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Flavors of fall

Now is the time of year that we all have an abundance of goodies coming out of the garden. Beautiful, delicious and hearty is how I would describe the fall harvest. The flavors of fall are both savory and sweet with extremely fragrant aromas. What to do with all those homegrown treasures?

Slow Cooked Chicken with Veggies

8 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs

16 ounces baby red potatoes, halved

16 ounces baby carrots

16 ounces green beans, trimmed

2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped

½ cup low sodium soy sauce

½ cup honey

¼ cup ketchup

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon dried basil

½ teaspoon dried oregano

¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

In a large bowl combine the soy sauce, honey, ketchup, garlic, basil, oregano, pepper and the pepper flakes.

Place the chicken thighs, potatoes, carrots and soy sauce mixture into a slow cooker and cover it. Cook it on low for 8-hours basting as often as able. During the last 30 minutes of cooking time add the green beans.

Once the green beans are thoroughly cooked you can serve the meal immediately.

Hazelnut Cookies

½ cup blanched hazelnuts

½ cup unsalted butter, softened

½ cup sugar

1 ½ cups flour

½ teaspoon coarse salt

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Place the hazelnuts on a baking sheet and toast them until they are golden and fragrant, roughly 10 to 15 minutes. After removing them from the oven allow them to cool completely. After they've cooled pulse them in a food processor until they are finely ground but stop before they start to turn into a paste.

Reduce the oven to 350 degrees F.

With an electric mixer cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add the flour, hazelnuts and salt and beat them together until a dough forms.

Roll the dough into 1-inch balls and place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet spacing them 2-inches apart. Use a fork to flatten the balls.

Bake the cookies 12 to 15 minutes or until the edges are golden brown. Transfer the cookies to a cooling rack and allow them to cool.

Note: For better results refrigerate the dough by wrapping it in plastic wrap. You can also freeze it for later, just be sure to thaw it completely before baking.

Slow Cooked Beef Bourguinon

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

2 ½ pounds beef chuck roast, cut into 1-inch cubes

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon black pepper

1 pound large carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces

1medium yellow onion, cut into large pieces

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 bottle dry red wine (such as Pinot Noir)

2 cups beef broth

1 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped

6 slices bacon, crisply cooked and crumbled

In a Dutch oven or stockpot heat the oil over high heat. Pat the beef dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. Place it in the pot working in batches if necessary as to not overcrowd the beef, cooking it for 4 to 6 minutes; searing all sides. Once it's cooked transfer the meat to a plate.

Next add the carrots and onion to the same pot you cooked the beef. Cook them fo 3 to 5 minutes or until they are lightly browned and slightly tender; scraping brown bits up from bottom as they cook.

Add the garlic and cook a minute longer; stirring frequently. Then add the wine, beef broth and thyme and stir until well combined.

Place the broth mixture in a slow cooker then add the beef and bacon. Cover it and cook on low heat for 8-hours or until the beef is tender.

Note: Garnish the stew with fresh thyme sprigs if desired.

Apple Cinnamon Bites

2 cups old-fashioned oats

¼ cup ground flaxseed

¾ teaspoon cinnamon

½ cup almond butter

¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon honey

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

pinch of salt

1 cup grated apple (about 1 medium)

In a large bowl stir together the almond butter, honey, vanilla and salt until well combined. Next, add the oats, flaxseed and cinnamon until everything is evenly coated. Then stir in the grated apple.

Scoop the mixture into tablespoon-sized portions and use your hands to roll it into a ball. You can enjoy them immediately.

Note: You could also just eat it with a spoon out of a small bowl and maybe even serve it with vanilla ice cream.

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