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.
Summertime barbecues are the best. My requirements for barbecue food are simple -easy, flavorful, and tasty! I slow cook baked beans to enhance the flavor. And I add black beans, red kidney beans, and chili for a southwest flavor. And for some tang, maple syrup. Vegetarian beans make this a perfect vegan addition to your barbecue or picnic.
2 tablespoons olive oil 1 medium onion, cut into small dice 1/2 medium red pepper, cut into small dice 3 cans (16 ounces each) vegetarian beans 1 can (15.5 ounces) red kidney beans 2 can (15.5 ounces) black beans 3/4 c. barbecue sauce 1/4 c. maple syrup 1/4 c. distilled or cider vinegar 1 tablespoon chili powder 2 tsp. dry mustard
Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 325 degrees. Heat olive oil in a saucepan. Add onions and peppers pan and sauté until tender, about 5 minutes. Combine beans and the remaining ingredients in a large bowl. Add onions and peppers. Pour flavored beans into a greased 13-by 9-inch (or similar size) ovenproof pan. Bake until beans are bubbly and sauce is the consistency of pancake syrup, about 2 hours. Let stand to thicken slightly and serve.
Blueberries are my favorite fruit! If I can stop eating all the fresh blueberries long enough, I love to make blueberry pies. I love so many wonderful blueberry pie recipes, but this one is perfect for the 4th of July! Perfect for a backyard barbecue or to take along to a family reunion, just so wonderfully delicious! If you are short on time or just don’t want to make your own crust, use store-bought refrigerated pie crust, which you can find in the dairy section of your grocery store. I like Pillsbury.
Fabulous All American Blueberry Pie
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup shortening
1/3 cup sweet butter (love my Cabot!)
7 tablespoons cold water
6 cups blueberries, rinsed and picked over
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
4 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
3/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1 tablespoon sweet butter, cut into small pieces
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon whipping cream
Crust: In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, and salt with a pastry blender, cut in shortening, and butter until the mixture resembles coarse cornmeal. Sprinkle water over the top and mix it together with a pastry blender or fingers until it comes together to form a ball. Shape dough into a ball, wrap in plastic and rest at room temperature for 1 hour.
Filling: Place rack in the lower third of the oven. Preheat oven to 425 F. (I like to put a piece of aluminum foil down or a baking pan on the bottom of the range to catch any drips and keep my oven clean.) Place blueberries in a large mixing bowl. In a smaller bowl, combine the remaining ingredients except for the butter. Add dry ingredients to blueberries and gently toss.
Divide pastry in half. On a floured surface, roll one of the pastry halves into a 12 inch round. Fit into a 10-inch pie plate, letting the pastry hang over the edge. Fill with blueberry mixture. Dot with butter. On a floured surface, roll out the remaining dough to 12 inches round. Place over pie. Seal edges and crimp to form a decorative rim.
Glaze: In a small bowl, whisk egg yolk and cream. Brush the top of the pie with glaze. Cut vents into the pie top. You can use mini cookie cutters for a more decorative top.
Bake pie for 10 minutes, reduce oven temperature to 350 F. Bake pie for 35 or 40 minutes longer or until nicely glazed. Cool on rack.
I love bold salads with flavor, texture, and color – perfect for summertime picnics and barbecues. And I also strive to make salads healthy. In my edamame salad, I used farro, an ancient Italian grain that brings a nutty flavor to any dish. Quinoa can be substituted if you prefer. Also, I used honey but if you want a vegan salad, maple syrup can be used.
The result is a crunchy, tangy, flavorful salad that will thrill your family and friends.
1 cup farro
1 package (10.5 oz) frozen shelled edamame, steam in bag
1 can (15.5oz) Chickpeas rinsed and drained
1/4 cup toasted almonds
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon honey or maple syrup
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
1 1/2 teaspoon liquid aminos, I use Bragg
1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Cook farro according to package instructions. Drain farro, and place farro in large serving bowl to cool. Steam edamame, set aside, cool.
Make salad dressing. Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and whisk together.
Add edamame, chickpeas, almonds, and cranberries to bowl with farro. Toss to combine. Drizzle dressing over, and stir.
For summertime entertaining, barbecues, pool parties, picnics with family and friends I prepare easy to make ahead meals so I can relax with my guest. We hostess just want to have fun too!
Baked beans are great for celebrating July 4th, an all American side dish. Why buy already prepared baked beans from a can when you can easily make homemade. I like to use a variety of different beans, black, kidney, pinto, navy beans, you choose your favorite. I lean to more vegetarian and vegan food so I make these beans vegan and flavored with bourbon.
You can put the baked beans together a day ahead, refrigerate and bake the day you want to serve.
BOURBON BAKED BEANS
6 15- to 16-ounce cans assorted beans, black, red kidney, pinto, northern beans, drained
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 large onion. chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/4 cups purchased barbecue sauce
1/2 cup bourbon whiskey
1/3 cup tomato paste
2 tablespoon cup dark molasses
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons (packed) dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons vegan Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon liquid smoke, optional
2 tablespoon dark brown sugar
Preheat oven to 350°F. Place beans in a large bowl. Cook onions in oil until translucent about five minutes, stirring frequently. Add garlic cooking for an additional five minutes. Cool then add to beans. In a medium bowl whisk together the remaining ingredients except for parsley. Pour over beans and stir until combined. Transfer to a 113 x 9 x 2-inch baking dish. Bake uncovered until liquid bubbles and thickens slightly about 1 hour. Cool 10 minutes.
I love to bake, and making pies is a favorite of mine. Luscious ripe seasonal fruit makes the most delectable pies. Who can resist a delicious piece of pie with vanilla ice cream, simple but oh so good! I especially love the combination of nectarine and blueberries. I made my own pie crust, and the recipe follows. But for a quick and easy pie, you can buy the refrigerated pie crust. I like the Pillsbury brand. Don’t be intimidated by a homemade pie crust; the more you practice, the better you become. If time is an issue, you can make the pie crust the day before and refrigerate overnight, then just roll out the dough the next day, add the filling, bake, and in no time, you have a wonderful homemade pie.
And don’t forget an enormous scope of vanilla ice cream.
Makes 2 crusts
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 sticks chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 ” cubes
1/4 cup vegetable shortening
1 Tbsp. Plus 1 tsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. salt
Process flour, butter, vegetable shortening, sugar, and salt in a food processor until butter is crumbly, about 30 seconds. Transfer to a large bowl. Gradually add 3/4 cups ice water, using a folk stir mixture until dough forms a ball. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
6 large ripe nectarines(halved, pitted, and sliced 1/2-inch thick)
1-pint blueberries washed and picked over
3/4 cups sugar
3 Tbsp. quick-cooking tapioca
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. finely grated lemon zest
1 Tsp. milk
1 Tsp. sugar(for sprinkling)
Heat oven to 425 F and adjust rack to lower to the middle position. In a large bowl, toss nectarines, blueberries, sugar, tapioca, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Set aside for 15 minutes.
Divide dough into two balls, one slightly larger. On a lightly floured surface, roll the larger pastry ball into a circle about 2 inches larger than the 9-inch pie plate. Line pie plate with pastry, trim edge leaving a 1-inch overhang. Fill the pie plate with the fruit. Roll out the smaller pastry ball for the top crust. Place on top of the fruit pie. Trim pastry edge leaving an inch overhang. Fold overhang under, then bring up over the pie-plate rim, pinch to form fluted edges. Brush top with some of the egg glaze. Make a few decorative slits in the top and bake for 10 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350 and bake for 40 minutes. Then brush again with remaining egg glaze, sprinkle sugar, and bake for about 5 minutes until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack before serving.
I serve with my favorite vanilla ice cream Breyers!
Summertime, I love to make easy, delicious salads packed with flavor and fresh ingredients. My Orzo Caprese Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette is a family favorite. And the recipe is easily doubled to feed a large group.
Always use the freshest ingredients and fresh basil is the best, so easy to grow.
1 cup uncooked orzo
1 cup chopped tricolored cherry tomatoes
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1 1/2 cup fresh mozzarella, cubed
Prepare orzo according to package instructions. Drain and cool.
Make vinaigrette and set aside.
Add tomatoes, basil and mozzarella to orzo. Combine.
Toss with vinaigrette. And chill for 2 hours or over night.
1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt, or to taste
3 to 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon zest, lemon juice, sugar, mustard and fine sea salt, whisking until the sugar and salt are dissolved. Add 3 tablespoon olive oil in slow stream, whisking until the dressing is well blended.
Sheet pan meals are all the rage now in the magazines and on cooking shows. So I created this large quiche which is perfect for a brunch or an extensive buffet. Mushrooms, asparagus, and goat cheese are a familiar combination for my quiches. Next, I added Gruyere cheese, a smoky french cheese that melts beautifully and pairs wonderfully with eggs and goat cheese. Thyme fresh or dried is another go-to ingredient for me. In the summer, I grow all thyme varieties with French thyme, my particular favorite. You can use any combination of veggies and herbs. Experiment and have fun!
1 (14.1-ounce) package Pillsbury refrigerated piecrust, room temperature
8 large eggs
1/2 cup heavy cream
1(3.5-ounce) package shiitake mushrooms
1 cup shredded Gruyere cheese
4 ounce goat cheese, crumbled
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoon fresh thyme or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
6 stalks asparagus, trimmed and shaved
Position rack in bottom trim of oven, and preheat oven to 375F. Spray a 13×9 1/2-inch rimmed baking sheet wit cooking spray.
On lightly floured surface, unroll 1 piecrust. Lightly brush with water, and top with remaining piecrust, pressing gently to seal. Roll into a 15×11-inch rectangle. Transfer to prepared pan. Trim edges as need, and crimp as desired.
In a large bowl, whisk together eggs and cream. Stir in mushrooms, Gruyere cheese, goat cheese, garlic, sea salt and black pepper. Pour into prepared crust. Top with asparagus, pressing gently into filling.
Bake until filling is set 30-40 minutes. Let cool slightly before serving.
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.