Friday, December 5, 2008

Fall Food

I really enjoy the food of fall. I love to have a big pot of soup or stew simmering on the stove, spreading its soothing aroma all through the house. I also love the smell of bread or muffins, fresh from the oven, a perfect compliment to the humble pot of soup. These are the kinds of foods that speak of home and hearth, and their aromas will always bring back memories of home, no matter how far our children may roam.

One very easy and delicious recipe that we enjoy making during the fall is Pumpkin Muffins. These have become Hannah's specialty! I originally received this wonderful recipe from my sister. I would link you to her blog -- but she has yet to get hers off the ground! (hint, hint!)

She only uses two ingredients - a box of spice cake mix and a can of pumpkin. Just mix and bake. It is nearly impossible for me to make a recipe exactly as it is written, so it should be no surprise that I've altered her recipe just a bit. I add about 1/4 cup apple sauce and 1/2 bag of mini chocolate chips to the spice cake and pumpkin. Just mix all together and bake at 350 for 15 minutes for mini muffins and 20 minutes for regular size muffins. These are increidble and just melt in your mouth! I don't know if they keep well, as I've never had any left at the end of the day! :)

I gave one of these to my mother-in-law today, and she really enjoyed it, too! By the way, we are rejoicing because she gets to start walking on her (broken) leg some, and can begin to wean from her "Beloved Boot" to an ankle brace!!! She was So Happy to get out of the wheel chair, but surprised at how weak she was. She will begin physical therapy next week, to help regain the strength in her legs.

I have another comforting fall recipe to share with you. This recipe is Perfect for using up all of your leftovers from Thanksgiving! I cooked my turkey carcass right in the roaster pan after Thanksgiving, and the next day I deboned the turkey and everyone was surprised how much meat I got from those bones! My boys hovered over me like vultures, snatching up morsels of tasty turkey while I worked!! I used part of the turkey pieces and the broth to make up a delicious pot of turkey soup, which my MIL especially loved. Then, I froze the rest of the turkey pieces especially for this recipe.

Now, I should digress here and tell you a story from my youth. My mom was always a wise and frugal homemaker and she would faithfully cook her turkey carcass after Thanksgiving and Christmas, and package up both the turkey pieces and the broth for the freezer. But, I saw how tired she was after the Big Day of cooking and cleaning, and it just seemed like a Lot of Extra Work to me. So, in my teenaged wisdom, I foolishly proclaimed that when I was a mother, I would Never cook my turkey carcass!!! :) (I'm sure my dear mother must be laughing out loud as she reads this, and remembers all of the other "wise" statements I made through the years!!)

Anyway, back to my recipe for Turkey Hash. This uses up some ingredients you probably have left over from Thanksgiving, and is just an old-fashioned, good ole supper for your family. Mine sure seemed to enjoy it!

First, you chop up some onion and celery. Then you put it in a big skillet or a dutch oven (depending on the size of your family!) and saute it in some butter. I used 1 stick of butter, and a big dutch oven!

Then, you chop up several white potatoes, and add them to your vegetables. At this point, I sprinkled on some Seasoned Salt, some pepper, and some Poultry Seasoning, all to taste. No measuring for this recipe!~

Add some turkey or chicken broth, turn heat to medium, put on a lid, and let cook until your potatoes are nearly tender, stirring often. If it gets too dry or starts to stick, you can add more broth and turn down the heat some too. Then, stir in your leftover chopped turkey, and simmer on low until you are ready to eat.

My Turkey Hash got a little over cooked last night, because I had to go pick up one of my sons from basketball practice and take him to serve at a candlelight dinner sponsored by his school, but this is one of those recipes that is hard to mess up! No one seemed to mind, and they Gobbled it right down! I served it with fresh yeast rolls and cranberry sauce, and I'm telling you, it was tasty! :)

The Dinner Rolls really improved the overall appeal and presentation of this meal, so I should probably give you that recipe too! I whipped these up quickly in my Kitchen Aid mixer with the dough hook.

2 1/2 cups very warm water
2 TBSP yeast
1 cup sugar
4 beaten eggs
1 cup canola oil
1 TBSP salt
2 cups freshly ground whole wheat flour

Mix the above ingredients in mixer with dough hook. Then, add 6 cups of unbleached, all-purpose or bread flour. Add a little more flour, if needed, until dough clumps on dough hook. Knead for about 5 minutes. Place dough in an oiled bowl, rolling dough over to get oil on all sides. Cover with wax paper or a clean kitchen towel and let rise until dough doubles in size (about 2 hours). Then, oil hands and shape into rolls. Place on a cookie sheet sprayed with cooking spray. Let rise for about 30 minutes or so and bake at 350 degrees F for 10-12 minutes, or until lightly browned.

These rolls, which are adapted from a recipe I got from Marmee Dear , are so light and delicious and practically melt in your mouth! They are perfect for Sunday dinner or special occasions!

Tie on an apron, fire up your oven, and make a memorable meal for your family tonight! :)


Mama Ant said...

Mmmmm. I could eat that turkey hash!

I should have come over and visited you TDay but you know how it is....long drive, many children, teens and adults, out of their regularly daily schedule, pregnant momma, tired daddy.....We didn't think of anything but getting the littles home after all the excitement!

Hugs anyway...I will let you know next time we will be down there!

Kathy - mom of many said...

I think I might try your recipe for rolls tonight. We are having two families come for dinner and I want to make rolls. I think I need to go buy some all-purpose flour though. I have only used my whole wheat for so long that I don't buy the other kind anymore.
I'll let you know if they turn out okay.

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