Are we almost halfway through the summer already? Fall will be here before you know it! I’m really looking forward to that special, cozy feeling that comes with fall-time. Comfy sweaters, colorful leaves, pumpkin spice, bonfires and crisp mornings. And let’s not forget about those favorite fall food & drinks like apple cider and hearty soups. Today we’re cooking up some of my favorite quick and easy fall-inspired lunch ideas, all enhanced with Cracker Barrel’s flavorful, award-winning cheese! Cheese just makes everything better and it’s one of my go-to comfort ingredients. First up….
Grilled Cheese, Roasted Turkey and Pear Sandwich
Did you know that pears are a fall fruit that are just as versatile as apples? I was introduced to pear cider last year and simply fell in love. Their sweet and fragrant flesh pairs great with many different cheeses. In this recipe I’m using Cracker BarrelSharp Cheddar cheese. This cheese has a buttery finish and creamy, slightly fruity taste, which goes perfect with the pear and roasted turkey.
Mini Sausage & Kale Pizza
Kale has received a lot of hype over the years, thanks to the kale chip movement. I still have visions of my grandmother out in her summer garden trying to hurry and get the kale seedling in the ground in time for a late fall crop. One of my favorite ways to use kale is by making mini sausage and kale pizzas. My 5-year-old loves this recipe and, of course, I love that he’s eating kale. To take this pizza to the next level, I used Cracker Barrel’sAged Reserved Extra Sharp White Cheddar Cheese on half of them and Cracker Barrel Mediterranean Herb Cheddar Cheese on the other half. The winner in my house, by one vote, was the Mediterranean Herb with its creamy texture and flecks of rosemary, basil and oregano. I never measure the toppings for this recipe. Just throw on as much of the toppings that you like!
Cheddar Butternut Squash Soup
Butternut squash just says Autumn to me! In the fall-time there is nothing like the smell of roasted butternut squash drifting through the house. This cheddar butternut squash soup freezes and reheats well, so I usually make a big batch and freeze the leftovers. I decided to go with Cracker Barrel’s award-winning Extra Sharp Cheddar Cheese for this soup. The cheese lends a nice tangy flavor and a perfect creamy texture.
- GRILLED CHEESE, TURKEY & PEAR SANDWICH
- 2 slices white bread
- ½ tablespoon mayonnaise
- 2 slices roasted turkey lunch meat
- 4 slices of pear, thinly sliced
- Cracker Barrel Sharp Cheddar Cheese, thinly sliced or shredded
- MINI SAUSAGE & KALE PIZZA
- 1 can refrigerated pizza crust
- Pizza sauce
- Cracker Barrel Age Reserved Extra Sharp White Cheddar Cheese or Cracker Barrel Mediterranean Herb Cheddar Cheese
- Kielbasa sausage, diced
- Kaled, chopped
- CHEDDAR BUTTERNUT SQUASH SOUP
- 1.5 lb butternut squash, roasted (2 cups flesh)
- 1 cup chicken broth, plus more if needed
- ½ cup white onions, diced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 3 Tablespoons heavy whipping cream
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ⅛ teaspoon sage
- ¼ cup Cracker Barrel Extra Sharp Cheddar Cheese
- GRILLED CHEESE< TURKEY & PEAR SANDWICH
- Heat a lightly greased non-stick skillet over medium heat.
- Spread mayonnaise evenly on one side of both slices of bread.
- Lay a slice of bread on the skillet, mayonnaise side down.
- Top with pear slices, roasted turkey lunchmeat and cheese.
- Top with the final slice of bread, mayonnaise side up.
- Cook until golden and cheese has melted.
- Flip until the other side is golden.
- Plate and enjoy!
- MINI CHEDDAR & KALE PIZZA
- Preheat oven to 400 F.
- Roll out pizza crust.
- Use a cookie cutter to cut out 4-5 inch circles.
- Place on a cookie sheet lined with lightly greased parchment paper.
- Spread on the pizza sauce.
- Top with cheese, sausage and kale.
- Bake for 12-14 minutes or until crust is golden.
- Serve and enjoy.
- CHEDDAR BUTTERNUT SQUASH SOUP
- Place flesh of roasted squash into a blender.
- Add in chicken broth and puree until smooth.
- In a large pot, saute onions and garlic in butter over medium heat.
- Add in the squash mixture, heavy cream, black pepper, and sage.
- Simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.
- Place the soup into the blender and puree until smooth.
- Return soup to the pot and heat until warm again.
- Stir in cheese.
- Serve and enjoy.
I almost forgot to mention the BEST part – BlogHer is giving my readers a chance to win a $100 Visa gift card! To enter the sweepstakes, all you have to do is tell me: What are some of your favorite fall foods?
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