Thursday, October 25, 2012

Easy Autumn Meal

     My favorite go-to meal for autumn entertaining evolved out of a sweet potato salad. The salad was developed as a way to ease our cousins' distress - their dad was (and is!) addicted to sweet potatoes and made them several times a week, but always with mini-mashmallows.  I tried to invent some tasty but easy alternatives he could try.  The resulting sweet potato salad and four other recipes became one of the most visited Yates Yummies posts. Since then, I started serving the salad on a bed of baby spinach and then topping it off with sliced grilled chicken. So far this month I've served it at three different gatherings - it's that quick and easy to make. Before grilling chicken or pork is rubbed with a fall-festive blend of sage, garlic, and other spices; it's aroma is heavenly! I also like to skewer pears, apples, and cheese on cake pop sticks tied the end with raffia. Then I chop up the extra fruit and put it in the apple cider served in canning jars.  Hot Caramel Pears (or Apples) Delicious over ice cream is a great dessert to finish this meal off - you'll find it under September.

The Menu:

     Sage Thyme Grilled Chicken

     Sweet Potato Salad on Baby Spinach

     Skewered Fall Fruit and Cheese

     Apple Cider

Sage Thyme Grilled Chicken


4 to 6 chicken breasts

2 cloves garlic, minced or put through a press

1 sprig fresh sage

1 teaspoon dried thyme

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon lemon pepper

1/4 teaspoon black pepper


Cut the sage leaves off their stem and chop them up.  Blend them with the rest of the ingredients to make a paste.  Rub the mixture on the front and the back of the breasts.

Grill them over medium low for about 7 minutes a side.  Or, bake them at 350 degrees for about 50 minutes.  Let them rest about 5 minutes before you slice them to put on the salad.

Skewered slices of fall fruit and cheese make a great accent to this autumn entree salad. 

Autumn Sweet Potato Rice Salad


2 large sweet potatoes
1 cup uncooked wild rice
2 Granny Smith apples
2 stalks celery, diced
1/4 cup minced red onion
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder


Peel and cut sweet potatoes into 1/4 inch cubes. Cook them in salted water until tender, but not overdone. Cook rice according to package directions. Put sweet potato cubes, rice, apple, celery, and onion in bow.  Whisk vinegar, oil, salt, pepper, and garlic powder together. Pour vinegar and oil mixture over ingredients in the bowl and gently toss.

Cider with the extra cut up fruit is just a bit more fun served in Ball glass canning jars!


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