Monday, October 12, 2009

Fall Festival Recipe Exchange

That Amy ... she's done it again! ('Twould be Amy from My Friend Amy who I am referring to here.) Whereas I would still be in a coma after all the work Amy did for Book Blogger Appreciation Week, Amy's come up with a fun way for all of us to celebrate all things fall. You can go to this post for the details, but the idea is for us to post a fall-themed recipe, photos, book recommendation, etc.

Did someone say recipes? Books? Well, then, count me in!

Let's set the stage with the fall table decoration that Betty and I put together with mini pumpkins, gourds, and Indian corn purchased from the farmer's market on Saturday.

Cute, huh? We added a few more white pumpkins to this since the photo was taken.

It's not necessarily a fall recipe, per se, but this Southwestern Baked Dip has been a favorite of ours since one of The Dean's co-workers gave me the recipe in 1991. "For Melissa's Recipe Collection" the co-worker had written. It's a great warm dip to indulge in while watching football or getting together with loved ones.

It's also not low-fat, but I suppose you could tweak it to be such, just as you could alter the heat of it.

Southwestern Baked Dip

1/4 cup hot or mild salsa
1/2 cup sour cream
1.5 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 pkg. 8 oz. softened cream cheese

Mix salsa, sour cream, and cream cheese with beater and fold in cheddar cheese. Pour in casserole with top or foil and bake covered for 1 hour at 350 degrees. Serve warm with white corn chips. Serves 4-6. (I've doubled and tripled this, with lovely results).

So easy. So tasty. This usually gets rave reviews from everyone who has tried it.

And speaking of reviews, here's a book review of a children's book, Pumpkin Soup by Helen Cooper that Boo and I wrote and posted back on December 8, 2008. This would be a fun children's book to read together this fall (or anytime). There's parts of it that sound slightly offensive, but it really is a fun book with a life lesson to be had. (And after all, if you have a 4-8 year old who is reading this, chances are they don't need a book to learn how to spit out food that they don't like.)

Boo's review: i thouth of pumkin soup is that the funnyist part of pumkin soup was SPITING ALL OVER THE PLACE! the very sad part was, the cat and the squirell were crying the 2 said `` it was our fault we should have let duck stir the pumkin soup."

My review: Sad to say, my son is into gross humor these days. His favorite words seem to be "underwear," "butt," and "eyeball." Anything that is remotely rude or disgusting elicts guffaws galore from Boo. There's a scene in Pumpkin Soup where the animals make the soup, but it doesn't turn out quite right ... hence, the SPITTING ALL OVER THE PLACE!

Mommy thought this was a very cute book about Cat, Squirrel, and Duck. They're hanging out, playing music on their respective instruments. The trio also enjoys cooking, particularly their specialty, Pumpkin Soup. Each member of the group has their own role in preparing the soup.

But, according to Publishers' Weekly, "one day, Duck decides to be the stirrer instead of the salt pourer, and an all-out battle ensues. Here the warm golden glow that has permeated their dwelling turns an angry orange-red with paws, wings and "@#$!"s flying. After Duck waddles off in a huff, the remaining pair heads out to hunt for him to no avail. In a charming time-lapse sequence, vignettes of Cat and Squirrel moping on the steps of their house form an arc along the side of a spread."

Dejected but determined, Cat and Squirrel resume their cooking, but the soup just isn't the same without Duck. (It's salty, necessitating it to be spit out.) Thankfully, Duck returns safe and sound. More soup is made. The result is a story about how to resolve and overcome the differences among friends when a squabble occurs. Ages 4-8.

Last but not least, check out these honest-to-goodness-real-life Monster Pumpkins!

Weather permitting, I'm thinking of taking the kids to this Monster Pumpkin Display event on Saturday afternoon. I just found out about this today, and even though I know we won't make it in time for the beginning of the Giant Pumpkin Weigh-Off, I'm hoping to get to Longwood Gardens for some of it. It's within an hour or so from our home and I've never been there. (Believe me, I will post photos.)

Finally, I wish a Happy Canadian Thanksgiving to all my Canadian readers. (There are quite a few of you, it seems!) Don't forget to visit other Fall Festivals over at My Friend Amy's blog!


Dawn @ sheIsTooFondOfBooks said...

I'm glad the fall decorating season lasts so long, as I haven't yet picked up any gourds (we did get a few pumpkins, slowly but surely we'll get seasonal!)

That spicy dip sounds perfect for football weekends ...

and thanks for sharing the comments about PUMPKIN SOUP. Always fun to hear a child's perspective :)

rhapsodyinbooks said...

I love pictures of monster pumpkins! It's sort of like monster trucks!

Beth F said...

I'm thinking that dip will work well for pre-dinner snacking at some point this fall. My husband would love it.

debnance said...

Thanks for the book review. I'll try to see if I can borrow that for this season for my school!

Amy said...

That dip looks great, that book looks fun and I love pumpkins, especially monster ones!

heidenkind said...

I love that you combined a recipe with a book review!