Thursday, September 18, 2008

Fall Food

I love the smells, the colors and the sounds of fall.

The fall brings back memories of bonfires, hayrides, and playing in the leaves. I can remember going for walks in the woods with the sounds of the leaves crackling beneath your feet. The air is so crisp, the nights are chilly and the days are just warm enough. I love that I can once again sleep with my windows open. It is a perfect time of year.

Some of my favorite foods are "fall" foods. Fall is when the weather is finally cool enough to start thinking about making roasts, soups and chili. The warm smells of dinner baking filling the house on a blustery football Sunday. I love the sweet taste of Apple Cider, which becomes so plentiful in the fall. Some times it is refreshing cold, but mostly I love it warm, mulled when possible. I love Candy Corn, one of my favorite non-chocolate candies, which of course is on sale in the fall. I will confess though, that not just any Candy Corn will do, it must be Brach's Candy Corn, made with real honey. Without the honey, the texture and flavor just aren't right. Harvest time brings about a number of fruits for baking - I love to bake with apples and pumpkins.

One of my favorite fall recipes is for Pumpkin Sheet Cake. My Grandma made this the first time I had it. The perfect marriage of Pumpkin, lightly seasoned and a smooth Cream Cheese Frosting, make this a hard to resist dessert for me.

Pumpkin Sheet Cake
1 can (16 oz) Pumpkin
2 c sugar
1 c vegetable oil
4 eggs, lightly beaten
2 c all purpose flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt

1 pkg (3oz) cream cheese, softened
5 Tbsp butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla
1 3/4 c confectioner sugar
3 to 4 tsp milk

Chocolate chips (optional)

In a mixing bowl, beat pumpkin, sugar and oil. Add eggs and mix well. Combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Add to the pumpkin mixture and beat until well blended. Pour into a greased 15" x 10" pan. Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes. Cool.

For frosting, beat the cream cheese, butter and vanilla until smooth. Gradually add sugar, mixing well. Add milk until frosting reaches desired spreading consistency.

Frost cooled cake. Sprinkle with chocolate chips.

Be sure to check out other fall favorites at Life as Mom Favorite Fall Food Recipe Swap and other great recipes at The Grocery Cart Challenge Recipe Swap.