As The Seasons Turn... - Sweet & Savory Blog at - 314166

Sweet & Savory

As the Seasons Turn... 
Oct. 31, 2013 9:43 pm 
Updated: Nov. 9, 2013 6:16 am

I am an Allrecipes Allstar Brand Ambassador (a voluntary position),

and I'm not compensated for my work with  Products

were provided by Johnsonville and Ore-Ida and were only used

for my participation in this project.  The reviews, and opinions

expressed in this blog are purely the sole opinions of

Bibi, in my Sweet & Savory blog.

As the days shorten and grow cooler, I feel the urge to change my cooking "wardrobe", along with my clothes!  I grew up in  Kentucky, where there are 4 distinct seasons.  We had to bundle up with coats, gloves and scarves against the cold of the brief winter season.  In the spring, we put away our wool, opting for lighter weight fabrics in gorgeous bright pastels that echoed the riot of spring flowers outside.  We had no need for sweaters or even long sleeves in the humid summers, and we left our spring jackets hanging in the closet.  One didn't wear white shoes after Labor Day though, and clothing fabrics grew heavier and darker as the leaves changed and eventually fell from the trees in the autumn.

Our food followed seasons, too.  During the winter, we would "freezer dive", feasting on all Mom's hard work in preserving things from the garden.  She was a careful shopper too, so there were grocery store specials lying in there, waiting to be selected for a cold winter night's menu.  In the spring, we had fresh asparagus, spring onions, leaf lettuce, English peas and strawberries from the garden Dad carefully planned.  Summer brought all manner of glorious fresh veggies from his garden, including several varieties of tomatoes.  I still haven't found tomatoes as tasty as those my dad grew.  Before that first nip of frost in the fall, he would pull up the tomato vies and strip them.  Some tomatoes were allowed to finish ripening indoors, and some were turned into fried green tomatoes, and some made into piccalilli.  The once or twice weekly use of the barbecue grill change to become once or twice a month, weather permitting.  As a result, Mom's menus changed, too, and more of her entrees came from the stove top or the oven.

I live in Texas now, where we have two seasons:  hot and hotter.  Can you believe I actually know people who run their air conditioners on Thanksgiving Day so that they can stand to have a fire in the fireplace?  I don't do that, but some of my habits still assert themselves with no apparent cause.  For example,  even though the calendar says fall, I can still wear my sandals.  I feel really funny about the white ones right now, though, and they are now relegated to the back of the closet until about Easter.  Old habits die hard, right?  And just like in Kentucky, as the season turns to fall, I remember some of the comfort foods my mom prepared for us.  Though it's hardly cold,  there is something about soups and stews that sounds really good to me.  I love good sausage dishes this time of year, too.  I don't have sausage very often, but now and then it's really satisfying.  I was happy that Johnsonville is a featured sponsor on Allrecipes this month, and I've tried some recipes that feature sausage in new ways.  Johnsonville also makes a 50% less fat version of Mild Italian Sausage, which I have put to good use.

First up was a frittata, which I prepared for a Sunday brunch.  I served this with light English muffins and my sister-in-law's homemade cherry preserves.  Because I "saved" so many calories by using the 50% less fat sausage and the light English muffins, I decided to add a side of Ore-Ida Golden Patties.  I baked these, and I'm here to tell you that sometimes a little convenience is a good thing, especially if it allows the cook to enjoy a few extra minutes with the Sunday paper!

My next experience with sausage was new to me.  I've always heard of sausage and peppers, but I had never prepared them, until I tried this recipe.  This combination of colorful bell peppers, onions, tomatoes and sausage had such a nice aroma that everyone was asking when we would be having dinner.  I did tweak this a bit.  I decided to create a sandwich out of this by serving it on hoagie rolls with melted mozzarella cheese.  We really enjoyed the sandwiches, served with a nice Caesar salad.

I also discovered a savory muffin recipe that uses Johnsonville sausage.  I'm always on the lookout for breakfast items I can make in advance for busy mornings.  The potato crust in this was a nice change from pastry, and gave the muffins a little twist.  Here's the recipe, if you would like to see it.   Though I could have grated my own hash browns for the crust, it was nice to have the convenience of these potatoes in my freezer.

Our dinner tonight was another convenience meal.  I picked up a rotisserie chicken from the store, and I wanted to serve it with our favorite roasted veggies.  Since I was firing up the oven anyway, I filled out the menu with these potatoes.   My schedule is so hectic these days, that sometimes I can't prepare food that I planned before it goes bad.  That's the beauty of these frozen potato products--they don't go bad waiting for me, and they allow some fast footwork if the menu needs a little filling out.

I'm looking forward to my new fall menus.  What's on your mind for fall?
Oct. 31, 2013 9:59 pm
Here's the Ore-Ida website.
Oct. 31, 2013 10:01 pm
Johnsonville has some recipes here on AR. Here is their website, if you'd like to check it out.
Oct. 31, 2013 10:08 pm
Oh Bibi - we have 3 seasons here - hot so hot, hot and hotter. I have been known to have to run the A/C on Thanksgiving but not with the fireplace on. Thanks for posting,it was a good reminder to put the white shoes away. :)
Oct. 31, 2013 11:25 pm
I like the way you put it....changing your cooking wardrobe... I can relate. We do have 4 seasons here, but every now and then they get confused. I can think of two years at my sister in law's where she had the fire for tradition and the air on so no one had heat stroke instead of turkey.
Nov. 1, 2013 3:45 am
Hi, Baking Nana! Agree about needing the A/C on for Thanksgiving. One year we actually had it outside on the patio! We usually have about a week altogether of cooler temps. Most of our Canadian friends think Texans are wimps about winter, lol!
Nov. 1, 2013 3:56 am
Hi, BigShotsMom! Yes, I was thinking about the changing of the seasons and how they affect my cooking. I love soup, but always had it in cold weather. Here in Texas, I think it's often too hot for soup. We only have a few days in the winter that are actually cold, so I have to hurry to get all my favorites in, lol!
Nov. 1, 2013 5:48 am
Bibi, I totally know where you're coming from. One year I actually went swimming in the backyard pool on New Year's Day (and it wasn't even a "polar bear plunge"). I still don't understand why I hold on to all of those sweatshirts and jackets. And sandals and flip-flops? Twelve months a year, and I no longer even think about the "white" thing. We always plan at least one trip out of state in the fall to enjoy the beautiful fall foliage, and then when we head home, I'm ready to kickstart the fall season by preparing some cooler weather temps. But come January, you won't hear me complaining.
Nov. 1, 2013 5:49 am
Oops, meant to say "…cooler weather foods."
Nov. 1, 2013 6:50 am
Lol, lutzflcat, I hold on to those jackets, too! I think my problem is that I didn't grow up here. I got here as fast as I could though, lol! Glad you shared some time with me today.
Nov. 1, 2013 8:12 am
I like your analogy of a "cooking wardrobe" change with the seasons, Bibi. It seems that the colder the weather gets, the more pots and pans come out. Especially the big stockpot for soups and stews! Love the OreIda convenience, and the quality is great. Thanks for the recipe ideas!
Nov. 1, 2013 10:25 am
Thanks, Cookin'Cyn, for your comments! Along the lines of cold-weather cooking, one of the reasons I avoid pot-style cooking in the summer is that hands in hot dishwater make one really hot! I don't seem to mind so much in the winter. You get to warm up twice with a stock pot: once with the yummy food, and again with the clean-up, lol! Good to "see" you!
Nov. 2, 2013 2:18 pm
The older I get, the more I love living in Texas. I really dislike cold weather and the "week" we usually get only confirms that! As a kid, I always wanted snow for the holidays; as an adult I hope the temps stay in the 70s all winter!
Nov. 2, 2013 5:13 pm
Hi, TwoSweetPickles! Though I love the early quiet of morning after a snowfall, I want snow on MY terms, these days, lol! I think I'm with you now. We had a fabulous day today, with temps in the 70's and very low humidity. I could do with a fem more of this kind of day. So happy you stopped by!
Nov. 9, 2013 6:16 am
Bibi This makes me want to run out and get these freezer convenience foods. Doing mostly green smoothies still for breakfast and lunch but these are good ideas for weekends. When we took our 19-day tour of Texas in December, 1990, following James Michener's book, Texas, which I highly recommend, my California girl daughter prayed for snow in Houston. Next day brought one of their worst snowstorms in history. Lol. That girl can pray! She hadn't ever seen snow in her short 5-year-old life, and I am sure the Houston populace was unhappy with her as they got got in traffic snarls. San Anton was safe though. You brought back memories of our trip. Thanks for reading and commenting on my blog too. Blessings Marjorie
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About Me
My cooking experiences began in the 4th grade Conservation Club. Cooking and Sewing were classes for girls, and my mom agreed to teach them for me and a couple of friends. We began with a blond brownie sort of dessert. After I made it a few times, I began to experiment with the recipe. Mom was a no-recipe cook, and I do that, too, but I usually follow a new recipe the first time. Most of the time, I can tell by looking if we will like it. I have a husband, 2 sons, 1 granddaughter, and one ex-daughter-in-law. I was chosen to be an AllRecipes Allstar Ambassador in 2012, and I am so excited! I am an Allrecipes Allstar Brand Ambassador (a voluntary position) and I’m not compensated for my work with Products received from advertisers are only used for experienced-based reviews on my blog, "Sweet & Savory". The reviews, content and opinions expressed in this blog are purely the sole opinions of me, Bibi.
My favorite things to cook
My favorite thing to cook is dressing (I'm a Southern Gal) for holiday turkey. I never work from a recipe, but I just start sauteing and mixing, sampling as I go. By the time I think it's right for the oven, I've eaten a full serving of the raw mix!
My favorite family cooking traditions
I have some heirloom recipes from both my grandmothers, my mother, and other family members. When I prepare them, I am remembering time in their kitchens.
My cooking triumphs
One year, we hosted my husband's office Christmas party in our home. I did the whole dinner for 24, and it was a huge success.
My cooking tragedies
My first try at making croissants was kind of embarrassing. The croissants were a success, but the house was a disaster, and of course, the guests were already there! The recipe said to bake them in a jelly roll pan, but I used a cookie sheet. As the butter in the croissants melted, it ran off the sheet and into the hot oven, smoking up the whole house! Was my face red ...
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