Marble Spice Cake:This is my husband's favorite cake and it falls under that category of "semi-homemade." Its one of the first recipes I came up with mee-self.
I added some ghosts and bats and pumpkins. You know, to give it the appropriate level of Halloween spookiness.
Take a box of yellow cake mix and a box of chocolate cake mix and prepare in separate bowels according to instructions on back of the box. Add about 1 tablespoon cinnamon, 2 teaspoons ginger, and 2 teaspoons nutmeg to EACH cake.
Drop six big scoops of chocolate cake in 2 round cake pans (three drops per pan), leaving space between each drop. Now add six big drops of yellow cake next to chocolate. Take a knife and lightly swirl the yellow into chocolate. Be sure not to swirl too much or it'll blend.
Bake according to box instructions.
Make basic buttermilk frosting. Add cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. When cakes have completely cooled, frost.
Apple Cheddar Soup:
I got this recipe from the Food Network Magazine, but I made a couple of changes to it. It's surprisingly tart, and really beautiful. Kind of like potato soup but with a much lighter feel.
Cook half a pack of bacon in a soup pot. Remove the bacon and half of the drippings, and add 1 diced onion, 2 peeled and chopped apples (I like McIntosh the best for this, but Granny Smith will work too), and one peeled and chopped potato.Cook until tender. Season and add 3 cups chicken broth, 1 cup applesauce, small bit (2 ts or so each) of cinnamon and ginger. Continue cooking until potato is soft, then blend. Stir in 2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese. Top with more cheese, crumbled bacon, and chives.
I just learned this great recipe from Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon. I really love this book because, although it can get a little preachy at times, it mostly just focuses on traditional diets that have been shown by "modern science" to have a lot of really great and healthy things in them, especially when prepared in a traditional way. This oatmeal really sticks to your belly, and it's more like natural yogurt, with a soury taste, which is wonderful once you add honey or maple syrup to it.
Soak 1 cup oatmeal in 1 cup water with 2 tablespoons of buttermilk. Soak for at least 7 hours or up to 24.
Add another 1 cup of water with scant salt and boil for 3 minutes until oatmeal is soft. Serve with butter, cream, honey, syrup, jelly, yogurt, or fresh fruit.
Pepper Pork Chops with Rice:This is one of my favorite recipes because it's so simple but really packs quite the flavor punch.
Dice small pie pumpkin and 1 onion. You'll need to make the pumpkin pieces small so they cook quickly. Sautee in olive oil and remove from pan when tender. In the same pan, brown pork chops. Heavily salt and pepper, using large flakes of pepper. Use at least 3X what you normally would. Add 2 tablespoons butter and put in oven at 350 for 45 minutes. While the pork is cooking, cook wild rice. Combine onions and pumpkin into rice. Serve pork chops on top of rice.