Autumn Salad

This makes a big salad, enough for 8 or so.

1 head red leaf lettuce
1 head Bibb (or Butter) lettuce
1 cup watercress leaves
2 Red Delicious apples
1 cup toasted walnut halves
1 cup crumbled Bleu Cheese

dressing
1/2 cup walnut or vegetable oil
1/4 cup cider vinegar
2 tbsp. shallots, minced (you can sub spring onions)
2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp. maple syrup
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Wash lettuce an tear into bite-sized pieces and place in a large bowl. Add watercress leaves.
Core apples and cut into very thin wedges and place on top of greens, sprinkle with pecans and bleu cheese.
Place dressing ingredients in a bowl with a tight fitting lid; shake well and drizzle over salad.
Toss gently and serve.

Glazed Pecans can be used instead of toasted walnuts-

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Brie bake

A big shout-out to Michelle  for this one!

1 sheet (1/2 of a package) of puff pastry, thaw according to package instructions
1 8 oz round of Brie cheese
1 egg
1 tbsp. water

Heat the oven to 400 degrees.
Unfold the pastry sheet on a lightly floured surface.
Place the cheese in the middle of the pastry, fold over edges to cover, press together, trim excess.

Beat the egg and water in a small bowl, brush the pastry with the mixture.
Place seam-side down on a baking sheet.

Bake for 25 minutes until the pastry is golden brown. Let stand for 20 minutes before serving.

Beer Bread

This is a loaf of delicious bread that’s ready within an hour.

3 cups of all-purpose flour, sifted
3 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp salt
3 tbsp. granulated sugar
1 12-oz can of beer (dark or stout tastes better than light, lager or ipa)
2 tbsp. melted butter

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Mix the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, salt, baking powder) thoroughly
Stir in beer, mixing well
Grease or spray a 9 x 5 x 3 loaf pan with butter or oil
Pour mixture in pan
Pour melted butter over mixture

Bake 35 minutes, remove from pan and cool for at least 15 minutes

 

Pumpkin Chili

This recipe is from Thug Kitchen, here is the link. I included it because the comments in the recipe are hilarious.

1 yellow onion
1 carrot
1 bell pepper
1 teaspoon olive oil
2 to 3 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeño, minced
2 teaspoons soy sauce or tamari
2 1/2 tablespoons mild chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes
1 can (14 oz) pumpkin (NOT pie filling)
2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1 tablespoon lime juice

Chop up the onion, carrot, and bell pepper into smallish pieces.

Cook the onion, carrot, and bell pepper in a big pot and sauté them until they begin to brown, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, jalapeño, soy sauce, and spices and cook that all together for another 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes, pumpkin, broth, and beans and stir that up so everything is mixed.

Turn down the heat, cover, and let that simmer together for about 15 minutes. Stir it around every now and then. Stir in the lime juice and serve.

If you use vegetable broth, this is vegan. I added leftover thanksgiving turkey, and also threw in some kielbasa sausage later on (I made a huge pot, we had three meals and froze half of it.)  This is amazingly delicious, try it!

 

 

The Most Excellent Stuffed Peppers

1 chopped brown onion
4 good-sized bell peppers*
1 lb hamburger (beef or turkey, but you need spicier salsa with turkey)
1 jar salsa** (I like hot salsa)
1 cup cooked or instant brown or white rice
About 4 oz cheddar cheese, in 16 small slices. Or more if you want.

Put a big pot of water on to boil.

In a large frying pan, brown onion in olive oil, add hamburger, cook til done. Add tomatoes/salsa/rice, maybe a little water if the rice absorbs all the liquids…it should be a tiny bit wet rather than dry.

While this is cooking, cut the tops out of the peppers, slice each one in half, take out the seeds and veins. When the water boils, put the peppers in CAREFULLY and cook for two or three minutes, take out with tongs, put in a bowl or on a towel until you need them.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Put the peppers, cut side up, in a 9×13 baking pan in one layer. It’s okay to squeeze them in a bit. Put one slice of cheese in the bottom of each. Spoon hamburger/salsa/rice mixture into them, heaping up if needed. Put the other 8 slices of cheese on top.

Cook at 350 for fifteen or twenty minutes til the cheese is melted.

One half is a decent size meal, two is a big meal. They reheat just fine in the microwave.

*Get peppers that are big enough that each half will hold a decent amount of filling; I like getting half red and half green, but whatever.

**This is most of the flavor of your meal, so go crazy! Try hot salsa, pineapple/mango salsa with turkey and Monterey jack cheese, or whatever your taste buds tell you. I just used Trader Joe’s Cowboy Caviar and it was GREAT in this.

Addendum: last night I made this, but cut the peppers in pieces about 3/4 inch square. I put half of them in the bottom of the baking dish, then a layer of meat/salsa, then a layer of brown rice, then shredded cheese, then more peppers, meat/salsa and cheese, and baked it for twenty minutes at 350. It was AMAZINGLY GOOD.

Marian’s Cranberry Jell-O

My friend Marian used to make this for Thanksgiving. I still make it and think of her every time.

I love Jell-O (technically it needs the hyphen) because my mom never made it, so it’s a treat for me. This one is not hard to make, and the bitterness of the cranberries adds a whole new dimension to the Jell-O.

  • 1 6 oz package of dark red Jell-O (cherry, black cherry, whatever)
  • 1 12 oz bag of fresh cranberries
  • About 1/2 cup walnut halves or pieces
  • 1 apple
  • 1 orange

This takes a bit of prep. Dump the cranberries in a colander and rinse them. PIck out the bad ones and get rid of them. Put half of them in a 2 qt or larger saucepan. Cut the rest of the cranberries in half and add them to the saucepan too. Add the amount of water that the Jell-O package says to boil- usually 2 cups- and turn the burner on.

(The package also says to add cold water- put that water in the refrigerator while you cook the cranberries. )

Keep an eye on the cranberries, stirring once in a while. Let them boil til they start seriously popping. Take the pan off the stove and stir the Jell-O mix in per instructions, for THE FULL TWO MINUTES. Then add the cold water and stir.

Put it in a pretty serving bowl at this point, but make sure to leave a couple of inches of room.

Chill for an hour to an hour and a half. Just before then, core and chop the apple into 1/2 inch pieces, and peel, seed and chop the orange into 1/2 inch pieces.

Take out the Jell-O, mix in the fruit and walnuts, put back in the fridge for several hours til it gels hard.

Remember, Jell-O is NOT vegetarian. You can make this with the vegetarian carrageenan version, but it doesn’t gel hard, it stays kind of soft. Still tasty, just not the same.