Autumn is my favorite time of year. To me, the crisp days and blazing foliage don't signify a "winding down," but rather a new beginning of good things to come.
It's this time of the year that I enjoy reading my cookbooks and cooking magazines, searching for good "comfort food."
Here's a wonderful soup I made on a chilly day.
Baked Potato Soup
4 large potatoes
2/3 cup butter
2/3 cup flour
1 1/2 quarts milk
Salt and pepper
4 green onions
1 cup sour cream
2 cups crisp-cooked bacon, crumbled
5 ounces grated cheddar cheese
Heat oven to 350 degrees and bake the potatoes until for tender. Melt butter in a medium saucepan. Slowly blend in flour with a wire whisk until thoroughly blended. Gradually add milk to the butter-flour mixture, whisking constantly. Whisk in salt and pepper and simmer over low heat, stirring constantly. Cut potatoes in half, scoop out the meat and set aside. Chop half the potato peels and discard the remainder. When milk mixture is very hot, whisk in potato. Add green onion and potato peels. Whisk well, add sour cream and crumbled bacon. Heat thoroughly. Add cheese a little at a time until it is all melted in. Serve with crusty French bread and fresh butter.
1 cup sugar
2/3 cup canned pumpkin
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup pecans, chopped fine
8 ounces cream cheese
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
Beat eggs until thick and lemon colored. Add sugar, pumpkin, and vanilla. Add flour, soda and cinnamon. Line pan with wax paper. Pour in pan and and sprinkle with nuts on top. Bake at 375 degrees for 10-15 minutes. For filling, combine cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar and vanilla. After roll has cooled, take roll out of pan and let fall on a cloth or towel. Sprinkle with powdered sugar. Add filling on top and roll. Leave in towel until set. The pecan side of roll should be the inside with the filling.
Cheesy Pita Salad Sandwiches
1 medium tomato, chopped coarsely
1/2 cup sliced cucumbers
1/2 cup alfalfa sprouts
1/4 cup chopped red bell pepper
1/4 cup chopped green pepper
1/4 cup celery
1/8 tablespoon coarsely ground pepper
1/4 cup low-calorie Italian salad dressing
1/2 cup shredded Swiss cheese
2 whole wheat pita bread rounds, cut in half cross-wise
Combine tomato, cucumbers, alfalfa, red and green peppers, celery, pepper and Italian salad dressing in a medium bowl. Toss well. Set aside. Divide cheese evenly into pocket bread halves, cover with paper towels and microwave at medium-high power for 30 seconds to 1 minute or until cheese melts. Open sandwiches and stuff with equal amounts of vegetable mixture. Serve immediately.
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