ rental in Camden, Maine, and the goat cheese was from a farm near Acadia National Park. This meatloaf really offers a taste of autumn.

Autumn Meatloaf

Ingredients:

Ingredients

Ingredients

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Using a food processor with a grating blade if you have one, grate apple (no need to peel), onion, carrots (also no need to peel)  and garlic together.
  3. Add bread and pulse until large crumbs are formed.
  4. Place veggie mixture in large bowl with ground beef and mix (using your hands will be easiest).
  5. Chop herbs, reserving 6 whole sage leaves.
  6. Add soft cheese and herbs and mix thoroughly.
  7. Divide mixture in half and form each portion into a loaf.
  8. Place in baking dish and top with whole sage leaves.
  9. Bake for 45-55 minutes.

    Finished Meatloaves

    Finished Meatloaves (I tossed in some green beans and olive oil around the loaves to roast with dinner)


Midweek Celebration Feast

Sometimes events worth celebrating occur when you don’t have time or energy to create a celebration-worthy meal. Last week, my husband and I celebrated our two year wedding anniversary. Our road trip to Maine, which you can read about in previous posts (here, scroll to the bottom for day one), was our gift to each other, and we were still getting our feet back on the ground in our daily routine, so we didn’t want to do anything too elaborate on the day itself. However, we still wanted to share a special meal together. The SteelStacks Farmer’s Market was that day, so we kept our eyes peeled for something easy yet a little special for dinner.

We ended up with a feast that was ready in less than 30 minutes but felt like we had been working all day! We purchased a smoked chicken breast, which just needed heating up (and provided enough meat for a whole extra meal!). On the side, I microwave roasted some acorn squash. I rarely ever use the microwave for anything aside from defrosting or reheating, but when you are short on time, it can be quite handy! We popped the acorn squash seeds in the oven with the chicken while it heated up to use as a crunch topping on a whole wheat pasta side dish. Served with a green salad, we felt like we were at a restaurant!

Our Easy Anniversary Meal

Ingredients

These ingredients combined to form a full restaurant quality meal!

Entrée Ingredient:

Microwave Roasted Acorn Squash Ingredients:

  • 1 acorn squash (Heritage Farms CSA)
  • 2 T. brown sugar
  • 2 large sage leaves
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 T. olive oil
  • salt & pepper to taste

Sage & White Wine Pasta Ingredients:

  • 2 portions whole wheat pasta (homemade from the freezer)
  • 12 sage leaves
  • seeds from acorn squash
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 c. white wine (we used Autumn Gold from Vyncrest Vineyards)
  • 3 T. olive oil
  • salt & pepper,  to taste
  • Romano cheese, to taste (Klein Farms)

Green Salad:

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350° and cook pasta.
  2. Cut acorn squash in half, parallel to the ridges. Scoop out seeds and reserve.
  3. Put smoked chicken breast in baking dish and bake for 15-20 minutes or until hot.
  4. Meanwhile, clean the pulp off the squash seeds. Toss seeds with 1 T. olive oil and some chili powder, salt and pepper.
  5. Spread seeds on cookie sheet and add to oven for final 10 minutes of chicken heating time.
  6. Brush each acorn squash half with olive oil and sprinkle with chili powder, salt & pepper. Put 1 T. brown sugar in the scooped center of each squash half. Tear 2 sage leaves and place on top of brown sugar.

    Acorn Squash, ready to microwave

    Acorn Squash, ready to microwave

  7. Set squash halves, cut side up, in a deep microwave-safe dish with about 1.5 inches of water in the bottom. Cover with a lid or vented plastic wrap and microwave for 10 minutes or until tender.
  8. Heat 2 T. olive oil in a large skillet. Chop garlic and sage leaves. Cook garlic and sage over medium heat until garlic is beginning to soften.
  9. Add white wine to skillet, scraping off any browned bits. Bring to a boil, then simmer until reduced by half.
  10. Add cooked pasta to skillet and toss with wine sauce.
  11. Rinse and tear lettuce. Toss with creamy garlic dressing.
  12. Just before serving, sprinkle pasta with toasted squash seeds and Romano cheese.
  13. Slice and plate chicken. Carefully remove squash from microwave dish (I used tongs) and add to plate. Serve pasta and top with toasted squash seeds and grated Romano cheese.
  14. Serve with wine and share with good company.

    Anniversary Dinner

    Anniversary Dinner. After we finished our Wild Blueberry Meade from Maine, we paired this meal with Vyncrest Autumn Gold.


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