Submitted Date 10/14/2019

Fall has arrived and I couldn't be more excited. I love that it's a little colder in the mornings.or that I don't need the air conditioning this month. My slow cooker bit the dust last month and as much as that breaks my heart I am excited to look for a new one. In the meantime, I will utilize Instantpot's slow cooking feature. This is a round-up of some of my favorite fall recipes. I focused on seasonal produce and flavors that deliver comfort.

The Soul Freaking Delicious series provides recipes that are delicious, and techniques that teach you to feel comfortable in the kitchen. Fall is an excellent time to get acquainted with your oven and learn a few new tricks. Some of these recipes are seasonal, and some of the recipes are simply comforting.


Chicken and Dumplings with Mushrooms

Bon Appetit


Soup season is in full swing. I love soup. Creamy, brothy, simple, or complex they are all yummy to me. This soup is sturdy, with hearty mushrooms, chicken, and gooey dumplings. Bon Appetit is one of my favorite places to find new ideas for dinner. Dumplings are one of those foods I missed out on while I was growing up. Now that my palate has matured and food doesn't scare me, I've noticed dumplings are delightful. The recipe calls for chicken legs and thighs. The meat attached to the bones is significant because those pieces add to the flavor of the soup and the meat will be tender. The mushrooms provide substance and depth to the recipe combined with the salty bacon is incredible. This earthy stew comes together in about an hour. The dumplings are optional, but seriously don't miss out.

Pan-Roasted Steak with Crispy Broccoli


Steak isn't necessarily seasonal but broccoli is! Oven-roasted broccoli tastes fantastic because the florets get crunchy and caramelized. Snatch up a nice sirloin or strip steak, season with salt and pepper, then sear. This recipe instructs you to make a caper-jalapeno salsa that dresses the steak. The spicy, Verde sauce smothers your perfectly crusted steak and crispy broccoli side. Pair with some wine and devour. Don't forget to let your steak rest.

Slow Cooker Beef Barley Soup

The Chunky Chef



Slow cookers are one of my favorite kitchen appliances next to the dishwasher. This beef stew is winter in a bowl. Chunky snacks of beef, carrots, celery, onion, and potatoes. A beautiful pot of soup that is comforting and colorful. The Chunky Chef notes that a tougher cut of meat holds up better in a slow cooker, which means you'll want to shop for a beef chuck roast. A marbled cut is preferred. Grab some vegetables and some spices. Pearled barley is grain available in most grocery stores, near the rice or quinoa. I plan on serving this soup with a nice wedge of sourdough.

Orange- Spiked Shaved Brussel Sprouts

Food and Nutrition



Brussel sprouts are like bite-sized cabbages. They are slightly spicy raw, or kinda sweet when they're roasted in the oven. This recipe creates a crunchy salad with raw Brussel sprouts and orange juice. The ingredients call for Florida Orange Juice but I'm sure you will be fine with whatever brand you prefer. This juice is reduced down to a sauce. The Brussel sprouts are shredded using a grater, or food processor then sauteed in a frying pan. This would make a great side dish at Thanksgiving or any day of the week.

Pumpkin Pudding Cake

Betty Crocker Big Book of Cakes

Cake is always in season, but a gooey sweet pumpkin cake that oozes with fall flavors of spiced pumpkin will take the season to new heights. This recipe is straight from Betty Crocker's cookbook. Think bread pudding, or possibly an adaptation of tres leches with pumpkin. This cake recipe calls for a simple can of pumpkin, however, a fresh sugar pumpkin could be used just as well.

This cookbook is available



1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
¾ cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ salt
1 ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ cup buttermilk
½ canned pumpkin
¼ cup melted butter
⅓ cup chopped pecans
1 ½ cups water
¾ cup packed brown sugar

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl. Then stir in buttermilk, pumpkin puree, and butter. Pour into a prepared baking pan, and sprinkle the pecans on top. Dissolve the brown sugar in water over medium heat on top of the stove. Simmer until sugar melts and pour on top of the batter. Bake for 35-45 minutes or until a tester comes out clean. (Crocker, The Big Book of Cakes; pg 210)

Find this recipe and other cake recipes by purchasing the book for yourself. If you are feeling adventurous and are hoping to make this cake from true scratch, at the store lookout for "sugar pumpkins" or "pie pumpkins". These pumpkins are better for cooking. The pumpkins most popular for carving are not the best to use in pies or pudding cakes.

Slow Cooker Moroccan Chicken Tagine with Butternut Squash

NY Times Cooking


I love setting my slow cooker up in the morning and letting it make magic while I write, or clean. While everything heats up, the smells float through the house. I get to take credit for dinner but I hardly had to work for it.

Butternut Squash is perfect in the fall and winter months. The velvety smooth and creamy texture is unbelievably delicious all on its own. The squash is paired with tender chicken thighs and browned onions. Seasoned with garlic, cinnamon, smoked paprika, cumin, ginger, and cloves. The chicken skin is seared in a frying pan and then lays on top of the squash. This cooks low and slow over the course of six hours. Serve the chicken with rice, quinoa, or in a pita wrap.



Ashley Aker


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