Monday, September 29, 2014

Autumn fallen fruit salad . . .


 



Most people think of eating salads in the Spring and Summer, but there are also a few notable Fall salads worth sharing as well.

One of my favorite Fall salads of all time is Roasted Butternut Squash Salad with cranberries and candied walnuts. It's amazing! Have you tried it yet?

And then there's this light and delicious salad inspired by Fall's ripest fruits, aka 'fallen fruits' . . .  like apples, pomegranates, and walnuts. 

Add chopped roasted chicken and serve with a fresh, warm baguette . . . and you have the makings of a wonderful Fall inspired lunch or dinner. Yum!




Autumn fallen fruit salad
.     .     .     .     .     .
1 head Romaine lettuce, torn
handful arugula
1/2 cups walnuts, chopped
1 apple, thinly sliced
1 1/2 cups roasted and chopped chicken
salt & pepper
1 cup pomegranate seeds
*you can substitute dried cranberries if you can't find pomegranate seeds
1/2 cup tarragon leaves
1/2 cup crumbled Gorgonzola or blue cheese
.     .     .     .     .     .
Place Romaine and arugula in a salad bowl.
Add enough vinaigrette to coat leaves and toss.
Add walnuts, apple slices, chicken, and remaining dressing; toss again.
Season with salt and pepper.
Garnish with pomegranate seeds, tarragon and cheese.






dressing
.     .     .     .     .     .
2 Tablespoons cider vinegar
1 teaspoon honey
1 Tablespoon finely chopped shallot
1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/3 cup olive oil
salt & pepper
.     .     .     .     .     .
Combine all ingredients in a bowl.
Gradually whisk in oil.
Season to taste with salt and pepper.






 




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Saturday, September 27, 2014

a few new Fall crushes . . . part 2



I thought it would be fun to share a few new Fall crushes . . .
Here's a peek at last week's, here!

.     .     .     .     .     .     .

dried Oak leaves
marigolds
butternut squash
Fall inspirations from Celebrate HOME
.     .     .     .     .     .     .


I'm beginning to decorate for Fall . . . and love the idea of bringing the outdoors in with Fall leaves and the season's harvest . . . pumpkins and squash . . . as well as warm colors and textures.

One of the Fall-inspired projects that I'm working on right now is creating a Fall-scape on our mantle using TALL branches and these Oak leaves. I'm taping the leaves onto the branches, one by one, using brown floral tape. My goal is to make it look as natural as possible.

Aren't these chocolate brown oak leaves beautiful?



 



Sugar cookies!

You know how I love them!

One of my favorite places to eat is Panera Bread . . . and it's this time of year that they sell these darling pumpkin sugar cookies for 99 cents when you make a purchase. Yum!

I had a thought yesterday morning of taking my little one on a sugar cookie tour . . . and buy pumpkin sugar cookies from our local shoppe, bakeries, and markets . . . and then bring them home for fun tasting with the all the kids. I would take photos, of course (smile).




Hello, marigolds!

I am in love with these amazing orange flowers! They are so fun and pretty . . . and affordable.
I couldn't resist displaying them in our dining room and outside in our patio, where I enjoy relaxing with a cup of coffee and a favorite read.







Butternut squash was calling my name this week.

I prepared a Butternut Squash Pizza a few night ago . . .  a tender, light crust topped with thin slices of butternut squash, sage, sharp white cheddar, and baby arugula . . . It was so good . . . and light. Recipe coming next week!


 


Did you know that Costco is a great place to buy magazines? Especially if you're interested in buying the ones that are more expensive. You get 30% off (or more) from the cover price . . . making amazing magazines - like this one - affordable!

You're going to ooooh & ahhhh over the gorgeous photos and inspiration, too. I just had to share a few of my favorites . . .













Do you have any Fall crushes this week?


LET'S STAY in touch!









Sharing with . . . .

Stephanie Lynn, It's Overflowing, Twelve O Eight, Carrie This Home, Cooking for the Seven Dwarves, Huckleberry Love, Dwellings, Smart Party Planning,  The Dedicated HouseMod Vintage LifeLori's Culinary Creations, Home Stories, StoneGableAn Extraordinary Day, I'm Not a Trophy Wife, Between Naps on the Front Porch, Rustic Refined,  Tumbleweed ContessaA Stroll Thru Life,Elizabeth & Co,  My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia, Savvy Southern StyleThe Recipe CriticJanine HuldieCarolyn's Homework,  Fluster Buster   Designs by Miss Mandee,  Craftie Allie,  Wednesday morning The Blissful Bee,  The Newlywed Pilgrimage Chic California, Lamberts LatelyLive Laugh RoweSweet Bella Roos, The Charm of Home, From My Front Porch to ours, Delightsome Life.Posed PerfectionKatherine's CornerNancherrowThe Freshman Cook,  Jann OlsonHome  Maid Simple,  Rooted in ThymeEveryday Enchanted Home, Pure Grace Farms A Dish of Daily Life, Bacon Time, Sunflower Supper Club, Tater Tots and Jello,  Cooking with CurlsMade from PinterestSimply GloriaOne More Time Events, 3 Little Greenwoods


Thursday, September 25, 2014

cocoa streusel mini cakes



Have you heard of cocoa streusel? If you're a big fan of chocolate, then you'll love it, too.





Brown sugar streusel was my favorite, that is, until I discovered cocoa streusel.

And the best part, it's a combination of cocoa AND brown sugar. Yum!





The cake that accompanies this streusel is a light version, as it calls for yogurt in the place of sour cream or oil.  It's quite moist and delicious!

There's something humble and satisfying about this combination of a light and tender crumb vanilla cake with thick ribbons of cocoa streusel running through it . . . and then topped with a chocolate glaze . . . or ganache, if you prefer something a little more rich.

This is a recipe that I keep in my 'fast and favorites' file. I hope you enjoy, too!

A wonderful Saturday or Sunday morning treat . . .




cocoa streusel
.     .     .     .     .     .     .
6 Tablespoons packed brown sugar
3 Tablespoons all purpose flour
2 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
1/ 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
4 Tablespoons cold stick unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
.     .     .     .     .     .     .
Mix brown sugar, flour, cocoa, and cinnamon in a small bowl.
Cut in butter with fork, or pastry cutter, until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
.     .     .     .     .     .     .


Cake
1/ 1/4 cup all purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 large egg, plus one large egg white
6 Tablespoon unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup non-fat vanilla yogurt
2 Tablespoons mini chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray cavities of 1 (12 cavity) mini fluted cake pan with baking spray.

Whisk flour, baking soda and powder, in a medium bowl. 

With an electric mixer on medium speed, beat brown sugar and butter until creamy. Add eggs and mix until blended. Reduce speed to low.  Alternately add flour mixture and yogurt, beginning and ending with flour mixture, just until combined.

Divide scant 2/3 cup batter by rounded Tablespoonfuls into each cavity; spread evenly with finger.

Top evenly with 1 Tablespoon chocolate chips and half streusel.

Repeat with half of remaining batter, remaining 1 Tablespoon chocolate chips and remaining streusel.

Top evenly with remaining batter.

Bake until toothpick inserted near edge of each cake comes out clean, about 20 minute.

Cool cakes in pan on rack 5 minutes.

Unmold cakes onto rack and cool completely.





chocolate glaze
.     .    .     .     .     .     .
2/3 cup confectioners' sugar
3 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
1 1/2 Tablespoon milk
1 teaspoon light corn syrup
.     .    .     .     .     .     .
Whisk confectioners' sugar, cocoa, milk and corn syrup in bowl until smooth. 
Set cakes on rack over sheet wax paper. 
Top cakes evenly with glaze, letting it drip down the sides.
Let stand until glaze sets, 1 hour.
.     .    .     .     .     .     .

OR
chocolate ganache glaze
.     .    .     .     .     .     .
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 1/2 teaspoon light corn syrup
.     .    .     .     .     .     .
Pour chocolate chips in a heat proof bowl.
Place bowl in microwave for 30 seconds. Take out and stir.
Place back into microwave for 30 second intervals until the chocolate melts.
Stir in corn syrup until smooth and shiny.
.     .    .     .     .     .     .


 




LET'S STAY in touch!









Sharing with . . . .

Stephanie Lynn, It's Overflowing, Twelve O Eight, Carrie This Home, Cooking for the Seven Dwarves, Huckleberry Love, Dwellings, Smart Party Planning,  The Dedicated HouseMod Vintage LifeLori's Culinary Creations, Home Stories, StoneGableAn Extraordinary Day, I'm Not a Trophy Wife, Between Naps on the Front Porch, Rustic Refined,  Tumbleweed ContessaA Stroll Thru Life,Elizabeth & Co,  My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia, Savvy Southern StyleThe Recipe CriticJanine HuldieCarolyn's Homework,  Fluster Buster   Designs by Miss Mandee,  Craftie Allie,  Wednesday morning The Blissful Bee,  The Newlywed Pilgrimage Chic California, Lamberts LatelyLive Laugh RoweSweet Bella Roos, The Charm of Home, From My Front Porch to ours, Delightsome Life.Posed PerfectionKatherine's CornerNancherrowThe Freshman Cook,  Jann OlsonHome  Maid Simple,  Rooted in ThymeEveryday Enchanted Home, Pure Grace Farms A Dish of Daily Life, Bacon Time, Sunflower Supper Club, Tater Tots and Jello,  Cooking with CurlsMade from PinterestSimply GloriaOne More Time Events, 3 Little Greenwoods


Tuesday, September 23, 2014

home-made chicken stock



Home-made chicken stock might be one of the easiest . . . and most rewarding . . . things you can make in your kitchen.




During the Summer months I buy roasted chickens and add the meat to salads, enchiladas, quesadillas, and soups.

Not only do I get multiple meals from one roasted chicken, but when I'm done picking the meat from it . . . I add the bones (and whatever meat is still on it) to a large stockpot, along with a ton of vegetables and herbs . . . and then simmer it for several hours. 

The aroma of simmering stock is amazing . . . and sends your senses to a happy place.





I make a lot  of chicken stock through the Summer months, and then jar and freeze it for Fall and Winter soups and stews. 





Store bought stock doesn't hold a candle to the home-made stuff. Wouldn't you agree?

It's more rich and flavorful than the ones you buy in a box or can, and the layers of flavors found in home-made stock can elevate soups and stews to a whole new level.

Honestly, home-made chicken stock is so good, that you can heat it - sprinkle with fresh salt and pepper - and enjoy it straight out of a mug . . . with nothing in it. It's that good!




If you've never made home-made chicken stock, then I hope this post inspires you to make some the next time you have a roasted chicken and vegetables on hand.

And if you have made stock before, then I hope this post reminds you how amazing it is . . . and inspires you to make some for future Fall and Winter pots of soup or stew. 




home-made chicken stock
.     .     .     .     .
1 (5-pound) roasting chicken
1 large yellow onion, unpeeled and quartered
2 carrots, unpeeled and halved
3 stalks celery with leaves, cut into thirds
10 sprigs fresh parsley
10 sprigs fresh thyme
10 sprigs fresh dill
6-8 cloves garlic, unpeeled and cut in 1/2 crosswise
1 Tablespoons salt
1 teaspoons whole black peppercorns
.     .     .     .     .

Place the chicken, onions, carrots, celery, parsnips, parsley, thyme, dill, garlic, and seasonings in a large stockpot. 
Add 7 quarts of water and bring to a boil. 
Simmer, covered, for 4+ hours.
 Strain the entire contents of the pot through a colander and discard the solids. 
Chill the stock overnight. 
The next day, remove the surface fat. 
Use immediately or pack in containers and freeze for up to 3 months.






LET'S STAY in touch!








Sharing with . . . .

Stephanie Lynn, It's Overflowing, Twelve O Eight, Carrie This Home, Cooking for the Seven Dwarves, Huckleberry Love, Dwellings, Smart Party Planning,  The Dedicated HouseMod Vintage LifeLori's Culinary Creations, Home Stories, StoneGableAn Extraordinary Day, I'm Not a Trophy Wife, Between Naps on the Front Porch, Rustic Refined,  Tumbleweed ContessaA Stroll Thru Life,Elizabeth & Co,  My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia, Savvy Southern StyleThe Recipe CriticJanine HuldieCarolyn's Homework,  Fluster Buster   Designs by Miss Mandee,  Craftie Allie,  Wednesday morning The Blissful Bee,  The Newlywed Pilgrimage Chic California, Lamberts LatelyLive Laugh RoweSweet Bella Roos, The Charm of Home, From My Front Porch to ours, Delightsome Life.Posed PerfectionKatherine's CornerNancherrowThe Freshman Cook,  Jann OlsonHome  Maid Simple,  Rooted in ThymeEveryday Enchanted Home, Pure Grace Farms A Dish of Daily Life, Bacon Time, Sunflower Supper Club, Tater Tots and Jello,  Cooking with CurlsMade from PinterestSimply GloriaOne More Time Events, 3 Little Greenwoods




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