Simply Delicious by Cyndee Dather

Fall is my favorite time of year only,  second to summer. I have a fondness for chilled mornings, sunny afternoons, and mellow evenings with an intimate fire.

“Breakfast Pumpkin Steel Cut Oatmeal” brings a warming sensation to all your senses. It fills you up with all the comfort and fiber you need for the rest of the day.

Fall gatherings are an excellent time to have potlucks, family dinners, and impromptu gatherings.

“Creamy Vegetable Bake” is a layering of vegetables with a cream sauce and a crunchy topping. It’s so easy and quick to make!

Kids can participate in constructing the “Chocolate Peanut Butter Cornucopias”. The combination of Bugles, peanut butter, and chocolate are like a smash up sweet and saltiness. The toppings can be as creative as you want them to be.

“Creamy Chicken Pot Pie Soup” is sooooo good that you will want to add it to your weekly menu. It’s creaminess combined with the chicken and vegetables is unforgettable.

There always needs to be a little something apple to remind you of fall. The mini “Apple Pie Tacos” are a bite of cinnamon crunch, a smooth and silky filling, and a dab of apple topping. Great as appetizers, dessert or an evening snack with a cup of mulled cider.

Enjoy Autumn. As in all of Iowa’s four seasons, it seems to pass too quickly.


Chocolate Peanut Butter Cornucopias 

7.5 oz Bugles Original Corn Snacks

1 1/2 C Peanut Butter - Creamy or Chunky

2/3 C Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips

1/2 t Vegetable Oil

  • Topping Suggestions:
    Plain or Peanut
    Butter M&M’s
    Chopped Peanuts
    Finely Chopped Toffee Bar
  1. Melt chocolate chips and vegetable oil in the microwave at 20 second intervals, stirring in between each time till chocolate is melted.
  2. Fill each Bugle cavity with peanut butter. Then add more on top in an ice cream cone shape.
  3. Drizzle chocolate over peanut butter top and gently spread until covered. Add topping(s).
  4. Place on a wax paper or parchment paper covered plate and place in the freezer till chocolate is hard.
  5. Store in airtight container at room temperature.
  6. This is an enjoyable project for kids as well as adults!  You could also use different kinds of chocolate chips such as white, peanut butter, butterscotch, etc.

Breakfast Pumpkin Steel Cut Oatmeal

4 T Coconut Oil

2 C Instant Steel Cut Oats

6 C Hot Tap Water

2 C 1% Milk

2 C Canned Pumpkin

1 T Vanilla Extract

2 T Pumpkin Pie Spice

1/2 t Salt

Toppings (Optional): Maple Syrup, Pumpkin/Pepita Seeds, Almonds or Pecans, Brown Sugar, Coconut

This recipe can be made entirely ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator for 5 days or frozen.

  1. In a large pan melt the coconut oil. Add in steel cut oats and toast until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Remove oats from pan.
  2. Pour 6 cups of hot tap water into pan. Bring to a boil. Add steel cut oats. Cover and simmer on low for 25 minutes.
  3. In a large bowl whisk together pumpkin and milk until it becomes smooth. Stir into the steel cut oats. Then stir in vanilla extract, pumpkin spice, and salt.
  4. Simmer covered on low for 20 - 25 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit for 5 minutes. Serve with optional toppings listed above. Store in small glass lidded containers.
  5. I stopped by my son Torrey Proctor’s house recently. His wife, Lacey, was preparing this oatmeal for her breakfast for the week. I was apprehensive as she prepared the oatmeal. Pumpkin and oatmeal did not sound like a great combination. I was wrong! She let me taste it when it was done and my response was “Yum”.

Creamy Vegetable Bake

2 cans Green Beans, drained

1 can Whole Kernel Corn, drained

1 can Water Chestnuts Chopped, drained

1 C Frozen Peas

1 can Cream of Mushroom Soup

1 C Sour Cream

1 1/2 C Shredded Cheddar Cheese

1/2 C Melted Butter

1 Sleeve Ritz Crackers, Crushed

  1. Prepare a 9x12 casserole dish with cooking spray.
  2. In order, layer green beans, corn, water chestnuts, and frozen peas in the casserole dish.
  3. Combine cream of mushroom soup, sour cream,  and cheese together in a bowl. Gently spread over the top of the peas.
  4. Combine melted butter and crushed crackers. Sprinkle over the entire casserole dish.
  5. Bake at 350 degrees uncovered for 50-60 minutes.

This dish is my new favorite. The first time I tasted it was at a dinner party hosted by Beth Bright, fantastic cook, decorator, home stager, hostess and business owner. I met Beth on a trip to France that she had organized with some other women. Lots of shopping, wine, and unforgettable experiences in Province. She shared that her mother-in-law had given this recipe to her many years ago. I highly recommend serving this side dish at your next fall gathering.


Apple Pie 


3 10 inch flour tortillas

1 C Graham cracker crumbs

1/2 t Cinnamon

1/4 C Butter, melted

Cheesecake Filling:

1 C Heavy cream

1 C Cream cheese, softened

1 t Vanilla

1/4 C Powdered sugar

1 Can Apple Pie Filling

  1. Cut out 24 taco shells from flour tortillas using a 2 1/2” round cookie cutter.
  2. Mix graham cracker crumbs and cinnamon together in a small bowl. Melt butter in microwave in a small bowl.
  3. Turn over a cupcake pan. Dip tortillas in butter and then in graham cracker mixture. Bend shell slightly and place between each raised cupcake.
  4. Bake for 5-7 minutes. Watch carefully so they don’t burn. Cool on pan before removing.
  5. Mix cream cheese, vanilla, and powdered sugar till fluffy. Place cream cheese mixture in a 1/2 gallon plastic zip lock bag. Squeeze all the mixture to one corner. Snip approximately 1/4 inch diagonally across the corner. Store in refrigerator till ready to serve. When ready to serve Squeeze row of cheese mixture down the center of the taco.
  6. Top with one teaspoon of apple filling. Lightly sprinkle with leftover graham cracker crumbs.   

Chicken Pot Pie Soup

4 Chicken breast halves, Cut into bite-sized pieces

2 T Olive Oil

1/3 C Butter

1/4 C Flour

4 C Heavy cream

4 t Chicken base (bouillon)

1 C Chicken stock

1 T Garlic, minced

1/2 Small yellow onion, diced

1 C Frozen green peas, thawed

1 C Frozen carrots, thawed

Salt & Pepper to taste

6 Puff Pastry(Phyllo) Sheets, Thawed per package instructions

  1. Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add chicken and stir till done. Remove chicken from the pan and set aside.
  2. In the Dutch oven, melt butter and sauté the onions until they soften. Add the garlic and sauté for another minute.
  3. Sprinkle flour over the onions and garlic, stir until thickens to a golden brown.
  4. Stir in chicken base, chicken stock, and heavy cream.
  5. Add chicken, peas, and carrots. Continue to cook on low heat till warm.
  6. Separate phyllo into two piles of three sheets each. Cut each 3 pile of sheets into 6 triangles. Repeat. Bake according to package instructions.
  7. Ladle soup into bowls and arrange pastry triangles inside of the bowl.

I love homemade pot pie, and this soup is a great replacement. It is easy to prepare and is a hit among young and old. Leftover turkey and roast beef can easily be replaced for the chicken.

When I was growing up, frozen individual pot pie was a treat we got when my parents went out, which was not very often. My sister, Debbie Morrow, was in charge of baking the pot pies and also dividing a glass bottle of Pepsi-Coloa for our special treat.