Hooray for Autumn!

I have always looked forward to the fall...all of the seasons, really. This autumn, in particular, is what I have really been waiting for. Why?....Rob, Rob, Rob! Hooray! So bring on the falling leaves, the pumpkin patch and the apple cider. M and I are ready! To commemorate the turning of leaves and autumnal bliss, I've been working a little more in the kitchen than on the ol' sewing machine. However, that's about to change, I've got four Halloween costumes to create and I seem to be piling on more and more projects.

Here are a couple of tasty autumn recipes - one oldie and one brand new discovery (as of yesterday)

Creamy Tomato Basil Soup

This soup was inspired by a tasty tomato basil soup lunch special from my favorite hometown restaurant (the Alpine Inn) in Hill City, SD. I needed to use some of the basil from my "shrub" before it starts to freeze.

3 Tbsp butter
2-3 celery ribs, diced
1 medium onion, chopped
3-4 cloves garlic
2 28oz. cans diced tomatoes
1/3 cup decent quality dry red wine
2 cups vegetable or chicken stock
2 bay leaves
1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
2 cups loosely packed fresh basil leaves, chopped or snipped (dried basil is NOT a good substitute)

In large stock/soup pot, melt butter over medium high heat. Add celery and onion and saute until onion is tender (~2 min). Add garlic and saute for 1 minute longer. Add tomatoes (including all of the juice), wine, stock and bay leaves. Continue to cook over medium high heat for 5 more minutes, then reduce heat to medium low. Cover and stir occasionally for 30 minutes. Stir in cream, then turn heat back up to medium when cream is fully incorporated. After 10 minutes, stir in basil. Cook for five minutes longer, then it's ready to serve! Garnish individual servings with small fresh basil leaves.

Pumpkin Dip

Discovered this yesterday in Cooking Light: Annual Recipes 2004 (a fairly recent $7 find at Hastings).

3/4 cup (6 ounces) 1/3-less-fat cream cheese
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
2 teaspoons maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
24 apple slices
I added a sprinkling of ground cloves, ginger and nutmeg

Place first 3 ingredients in a medium bowl, and beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended. Add syrup and cinnamon, and beat until smooth. Cover and chill 30 minutes. Serve with apple.

Yield: 12 servings (serving size: 2 tablespoons dip and 2 apple slices)

CALORIES 107 (27% from fat); FAT 3.2g (sat 2g,mono 0.9g,poly 0.1g); IRON 1mg; CHOLESTEROL 10mg; CALCIUM 35mg; CARBOHYDRATE 18.3g; SODIUM 87mg; PROTEIN 2g; FIBER 1.4g
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1 comment:

  1. Hiya love-
    It's so close I can taste it! The many projects are good and all, but if you start wearing yourself out again, you'll be in trouble! (And you know what your punishment will be!) Pace yourself, or else...