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Fall Family Meals

Fall is full of bold, intense flavorful foods!  No matter whom you are cooking for or what type of dinner party you happen to throw, you should always be prepared to amaze your food critics.  We have a recipe for a rustic home dinner, a game day side dish, and an adorable fall dessert.  Enjoy!

Sausage Ratatouille

The classic French ratatouille is made by simmering eggplant with other vegetables and herbs. It's often served as a side or appetizer with bread, but our addition of Italian sausage turns it into a hearty meal for cooler months.

Sausage Ratatouille

Ingredients
3 to 4 links (about 3/4 pound) Italian sausage
4 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium-size eggplant, peeled and cut into a 3/4-inch dice
2 small zucchini, halved and sliced
1 large onion, quartered and thinly sliced
1 medium-size green bell pepper, halved, seeded, and sliced
2 to 3 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups canned diced tomatoes
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon tomato paste
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

Instructions
1. Bring a medium-size pot of water to a boil. Puncture the sausage links in several places, then cook them at a low boil until they're no longer pink in the center, about 14 minutes. Transfer the links to a plate to cool, then slice them into 1/4-inch-thick rounds.
2. Over medium-high heat, warm 3 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large, deep skillet or Dutch oven. Add the eggplant and zucchini and sauté them, stirring often, until they are lightly browned but not soft, about 7 minutes. Transfer the vegetables to a plate.
In the same skillet over medium heat, warm the remaining olive oil. Add the onion and bell pepper and sauté them for 3 minutes. Stir in the garlic and sliced sausage and sauté, stirring often, for 3 minutes more. Stir in the tomatoes, eggplant, and zucchini.
Partially cover the skillet and gently simmer the ratatouille for 5 minutes. Add the tomato paste, along with salt and pepper to taste, and simmer 5 minutes more. Stir in the parsley and half of the basil. Serve hot, sprinkled with the remaining basil. Serves 6.

Mini Football Subs
You can expect a high number of interceptions when you pass these individual-size meatball sandwiches during halftime festivities.

Mini Football Subs
Ingredients
Meatballs
Spaghetti sauce
Shredded Cheese
Individual-size rolls

Instructions
1. To make a batch, first prepare your favorite meatball recipe, shaping each meatball into a mini football before cooking. Once they're cooked, add the meatballs to a skillet of spaghetti sauce and warm them through.
2. For each sub, cut a V-shaped notch from the top of an individual-size roll, place a meatball in the roll, and top with cheese shred laces. Finally, get the sandwiches in a huddle on a cookie sheet and place them in a warm oven for a few minutes to melt the cheese.

The Apple of Our Eye
A cute cupcake dessert to bring to fall birthdays or grace the table at autumn parties.
Apple of our Eye Cupcakes
Ingredients
Cupcake batter
Red frosting
Red sugar sprinkles
Tootsie Roll Midges
Green Tootsie Fruit Roll
White frosting

Instructions
1. Mix your favorite cupcake batter and divide it evenly among cupcake wells lined with red paper or silicone cups, filling each one about three-quarters full. Bake the cupcakes according to the recipe directions and let them cool.
2. Carve a shallow, dime-size well in the top of each cupcake, then cover the tops with red frosting and coat them with red sugar sprinkles. Mold a small piece of a Tootsie Roll Midge into a stem shape. Form a leaf from a small piece of green Tootsie Fruit Roll, pinch it against the stem, then insert the stem into the cupcake.
3. To make a bitten apple, spoon a small well from the side of the cupcake and line it with white frosting. Press tiny bits of Tootsie Roll Midge in place for seeds.

 

All recipes courtesy of Disney's Family Fun website.

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