Happy Fall Y’all!

The change of season brings a bounty of delicious flavors and comfort foods.

Each year, I look forward to all the comfort foods that fall brings, as if it is a license to indulge in more calories now that sweater weather is upon us. We tend to enjoy the outdoors more and look forward to the first bonfire of the season and the weekends spent watching football. I have a few ideas that are perfect for autumn entertaining, whether you are throwing a backyard gathering or have a kitchen and family room full of sport fans. These recipes will be just the ticket to make your day memorable.

Chicken Pot Pie became an American staple in the 1950’s and is still as popular today. You can use a premade crust to save time, and don’t be afraid to multiply this recipe and make several at one time. You can always freeze the others for later. Another time saving step is to shred a few rotisserie chickens. The choice is yours and either way you are still preparing one of America’s favorite comfort foods.

When you think of fall, what comes to mind? For me, and I bet for many people, it’s pumpkins and all the delicious ways to enjoy this seasonal favorite … pumpkin pie, pumpkin bread, muffins, munchkins and even coffee. 

What better to serve with the pot pie than homemade Pumpkin Muffins topped with a dab of melted butter? Make sure you double up the recipe so you will have some for breakfast the next morning. 

I love to think outside the box and another fall indulgence is baking Sweet Potato Cookies. I know you’re probably thinking, ‘Really?’ But, let me tell you, while these are not your ordinary cookies, they are super easy to prepare and offer the perfect combo of salty/sweet and soft/chewy. 

I hope you enjoy a season filled with all things fall, spent with family and friends. OS

Chicken Pot Pie

1 14.1 ounces Pillsbury pie crust (2 count)
1/3 cup butter
1/2 cup chopped onion
4 celery stalks, halved and sliced
1 bag frozen peas
2 large carrots, diced
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 3/4 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup milk
2 1/2 cups cooked chicken, shredded

Heat oven to 425 › Prepare pie crusts as directed for two-crust pie in a 9-inch glass pan. › In a 2-quart saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add onion, celery and carrots and cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently until tender. › Stir in flour, salt, pepper, Italian seasoning and garlic until well blended. › Gradually stir in broth and milk, cooking and stirring until thick and bubbly.Add chicken and vegetables. Remove from heat. › Spoon chicken mixture into crust-lined pan. › Top with second crust; seal edge and flute. › Cut slits in several places along the top of crust. › Bake 30 to 40 minutes, until golden brown. › During the last 15 to 20 minutes, cover crust edge with strips of foil to prevent excessive browning. › Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.

Sweet Potato Cookies 

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup sweet potato purée
1 large egg
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups toasted pecans, chopped 

Maple Glaze 
1 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 tablespoon milk
Pinch kosher salt
3/4 cup toasted pecans, finely chopped

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. › Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper. › In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, and nutmeg. › In a large bowl using a hand mixer, cream together butter and sugars until light and fluffy. › Beat in sweet potato, egg, and vanilla, then add dry ingredients and mix until just combined. › Stir in chopped pecans. › Scoop 1-inch balls onto prepared baking sheets and place 2 inches apart. › Bake until golden and set for about 10 minutes. › Cool on baking sheets for 5 minutes then place cookies on a cooling rack and let cool completely. 

In a medium bowl, stir together powdered sugar, syrup, milk, and pinch of salt. › Drizzle glaze over cookies and sprinkle with chopped pecans.

Pumpkin Muffins with Crumb Topping

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup olive oil
1 1/4 cups canned pumpkin puree
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup apple juice or milk

Cinnamon icing:
1/2 cup powdered sugar
Dash of ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons milk

Crumb topping:
1/3 cup brown sugar, packed
3 tablespoon granulated sugar
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch of salt
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Crumb topping:
In a medium bowl, combine sugars, cinnamon, salt, and flour. Add the melted butter and stir until combined (I use a fork). Set aside. 

Preheat oven to 350. › Grease a 12-cup muffin tin or line with paper liners. › In a large bowl, combine flour, spices, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. › In a separate bowl, whisk eggs, sugar, oil, pumpkin puree, vanilla, and milk or juice until combined. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients and stir with a rubber spatula until just combined, being careful not to over-mix. › Divide the batter between 12 muffin cups. › Crumble topping over the top of each muffin. › Bake for about 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the muffins comes out clean. › Place the pan on a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes, then remove the muffins from the pan and place on the rack to cool completely. 

Whisk all ingredients until smooth, increasing the milk one teaspoon at a time until you reach your desired consistency. Adjust the consistency as necessary by adding more powdered sugar (to thicken) or more milk (to thin). › Use a small spoon to drizzle icing over the tops of the cooled muffins.

Posted in Living, Table

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