Tag Archives: Fall

Caramel Apple Cider Cocktail

Caramel Apple Cider Cocktail
Serves 1
The football games have already started, and it’s time to think of cider mills, sweet caramel apples, toasty bonfires and tailgate parties. Apple cocktails are a great way to start the season.
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  1. 2 oz. Smirnoff Kissed Caramel Flavored Vodka
  2. 1 ½ oz. Apple Cider
  3. ¼ oz. Lemon Juice
  4. Caramel sauce for trimming
  5. Apple slices for garnish
  1. Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice.
  2. Shake well and strain into a martini glass.
  3. Shake well again.
  4. Garnish rim with a bead of caramel sauce and a slice of apple.
Nino Salvaggio https://www.ninosalvaggio.com/

Pete’s NEW Batch of Great Fall Soup Recipes

Is there anything as good as a hearty bowl of soup when the weather turns chilly? I’m guessing, based on my unofficial grocery cart survey taken this past week at Nino’s….nothing.

Nary a shopping buggy was to be seen without a container of Nino’s own homemade soup, a canned soup, a packaged soup or the ingredients to make a soup. Admittedly, however, I still have to find out what kind of soup uses chocolate pie and olives…still working on THAT one.

The point is the weather’s getting brisk and soup is IN right now! And while I can definitely recommend one of Nino’s beloved homemade soups, you might also be thinking of making a batch of your very own–very soon.

As for me, I love soup. And it’s about this time of the year, every year, that I make my chili and a couple of other soups to store in my freezer.


Yep, with few exceptions, soups freeze pretty darn well. As a matter of fact, many commercially prepared soups are packaged frozen, many in plastic boil-in-bag style “re-thermalization” pouches. So don’t sweat it! With very minimal loss in texture and generally zero loss in flavor, you can freeze most soups, and of course, all of these recipes below.

Having said that, here are three soup recipes I’ll be making this fall:


My first soup is one I used to make at Opus One in Detroit when I was their executive chef. We had a wonderful lunch crowd, and people always enjoyed our homemade soups, whatever I made. I particularly loved this soup, and on the occasion we made it, I would make it my own lunch, with a slice of French bread…or two.

Creamy Chicken with Tarragon, Mushrooms & Wild Rice

Serves 4

½ Stick Butter, Salted
½ Cup Onions, Small Diced
½ Cup Celery, Small Diced
2 tsp Garlic, Minced
1/3 Cup All-Purpose Flour
1 Cup Mushrooms, Chopped
3 Cups Chicken Stock
½ Cup Heavy Cream
1 Cup Diced, Cooked Chicken Meat
¼ Cup Wild Rice
2 Cups Water (or as needed)
1 TBSP Tarragon, Fresh, Chopped
1 TBSP Sweet Sherry Wine
To Taste Salt & Black Pepper


  1. Simmer wild rice in water until just tender. Drain and reserve.
  2. Sauté onions and celery in butter until just tender, and then add garlic and sauté 1 minute longer.
  3. Add flour and stir in. Cook 3 minutes on medium heat to cook flour into a roux.
  4. Add chicken stock, heavy cream and mushrooms. Bring to a simmer while whisking and simmer 15 minutes.
  5. Add cooked chicken meat, rice, tarragon and sherry. Simmer 5 minutes.
  6. Adjust thickness with additional chicken broth if necessary.
  7. Adjust seasonings with salt and pepper.
  8. Serve.

This next soup is a new one. It’s similar to a New England Clam Chowder and also similar to the Creamy Chicken recipe above but uses seafood broth instead of clam juice and crab instead of clams. You can garnish it with Oyster Crackers just like any chowder.

Spicy Maryland Crab & Corn Chowder

Serves 4

2 Strips Bacon, Raw, Finely Chopped
½ Stick Butter, Salted
½ Cup Onions, Diced
½ Cup Celery, Diced
¼ Cup Red Bell Pepper, Diced
2 tsp Garlic, Minced
1/3 Cup All-Purpose Flour
3 Cup Seafood Broth/Stock (Kitchen Basics brand or equiv.)
½ Cup Heavy Cream
½ Cup Sweet Corn Kernels
1 Lb Tin Crab Meat, Pasteurized (Lump) (with juices)
1 tsp Parsley Flakes
1/8 tsp Cayenne Pepper
Pinch Thyme, Dry
1 tsp Worcestershire Sauce
1 Cup Idaho Potatoes, Diced 3/8”


  1. In a medium-sized saucepan, sauté bacon until just crisp.
  2. Add butter, onions, celery and red bell pepper, and sauté 2 to 3 minutes.
  3. Add garlic and sauté 2 minutes longer.
  4. Add flour and cook while stirring for 3 to 5 minutes or until flour had cooked into ingredients to make a roux.
  5. Add seafood stock and cream, and bring to a simmer. Gently simmer for 15 minutes.
  6. Add crab meat (with any juices) and all remaining ingredients except potatoes. Bring to a simmer.
  7. Add potatoes and simmer 10 minutes or until potatoes are JUST tender.
  8. Adjust seasonings and thickness with additional seafood stock or water.
  9. Serve.

I really love this soup. The combination of chicken and Italian sausage really gives the broth a wonderful, robust heartiness. Another thing I love about this soup is all of the different garnishments that add interest to the look and taste.

Farmhouse Chicken Soup with Italian Sausage

Serves 4

2 TBSP Olive Oil
1 Cup Onions, Diced
½ Cup Carrots, Diced
½ Cup Celery, Diced
¼ Cup Bell Peppers, Diced
2 tsp Garlic, Minced
1 Cup Crushed Canned Tomatoes
3 Cups Chicken Stock
½ Cup Green Beans, Cut in 2” lengths
½ Cup Black-Eyed Peas, Canned, Drained
1 Cup Cooked Chicken Meat, Diced
2 Links Nino’s Sweet Italian Sausage, Cooked, Cut into ¼” Disks, which are then cut in half again
2 Cups Baby Spinach Leaves, Fresh
¼ tsp Oregano, Dry
¼ tsp Sage, Rubbed, Dry
Pinch Thyme, Dry
To Taste Salt & Pepper


  1. Heat olive oil in a medium-sized saucepan, and then sweat onions, carrots, celery and bell peppers until just tender (about 2 to 3 minutes).
  2. Add garlic and sauté 2 minutes longer.
  3. Add all remaining ingredients and bring to a simmer.
  4. Adjust with additional chicken stock as desired.
  5. Simmer 15 to 20 minutes to marry flavors.
  6. Adjust seasonings as desired.
  7. Serve.

What are your favorite soups to eat in the Fall? Let us know in the comments below!

Peter’s Pumpkin Eater Recipes for 2012!

It’s been almost a year since I last shared with you some of my favorite pumpkin recipes to whet your appetite for one of fall’s culinary treasures. If you missed last year’s blog, you can still check out those great recipes right here. It All Starts With A Pumpkin.

Before we get into this year’s NEW recipes, remember that you can use either canned pumpkin or cooked, fresh pumpkin for all of these delicious recipes.


If you choose canned, be sure it is not the pre-spiced/ready-to-use kind, and if you make “fresh cooked,” remember that it is best to use the smaller, sweeter “Pie” pumpkins, then use only the firm flesh, and once cooked, drain off ALL the excess water very well.

This year, I have some new recipes that I think you’ll really enjoy, starting with Pumpkin Biscuits! These tender, sweet guys go great with pork roasts or grilled chicken, and they’re fabulous all on their own with honey and butter.

Pumpkin Pecan Biscuits

Makes about 10 to 12 – 2 ½ ” Biscuits or 6 Servings

2 Cups All-Purpose Flour
2 TBSP Granulated Sugar
2 TBSP Brown Sugar
4 tsp Baking Powder
½ tsp Salt
1 tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice
1 Stick Salted Butter
1/3 Cup Pecan Pieces, Toasted
2/3 Cup Canned or Cooked Pumpkin
1/3 Cup Half & Half or Cream


  1. In a large bowl, combine the first six ingredients.
  2. Cut in butter with fork or pastry knife until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
  3. Stir in pecans.
  4. Combine pumpkin and half & half (or) cream; stir into dry ingredients. Turn onto a floured surface, and gently fold dough over itself 2 or 3 times.
  5. Lightly flour then roll dough to 1/2-inch thickness, and cut with a 2-1/2-in. biscuit cutter.
  6. Place on a lightly greased baking sheet or non-stick silicone baking mat.
  7. Bake at 400 degrees F for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown.
  8. Serve warm.

Are you ready for a truly memorable breakfast? Try these Pumpkin Pancakes. They can be garnished a number of different ways. My favorite way is dusting them with cinnamon sugar then topping them with sweetened whipped cream and toasted pecans! WOW!

Pumpkin Pancakes

Makes 12 – 4 Inch Pancakes or 4 Servings

1 ½ Cups Milk
1 Cup Canned or Cooked Pumpkin
1 Extra-Large Egg
2 TBSP Vegetable Oil
2 TBSP Cider Vinegar
2 Cups All-Purpose Flour
3 TBSP Brown Sugar
2 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Baking Soda
2 ½ tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice
½ tsp Salt


  1. In a bowl, mix together the milk, pumpkin, egg, oil and vinegar.
  2. Combine the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice and salt in a separate bowl. Then stir THAT mixture into the pumpkin mixture just enough to combine.
  3. Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium-high heat. Pour or scoop the batter onto the griddle, using approximately ¼ cup for each pancake.
  4. Brown on both sides and serve hot.

Looking for something REALLY different? These pumpkin and cream cheese stuffed wontons will amaze your family and friends, not only with their delicious flavor but also with the unique contrast of textures. You can also dredge these wontons in cinnamon sugar while still hot and then serve them with our Apple Butter.

Fried Pumpkin Wontons With Cinnamon Sugar

Makes 30 or 8 Servings

You can find wonton wrappers at Nino’s in the refrigerated produce section or in our frozen grocery section.

3/4 Cup Canned or Cooked Pumpkin
3 TBSP Brown Sugar
¾ tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice
¼ tsp Vanilla Extract, Pure
¼ Cup Cream Cheese, Softened
30 Wonton Wrappers
1 Extra-Large Egg
1 TBSP Water
As Needed Oil, for Frying (Canola, Peanut or Vegetable)
For Garnish Powdered Sugar


  1. Stir together the pumpkin, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, vanilla and cream cheese. Set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg and the water for the egg wash.
  3. Place one wonton wrapper on a clean, dry surface. With a small pastry brush or a spoon, paint the edges of the wonton wrapper with the egg wash. Then spoon 1 ½ tsp of the pumpkin filling in the middle. Fold over to form a triangle and seal very well. Repeat for remaining wontons.
  4. NOTE: It’s important to make sure you have a good, tight seal. Otherwise, the filling will leak out and cause oil splatters when frying.
  5. Heat 1 1/2-inches of oil in a saucepan, wok or small frying pan. When the oil reaches 325 F, carefully slide a few wontons into the oil with a long-handled spoon. It’s best to use a screen to protect you from the oil.
  6. Fry for 1 minute on each side, until golden brown. Drain on rack to let cool.
  7. Sprinkle with powdered sugar.