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Fall Favorites


SweetPotatoBaconCake

People say that fall is their favorite time of year for a variety of reasons. Some like the colorful leaves and cooler temperatures. Some, like me, look forward to preparing seasonal favorites. I thought I would highlight some of our favorite fall dishes.

We love apples and have already enjoyed some of our favorite apple recipes such as Apple Dumplings, homemade applesauce, and Cranberry Apple Pie.

Sweet Potatoes, winter squash, and pumpkins are plentiful and we have enjoyed Corn and Squash Soup, Roasted Butternut Squash, Spaghetti Squash Au Gratin, Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Cake.

I tried a new recipe for a Sweet Potato Cake this fall for a church event. The recipe was intriguing because the cake was topped with toasted pecans and crumbled bacon! (It's pictured at the top of this post.) It is a nice moist cake and the brown sugar in the cream cheese icing is a good complement. I don't think I will add the bacon in the future though. ๐Ÿ™‚ If you'd like to check out the recipe, it's called Betty Crocker Sweet Potato Sheet Cake with Bacon Cream Cheese Frosting.

I have made the Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Cake in the past and I wanted to share a tip from my friend Linda. This recipe calls for mini-chocolate chips. They do seem to work better in cakes by staying suspended in the batter. The regular size chocolate chips can sink to the bottom. Linda told me that she used a nut chopper to chop up the larger chips and she even gave me this little nut chopper so I could try it out. I can attest that it works very well!

NutChopper
Just looking back through these recipes I found several others that I haven't made yet this year. So many good fall recipes; so little time!

Another favorite fall activity here in the area is going to Gerald's to stock up on Christmas baking supplies. I heard recently that they have moved to a new location. I called and found out that they are now located in the Center West shopping plaza in Berea at 1601 Cedar Lane Road. I'm looking forward to checking out their new store soon to stock up on pecans and to get a few chocolate covered raisins. ๐Ÿ™‚

Do you have a favorite fall recipe or two that you look forward to each year?

Becka

An old favorite


FinishedDanishPuff

The recipe I'm posting today is an old favorite from my first Betty Crocker cookbook. I've been making it for at least forty years. The ingredients are ones that most people have in their kitchens at all times. I have found that people from other cultures often like this dessert because it is not as sweet as most American desserts. The only drawback to this recipe is that it is best eaten the day it is prepared. That is generally not a problem when I take it to an event because the plate usually comes back empty. ๐Ÿ™‚

I will post a series of pictures showing the stages of preparation and then the entire recipe at the end of the post.

The first step is to prepare a crust with butter or margarine, flour, and water. I usually mix the butter and flour in the mixer and only add the water if necessary to make a dough. This dough is then divided in half and patted out into two rectangles on a baking sheet. Set this aside.

DanishPuffCrust

The second layer is a cream puff mixture. You bring margarine or butter and water to a boil, remove from heat and then quickly stir in the almond extract and flour. You stir this together until it looks like mashed potatoes.

DanishPuffFlour

You then quickly add the eggs and continue stirring. It will look awful at first but as you continue stirring it all comes together and thickens up and starts to look like yellow mashed potatoes.

DanishPuffEggs

Spread this mixture on top of the dough rectangles and then bake until crisp and brown.

RawDanishPuff

After it has baked let it cool a bit (can still be warm) and then top with the glaze and with nuts if desired.

Danish Puff

Crust:
1 stick margarine or butter, softened
1 cup flour
2 Tbsps. Water

Second Layer:
1 stick margarine or butter
1 cup water
1 tsp. almond extract
1 cup flour
3 eggs (crack into a bowl)

Glaze:
1 ยฝ cups powdered sugar
2 Tbsps. Margarine or butter, softened
1 ยฝ tsps. Vanilla
2 Tbsps. Warm water
Optional: chopped nuts

Heat oven to 350 degrees.
For crust cut margarine into flour until the particles are the size of small peas (as though you were making pie crust or biscuits). Add the 2 Tbsps. Water and stir until the mixture gathers up into a ball. Divide in half and pat each half into a rectangle 12โ€ x3โ€ on an ungreased cookie sheet. Set aside.

For second layer place the margarine and water in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and quickly stir in the almond extract and the flour. Stir vigorously until mixture forms a ball, about 1 min. Add the eggs all at once and continue beating until the mixture is smooth and glossy and looks like mashed potatoes. Spread half the topping over each rectangle. Bake until crisp and brown, about 1 hour. Cool and then spread with glaze. Top with nuts if desired.

Glaze:
Sift powdered sugar into a large bowl. Mix together with soft margarine, vanilla, and warm water. Spread on top of the baked Danish Puff. Top with nuts if desired. Cut into pieces to serve.

Do you have an old favorite recipe that you make frequently?

Becka

A good recipe for spaghetti squash


SpaghettiSquashAuGratin

On our recent foray into the mountains we purchased some spaghetti squash and some butternut squash. A while back I had found this recipe for spaghetti squash and decided to try it out. Rob and I both really liked it and would highly recommend it.

Spaghetti Squash Au Gratin

1 medium spaghetti squash
2 Tbsps. butter or olive oil
1 small onion sliced
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
salt and pepper
1/2 cup sour cream
about 3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Cut squash in half and remove seeds. Place cut side up in a 9" x 13" pyrex baking dish. Add 1/4 cup water. Partially cover with plastic wrap and microwave for 8-10 mins. or until squash is tender.

While squash is cooking saute onion in butter or oil until lightly browned. Combine with thyme, sour cream, and 1/2 cup of the cheese.

After squash is cooked scrape it from the shell with a fork and add to the onion mixture. Add salt and pepper to taste. Pour into a greased 2 quart casserole dish and top with the remaining cheese. Bake at 375 degrees for about 15-20 mins. to warm through and melt cheese.

Here is a link to another post about how to prepare the spaghetti squash which might be helpful if you have never cooked one before.

More recipes coming soon.

Becka

Local Grandchildren Update


My summer "vacation" lasted a bit longer than normal since my daughter-in-law, Katie was on maternity leave until mid-September. So, just last week I started baby-sitting both Ryan and little Avery. Things have been going pretty well so far and there has just been one time when both were crying simultaneously. ๐Ÿ™‚

Ryan's vocabulary has increased by leaps and bounds over the summer. He still loves construction equipment and he also enjoys coloring and reading books. He absolutely loves to sing and when he's upset I can often diffuse a bad mood by starting to sing a song.

Here he is with a little construction vehicle:

RyanSeptember13chair1

Here he is singing Oh Be Careful Little Lips What You Say:

RyanSeptember13Singing

Avery has filled out nicely and is now sleeping through the night. She smiles when you talk to her and is becoming quite vocal making all sorts of little shrieks and squeals of delight. Since she sleeps so much at night she often just takes short "cat naps"during the day.

Here is a rather solemn pose:

AverySeptember26

Here is a smiling pose that her Aunt Nora captured this week:

AverySeptember13Smiling

Mark and Katie are adjusting to having two children. Friends told us years ago that one child is a novelty and two children are a family. ๐Ÿ™‚ This has been a big year for them. Mark finished his master's degree in the spring and then Avery was born in July. Mark was named "Teacher of the Year" at his school. There was a special breakfast at a restaurant for all the teachers of the year in the county and he was given a gift certificate to purchase things for his classroom at a teacher store. Perhaps the best perk of all is that he was given a reserved parking spot for this year! We are very proud of him and his accomplishments.

Each of our children, their spouses, and their children are very precious to us and we are truly thankful to see the Lord working in their lives.

I hope you all have a blessed weekend and enjoy the lovely cooler temperatures. I hope to post a few new recipes soon.

Becka

Fall is in the air


GingerBaconSlaw

I always get excited when the temperatures start to cool down a bit and I can anticipate baking all of our fall favorites. Usually by now we would have driven up to North Carolina at least once to get some mountain apples and cabbage. Unfortunately we haven't been able to make the trip yet but I did try a new cabbage recipe that I'm eager to share with you.

I posted this recipe for coleslaw and we have enjoyed it so much that I keep a bottle of the dressing in the refrigerator at all times so we can have slaw frequently. I saw this recipe for Ginger Bacon Slaw a while back and thought it sounded good so I printed out the recipe and finally got around to trying it. Let me tell you, it has become a new family favorite! It is delicious and I hope that you will try it if you enjoy coleslaw. This recipe is by Leila, who is the same blogger who posted another favorite of ours, the Egyptian Lasagna.

One thing I did differently than the recipe states is that I did not make the garlic ginger paste ahead of time. I just grated about four cloves of garlic and about 1/2 Tablespoon of fresh ginger on my microplane grater as I was making the dressing. It makes a very colorful and flavorful slaw and would be a nice choice if you want something a little special to round out a meal. Here is how I made the recipe:

Ginger Bacon Slaw

2-3 cups shredded cabbage
a large handful of dried cranberries
4 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
2 sliced green onions or about 1/4 cup of chopped red onion
3 Tbsps. mayonnaise
4 cloves garlic, grated
about 1/2 Tablespoon fresh ginger, grated
2 Tbsps. rice vinegar
1 Tbsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. salt

Combine mayonnaise, grated garlic, grated ginger, rice vinegar, sugar, and salt with a whisk. Gently stir dressing into shredded cabbage, onion, cranberries, and bacon. Enjoy every last bite!

Becka