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The Cookstr Weekly: Early Fall Favorites

September 6, 2012

Shorter days and turning leaves mean it’s time to start thinking about meals for cooler weather. But we aren’t yet ready for our ovens to be overtaken with stews and casseroles. This week, we’re serving up early autumn favorites that are hearty but still light enough for the beginning of fall, from produce-packed soups to spiced baked desserts. In-season ingredients like pears, beans, carrots and late tomatoes make for toothsome entries that usher in the comfort-food season. A picture-perfect entree, Acorn Squash with Porcini Mushroom Filling strikes the right balance between sweet, tender acorn squash and the chewy, nutty rice-mushroom filling.

More Early Fall Recipes from Cookstr:

In Season: Apples

As apple season gets underway in much of the country, it’s the perfect time to experiment with new uses for the many different varieties. Try making your own apple cider, applesauce, apple butter or apple jam. Bake some pies, cakes, or bake apples plain and serve them with ice cream. Or how about an apple pizza? Betsy DiJulio’s Farmstand Fruit Muffins are a fantastic use of early-autumn apples, with a vegan batter and a streusel made of walnuts and oatmeal. Betsy writes, “Fresh picked autumn apples are especially good in these muffins. But you can enjoy them any time by substituting whatever fruit is in season. Any type of chopped nuts may be used in place of the walnuts as well.”

“The dressing can be made in advance and warmed when needed. Rice noodles are a good addition to this. Fresh, hot, sour, salty, and sweet – Thai cuisine, and this salad, hits every pleasure point. The dressing alone is like money in the bank -it improves nearly anything it touches. Fiddling with the recipe verified something we’d suspected: when using spices in uncooked dishes, warming them gently gets rid of their raw edge and opens up all their individuality. Inspiration for this dressing recipe came from Thai food write and restaurateur Su-Mei Yu’s cooking “The Elements of Life” (Wiley, 2009).” – Sally Swift and Lynne Rosetto Kasper

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