My favorite season is autumn. I love that the weather is cooler and the leaves are changing. I like wearing my sweaters, decorating with gourds and getting out the spice scented candles. And I start cooking more come fall. My husband is back at school, so I am responsible for dinner more often. I love making soups from scratch and other comfort food, and I enjoy doing a little baking (I just made some zucchini bread with a squash my son grew). I thought I’d share a few autumn recipes that can really bring that fall feeling to your dinner table:
This is something my husband taught me to make, since his father made it in the fall. I have no idea why it is called summertime spaghetti, since we make it in the autumn, after harvesting things from our garden. It’s easy, but non specific as to ingredients since we just throw it together:
- Start preparing pasta as normal.
- Cut various squash (zucchini, summer, butternut, etc.) into bite-sized chunks. Cut some tomatoes (depending on how much you are making) into bit-sized pieces as well.
- Heat a little olive oil in a skillet. Add seasonings/herbs to taste. I like fresh oregano and basil, with a little salt. Sauté the squash in the skillet until softened but not mushy.
- If you like your tomatoes cooked, you can add them toward the end, as the squash is almost done.
- Drain pasta when done. Toss squash and pasta together in a bowl. If you don’t like your tomatoes cooked, now is the time to add them.
Even before the Disney movie came out, I enjoyed variations of ratatouille. This variation from Family Fun offers a good meal, since it includes the addition of Italian sausage.
You will need:
- 3-4 links of Italian sausage
- 4 1/2 Tbl olive oil
- 1 medium eggplant, diced
- 2 small zucchini, sliced
- 1 large onion, thinly sliced
- 1 medium green bell pepper, sliced
- 2-3 minced garlic cloves
- 2 c. diced tomatoes
- 1 Tbl plus 1 tsp tomato paste
- 2 Tbl chopped Italian parsley
- 3 Tbl chopped basil
- Salt and pepper to taste
What you will do:
- Boil water in a medium sized pot. Place punctured sausages in water and cook until done. Pull them out and set them aside to cool. Once cool, you can slice them into 1/4-inch rounds.
- Heat 3 Tbl of the oil in a deep skillet. Sauté eggplant and zucchini until lightly browned, and then take out of skillet and set aside.
- Use the same skillet and heat the remaining oil. Sauté the pepper and onion for 3 minutes, add garlic and sausage, and sauté for 3 more minutes. Stir in zucchini, tomatoes and eggplant.
- Partially cover the skillet and let the whole thing simmer for about 5 minutes. Next, add the tomato paste, salt and pepper and simmer for 5 more minutes. Stir in parsley and half the basil. Sprinkle remaining basil on top just before serving.
Slow Cooker Cranberry Pork
If you are a busy person looking for something easy to make, slow cooker recipes are the way to go. I like this pork recipe — even though I’m not normally a huge fan of cranberries. I found it on Allrecipes.com, and thought it tasty.
You will need:
- 1 16-oz can of cranberry sauce
- 1/3 cup French salad dressing
- 1 onion, sliced
- 1 3-lb boneless pork loin roast
What you will do:
- Stir cranberry sauce, dressing and onion in a bowl.
- Place roast in slow cooker and pour the sauce mixture on top.
- Cook on low for 8 hours, or on high for 4 hours. You want the pork to have an internal temperature of 160 degrees F.
Sometimes, when I’m making something in the slow cooker, I actually prepare it the night before. I get everything in place in the removable ceramic part of the slow cooker, cover it, and stick in the fridge. Then, in the morning, it’s a simple matter of pulling it out and getting it started. And, of course, it is ready right at dinner time.
Do you have any favorite autumn recipes?