Oh my, do I love fall! And this week was the perfect fall week with cold, crisp mornings and warm afternoons full of color. You really can’t beat it – unless of course you add a tailgate party and a football game. This Saturday is supposed to be more of the same here in the Pacific Northwest and we are so excited to play ladder ball, drink some hard cider (or honey whiskey and lemonade – my husband’s new favorite) and enjoy fall in all its glory. I’ve come up with a few recipes for my favorite season and am excited to share them with you. They are festive and fun and sure to please. Enjoy!
FALL SNACK MIX
3-4 cups air popped popcorn (if you want some extra flavor on your popcorn, spray it with cooking spray and sprinkle it with powdered butter salt )
1 cup candy corn
1 cup dark cocoa covered almonds (I used the Sea Salt and Turbinado Sugar Dark Chocolate Almonds from Trader Joe’s)
2 cups small pretzel twists
Mix it all together and hide it from the kids!
½ large butternut squash
1 lb ground turkey (93/7 gives the most flavor)
1 green pepper, finely diced
1 yellow pepper, finely diced
1 small sweet onion, finely diced
2 cans tomato sauce
2 cans fire roasted tomatoes with green chilis
2 cans mixed beans, drained and rinsed (or 1 can each black, pinto and kidney beans)
1 cup water or broth
1 1/2 tsp cumin
1tsp + 1 tbsp chili powder
2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp cinnamon
Salt & Pepper to taste
2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro (+more for garnish)
Sour cream, avocado slices and tortilla chips.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Discard the seeds and peel the butternut squash, then dice it into 1/2” cubes. Spray a large cookie sheet with cooking spray and spread the squash out evenly. Drizzle with olive oil and season with kosher salt, pepper, 1/2 tsp nutmeg, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp cumin, 1 tsp chili powder and 1 tsp garlic powder. Roast the squash for about 20-30 minutes, or until fork tender, stirring halfway through.
While the squash is roasting, brown the turkey in a large pan over medium high heat. When the turkey is about ½ done, add peppers and onions and sauté until the turkey is cooked through. Add tomatoes and simmer for about five minutes. Pour meat mixture into a large soup pot. Add tomato sauce, beans and water. Add remaining spices and season with salt and pepper. Simmer chili over medium-low heat for about 20 minutes. When the squash is done, add both the squash and the cilantro to the chili. Serve with slice avocado, sour cream and tortilla chips or corn bread.
(This recipe is modified from a Philadelphia cream cheese recipe)
1 jar marshmallow crème
8oz Neufchatel cheese
4 oz semi-sweet baking chocolate
½ tub frozen cool whip
Mix marshmallow crème and Neufchatel cheese with a mixer until smooth. Spread the mixture into a small dish and refrigerate. While the cream cheese mixture is chilling, melt the chocolate and cool whip together in the microwave until smooth (30 second increments on high, stirring in between until melted). Spread the chocolate evenly over the cream cheese mixture and sprinkle with graham cracker crumbs. Chill for another 10 minutes before serving. Serve with graham crackers.