Making the Most of the Bounty

donna alward L-R 1600  Riders and Readers, today everyone gets a prize—a meal in a blog!  Please welcome Harlequin author Donna Alward…

I keep saying it because it’s true – autumn is my absolute favourite season. One of the things I enjoy about it most is returning to cooking comfort foods after a summer of grilling and salads. I also live about an hour away from one of the best places ever to get fresh produce – the Annapolis Valley in Nova Scotia. There is nothing better than cooking from fresh, and this time of year is perfect!

This is my go-to meal when company is coming over. Not too fancy or complicated, but oh-so-delicious. As you can tell it’s not the kind of meal I make all the time – too rich! But it’s always a crowd pleaser. So here you go – my Roast Beef dinner with Creamy Potatoes, Green Beans and Bacon, and Maple Dill Carrots. Don’t forget Apple and Cranberry Crumble for dessert!

Maple Dill Carrots4-5 cups fresh carrots, cut in sticks

2 tbsp maple syrup

½ tsp dried dillweed

Steam or boil carrots until done to preferred tenderness. Drizzle with maple syrup and add dill, stirring well to coat evenly. My kids also love when I do this to carrots and turnip together.

Green Beans and Bacon

6 cups fresh green beans

4 slices of bacon

1/8 cup diced red pepper

Steam or boil beans until tender. In a frypan, fry bacon until crisp. Remove from pan and add red pepper to grease, sautéing until just tender. Remove from grease. Cut bacon into small bits and add it, and the red pepper, to the cooked beans, along with 1 tsp of the bacon fat. Stir to combine. The red pepper adds some lovely colour!

Apple Cranberry Crumble

Peel and slice enough apples to fill a rectangular baking dish 2/3 full (I use an 11×14 inch pan). Add ½ to ¾ cup of dried cranberries to the apples. Add ½ cup brown sugar, 1/3 cup flour, and sprinkle with nutmeg and cinnamon to taste.

For the topping, mix together 2 cups rolled oats, 1 cup flour, 1 cup brown sugar, ½ cup margarine until crumbly.

Top apples with mixture and bake in a 350 oven until the top browns – about 45 minutes to an hour. Serve warm with French vanilla ice cream.


Roast Beef with Red Wine SauceThis recipe came from a grocery store insert and is pure gold!

3lb beef tenderloin roast

3 tbsp barbeque sauce

2 tbsp olive oil

3 cloves of minced garlic

1 tsp chili powder

Black pepper to taste

1 small diced onion

¾ cup of red wine

1 ½ cups low sodium beef broth

1 tbsp flour

Mix 2 tbsp of the barbeque sauce, 1 tbsp of the olive oil, garlic, chili powder and black pepper. Rub tenderloin with mixture and refrigerate for a few hours.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Heat remaining oil in a roast pan over med heat. Add tenderloin to pan, then place in oven until done to your liking (for medium, a meat thermometer will read 160 degrees and will take about 40 minutes). Add onions to the roasting pan for the last 20 minutes. Take out roast and put on a cutting board. Tent foil over top to keep warm and let it rest.

Place roasting pan on medium heat on the stove. Add wine and bring to a boil, scraping any bits off the bottom of the pan. Simmer until it reduces by about half. Add broth and simmer for 5 minutes. In a small bowl, make a roux of the remaining bbq sauce, flour, and 2 tbsp water. Whisk into simmering broth and cook until thickened.

Carve roast and serve with mashed potatoes and “gravy”.

Donna alward3 I happen to be enjoying several fruits of my labour this fall, including 2 new releases in October! The first is set in the Annapolis Valley I mentioned above – OFF THE CLOCK comes out October 4 from Samhain Publishing.

Donna alward2 And also on October 4, my newest Harlequin Romance hits the shelves – HOW A COWBOY STOLE HER HEART.

Thanks for hanging with me today, and please tell me about some of your favourite fall recipes in the comments! I’ve got an e-copy of OFF THE CLOCK to give away, and a signed paperback of HOW A COWBOY STOLE HER HEART too!

Donna Alward

What’s your favorite fall comfort food?  How about your favorite comfort read?


About Kathleen Eagle

Kathleen Eagle is the award-winning, New York Times best-selling author of over forty novels.
This entry was posted in Donna Alward, fall harvest, harlequin romance, recipes and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

26 Responses to Making the Most of the Bounty

  1. Laurie G says:

    My favorite fall foods are my MIL’s yeast apple streusel cake and apple pie made with Macintosh apples!
    Also love butternut squash with brown sugar on top.
    Comfort reads: Debbie Macomber’s books.

  2. Cindy Gerard says:

    Hi Donna. Welcome to the ‘vert! Those recipes sound yummy. Can’t wait to try all of them! Thanks and congrats on your new releases.
    My fall comfort food is Chili. I know. but it just signifies that change of the seasons for me. That first big mess of chili means fall to me and I love fall.

  3. Hi Donna! Love the recipes, and congratulations on two books out in October. I love pumpkin and apples, and fall is a great time for both. Warm apple crumble, or fresh from the oven pumpkin bread. Yum, my mouth is watering.

    Looking forward to your new books.

  4. Thanks for joining us, Donna!

    One of my fall favorites is Honeycrisp apples. You can’t get them here any other time of the year, and they’re wonderful. Are they available all over the country this time of year? I have a feeling I’d better enjoy them now before I finish Theresa Weir’s memoir, THE ORCHARD. Theresa’s guest blogging with us on Friday, and her book deals with relationships and the realities of modern farming.

    Honeycrisps, please don’t be ruined by pesticides!

  5. LSUReader says:

    Those recipes look wonderful. We eat so many carrots, with one vegetarian and one toddler in the house. I’m happy to have a new way to cook them. Thanks.

    I love crisp apples in the fall. For cooking, my favorite fall meal is turkey & sausage gumbo. And cookies–fresh baked, warm from the oven cookies. Mmmmm…

    Thanks for visiting. Glad I ate before I read your post!

  6. Leanne Banks says:

    Oh my goodness, LOVE your recipes! MUST TRY!!! They look DELICIOUS! As do your books! And two books out in October! How cool is that!;) Thanks for joining us in the convertible. My fave fall food is actually a drink — hot apple cider. It’s my one and only favorite hot beverage!:) xo, Leanne

  7. kylie brant says:

    Mmmm, apple crisp has to be my favorite! Have to admit I’ve never made it…miss my mom’s cooking!

  8. MaryC says:

    Love butternut squash with cinnamon!

  9. CateS says:

    When I was little, I called it “Baked Beast” – but it’s a chuck roast in a foil lined pan, surrounded by potatoes, carrots, onion chunks, celery and topped with a can of mushroom soup.. and then wapped up foil and stick in an oven at 350 for 4-5 hours [depending on how big a roast and if it’s boneless or not…

  10. Liz the Librarian says:

    There is nothing like warm pumpkin bread and a pot of tea. I look forward to trying the maple-dill carrots. Sounds delicious!

  11. michelehauf says:

    mmm, going to try the beans with bacon! Congrats on the new release! Comfort foods? Black bean soup, and hot chocolate.

  12. Christie Ridgway says:

    Those recipes look delish! Thanks for sharing. A fave fall food is something I make every Halloween for our annual party. A hot dip that’s ground beef, refried beans, cheese, sour cream, onions, etc. that I heat in a crock pot and serve with tortilla chips. I only make it once a year so it’s definitely the food that says fall to me.

    Love your Harlequin Romance cover. Great title and your name is so BIG! Very cool.

  13. Donna Alward says:

    Hey all! Sorry I’m so late popping in to wave hi – my “3 hour” volunteer stint at the school somehow turned into 6 and I just got in the door – and am about to dash out again soon to pick up t’other kid from volleyball practice. I don’t know about you guys, but my slow cooker generally gets a good workout in the fall and winter months, especially on crazy schedule days.

    I LOVE pumpkin. I got a recipe from the grocery store mag the other day that is a pumpkin rum and raisin cake. I’m gonna have to try that. 🙂

    Be back later!

  14. Debra Dixon says:

    Rats! It ate my longer post.

    Love the recipes.

    How do you like working with two publishers? Waht the best of each experience?

  15. What a delicious-sounding meal, Donna. My taste buds are working overtime. My favorite dessert is apple crisp, and the horses always get the peelings. Congratulations on Off The Clock and How A Cowboy Stole Her Heart. Tuesday, Oct. 4 is a big day!

  16. Donna Alward says:

    Debra – working with two publishers is great. Samhain works on a book to book basis, so it’s not a problem juggling due dates. The editing system is different with each and I learn different things by the different methods, which I think is a good thing. And I LOVE writing for the Romance line – but sometimes get the urge to do something a little different. I explore that with Samhain while, I hope, delivering the same sort of feel-good read that my HR readers expect. Perhaps just a little sassier. 🙂

    Both my editors are fantastic and a joy to work with. It’s a positive experience all the way around!

  17. Donna Alward says:

    Kathleen – I meant to say that I discovered Honeycrisp a few years ago – they weren’t even a variety when I was growing up (on an apple farm!). They are so huge we take one and slice it and the whole family eats, lol! I love them for eating, but not so much for cooking. What’s your fave cooking apple? Around here I use Gala a lot, but growing up we had a variety called “Joyce” that was solely for cooking, and my mom’s favourite are still Dudleys and I don’t know of anyone who grows them anymore beyond where she gets hers.

  18. lois greiman says:

    Thanks for joining us, Donna. And thanks for the great recipes. Stew! Stew is my favorite fall feast. 🙂

  19. Summer says:

    I love any kind of warm, apple dessert in the fall. Congratulations on your new releases, they both look great.

  20. You grew up on an apple farm, Donna? Oh, please drop in on us Friday when Theresa blogs with us about THE ORCHARD. I’m reading the book now–a memoir–and it’s really powerful.

  21. Nas Dean says:

    Hi Donna,

    Thanks for the recipes. Oh Yum! I love pumpkin pudding.

    Congratulations for the releases of your books!

  22. Quilt Lady says:

    Great recipes, my favorite fall food would be home made chili thats been cooked for several hours. Also love candy corn from Holloween!

    Congrats on your book releases.

  23. gatorgirl56 says:

    Congrats on the new releases! The recipes sound wonderful, will have to try some of them. My favorite fall dish is a big pot of chili! I love it when it finally gets cold enough for that first pot!

  24. Donna Alward says:

    I’d love to pop by on Friday! I have such great memories of growing up on the farm.

    Lois – I LOVE stew. I got a recipe last year that changed how I make it. The recipe I use is from a lady who used to go to our church and passed away last year. Marg was a gorgeous cook and made her own mincemeat until she was in her 90’s. Anyway, the recipe has red wine in it so I knew I’d like it right from the get go, lol!

  25. Stephenia says:

    The cooler fall weather brings back Lasagna and garlic bread to my house. It is way too hot to have the oven on in the summer. Congrats on your two new releases!

  26. My favorite fall comfort food is gingerbread with butterscotch sauce. Delicious!

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