A Week of Dinners // Early Autumn

Here in Kansas City, school starts and the apples come and pumpkins dot front porches long before the weather decides to cool off. It's the first week of October and we're finally jumping below 70°F. I'm so ready! Fall is my most comfortable season; it mirrors the weather in Seattle where I grew up and marks the beginning of the slower days of the year. In terms of family dinner, this season is a transition from fresh, fresh, fresh to more warming meals. We can begin to turn on the oven again, but the glorious bounty of produce remains! 

Here are some of my favorite dinners to serve my family during this in-between stage—still a focus on lots of fresh ingredients but with an added hint of warmth:

Spaghetti (boiled noodles + browned ground beef + jarred tomato sauce...the classic)
Zucchini noodles with kale and garlic (sauté together with olive oil + s&p)

Chicken Shawarma
Shredded lettuce and diced tomatoes
Lemon-tahini dressing (equal parts tahini and water + juice from 1/2 lemon + minced garlic + s&p)
Rice or flatbread

Chicken corn chowder (recipe below)
Buttered bread
Apple slices

Tostadas with refried beans + cotija cheese
Corn salad

Hot dogs
Corn on the cob*
Pickled jalapeños
Store-bought potato salad

SUNDAY - Special Meal
Ratatouille topped with parmesan
Baked chicken breasts (drizzled with olive oil + s&p, baked at 425°F for 18 min)
Crusty bread with butter

*Note to self: The last week of September was the final week of fresh corn on the cob at my market.

Chicken Corn Chowder
Recipe from my mama

1 onion, diced
2 chicken breasts, chopped
Olive oil
2 cups potatoes, diced
1 cup celery, sliced
1 large carrot, grated
2 cups chicken broth
1 can creamed corn
1 cup corn (fresh or frozen)
1/4 tsp paprika
1 tsp fresh ginger, grated
2 tsp fresh parsley
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
12-ounce can evaporated milk (optional)

In your favorite soup pot, sauté onion and chicken in olive oil until onions are soft and chicken is opaque. Add potatoes, celery, carrot, and chicken broth, and simmer on low until potatoes are tender (about 15 minutes). Add remaining ingredients and simmer until heated through.

Serve topped with more fresh parsley and cracked pepper.

Note: Half of my family members can't tolerate dairy, so when I make this for them, I leave out the evaporated milk. But add it if you can! It's oh, so delicious and comforting.


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