Fall is officially here, just in time to dust off those old holiday cooking recipes that will get us through to the New Year! But instead of jumping right into the Christmas season prematurely like so many big chain stores do these days, let’s not forget to savor some of fall’s favorite activities, many of which happen to involve cooking. I like to think of Autumn as the time that we essentially kick-off the cozy season, so here is my official list of things to experience and enjoy during the Fall via your taste buds.
Fall List of Cozy Cooking:
1. Fall Herbs – After the basil is gone, I happily switch over to beautiful, earthy fall herbs, all of which grow easily throughout the Autumn months. My favorites are thyme and rosemary, both of which grow year-round as perennials on the West coast, and are readily available elsewhere in grocery stores.
**Thyme and feta cheese is my go-to combination for all things fall (rosemary and chervil is another). You can put these combos on virtually anything to bring on the feeling of fall and cook healthy, tasty meals in an instant. Try it on top of any type of squash, yam or potato, cubed and roasted under high heat with olive oil.
2. Fall Salads – Experiment with hearty grains or beans, cooked and cooled and served up with finely chopped lettuce. Add some fresh fall herbs, citrus dressing and feta cheese or tofu (optional) and you’ve got an entire meal in a bowl!
**Favorite fall salad bowl: lentils, butter lettuce, rosemary, goat cheese and light citrus dressing.
3. Ciders – Try making your own cider. Simply simmer apple juice on the stove and add cinnamon, cloves, orange peel and cranberry juice (optional) for a yummy, warm beverage. The heavenly smell is a bonus.
4. Canning – I am a big fan of canning or any type of preserving. If you don’t feel like dealing with jars and sanitizing, etc., freezing is an easier option, perfect for apples, pears, tomatoes and more.
5. Homemade Food Gifts – Start looking for homemade holiday gift recipes such as brownies in a jar, scone mixes and more – the possibilities are endless!