Revisiting Fall Favorites

Published 8:05 am Friday, September 16, 2022

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The end of summer can seem nostalgic. Even after many years have gone by, there’s something about September that feels like back-to-school days, football games, renewing friendships and the winding down of another year. And did you know September is “Happy Cat Month?” 


Linda: This month, in the name of nostalgia, we’re reviewing some of our past September recipes and choosing our favorites to offer a second time around. Some medical issues are taking precedence over cooking for a few weeks, so we hope you will enjoy our visit to the past.

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Lucy: We have many new readers who might have missed columns from other years. This gives them the chance to collect some favorites. A recipe that we offered in 2021 is called Cheesy Beef and Spinach Ravioli. My Tampa friend, Pat, shared the recipe that features ravioli. Fall is time for a warm, hearty dish and this fits in that category.


Linda: I think we should include your recipe for Crock Pot Pork Chops. Again it fits the hearty dish category. After thinking about salads during hot summer days, it feels cozy to be cooking these warm dishes.


Lucy: The recipe is called Smothered Pork Chops. It’s a pork chop recipe but I also like to use pork tenderloin for this recipe. I’ve served it for company and always received compliments. Sometimes pork chops can be dry and not tender. This recipe cures that problem. 


Linda: As soon as the leaves are starting to turn and there’s the touch of autumn in the air, I think apples. My favorite apple recipe is Apple Crisp. In the early season I like to use Golden Delicious apples, but late October and November, McIntosh apples show up at the market. McIntosh are my favorite apple for baking.


Lucy: Your Apple Crisp is always delicious, especially when accompanied with a scoop of 

vanilla ice cream. Thinking of apples, I have some helpful measurements to offer. 1 lb of apples equals two large, or three medium, or 4-5 small apples. It makes about 3 cups of peeled and 

sliced apples.


Linda: I know these are three favorite recipes that our new and long time readers will enjoy. Old recipes are sometimes the best recipes.

Cheesy Beef and Spinach Ravioli

Cheesy Beef and Spinach Ravioli

Serves 6


1 pound 85% lean ground beef

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 medium-size red onion, thinly sliced (about 3 cups)

2 tablespoons finely chopped garlic (from 3 medium garlic cloves)

1 (28-oz.) can crushed tomatoes

1 cup chicken stock

1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1 (20-oz.) pkg. refrigerated four-cheese ravioli (such as Buitoni)

1 (5-oz.) pkg. baby spinach

4 ounces pre-shredded low-moisture part-skim mozzarella (about 1 cup)

2 ounces grated Parmesan cheese (about 1⁄2 cup)

1/4 cup torn fresh basil leaves



Step 1:  Preheat oven to broil with rack 9 inches from heat. Place a 12-inch cast-iron skillet on stove-top over medium-high. Add beef; cook, stirring often, until browned, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove beef; drain and set aside. Wipe skillet clean.

Step 2:  Heat oil in skillet over medium-high; add onion, and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Add garlic to skillet; cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in crushed tomatoes, stock, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, and ravioli. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium. Cover and simmer until ravioli are tender, about 8 minutes. Uncover and return cooked beef to skillet. Stir in half of spinach, and cook just until wilted. Repeat with remaining spinach. Top with mozzarella and Parmesan.

Step 3:Broil in preheated oven until cheese is melted and golden, about 6 minutes. Remove from oven, and garnish with fresh basil.

Smothered Pork Chops

Smothered Pork Chops 

Makes 4 servings: 


4 (1/4 lb) boneless center cut pork loin chops or one pork tenderloin cut into four slices

½ tsp salt

¼ tsp pepper

1 can (10.5 oz) reduced sodium, reduced fat, cream of mushroom soup

¼ cup water

4 carrots, chopped

4-6 small potatoes (leave whole with skins on)

¼ lb fresh, white mushrooms, sliced

1 tsp Worcestershire sauce

1 tsp dried marjoram

½ tsp dried thyme



 Step 1:  Sprinkle the porkchops with salt and pepper. Spray a large nonstick skillet with nonstick spray and set over medium-high heat. Add the pork and cook until browned, about 2 minutes each side.

Step 2:  Place the soup, water, carrots, potatoes, mushrooms, Worcestershire sauce, marjoram, thyme in a 5-6 quart slow cooker; mix well. Place the pork on top of the vegetable mixture. Cover and cook until the pork and vegetables are fork tender. 3-4 hours on high or 6-8 hours on low.

Favorite Apple Crisp

Favorite Apple Crisp


3-4 large apples

½ cup seedless raisins

1 tsp grated lemon rind

About 1 Tbs lemon juice

1 Tbs Butter


Heat oven to 375. Wash, peel, and thinly slice apples (about 6 cups) into 8 x 8 x 2 baking dish. Sprinkle apples with raisins, some lemon juice and lemon rind, dot with 1 Tbs butter cut into small pieces.




1 cup flour

¾ to 1 cup light brown sugar

1 tsp ground cinnamon

½ tsp ground nutmeg (fresh grated is best)

½ cup butter

In a medium bowl, toss together flour, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg. Then with a pastry blender or two knives cut ½ cup butter into flour until shortening and flour particles are the size of small peas. Spread crumb mixture evenly over apples. Bake 40 minutes or until apples are tender and crumb crust is crisp and well browned.