Happy Season Change everyone.
Today is the first day of autumn. Here in the Northeast the first sugar maples are starting to turn from deep green to scarlet red. The sky is a beautiful azure and there is a undeniable nip in the air in the mornings.
I picked the last of our green tomatoes yesterday, coated them with panko and oven fried them. Goodbye to homegrown tomatoes until next year. I also picked our first pumpkin, all orange and firm with a beautiful knotted "hat". Sometime in the next week or so I'll go apple picking so if you like apples check back often to see what we can cook up!
The gourds are almost ready to pick. I'm going to try drying them, hollowing them out and making bird houses. Wish me luck. I'll also be planting my spring bulbs soon.
The change in weather always makes me change my eating habits. I go from grilling and rotisserie cooking to slow cooking, braising and baking. How about you? Are you craving some comfort food in your part of the country?
Taco Stoup: (serves a crowd and then some)
1 pound ground beef or turkey (I use lean ground turkey)
1 green pepper, diced
1 onion, diced
1 can (15 ounces) petite diced tomatoes
1 envelope taco seasoning
1 tablespoon (or more, to taste) chili powder or cayenne pepper
1 can or small frozen package corn
1 can each: pinto, kidney, navy AND black beans (or your choice)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/4 cup fresh chopped cilantro (optional)
shredded cheddar cheese (optional)
sour cream or greek style yogurt (optional)
Place 2 tablespoons oil in bottom of large stock pot. Add green pepper and onion. Saute until just soft - about 5 minutes. Add ground meat and cook until done.
Add tomatoes (do not drain)
Add envelope taco seasoning
Add beans (do not drain)
Add corn (if using canned, do not drain)
Add chili or spice to taste
Let simmer for 15 minutes to meld flavors and heat beans. Taste and adjust seasonings.
Serve piping hot as is or top with shredded cheese and a dollop of sour cream.
A Cook's Notes: This is my go-to recipe for ski weekends, snow days, and Sunday afternoon football games. Serve with warm corn bread or tortilla chips. The recipe makes a great big pot so plan on freezing some. It defrosts and rewarms beautifully!
What is your cold weather go-to recipe?