Autumn Recipes

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Caramelized Fuyu Persimmons Recipe

Caramelized Fuyu Persimmons

12.13.09 by Jackie

Fuyu persimmons are a nice substitute for Granny Smith apples in side dishes. I love caramelizing persimmons and pairing them with roasted duck breast. I don't think a holiday dinner menu can get much more fancy or decadent. We've just had our first crop of Fuyu persimmons this season in our garden, and I decided to take full advantage.

In case you were wondering, there are 2 main varieties of persimmons, Fuyu and Hachiya. The difference is the texture. For this recipe make sure you use Fuyu persimmons, which have are hard, almost carrot-like texture.


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Sweet Potato Pie with Pecan Crumb Topping Recipe

Sweet potato pie is a classic American dessert that is not overly sweet. The texture is similar to a pumpkin pie, but firmer. I jazzed mine up with a little anise extract, other flavorings and a crown of pecan crumb topping. It's a great pie for Thanksgiving, but really, you can enjoy it any time of the year.

I made this for a reader named Bill who e-mailed me a request for a sweet potato pie recipe. If you're reading Bill, I hope you like it!


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Celery Risotto with Pistachio Pesto Recipe

Daddy's been dieting diligently lately, and he told me yesterday that he had a craving for celery risotto. Of course, I was happy to oblige. Unlike many of my other risotto recipes, which will probably never be considered healthy, I decided to make this risotto (almost) as good for you as it is good to eat.

To complement the very distinct flavor of celery, I added lemon juice and a pistachio pesto. I also threw in a little parmesan cheese for a nutty aroma and flavor. Daddy enjoyed it so much that I froze several portions of the risotto so that he can get his "fix" whenever he wants, whether he's on a diet or not.


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Vegetarian Lentil Soup Recipe

Vegetarian Lentil Soup

11.05.09 by Jackie

Sunny had an orthodontist appointment today and she got tighter elastic bands on her braces. The poor thing couldn't chew solid foods. I had to make her something that wouldn't cause any pain, and after looking through the pantry I decided to make her a bowl of hot lentil soup. She loves hot and spicy foods, so I added some leftover harissa "ice cubes" (see tips) from the freezer to the soup to give it a kick and to complement the earthy flavors of the lentils.

You'll enjoy this soup even if you haven't had recent dental work done. It's a great cure for the cool weather we've been having as well.


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Fresh Jujube Tart with Walnut Cream (Chinese Date Tart) Recipe

Lulu planted jujube trees 3 years ago and they didn't produce much fruit until this year. A jujube (also called Chinese date) is a little date-sized fruit that has a sweet smell and a flavor reminiscent of apples. In Asia, legend says that the scent of jujubes makes people fall in love. They are also a sign of fertility.

The fruits are so much more flavorful and sweet than the ones from our local market. In Vietnam, jujubes are eaten fresh as a snack. The girls have been going back and forth to the garden to pick the fruits from the trees. The crop is so huge this year; each branch holds at least 2 dozen jujubes. We've been asking friends and family to take some home, but we still had more, so I decided to try and make a dessert with some jujubes.

The texture of the fresh fruit is very similar to apples, so I adapted my tarte amandine and made it with walnuts and jujube instead. For a nice glossy look, I drizzled date syrup over the jujube tarts. It was the first  time I tested the recipe and it worked wonderfully.


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