Hometown Focus Recipes

Finding a recipe that’s just right for the season



The leaves in Memphis haven’t changed color yet, but fall is definitely in the air. The days are cooler and the nights are chilly. It’s time for me to swap my tank tops for long sleeve shirts. It’s also time for me to swap my summer recipes for ones better suited to cooler days and nights. From breakfast to dessert, these transitional recipes aren’t too hot and they aren’t too cold; they’re just right.

Oatmeal Muffins

• 1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
• 1 c. oats
• 1/2 c. brown sugar, packed
• 1 Tbsp. baking powder
• 1 tsp. cinnamon
• 1/4 tsp. salt
• 1 egg
• 1 c. milk
• 1/4 c. oil (I use canola)

• 2 Tbsp. oats
• 1 Tbsp. sugar
• 1/4 tsp. cinnamon

Combine the flour, oats, brown sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and salt in a large mixing bowl. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg, milk and oil. Add the egg mixture to the dry ingredients; stir just until combined (batter will be lumpy). Spoon batter into greased muffin cups, filling each 3/4 full.

Combine the topping ingredients in a small bowl; sprinkle evenly over batter. Bake at 400 degrees for 15–20 minutes or until done. Let muffins cool 5 minutes before removing from the pan. (Serving size: 12)

Overnight Coffee Cake

• 3/4 c. butter or margarine, softened
• 1/2 tsp. vanilla
• 1 c. sugar
• 2 eggs
• 1 (8 oz.) carton sour cream
• 2 c. all-purpose flour
• 1 tsp. baking powder
• 1 tsp. baking soda

• 1/2 tsp. salt

• 3/4 c. sugar
• 1/4 c. all-purpose flour
• 1/4 c. shortening
• 3 tsp. cinnamon

Combine butter, vanilla and sugar; cream until light and fluffy. Add eggs and sour cream, mixing well. Combine next 4 ingredients; add to batter and mix well. Pour batter into a greased 13x9x2-inch baking pan. Combine topping ingredients; mix well and sprinkle evenly over batter. Cover and chill overnight. Uncover and bake at 350 degrees for 30–40 minutes or until cake tests done. (Serving size: 15)

Baked Spaghetti

• 1 (7 oz.) pkg. thin spaghetti, cooked and
• 1 lb. ground beef
• 1/2 c. chopped onion
• 1/2 c. chopped green pepper
• 1 (14 1/2 oz.) can diced tomatoes (und
• 1 (15 oz.) can tomato sauce
• 1 (8 oz.) can mushroom stems and
pieces, drained (optional)
• 1/2 c. water
• 1 tsp. salt
• 1/2 tsp. black pepper
• 1/8 tsp. garlic powder
• 1 1/2 tsp. chili powder or to taste
• 1 tsp. rosemary, crushed
• 1/8 tsp.cayenne pepper or to taste
• 3 tsp. sugar
• 1 c. shredded cheese (optional)

Cook spaghetti according to directions on the package; drain. While spaghetti is cooking, sauté ground beef, onion and bell pepper in a skillet until meat is no longer pink and onion and green pepper are tender; drain. Combine all ingredients, except cheese, in a large pot and simmer 10 minutes. Pour into a greased 3-quart casserole dish; sprinkle cheese on top. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. (Serving size: 6)

Stuffed Manicotti

• 1 (8 oz.) box manicotti
• 3 c. ricotta cheese
• 1 (12 oz.) pkg. shredded mozzarella
• 3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

• 3 eggs, slightly beaten
• 1 1/2 tsp. salt
• 3 tsp. parsley flakes
• 3/4 tsp. oregano
• 1/4 tsp. pepper
• 1 (24 oz.) can pasta sauce

Cook manicotti according to package directions; drain. Dry manicotti with paper towels and place in a single layer on a cutting board or other work surface. In a large bowl, combine cheeses, eggs, salt, parsley flakes, oregano and pepper. Fill manicotti with the cheese mixture. Spread a thin layer of pasta sauce in a greased 13x9x2-inch baking pan. Place manicotti in pan in a single layer; cover with 2 to 3 cups pasta sauce. Bake at 350 degrees for 35–55 minutes, or until heated through and cheese is melted. Heat the remaining sauce and serve with the manicotti. (Serving size: 4–6)

Marinated Pork Tenderloin

• 8 to 10 slices uncooked bacon
• 2 large pork tenderloins
• 1/2 c. soy sauce
• 1 Tbsp. onion salt
• 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
• 1 Tbsp. vinegar
• 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
• 1/2 c. granulated sugar

Wrap bacon around tenderloins and secure with toothpicks; place in a baking dish. Combine remaining ingredients and pour over tenderloins. Place in refrigerator and let stand overnight, turning often.

Bake at 300 degrees for 45 minutes; turn oven to 350 degrees and bake an additional 45 minutes. (Serving size: 8–10)

Chicken Pot Pie

• 1 (14.1 oz.) pkg. refrigerated pie crusts
• 1 (10 oz.) can chicken in water, drained
and separated into pieces
• 2 (10 3/4 oz.) cans cream of potato soup
• 1 (15 oz.) can mixed vegetables, drained
• Salt and pepper to taste
• 1/2 c. milk

Press one pie crust firmly onto the bottom and sides of a deep-dish pie plate. Combine the remaining ingredients; pour the mixture into the pie plate. Top with the remaining pie crust, fluting to seal both

crusts. Do not cut slits into the top of the crust. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour until lightly browned. Remove from oven; let cool 10 minutes before cutting. Refrigerate leftovers. (Serving size: 8)

Loaded Mashed Potato Casserole

• 1 bag Ore-Ida Steam n’ Mash Russet
• 1 (5 oz.) can evaporated milk
• 2 Tbsp. butter or margarine
• 4 oz. cream cheese, softened
• 1/2 c. sour cream
• 2 tsp. dried chives (optional)
• 3/4 tsp. salt
• 1/2 tsp. pepper
• 1 c. shredded cheddar cheese
• 1/4 c. real bacon pieces

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly spray a 9×9-inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. Microwave potatoes according to package directions. In medium bowl, mash cooked potatoes, milk and butter. Stir in remaining ingredients, except cheese and bacon, until well combined. Spread mixture in baking pan; top with cheese and bacon. Bake 25–30 minutes or until heated through. (Serving size: 6)

Chocolate Cobbler

• 1 c. self-rising flour
• 1/2 c. sugar
• 2 Tbsp. cocoa
• 1/2 c. milk
• 3 Tbsp. vegetable oil
• 1 c. brown sugar, firmly packed
• 1/4 c. cocoa
• 1 3/4 c. hot water (not boiling)

Combine the first 5 ingredients in a mixing bowl. Pour into a greased 8 or 9-inch square pan. Stir together the brown sugar and 1/4 cup cocoa; sprinkle over the batter. Pour hot water evenly over the brown sugar mixture. Do not stir! Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. While hot, scoop into serving bowls and spoon sauce over each serving. If desired, top with whipped cream or ice cream. (Serving size: 6)

Margaret McNeil has a blog site, Margaret’s Morsels, which has many recipes and cooking tips. She lives in Memphis, Tennessee, and has contributed to our recipe column in the past.

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