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          Cooler weather and hungry tummies can work together to produce some really tasty autumn treats for you and the grandkids. And many of them are easy enough to allow the grandkids to get in on the cooking fun.

Harvest time always offers us a bounty of fruits and vegetables to make into hearty fall treats.

Here are some of Ask Granny’s autumn favorites.

Hot Drinks

Hot Buttered Lemonade: So easy to make and it’s both light and rich.

3 cups water

¾ cup fresh lemon juice

2/3 cup sugar

1 ½ t. lemon zest

1 T. butter

4 cinnamon sticks (optional)

Simmer the first four ingredients until the sugar dissolves. Pour into mugs, dot with butter and add one cinnamon stick per mug.

Hot Pumpkin Spice Drink

2 cups milk

1 ½ cup pumpkin puree

2 T. brown sugar

1 ½ t. pumpkin spice (cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves)

Whipped cream

Heat milk, puree, sugar and pumpkin spice on medium heat, stirring all the while. When near boiling, pour into mugs and top with a generous serving of whipped cream. Sprinkle with pumpkin spice.

Comfort Soups

Carrot and Coriander Soup

2 T. olive oil

One onion sliced thin

1 pound carrots (three cups baby carrots) chopped

1 clove garlic, crushed

1 t. ground coriander

2 pints vegetable or chicken stock

One bunch cilantro, chopped

Salt and pepper

Sour cream (optional)

Saute onion and carrots in oil 3-4 minutes. Add stock and garlic. Simmer 20 minutes. Blend until smooth or strain. Add cilantro and swirl with sour cream if desired. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Alphabet Soup, Fun for the Younger Kids

½ cup alphabet noodles

1 T. olive oil

2 medium carrots, peeled and diced

2 medium potatoes, peeled and diced

1 cup green beans, chopped

4 cups water or vegetable broth

¼ t. paprika

¼ t. dried dill

1 cup diced tomatoes, fresh or canned

1 cup frozen peas, thawed

Heat oil and sauté potatoes and carrots. Add one cup of the liquid and cook for 5 minutes. Add rest of ingredients (holding out the peas) and cook, covered for 15 minutes. Add peas, and serve.

Sweet Fall Treats

Homemade Caramel Corn (All made in the microwave)

16 cups popped corn

½ cup butter

1 cup brown sugar

¼ cup Karo syrup

Place the popcorn in a brown paper bag. Meanwhile mix butter and sugars in a bowl and microwave one minute at a time. Stir after each minute.  After minute 5, add ½ t. baking soda and 1 t. vanilla. Stir. Cook one more minute, stir and pour over the popcorn in the bag. Stir to coat evenly.

Microwave the popcorn plus mixture in the bag for one minute, shake and repeat.

Microwave the bag for thirty seconds, shake and repeat.

Pour contents of bag on waxed paper to cool.

You can add interest and flair by adding cinnamon sugar, white chocolate, peanut butter chips, etc. over the corn while it’s still warm.

Fresh Cranberry Orange Cookies

1 cup sugar

½ cup brown sugar

1 cup butter

1 t. orange zest

2 T. orange juice

1 egg

2 ½ cups flour

½ t. baking soda

½ t. salt

2 cups chopped fresh cranberries

½ cup chopped nuts

½ cup white or dark chocolate chips (optional)

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Use an un-greased baking sheet. Beat sugars, butter, zest, orange juice and egg. Add dry ingredients. Add nuts, cranberries and chocolate. Drop by teaspoon onto baking sheet and bake 12-14 minutes.