Autumn brings with it a whole new menu. Out are the grilled veggies and burgers and in come roasted root vegetables, soups and stews. In the summer, the thought of turning on the oven or even stove-top can be exhausting. The heat of summer means you don’t want to make your house any more uncomfortable. Everything changes though in September and October, suddenly cooking is appealing, baking cookies a joy.
Looking for something tasty to welcome autumn? Here is a recipe for one of my favorites, beans and greens. This dish can be used as a main meal or as a side to braised short-ribs, pork chops or a perfectly baked chicken.
Beans and Greens
1 medium onion, chopped
1 t. thyme
1 t. red pepper flakes
1 bunch greens (kale or chard) sliced thin
2 cloves garlic, finely diced
1 can white beans (small white beans or cannellini beans)
2 c. diced tomatoes
1/2 shredded Romano cheese
- In a large saute pan, heat about 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add onions and cook for about three to four minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
- Stir in kale stems and cook for another three minutes or until the onions begin to look translucent. Mix in the kale leaves and add the thyme and red pepper. Set on a medium-low heat and let cook for fifteen minutes or until the greens are soft.
- When kale is tender, stir in the drained can of beans. Once warmed through, mix in the diced tomatoes and let cook for an additional 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Remove from heat and sprinkle the Romano cheese on top. Serve.
I do not know how to express completely the pure happy that a sunshiney weekend brings. Bright and warm, full of fresh breezes. After the cold snap this past week, the long and exhausting work that made up my Monday thru Friday, the chance to sit out in the sunshine and recharge was beyond bliss.
This weekend has to go down as one of the best I’ve had in a while – but then again it could have had more to do with the company I kept than the weather we enjoyed. I spent Saturday and Sunday afternoons with a friend’s three sons – 3, 7 and 9 – three of my most favorite people in the world. We drove through fields, checked out cows, explored creeks and gravel pits on Saturday. We giggled and ate freshly baked “pumpkin” pie on Sunday. I don’t know if there is anything better than having those little boys sing out “you can’t leave yet” every time I made a move to do just that.
Below is the recipe for the “pumpkin” pie…There quote marks because I didn’t use pumpkin but sweet dumpling squash instead. I don’t know if there is a simpler thing to make. It took all of three minutes to combine everything…
Sweet dumpling squash look like decorative gourds but are too tasty to just use for decorations.
To cook the squash, take off the stems and split in two. Scoop out the seeds and set on a baking sheet. Bake at 375 degrees F for 45 minutes or until the squash is soft. Scoop out the meat of the squash and freeze in 1 1/2 c. servings.
Winter Squash Pie
1 1/2 c. cooked squash (sweet dumpling is best but if you use pumpkin or butternut, drain the squash before measuring and using in this recipe)
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 1/4 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. ginger
1/8 t. nutmeg
1 t. vanilla
1 9-inch pie crust
Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees F
1. Mix all the wet ingredients fully. Stir spices in completely.
2. Pour filling into pie crust.
3. Bake for 10 min at 425 degrees. Reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake for an additional 35 – 45 minutes or until a knife comes out clean when poked into pie.
Filed under Day to day, Food
It is a universal truth that ice cream soothes the soul. There must be a magic spell whipped in with the cream and sugar that produces pure joy.
Today I actually took a lunch (something that rarely happens). I ran around the corner to the local ice cream shack and had a few minutes of peace with a friend from work. We sat in the sunshine and enjoyed our cones like little kids. Ten minutes was all it took to transform me from a ball of nervous, panicked energy into a calm, smiling, joking human.
Do you take time for those moments? Do you stop your day and just enjoy a simple pleasure?
On my way home today I stopped to get my first ice cream of this warm weather season (at 80 degrees can you still call it spring?). The line at the Ice Cream Man was long and slow, I wasn’t the only one in Greenwich inspired to pick up a sweet and delicious treat. The twenty or so of us were on a time schedule. The temperature is supposed to drop by thirty degrees by tomorrow and rain will sweep in with it. I sat on my front steps, my face tilted toward the sun and enjoyed, simply, purely, enjoyed the moment.