Cool Weather Recipes

God keeps spoiling us with warm days late into the fall, but I have a feeling the cold will come eventually! ;) 

I wanted to share with you a few of my favorite fall and winter recipes, some of which I served at my fall staff party. Every year in October we get together to chat life, business and success. I always look forward to this because it’s one of the the few times I get to see my awesome team together in person! Plus, I love an excuse to make a big batch of chili. :)

The recipes below are definitely well-tested, especially my mom’s famous bread! (She always serves it with a garlic, cream cheese and butter spread, which I highly recommend.)


State Fair Chili

2 lbs hamburger, browned with a half of a large, white diced onion
1 29 oz can tomato sauce
1 10 oz can hot Rotelle tomatoes and chilies
1 large (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 large can kidney beans or two 16 oz cans
2 large cans pinto beans or four 16 oz cans
1 package dry taco seasoning mix
1 package ranch seasoning mix

Brown hamburger and onion. Add remaining ingredients. Simmer in a pot on the stove. Serve with your choice of toppings like shredded cheese, sour cream and corn chips!

Axel’s Tavern Italian Sausage Soup

1 lb bulk mild Italian sausage
1 small yellow onion, diced
1 green pepper, diced
1 red pepper, diced
10 fresh mushroom caps, sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 cans diced tomatoes with juice
1 cup chicken broth
dried basil, to taste
dried oregano, to taste
bay leaf
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 tablespoon sugar
fresh parmesan or mozzarella cheese

Cook the Italian sausage in a frying pan until done; drain sausage.

In a soup pot, saute onion, peppers and mushrooms in a little oil until tender. Add garlic, tomatoes, chicken broth, basil, oregano, bay leaf, tomato paste and sugar. 

Add drained sausage to vegetable mixture; simmer 30-45 minutes. Garnish each serving with fresh cheese.

Peggy’s French Bread

1 1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup water
3 tbsp oil
2 tbsp yeast (or two packages)
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
4 1/2 cups flour (divided)

Heat milk, water and oil in microwave for two minutes. Mix sugar, salt and 2 cups flour in bowl of stand mixer. Add warm liquid and beat until smooth. Add 2-2 1/2 cups more of flour and knead for 10 minutes. Let rise.

Let rest for 5 minutes. Then roll into two loaves and cut three slits in top. Let rise and bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown.

Pumpkin Bars

2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
2 cups sugar
1 cup oil
4 eggs
2 cups pumpkin (15oz can)
pumpkin pie spice: optional

Bake at 325 for 18-20 minutes in a 16x12 pan lined with wax paper.

Cream Cheese Frosting

1/4 c. margarine (1/2 stick)
4 oz cream cheese
1 tsp vanilla
4 cups powdered sugar

Mulled Cider

3 cinnamon sticks
3 whole cloves
2 whole allspice
1 bay leaf
3 quarts apple cider or apple juice
1/4 cup orange juice
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 tbsp grated orange zest
2 tbsp brown sugar
dash salt
1 - 1 1/2 cups brandy, optional

Place cinnamon sticks, cloves, allspice and bay leaf on a double thickness of cheesecloth; bring up corners of cloth and tie with kitchen string to form a bag.

In a large saucepan, combine apple cider, juices, orange zest, brown sugar, salt and spice bag. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 30 minutes to blend flavors. Discard spice bag. Strain cider mixture and, if desired, stir in brandy. Serve immediately.

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