Date Night Dishes...Pumpkin Decorating

A warm and hearty meal doesn't have to mean a day spent in the kitchen thanks to the crock pot. Let it do the cooking while you spend some time getting your house looking festive for fall.

Couple cooking in the fall

There is a new addition in the produce section these days, and even though we are not quite near Halloween, it doesn't mean I don't get the urge to carve pumpkins every time I go to the grocery store. Bags of gourds and pumpkins now greet you upon arrival at just about any store, so it seems appropriate to take advantage of it. It is too early to carve pumpkins if you want them to last, so get creative and find other ways to decorate them to get your house in the fall mood. You could spray paint them a fun color, use stencils to paint your street number, initials or bedazzle them with glitter and jewels. To make this fall craft man-friendly, find items he might appreciate like stencils of his favorite sports team.

While you are decorating your pumpkins, your dinner will be bubbling away in the kitchen filling your house with an amazing aroma. There is no greater kitchen gadget this time of year than the crock pot, and I long for it all summer long. Throw your food in it in the morning, and when you return home after a long day of work or a full day of raking leaves, a warm meal awaits. This fall turkey loin recipe is a fall favorite around our house and I am sure it will become a favorite for you too.

Apple cider turkey loin

Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

  • 1 (24 ounce) turkey loin
  • 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 2 apples, diced
  • 1 cup baby carrots
  • 4 cups apple cider
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • Corn starch

Directions:

  1. Add sweet potatoes, apples and carrots to the bottom of a crock pot. Lay the turkey loin over the top and fill with apple juice and chicken broth. Liquid amounts may vary depending on the size of your crock pot. Just be sure the liquid covers everything but the very top of the turkey loin.
  2. Mix brown sugar, garlic powder, thyme, cinnamon and salt and pepper. Pour that over the top of the turkey loin. Add cinnamon sticks to the pot.
  3. Let cook on high for at least six hours or on low for at least eight. When finished, mix some of the broth with cornstarch in a sauce pan to create gravy. Slice the turkey loin and serve with the potatoes, apples and carrots.

More fall recipes

Gluten-free Friday: Pumpkin chocolate chip muffins
Pumpkin-inspired recipes
Drunken apple spice muffins for autumnal equinox

More Date Night Dishes

Pumpkin spice latte
Coffee liqueur sundae
Turkey panini with spicy strawberry spread

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