Fall is fast approaching. It’s officially the season of pumpkin-spiced lattes, warm drinks, and crunchy leaves on the pavement. Such a beautiful season can be celebrated with family and friends by aligning your kitchen recipes and activities with the fall season. If you want to get into the fall spirit, here’s a simple guide on how to create fall in your kitchen.
Start With Kitchen Decorations
Get right into the fall spirit by decorating your kitchen with fall items. Get some scented candles, pumpkins, and other rustic decors that come in warm tones. Create a seasonal fruit basket with apples, berries, and more fruits that are in season. You can use these ingredients later on to create fall-themed recipes.
Make Some Pumpkin Soup
Creamy pumpkin soup is a favorite during the fall season. It features pumpkin which is right up the season’s alley. Soup is also a great meal during the fall. It’ll help warm you up during the cold fall season.
For this, you’ll need the following ingredients:
- 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 4-pound sugar pie pumpkin
- 4 large or 6 medium garlic cloves, pressed or minced
- ½ tsp sea salt
- ¼ cup pepitas (green pumpkin seeds)
- ⅛ tsp cloves
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp ground nutmeg
- Dash of cayenne pepper (optional, if you like spice)
- Ground black pepper
- 4 cups or 32 ounces vegetable broth
- 2 tbsp maple syrup or honey
- ½ cup full-fat coconut milk or heavy cream
- 1 large yellow onion, chopped
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Line your baking tray with some parchment paper to make the cleaning up process easier. Slice the pumpkin in half and then use a spoon or a scooper to scrape out the seeds. Keep some of the seeds as you will roast them for later.
Take the pumpkin halves and slice them further into quarters. Tub about a tablespoon of olive oil all over the pumpkin flesh. Place the pumpkin quarters sides down to the sheet. Roast them for around thirty-five minutes. They’re done if you can pierce them easily with a fork. Set aside and allow it to cool.
Heat three tablespoons of olive oil in an oven over medium heat. Once the oil is shimmering and is ready, throw in the onion, garlic, and salt. Stir to cook. This will take about eight to ten minutes or until the onion is translucent. While waiting for it to cook, you can peel off the skin from the pumpkin flesh.
Throw in the pumpkin flesh as well as cloves, cayenne pepper, ground black pepper, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Break up the pumpkin by mashing with a spoon. Pour in the broth and bring to a boil. Allow it to simmer for fifteen minutes. Add some toasted pepitas on top. Throw in the coconut milk and maple syrup. Then, blend in an immersion blender to arrive at a creamy and tasty mixture. Serve and enjoy!
Make Some Fall-Themed Pastries
Autumn is a great season for baking numerous treats using seasonal ingredients like pumpkin or cinnamon. The act of baking itself is the perfect way to spend your time indoors and to bond with your family. The smell and warmth from the oven are guaranteed to put you in a festive autumn mood.
One easy recipe is baked pumpkin donuts. For this, you’ll need:
- 1 and 3/4 cups (220g) all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/3 cup (80ml) milk
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 cup (227g) fresh or canned pumpkin puree
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- 3/4 cup (150g) packed light or dark brown sugar
- 1/2 cup (120ml) vegetable oil (or canola oil or melted coconut oil)
For the brown sugar icing, you’ll need:
- 3/4 cup (150g) packed light or dark brown sugar
- pinch of salt, to taste
- 1/4 cup (60ml) milk
- 1 and 1/2 cups (175g) sifted confectioners’ sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 Tablespoon (14g) unsalted butter
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Celsius. Spray your Chefast donut pan with some cooking spray and then set aside for later.
To make the donut batter, mix together the dry ingredients like baking soda, cinnamon, baking powder, flour, salt, and pumpkin pie spice. Set aside.
In another bowl, mix the brown sugar, eggs, pumpkin puree, vanilla extract, oil, and milk. Take the bowl of wet ingredients and then fold it into the bowl of dry ingredients until there are no more flour pockets visible. Scoop the batter into the cavities of the donut pan. Fill the cavities around halfway through.
Pop the pan into the oven for about ten to twelve minutes or until the edges turn brown. To test if the donuts are ready, poke some holes using a toothpick or a fork. If the prongs come out cleanly, then the donuts are ready.
For the frosting, mix the butter, brown sugar, and milk together in a medium pan over low heat. Allow this to simmer for a minute before whisking in the vanilla extract and confectioner’s sugar. You can also throw in some salt to taste if you wish to adjust the taste. Allow the icing to cool for about five minutes before slathering them on top of your freshly-baked donuts. Serve and enjoy!
Create A Fall-Themed Drink
Fall is best enjoyed with a warm drink in hand to help you feel toasty against the cold. One good recipe to try out is this one for a dirty chai latte. This is a Starbucks hack for anyone who wishes to make their own version at home. This drink is just like any other chai latte with an additional shot or two of espresso to make it more caffeinated.
For this, you’ll need:
- 1 black bag of tea
- 1 to 2 shots of espresso
- 1 to 2 tablespoons Chai Tea Mix
- Ground cinnamon
Steep the teabag in a large mug of water for three to five minutes. Take out the bag and throw in one to two shots of espresso. Mix in the chai tea mix and then top with some cinnamon. You can enjoy this warm, or throw the drink in a tall glass with some ice cubes to enjoy it cold. If you enjoy it cold, sip the drink throughout the day with a set of metal straws from Chefast. Metal straws are great investments for savoring cold drinks at home. They’re reusable, they’re better for the environment, and they last for a very long time.
These fall activities are great for bonding with your family and friends. Aside from the aforementioned recipes, you can follow your own favorite recipes or ask around for some new ideas. In the current pandemic setting, we are discouraged from meeting our friends in order to prevent the virus from spreading. That doesn’t automatically mean that we should be disconnected. There are numerous ways to stay connected, from following a recipe via Zoom or leaving a large bowl of fall soup at a friend’s doorstep. Try out some of the aforementioned recipes to really get into that fall spirit.