At the moment, I am in love with autumn.
That’s because it’s been a mostly sun-drenched, mild-temperature kind of autumn. I enjoy walking through the piles of leaves, which sound like cornflakes crunching under my feet. The view out the front window of my house, looking out at the brilliant leaves in the park across the street, makes me sigh at the wonder of it all. And I get a chuckle out of watching the squirrels scurry from tree to tree, amassing their stores for the winter.
I’m hoping that this gorgeous weather continues through Halloween and well into November (could I hope for December?). While an earlier frost did nip some gardens, I’ve heard there are still a few gardens that are producing. If anyone out there still has zucchini, here are a couple recipes from the files of Karen Doeden. If not, squirrel these away for use next year.
“From the time I got this recipe, they have made the Stovetop dressing boxes smaller,” advises Karen. “I now use a package on top and one on the bottom. My sister uses the box of Stovetop and mixes it with the rest of the ingredients and then tops it with cornflake topping.”
|Combine 1 package Stovetop dressing with 1 stick margarine or butter, melted. Put half of this mixture in the bottom of a 9- by 13-inch pan; reserve the rest.
In a small amount of water, cook 6 cups cubed zucchini and 2 cups grated carrots until tender; drain.
Mix together 1 cup sour cream, 1 can cream of chicken soup and 1 cup grated American cheese. Add the cooked vegetables and spoon into pan. Top with remaining stuffing-butter mixture.
Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 45 minutes.
Zucchini Coffee Cake
Cream ¾ cup shortening, ½ cup brown sugar, ½ cup white sugar, 2 eggs and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Add ½ teaspoon salt, 1¾ cups flour, 1½ teaspoons baking powder, ¾ cup coconut, ¾ cup chopped dates, ¾ cup raisins and 2 cups grated zucchini.
Bake at 350 degrees in a 9- by 13-inch pan for 40 to 45 minutes. Cool. For frosting, combine 2/3 cup brown sugar, 1/3 cup melted shortening, 2 tablespoons milk or cream and ½ cup coconut. Spread over top of cake and put under broiler for 3 minutes.
For me, the shorter days and cooler temperatures of autumn trigger an urge spend more time in the kitchen. To ease back into baking mode, I tried this recipe emailed by Sandy Cregeen of Jackson, which she came upon at a benefit bake sale.
“… I picked up these bars, thinking they were the ones with the gooey caramel center, but I was wrong. They turned out to be easier and tasted just as good or better.”
Salted Caramel Crispy Treats
Spray an 8-inch square cake pan with nonstick spray.
Add 6 cups crispy rice cereal (about half a 12-ounce box) to a large heatproof bowl and set aside.
Melt 1 stick unsalted butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir in ½ cup dark brown sugar, ¼ cup heavy whipping cream and 1 tablespoon light corn syrup. Cook until thick and syrupy, stirring frequently, about 7 minutes. Stir in 1 teaspoon flaky sea salt.
Turn off the heat and stir in one 10-ounce bag mini marshmallows. Keep stirring until all the marshmallows are smooth and melted. Quickly pour the caramel-marshmallow sauce over the cereal and stir all together. Pat mixture into prepared pan. Sprinkle lightly with flaky sea salt.