Thursday, September 8, 2011

Autumn is upon us!

I guess technically autumn doesn't start until September 23rd.

But for the past three days, the weather has been positively fantastic! It's been not too hot, not too cold, and taking a deep sigh of relief from the 70+ days of triple digit heat.

And the relief ensuing from wonderful weather has reminded me of everything I love about fall. Forgive me for mentioning like twelve foods that I'm excited about. I love food, especially fall food. It's my favorite of all. Just wait, in five years I'll definitely have gained a significant amount of weight because of my love of food. Anyway, here are some of the best parts of autumn!

Hot coffee.
Starbucks has solicited so much of my money lately. And the introduction of seasonal flavors is seriously a mark of the changing seasons. The great thing about hot coffee is that I find it a lot easier to replicate at home for cheaper than $5 a cup than iced or blended coffee is (although my sister got me a super legit Cafe Frappe machine for my birthday so that's changing too!)

Scarves and other fun winter accessories

Okay, so I don't really have many hats... but I believe that's something that can change. And scarves are such a perfect pop of color on top of a jacket or solid tee. I know that Black Friday sales always have great prices on both of these!

I love soup- Broccoli Cheese, French Onion, Chicken Stew, Tortilla, Beef Stew, Caldo de Res, Tomato... and I've been waiting for cool weather to test run some fabulous new recipes!

This is one I'm excited to try, from Annie's Eats! Click to check it out yourself.

This is a time tested recipe. During the fall and winter months, this one is on the regular rotation for a simple meal. You seriously just throw everything in the crock pot, leave the chicken frozen even if you want and by the end of the day you have a seriously flavorful stew to serve up with cornbread or fresh sliced bread.

Chicken Stew
• 5 red potatoes, peeled and cubed
• 1 1/2 cups chopped fresh tomato
• 1 cup sliced carrot
• 1 onion, chopped
• 3 large skinless boneless chicken breast halves
• 2 (15 ounce) cans tomato sauce
• 1 (14.5 ounce) can chicken broth
• 1 1/2 teaspoons fajita seasoning
• water, as needed

Combine the vegetables in a slow cooker. Place the chicken breasts atop the vegetables. Stir the tomato sauce, chicken broth, and fajita seasoning in a bowl; pour over the chicken breasts. Add water as needed to assure the chicken is completely covered. Cook on Low for 6 hours. As the stew cooks, shred the chicken to ensure flavor throughout the meat. Continue cooking until the vegetables are tender, another 1 to 2 hours.

College Football

Before coming to UT, I had no interest in football and couldn't tell you anything about the games except that touchdowns are good. But UT transformed me to LOVE college football and I will continue to root for my team, especially since this year our team will undoubtedly be better than last year!

Comfort Foods.

Chicken Pot Pie. Pot Roast. Gravy to go with everything. Hearty, warm, filling dishes that just don't make it during the summer months. Time to bust out the crock pot!

Family gatherings.

Labor Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas are just around the corner, plus lots of birthdays to celebrate including mine!

With two jobs, and one which requires me to work every weekend, seeing family is a struggle. I love that autumn and winter give me lots of holidays and excuses to do so.

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