As the season changes, so does your recipe repertoire. But, to create a memorable meal, you don't need fancy techniques, elaborate dishes or even professional-grade cookware. What you need are classic styles, good wine and do-able recipes. Here are some easy ways you can make your dinner one to remember, from the start of harvest through the holidays.
Setting — Don't worry if you're not a craft maven or can't quite pull off the table setting ideas you see on Pinterest. Just iron a pretty tablecloth and set of napkins — you'll be surprised how elegant the table will look with crisp linens. For a centerpiece, set out your favorite tray with a few votive candles on it to create a cozy glow.
Wine — Good wine doesn't have to be complicated. Hillary Stevens, winemaker for The Naked Grape wines, says, "In my house, the host picks the wine! I recommend picking one that showcases your personality. If you're feeling bold, try a robust Cabernet Sauvignon, and if you're feeling sassy, try a crisp Pinot Grigio."
Recipes — No matter what your main dish, make sure you have side dishes that are also full of flavor. This recipe for Oven Roasted Root Vegetables is an easy, elegant addition to the holiday table. The harvest season is the best time to serve fresh vegetables, and roasting them sweetens their flavor. Add fresh herbs for just the right highlight — with very little work from you.
Oven Roasted Root Vegetables
Prep: 35 minutes
Roast: 50 minutes
35 minutes 50 minutes 1 hour 25 minutes
Makes: 8 servings
Vegetable cooking spray
3 medium red potatoes (about 1 pound), cut into 1-inch pieces
2 cups fresh or frozen whole baby carrots
1 pound celery root (celeriac), peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces (about 2 cups)
1 rutabaga (about 3 pounds), peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces (about 6 cups)
2 medium red onions, cut into 8 wedges each
2 medium parsnips, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces (about 1 1/2 cups)
5 cloves garlic, cut into thin slices
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary leaves or fresh thyme leaves
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup Swanson Vegetable Broth (Regular or Certified Organic)
Heat oven to 425 F. Spray 17 x 11-inch roasting pan or shallow baking sheet with cooking spray.
Stir potatoes, carrots, celery root, rutabaga, onions, parsnips, garlic, rosemary and oil in prepared pan. Roast vegetables for 30 minutes. Pour broth over vegetables and stir.
Roast for 20 more minutes or until vegetables are fork-tender.
-- The Naked Grape Winery/Family Features
Tip of the Week
When you send food via a mail-order company, be sure to specify overnight delivery, and request that the company supply a frozen gel-pack or dry ice in the packaging. This will help ensure that the food will arrive at your destination firm and refrigerator cold.
Easy recipe: Southwest Skillet Chicken and Rice
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Makes: 6 servings
2 teaspoons chili powder
2 teaspoons Lawry's Seasoned Salt
1.5 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast halves
1 tablespoon oil
1 can (15 ounces) black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can (14 1/2 ounces) petite diced tomatoes, drained
1 cup frozen corn
1 cup instant white rice
1 cup water
Mix chili powder and seasoned salt in small bowl. Sprinkle chicken with 1 teaspoon seasoning mixture.
Heat oil in large nonstick skillet on medium heat. Add chicken; cook 5 minutes per side or until lightly browned.
Stir in beans, tomatoes, corn, rice, water and remaining seasoning mixture. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer 5 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through and rice is tender. Let stand 5 minutes.
Cut chicken into serving-size pieces. Fluff rice mixture with fork before serving.
-- Lawry's/Family Features
How many flavors are in a can of Dr. Pepper?
Answer is at the bottom of the rail.
Wise to the Word: Orecchiette
Orecchiette are "little ears," since the tiny pasta bowls look like, well, ears. Each dip fills deliciously with sauce. Since it's a small pasta, orecchiette is generally paired with less chunky sauces like alfredo or marinara.
Number to Know
3,400 mg: The daily salt intake of an average American. The recommended amount is 1,500 mg, according to a new study by the American Heart Association and the American Stroke Association. This is mostly due to processed and restaurant foods, which account for 75 percent of our salt consumption.
The Dish On ...
"The Essential EatingWell Cookbook: Good Carbs, Good Fats, Great Flavors" by Patsy Jamieson and The Editors of EatingWell
This long-awaited collection of more than 350 recipes represents favorites from EatingWell: The Magazine of Food & Health that have migrated to the top of an elite line of new and classic dishes now numbering well into the thousands.
Losing weight no longer has to mean sacrificing great tastes and fine dining. Learn the flavors, strategies and insights to help you keep fit and stay healthy while never boring your palate.
Food Quiz Answer
B. Dr. Pepper is advertised as a unique soda with 23 flavors.