6 Perfectly Seasonal Fall Dinners To Make In October (Recipes)


By Cooking Panda

Fall is in full swing, and I’m here for some warm, hearty dinners!

As the air gets more and more chilly, I start craving things like stews, braises and casseroles. Give me half a chance to put squash in something and I’ll run with it!

To accommodate seasonally changing palates, here are some tasty things you should make this month:

1. Slow-Cooker Texas Chili

Who can resist tender hunks of brisket slow-cooked with Tex Mex flavors? Not I! If you want to go against tradition, you can add red or black beans and/or corn — but don’t tell anyone I told you that.

2. Fricassee of Chanterelles

Thick, wide, chewy pappardelle noodles get a major umami kick from Chanterelle mushrooms. If you don’t have access to that variety, you can swap them out for porcinis, morels or even your standard grocery store fare like creminis, though the flavor will be a bit different and less delicately earthy.

3. Butternut Squash Skillet Lasagna

The rich, slightly sweet butternut squash just adds that much more creamy cheesiness to the classic dish, which gets an extra pep from brown butter and fresh sage. Yum!

4. Deviled Chicken Lollipops

These crunchy baked drumsticks are great fun as appetizers at a Halloween party or for dinner — maybe served alongside some homemade sweet potato fries?

5. Coq au Vin (Chicken in Wine Sauce)

This flavorful, rich dish is as easy to make as it is delicious to eat. You can totally make it in the slow cooker, too: Just brown your chicken (sear each batch for four to six minutes per side) and then braise everything in the slow cooker for four to five hours on low, until the chicken is tender and fully cooked.

6. Butternut Squash Pizza with Hazelnut Dough

This is as seasonal as they come! This recipe is cheese-free, so it’s really excellent for those looking to cut back on dairy or calories. If you want, you can save a little time by using canned pumpkin instead of squash slices — just spread the puree on your dough as you would with pizza sauce.

Featured Image: Ernesto Andrade/Flickr

Tags: dinner recipes, fall dinners, October dinners, slow cooker meals, weeknight dinner recipe
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6 Of The Best Possible Ways To Eat Chocolate For Dinner


By Cooking Panda

It’s no secret that we adore chocolate in all its forms, and no one is more thrilled to go all out for National Cocoa Day on Dec. 12. NO ONE. We’re going to whip up some of our favorite hot chocolate recipes (like these) and curl up under a blanket while sipping some rich, warm cocoa.

And we’re not going to stop there, chocolate lovers! We’re moving past dessert, because there’s no reason you can’t have chocolate for breakfast, lunch and dinner too! Add cocoa to a savory dish, and you get the most incredibly rich, deep flavors! You’ll be amazed. So in honor of our favorite sweet and savory seasoning, we’ve scoured the web for the best possible ways to incorporate chocolate into your dinners. You might want to be sitting down for this.

1. Mole Sauce

This deep, rich, spicy sauce is incredible smothered over chicken, beef or enchiladas. Want to shave off even more time? Dump it all in the slow cooker like so.

2. Pumpkin Ravioli with Hazelnut Brown Butter Sauce and Balsamic Drizzle

Ok, homemade ravioli takes a bit of time, especially for a weeknight. But these little pumpkiny squares freeze up beautifully, so you can totally make a double or triple batch when you have a little extra room in your schedule and then keep them on hand for a super-fast dinner. We love this recipe with an ounce or so of melted dark chocolate (or straight-up cocoa powder, if you don’t want it as sweet) mixed right into the dough.

3. Chocolate Beer Chipotle Barbecue Sauce

From a rack of ribs to french fries to a veggie burger, this sweet, spicy, beery barbecue sauce will jazz up anything it touches.

4. Chocolate Pasta With A Blackcurrant And Ginger Sauce

Chocolate pasta, are you serious? YES. You can find the stuff at some specialty stores, or just make it yourself. Want something a little more savory? Chocolate pasta with Bolognese sauce will rock your socks off. DO IT.

5. Roasted Carrots with Fair Trade Balsamic Chocolate Syrup

For a nice, nutritious side dish for your dinner, consider these easy roasted carrots, topped with a drizzle of the most indulgent sweet vinegar reduction. So much better than that bland steamed stuff.

6. Black Bean Chili With Chocolate and Coconut

Looking for some hearty vegetarian chili that packs a serious flavor punch? Make this heavenly black bean dish, complete with cocoa powder, oregano and chipotle chili for a warming, filling meal with a seriously rich taste.

Featured Photo Credit: Willow Arlen/Will Cook For Friends

Tags: chocolate chili, chocolate dinner, mole recipe, savory chocolate, weeknight dinner recipe
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