Happy October everyone! I think this is my favorite month of the whole year. I love love love autumn, and most of what I love about the season takes place in October. Football season is in full swing, the leaves are changing colors, the days are a bit cooler so I can don my favorite clothes (jeans with sweaters or sweatshirts), we attend Jim and Kim’s annual “pears gone wild” party, and of course there is Halloween. I love Halloween…always have. I love decorating the house, I love seeing others’ decorations when I drive through town, and I love all the fall decor in all the stores. I get to burn some of my favorite fall themed candles like caramel apple, leaves, candy corn, and cinnamon pumpkin spice. I drink herbal teas and hot cocoa to keep warm at Ryan’s soccer games, and my family makes use of the dozens of throw blankets we have, as we snuggle on the couch to watch tv…especially Spartan football…GO GREEN! In short, I absolutely love this time of year, and am really looking forward to this year’s activities.
As I mentioned in my previous blog, Dan and I took the kids to East Lansing to see the Spartans play Eastern. One of Victoria’s favorite teachers, Mr. Zarate, graduated from EMU. She was super excited to tell him she was going to the game, and challenged him to a friendly bet. If MSU lost, she’d have to stand in front of the class, and admit that State wasn’t as great as Eastern. If he lost, he’d have to do the same. Well MSU won, so Mr. Z had to publicly humiliate himself and make the dreaded speech. Victoria made a sign that read “State rocks,” and had him hold it as he made his public concession. He stood in front of the classroom (with the sign) and said “…Hi, my name is Mr. Zarate, I graduated from Eastern Michigan University, but I have to admit that Michigan State is way cooler, and the Spartans are way better.” He was a fabulous sport about it, and Victoria was thrilled that she’d won. She did, however, feel bad for him, so she decided to make him a batch of cookies to atone. She picked coffee cookies because Mr. Z loves coffee and cookies, so she combined his two favorite treats in one recipe. We didn’t enjoy the cookies as we are not coffee drinkers in our house. I do love the smell of coffee, but despite my many attempts, I cannot acquire a taste for it. That said, I am happy to report that Mr. Z loved the cookies. I, unfortunately, forgot to take a picture before Victoria took the cookies to school, but here is the link to the recipe that I used: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/coffee-cookies/
In addition to the cookies, I also made two different types of bread. I came across the recipe for the flat bread one day while watching the Food Network. “Giada at Home” was on, and in this episode she grilled up some herbed flatbread. I have never made a flat bread before so I was immediately intrigued. I had all the ingredients on hand, so I figured I’d give it a shot. It isn’t exactly the consistency I was hoping for, but it turned out good nonetheless. I added some cheese to the recipe and then I liked it even more. I think this flatbread is the perfect companion to soup or stew. It would also be great with a salad. Here is the link to the recipe that I used: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/giada-de-laurentiis/herbed-flatbread-recipe/index.html
In addition to this yummy flat bread, I also made a loaf of garlic cheese bread in my bread machine. I am embarrassed to admit that I haven’t used my bread maker as much as I should. It is so ridiculously easy, that it is literally embarrassing that I haven’t used it more. Anyway, I used it to make garlic cheese bread, and it was amazing. We used it for sandwiches, toast, and I made croutons with what was left over. I definitely plan to use my bread machine more. Next time, I’d like to make cinnamon raisin bread…YUM. Here is a link to a recipe that is similar to the one that I used:http://allrecipes.com/recipe/garlic-bread/
The last recipe was for fried green tomatoes. I make fried green tomatoes every year with the first tomatoes from my garden, but this time I wanted to try a different recipe. Every time I come across a recipe for fried green tomatoes, it calls for corn meal. I never use corn meal in my recipe, but I wanted to give it a shot. When I make friend green tomatoes, I use a combination of Italian style bread crumbs, garlic powder, onion powder, minced onion, dill, salt, pepper, and grated cheese. I also dredge the tomato slices in flour and then in egg, before I coat them in my breading mixture. Also, I’ve never actually fried a green tomato, I always bake them. This time, I abandoned my traditional tried and true recipe, and used a recipe that I found on the internet. I am glad that I tried it, but I have to admit that my recipe is better. I felt like the new recipe was too bland. My recipe is definitely more flavorful. Also, frying the tomatoes in batches is pretty time-consuming, compared to baking all the tomatoes at once in the oven. Next time I make fried green tomatoes, I do want to switch my recipe up though. I would like to try using panko bread crumbs, and my seasonings, instead of the Italian style bread crumbs. Also, I will go back to baking the tomatoes in the essence of time and health. Here is a link to the recipe that I used: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/best-fried-green-tomatoes/ I would recommend trying the recipe, but I would also recommend that you add the seasonings of your choice to the corn meal for some much needed flavor.
In addition to the fried green tomatoes, I wanted to make a dipping sauce. I love love love honey mustard, and I think it goes great with the tomatoes, so I decided to make some of my own. I am so glad that I did too. In fact, the honey mustard sauce was so yummy, that I vow to never ever buy honey mustard again. Here is the link to that recipe:http://allrecipes.com/recipe/honey-mustard-dressing-ii/
I hope that you try the recipes, and enjoy them. Happy Fall everyone ♥