Friday, October 19, 2012

The Savory and the Sweet - Favorite Fall Recipes

As I've mentioned in previous posts, I love food!  I love fall time because of the awesome drinks and foods that have become fall traditions in my family.  I've never done a recipe post before, though I don't know why because I love to cook and try out new recipes.  I should probably start doing recipe posts more often.  If I do recipe posts in the future, I think I would try to include pictures of the steps in the meal-making process, but since this is part of a blogging challenge, I didn't have time to buy and make the recipes I'm going to talk about below so I don't have those pictures.  I will, however, post pictures from elsewhere on the web to give you an idea of what the finished dishes look like.

The first two dishes I'll discuss are pretty common dishes and they are ones my family has at almost every family holiday meal.  The first holiday staple is... drum roll please... green bean casserole, of course!  There's just something about the mixture of green beans, the creamy soup mixture and the crunchy onions on top that makes it so scrumptious.  Not to mention it has to be one of the easiest dishes to make!  You have to be talented to mess it up... and I am just so talented!  One time, many many years ago, I caught a green bean casserole on fire, because it was too close to the top oven coils.  It came out with flames which I promptly blew out.  You know how some people like their marshmallows blackened when making s'mores... or like their hot dogs burnt?  These people might have also enjoyed my green bean casserole that day.  Enough talk.  Down to the nitty gritty.  I use the French's recipe for green bean casserole and here it is (with a couple of small notes from me):

Green Bean Casserole


1.   1 (10 3/4 ounce) can condensed cream of mushroom soup
2.   3/4 cup milk
3.   1/8 teaspoon pepper
4.   2 (14 1/2 ounce) cans french-style green beans or 2 (14 1/2 ounce) cans cut green beans, drained (I use the Del Monte cut green beans but it's all a matter of preference)
5.   1 (2 7/8 ounce) can French-fried onions


1.   Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
2.   Combine soup, milk, and pepper in a 1-1/2 quart casserole dish; mix well.
3.   Stir in beans and 2/3 cup of French fried onions.
4.   Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until hot.
5.   Stir.
6.   Sprinkle with remaining 2/3 cup of onions (or more if your stomach so moves you).
7.   Bake 5 minutes or until onions are golden.  Serves 6.  


Who wouldn't like to see this on their Thanksgiving table next month?!

Another recipe I love is hash brown potato casserole.  Just like the green bean casserole, there are many variations to this recipe, but I love and use the one straight out of my grandma's family cookbook (I'm not sure where she got it so I'm not sure who to attribute it to).  Here it is (again with a few of my own comments thrown in):

Hash Brown Potato Casserole 


1.   1 32-ounce package shredded frozen potatoes, thawed
2.   1/2 cup melted butter or margarine
3.   1 can cream of chicken soup, undiluted
4.   12-ounce grated American cheese (or cheddar)
5.   1 8-ounce carton sour cream (you could use light sour cream, but who are we kidding?  This is not a diet dish)
6.   1 tsp. salt
7.   1/4 tsp. pepper (if desired)
8.   1/2 small onion, chopped
9.   2 cups crushed Corn Flakes (don't forget to crush them!  I've made this mistake before... wow, I sound like a horrible cook) 
10. 1/2 cup melted butter or margarine 


1.   Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2.   Placed thawed potatoes in 9x13 baking dish. 
3.   Mix together ingredients 2-8 and pour over potatoes.
4.   Top with crushed Corn Flakes and drizzle melted butter over all.
5.   Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.  Serves 12. 


When I look at a picture of this dish, a low Barry White-type voice comes in my head saying, "Ooooh yeahhh." That's how good this dish is!  

Last but not least, dessert!  I have yet to make a pumpkin dish on my own, but after all the pumpkin-y dishes I've been pinning on Pinterest, I plan to do it this year sometime, either when it's my turn to bring snack for bible study night or at Thanksgiving.  So.... I'm hard-pressed to give what I would consider a fall dessert recipe.  However, I made caramel apple cheesecake bars not too long ago and maybe they could be considered fall-like?  Either way, I decided I'd share this recipe with you all too [I got it from The Girl Who Ate Everything's blog]: 

Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars 

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened

Cheesecake Filling:
3 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup sugar, plus 2 tablespoons, divided
3 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

3 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Streusel Topping:
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup quick cooking oats
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened

1/2 cup caramel topping

1.   Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2.   In a medium bowl, combine flour and brown sugar. Cut in butter with a pastry blender (or 2 forks) until mixture is crumbly. Press evenly into a 9x13 baking pan lined with heavy-duty aluminum foil. Bake 15 minutes or until lightly browned.
3.   In a large bowl, beat cream cheese with 3/4 cup sugar in an electric mixer at medium speed until smooth. Then add eggs, 1 at a time, and vanilla. Stir to combine. Pour over warm crust.
4.   In a small bowl, stir together chopped apples, remaining 2 tablespoons sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Spoon evenly over cream cheese mixture.
5.   For the streusel topping: In a small bowl, combine all ingredients. Using your hands can make it easier to thoroughly mix the ingredients. 
6.   Sprinkle Streusel topping over apples. Bake 40-45 minutes, or until filling is set. Drizzle with caramel topping and let cool. Serve cold and enjoy! Make 16 servings.

My BIGGEST tip for making this dish: Make it the day before and refrigerate so it's nice and cold.  I made the mistake of not letting it cool long enough and, though it was still very tasty, it was 100 times better the next day after it had been chilled. 

Get ready to drool, folks.


Well, that's all for my fall recipes post.  I hope you all enjoyed it and that you have a fall full of tasty creations.  Happy cooking!

Until next time,



  1. Hashbrown Casserole is a MUST at our family Thanksgiving feast!! We all love it! And, LOL, one year my DH grabbed Sugar Frosted Flakes instead of Corn Flakes. ROFL. The casserole was still pretty good - and we had a huge laugh about it.

  2. The Hasbrown Casserole is usually call "Funeral Potatoes" throughout my church. I learned the recipe from a group of ladies that hated the name and christened it "Christmas Potatoes" so that's what I always call it. I use Cream o Mushroom soup. Hubby's company is based in Switzerland and several years ago we had a whole bunch of the Swiss for Thanksgiving. They went nuts over "Christmas Potatoes" and had made them somewhat famous back at the head office. They even send away to get "real" Campbells Cream of Mushroom Soup, which isn't sold in Europe.