The First Day of Fall

The first day of fall was beautiful here in Happy Valley!  A beaming sun in a deep blue sky, a very chilly morning, but enough afternoon warmth to encourage me to remove my jacket.  I will miss summer, but autumn here in Centre County is a delight.

I thought that the start of fall called for chili.  We love soup/chili/stews as the season turns to colder weather.  A chili I have had at Wegmans was something I wanted to try and today was the day!  Did you know that Wegmans has a list of recipes on their website?  It’s very user friendly and I found just the chili I have eaten in their cafe.

Simple and hearty, this chili was quick to make.  I adapted it a bit to use ingredients in my pantry and account for the comments that said there was too much broth in the original recipe (it is usually very helpful to read the comments to recipes on the internet!).

And since I was feeling so “fall-ie” I decided to bake a loaf of wheat bread using the recipe I posted earlier this year. It’s easy—-really!


Turkey Chili

2 Tablespoons olive oil

1 lb. ground turkey

6 cloves garlic, minced

1 large red pepper, chopped

1 large onion, chopped

1 Tablespoon chili powder

1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1 teaspoon soy sauce

1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

1 teaspoon ground cumin

20 ounces diced tomatoes with juice (you can also use crushed tomatoes)

2 cups chicken or vegetable broth

1 can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained

In a large stockpot heat the olive oil then add the turkey and cook till brown on medium heat (you need the olive oil so that the turkey does not stick—and it adds flavor!), crumbling it as it cooks. Add the onion and cook to soften about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and red pepper and let that cook 2 minutes. Add the chili powder, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, cloves and cumin and stir all the ingredients together. Add the tomatoes and the broth. Bring it to a simmer then add the beans. Turn the heat to low and let the chill simmer, uncovered, about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Makes 4 – 6 servings.

The Last of the Tomatoes

Officially, summer will be over next week.

I don’t know if I am ready!!  Sadly, I picked the last of my Sungold Cherry Tomatoes from my garden one evening wearing a sweater!!


I decided to make pasta with roasted sungolds.  The idea just came to me with the nip in the air.

I placed the stemmed and washed tomatoes in a baking dish, poured a couple of tablespoons of olive oil over them, and baked them at 350 degrees for about 50 minutes, until plump.

Next, I boiled angel hair pasta.  After draining the pasta, I mixed the tomatoes with the pasta, and tossed in some toasted pine nuts I had in the refrigerator and seasoned it with salt and pepper.  Simple and delicious with, it seemed, some nuances of fall.

Bring it on!!



Back to School

Summer Is Over……

…and school has begun.  During the first few days of a new school year, all is exciting as the kids meet and get to know their teachers, make new friends, and use their new school supplies.  But those new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle or Frozen lunchboxes will start to loose their luster as the boredom of bringing peanut butter and jelly sandwiches sets in just a few weeks from now.

Prepare yourselves a list with ideas for interesting lunches you and your children can make together and keep that list handy.

A few weeks ago, I was interviewed by the Centre County Gazette about kids eating healthy food.  I stated in the article: “Send your child to school with homemade pesto pasta, which uses only five ingredients and can be eaten cold, and they will be the most popular kid at the lunch table.”  Pesto pasta beats peanut butter and jelly hands down!


Here is the recipe for Pesto Pasta (made without nuts) from my Young Chefs class from this summer.  Also, look at some of the links below for more lunchbox ideas to keep lunch interesting all year long!  Hint:  this list is NOT just for kids!!

Pinterest     Cooking Light

     Eating Well       Food  Network



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