In New England, we are love to celebrate the fall season. Cool morning with warm sunny days, jewel-tone leaves, farm roadside stands bursting with the last of summer’s bounty all signal the change in the seasons. Nature’s premier show on display for all to enjoy. Fall baking is one of my favorite past times and I especially love to make apple desserts. Going through all my post I realized I’m kind of obsessed with apples, cakes, pies, cupcakes and more. When I’m creating a new cake or pie the fall just inspires me like nature to give it my all and go wild! Here are a few of my fall favorites that I have posted over the years.
Brussels Sprouts that neglected and shy little bulb has become trendy – the darling of the vegetable world. Healthy, tasty, versatile, a chameleon, changing depending on the pairing – never boring or the same. Steamed, baked, roasted, raw in a salad, your choices of preparation are endless. For a deliciously healthy salad, I love fresh raw Brussels Sprouts combined with apples, pistachios and shaved parmesan cheese- dressed with a light lemon vinaigrette.
Brussels Sprouts Apple Salad with Pistachios and Shaved Parmesan Cheese
4 cups thinly sliced Brussels Sprouts
2 Granny Smith Apples, chopped
1/2 cup chopped unsalted pistachios
1/4 cup shaved Parmesan Cheese
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh grounded black pepper
1/2 cup olive oil
Combine Brussels Sprouts, apples, pistachios and cheese in a bowl. Toss with lemon vinaigrette. (If you prefer you can serve vinaigrette on the side.) I like my salad lightly dressed. Refrigerate remanding vinaigrette for up to two weeks.
Lemon Vinaigrette: Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and whisk to combine.
I usually made a hearty Pot Pie in the cold winter months when the snow and wind blanket my home in wintery New England. However, this spring, I lightened up my Pot Pie by making an all-vegetable version, and I went crazy with a flaky puff pastry topping.
Puff pastry is easy to use, turning you a master pâtissier. It is magical how flat sheets of dough puff into golden pastry in the oven.
You can experiment with different veggies; I used a traditional mix. Have fun with your cooking!
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 (8-oz.) package sliced baby bella mushrooms
4 medium carrots, halved lengthwise and cut into 1 ½-inch pieces
2 medium leeks, white and light green parts only, sliced and rinsed (about 2 ½ cups)
½ teaspoons salt
¼ cup all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
3 cups vegetable stock
3 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons greek yogurt
2 tablespoons whole-grain mustard
2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves, divided
1 [17.3-oz.] package), frozen puff pastry, thawed
1 large egg, lightly beaten
6 ounces fresh English peas
1 teaspoon flaky sea salt
1. Preheat oven to 425°F with rack in lower third position. Heat butter and
oil in a 10-inch cast-iron skillet over medium-high until butter is melted
and foamy. Add mushrooms in a single layer. Cook, undisturbed, until golden brown and crispy on bottoms, about 5 minutes. Toss mushrooms; cook, stirring occasionally, until liquid releases and evaporates, about 4 minutes. Add carrots, leeks, and salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until carrots are just beginning to soften and leeks are tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Sprinkle evenly with flour. Cook, stirring constantly, until vegetables are fully coated and flour smells nutty and turns golden brown, about 1 minute. Add stock; bring to a boil over high. Reduce heat to medium-high. Cook, stirring occasionally, until liquid starts to thicken, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in whipping cream, yogurt, mustard, and 2 teaspoons of the thyme. Set aside to cool slightly, about 5 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, roll pastry sheet out onto a lightly floured work surface into a 12-inch square. Cut evenly into 3 (4-inch-wide) strips. Cut each strip evenly into 6 triangles. Repeat with second puff pastry sheet. Stir together egg and 1 tablespoon water in a small bowl.
3. Stir peas into warm vegetable mixture in skillet. Arrange pastry triangles in a circle pattern over mixture, leaving a slight (about ½-inch) overhang around skillet edges and slightly overlapping triangles. Brush pastry with egg mixture; sprinkle with flaky sea salt and remaining thyme.
4. Place a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil on oven rack; place skillet on sheet. Bake in preheated oven until pastry is golden brown and filling is bubbly around edges, about 30 minutes. Remove from oven; let stand 10 minutes.
Who doesn’t love dinner rolls, fresh and hot, right out of the oven? I made these dinner rolls for Easter dinner, and my family loved them. What I love about this recipe is that it is easy and quick. Also, you can easily double the recipe and make 24 rolls.
2 cups all-purpose flour, or more if needed, I use King Arthur’s flour
1 envelope Fleischmann’s® RapidRise Yeast
2 tablespoons sugar
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup milk
¼ cup water
2 tablespoons butter, Cabot’s
Combine 3/4 cup flour, undissolved yeast, sugar and salt in a large bowl. Heat milk, water and butter until very warm (120 degrees to 130 degrees F). Add to flour mixture. Beat 2 minutes at medium speed of electric mixer, scraping bowl occasionally. Add 1/4 cup flour; beat 2 minutes at high speed. Stir in enough remaining flour to make soft dough. Knead on lightly floured surface until smooth and elastic, about 8 to 10 minutes. Cover; let rest 10 minutes.
Divide dough into 12 equal pieces; shape into balls. Place in greased 8-inch round pan. Cover; let rise in warm, draft-free place until doubled in size, about 30 minutes.
Bake in preheated 375 degrees F oven for 20 minutes or until done. Remove from pan. Serve warm.
Blueberries and lemons are a favorite flavor combination that I love. Lemon is a fresh scent that reminds me of spring. This cake is delicious any time during the year. Adding candied lemons is a nice decorative touch.
I make this loaf cake often because it is moist, flavorful, and easy to make.
2 cups (250g) all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 large egg, at room temperature
3/4 cup (150g) granulated sugar
1/3 cup (80ml) vegetable oil
1/3 cup (80g) sour cream (or plain yogurt/Greek yogurt), at room temperature
2/3 cup (160ml) whole milk, at room temperature
3 Tablespoons (45ml) lemon juice
1 Tablespoon lemon zest
2 cups blueberries
1 teaspoon flour
2 cup (60g) confectioners’ sugar
2 Tablespoon (15ml) lemon juice
optional: candied lemon slices
Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Spray a 9×5 inch loaf pan with nonstick spray.
Whisk the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together in a large bowl. In a medium bowl, whisk the egg and granulated sugar together until combined. Whisk in the oil, sour cream, milk, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, then whisk to completely combine. Avoid over-mixing.Pour/spread the batter evenly into prepared loaf pan.
Take 1/2 cup blueberries and mash with fork. Place remaining blueberries in bow and toss with flour. Fold mashed and whole blueberries into cake batter.
Bake the bread for 50 minutes to 1 hour, covering loosely with foil about halfway through to help the loaf bake evenly. Poke the center of the bread with a skew and if it comes out clean, the bread is done.
Cool bread completely in the pan set on a wire rack.
Drizzle with glaze and decorate with candied lemon slices
Slice and serve.
Cover and store leftover plain or glazed bread at room temperature for 2 days or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
Whisk the confectioners’ sugar and lemon juice together.
Candied Lemon Slices
1 small lemons
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup water
Cut lemons into 1/8-inch-thick rounds; discard seeds. Stir together sugar, lemon juice, and water in a large skillet over medium heat until sugar is dissolved. Add lemon slices, and simmer gently, keeping slices in a single layer and turning occasionally, 14 to 16 minutes or until slightly translucent and rinds are softened. Remove from heat. Place slices in a single layer in a wax paper-lined jelly-roll pan, using tongs. Cool completely (about 1 hour). Cover and chill 2 hours to 2 days.
Who doesn’t love deviled eggs! You can add anything to the egg filling to create all different types of eggs. Deviled eggs are great for formal Easter dinner, a picnic, barbecue, just so versatile. I love to change up the ingredients in my eggs to create tasty new treats. I love Mediterranean food, and I couldn’t resist making an egg that captures the Mediterranean taste.
Mediterranean Deviled Eggs with Blue Cheese
12 large eggs
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup milk
2 teaspoon Dijon Mustardor Stonewall Kitchen Blue Cheese Herb Mustard
1/8 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup chopped kalamata olives
1 tablespoon minced capers
1/4 cup blue cheese or gorgonzola
sliced kalamata olives
Fresh thyme, for decoration optional
1. Place eggs single layer in a saucepan and cover eggs with water up to that 1 1/2 inches above the eggs. Heat on high until water begins to boil, then cover, turn the heat to low, and cook for 1 minute. Remove from heat and leave covered for 14 minutes, then rinse under cold water continuously for 1 minute.
2. Crack eggshells and carefully peel under cool running water. Gently dry with paper towels. Slice the eggs in half lengthwise, removing yolks to a medium bowl, place the whites on a serving platter.
3. Mash the yolks into a fine crumble using a fork. Add mayonnaise, mustard, salt, and pepper, and mix well. Gently combine olives, capers, and blue cheese with the egg mixture.
4. Evenly disperse heaping teaspoons of the yolk mixture into the egg whites. Decorate with sliced olive and serve.
These easy to make chocolate covered Easter Eggs will delight all your family members young and old alike. I sometimes omit the coconut and just make cream eggs and peanut butter. You can serve them plain or decorated with purchased sugar appliqués. However, you choose to embellish these candy eggs will be a big success.
Cream butter gradually with confectioners sugar. Add sweetened condensed milk and vanilla. Mix until combined. Divide sugar mixture in half adding coconut to one half and peanut butter to the other. Shape cream mixtures into small eggs. Place on wax paper
Place chocolate and butter in a large glass bowl. Then, microwave one minute on high. The chocolate will look shiny; stir to combine butter. Microwave in 20-second intervals, stirring after each, until totally smooth. Chocolate continues to melt once you take it out of the microwave. If you microwave the chocolate until it looks completely melted, you risk burning the chocolate.
Add cream to chocolate mixture until combined.
Roll eggs in chocolate and place on wax paper. Don’t coat the underside of eggs. Use a small spatula to smooth out the chocolate and cover the eggs of the filing. Decorate. Store in refrigerator until ready to serve. The eggs can be made ahead and frozen. Makes 36 eggs.
I had to share this post again. This year we a vaccinated I am having a family over for a small gathering. Last year the decorations stayed in boxes in the basement. This year I am going all out and will be adding more, especially fresh flowers and candles!
How ever you choose to decorate your table for a holiday or a fun dinner, setting a beautifully decorate table is inviting for your guest and you don’t have to over spend. Just pick a theme and carry it though with all your accessories. Be eclectic when you decorate. I added inexpensive vases, candle holders and holiday while using my grandmother’s silver and mother’s china. All with blend beautifully together and your guest will feel so welcome sitting down at your table!
Easter deserves a special cake, and I make a basic chocolate cake with chocolate fudge frosting decorated with Cadbury Mini Eggs. These delightful candied chocolate eggs are only available during the Easter Holiday.
I eat all the mini eggs before I can decorate the cake, and I run out to search for one last bag to use on the cake.
Easter Chocolate Milk Layer Cake
1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup light vegetable oil
2 large eggs, room temperature
2 1/2 cup cake flourKing Arthur
1/4 cup dried nonfat milk
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder Ghirardelli Chocolate
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
6 ounces milk chocolate, melted
1 cup whole buttermilk, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
Chocolate Fudge Frosting (Recipe below)
Crushed Cadbury Milk Chocolate mini eggs
1. Preheat oven to 350F. Butter and flour two 9-in round cake pans.
2. Using a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat in a bowl butter, sugar, oil and eggs at medium speed until well combined about 2 minutes.
3. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, dried milk, cocoa, salt, baking soda, and baking powder. Add flour mixture, alternating with buttermilk in thirds starting and ending with flour. Beat until well combined. With mixture at low speed add chocolate, vanilla and almond until chocolate is combined. Ddivid batter between prepared pans.
4. Bake until tester inserted into center comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool in pans for 10 minutes. remove from pans, and let cook completely on wire racks. Spread Chocolate Fudge Frosting between layers, sprinkle with half crushed chocolate eggs. Place remaining cake layer on top, frost top and sides. Garnish with remaining crushed chocolate eggs.
Milk Chocolate Frosting
12 ounces mild chocolate, chopped
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1.Combine chocolate, vanilla, and salt in medium bowl.
2. In a small sauce pan heat cream over medium heat until just boiling. Pour hot cream over chocolate mixture; whisk until melted and smooth. Refrigerate for one hour.
3. Beat chocolate with whisk attachment of stand mixture at medium speed for 3 minutes.
Lately, I’ve been making many vegetarian meals for their low calorie and health benefits. My main requirement is that the recipe pack flavor in each bite. I don’t eat anything that is deliciously tasty. If you eat flavorful food, you don’t overeat. Instead, savor the eat bite. Enjoy, be present, and you will become satisfied.
What I love about this recipe are the chickpeas! I use these darlings in so many recipes, soups, stews, salad; I find many uses. Also, the fire-roasted tomatoes add a delightful taste!
One-pan meals are experiencing a boom in popularity, and I can understand why—easy, delicious, low clean up, perfect for a weeknight meal. I especially like adding colorful veggies, like the rainbow-colored tomatoes in this recipe. I’ve added a Mediterranean flavor with the addition of olives, caper, and feta cheese. Clean-up is easy when you use non-stick sheet pans. My favorite is William Sonoma Goldtouch bakeware for all my baking and cooking needs. One-time purchase and well worth the money.
1.5 pound Gourmet Medley Tomatoes
1 package chicken Italian style sausage (5 sausages)
8 ounces feta cheese, cut into pieces
1 cup pitted Mezzetta Castelvetrano olives, sliced
2 tablespoons capers
2 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
2 tablespoon lemon juice
Preheat oven to 424F.
Place tomatoes on the sheet pan and nestle sausage and feta cheese in between. Top with olives and capers. Combine oil with the remaining ingredients except for the lemon juice—drizzle oil mixture over the sausage, tomatoes, feta cheese, olives, and capers. Sprinkle lemon juice on top. Bake for 35 – 40 minutes until sausage and tomatoes brown. And feta is bubbling.