Monday, September 29, 2014

A little Fall Spread

As promised, I'm back to share some recipes for a delicious Fall spread! The weekend before the start of Fall, Bekah and I whipped together some ridiculously yummy foods and I couldn't be more excited to share them with you!

Will be sharing an appetizer, the main course, and a deliciously amazing dessert! Enjoy!

To start we had some chips and salsa. The boys love salsa and we as a family really love our chips and salsa. It's always a must! Whether it be for a nighttime snack or a family BBQ, chips and salsa are present. I love a lot of salsas, but I mostly love a pico de gallo mix with avocado (because I love avocado in ev-er-y-thing).

So, for my Salsa-de-Gallo, this is what I used:

  • 3/4 - 1 whole large onion
  • 3 - 4 roma tomatoes
  • 5 cloves of garlic (More or less, depending on how much of a fan you are of garlic. IMHO, there's always room for more garlic.)
  • 2 jalepenos (Clean out the center and depending on how spicy you like it, for no spice clean completely or leave some (5-10) seeds for a kick - but not all the seeds because that would be crazy. You really are good with 5-10 seeds for a good kick.)
  • 1 Bunch of cilantro
  • Juice from 5 Key Limes (more or less depending on how lime-y you like yours)
  • 1 Large Avocado (cut in small cubes)
  • 2 generous pinches of salt

For ingredients from the onion on down to the cilantro, throw in a chopper and chop away. Depending on how chunky or not chunky you like it will vary the time in the chopper. Add lime juice, salt and avocado at the end, mix, then dip. The nice thing about salsa is if it ever tastes a little off you can always add a little more of this or that. Say more salt, or lime juice, garlic or what have you, it's very forgiving. Just taste and make sure you are happy with it! 

The Main Meal
Oh friends! The main meal was delicious! It really was the main event! I could not be happier with how the tomato basil soup turned out and I loved all of the gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches we paired! Loved them!

Crockpot Tomato Basil Soup - Dairy Free
I found this recipe for a tomato basil crockpot recipe. I changed a few things to make it dairy-free and it was delicious! I left the original ingredients in case you don't do dairy-free in your house, but since we do, I added my changes in Italics and by crossing out the obvious no-gos.

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup finely diced celery (I used 1/2 tsp celery seed because I'm not a fan of celery, in turn don't normally have it on hand).
  • 1 cup finely diced carrots
  • 1 cup finely diced onions
  • 28 oz can whole plum tomatoes, with juice
  • 1 can of tomato sauce
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil (I don't normally have fresh basil on hand nor buy it or grow it, so non-fresh it is for us)
  • 3 1/2 cups reduced sodium chicken broth (or vegetable for vegetarians)
  • Parmesan or Romano cheese rind (optional)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1/3 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese
  • 1 3/4 cups reduced fat (2%) milk, warmed (I used rice milk and it turned out great! Not as creamy but still creamy enough!)
  • salt, to taste
  • black pepper, to taste

Heat a large skillet over medium heat, then add the oil, carrots and onions; cook 5 to 6 minutes, or until golden. Add to slow cooker.

Pour canned tomatoes with juice into the slow cooker as well as canned tomato sauce. Then add chicken broth, thyme, celery seed, basil, and bay leaf.

Cover and cook on HIGH for 4 hours, until the vegetables get soft and the flavors blend. I used our immersion blender straight into our crockpot for a rough blend and blended until the soup was a mostly smooth textures.

Add the flour in about 1 cup of the hot soup, then add the 1 3/4 cups of warmed rice milk and stir until smooth. Pour back into the slow cooker and stir, add salt and pepper, to taste.

Cover and cook on low for another 30 minutes and Voila!
Now moving on to the gourmet grilled cheese combos!

Gourmet Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

Combo #1
  • Cheddar Cheese
  • Grilled Jalepeno
  • Prosciutto
  • Sourdough Bread grilled on butter
Combo #2
  • Provolone
  • Smoked Gouda
  • Sliced Green Apple
  • Sourdough Bread grilled on butter
Combo #3
  • Provolone
  • Smoked Gouda
  • Sliced Avocado
  • Sliced Tomato
  • Sourdough Bread grilled on butter
Combo #4 (Dairy-free)
  • Sliced Green Apples
  • Prosciutto
  • Avocado smeared on
  • Sourdough Bread grilled on butter (You can always use oil to grill. I let my boys have some butta, which they seem to be fine with so far.)

My favorite was the Combo #2 with the sliced green apple. The salty and sweet were perfect! And, we used golden green apples which have a softer crunch and softer sweet to them that were just perfect!
The sandwiches paired with the soup were Y-U-M!

Okay, onto dessert! Britt, over at The Fisk Files, made these crustless mini pecan pies that looked uh-mazing! Since seeing that tidbit of beautiful in the form of mini-pie I have been looking for a reason to make them. Family visiting was a perfect time to gather up all. five. ingredients!

Yes! Only five ingredients!
All you need is light brown sugar, flour, pecans, butter, and eggs! That's it!
Britt found this recipe from Tasty Kitchen and I can't tell you how grateful I am that she did and blogged about it!
They were perfect! Delicious! And, all things pecan-wonderful!
And, my husband said they are now his most favorite of allll the desserts I've ever made. ever. ever. ever. This is big y'all. Very big. Find a reason to make these beauties and fast. You will not regret it!

So, there you have it. Our yummy Fall spread! What delicious Fall foods have been gracing your table since this lovely season started?

Kent Heartstrings


  1. Those grilled cheese combos have me salivating. Seriously. Can I come for a party at your place sometime??

    1. I would love that so much! If you're ever in our area, let me know!! :)

  2. I agree with Mary! I'm coming over :) Man, you always come up with the best combos - first it was gourmet hot dogs, and now grilled cheeses?!? Gosh, you're good!

    1. How I'd love for you to come over! There's just something about yummy food! It moves me and makes me happy! Also, seeing how Pinterest has turned into my new cookbook as well as your blog! I have lots of help in the sharing of yumminess department :)

  3. ooh! I can't wait to try the soup, sandwiches, and mini pies! Thanks for posting the recipes :)

    1. Theresa, let me know how it all turns out! What was your favorite??

  4. OH MY GOODNESS. Woman, you are a genius. This whole meal looks incredible from start to finish. Must replicate ASAP!

    1. Yay, Micaela! It was so delicious! Let me know how it all turns out! Hope your family enjoys it!

  5. Did my comment go through? This all sounds delicious! Trying the salsa tonight! (seriously. 3rd try on the comment)

    1. Gina! Sorry it was so hard to comment! Were you able to make the salsa? Hope it turned out for you all!

  6. Ohhh these all look FANTASTIC! I LOVE gourmet grilled cheeses, they are totally the best! Thank you so much for linking up with us at Motivational Monday this week!! Hope to see you back next week! :)


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