I only used half the butternut squash in the risotto, the other half was peeled, cut, and sitting in my fridge. I also had half a red onion, and one celery stalk hanging out in the crisper drawer. I decided to make a small, quick batch of soup, since the nights have been a bit chilly this week.
I didn’t follow a recipe, I diced the onion and celery, peeled and diced a carrot. I tossed them in a pot with a bit of olive oil, salt and pepper. I let them sweat while I peeled and diced three small white potatoes. I added the potatoes and butternut squash to the pot along with a splash of apple cider.
I added 4 cups of vegetable stock, a dash of curry power, a dash of paprika, and a dash of smoked paprika. I brought the entire pot to a boil, turned it down to a simmer and let it cook until the vegetables were tender. I pureed the contents of the pot, added a little more salt and pepper and served it with a simple grilled cheese sandwich. I don’t think the hubby realized he ate, and actually LIKED, a vegetarian dinner, until he was done!
When I went to the farm stand on Saturday, I also swung by the butcher shop and picked up some meatloaf mix, bacon, fresh apple sausage, and smoked pork chops. We had the chops for dinner on Saturday night.
Despite what my co-workers think, autumn is more than just pumpkin pie spiced food and beverages (ahem….yes, CASEY, I am referring to you!). I picked up a butternut squash from the farm stand and used half of it to make butternut squash risotto to go alongside the chops.
The hubby and I are HUGE fans of smoked pork chops, but for whatever reason, we only like them in the fall and winter, go figure. Thankfully fall has arrived so smoked pork chops are back on the menu in our house. To round out dinner, we each had a salad as our vegetable. A true fall meal, that was very, very tasty!
After I made the maple apple jam, I had seven apples leftover. I just didn’t feel like making a pie crust, so I took the easy way out and made a quick apple crisp to have with dinner on Sunday night.
I didn’t follow a recipe, I just cut the apples, tossed them in a bit of sugar and cinnamon and poured them into a baking dish. I topped that with a combination of old fashioned oats, flour, brown sugar, butter, and diced walnuts.
I baked it in the oven at 350 degrees for 50 minutes, until the apples were done and the top was lightly brown. The little girls from next door came over and were very disappointed that we were having apple crisp without vanilla ice cream. They were kind enough to inform me that it just wasn’t done – apple crisp should ALWAYS be served with ice cream. Goodness, I guess I have learned my lesson and will be picking up a container of vanilla ice cream to serve with the rest of the apple crisp!
I worked Saturday morning, but was done by 12:30pm, whoo hooo! I left work and drove straight to the farm stand. I picked up a half bushel of Cortland apples and five gallons of apple cider.
I turned the apples into maple apple jam and an apple crisp.
It is so hard for me to believe that I have only done strawberry jam and now maple apple jam. Usually by this time of year, I have at least 10 different varieties of jam, nicely labeled and sitting in my office ready to give away at Christmas.
Speaking of Christmas presents, I decided to brew hard cider again this year. I took the five gallons of unpasteurized, freshly pressed cider from the farm stand, poured it into a five gallon food grade bucket and added a little bit of brown sugar. Once the sugar measured 16 brix on the scale, I added the yeast and topped the container with a lid.
I will need to check the sugar level each day, until it reaches 2 brix. Once that occurs, the cider is done fermenting and can be transferred to another container where it will sit until the cider clears and I can then bottle it. For those impatience folks out there, yes, there is a product you can use to clear the cider and bottle it immediately, but it is made from shellfish so I can’t use it. I just have to do it the old fashioned way and wait. I did put a sign on the container, the last thing I need is five gallons of sticky sweet apple cider to be spilled in my kitchen!
Since I bought a 5 lb bag at the store, I figured I might was well use them up!
Besides baked potatoes are good for you….well…..if you don’t douse them in butter and sour cream, but lets be honest here folks, I LOVE butter and sour cream so you KNOW my potato slipped outta healthy and into “OH DARN THIS IS REALLY, REALLY GOOD” territory!
Thank goodness I decided to go all out and eat red meat with it because if you are going to enjoy a baked potato, you should definitely pair it with a steak. We had salads as our vegetables, which, thankfully, the hubby is very happy about. We both love salads, well, if you can call what he eats a salad, the boy has lettuce and croutons, topped with ranch dressing. I am pretty sure it might just kill him to eat a raw vegetable….or at least that is what he tells me.
So I celebrated by making mashed potatoes! I thought it appropriate to make creamy, luscious, buttery mashed potatoes in an effort to soothe my soul – summer is officially over for another year. Sigh…..it was so good while it lasted!
The good news is the weather is still nice and if I get home early enough, we can still eat dinner on the deck. The days are getting shorter, it is dark by about 7:15pm each night, but at least it is still light out when I drive home each night.
To go alongside those lovely, lovely mashed potatoes, I had the hubby grill a pork tenderloin while I steamed a bunch of broccoli. I was really happy with my plate presentation tonight. A perfect trio of textures and the broccoli looked so pretty. I figured I can’t stop time so I might as well embrace the change in the seasons, right?
There is just something about burgers on the grill that screams summer to me. I eat them other times of the year, but I think they taste better in the summer. Just my opinion, no idea if anyone else out there feels the same way.
Anyway, the hubby actually prefers his burgers on rye bread, as opposed to a roll. I don’t eat mine on a roll, I like it smothered in cheese and dipped in either ketchup or BBQ sauce.
I had a bag of steak fries in the freezer so I cooked those up and served the burgers with fries and a side salad. Soon the days are going to get shorter and we will be making more and more dinners on the stove, but I refuse to think about that right now. Right now, I choose to savor the flavors and foods of summer!