Sunday, September 25, 2011

It's Fall!!!

As of last Friday, it is OFFICIALLY Fall.  Oh how I LOVE the season and so much that goes along with it!

Now that it's Fall, it's time to...

Things such as cooler temperatures, earlier sunsets, crisper air, pumpkins, apples, saquash, Halloween, Thanksgiving, boots, sweaters, scarves, pies, soups, breads and SO much more!

I couldn't let the first weekend of Fall go by without doing some cooking that can somewhat be considered Fall dishes. I have no problem cooking all of them year round, but each an every one would make a perfect side dish to any Fall dinner.  

While making a quick stop by Trader Joe's, I noticed a stock of brussels spouts. I have only used them off the stock once before and that was YEARS ago so I was excited and had to buy it! 

After trimming all the sprouts off the stock I ended up with a whopping........


There is no way I could eat all of them over a few days if I cooked them all at once, so I picked out the 20 smallest sprouts and made Garlic Roasted Brussels Sprouts. YUM!

Cut all sprouts in half keeping any leaves that fall off.

Add a few cloves garlic -
cut into smaller "chunks" if on the larger side. (I used 4.) 
Toss in olive oil, fresh ground pepper and sea salt.

Pour dressed sprout into a baking dish and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, or until almost all sprouts are a toasted golden brown on both sides. Remove from oven and cover with freshly shaved Parmesan Cheese.

Server immediately and store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Before finding the stock of Brussels Sprouts, I made a quick trip to the local farm and picked up a few things. I love their produce, but love their prices on most things even more!

One of my farm finds was a bag of fresh beets. I love the taste of beets, but fresh ones are a million times better than ones from a can. After making them myself a few times I don't think I can ever eat canned beets again! 

There are many ways to cook fresh beets, but I decided to roast them. The flavor is so amazing and from my little practice, I feel it's less mess than the boiling method.

So how did I roast the beets you ask? I'll tell ya!

Wash beets and pat dry with towel.

Line baking sheet with foil and grab an extra sheet of foil.
Set beets in a row on extra sheet of foil.

Drizzle olive oil over beets.  

Fold foil over beets and secure tightly to trap as much steam/heat as possible.

Check beets with fork after 30 minutes. If not tender enough, recover and roast another 10 or so minutes.

Once done, take beets out of foil and let cool on a plate.

When cool enough to handle, remove skin either by peeling it off or with a knife.  Cut beets into desired shape and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.  

And last but certenly not least is a Sweet Potato/Carrot Mash that is simply amazing. It is simple and it really is simply amazing. I got the idea from a coworker and have made it so many times since. It's just so tasty and I've even used the leftovers to make Sweet Potato/Carrot Pancakes!!!

To make the tasty dish, start with a few sweet potatoes. 
I used five because they are VERY tiny!  

Next, add a couple carrots.  
I used two because this is the normal sweet potato/carrot ratio I use. 
Feel free to change it up however you like!

Cut up both sweet potatoes and carrots into similar sized pieces and bring to a boil.

Boil them until very tender - almost mushy and drain.

Let them cool a little and then mash with a potato masher.

Add a little butter, maple syrup and salt and combine with masher.

Serve warm and keep leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Because of my love for the season, keep your eye out for many other Fall dishes in the next few weeks, as well as other seasonal posts in the coming months!

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