Another season has faded away and I find myself in the middle of autumn. 

The leaves on the trees have turned orange and have half fallen to the ground.  The air is warm for October, but it does not erase the scent of fall.

Despite the warmer temperature today, I work up with an urge to cook and fill the condo with aromas of cold weather food.  The house became a little undone this weekend and I normally prefer to pick up and start with a clean space before getting started in the kitchen.  Today, I just wanted to start dicing and forget about the rest of my ‘to do’ list. 

I turned my Pandora stream to Adele radio and spent the next few hours making our meals for the week.

Twenty-Minute Four-Bean Vegetarian Chili  is a simple crock pot chili.  The recipe is from one of the blog’s that I follow.  I made this a few weeks ago and both AP and I really enjoyed it.  It’s hearty, flavorful, and makes the entire condo smell delicious.  The flavor profile of this dish is slightly different than a traditional chili due to the generous amount of cinnamon that the recipe calls for.  The cinnamon adds a nice fall spice flavor.

Second up was Spinach Tomato Orzo Soup.  I found this recipe on Pinterest a while back, but I had not had the opportunity to give it a test run.  I love making a big batch of soup, eating it for lunch throughout the week, and still having enough to get some in the freezer for a future lazy dinner.  My pot was not big enough to add the entire amount of water or vegetable broth, so my soup is four cups short of liquid.  The orzo absorbed a lot of liquid, which resulted in my soup being much thicker than it should be.  This is a simple recipe that I can see myself whipping up a lot this winter.

I caught up with my mom this morning.  After talking to her, I was inspired to make a variation of one of my favorite childhood dishes, cheesy broccoli casserole.  After a little web searching I found a recipe for Broccoli-Rice Casserole.  I made a couple of ingredient substitutions to this one.  I used fat free condensed milk and a variety of cheeses that I had in the refrigerator (ricotta, Mexican blend, and mozzarella) in lieu of regular condensed milk and cheddar cheese.  I can not wait to eat this for dinner tonight. 

I think I have just enough time to tidy up the house a little before AP gets back into town…   I am looking forward to spending the rest of the day studying, eating, and watching football on the couch.  A prefect fall Sunday.

“Even if something is left undone, everyone must take time to sit still and watch the leaves turn.”

Elizabeth Lawrence


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