Monday, October 1, 2012

Autumn Colors, Peppers & Cooking with Pumpkin

Autumn Colors

The first sign of fall in our yard is always the beautiful color of my favorite sugar maple:

The burning bushes are also turning red:

And there are acorns... EVERYWHERE!

Colorful Mini Peppers

 Our favorite thing in the fridge this week is these tiny colorful (and tasty) peppers we found at the grocery store:

Green bell peppers are always around, but I love these little red, yellow and orange ones. So far, we've eaten them sliced in rings and dipped in ranch dressing, diced in salads, chopped up in egg salad, and stir-fried along with a bag of frozen veggie mix. So delicious! Read a little more about peppers here at The City Cook.

Cooking With Pumpkin

We stocked up on canned of pumpkin, too, as we always do this time of year. One of my favorite recipes for fall is Pumpkin Stuffed Shells, which I'll share later this month.

While browsing the Williams-Sonoma store in Colonial Williamsburg last weekend, my husband picked up a little $12 bag of pumpkin spice bread mix and asked, "why don't you get us this? We love pumpkin bread." Well, I love it, too, but I'm not paying that much for it! I think you even had to add some ingredients. So I promised to make some from one of my tried-and-true recipes as soon as I had a chance to buy some pumpkin. Now I have the pumpkin, so I have to make good on my promise. Stay tuned for an upcoming recipe.

Also, a jar of Pumpkin Parmesan Pasta Sauce caught my eye. I was the only one who thought it sounded good, but I thought $16.95 for a pint of sauce was a little steep. So I'm standing there reading the label, trying to figure out how to make some myself. Steve, in typical Steve-fashion, expressed his opinion that I would never be able to duplicate it, so I might as well just buy it. In typical me-fashion, I took that as "permission" to spend $16.95 on a jar of pasta sauce, and rationalized that once I tasted it, and had the ingredient list on the back of the jar, I could make a reasonable facsimile and eat it all the time for just a fraction of that cost. So now I'm kind of committed to coming up with a recipe for my own Pumpkin Parmesan Pasta Sauce. That is, if it actually tastes good... but how could it not... pumpkin... parmesan... pasta... sauce. Everything yummy all rolled into one jar! Plus, there's a lot of alliteration in it, which always makes my tongue tickle! You'll be among the first to know how it turns out. Wish me luck!

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