Leaves Are Turning And Winter Is Coming! - Lela's Cooking Journey Blog at Allrecipes.com - 313011

Lela's Cooking Journey

Leaves are Turning and Winter is Coming! 
Oct. 15, 2013 7:12 pm 
Updated: Oct. 18, 2013 5:38 am

Old Man Winter is coming soon and is already leaving snow in the high country of Colorado. Last Saturday, my Hubby, and I ventured out to Colorado Springs, Co. The forty-five minute trip led us to the Black Bear Cafe where we had a nice filling lunch.  I was craving a milk shake. The Cafe makes a vanilla milk shake so big that two people can share it. I ordered the shake, hamburger, and fries. My husband had a steak burrito and the vanilla shake.  

     After lunch, we decided to take a road trip to Cripple Creek, Colorado. Needless to say, Mother Nature did not disappoint us as we traveled the road lined with beautiful Fall trees. The quaking Aspen trees were turning gold and bright orange. When we arrived in Cripple Creek, the brisk air smelled fresh and clean. Light snow started to fall and cover the ground as the temperature dropped from 39º to 36º.  I love Fall when the leaves change. It was a very nice road trip indeed. 

Cripple Creek, Colorado

Snowing in Cripple Creek, Colorado

     All the cold weather triggers the cook (me) in the family to make some hearty meals for dinner. First, my kids love pasta with garlic bread so I made this yummy pasta dish. A bowl is the only way to eat pasta at my house. 

Review: This recipe with a few tweaks is a Tasty linguine dish.

     My son went back for seconds! My family really enjoyed this dish. After tasting the sauce, I felt it needed a bit of tweaking. I added a cup of heavy cream, 1 T. of Italian Seasoning, 1 tsp. of garlic powder. At the end I thickened the sauce, by adding 2 T. of corn starch with a 1/4 cup of cold water. Just add some garlic bread and a salad and you have a delicious dinner. I would certainly serve this dish again.

     My Hubby bought a propane smoker a couple of months ago.  Since we had a turkey in the freezer, my hubby decided to smoke a turkey. We always stock up on turkeys during November so that we can enjoy turkey all year long. Along with the smoked turkey, I made a sausage stuffing, salad, rolls, gravy and homemade noodles, and mashed potatoes.  We love turkey and the sausage stuffing was different than the stuffing I make for Thanksgiving. The smoked turkey was moist with a hint of smokey flavor.

Smoked Turkey

Italian All Natural Sausage Stuffing


     Since my Hubby made a smoked turkey my family was expecting a traditional stuffing. My family felt the dressing would go better with a baked chicken, but not a turkey. This stuffing has basil, sun dried red tomatoes, green pepper, and Italian sausage. The stuffing had good flavor, but needed more moisture. 

     Last, I made a pasta with a creamy basil sauce. This was my family's favorite pasta dish I made with Johnsonville mild Italian sausage.  I made some focaccia and a nice green salad which made for a filling dinner.

Review: My Family calls this a Keeper recipe.

      My Family loves this pasta infused with basil, light cream and Parmesan cheese.  We prefer the smaller bowtie pasta in this dish. I am adding this Johnsonville recipe to the Keeper List. Everyone in my family ate this pasta including my five year old granddaughter.

What is your favorite hot dish on a cold day?


I am an Allrecipes Allstar Brand Ambassador (a voluntary position) and I’m not compensated for my work with Allrecipes.com.  

Products received from advertiser are only used for experienced-based reviews on Lela's Cooking Journey. The reviews, content and opinions expressed in this blog are purely the sole opinions of me – Lela.

Zesty Italian Sausage Pasta
Photo Detail
Bow Ties with Italian Sausage in Cream Basil Sauce
Photo Detail
Smoked Turkey
Photo Detail
Oct. 15, 2013 7:55 pm
Lela, what beautiful pictures! Fall and winter are my favorite seasons, I'm sure its amazing out west, so jealous. Also, I cant wait to try the bowties with creamy basil sauce, it looks so good!
Oct. 15, 2013 7:57 pm
Good Evening shannonferger! The bowtie pasta was our favorite of the recipes I tried. My family wants me to make this again soon. Thanks for stopping by.
Oct. 15, 2013 8:16 pm
Lela... After all the allstar posts... I gotta tell ya... now that we have a deep freeze... what a great idea to buy up those super specials during the holidays! We use turkey much more now a days! Note to self.. Meat grinder attachment.. for the Kitchen aide is a must! I love ground turky for meat loaf and did you see that recipe for the Hawain Turkey Burgers ? Love all the pics ! Our #2 son's inlaws live in Denver.... we need to make a trip up soon! Looks just beautiful!
Oct. 15, 2013 8:44 pm
Hi Terry! Great Idea-I really need to get the attachment to make ground turkey. I never thought to use a turkey for ground turkey. Hawaiian Turkey burgers sound really good. If you ever come to Colorado, look me up!
Oct. 16, 2013 4:16 am
I know it's early, but your pictures make my mouth water...now I want a big bowl of sausage pasta, lol! That turkey looks amazing...great blog, Lela!
Oct. 16, 2013 5:54 am
You have me craving turkey dinner, Lela! Beautiful pictures of the fall colors. We enjoy driving over Lost Trail Pass into the Bitterroot Valley of Montana this time of year. Your dishes have me drooling. Can't wait to be back in my kitchen to start cooking again. Thanks for the inspiration!
Oct. 16, 2013 6:20 am
Good Morning Christina! The bowtie pasta is so good, you will not be disappointed. I would add a pinch of nutmeg the next time I make it. Thanks for stopping by Christina.
Oct. 16, 2013 6:22 am
Good Morning, Cookin'Cyn! The turkey was very moist. I forgot my camera when we went to Cripple Creek, so the Fall photos are phone pix. I bet Montana is beautiful this time of the year. Hope to see some of your dishes when you get back home. Enjoy your the rest of your trip!
Oct. 16, 2013 6:29 am
Lela - Thanks for sharing! Your photos are absolutely gorgeous! My compliments to the cooks and photographers!
Oct. 16, 2013 6:40 am
I always love your photos of your beautiful landscape there, and the fall colors are extra special. Your hubs sure has a collection of smokers. Mine bought a huge wood smoker a couple years ago from a garage sale on a block over from us. He actually pulled that heavy thing home on the sidewalk, re-finished it, there are pics in my photos somewhere. Anyway I've got a turkey in the freezer, and that good looking turkey makes me think he needs to put that smoker to use this weekend. :-) Nice Blog.
Oct. 16, 2013 6:44 am
Beautiful scenery, Lela. I love seeing other people's pics of places they travel. And those sausage dishes look great, especially the pasta recipe in the cream sauce. I have a package of sausage in my freezer and was thinking about making another dish. Hmmm...having second thoughts now.
Oct. 16, 2013 6:52 am
Hello, Mrs. J. Wouldn't it be nice if you could share photos on the buzz like pinterest? See you on the buzz.
Oct. 16, 2013 6:59 am
Good Morning, Sherri. Thanks for the compliments. My hubby is very attached to his smokers. Depending on what he is smoking or the outcome he will pull out the appropriate smoker. I bought him this wireless grilling thermometer. He loves it, too. He can't stop talking about it. http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00CAZFKIU?psc=1 He
Oct. 16, 2013 7:02 am
Hi, Paula. Nice to see you here. I wish I had brought my camera. The scenery was just beautiful. I like looking at other people's travels, too. It was a spur of the moment trip and a lot of fun. The bowtie pasta was really good. I think it was the best tasting sausage recipe I made with the Johnsonville sausage.
Oct. 16, 2013 7:38 am
Good morning Lela, as always your photos are breath taking. It looks a lot like Nova Scotia does in the fall. Your family is lucky to have such a wonderful cook. Have a great day.
Oct. 16, 2013 7:43 am
Hello, Manella! I am so happy to see you here. I bet Nova Scotia is a beautiful place. I hope your Dad is getting settled in his new place. I hope you are getting back to your routine.
Oct. 16, 2013 5:24 pm
Outstanding! Love the photos and that turkey, wow. Slice some off for me please.
Oct. 17, 2013 5:05 am
Good Morning, bd.weld! My Husband was very pleased with the way the turkey turned out. The turkey was very moist. Saving a virtual slice of turkey for you!
Oct. 17, 2013 12:12 pm
I love your photos, Lela, and Cripple Creek looks dreamy!
Oct. 17, 2013 12:15 pm
Good Afternoon, Paula! Thanks. Cripple Creek is an old mountain mining town that is also has casinos. It is fun to visit the little shops and play the slots. Thanks for stopping by.
Oct. 17, 2013 12:31 pm
Having been to CO many times, love those mountain vistas, I know where you are talking about. It wasn't too long ago I was thinking about some family that had lived there for many years. This cooling weather makes me think of soup! Unfortunately, no one here can eat it but me. Looks like your family had some lovely dinners!
Oct. 17, 2013 1:48 pm
Lela - lovely pictures and that turkey looks fantastic! I've made a recipe off this site with a basil cream sauce - it is outstanding, we love it! I've been to CO once and loved it.
Oct. 17, 2013 3:04 pm
Hello Cat Hill! There are so many scenic places in Colorado that I would love to visit. I can hardly wait to make potato soup-my family's favorite.
Oct. 17, 2013 3:06 pm
Good Afternoon, Mother Ann! The turkey was very good. Today, I am making turkey tacos with the left overs.
Oct. 17, 2013 3:39 pm
Colorado is indeed very beautiful... In any season. However Fall is so very impressive and those colors take your breath away. I love your photos Lela! DD and I are on vacation in Washington DC and the trees are still green. They haven't begun to change colors yet. So glad you got to take that drive. Thank you for sharing the views with us!
Oct. 17, 2013 7:10 pm
Good Evening, Candice. Thanks for stopping by. Washington D.C. has so much to see. I hope you get to see all the sites. I visited Washington D.C. only once and would love to go back again sometime. Enjoy your vacation.
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About Me
I enjoy cooking for our family sit down dinners. Although my kids are grown, we are a close family that enjoys 4-5 sit down dinners a week together. My family's favorite dinner is chicken enchiladas smothered in green chili. I have a passion for cooking, baking for the holidays and food photography.
My favorite things to cook
I am family oriented and spend time with my family enjoying meals. My favorite things to cook are Mexican food and any food my family asks me to cook. My family looks forward to home cooked Mexican food at least once a week and Italian food.
My favorite family cooking traditions
I am on a journey to reclaim family recipes that were lost when the cooks in my family passed away. Cooking traditions are a major part of my passion for cooking. On Christmas Eve, we always had green chili and tamales. Cookie baking, lemon bars, pizzelles , and potica have been a must at Christmas as long as I can remember. My family looks forward to homemade pizza, when we gather as a family to decorate the Christmas cookies. Thanksgiving wouldn't be Thanksgiving without noodles and gravy piled high on mashed potatoes, pumpkin pie, and broccoli and rice casserole. On the 4th of July, there is the 4th of July Potato Salad that I make using 10 pounds of potatoes. Mexican Food is part of our weekly menu--green chili served over mashed potatoes or as a slopper (green chili poured over hamburgers.) I am always making tortillas for someone. They call my tortillas little white pieces of gold. Saturdays are Family night for dinner. It is the one day my kids can request a meal.
My cooking triumphs
Seeking help on the Buzz and the AR Blog has resulted in a few triumphs. I am extremely ecstatic about overcoming the yeast monster. I can now bake baguettes, focaccia and the best rolls in the world, my Grandma Rita's Butter Rolls.
My cooking tragedies
My first attempts at baking bread/rolls resulted in rock hard flat rolls. However, I am improving. Baking at High Altitude is somewhat of a challenge.
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