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    New Recipes for Autumn

    October 23, 2006 by Brandy Vencel

    With my broken toe close to normal in size and greatly lessened in pain, and my energy level at a five-week high, I did some major kitchen duty on Saturday. And it was a great success! I thought I would share these recipes for anyone who is interested in something new to celebrate autumn.

    On Friday, E. and I visited a local organic family farm. It’s a tradition I will write about soon. We came home with ripe pumpkins and fuji apples {it’s apple season right now–don’t forget!}. Here is my recipe for applesauce. I got the idea for it by reading several applesauce recipes and then combining the flavors to what I thought best fit our family’s tastes.


    Fuji Applesauce
    7 fuji apples, cored and sliced {you can peel them if you like, but we like to retain the nutrition and use a blender to break them up}
    3/4 cup water
    1/4+ cup sugar
    1/2 tsp. cinnamon
    1/4 tsp. nutmeg

    Place apples and water in a soup kettle, cover, and bring to a boil. Simmer, stirring off and on, for 20 minutes or until apples seem sufficiently softened {fujis may take longer than certain types of baking apples}. Pour in sugar and stir until it disolves. Stir in cinnamon and nutmeg. Spoon mixture into a blender, and puree until the texture is to your liking. Refrigerate until cold, or serve warm.

    This next recipe is courtesy of Trader Joe’s, which is my favorite place to procure healthful foods for our family. TJ’s organic goods are some of the least expensive I’ve seen in our area. I was looking for a new soup to add to our fall menu rotation, and this one from TJ’s is very good, and it easily served 5 adults and three small children last night, with enough leftover for everyone to have a second meal today!


    Italian Sausage & Spinach Soup
    1 package TJ’s Sweet Italian Sausage {package is approximately 1 lb.–TJ’s brand is nitrate and nitrite free}
    3 large containers TJ’s Organic Chicken Broth {maybe 96 oz. total}
    medium onion, chopped
    1 large can chopped tomatoes
    1+ cup rice
    6 oz. baby spinach

    Remove sausage from casing and saute with onion over medium-high heat until cooked through, breaking the sausage apart as it cooks. Add chicken broth and heat until just boiling. Add tomatoes and rice; reduce heat, cover, and simmer until rice is cooked, about 20 minutes for white rice. Add spinach and cook until the spinach takes on a vibrant color. Serve while hot! This tastes great alongside TJ’s Three Chesse Sourdough Loaf. Mmmmmmmmmmmm.

    Lastly, what is a recipe collection without a dessert section? This is a pie recipe I found at Starbucks when Si and I were first married. I find that it is best with real Starbucks brand ice cream, which means I only make it once a year as an expensive special treat. But it is sure yummy!


    Java Chip Pie
    1 1/2 cups crushed chocolate wafers
    1/2 cup ground hazlenuts
    1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
    4 pints Starbucks brand Java Chip ice cream, softened
    2 cups whipped cream
    chocolate curls for garnish

    Preheat oven to 350. In a bowl, combine crushed wafers, ground hazelnuts and melted butter. {I find it easiest to grind the hazelnuts and wafers in a coffee grinder. It is fast and easy to clean up.} Mix well and press into the bottow of a 9-inch pie plate so that the bottom and sides are covered. Bake for 5 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely. Fill crust with the softened ice cream. Top with big dollops of whipped cream. Freeze for at least three hours until firm. Top with chocolate curls {I use a potato peeler and a Hershey bar to create the curls.}


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  • Reply Brandy October 24, 2006 at 5:32 am

    The soup IS good, just don’t be tempted by the low-salt chicken broth. I was. And I then had to add salt because the soup was too bland. Better to use the real thing! 🙂

    That recipe makes me want to go buy more apples tonight!

  • Reply MountainPowerLineman October 24, 2006 at 3:11 am

    Baked Apples

    Take your Grannie Smiths and core them. Just don’t go all the way through. You want to keep a well inside the apple. Stuff your apples with butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Bake at 375 for 45 minutes. Top your apples with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream, for a real bit of indulgence.

  • Reply Grace October 23, 2006 at 9:47 pm

    I love fall! There just seems like there’s more yummy food to eat!

    Cauliflower soup…I love that soup. I was just thinking about it the other day. I think it’s time to make that again.

    Bran: The spinach and sausage soup sounds delicious! I will have to make it soon!

    Thanks for sharing the yummy recipe! So, when can I come over to eat them? 🙂

    Love ya!

  • Reply Brandy October 23, 2006 at 7:55 pm

    I usually save that soup for winter (the recipe is buried somewhere at the moment), so I will have to do a winter recipe post in the coming months. I will make sure and share it, don’t worry!

    Yes, we always try and share the pie, and I think you and Nick benefitted from that a couple years ago. This year it was a friend from college and a couple that lives around the block…Wish you still lived here!

  • Reply rebecca October 23, 2006 at 7:48 pm

    I think I have had your pie before. Yum!

  • Reply kristie October 23, 2006 at 7:09 pm

    Those look yummy. Do you still make your cauliflower soup? I’d be interested in that recipe if you still do. It was quite unique. =)

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