Saturday, November 5, 2016

Leader Enterprise - Falling for Fall Flavors - October 26, 2016



Fall is my favorite season, and I've heard a number of others comment the same sentiment. God’s artwork is on display as He paints autumn’s beauty in colorful canvases for us to enjoy. I get a real charge out of seeing those pops of color and hope you do too. 

Whatever you do to enjoy these cooler temps - taking a walk or enjoying a hayride and bonfire - savor every day of this beautiful season.

I just love the flavors of fall and wanted to share a few tasty dishes with you. Enjoy every bite and slurp.

TORTELLINI VEGETABLE SOUP

2 Tb. olive oil
1 med. onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 sm. zucchini, diced
1 med. carrot, peeled and diced
5 -1/2 cups chicken stock
1 tsp. dried basil (more if fresh)
1 bay leaf
1 (15 ozs.) can canned crushed tomatoes
1/2 tsp. salt
8 - 9 ozs. fresh or frozen tortellini
(cheese or meat filled)
2 - 3 Tb. chopped fresh parsley
Black pepper, to taste

Heat the olive oil in medium soup pot or large saucepan.  Add onion, garlic, zucchini and carrot.  Saute over medium heat for 8 - 10 minutes, stirring often, until onion is soft and translucent.

Add the stock, basil, bay leaf, tomatoes and salt to the pot.  Increase heat and bring to low boil. Add tortellini and bring the soup back to a low boil. Cook for 2 minutes, then reduce heat and let simmer for 5 - 6 minutes longer. Gently stir in parsley and pepper during last minute or so.Yield: 5-6 servings 



This lovely salad exhibits all the flavors of fall. Crunchy and delicious!



AUTUMN CHICKEN SALAD
4 c. cooked chicken, diced
1/2 c. chopped pecans, toasted
1/2 c. dried cranberries
1/2 c. chopped apple
1/4 c. celery, chopped
1/2 tsp. celery salt
1/2 c. sour cream (or Greek yogurt)

1/2 c. mayonnaise

few sprinkles of apple pie spice, optional

In large bowl, stir all ingredients together until well combined.  Chill at least 2 hours before serving.  Serve as a sandwich or with crackers.


Your family will adore you when you surprise them with this special fall beverage.


PUMPKIN SPICE HOT CHOCOLATE 

2-1/2 c. milk
1/3 c. (sugar-free) hot cocoa mix
1/4 c. canned pumpkin puree
1 to 1-1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice 
1/2 tsp. vanilla 
pinch of salt 
(I also added a couple drops of caramel coffee flavoring) 
homemade whipped cream & marshmallows for garnish

In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, whisk together milk, hot cocoa mix, vanilla and a pinch of salt.  Then add pumpkin and pumpkin pie spice. Heat thoroughly, whisking as the temperature rises. When desired temperature is reached, pour into 3 small mugs (or two large ones), top with whipped cream and marshmallows. Sprinkle a couple of shakes of pumpkin pie spice for a pretty topping.



CARAMEL APPLE FLUFF DIP

1 (8 ozs) pkg. (lite) cream cheese, room temp
1/4 c. packed brown sugar, optional
1/4 c. caramel ice cream topping
1 tsp. vanilla
3/4 - 1 c. marshmallow fluff 
3 green or red apples

In a medium bowl, beat cream cheese, brown sugar, caramel topping and vanilla together until smooth. (It's best to use a hand mixer). Add marshmallow fluff and beat on low until combined. 

To keep apples from browning, use:

1/2 c. water & 1 Tb. lemon juice, combined
OR 1/2 c. Sprite or 7-up

Soak apple slices for at least 5 minutes in your choice of solution. After soaking, drain off the liquid and store them in a ziploc bag in the fridge. Squeeze as much air as possible before sealing. The apples stay fresh and and crisp this way. You'll be ready to enjoy this yummy dip any time.   And the kids can enjoy it for an after school snack! 

Autumn is a season followed immediately by looking forward to spring. ~Doug Larson