This season I finally had a chance to scratch one off of my Bucket List. I’ve always wanted to visit New England in the fall. I had always heard that the changing of the leaves is spectacular, and I wanted to be there during the peak week. (Me and everyone else on the planet, I discovered!) While our Sonoran Desert holds its own beauty, brilliant red, yellow and orange leaves are pretty scarce. My trip to Woodstock, Vermont was worth the trip, and while there, I wanted to immerse myself in the New England food scene. That brings me to maple syrup. I couldn’t get enough of it, whether it was on my breakfast pancakes, a delicious ham slathered in a Vermont maple glaze or those iconic maple leaf-shaped candies. I came home with plenty of bottles of syrup which came in handy for this scrumptious holiday Maple Pecan Pie. This time of the year, while pumpkin pie is the go-to, pecan pie is right up there in popularity, and this version is definitely holiday worthy! It starts with a light and flakey crust, the perfect bed for a sweet, nutty and maple syrupy filling. So just in case searching for perfect holiday pies is on your bucket list, this one will not disappoint!
There’s always room for another dessert with pumpkin spice around this time of the year, right? If you love pumpkin pie or tiramisu, this is a fun and delicious recipe to try! My favorite part of the process was making the lady fingers. (They’re also a tasty snack and great for dunking in your pumpkin-spiced latte!) If you’re looking to change up your tradition Thanksgiving feast or just want to celebrate the season, Pumpkin Tiramisu will be a fun way to spend time filling your kitchen with delicious aromas and flavors of fall!
Looking back, I feel so guilty. It was the late 60’s. I was in my teens–the years my Mom referred to as “my little hippy daughter’s crazy time.” For some reason I became obsessed with making homemade bread and culturing my own yogurt for the family. I made a loaf of fresh bread every single day and drove my family absolutely nuts in the process. I was convinced that if someone shut a door too forcefully or raised their voice too loudly while the bread was still in the oven, it could cause the bread to fall. That poor family. For one hour every single day, they had to tip-toe around and whisper until my loaf came out safe and sound. For some reason, they put up with it, and I don’t think the bread was even that good. That was just bread. Can you imagine what a mess I would have been had I obsessed over soufflé instead? Ah, soufflé. Whether savory or sweet, it’s one of those things that people tend to fret over. Will it puff up? Will it fall? Where did I go wrong? So when I came across a very old soufflé recipe in a school fundraising cookbook, I almost passed on it. But that would have been a huge mistake. This recipe for Broccoli Soufflé is about as delicious and fool-proof as it gets, and is now one of my very favorite veggie dishes. Interestingly, the recipe calls for heating the milk and adding chicken bouillon to it, which I had never heard of before. It added so much flavor to the dish that I wish I would have known about that technique years ago! Somebody knew what they were doing with this Broccoli Soufflé and I’ll bet they didn’t even drive their family crazy in the process.
Picnics, parties, salads and sides. If you’re looking for a new dish that fits in all of those categories, this Chilled Southwestern Veggie Medley is the answer! This tasty, colorful plate of veggies is loaded with Southwest flavors and lots of crunch. It’s perfect for a make-ahead dish, it transports beautifully and couldn’t be easier to make. What makes the flavor? Fresh ears of corn that are grilled in a skillet or on the BBQ, then sliced into niblets of charred goodness. Charring the red peppers before dicing them also adds a great taste. Also, I’ve always cooked with shallots, but these days I’m realizing how much they bring to a dish. (They may be one of the most misunderstood vegetables out there—do they replace onions? Garlic? Can they be used with onions and garlic?) While some folks replace onions with shallots, a shallot has its own flavor profile, and can add so much to a dish! (Try slicing them very thin and frying them to a deep golden brown, then sprinkle them over a salad or potato dish. Wow!! Over the top goodness!) The flavors of the Southwest permeate this salad with the addition of black beans, jicama, avocados and cilantro. The dressing is lively, with the perfect combination of lime juice and zest, Dijon Mustard and a little sweetness to cut the tang. Over all, it’s a great main meal salad for the vegetarian, a tasty side for your grilled burger lover or just spooned into little tortilla cups for a terrific appetizer! Tortilla cups are simple. Just cut 2-3 inch circles out of flour tortillas, tuck them into a greased cupcake tin and bake for about 15 minutes. Done! I love recipes that give you all the flavor and nutrition you need and are pretty darn effortless to create! Here’s to another hat tip to our wonderful flavors of the Southwest!
Looking for a “go-to” dessert recipe? You can’t go wrong with this delicious combination of apple pastry, candied walnuts, a drizzle of homemade balsamic reduction served with vanilla ice cream. It’s a scrumptious culinary puzzle that fits perfectly together! Make it once, and you’ll go to it time and time again, guaranteed!