Sunday, October 10, 2010

Comfy Cozy

Ahhhhh, yes. My favorite time of year is finally here. Autumn has arrived, chock-full of holidays and activities that are near and dear to my heart. My personal favorite is Fall Wardrobe Day. I rummage around the closets looking for where I stashed the dozen or so sweaters I own. They're nothing special, really. Most were acquired either at a discount retailer or thrift store (I am one who needn't worry about potential moth infestations). Out come the hats, scarves, footsie pajamas and jackets for the little ones and warm blankies are stowed in the car. Oh, and yes--I actually do keep gloves in my glove compartment. Isn't that what it's for?

And then there's the food. Comfort foods like meat loaf and mashed potatoes are a favorite at my house. Soups and stews are relatively easy one-pot meals that can be prepared with little fat and lots of vegetables. Aside from all the usual Autumn fare, there's a myriad of recipes that call for pumpkin puree that I'm just dying to experiment with. I gotta get those veggies down their little hatches any way I can! Cooler weather calls for hot cocoa with marshmallows, herbal tea, vanilla lattes, and warm milk spiked with cinnamon and a teeny bit of sugar (if you've never had it, you really ought to give it a try).

Fall is a great season to encourage kids to use their creativity with food decor. They can help frost spooky ghost cookies, construct a haunted gingerbread house, or decorate sugar cookies with candy corn before they are baked. Sure, it's likely to create a huge mess, but it's very entertaining for little ones. Mmmmmm...Don't for get the Candy Apples. One can argue that these candy-coated delights are actually kind of healthy, right? Every year, in honor of the Thanksgiving holiday, my mom creates a centerpiece using a whole pineapple decorated to resemble a turkey. She fashions a turkey head cut from red felt stuffed with cotton which she then attaches with pins to the fruit. It may sound unusual but it's really awfully cute! Why a pineapple you ask? That's a very good question...

Here is a great recipe just passed on to me by a friend. I have yet to cook it myself, as I just acquired this week and would need to borrow a larger crock pot but ingredients don't lie--it's chock-full of yummy stuff. I can't wait to try it! It is as follows:

Dawn's Potato Soup
In a large crock pot set to "low" add the following, combining well:
6 potatoes, cubed
2 leeks, sliced
2 onions, chopped/sliced
1 stalk of celery, chopped
1 1/2 tsp salt
4 chicken bouillon cubes dissolved in 4 cups of water
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can cream of celery soup
1 tbsp parsley (fresh or dried)
2 tbsp butter

Cook for four hours on the lowest setting. One hour before serving add one can of evaporated milk
and garnish with chives.
Optional garnishes: bacon bits or minced garlic, chopped ham, whatever is on hand.

Gobble, gobble, gobble...

No comments:

Post a Comment