Just when I thought we could slip into fall school and football meal-plans, with lots of cool weather comfort cooking, we find our focus is still going to be hanging out in the kitchen awhile longer. Thankfully, for most, that means more home learning with nutrition, gardening & seasonal changes.  For the great sacrifice of football and big gatherings outdoors in cooler weather, we will just have to be patient, dig in to new eating patterns and perhaps try something easy for comfort as well. I am thinking some “baking” opportunities might do the trick.

Cooler weather is an opportunity to do some easy cooking and baking without the dread of additional hot temps outside.  We also can take advantage of extended time to use the BBQ grill often, and as the last of our gardens are finishing their summer bounty, plant some cold weather crops or make pickles or freezer jam.

I am a firm believer in crock pots, and I love using them all year but especially in the fall for the time saving and nutritious opportunities they offer.

We all are experiencing a very different and difficult time with our world & lifestyle changes.  As a former educator, I am concerned about the effect of it all on children.  We have a five year old great granddaughter whose mantra is now “six feet apart please”.  Think of ways you can help your children and grandchildren understand the confusion by fun adventures in the kitchen, while sharing lessons in math and science at the same time.

Until normalcy reigns again, be safe and patient and eat well!

SWEET & SOUR COLESLAW

1/2 cup mayo

1/3 cup sugar

1/4 cup buttermilk

3 Tbls lemon juice

4 tsps apple cider vinegar

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

1 medium head cabbage, shredded

1 medium carrot, shredded

In a small bowl whisk together the first 7 ingredients.  Place cabbage & carrot in large bowl.  Add dressing and toss to coat.  Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour.

PEACH CROSTADA

Preheat oven to 425.  In a large bowl toss 1 lb peaches peeled & thinly sliced with 3 Tbls brown sugar 1 Tbls cornstarch 1/8 tsp ground ginger and a pinch of salt.  Unroll one refrigerated ready to use piecrust on a cookie sheet. Arrange peach mixture on crust, leaving a 2 inch border.  Fold the border over the filling.  Bake 25-30 minutes u til crust is golden.  Sprinkle hot crust with sugar before serving.

SWEET CORN & PARMESAN CHEESE FLAN

2 1/2 cups fresh corn kernels (about 5 ears)

1 cup low fat milk

1/3 cup Parmesan cheese freshly grated

1 tsp flour

1/2 tsp salt & pepper each

4 large eggs

18 small cherry tomatoes, halved

2 Tbls fresh basil, sliced thin

Preheat oven to 350.  Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat.  Coat pan with spray. Add corn & cook 5 minutes or until tender.  Set aside 1 cup corn.  Place remaining corn in food processor; pulse 5 times. Add milk thru eggs to processor & pulse 4 times.  This can be made in a baking dish as long as it fits in a 9×13 baking dish or spray 6 ramekins and fill a 1/2 cup corn mixture in each.  Add hot water about 1/2 inch deep in larger dish. Bake 350 for 35 minutes or until center of ramekins barely move when touched. Might take longer in a baking dish.  Remove ramekins and cool on a rack for 5 minutes then invert into 6 warm wide bowls. Garnish each tops with 2 1/2 tsp corn kernels, 6 tomato halves and a tsp of basil.  Serve hot.

CARROTS & ZUCCHINI

SURPRISE

Peel a small sweet onion, & 2 medium carrots.  Cut them and a medium zucchini into matchstick size pieces.  Heat 1 Tbls evoo and 1 Tbls butter in a skillet over medium heat. sauté 4 minutes careful not to brown.  Season with s&p, chopped fresh basil or parsley and serve.  Can be mixed with hot cooked fluffy rice.