Friday, October 4, 2013

Fall Menus-Natural Comfort Foods

Delicious, wholesome corn chowder is one of my favorite fall comfort foods.
One of the things I really enjoy about the fall is how warm and cozy smells of fresh baked bread and slow-cooker stews fill the house. I've been using my VitaMix daily and freezing our organic garden produce: plum tomatoes, chili & Poblano peppers, etc. We just grilled some garden butternut squash and apples the other day. So delicious!

Fresh picked butternut & acorn squash and tomatoes from our garden.

My goal for this fall is to keep my dishes fresh, seasonal and interesting. Right now we have fresh Sewansecott Clams on hand so serving linguine and clam sauce with white wine is what we do. When the oysters are back, (they are delivered to us each month in season), the menu will expand to include them as well.
Fresh delivered bushels of Sewansecott Oysters from VA.
Fall Dishes
This year, I'm really excited about trying some new dishes with the healthy ingredients I have to work with. I hope to get some inspiration from this event being hosted by QVC's resident foodie, David Venable. David is not a professional chef, but he has some really good insights on home cooking.

David Venable is QVC TV's resident foodie and host of "In the Kitchen with David" & "David's Food Court".
Easy Prep
Based on what I've seen, David gives very clear and simple steps to preparing whole foods. By that I mean he will take a butternut or acorn squash just as you see it growing in the garden and prepare it. I like that! Here is a video and recipe taken from his show and blog on how to prepare these autumn squashes: 

Baked Stuffed Acorn Squash (or Butternut)
Go to David's Recipe Item Page for the full list of items that David has used in his recipes.


2 acorn squash, halved lengthwise and seeded

1 Tbsp olive oil, plus more for coating squash

1 stalk of celery, diced

1/2 onion, diced

3/4 cup dry stuffing mix

3/4 cup chicken or vegetable stock

1/2 cup dried cranberries

1 (8.8-oz) bag precooked long grain and wild rice blend

1/2 cups cheddar cheese, grated

1/2 cup pecans, lightly toasted and chopped


Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Lightly oil and season the flesh of each squash with salt and pepper. Place the halves flesh-side down on a baking sheet. Bake for about 45 minutes, or until fork tender.

While the squash is baking, make the stuffing. Add 1 Tbsp oil to a skillet set over medium heat and sauté the onion and celery until cooked through, about 5–7 minutes. Add the chicken stock and the mixture; bring to a simmer. Add the stuffing mix and cranberries. Stir, then remove the pan from the heat.

When the stuffing has cooled slightly, spoon it into a medium-size bowl and add the rice, cheese, and pecans. Mix until combined.

When squash has finished baking, turn each half flesh-side up and spoon the stuffing into the cavity of each squash. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until the stuffing is heated through and golden brown on top.

In the Kitchen with David
I've been invited backstage by QVC to meet with David on the set of his show: "In the Kitchen with David" and you'd better believe THIS magazine editor will be taking copious notes. This is a great time to expand your menus with the creamy textures of fall comfort foods. The air date & time of the live broadcast of "David's Food Court" is October 16th, at 10pm ET on QVC. I'm also looking forward to getting a copy of David's latest cookbook, "In the Kitchen with David - QVC's Resident Foodie Presents Comfort Foods That Take You Home"

Author-Editor, Dr. Marie J. Miczak will be on her book signing and lecture tour during the month of October.


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