After a good long stretch of Indian summer, fall is finally really here. We’re getting out the sweaters, taking the wool coats to the cleaners, and thinking about Thanksgiving. I’m looking forward to more soups for dinner and cups of tea in the afternoon. (I can’t be the only one falling asleep at 2 p.m. Or noon.) I even bought three little pie pumpkins so the kids can enter the “decorate a pumpkin like your favorite character from a book” contest at school. Miss Eight has already decorated hers to look like Fancy Nancy, but I’m kind of hoping the boys will just let me roast their pumpkins and make pie.
- Easy Sliders. My dinner swap pal Jen has been making these for parties, and now people expect them and descend on the hot tray like so many vultures. If you don’t have onion soup mix (I sure don’t), just toss together a homemade substitute. I’ll make them early in the day and have Mr. Ten put them in the oven while I’m shuttling his siblings to piano lessons. (The little pretzel rolls are key!)
- Seco de chancho (Ecuadorian pork stew), yellow rice. I’ll use cubed pork shoulder and no beer in the sauce. (Swap with Jen)
- Slow Cooker Stuffed Peppers. I really don’t know whether any of the kids will eat these, but I think they’ll like the filling. I might make some apple crumble to motivate them to try the peppers!
- Sesame noodles, stir-fried garlic green beans.
- Mexican Pizza, salad. Very good! Next time I’ll dial down the chile powder just a bit, and maybe have some more toppings on hand–guacamole!
- Salmon with herbs, potatoes and Brussels sprouts. Finally! Everybody ate salmon! Don’t leave out the sauce on the side–garlic mayonnaise, or a lemony-herb yogurt sauce.
- Quiche (I’ll use this crust, but the filling will probably be caramelized onions and bacon), salad. Make this crust. Don’t pre-bake it. Quiche can be a weeknight meal! (Also breakfast and lunch the next day.)
- Winter squash soup with croutons. The kids still aren’t squash lovers, but they’ll tolerate this soup because of its savory spices. Roast the squash and add a little more cream than called for to make it more soupy than baby food.