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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

This week's lunch round-up: comfort food to help us slide right into fall

The daytime temps have cooled significantly, this past week. I think it's safe to say that it is fall, here, now (no more near-summer high temps, for us). The house is cooler, we're now using the furnace for several hours per day (made it to the 26th with minimal furnace use, though), and baking/cooking keeps me active and warm.

Here's what's on the lunch menu for our family, for this last week in October:

  • crabapple sauce muffins (using the tail end of last week's crabapple sauce, plus some not-so-sparkling Martinelli's apple cider, as liquid)
  • home-style macaroni and cheese (didn't have much cheddar left, so I added the cheddar we had, plus some shallots and ground mustard for zing, and a spoonful of canned pumpkin for that orange-y cheese color -- ;-) but don't tell my family!)
  • leftover baked bean casserole
  • leftover curried pumpkin-peanut soup
  • carrot sticks
  • blackberry-rhubarb sauce
  • toasted mozzarella cheese sandwiches
  • pbj sandwiches


  1. That all sounds yummy! I love this time of year. It's so nice to be able to cook and bake again without worrying about heating the house too much.

    Would you mind sharing what's in your baked bean casserole? It sounds like something my family might like.


    1. Hi Angie,
      Sure -- the baked bean casserole had some fat (veg oil plus chicken fat), a chopped onion, about 2 cups of diced canned tomatoes, cooked pinto beans (about 5-6 cups, cooked), chili powder, salt, vegetable stock, some chopped green pepper, and a beef hot link sausage, chopped. I baked it in a slow oven for about 1 hour -- and it kept the kitchen nice and warm :-)

      Hope you're having a great week!

  2. I got as far as reading about your crabapple sauce muffins and got distracted with how tasty they sound. :) I've been pulling out the soup/bread recipes, which means fall is here, too! Threats of rain mixed with snow for Thursday night--Friday will be chilly for trick-or-treating. It's crazy, because the weather was in the 60s here this past Saturday. I pulled the kid's winter coats out of the basement this morning ... just in case!

    1. Hi Kris,
      The muffins turned out really yummy, and went fast. The last one was grabbed this morning.

      Oooh, snow! That will definitely be a chilly evening trick-or-treating. We're expecting rain, which means fewer trick-or-treaters. I hope your kids have fun on Hallowe'en!

  3. Do you have a particular recipe for the soup? Fall always says soup to me. Thanks for all the interesting information you share. God bless.

    1. Hi Valarie,
      Here's the recipe I use for the curried pumpkin-peanut soup. It's on live and learn's blog:
      It's quick, easy and uses ingredients that I have on hand!!

  4. The mac and cheese sounds good. "Real" mac and cheese is sometimes too rich for me, so this sounds just right. Now only if my husband liked shallots and mustard. :(

    1. I do better with this sort of mac and cheese, too, live and learn. Too much cheese and milk is so hard on my stomach. Shame your husband doesn't care for mustard and shallots. But we each have limitations to work within. Oh well.

  5. The crabapple muffins sound fantastic. As a kid we used to eat crabapples from my aunt's tree. The results...serious pucker faces and stomach aches, but we did it every fall anyway. Needless to say I love the taste of crabapples.
    My aunt made spiced crabapples which she canned. To me it isn't Christmas or Thanksgiving without some, but now there are no trees and unfortunately no aunt. I have to hunt them down and buy them.

    1. Hi Anne,
      spiced crabapples sound yummy! I should try that next year. Thanks for the suggestion!

  6. Your bean casserole sounds delicious! I make one topped with cornbread crust -- kind of like a bean pot

    1. Hi Shara,
      that sounds like a tamale pie that I make sometimes. It's a recipe from Jane Brody's Good Food book. Yummy!

  7. I won't tell. lol...did they notice any difference?

    1. No, Belinda! No one even guessed! What they don't know . . .


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