It is only week one into September, but fall is approaching quickly. The days are shorter, nights longer, cooler temperatures, colorful leaves and football. Whether you like to spend your fall days at a pumpkins patch or watching football, here are some recipes to keep you warm and remind you of the many reason why we love fall!
Baked Mac and Cheese
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
¾ cup panko breadcrumbs
¼ cup parmesan, finely grated
2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups cavatappi pasta
2 ½ cups whole milk
½ small onion, chopped finely
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup Fontina cheese, grated
1 cup Gruyere cheese, grated
1 cup sharp white cheddar, grated
½ teaspoon mustard powder
pinch of cayenne pepper
- Preheat oven to 350°. Melt 2 Tbsp. butter in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add panko breadcrumbs and cook, stirring, until crumbs are golden brown, 6–8 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl and toss with Parmesan, thyme leaves, and ¼ tsp. salt.
- Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, until al dente (the noodles will continue to cook in the cheese sauce, so take them out a minute or two before you think they’re actually done). Drain pasta; let cool.
- Bring milk to a simmer in a small saucepan; keep warm. Melt remaining 2 Tbsp. butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high. Add onion and garlic and cook, stirring, until onions are fragrant and beginning to soften, about 2 minutes. Sprinkle flour over and cook, stirring constantly, until mixture starts to stick to bottom of saucepan, about 1 minute. Add warm milk in a few additions, whisking to combine after each addition.
- Bring sauce to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, stirring, until sauce is thickened, 6–8 minutes. Add Fontina, Gruyère, cheddar, mustard powder, cayenne, and ¾ tsp. salt and stir until cheeses are melted and sauce is smooth. Remove from heat and mix in pasta; transfer to a 2-qt. baking dish.
- Bake 10 minutes. Top with Parmesan breadcrumbs and bake until sauce is bubbling around the edges, 8–10 minutes longer. Let cool in pan 15 minutes before serving.
Pumpkin Whoopie Pies
1 cup shortening
2 cups packed brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 ½ cups canned pumpkin
¼ cup all-purpose flour
Pinch of salt
¾ cup whole milk
1 cup shortening
2 cups powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 400°. Cream shortening and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. In another bowl, whisk the next six ingredients; beat into creamed mixture alternately with pumpkin.
- Drop rounded tablespoonfuls 2 in. apart onto greased baking sheets; flatten slightly with the back of a spoon. Bake 10-11 minutes. Remove to wire racks to cool.
- For filling, combine flour and salt in a small saucepan. Gradually whisk in milk until smooth; bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium; cook and stir until thickened, about 2 minutes. Refrigerate, covered, until completely cooled.
- In another bowl, beat shortening, confectioners’ sugar and vanilla until smooth. Add chilled milk mixture; beat until light and fluffy, about 7 minutes. Spread on the bottoms of half of the cookies; cover with remaining cookies. Store in the refrigerator.
½ pound sliced fresh mushrooms
1 small onion, chopped
½ teaspoon salt, divided
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 can (15 ounces) solid-pack pumpkin
½ cup half-and-half cream
1 teaspoon dried sage leaves
Pinch of pepper
9 no-cook lasagna noodles
1 cup reduced-fat ricotta cheese
1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
¾ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
- In a small skillet, saute the mushrooms, onion and 1/4 teaspoon salt in oil until tender; set aside. In a small bowl, combine the pumpkin, cream, sage, pepper and remaining salt.
- Spread 1/2 cup pumpkin sauce in an 11×7-in. baking dish coated with cooking spray. Top with three noodles. Spread 1/2 cup pumpkin sauce to edges of noodles. Top with half of mushroom mixture, 1/2 cup ricotta, 1/2 cup mozzarella and 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Repeat layers. Top with remaining noodles and sauce.
- Cover and bake at 375° for 45 minutes. Uncover; sprinkle with remaining Parmesan cheese. Bake 10-15 minutes longer or until cheese is melted. Let stand for 10 minutes before cutting.
Slow Cooker Chai Tea
15 slices fresh gingerroot (about 3 ounces)
3 cinnamon sticks (3 inches)
25 whole cloves
15 cardamom pods, lightly crushed
3 whole peppercorns
3 ½ quarts water
8 black tea bags
1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
- Place first five ingredients on a double thickness of cheesecloth. Gather corners of cloth to enclose seasonings; tie securely with string. Place spice bag and water in a 5- or 6-qt. slow cooker. Cook, covered, on low 8 hours. Discard spice bag.
- Add tea bags; steep, covered, 3-5 minutes according to taste. Discard tea bags. Stir in milk; heat through. Serve warm.
Creamy Braised Chicken
½ pound pearl onions
1 cup thinly sliced onion
½ cup thinly sliced carrot
½ cup thinly sliced celery
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons butter, divided
6 boneless skinless chicken breast halves
1 cup chardonnay or other dry white wine
1/3 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 bay leaf
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
½ cup fat-free evaporated milk
½ pound fresh mushrooms, quartered
- In a large kettle, bring 6 cups water to a boil. Add pearl onions; boil for 3 minutes. Drain and rinse in cold water; peel and set aside. In the same pan, saute sliced onion, carrot and celery in 1 tablespoon butter until tender. Remove vegetables; set aside.
- Add chicken to pan; brown on both sides. Remove and keep warm. Add wine; simmer until reduced to 1/2 cup. Stir in broth and seasonings. Return chicken to pan; cover and simmer for 5 minutes or until juices run clear. Remove chicken to a serving platter; keep warm.
- Combine flour and milk until smooth; gradually stir into pan. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Return vegetables to pan. Remove from the heat; cover and set aside.
- In a nonstick skillet, saute pearl onions in remaining butter until tender. Remove and set aside. In the same pan, saute mushrooms until tender. Add the onions and mushrooms to serving platter. Discard bay leaf from sauce; spoon over chicken and vegetables