Friday, September 18, 2009

Autumn Is Here!

Autumn is here and I have been so anxious for it's arrival ... Don't you just love this time of year? Cool nights, the beautiful foliage colors, football games, fresh apples and leaves just starting to dance their way to the ground ...

North Carolina is a great place to experience the seasons, especially Autumn. We are fortunate to live in the Piedmont where we have easy access, not only to the foothills, but to the mountains and the coast.

So, with Autumn finally here, I am making a list of fun stuff to do and projects to accomplish ..... hiking, knitting, fall planting, new recipes and books to read.... and, of course, joyous outings with our family.

Recipes ... on my, there are so many good, hearty ones for fall and tons of delicious dessert recipes using fresh mountain apples! The Barefoot Contessa on Food Network has some of the best fall recipes!

Rodney and I really enjoy riding up to the mountains to get apples to have on hand for making apple crisps, apple pie, apple butter, stewed apples, apple jelly and ... apples just for slicing.
Apple Crisp

One of our favorite recipes is from Cooking Light, the Fall issue of 2006 on page 174. This one was actually their cover recipe; Classic Beef Pot Roast ... it is so savory and hearty AND we partake of it at least once a month during the fall and winter months! I thought I would share it with you just in case you want to try it. If you like pot roast, you will love this! Toasted crusty bread and a glass of red wine are nice companions with this hearty dish!
(I love cooking in my big Le Creuset pot!)

Classic Pot Roast
Yield: 10 servings (serving size: 3 ounces roast, about 3/4 cup vegetables, and about 3 tablespoons cooking liquid)


* 1 teaspoon olive oil
* 1 (3-pound) boneless chuck roast, trimmed
* 1 teaspoon kosher salt
* 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
* 2 cups coarsely chopped onion
* 1 cup dry red wine
* 4 thyme sprigs
* 3 garlic cloves, chopped
* 1 (14-ounce) can fat-free, less-sodium beef broth
* 1 bay leaf
* 4 large carrots, peeled and cut diagonally into 1-inch pieces
* 2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
* Fresh thyme leaves (optional)


Preheat oven to 350º.

Heat olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Sprinkle chuck roast with salt and pepper. Add roast to pan; cook 5 minutes, turning to brown on all sides. Remove roast from pan. Add onion to pan; sauté 8 minutes or until tender.

Return browned roast to pan. Add the red wine, thyme sprigs, chopped garlic, beef broth, and bay leaf to pan; bring to a simmer. Cover pan and bake at 350° for 1 1/2 hours or until the roast is almost tender.

Add carrots and potatoes to pan. Cover and bake an additional 1 hour or until vegetables are tender. Remove thyme sprigs and bay leaf from pan; discard. Shred meat with 2 forks. Serve roast with vegetable mixture and cooking liquid. Garnish with thyme leaves, if desired.

Ode to Autumn Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness, Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun; Conspiring with him how to load and bless With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run; To bend with apples the moss'd cottage-trees, And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core; To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells With a sweet kernel; to set budding more, And still more, later flowers for the bees, Until they think warm days will never cease, For Summer has o'er-brimm'd their clammy cells.
John Keats


  1. YUM...that's my FAVORITE...
    Can we celebrate Autumn Equinox with you guys :-)

  2. Yummy! That pot roast and apple crisp look delicious. I think I will try the pot roast recipe for sure. :)

  3. Happy Equinox! The first day of my fav season!!! Thanks for this yummy looking recipe! I'm excited to try it soon, since I have thyme growing in the garden... will need to get some wine :)

    Love the Keats poem and the other classical things you often add to your posts. They're such a lift from the everyday banality around us... and they make me feel smarter.

  4. I stopped at Cedar Lodge today and got the roast and I wasn't sure of what kind of wine to get because nothing was labeled red-wine-for-meat-roasting :(

    I got the yellow tail cab.sav. Will that work?

  5. autumn was really in every mind lately. especially during the weekend which was very cold and .. sad.
    since yesterday we have a little hint of summer ... just for a few days but we enjoy it as much as we wan ..; we know it won't last ...