Normally at this time, I’d be giving you a rundown of last month’s finds and things I’d tried for the first time. Unfortunately, I didn’t seem to try much of anything last month (or at least nothing worth blogging about). This may actually be a good thing in disguise because it means that I get to give you several delicious recipes. I also have a reward program that I’d forgotten to tell you about.
Let’s start with the reward program. Last year, I told you that I had discovered some ways to make shopping at Kohl’s more affordable. This year, Kohl’s introduced a reward program that makes that just a little easier. The program is free to join and has some pretty nice perks. When I first joined, they immediately gave me 100 reward points. In the program, you get 1 point per dollar you spend at Kohl’s or Kohl’s.com. Once you’ve received 100 points, they send you an e-mail with a coupon for $5 off your next purchase. Thankfully, the points don’t expire for a year, so you don’t have to spend a lot all at once. They also send you free $5 for your birthday. Basically, if you already shop at Kohl’s, you can get a little more bang for your buck without having to do any extra work, and that’s a win in my book!
While we’ve really been enjoying the little taste of fall we’ve been getting, I know that we won’t have consistent fall weather for a little while still. For instance, today is a balmy 86 degrees outside. Even though it’s the beginning of fall, the markets are still selling some of the last of summer’s bounty which will enable you to make these recipes. This first recipe takes a little bit of work, but it has a really nice flavor. It’s also a very pretty dish with lots of vegetables.
Two-Cheese Corn Gratin (from Good Housekeeping.com)
1 lb. sliced 1/4 inch thick yellow squash (You could also use zucchini for extra color.)
1 lb. halved, seeded, sliced 1/3 inch thick tomatoes
2 tbsp. olive oil
2 tbsp. chopped basil
1 1/2 c. whole milk
2 tbsp. cornstarch
1/4 c. snipped chives
5 ears of corn
3/4 c. panko
3/4 c. shredded cheddar
1/2 c. shredded mozzarella
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. In a greased, shallow 3 quart dish, arrange the squash and 1/2 of the tomatoes in a single, overlapping layer. Drizzle the squash and tomatoes with 1 tbsp. of the oil and sprinkle them with 1/4 tsp. salt, 1/8 tsp. pepper, and 1 tbsp. basil. Roast for 25 minutes or til slightly dry.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together the milk, cornstarch, 1/8 tsp. salt, and 1/8 tsp. pepper til the cornstarch is dissolved. Then whisk in the eggs and 1/2 of the chives.
3. Remove the kernels from the ears of corn. In a bowl, combine the panko, 1/4 c. cheddar, 1/8 tsp. salt, 1/8 tsp. pepper, 1 tbsp. basil, 1 tbsp. oil, and the remaining chives.
4. Sprinkle the remaining cheese evenly over the roasted veggies. Then top them with the corn and pour the milk mix over top of that. Place the other half of the tomatoes around the edge of the pan, slightly overlapping, and sprinkle the panko mix evenly over the top.
5. Bake the gratin 25-30 minutes or til browned and a knife inserted in the center removes cleanly. Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes.
As I’ve mentioned before, I don’t have much luck growing plants. I only seem able to grow basil and chives. Chives are really one of my favorite herbs, which is why I knew I’d love this next recipe. These biscuits take a little bit of work and a lot of time, but the flavor is out of this world delicious. These aren’t really hard, it’s just that there are several steps that have to be spaced out over a few hours; you’ll definitely want to start these early in the day. The inside of these biscuits was light and flaky, and the bottoms got deliciously crisp when they were baked. We thoroughly enjoyed them and will have them again before too long.
Cream Cheese and Chive Biscuits (from Lottie + Doof)
2 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1 1/4 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. sugar
1/4 c. finely chopped chives (I used all my fresh, then finished the rest with freeze-dried.)
1/2 c. cubed butter
4 oz. cubed cream cheese
1 1/4 c. buttermilk
1. Line a baking sheet with parchment and set it aside. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, sugar and chives. Cut in the butter and cream cheese til the mix resembles coarse crumbs.
2. Pour in the buttermilk and mix til it’s incorporated and the dough just comes together. The dough will be slightly sticky, but do not overmix it.
3. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and gently knead it 4 times, til all the crumbs are incorporated and the dough is smooth. Gently roll the dough into an 8×11 rectangle about 1 inch thick. Fold the dough into thirds (). Give the dough a quarter turn, roll it into another 8×11 rectangle, and repeat the folding process. Wrap the dough in plastic and refrigerate it for 30 minutes.
4. Return the dough to your work surface and roll it to another 8×11 rectangle. Fold it in thirds once again. Give it another quarter turn, roll it out to another 8×11 rectangle, and cut it into 12 biscuits. Place the biscuits 1 1/2 inches apart on a baking sheet and refrigerate them for 1 hour.
5. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Bake the biscuits, rotating the pan halfway through, til they’re golden and brown in spots, 15-18 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.
Not enough for you yet? How about some amazing zucchini bread? I have no idea where this zucchini bread recipe came from, but it definitely delivers a tasty treat. It makes 2 loaves with a moist crumb and delicate flavor.
Zucchini Bread (unknown source – let me know if you recognize it!)
1 c. veggie oil
2 c. sugar
2 c. grated zucchini
2 tsp. vanilla
3 c. all-purpose flour
3 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1/2 c. chopped walnuts (optional – but tasty)
1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour two 8×2 inch loaf pans.
2. In a large bowl, beat the eggs til they’re light and frothy. Mix in the oil and sugar, then stir in the zucchini and vanilla. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and nuts; stir this mix into the wet ingredients. Divide the batter among the prepared pans.
3. Bake 60-70 minutes or til done.
The last recipe for today may also be your last popsicle of the year (it’s mine, anyway). (Am I the only one that thinks ice cream is good year round, but popsicles are only for summer?) These are a type of creamsicle made with roasted cantaloupe instead of orange. While they don’t replace creamsicles, they are certainly a nice addition to your popsicle repertoire. The popsicles are a little tangy with a nice light cantaloupe flavor. They hold together very well without being to icy or overly melty. If you like cantaloupe, then this might be a new way for you to enjoy it.
Creamy, Roasted Cantaloupe Pops (from the Tasting Table)
1 peeled, halved, seeded cantaloupe
3/4 c. sweetened, condensed milk
1/2 c. milk
1/4 c. lemon juice
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Slice each cantaloupe half into 3 thick circles and place them on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast til the edges begin to brown, 20-25 minutes. Set the roasted pieces aside to cool completely, about 45 minutes.
2. Chop the cooled cantaloupe and add it to a food processor or blender. Puree til smooth, about 30 seconds, then pour into a large spouted cup.
3. Stir the milks and lemon juice into the spouted cup. Divide the mixture evenly among your popsicle molds and freeze til hard, about 5 hours.
I think this is going to be it for summery food for a while. Hopefully, it’ll cool down again soon so I can start making some seasonal treats. What’s your favorite fall dish?