Switch things up this holiday season with a hearty pear and pork ravioli filled with rustic autumn flavors!
Thanks to Nugget Markets for sponsoring this post!
Sometimes I feel bad for pears.
They are the underdog of fall ingredients. As soon as temperatures begin to dip, apples are all the rage. The leaves start turning and we simply cannot hide our affection for winter squash.
Meanwhile, there sit the pears. Beautiful in their green, reddish-brown, and tan fall colors, but second place to the front row attention-seekers.
I’m not sure why I turn to apples and pumpkins over pears, but more often than not, I do. Guilty.
So when Nugget Markets gave me the opportunity to do a fall-inspired post, an alternative to the traditional holiday meal, I set my sights on pears. At the very least, I owe the fruit some time in the spotlight.
I know what you might be thinking. Another butternut squash soup recipe? Aren’t there enough of those?
Honestly, I was thinking the same then when I started making this.
I love winter squash soup this time of year, but I’ll be the first to admit that I get bored of the flavor. I stepped it up by adding scotch bonnet pepper a long while back, but I wasn’t in the mood for that. I also didn’t want it to become sweet. Savory butternut squash soups are the best, in my opinion.
I finally settled on brown butter.
This delicious pie is the final post in my series, Thanksgiving Cooking for Two. You’ll find the other recipes in this special series at the end of this post.
I am a huge pumpkin pie fan. I know it can be hit or miss with some people, but that’s not the case for me. If you line up a selection of pies, I might give chocolate meringue a second glance, but I will always pick pumpkin.
There is a catch, though. I’m not crazy about the traditional, out of the can pumpkin, type of pie. My grandmother’s recipe will always be my favorite and if I can’t have that, well, it’s a pumpkin pie that I’ve gotten creative with.
First, roasted, pureed pumpkin. It makes such a difference and it’s completely worth the minimal effort. Then, it needs a wow factor — a variation in the spices, a gingerbread crust, maybe a meringue topping. Give me any of those and pumpkin remains number one.
My husband and I often celebrate Thanksgiving by ourselves a few days before we join our families for the big meal. This year I decided to share some recipes for those who might also be doing some Thanksgiving cooking for two. This is the first post in the series. Be sure to check out the side dishes that go with this main course.
I’ll be the first to admit that Thanksgiving isn’t my favorite holiday of the season. It doesn’t make much sense, though. I love fall and pumpkins and I love to cook. Seems like I’d be all over a holiday that has those things well covered.
I can offer no explanation other than my fondness of a winter wonderland, warm cocktails, cookies and cheesy Christmas movies. It simply beats out Thanksgiving every time.
Despite it not being my favorite, I still like to cook and I like to get creative. We typically travel to the homes of our families for Thanksgiving dinners. (Yes, dinners. As in two in one day.) There, the family has traditional covered. But it rarely satisfies my need to try some new and creative.
Every year, I go to the grocery store mid-October and ask if they have fresh cranberries. Every year the hard working person in the produce section tells me that they don’t come in until mid-November. So last week my expectations were low, but I had my eye out anyway.
When I turned to find a pile of bags front and center in the lettuce row, I’m certain my cheer carried itself to the freezer section across the store.
Rumor has it the season arrived earlier this year. As a result, it will end earlier to. So stock up. I’ve already started.
This butternut squash dish is not sweet. I repeat, this dish is not sweet.
If you are like me, no matter how many versions of winter squash you’ve made or been exposed to, your brain still thinks of nutmeg, cinnamon and maybe even maple, when you envision the rich, orange, tender squash.
Okay, I’ll admit that this does contain cinnamon. But cinnamon is one of those interesting spices that can swing sweet or savory. It this case, it’s savory.
The secret to this recipe is some heat. You don’t have to burn your mouth off, but use at least a medium spicy chili powder. I could even see a chipotle chili powder working. When you use these deeply flavored spices you get a beautiful balance of slightly sweet squash, with earthy pear, a bit of heat and crunchy walnuts.
If you are going to try and tell me it’s not fall yet, well, I don’t want to hear it.
Yes, I know the calendar tells us it’s not until the 23rd, but pay no attention to the calendar. It’s always trying to rain on my parade by conflicting with my view of the seasons.
It may be warm outside, but Labor Day is over and to me, it’s fall! Sweaters, boots, and scarves will soon be completely acceptable.
Add a twist to your holiday stuffing! This recipe takes my favorite combo of pears, walnuts and Gorgonzola and turns them into a delicious version of one of my favorite holiday sides.
Friends of ours hosted a Thanksgiving potluck and I was put on the stuffing list. Since mine was stuffing number 2 at the dinner and stuffing number 1 was straight up traditional, I was given free reign to get creative. So I volunteered to bring this.
I made this recipe before…in 2009! 2009?! To be honest with you, I can’t believe I’ve been blogging that long. But there that post sits, with some pretty ugly photos and in need of some revision.
This fall salad is loaded with seasonal fruits and topped with candied pecans and blue cheese. The rich molasses balsamic vinaigrette has a mild spice from cayenne pepper.
I have the strangest pattern for salad cravings. For some reason throughout the end of the summer, despite all the light and refreshing produce, salads did not sound good at all. But all of a sudden fall hits and I’m ready for some leafy greens.
Maybe it’s the seasonal fruits like grapes or the heavier toppings like blue cheese that make fall salads surprisingly comforting. That must be why my cravings have finally come around, especially since the temperatures dropped a bit today and the leaves are starting to fall.
This savory pumpkin recipe combines the puréed winter squash with white beans to create a warm dip with the rich flavors of sharp cheddar cheese and a mild heat from pickled jalapeños. It’s the perfect starter for fall dinner parties and makes a great snack for game day.
I’ve already started on my 2014 Winter Squash Collection. The first one, usually a pie pumpkin, enters the house in late September or early October. After that it’s a spaghetti squash here, a kabocha there and I can’t turn down a new variety. They begin to pile up in the corners of the kitchen or on the cool tile in the entry way. I keep them until: 1) I’m hungry for squash, or 2) we get frustrated from tripping over them. At that point, into the oven they go to be roasted and turned into puree.
The small pie pumpkin I bought last week bit the dust pretty early. Half a week into October and I was way overdue for something pumpkin.