Welcome to Autumn Inspiration Week! I mentioned yesterday we’ll be having a week long celebration during this change of the seasons. As the hot summer days come to an end, I find myself in the kitchen having a wonderful time whipping up hot and tasty dishes we’ve put on the back burner for several months. I do enjoy the fresh flavors of veggies straight from the garden, but these crowd-pleasing recipes really hit the spot as cooler weather arrives.
My daughter crafted this Autumn-themed cheese ball for me to take to my Ladies Bible Study last week. (We found the inspiration for this at Home is Where the Boat Is.)
We used our favorite basic recipe for the cheeseball (1 brick cream cheese, 1 jar Kraft soft cheese, 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese) and seasoned it with a couple tablespoons of Southwest Ranch seasoning. Shape into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap and chill for 2 or more hours. Then place cheese ball on parchment or waxed paper, add strips of cheese to outline pumpkin-like divisions, poke in 3 pretzel sticks (or a pretzel rod) for the stem, add a string from a celery stalk (it curls up perfectly when you strip it down the stalk), garnish with leaf shaped cookies (we used our own sugar cookie recipe, cookie cutters and painted watercolor-style with cake colors) or crackers and serve!
Chili with Peanut Butter Bread
There’s nothing better than the first pot of chili once the weather turns cool. The other night temperatures dipped down to 41 degrees – it was unanimous – put on a pot of chili!
I use my stand-by “dump-and-stir” method for this recipe. Brown 1-2 lbs ground meat (beef, venison, turkey, etc) with 1 chopped onion and 1 chopped green pepper. Drain if needed. Add 2 quarts tomato sauce, 1 15-oz can each black beans (drained), pinto beans, kidney beans, chili beans or any combination you have on hand. Season to taste (2 packets chili seasoning or your own preferred seasonings such as chili powder, garlic salt, cumin, cayenne pepper, salt and black pepper). Bring to bubbling and simmer at least an hour. The longer the better – stir often. Or fill the crock pot and cook on low 6 hours. Serve with fixins’ like grated cheese, corn chips, sour cream, chopped onion, and of course peanut butter bread (this takes me back to school lunches when I was a kid in grammar school!)
Donut Hole Acorns
My youngest daughter created these tasty treats for dessert the other day. We were inspired by this post at gracious rain, where you can get a step by step tutorial so you can make them for your hungry crew.
The ingredients we used were: store-bought donut holes, chocolate chips (melted in a double boiler), chocolate jimmies and chopped nuts, pretzel sticks. Easy Peasy and Tasty Too!
Old Fashioned Molasses Cookies and Hot Spiced Tea
Oh, my, I do not even need to tell you how scrumptious these two Fall favorites are. As soon as there is a chill in the air, the children are begging for Hot Spiced Tea. And Mom’s favorite cookie this time of year is this one with all it’s spicy goodness melting in her mouth.
Aunt Cindy’s Hot Spiced Tea
The recipe for this is based on one my baby sister gave me several years ago, along with a jarful all mixed. We were hooked and have been mixing up our own version ever since. Mix together:
- 1 1/2 c. instant tea
- 1 c. tang mix (I’ve tried off brands, they are ok but not nearly as good)
- 1 c. lemonade mix
- 1 c. sugar
- 1 tsp ground cloves
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
Store in tightly sealed container. Use 2 heaping tsp. per cup of hot water. [I triple (or more) this recipe]
Serving in special mugs like these makes it taste even better! (yes, that’s an affiliate link)
Old Fashioned Molasses Cookie Recipe
- Cream 1/4 c. butter, 1/2 c. shortening, 1 c. brown sugar.
- Add 1/4 c. molasses, beat well.
- Add 1 egg, beat til fluffy.
- Add 1 c. white flour, 2 1/4 c. wheat flour, 2 tsp. baking soda, 1 tsp. ground ginger, 1 tsp. ground cinnamon, 1/2 tsp. ground cloves. 1/4 tsp salt. Mix thoroughly.
- Shape into 1 inch balls or use small cookie scoop, roll in sugar if desired, place on cookie sheet.
- Bake in 375 degree oven for 7 minutes, just until edges begin to brown. [I use a large cookie scoop and bake 12 minutes.]
What are you cooking up these cool and crispy days? Do you have a favorite food of the season or a favorite comfort food?
Be sure to check out the 30 other bloggers from Inspired Bloggers Network who are sharing their Inspired Autumn with you. You are sure to find inspiration when it comes to books and fall cooking and crafts for the season, plus a whole lot more!
Come on back tomorrow for more Inspiring Autumn ideas. A list of all my posts in this series can be found HERE.