Friday, October 18, 2013

Autumn Harvest!

While I surely will miss all the awesome produce we get throughout the summer, I am enjoying that apples, squash, pumpkins, and cranberries are back!  MR made some more applesauce this week.  There is just nothing like the taste of fresh, still warm applesauce on a cool October day!  There is no real recipe for it.  Just core apples and cut them up into chunks and cook them with some water and cinnamon.  When they are soft, grind them in a food mill.  We don't add sugar and we use whatever apples we happen to have.  As you make it, you will find combinations of apples that taste best to you.

When I was in the grocery the other day I saw that they finally had fresh cranberries back in stock.  So I bought two bags!  This morning I made Paleo pumpkin muffins and tucked a few fresh cranberries inside each one.  It gives it a lovely tart little *pop* in your mouth!  I also made some pumpkin donuts.  Half of the batch was just as the recipe is written.  Except I forgot to grease the donut pan so they didn't pop out easily!  Still edible though.  The other half I decided (since my donut pan was such a mess) to add cranberries and bake them in a (greased with coconut oil) mini muffin pan and make donut holes!

I dumped the rest of the fresh cranberries on a cookie sheet and put them in the freezer.  (Freezing them in a single layer in a cookie sheet helps keep them from clumping together in the bag.)  From there, I bag them up and freeze them for baking later.  I use these for baking, not for adding to trail mix or other non-cooked recipes.  But I like tart foods, so I would say these aren't for everybody!

Sometimes this weekend I am going to make Spanish chicken and chorizo.   I am sharing the recipe here but be forewarned, I haven't actually made it yet.  It looks easy yet amazing, so I am hoping for a great outcome.

For some reason, I am guessing it is the shorter hours of daylight, we just are having trouble getting motivated to do a lot of cooking in the evening.  In order to lighten that burden, I want to try to make this week as simple as possible in the cooking department.  If I can, I will pre-make some over the weekend so we just have to heat and serve.

Here's what else I am *planning* for us to eat for supper this week!

Meatloaf with sun-dried tomatoes and mushrooms is pretty easy.  I love the flavor of sun-dried tomatoes.  You need to have enough time to cook it, but if the loaf is made ahead of time you can at least save some time that way.

Pizza with whole wheat crust!  We keep Trader Joe's fresh whole wheat pizza crust in the freezer.  There are also tons of alternate crust recipes online if you don't want wheat.  Or you can make your own.  Pizza crust is incredibly easy to make!

Pepperoncini brisket.  Just put a brisket in a slow cooker and dump a jar of pepperoncini (liquid and all) over it. Use a 16 oz. jar for every 2-3 pounds of brisket.  You can serve this shredded on whole wheat buns.

Beef and butternut squash stew sounds very seasonal!  This recipe calls for flour so I will probably sub whole wheat flour.  I think if you want to leave out the flour altogether, you can, but it just won't be as thick unless you add something else to thicken it.  Because this takes 1-1/2 hours to cook, I will make it ahead of time and then we can just reheat it.

It looks like with all these hearty recipes, we will probably also have a leftover night.  The nice thing about that is that if there aren't enough leftovers, we will probably go out for Mexican food!  :-)

One more thing I *intend* to make this week is peppermint patties.  When I crave something sweet, it's nice to have something around that I can eat... occasionally.  I think these are pretty easy to make and you can do it in just a few minutes.

Keep it clean!

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