Transitioning Into Fall and Winter Cooking

The trees are turning. The leaves are falling. The temperatures are dropping. That means it's time to start transitioning from our summer routines to fall and winter routines! School is back, and we're starting to think about the holidays, pulling out our scarves and boots, and sipping hot cocoa. There are a lot of transitions that take place during the weeks from September to December, and one of those is our food. Have you given much thought about transitioning into season recipes? Fall cooking is some of my absolute favorites, and today I'm going to share some tips for transitioning into fall and winter cooking.

Soup

It's one of those "transitional" dishes I love making every time the temperature drops. It's incredibly easy to make, and nothing warms you up like a steaming bowl of chicken noodle or vegetable soup!

*Read to the end of the post for a yummy butternut squash soup recipe!

soup
soup

Seasonal fruits and veggies

Buy them whenever possible! With just a little research, you can easily figure out what produce is in season. When you buy produce in season, you're nourishing your body with produce that is at it's peak of freshness and nutrition. Fall and winter fruits and veggies include potatoes, apples, oranges, kale, sweet potatoes, carrots, squash, pumpkin, and grapefruit (just to name a few).

Although we live in a country where we can pretty much buy any fruit whenever we’d like, it's fun to shop and eat seasonally. Most of the time, the produce will even taste better if it's in it's natural season.

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Plan your menus

Schedule them around seasonal items, and include them in as many recipes as possible. While some tend to make the same things no matter what time of year, I like put away some recipes until fall arrives. This builds excitement and anticipation for each new season and you don't get tired of dishes as quickly either! (Just think of Starbucks and their Pumpkin Spice Lattes!) For me, this looks like pulling out my soup recipes that haven't been touched since the snow melted, or trading my cookie and ice cream dessert for a hot dessert, like apple crisp with gently whipped creamed. Cooking seasonally can be so much fun, and a great way to get creative in the kitchen.

Below are two yummy fall recipes you have to try! I challenge you to take these cooler months to revamp your menus and food choices, and go fresh and natural. Just because summer is over doesn't mean we can't still eat fresh and seasonally!

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Recipes

Butternut Squash Soup

1 medium butternut squash, cooked

2-3 cups of Chicken or vegetable stock

1 small onion, finely chopped

1 teaspoon dried thyme

Salt, pepper, and curry powder (to taste)

Place chopped onion in a pan with a little olive oil or butter, and saute until onion is translucent. Add thyme and 1 cup chicken or vegetable stock, and bring to a simmer. Cook until onion is soft. Place squash (1-2 cups at a time) and remaining stock (1-2 cups at a time) in blender with the cooked onions and blend on high until smooth. Pour blended squash mixture into a pan, and season with salt, pepper, and curry powder  (if using). Heat over low heat until warm. Serve warm.

Pumpkin Cookies

2 cups all purpose flour

1/2 t. baking soda

1/2 t. baking powder

1/2 t. pumpkin pie spice

1/4 t. salt

1/2 cup (1 stick) softened butter

1 cup sugar

1 large egg

1 can pumpkin puree

1/2 cup dark chocolate or semisweet chocolate chips or chunks, optional

Preheat oven to 350*.

in a medium bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. With an electric mixture, beat together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Then add egg and beat until smooth. With the mixer on low speed, alternately add flour mixture in two parts and pumpkin puree in one, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Next, mix just until combined, then gently fold in chocolate chips (if using). Don't over mix! Drop dough by heaping tablespoons onto a baking sheet, about 1 1/2 inch apart. Bake about 15-20 minutes or until cookies have firmed up and are just barely golden brown. Don't over bake! Immediately transfer to a wire rack to cool. Enjoy with coffee or tea!

Samantha is a Midwest girl with a love for autumn, cozy coffee shops, and photography. You can keep up with her baking and photography adventures on Instagram, @samanthasuzannephotography