Autumn Harvest Foods

Recipes from Fall Cooking Workshop

Thank you to everyone for coming to the Autumn Harvest Foods Recipe workshop at the Hampstead Library last Thursday. Many of the recipes discussed are in last week’s copy of the Topsail Advertiser; if you missed them go to and search for “Cooking with ‘Hope.’” Those recipes are for: red beet salad with balsamic vinegar, creamy butternut squash cheese soup, microwaved spaghetti squash, and the mulled cranberry-apple cider.

The rest of the recipes and some requests are in the selections below. Enjoy!


Spinach Cheese Crustless Quiche Pie

4 eggs

1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded

½ cup sweet onion, chopped and sautéed

1 10-ounce package frozen spinach, thawed and well drained

2 cups ricotta cheese or cottage cheese

1 teaspoon dill weed

Pinch of salt and ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly vegetable spray a 9-inch pie plate. Set aside.

In a bowl, mix together eggs, spinach, cheese, dill weed, salt and pepper until well combined. Pour mixture into prepared pie plate.

Bake in a 350 degree oven for 35 minutes or until just set in the center. Let stand for 10 minutes before slicing.


Slow Cooker Pot Roast with Ginger Ale

3 pounds beef bottom round, chuck roast (great flavor), or eye of round roast

4 cups regular ginger ale (do not use diet) *

1 cup dry white wine (optional)

2 large onions, cut into quarters

6 medium potatoes, cut up into large chunks

1 tablespoon minced garlic, then mashed

4 bay leaves

4 beef bouillon cubes, dissolved in 2-cups water

1 package dry onion soup mix

½ cup water

Gravy Mixture:

¼ cup cornstarch

½ cup cold water

½ teaspoon thyme

1 tablespoon rosemary leaves, preferably ground (use a coffee grinder)

2 tablespoons Maggi seasoning or Worcestershire sauce


Spray a slow cooker with cooking spray. Trim fat off the meat. Brown roast in skillet on all sides with 1-tablespoon olive oil.

Place quartered onions (I like to sauté the onions in a skillet first for more flavor) and cut up potatoes on bottom of slow cooker. Place browned roast in slow cooker on top of onions and potatoes. Pour ginger ale over the roast; add bay leaves.  Stir onion soup mix in ½ cup water and heat in microwave until soup is dissolved, about 40 seconds. Stir in garlic. Pour over roast. Cover and cook on low for 7 to 9 hours or on high for  4 to 5 hours, until meat is tender.

After meat is done, and is tender, remove meat, onions and potatoes. Heat liquid on high and stir in cornstarch mixture, add thyme, Maggi or Worcestershire sauce, or both if you prefer, and stir until consistency of gravy is the way you want it. 

More cornstarch mixed with cold water may be added until the desired consistency is reached. Let meat cool for about 20 minutes. Slice meat and place on a platter. Serve meat with gravy and noodles or mashed potatoes and a vegetable of your choice.


Potato Cups with Sausage and Cheese

These work well as an appetizer for breakfast or brunch.

1 20-ounce package frozen hash browns, thawed

Pinch of salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste

4 tablespoons butter, melted

Pinch of salt and black pepper

4 sweet Italian sausage links, cut into ½-inch rounds

3 eggs

1 8-ounce packaged sharp cheddar cheese, shredded

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Vegetable spray a standard 12-cup muffin pan. Set aside.

In a bowl mix together thawed hash brown potatoes, melted butter, salt and pepper. Press this mixture into the muffin cups and up the sides of prepared pan to form basket type cups. Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove pan from oven and set aside.

In a skillet sauté the sausage rounds until lightly browned and cooked through on all sides. Remove sausage and set on paper towels to drain. When sausage is cool cut rounds into thirds. Divide these among the 12 muffin cups and place in the bottom of each cup.

In a bowl whisk eggs together then fold in grated cheese and mix to combine well. Spoon evenly into muffin cups. Bake 15 to 18 minutes until set.


French Apple Pie

Pie Filling:

3 cups peeled, cored, and sliced Granny Smith apples

2 cups peeled, cored and sliced cooking apple like a MacIntosh

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

½ cup Bisquick mix

2/3 cups granulated sugar

2/3 cup milk

2 tablespoons butter, melted

3 eggs

Streusel Topping:

½ cup brown sugar, packed

½ cup chopped pecans

3 tablespoons cold butter

2/3 cup Bisquick mix

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 10-by-7-inch rectangular baking dish with vegetable cooking spray or coat with butter. Set aside.

In a bowl mix streusel together with Bisquick, brown sugar, cinnamon, and nuts. With a pastry blender cut into crumbles cold butter and sugar mixture. Set aside.

In another large bowl for filling toss together sliced apples and cinnamon. In another bowl whisk together eggs, Bisquick, granulated sugar, milk, and melted butter until well blended. Pour evenly over sliced apples in prepared baking dish. Sprinkle top with streusel mixture, evenly coating the top.

Bake 35 to 40 minutes in 350-degree oven or until knife inserted in center comes out clean and the streusel top is a golden brown. Cool for 10 minutes, maybe served warm or cold. Refrigerate after serving. Serve with some vanilla ice cream.


Carrot Harvest Bread

¾ cup dark raisins

1/3 cup orange juice

1/3 cup crushed pineapple, drained

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour

2/3 cup granulated sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Pinch of salt

1 egg, beaten

1 cup finely grated carrots

¼ cup canola oil

1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Vegetable spray 8-by-4-by-2 inch loaf pan, set aside. In a small bowl, stir together raisins and orange juice, set aside.

In a medium bowl whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Make a well in the center of mixture, set aside.

In another bowl stir together egg, carrots, and canola oil. Stir in raisin mixture. Add this mixture all at once into the dry mixture. Stir until just moistened, batter should be lumpy. Fold in chopped nuts.

Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake in 350-degree oven for 55 to 60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove from pan and cool completely on wire rack. Wrap and store overnight. 


Hope Cusick has won awards at the North Carolina Strawberry Festival in 2012; The North Carolina Blueberry Festival, winning first place for her Blueberry Cheese Danish Pastry in 2012, and placing on her blueberry spinach salad and dressing; and has won various other contest awards for her blueberry cheesecake, breads, cookies, brownies and jams. She resides in Hampstead.