Sweet Potato Spoon Bread with Caramel Pecan Sauce

Late August and early September is harvest time here in Illinois. Farmer's markets are overflowing with produce and it's a great time to cook. Today I'm sharing a fall favorite - Sweet Potato Spoon Bread with decadent caramel pecan sauce! Yes, please!!   This is the first time I've made a dessert using sweet potatoes. I've always wanted to try my hand at sweet potato pie but have yet to cross that one off my bucket list. Stay tuned … [Read more...]

Apple Upside Down Cake: All-American Classic

Farmers markets and grocery stores are starting to display a wider variety of apples for sale. Apples are so versatile and easy to cook with - they're truly a fruit staple for any kitchen. To celebrate this all-American fruit, I'm sharing a recipe for Apple Upside Down Cake. I used Jazzy apples for this recipe, but you can use any apple that's good for baking - such as Honeycrisp, Jonagold, Braeburn, Gala, Granny Smith, … [Read more...]

Mushroom Asparagus Fontina Quiche Recipe

Sometimes being a vegetarian can be a challenge. The smell of a roast in the oven still makes my mouth water ... but I don't eat it.  People ask me if I ever miss eating meat and while it doesn't happen often, every now and again I just want to sink my teeth into a big juicy burger. I haven't eaten meat for 3 years now and when I crave it, I reach for mushrooms. Yes, mushrooms. They have a rich flavor that satisfies my taste for meat. So I was … [Read more...]

How to Freeze Sweet Corn

Driving down the country roads in Illinois, you'll see plenty of roadside farm stands selling sweet corn. In the summer you can smell the scent of corn fields from blocks away. If the wind is blowing just right, I can smell the corn fields from our house. To savor the sweetness all year long, simply freeze sweet corn and come January, you'll be glad you did!   My grandmother used to freeze sweet corn all the time. I always looked forward … [Read more...]

Roasted Carrot and Fennel Soup

To make guests feel special at your Thanksgiving meal, offer a beautiful bowl of Roasted Carrot and Fennel Soup. The complex flavor and rich color make this soup an impressive start to any meal. Sweet carrots are balanced by fennel to bring you a unique starting course. You'll be amazed how easy it is to make!   I love making vegetable soups, especially creamy ones with amazing color. To start a big meal like Thanksgiving, you only need … [Read more...]

Italian Vegetable Soup

I love flavorful soups that aren't too filling and I recently found the perfect soup for my taste buds. Italian Vegetable Soup!  It's light and easy to make. You can serve this as a precursor to a meal, or you can make it a meal all on its own. My hubby and I enjoyed it for lunch with toasted, buttered bread. It's a perfect soup for the spring season, and comes in handy on Fridays if you observe lent. Just the right amount of tiny shell pasta … [Read more...]

Roast Vegetable Medley Soup

Now that the New Year has begun and Christmas is behind us, I vow to spend more time in the kitchen, cooking food from scratch. I'm also committed to trying new foods and recipes. During the winter months I find soup to be highly comforting yet not too filling. Plus, soup is a great way to get your servings of vegetables. I recently came across a hearty soup using root vegetables and decided to give it a try.  It calls for rutabaga which I've … [Read more...]

Penne Pasta with Eggplant

One of my good friends is a huge fan of eggplant, which leaves me completely baffled. I've had Eggplant Parmesan a couple times and am just not a fan. I got to thinking maybe it isn't the eggplant itself that I don't like ... maybe I just don't like it breaded and fried. So I searched for a different way of making it and found this Penne Pasta with Eggplant recipe. The eggplant is browned in a large skillet with just a bit of olive oil. For the … [Read more...]

Fettuccine with Artichoke Hearts and Tomatoes

Did you know today is National Noodle Day? To celebrate, I'm joining several bloggers to give you a tasty round of recipes featuring the versatile noodle! I chose to make Fettuccine with Artichoke Hearts and Tomatoes, which I hope you'll love as much as I do. You'll find the recipe below. For even more yummy noodle dishes, be sure to visit the bloggers listed at the bottom of this post. I love artichokes! And I especially love them paired with … [Read more...]

Homemade Tomato Sauce

This is my second post this week about tomatoes so you can safely guess that I'm frantically working to do something with our garden tomatoes before they spoil. In the midst of all the food prep we're still painting the outside of the house. To say that I'm feeling a bit crunched for time is an understatement. So I was happy to find a simple recipe for homemade tomato sauce that I could freeze as opposed to canning, which takes more … [Read more...]

Tuscan Style Tomato Soup

My little veggie garden performed pretty well this year and our tomato plants are busting at the vines with heavy fruit. Last week hubby and I picked all the ripe 'maters and hauled them into the kitchen for cooking and freezing and eating. I found an easy recipe for Tuscan Style Tomato Soup and decided to whip up a batch. This tomato soup is a little different from others. It's light and clean with a true tomato flavor.   The original … [Read more...]

How to Can Crushed Tomatoes

August is one of my favorite months because some of my favorite vegetables are in season ... sweet corn, green beans, and tomatoes! We grow our own tomatoes and I buy the rest at the local farm market. Then I get busy preserving them so I can enjoy their full flavor all year long (grocery store veggies aren't quite as good). Today I'm going to share how to can crushed tomatoes so you can try it yourself. It's not as hard as you might … [Read more...]

How to Can Honey Lavender Peaches

Have you ever canned fruits or vegetables? I didn't start canning until a few years ago. I was always afraid to do it, thinking it would take a ridiculous amount of hours. Well, I'm happy to say canning food is fairly easy and it doesn't always take all day. Case in point, this recipe for canned honey lavender peaches that are oh so good! (Recipe at end of post) I canned these peaches a few weeks ago. Last night I served them with vanilla … [Read more...]

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