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Autumn Salad with Maple & Spiced Pear Vinaigrette

 

I know, I know… Two maple recipes in one week? Yes, I do like maple in the fall! This salad is a great side dish for Thanksgiving or as a quick lunch option. The vinaigrette can be stored in the fridge to quickly use when assembling salad for just one meal at a time. The blue cheese can be swapped for feta, goat cheese, mozzarella, aged cheddar, or whatever sounds good to you (or whatever is about to get moldy in the fridge, let’s be honest!) Regular balsamic vinegar would be a good swap for the spiced pear version, though I’d highly recommend a flavored vinegar for the extra pizzaz.

 

Autumn Salad with Maple & Spiced Pear Vinaigrette

Vinaigrette ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup good quality olive oil
  • 1/4 cup spiced pear flavored balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp stone ground mustard
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Salad ingredients:

  • About 6-8 cups of mixed lettuce
  • 2 pears, chopped and peeled, if you prefer
  • 1/2 cup pecans
  • 1/3 dried cranberries
  • 3 oz blue cheese, crumbled

Instruction:

  1. Add all vinaigrette ingredients to a bowl and whisk together, or add to a dressing mixer and shake to combine.
  2. Put salad into a bowl and top with pears, pecans, cranberries, and blue cheese. Do not mix or all the toppings will fall to the bottom.
  3. Drizzle with vinaigrette and serve.

Maple Cheesecake Pumpkin Bars

 

Oh boy are these fall treats tasty! The maple syrup adds a great rich touch to the cheesecake layer while the pumpkin is spiced to perfection. The bars would be the perfect snack for a crisp fall day or served warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream for dessert. We didn’t top these with pecans, but that certainly would be a nice finishing touch. The pumpkin base is like moist cake and rises pretty high, so plan to eat with a fork.

 

Maple Cheesecake Pumpkin Bars

Cheesecake topping ingredients:

  • 1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup

Pumpkin cake ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp pumpkin spice
  • 2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 2/3 cup oil
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree

Instruction:

  1. Preheat oven to 350º. Mix together cheesecake topping ingredients until completely smooth and no clumps remain. Set aside.
  2. Stir pumpkin cake dry ingredients in a large bowl until well mixed.
  3. In a small bowl, mix together all wet pumpkin cake ingredients until smooth.
  4. Pour wet pumpkin cake ingredients into the dry ingredient mixture. Stir until just combined.
  5. Pour pumpkin cake mixture into a 9×9 baking pan. I used a coated USA Pan so I didn’t need to grease the pan. If your pan does not have a non-stick coating, spray with oil or coat with butter.
  6. Spoon cheesecake mixture into pan, on top of the pumpkin cake mixture. Take a knife/spreader (plastic or wood is best to avoid scratching your pan) and swirl through the layers to create a marbled effect.
  7. Bake at 350º for 40-45 minutes, until a toothpick entered in the center comes out clean. Let cool slightly before serving, so the cheesecake layer can firm up.

Ginger Pear Cobbler with Caramel Sauce

I count myself lucky to have the kind of friends that give me their extra garden produce. I am especially lucky that one of these friends gave me a bag full of fresh Brookings-grown pears that were already peeled and sliced. Now that is a true friend! (Thanks Sarah!) After a bit of experimentation, I am pleased with this saucy pear cobbler with a not-to-sweet cakey topping. You could easily use apples or peaches in place of pears, though I think the ginger suits pears best. Don’t skip the caramel sauce! It’s from The Pioneer Woman and is so delicious.

Ginger Pear Cobbler

Pear Filling Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp melted butter
  • 2 lbs peeled and sliced pears, about 4 cups
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp fresh grated ginger
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp cardamom
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg

Cobbler Topping Ingredients:

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  •  2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp allspice
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 2 tbsp melted butter
  • 1 egg, stirred to break the yolk
  • 1 tbsp coarse sugar

Instruction:

  1. Preheat oven to 375º. Pour first 2 tbsp of melted butter into the bottom of a 3 quart dish. Swirl around until the inside of the dish is covered
  2. Mix remaining pear filling ingredients in a medium mixing bowl. Stir until sugar dissolves into the pear juice. Pour into the prepared baking dish.
  3. Mix cobbler topping ingredients excluding coarse sugar in a medium bowl. Stir until just combined. Spoon over pear mixture. Sprinkle with coarse sugar.
  4. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until cobbler topping is set and golden brown. You may want to put a sheet pan under the baking dish to catch any drips when the pear filling starts bubbling.

Easy Caramel Sauce – From The Pioneer Woman

  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • Pinch of salt

Instruction:

  1. Mix all ingredients in a medium saucepan over medium-low to medium heat. Cook while whisking gently for 5 to 7 minutes, until thicker. Turn off heat. Serve warm or refrigerate until cold.If sauce is thin, just continue cooking for a few more minutes.

Pumpkin Bread

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As the weather cools down, the stock of pumpkin in my pantry goes up. Pumpkin pies, pumpkin pancakes, pumpkin everything! I don’t need a Pumpkin Spice anything. Give me that straight pumpkin flavor!

And nothing screams “FALL” to me more than pumpkin bread. My mom has only ever made one recipe, and she makes it several times a year. It makes two loaves, but with five people in the house, you would be hard pressed to find any after the first week. Not to toot my own horn or anything, but I bring this to lots of potluck events in the fall and winter, and I ALWAYS get asked if it’s homemade. It’s just that good!

pumpkin-bread2

First start with 3 1/3 cups of flour in a large mixing bowl. Like, really large…

Add to that, 2 tsp. of baking soda,

1 1/2 tsp. salt,

1 tsp. cinnamon,

1 tsp. nutmeg (or 1/4 tsp. ground cloves)

and 3 cups of sugar.

Use a whisk to carefully mix the dry ingredients together. And then use your hands to create a well in the center.

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Into the “well”, add one can or 2 cups of canned pumpkin

4 beaten eggs

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2/3 cup of water

1 cup of vegetable oil

Then start stirring! Be sure to really scrape the bottom of the bowl while stirring, to get all of the dry ingredients incorporated into the pumpkin mixture

dsc02510

Spray two loaf pans well and divide the batter equally into both.

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Then, bake at 350 for one hour. If a toothpick or knife inserted in the center doesn’t come out clean after that, it might need 10-15 more minutes in the oven.

Then, remove from pans and allow to cool on cooling racks before plastic wrap. Or, if you’re like me, the smell is too tempting, so just dive in & slather a slice with some butter… Yum!!

dsc02527

While it’s delicious on its own, another way I like to serve it is French toasted at breakfast. I make the loaves a day or two ahead of time, and I don’t wrap them very tightly. Slightly stale bread is best for this. Then I make my regular French toast batter (eggs and milk or cream), and dip cut sides of the bread quickly in it. Then I scrape off the excess and toast on a skillet until both sides are golden brown. It’s pretty rich, but so delicious! Serve with the cinnamon syrup recipe found this site. (Those pumpkin pancakes are pretty amazing, too!)

The printable version is below. Leave a comment if you try it, and let us know how it tastes!

Pumpkin Cheesecake Dip

File Oct 31, 3 21 08 PM

A delicious fall dip for any Halloween or Thanksgiving party!

Butternut Bacon Soup

IMG_0835

Warm up with some hearty fall soup! This bright soup has a prominent autumn flavor from the squash, nutmeg, and cinnamon, but also has a bit of smoke from the bacon. The vinegar helps cuts the sweetness by introducing a little sour. Overall, absolutely perfect for a blustery day as the seasons change.

IMG_0833

We used wild mushroom and sage olive oil and pumpkin spice white vinegar from our friends at Coteau des Prairies Olive Oil Co.

Recipes

Pumpkin Bread

dsc02523

As the weather cools down, the stock of pumpkin in my pantry goes up. Pumpkin pies, pumpkin pancakes, pumpkin everything! I don’t need a Pumpkin Spice anything. Give me that straight pumpkin flavor!

And nothing screams “FALL” to me more than pumpkin bread. My mom has only ever made one recipe, and she makes it several times a year. It makes two loaves, but with five people in the house, you would be hard pressed to find any after the first week. Not to toot my own horn or anything, but I bring this to lots of potluck events in the fall and winter, and I ALWAYS get asked if it’s homemade. It’s just that good!

pumpkin-bread2

First start with 3 1/3 cups of flour in a large mixing bowl. Like, really large…

Add to that, 2 tsp. of baking soda,

1 1/2 tsp. salt,

1 tsp. cinnamon,

1 tsp. nutmeg (or 1/4 tsp. ground cloves)

and 3 cups of sugar.

Use a whisk to carefully mix the dry ingredients together. And then use your hands to create a well in the center.

dsc02490

Into the “well”, add one can or 2 cups of canned pumpkin

4 beaten eggs

dsc02493

2/3 cup of water

1 cup of vegetable oil

Then start stirring! Be sure to really scrape the bottom of the bowl while stirring, to get all of the dry ingredients incorporated into the pumpkin mixture

dsc02510

Spray two loaf pans well and divide the batter equally into both.

dsc02511

Then, bake at 350 for one hour. If a toothpick or knife inserted in the center doesn’t come out clean after that, it might need 10-15 more minutes in the oven.

Then, remove from pans and allow to cool on cooling racks before plastic wrap. Or, if you’re like me, the smell is too tempting, so just dive in & slather a slice with some butter… Yum!!

dsc02527

While it’s delicious on its own, another way I like to serve it is French toasted at breakfast. I make the loaves a day or two ahead of time, and I don’t wrap them very tightly. Slightly stale bread is best for this. Then I make my regular French toast batter (eggs and milk or cream), and dip cut sides of the bread quickly in it. Then I scrape off the excess and toast on a skillet until both sides are golden brown. It’s pretty rich, but so delicious! Serve with the cinnamon syrup recipe found this site. (Those pumpkin pancakes are pretty amazing, too!)

The printable version is below. Leave a comment if you try it, and let us know how it tastes!

Pumpkin Cheesecake Dip

File Oct 31, 3 21 08 PM

A delicious fall dip for any Halloween or Thanksgiving party!

Butternut Bacon Soup

IMG_0835

Warm up with some hearty fall soup! This bright soup has a prominent autumn flavor from the squash, nutmeg, and cinnamon, but also has a bit of smoke from the bacon. The vinegar helps cuts the sweetness by introducing a little sour. Overall, absolutely perfect for a blustery day as the seasons change.

IMG_0833

We used wild mushroom and sage olive oil and pumpkin spice white vinegar from our friends at Coteau des Prairies Olive Oil Co.