With holidays and the cool weather upon us, it is time to put away our beloved bbq’s and start cleaning out our stoves and ovens. Every time the seasons start changing I love to come up with new dinner ideas to serve my family. For some reason fall foods are my absolute favorite, maybe because they are so comforting, or it could be the way it fills the air with yummy goodness. Here are a few of my cool weather recipes to get you started:

Fettuccine alla Carbonara

(25 minutes start to finish makes 4 servings)

Ingredients

  • 1/2 a package of bacon cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 6 oz. of dried fettuccine or linguine
  • 1 egg (beaten)
  • 1 cup of half & half, light cream, or milk
  • 2 tablespoons of butter or margarine
  • 1/2 a cup of grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
  • 1/4 cup of fresh parsley ( I prefer flat leaf)
  • Black pepper to taste (I use coarse ground for more texture)

Directions:

  1. Cook your bacon until it is crisp…drain. Set aside.
  2. Cook your pasta according to the directions on the package. Drain and set aside to keep warm.
  3. In a saucepan combine your egg, half and half (light cream or milk) and your butter. Cook it over medium heat, stirring until it just coats the back of a spoon. This usually takes 5-6 minutes. DO NOT let the sauce boil. ( It will make your egg yucky.) As soon as your sauce coats the spoon take it off of the stove and pour it over the cooked pasta.
  4. Add to the pasta your cooked bacon, and grated Parmesan or Romano cheese, and chopped parsley. Season with pepper to taste. ( I usually do this at the table because the kids think the pepper is too spicy.)
  5. *Serve Immediately*

Tortilla Soup

(30 minutes start to finish makes 6 servings)

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. of boneless skinless chicken breast
  • 3 14. oz. cans of low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 14. oz. can of diced tomatoes ( do not drain)
  • 1/2 a cup of chopped onion ( I use a medium to large onion)
  • 1/4 cup of chopped green bell pepper
  • 2 teaspoons of chili powder (use 1 if you prefer it mild)
  • 1/2 a teaspoon of cumin
  • 1/8 teaspoon of black pepper
  • 1 cup of corn kernels (frozen corn work best)
  • 2-3 cups of crushed tortilla chips ( I like to put mine in a baggy and have the kids lightly crush them)
  • 1 cup of Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1 avocado chopped
  • 1-2 limes cut into wedges
  • Chopped fresh cilantro to taste

Directions:

  1. Cut chicken into 1/2 inch pieces and set aside. In a large pot combine your broth, un-drained tomatoes, onion, bell pepper, chili powder, cumin, and black pepper. Bring it to a rapid boil and add your chicken. Once it starts to boil again turn your heat down and let it simmer for 10-12 minutes. Add your frozen corn and return to boiling. As soon as it boils again, reduce heat and let it simmer for 10-12 more minutes.
  2. After you place the soup into bowls, sprinkle with the crushed chips, avocado, and cilantro. I place the lime wedge on the rim of the bowl to be squeezed once I serve it.