Autumn/Winter Dinner Menu Ideas

swampwitchNovember 1, 2006

I was wondering if you would share some of your favorite dinner menus. I'm trying to get inspired about some Autumn and Winter menus and would love some new ideas. (Formal and informal are both welcome.)

Since I'm still thinking of Summer, here's my favorite menu, for our deck/backyard/garden parties. It accommodates vegetarians(*), vegans(**), and meat-eaters. It's easy to adjust portions for a large or small crowd. The key is in making only a few very good dishes, and using very fresh in-season local foods. The bonus is that this dinner is healthy and makes you feel good.

Summer Menu for Vancouver Island

Fruit Platter (local ripe berries!)**

Sushi Platter (1/2 vegan)**

Guacamole and Blue Corn Chips**

Fruit Juice Spritzers

Beer and Wine

BBQ Black Pepper Lemon Chicken

BBQ Fresh Fish (local island fish!)

Potato Salad (1850 Texas recipe)*

Pot o' Beans**

Fruit Pie(s) (local fresh fruit)**

Ice Cream*

Coffee or Tea

*vegetarian (no meat)

**vegan (no dairy, eggs, or meat)

Thanks for sharing your ideas, too.

Cheers, from

SwampWitch

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ilovepink

Fall is a great time to cook! I love entertaining.

I love making stew and homemade bread or cornbread. I also serve my stew a tad bit differently. I make mashed potatoes and pour stew over it. I actually make the potatoes into a cup form so it sits in the middle of it.

I make pork loin stuffed with figs and apricots or prunes along with nuts then do a whiskey sauce over. Huge hit in the fall and winter months.

I love to cook a Thanksgiving meal before November.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2006 at 5:39PM
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jkom51

Cold weather always makes me think of things like chili and cornbread, or roast capon with yummy little potatoes browning in the pan with the bird (OK, bad for you but tastes SO good!!). Or a couple of broiled steaks with a big pan of roasted winter vegetables, fragrant with olive oil and fresh rosemary.

I think of stews or braises, which are always some of my favorite dishes. Hearty things like green chile pork, braised duck with turnips, or a fricaseed chicken.

Big, rib-sticking soups -- I love bean and lentil soups, like white bean with kale. Butternut squash risotto, or a rich potato gratin with gorgonzola.

Hungry yet? I am, LOL!

    Bookmark   November 16, 2006 at 10:54PM
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gellchom

Tomorrow is the biggest day of the year here in Columbus -- bigger than Xmas, bigger than Election Day (which has gotten way TOO big here in recent years!), bigger than July 4th, bigger than New Year's Eve.

The Michigan Game. (vs. Ohio State, that is)

This year it's a home game, so the city looks like it's getting ready for a tsunami or a war. I'm not even kidding. When it's an away game, everyone is just glued to the TV. I mean it, you could walk down the major streets naked -- no one would know. It's like Yom Kippur in Jerusalem. Well, almost.

For those of us without tickets who will be hunkering down at home, a popular meal is CHILI. (Chili:football :: hot dogs:baseball.) That's what I'll be making. We just leave it on the stove and people can wander over as they get hungry. I like to have some fruit and some tortilla chips (instead of crackers) out with that. And I guess some cookies.

For less casual fall dinner (it could hardly be more casual), I love a squash, peanut, or pumpkin soup, main dishes like cassoulet or beef stew, and a cabbage-apple-caraway side dish. Roasted vegetables are perfect any time of year. And of course, apple and pumpkin pies. We always have pumpkin chiffon pie, my daughter's favorite dessert.

    Bookmark   November 17, 2006 at 4:59PM
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becky_ca

It doesn't get very cold here on the Central Calif coast, but it does get dark early, which makes me feel like it's fall :-) Here's a couple of my favorite fall menus:

Appetizer - Spinach salad (recipe follows)
Pork Roast (either a butt or rolled and tied sirloin tip - brown it in a little oil, then put it on a bed of sliced onions, pour some fruit juice over and spread with minced garlic and herbs. Bake at 325 in a covered pan for about 3 1/2 hours)
Mashed Potatoes (or scalloped or au gratin)
Applesauce
Braised red cabbage
Dinner Rolls
Dessert - carrot cake

Appetizer - Caramelized onion galette (recipe follows)
Roast Leg of lamb with chutney
Au Gratin Potatoes
Green beans with chopped pecans and lemon zest
Dinner rolls
Dessert - apple crisp

* Exported from MasterCook *

Spinach and Strawberry Salad

Recipe By :
Serving Size : 0 Preparation Time :0:00
Categories :

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
-------- ------------ --------------------------------
2 bunches spinach -- rinsed and torn into bite-size pieces
4 cups sliced strawberries
chopped toasted nuts (walnuts or pecans)
crumbled bleu cheese
Dressing:
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup white sugar
1 tablespoon poppy seeds

In a large bowl, combine the spinach and strawberries. In a medium-size mixing bowl, whisk together the oil, vinegar, sugar, and poppy seeds. Pour over salad, toss until well mixed and serve. Sprinkle chopped toasted nuts and bleu cheese over top.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
NOTES : Variation: Substitute dried cranberries for strawberries.

Dressing can be prepared ahead - refrigerate until serving.

* Exported from MasterCook *

Caramelized Onion Galette

Recipe By :
Serving Size : 0 Preparation Time :0:00
Categories : Hot Appetizers Tested and Approved

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
-------- ------------ --------------------------------
CRUST:
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick unsalted butter -- ( 1/2 cup) chilled,
cut into small pieces
1/3 cup ice-cold water
FILLING:
1 tablespoon each: olive oil -- butter
2 medium sweet or Spanish onions -- halved, thinly
sliced
2 teaspoons sugar
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
3/4 cup crumbled blue cheese
2 teaspoons fresh chopped rosemary
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

For crust, stir together flour and salt in medium bowl. Add butter; mix in with hands or pastry blender, until mixture is pea-size. Add water just until dough comes together (if needed, add more water drop by drop). Wrap in plastic wrap; refrigerate.

For filling, heat oil and butter in large skillet over medium heat. Add onions and sugar; cook over medium heat until caramelized, stirring often, about 25 minutes. Stir in vinegar; cook until vinegar evaporates, about 2 minutes. Set aside to cool.

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Place dough on lightly floured surface; roll into 12-inch circle using rolling pin. Brush off excess flour; place on ungreased baking sheet. Sprinkle cheese onto dough, leaving 1-inch border. Spread onions over cheese; sprinkle with rosemary and pepper. Fold edge over to create border about 1/2-inch thick; pleat border using thumb and forefinger every 1 inch. Bake until crust is golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes. Slice.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

    Bookmark   November 18, 2006 at 10:50AM
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