Pumpkin bread and comfort food recipes to welcome fall

Posted Tuesday, Oct. 08, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
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We enjoyed the North Texas Daylily Society sale, at the Fort Worth Botanic Garden, and came away with some real beauties. I also purchased a few Iris to add to my front yard collection. Mike is liking Iris more and more; they're certainly not like the ones he remembers growing up in Walters, Okla.

We just returned from a very nice scenic day of driving some country roads we didn't know existed, and we only got lost one time. Sometimes it's nice to just drive and get away from the kitchen, the yard and chores.

Thanks to friend Janie Fox, who called and gave me a new pumpkin bread recipe, just perfect for fall cooking. Janie is always so good about sharing a new dish that she has tried that is also fairly easy for cooks who may not have a lot of time to spend in the kitchen.

When the first cool breezes blow in, and especially accompanied by rain, my kitchen welcomes a new way of cooking - basically comfort food, here we come! I hope readers enjoy Cheese and Bacon Potatoes and a Texas and Mexican Casserole that is both delicious and easy to make.

All we have is a big green vegetable salad with either of these and dinner is served.

Janie's Pumpkin Bread

This makes two loaves.

5 eggs

1 1/4 cup oil (like canola or vegetable)

1 can pumpkin (just regular pumpkin, NOT pumpkin pie mix)

2 cups flour

2 cups white sugar

2 packages cook and serve vanilla pudding-just add it dry from the box.

1 teaspoon soda

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt

Mix together all ingredients. Pour into TWO loaf pans that have been sprayed with Pam and bake 50-55 minutes at 325 degrees.

Comforting Cheese and Bacon Potatoes

2 1/2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes-peeled and quartered

3 Tablespoons butter, softened

2 1/2 cups mixed shredded cheese blend, such as Swiss, Italian or casserole style.

1/2-3/4 cup milk-warmed

4 slices bacon, crispy cooked and crumbled

2 teaspoons dried sage

Salt and pepper to taste

Optional:

Additional shredded cheese

Cover potatoes with water in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil and cook until tender-about 15-18 minutes.

Drain potatoes and place in a large bowl and mash. Blend in butter and cheese; add milk to make a creamy consistency. Stir in bacon and sage, then add salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle with additional cheese if desired. Makes 8 servings.

I like to place this in 325 degree oven for about 5 minutes right before serving to make sure it is hot.

Texas and Mexican Bake Casserole

1 pound ground beef

1 (10 ounce) package of frozen corn-thawed and drained

1 cup finely chopped sweet onion

1 cup chopped green bell pepper

1 cup mild salsa

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 (8 ounce) package cornbread muffin mix

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Brown the meat in a skillet and stir until crumbly. Drain.

Combine the ground cooked meat, corn, onion, green pepper, salsa, cumin and salt in a bowl. Mix well.

Spoon into a 9-inch square baking dish. Cover with foil.

Bake for 20-25 minutes, until hot and bubbly and until the veggies are tender.

While that is baking, prepare the muffin mix, following the package directions. Spoon the mixture over the ground meat, spreading to seal edges.

Bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees OR until golden brown on top.

This makes 6 servings.

Next week, let's get it all together for soup recipes. It will be nice to start planning and gathering the ingredients before it gets really cold outside - and when will that be?

Have a wonderful week in Parker County and remember fall is an excellent time to plant trees, bushes, daylilies, Iris, pansies, snapdragons and don't forget to chill tulips for about 6 weeks before planting in December. Mike asked me what all those things in the garage refrigerator crisper drawers were and I said “different colored tulips.” I haven't told him the Hyacinths I ordered will be here in a few days. And he just thought the garage refrigerator was only for leftovers, cold drinks and beer.

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