As the humid days of summer give way to cooler temperatures, you can begin to see the tell-tale signs of fall appearing all around us. You know, there is that one breathtaking moment when the air feels crisper and smells a bit different, especially in the morning and when the angle of the sun in the sky changes. The temperatures begin to drop and the morning dew appears on your front lawn. Fall is officially here!
Fall is a great time to do things outside such as leaf-peeping, getting lost in a corn maze, visiting a pumpkin patch, taking a hay ride, and apple picking. As the weather gets colder, I begin to crave comfort foods, especially anything with pumpkin spice, apples, warm tasty soups, and hearty chili. Below are some of my favorite recipes. While your food is cooking, warm up some apple cider, grab a good book, and cozy up in front of a fireplace to enjoy the autumn season. Happy cooking!
Creamy Pumpkin with Pine Nut Gremolata
- 12 oz. rigatoni
- 2 tbsp olive oil, divided
- 12 fresh sage leaves
- ¼ cup pine nuts, toasted and roughly chopped
- 1 tsp. finely grated lemon zest
- 1 shallot, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, pressed
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup canned pure pumpkin
- ½ cup parmesan cheese, grated
- ¼ cup heavy cream
- 1/8 tsp grated nutmeg
- Cook pasta per package directions. Reserve 1 cup cooking water; drain pasta and return to pot.
- Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add sage and cook until crisp, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer with a slotted spoon to a paper towel-lined plate; when cool, crumble into pieces. Toss together sage, pine nuts, and lemon zest in a bowl.
- Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil, shallot, and garlic to saucepan. Season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, 1 to 2 minutes. Add pumpkin, parmesan, heavy cream, nutmeg, and 1/2 cup reserved pasta water. Cook until slightly thickened, 3 to 5 minutes. Season with salt. (If desired, use an immersion blender or standard blender to puree until smooth.) Add pasta and stir to combine (add more pasta water if sauce seems too thick). Serve sprinkled with pine nut gremolata.
Butternut Squash Soup
- 3 lbs. butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cubed
- 1 large yellow onion, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 tbsp. chopped fresh sage
- ½ tbsp. minced fresh rosemary
- 1 tsp. grated, fresh ginger
- 2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- 3-4 cups Vegetable broth
- ½ salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Chopped parsley
- Toasted pepitas
- Your favorite crusty bread
- Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion, salt, and several grinds of fresh pepper and sauté until soft, 5 to 8 minutes. Add the squash and cook until it begins to soften, stirring occasionally, for 8 to 10 minutes.
- Add the garlic, sage, rosemary, and ginger. Stir and cook 30 seconds to 1 minute, until fragrant, then add 3 cups of the broth. Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook until the squash is tender, 20 to 30 minutes.
- Let cool slightly and pour the soup into a blender, working in batches if necessary, and blend until smooth. If your soup is too thick, add up to 1 cup more broth and blend. Season to taste and serve with parsley, pepitas, and crusty bread.
- 1 lb. ground beef
- 1 red bell pepper; seeded and chopped
- 1/2 onion; diced
- 1 can (15 oz.) pinto beans
- 1 can (15 oz.) kidney beans
- 1 can (15 oz.) black beans
- 1 can (15 oz.) tomato sauce
- 1 can (10 oz.) tomato puree
- 1 can (10 oz.) Rotel diced tomatoes with green chilies
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 2 tbsp chili powder
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- Brown ground beef till no longer pink, drain, and add to crock pot.
- To the crock pot add the bell pepper, onion, all the beans (drain about 85 percent of the liquid from the beans before adding to the slow cooker), tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, and tomato puree. Add all the spices, and give it a good stir.
- Cover and cook on LOW for 6 to 8 hours or HIGH for 3 to 4 hours.
- Top your chili with sour cream, shredded cheese, tortilla chips, and cilantro, if desired.
Source: Cooking Classy
- 1/2 cup (70g) all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup old fashioned oats
- 1/2 cup (110g) packed light-brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/3 cup (76g) unsalted butter, cold, diced into small cubes
- 2 lbs Granny Smith apples (at room temperature) peeled, cored and sliced thin (about 1/8-inch)
- 3 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
- 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
- 3 tbsp water
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup light-brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 pinch salt
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees and position oven rack one level below the center. Butter an 8 by 8-inch baking dish (or small casserole dish with a similar size), set aside.
- In a mixing bowl whisk together 1/2 cup flour, the oats, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/2 tsp baking powder, 1/4 tsp cinnamon and 1/4 tsp salt for 30 seconds.
- Add diced butter and using clean fingertips, rub butter into dry mixture until it comes together into small crumbles. Transfer to refrigerator to chill while preparing filling.
- In a small mixing bowl, whisk together melted butter and flour until well blended, then mix in water, lemon juice and vanilla. Stir in 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, and pinch of salt.
- Place apples in a large bowl then pour butter mixture over apples and toss to evenly coat, then pour apple mixture into prepared baking dish and spread into an even layer.
- Remove topping from refrigerator and sprinkle into crumbles evenly over top of apples.
- Bake in preheated oven until top is golden brown and apples are tender when pierced with a toothpick, about 35 minutes.
- Remove from oven and allow to rest 10 minutes before serving. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream and salted caramel sauce, if desired.
Chewy Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies
For the Cookies
For the powdered sugar icing
- 1 ½ cups regular or organic rolled oats
- 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- ½ tsp baking soda
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- ½ tsp nutmeg
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ cup coconut oil, at room temperature
- ½ cup brown sugar, packed
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ¾ cup pumpkin puree
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- ¾ cup confectioners sugar
- 1 ½ tbsp almond milk
- In a medium bowl, combine the rolled oats, all-purpose flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and salt.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix the coconut oil, brown sugar, and granulated sugar on medium high for about 30 seconds, scraping the bowl as necessary, until well combined. Add in pumpkin and vanilla and combine on low for a few seconds until fully combined. Gradually add in the bowl with the dry ingredients, mixing on low, until combined into a dough.
- Place the bowl in the refrigerator to chill for 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Remove the bowl with the dough from the refrigerator. Make 24 1½ tablespoon-sized balls) and place them onto the baking sheet. Lightly flatten the tops of each cookie with your hand.
- Bake for 11 minutes until lightly browned on the bottom. Remove from the oven and allow to set on the baking sheet; after 2 minutes, transfer to a wire baking rack. For best results, bake in 2 batches (refrigerate the dough in between baking); this gets the most even bake. If making the glaze, allow to cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes.
- To make the powdered sugar icing, stir together the confectioners sugar and almond milk until a smooth sauce forms and all lumps are dissolved (if using a thin almond milk start with 1 tablespoon and increase by little bits until it is smooth). Place the cookies on parchment paper, dip a fork into the glaze and drizzle in a zigzag pattern. Let the cookies sit at room temperature until the glaze is dry, about 20 minutes. Store at room temperature in a cookie tin for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months.
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About the Author
Kaitlin (Kait) Schuster is a first year student at Cornell University who loves the great outdoors and cooking in her spare time.