Monday, September 14, 2015

Your Fall Kitchen

The temps have finally cooled down  and there's a refreshing nip in the air. Autumn starts in a few days  and that means a change in cooking and baking,Now home chefs and bakers will want to sped more time in a warm kitchen , instead of avoiding it.

Lower temp means things can heat up around the oven. After eating just dogs and salads for a season, it's nice to have real main dishes with hearty sides.For many busy home chefs, this is the time to dust off the crockpot. There's nothing like making  stick to your ribs stews with dumplings and chilis. Make sure you have the spices for this such as bay leaves and cloves for any stew or ragout and chili spices and cayenne for chilis. It also pays to stock up on pastas too as well as cans of tomato paste and sauce to make homemade sauce.Pasta, especially the whole wheat kind, can be used as main dishes  even for Saturday lunches or Sunday suppers.It's quick and easy to make, a nice meal to come home to on a chilly night. If you have grown basil all summer for homemade spaghetti and pizzas, then pick it now and freeze for later use.This is easy to doc- just wash the leaves, pat dry with a paper towel and then layer loosely in a plastic container.They can last up to a year. You can also turn them into pesto sauce too. This involves putting olive oil , garlic cloves and big handfuls of basil leaves in a blender and pureeing them into a smooth paste. Pour into containers and freeze. It's an excellent base for homemade tomato sauce and gives it more flavor and zing.

Fall is also the time for baking as well. Many home bakers take advantage of it being  apple season and want to bake pies. If that's the case then stock up on Crisco along with flour. Galettes, a more delicate version of pie , can also  be made with the fruits of the season, like pear and fig. These tarts require a lot of  butter so it pays to always have a couple of sticks around. This is also the time of school bake sales so have the ingredients for cookies and cupcakes handy too. Home bakers may just want to bake a batch of some sweet treat just to have a nice dessert. If you're big on doughnuts and fresh baked bread then add yeast to your shopping list.If you're not much of a baker but still love a morning treat of warm rolls, then stock up on a few rolls of poppin fresh anything. This may also be a good time to critically look at baking pans and tins,.Sometimes they do rust and need to be replaced. Think about buying   the new silicon versions which will make the baking experience easier. Also stock up on vanilla , sugars, both granulated and confectioner as well as food coloring for icings. too.Candy making is big now too. Make sure the candy thermometer is working properly or just replace it.. Also have plenty of sticks ready for candy apples.

Yes, there's a nip in the air. That 's a signal that home chefs and home bakers can go back to making hearty dishes and rich apple pies. Tis the season for serious cooking , baking, and of course, eating!

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