Hi and happy Friday! How has your week been? We’ve had a good one over here, probably one of our last fully relaxed/low commitment weeks of the summer. We are planning a quick trip to Bearolina this weekend and then it’s home to prepare for soccer, theater, co-op and more!
We’re still in the insanely hot and humid days of summer but the girls have begun coming down dressed in fuzzy socks some days as a way to will the weather to break. I promised myself back in February I wouldn’t wish away warm days; I mean we did get to spend the whole afternoon with friends at the pool this week- it was grand! So while I’m holding true to that promise and enjoying the gifts of hot, summer day while they are here, I won’t hate it when that first cooler breeze blows through.
Besides the weather, though, other societal signs have begun to shift. Kids are back at school, fall season sports are beginning, and if you’ve walked into Hobby Lobby lately, well, you know…
So mentally I’m starting to shift a little, too, beginning to make lists of fall favorites. These are the items I use most often during cozy season cooking as well as a few of my favorite recipes to bookmark as we start to think ahead to football season. Ahem, fall, I mean fall. #godawgs
Fall Favorite Kitchen Items
Instant Dutch Oven – Perhaps my most used kitchen appliance. I use it to make soups and chilies because you can sauté and switch to slow cook. I use it to throw chicken in at breakfast so it’s ready to shred and heat at lunch. I use it to keep items on “keep warm” until dinner time. When hosting I use it to serve dips or cocktail meatballs. I love this thing.
Souper Cubes – A must have for fall for easily and neatly storing soups, chilies, leftover spaghetti and curries, and more. I even had leftover takeout hot and sour soup that I froze; the first time I have a sore throat of the season, I’ll be grateful!
Rice Cooker – Making rice isn’t a challenging task, but being able to set this and forget it and end up with perfect rice every since time makes this a must have for me. We eat a lot of rice, but you can also use it for steel-cut oatmeal, lentils, and more.
Cambro 6qt Storage – These containers have made storing homemade broth much more functional. I also use it to feed my sourdough starter, ensuring it never overflows even if I end up having to feed it an extra day or to because of schedules.
Prokeeper+ Baking Storage Set – Upgrading to the Prokeeper+ storage containers was one of my best upgrades. They are airtight, easy to hold and maneuver, and have unique features that end up being quite helpful, like the terra cotta disc to keep brown sugar soft and the built in leveler for the flour.
The Ringer – With less grilling and more stovetop cooking, it’s time to pull this miracle worker out for your toughest cooked on messes. This durable scrubber cleans cast iron and stainless steel better than anything else. I also use it for my Hexclad, but only when I’m going to reseason it.
Beverage Frother – I have this mac daddy frother that warms and froths the milk and if you’re a daily frothy coffee drinker, it is pretty awesome. But if you’re the occasional beverage frother, then this simple handheld one is the jam. I use it to froth creamer, blend in adaptogens, mix up my magnesium sparkling water drinks, and it’s held up strong for years at this point.
Jar Thermos – If you like hot food like we do, you need these. No waiting in line at the microwave at co-op (just me?), these slick looking thermos’ with handles keep food hot and ready all day long. The smaller size is perfect for kids of all ages (think soups, leftovers, mac n cheese, etc) and for adults, the large is perfect.
Electric Candle Lighter – we were buying little gas lighters, but the kids blow through those, so I upgraded to this tiny taser. It’s what it looks like, but it lights candles with ease and is rechargeable, so we won’t need to keep buying matches or gas lighters.
Natural Health Cabinet Favorites – all the items in my natural medicine cabinet, which aren’t exactly in the kitchen, but seem to go hand in hand with fall.
Fall Favorite Soups & Chilis
Pumpkin Chicken Chili – don’t let the pumpkin throw you off, this delicious chili comes together super fast and is a kid favorite around here. A busy night staple recipe for sure.
Black Bean & Sweet Potato Chili – I love the flavors in this hearty vegetarian chili. It has some spice to it, which I love, but leave out if I’m serving the kids. If you’re looking for a savory, grown-up dish to bring and share to a gathering, this is it!
David’s Famous Chili – or old faithful as I like to call it. For me, this will always taste like fall, football, and family. It’s meaty, flavorful, thick, and I have yet to meet someone that doesn’t think it’s one of the best chilis ever.
Coconut Curry Soup – I’ve had a lot of success by replacing the zoodles with ramen and adding shredded chicken for a bulked up option, but honestly, just the broth is worth making, as the coconut curry flavors are deep and soothing.
Homestyle Chicken Noodle Soup– You aren’t going to find a recipe more comforting than this soup. The fresh lemon and dill take it to the next level.
Sausage, Kale, & White Bean Soup – For flavor, fast, give this soup a try. It’s a well rounded soup that gets a creamy texture from beans instead of cream, and is excellent with a crusty sourdough loaf.
Fall Favorite Foods
Apple Cinnamon Oat Muffins – they smell and taste like they’re straight out of a fall storybook. I can’t wait to make these.
Homemade Lara-Balls – an oldie but a goodie modeled after the delicious Larabars, these snack balls have only 3 ingredients and are excellent for keeping in the fridge for the kids to grab before practices. See also: after practice snacks for kids
Easy Beef Stew in the Slow Cooker – This delicious and easy beef stew in the slow cooker takes less than 10 minutes to prep and make your house smell amazing. Such a busy season winner!
Chicken Thigh & Potato Sheet Pan Dinner – a mix of filling potatoes, nutritious veggies, and crispy chicken, all on one sheet pan. It feels and tastes like fall.
Red Lentil & Carrot Curry – a vegetarian meal that even the meat eaters can appreciate and cooks up in 20 minutes. Deeply flavorful; the kids love to eat it with naan as a dip and I love it over rice.
This is not an extensive list by any means, but as I was dreaming about which foods I’m most looking forward to enjoying in the fall, these favorites topped the list. And bread! I’ll be making plenty of sourdough for the taste and the aroma it fills the house with.
Do you have food that is emotionally linked to the fall season for you? What are they? I’d love to give them a try!