Friday, September 21, 2012

Tastes of Fall

One of my favorite things about fall is food, especially soups and honeycrisp apples. And it's starting to feel {and smell!} much like fall around here!

My daughter had a Johnny Appleseed celebration today during snack time with two tables full of apple desserts and dishes and drinks. She wanted me to make an apple slush. Although I think she was thinking about a green apple slush from Sonic {hello, happy hour ...}, I found a recipe that made a drink she liked. So that's what we contributed to the Johnny Appleseed party.

Apple Slush


16 oz. unsweetened applesauce 
{I used Mott's Granny Smith applesauce.}
8 oz. vanilla lowfat yogurt 
6 oz. frozen apple juice 
1-2 tbsp. sugar (optional) {I used Splenda.}
10 ice cubes or more

Put first 4 ingredients into blender. Blend on high speed. Drop one ice cube at a time into blender, blending until the mixture becomes a slush. {I dropped an entire tray of ice cubes at once and used three trays.}

And, well, what's fall without some soups. Here are two of our favorites!

Saucy Vegetable Beef Soup

From "Don't Panic - More Dinner's in the Freezer"
Makes 6-8 servings

1 1/2 lbs ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped
1 cup celery, diced
2 14-oz. cans beef broth, divided
2 T steak sauce
2 t Worcestershire sauce
1 t salt
1/2 t pepper
1/4 cup flour
1 10-oz. bag frozen mixed vegetables
1-28 ox. can diced tomatoes, undrained

In large pot, brown beef with onion and celery until vegetables are tender and meat is browned. Drain. Add 1 can of beef broth, steak sauce, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.

In a separate bowl, mix flour with remaining can of beef broth. Once flour and broth are mixed well, add to soup and continue stirring until soup is bubbly. Cook for an additional minute. Stir in mixed vegetables and diced tomatoes.

If freezing, cool completely and store in freezer bags. On serving day, thaw completely. Bring to boil in pot and then simmer until vegetables are tender and soup is heated through, about 20 minutes. 

Easy and Tasty Chicken Tortilla Soup

Makes 5 servings

4 cups water
3 cubes chicken bouillon
1 onion, chopped
1 banana pepper, seeded and diced
1 (15.5 ounce) can hominy, drained
1 (15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (15 ounce) can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
1 (14 ounce) can diced tomatoes with green chilies, undrained
1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
2 (10.75 ounce) cans cream of chicken soup
2 (12.5 fl oz) cans white chicken, drained
4 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
3 tablespoons lime juice
5 dashes hot pepper sauce
3 tablespoons dried cilantro
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
salt and pepper to taste 

Bring the water to a boil in a large pot; stir the bouillon cubes into the water until dissolved. Add the onion, banana pepper, hominy, black beans, garbanzo beans, diced tomatoes with chiles, diced tomatoes, chicken soup, chicken, garlic powder, lime juice, hot pepper sauce, cilantro, chili powder, cumin, salt, and pepper; stir. Reduce heat to medium and cook the soup until the onions are soft and opaque, about 20 minutes. 

{I make it in the crock pot, mixing all the ingredients and then cooking it on low for most of the day.}

Inspired by Jill Savage's Third Thursday Blog Hop, which, yes, I'm posting on a Friday. Want more? Subscribe to get "Insights" in your inbox. Or follow me on Twitter.

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