Richard has been sick most of the week which changed my menu plans quite a bit. He didn't have much of an appetite, and one day he just wanted a grilled cheese and tomato soup.  We have Campbell's tomato in the pantry, but we also have lots of home canned whole tomatoes.  He said he just wanted Campbells' soup...which didn't sound good to me...so we came to a compromise. I had a pint of whole tomatoes in the fridge left over from a recipe, so I added those to the can of soup, along with a basil cube from the freezer. It made a much nicer tasting soup than just opening a can and heating it up!  I bought some nice Italian bread, a Granny Smith apple, and some smoked Gouda cheese and made grilled cheese with those ingredients.  It was delicious! If you have never had apple slices on a grilled cheese, you should try it sometime...it's so good!

Our dinner tonight, while not from the Simply In Season cookbook, was a seasonal meal just the same!  Our potatoes are so good right now, so I just made plain and simple boiled potatotes. They are so flavorful that they don't need a fancy preparation to be enjoyed.  Nothing goes with potatoes like pork and cabbage.  I saw a cooking show this week using these ingredients so I made the cabbage dish that was featured. 

I fried the pork chops in my black iron skillet, which gives them a nice crust on each side and really seals in the juices.  They were so moist and delicious...we all agreed they were some of the best pork chops we'd ever had!  The cabbage dish was fabulous as well!  Cabbage is in season right now, and if you are able to get to a farmer's market, you can find cabbage heads the size of basketballs!  This is a great recipe for fresh cabbage!

In a saute pan, slowly melt 2 Tbsp. of butter. Do not let it brown.  Add 1 1/2 tsp. of cumin seed, and 1 tsp. of caraway seed. I omitted the caraway, but I think it would be a great addition.  Let the seeds bloom in the butter. Do not burn them! Add shredded cabbage and stir to mix the butter and spices.  Add in thinly sliced apples...I used 1 apple to 1 med. head of cabbage.  Also add in one poblano pepper, diced with ribs and seeds removed and 2Tbsp. of grated fresh ginger.  After the cabbage begins to cook down, add in 1 cup of whole tomatoes. They will break down as they cook. Stir the dish to combine all the ingredients and let cook until the cabbage is tender.  This is a great accompaniment to the pork chops and potatoes.



The tatse of German Potato Salad - with green beans!

While the idea of this cookbook is cooking in season, I used home canned green beans instead of fresh ones which this recipe called for.  The recipe is in the 'summer' section of the cookbook and green beans are obviously not in season now.  I really like hot German potato salad, so I thought I'd give this recipe a try.  I worked today, and on the days that I work, Richard usually has dinner cooked when I get home. I told him what I was doing this week with cooking and blogging and he said he would give this recipe a try. I assured him it was easy enough for him to handle!

While the taste was 'somewhat' like hot German potato salad, it was just a bit too sweet for our liking. Although, I had told Richard to follow the recipe but use two quarts of canned beans. Instead, he used one and used the same amounts the recipe called for. It was too sweet for that amount of beans but not bad enough that we didn't want to eat any! I like balsamic vinegar with green beans and this had a similar taste.

Here is the recipe in case you want to give it a try. I would think that using frozen whole green beans would be a good alternative if beans aren't in season.
Hot German Green Bean Salad
From Cooking In Season

1 1/2 pounds green beans cut in 1 inch pieces, Cook until barely tender
Drain reserving 1/4 c. cooking liquid

3 slices bacon (I used turkey bacon)
Cook until crisp, drain and crumble. Drain all but 2 Tbsp. of bacon drippings

2 Tbsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. lemon juice or white vinegar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 small onion sliced in rings
Add to bacon drippings along with reserved liquid.

1/4 c. water & 2 tsp. cornstarch mixed together
Stir into fry pan and stir until clear and thickened.
Add cooked beans and heat through. Sprinkle with bacon and serve.





I think potatoes are my favorite vegetable. You can do so much with them, but the basics are always delicious and you never seem to tire of them! Our garden had them in abundance this year, and they were some of the nicest ones we've ever raised with few blemishes.  The recipe I used for the potatoes is called Easy Potato Bake. It's an adaptation of the old familiar scalloped potato dish.  I'm just recovering from a stomach virus and have had to stay away from all dairy products, so this recipe was easy to adapt. Most scalloped potato dishes use milk to moisten the recipe, and usually also have butter in them.  This recipe called for butter, but I substituted olive oil.

I was surprised how good the recipe turned out! I sliced the potatoes and placed them in the dish along with 3 good sized shallots, also from our garden, and then drizzled olive oil over them along with  salt and pepper and about 2 teaspoons of powdered thyme.  The potatoes bake in a covered casserole at 425 degrees for 40 minutes, then the cover is removed and a light layer of cheddar cheese was added and baked uncovered for an additional 15 minutes.  If you are lactose sensitive, the cheese can be left out. I would, however, still remove the cover, and bake uncovered for a few minutes at the end to give the top of the potatoes a little 'crust'.

For a simple recipe like this one, I would suggest the very best quality potato since there is not a lot of other flavors or ingredients added.  I prefer Yukon Gold potatoes for a dish like this. Both their consistency and their flavor are perfect when you want to highlight the potato.


Over a week ago, we picked up a head of cauliflower at the farmer's market. It was huge! I used it in one dish, but still had quite a bit left over that needed to be used.  Since today was MEATLESS MONDAY, I thought this recipe for would go well as a side dish for our meal.   Again, I adapted it to our tastes. I first sauteed 1 Tbsp. of grated fresh ginger, and 2 garlic cloves in a bit of olive oil. Then I added the cauliflower which I had cut into small florets, and added 1 teaspoon of fresh ground cumin seed, salt and pepper, and 1 teaspoon of paprika.  The recipe called for turmeric but I was out of it, so I used paprika instead, more for color than anything!  I added an additional bit of olive oil and sauteed the cauliflower to incorporate the spices.  I then added 1/2 cup of canned whole tomatoes and continued to simmer until the cauliflower was crisp-tender. I added 2 Tbsp. of capers and about 1/4 cup of pitted kalamata olives.  The recipe didn't call for the capers or olives but I thought they would be a good addition.  I was right!! We loved it!!


I had a container of cooked lentils in the freezer, so I thawed them out and made lentil patties to go with the meal.  I sauteed a little bit of shallot in oil, and added the lentils along with Worcestershire sauce, spicy mustard, and a bit of hot sauce. One egg was added to help it hold together along with seasoned bread crumbs, until the consistency was thick enough to hold together and roll into a ball the size of a baseball.  I then rolled it in flour, flattened it, and sauteed in a bit of olive oil until crispy and browned.  I toasted the foccacia and put ketchup on one side, and spicy mustard on the other and placed the lentil patty on it. Delicious!! It's one of our favorite meals. I honestly do not miss meat when we have a meal like this.  The lentil patties are filling and very healthy and full of protein.  We usually eat our lentil patties with no bread, but yesterday a friend of mine gave us this foccacia so I thought it would go nicely them.  We probably could have done with out the additional carbs that the bread added, but we only had a small serving of the potatoes so I think it was still a pretty well-balanced, healthy meal!

On Tuesday and Thursday my husband cooks dinner for us. I don't get home from work those days until 6:30 so it's usually ready when I get home. It's always a treat! Tomorrow he wants to have a bonfire and have hot dogs over the fire. Hot dogs are not my favorites at all. I could live the rest of my life without ever eating one, but I sometimes make concessions! So, I'll make a nice side dish from the Simply In Season cookbook to accompany his hot dogs. I have one lentil pattie left over from our dinner tonight, and if it doesn't get eaten, I'll have that, otherwise it will be a spicy black bean veggie burger for me.  I don't like hamburgers and will eat a hot dog on occasion if I HAVE to...tomorrow night I won't have to...fortunately!


I'm pretty much recovered from the flu. It was a long week of eating chicken noodle soup and bland toast, so I thought this week I would plan our menu around my favorite cookbook - Simply In Season.  Yes, I do plan a menu each week.  I have found that by planning a menu, we actually save money. It alleviates last minute runs to the store or visits to a restaurant.

I've been making a weekly menu plan and grocery list for over a year now, and it does save money. The other thing it saves is the frustration that comes with having no idea what to cook for dinner!  I usually plan one extra meal so that I have a choice if I don't 'fell' like cooking something on the list.  From time to time, I plan our menu from what I have on hand in the pantry so that I can use items up.  I much prefer meal planning to coming up with something day to day.

So, this week, our meals come from the Simply In Season cookbook. This is a great time of the year to cook seasonally.  We've just harvested beets and potatoes from our garden, and there are lots of veggies in the farmer's markets that are favorites of ours. This cookbook is great help in planning healthy, seasonal meals. I'm looking forward to sharing our weekly menu with pictures!


Shredded Beet Salad

I hadn't planned on blogging about a dinner of homemade chicken noodle soup. I think everyone has a favorite recipe for that. It really does hit the spot when you are feeling a little under the weather. I haven't eaten much the last few days because of a mild case of the flu, and now that I'm feeling a little better, chicken soup seemed the only thing I was really hungry for.

While I was smelling the soup cook, I started to think about the beets we had just harvested this weekend from the garden.  I had about a dozen of them in the fridge for several weeks that I would cook as I wanted. I got out three good sized beets and cooked them until tender, then let them cool to room temperature.
From the Simply In Season cookbook (of course!) I used the recipe for Shredded Beet Salad with Tahini dressing.

This dressing is so good! I'm trying to think of some other ways to use it. It's  a nice blend of tangy, citrus, and nutty flavors that went so well with this salad.  I shredded the beets along with one large carrot and added a good sized shallot before adding the dressing. SO GOOD!!

Here is the recipe for the dressing..easy...peasy!

Shake together in a jar with a tight fitting lid:
1/2 c. tahini
1/2 c. oil (combination canola, sesame, olive-I used EVOO)
1/4 c. lemon juice
1/4 c. soy sauce
Add water for desired consistency. I did NOT add water and I also adjusted the amounts and only made a small amount..maybe 1/2 a recipe.
I think it would be a great recipe for a shredded cabbage slaw or possibly some kind of pasta & veggie salad.

Autumn In Ohio

I have been neglectful in updating this blog. I find it disappointing to check on blogs that I follow and find nothing new written. I'm not even sure I have a valid excuse. I will say that having my mother in law here for 2 weeks was emotionally draining for me and I didn't do much but breathe!

I have all my canning done and Richard harvested the last of our potatoes and beets from the garden this weekend. I had stomach flu all weekend and finally this afternoon I think I'm feeling like I'm over it. We usually observe Meatless Monday but today I wanted nothing other than homemade chicken noodle soup! It's no fun being sick when the weather is amazing! It's been unbelievably beautiful here. Autumn is my favorite season and this one has not disappointed me in any way!

We are planning on breaking out our cast iron soup pot this weekend when we have some friends over for a cook out over the fire. If the weather permits, we'll sit outdoors by the fire as the soup cooks. Today as I was thinking about cooking the soup and also the fact that I had not blogged in a while, I decided to do something fun (at least I think it will be ) and make a menu for our meals next week entirely from the Simply In Season cookbook. I've mentioned this book before. It is truly my favorite of all time. I only have a few that I consider indespensable and this is one. It should provide lots of fun pictures and blogging!

I don't usually get many comments on this blog, but if you do read this, I'd love to know what some of your favorite 'Autumn Season' food is?