Saturday, November 13, 2010

Personal Favorite Fall Recipe Roundup

My blogger friend, Stacey (of Stacey Snacks), left a comment a couple of posts ago that I should rename my blog "The Weekend Cook".   For those of you who are new to my blog, I wish you a warm welcome.  My two year anniversary is coming up at the end of this month, and I am planning a celebration/giveaway.  Until this July, I was blogging several times a week.  Everything has changed, since I'm at a new school site, working at an Adult School. That means I'm working a split shift and am gone for 13 hours a day, during the week.  So, as Stacey pointed out, it's the weekend and this is where I do my marathon cooking and baking.
I'm still editing and organizing last week's Foodbuzz Blogger Festival, and I hope to find a way to share some of it with you. In the meantime, I'd like to share with you some recipes from last Fall that are worthy of an encore in my own home:

This Rainbow Salad has been featured on my header for some time.  I made this with roasted golden beets and .  I'm fortunate to live in the Salinas Valley, where I can buy beautiful salad greens from Fresh Express. Another salad that I serve for holiday tables is:

This salad with pears, gorgonzola, candied pecans and a balsamic vinaigrette is a recipe I fell in-love with at a restaurant in Pacific Grove, California. Sadly, the restaurant is gone but I was able to replicate the recipe.

While this soup doesn't wouldn't win for it's looks, it's has a mild flavor from a very ugly vegetable-- celeriac. This is a Creamy Celery Root & Yukon Gold Potato Soup.  It's comforting and makes a beautiful starter to any dinner party.

Pumpkin takes center stage this time of year.  I've made this Pumpkin pasta with fried sage pasta dish for several years.  When I first saw this recipe, I couldn't bond with the idea of pumpkin in a pasta.  It changed my mind and I'm going to recreate this very soon.  The pasta is made with Italian sausage, white wine, spices, red pepper flakes and is served with a savory pumpkin cream sauce. Trust me, it's a winner.

Speaking of pumpkin... I do stock up on canned pumpkin for lots of recipes. Last year, I decided to learn how to make my own pumpkin puree.  It was easier than I thought, and I was able to enjoy pumpkin year-round. (Just click on the bold and highlighted recipes names, to be see how I made this)

I also show you how to make tasty pumpkin seeds.

I made the Pioneer Woman's Pumpkin Spice Muffins.  They come together, fast, and disappear even faster.
I created a Pumpkin Ice Cream that turned out even better than expected.  It would be delicious as an ice cream cake.

This is one of the first food shots I ever took for my new blog.  The photo is grainy and was shot in flash-- since then I've learned not to use flash photography or it muddies out the colors. It has zero comments, which also shows that it takes time to develop friendships with other food bloggers. I will remake this so I can re-shoot it and show how I did it.  The picture does not do justice to the Pumpkin Brulee recipe. Trust me, it's delicious and makes for a nice alternative to pumpkin pie.

I'm not sure if this is a dessert or a side dish.  The Pioneer Woman posted this recipe, and I'm going to make it again and again. If you love sweet potatoes and pecans, here's a great Sweet PotatoCasserole side dish/dessert for you.

For pie recipes, Pumpkin and Apple Pie are top on the list.  Making your own pie crust is easier than you think. I'll show you how by clicking here.  I'm making my pie crust dough, this weekend, so I can freeze some and store some in the refrigerator. I found two recipes I hope to make, and I'll share it with you.
 Fruit Crisps are "Cheater Pies".  This is a Cranberry & Pear Fruit Crisp that offers a sweet-tart cooked fruit combination, with a brown sugar & pecan topping that makes you want to eat seconds.

Of course, the Thanksgiving Turkey is what most of us look forward to. I've made many turkeys over the years, but I pay extra for Diestel Turkeys that are fresh and always turn out juicy.  I've evolved into buying range-free, hormone-free turkey that aren't injected with vegetable oil or any other kind of fats.  I don't brine my turkey, either.  Somehow, I think that the turkey takes on a rubbery texture and even Alton Brown's recipe didn't appeal to us.  Ina Garten's Roast Turkey was easy to make and very flavorful.

 I made King Arthur Flour's Buttered pull-apart rolls.  I blew it the first time I made them, and I show you what happened. I also share how my second attempt yielded tender and buttery rolls. Store-bought rolls cannot compare with these! I show you how to make them, and you can do it!

 There are folks who don't like to eat turkey. I don't understand it, but another alternative is a Greek Stuffed Pork Loin that I created.

It's stuffed with fig jam, feta cheese, garlic and spinach.  I made this the night before company was to arrive and it worked perfectly! I made a port-wine reduction sauce, and it was outstanding and worthy of another gala dinner entree.

The weekend flies by so fast, that I need to get up and running. I have a house to clean, errands to run and some new recipes to make.  Someday, I'll return to working a daytime shift. Until then, I'm temporarily The Weekend Blogger!

Remember, all you have to do is click on the recipe names in each paragraph, and you will be linked to the post that shows you how I made the recipe and you will also find a printable recipe at the very bottom of each post.

I need to work on my Two-Year Anniversary Giveaway. Thank you for not giving up on me. I love to cook and bake, and my food blog has led me to meeting so many of you who share the same passion as I do.

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ARLENE said...

A great round up. I, too, have had to cut back on my posts. I generally post on Tuesdays and Fridays and have a lot less time to spend blog-hopping. I do, however, make sure to find time to check out my favorites almost daily. I have to stop using the flash to take my photos. I don't know why, but everyone mentions it.

Joanne said...

I am always so happy when you do post and will keep reading no matter what. I love this round up of dishes! It's made me so inspired to keep cooking with fall's wonderful flavors.

bellini valli said...

Your favourites are now our favourites Debby. This is quite the line up of dishes!!

Mary said...

Any one of these dishes is worthy of a shout-out. It really is a great round-up. Don't work too hard. Have a great weekend. Blessings...Mary

Allie said...

Not fair! I started reading this and instantly got hungry! So delish! You sure do cook up some amazing things. I want to come over for dinner!

Kay Heritage said...

I just got hungry all of a sudden! Lovely!

My Carolina Kitchen said...

First of all I love Stacey's blog. I don't know how she manages to post everyday. Her clock must have more time on it than mine does.

Lovely roundup. Everyone one of those could easily become my favorites. I can't believe that you make your own pumpkin puree. That's fabulous. Good on ya.

Baking is my Zen...sweet nibbles for the soul said...

Debbie, your blog is wonderful! Look forward to reading it.

Thanks for stopping by. :)


Monica H said...

These meals,desserts and side dishes look so "delicious" and "yummy". I must make them!

ha ha ha! I'm just teasing you!

Seriously though, I want a bowl of those sweet potatoes.

PS. How did the chicken and dumplings turn out for you?

Oh, and I was a little weepy too :-)

Debinhawaii said...

You have cooked some wonderful fall foods for sure--it all looks so enticing. ;-) I look forward to your posts whenever they come out!

Patti said...

These all look wonderful! The pumpkin ice cream especially caught my eye...your suggestion for ice cream cake made me think. Ginger cake with pumpkin ice cream! Ooh, and some praline pecans sprinkled over top.

bella (roz) said...

What a fabulous encore of recipes to remind of us your cooking in the past year Deb!