Autumn Dinner for Two

Here in upstate New York, we are very blessed to live in one of the most beautiful parts of our country. Autumn is spectacular! A day trip to the Finger Lakes visiting wineries and sampling their delights is a great way to spend a Sunday. Don’t forget about the fall bounty of freshly picked apples and newly harvested potatoes at the farm stands along the way.
I love coming up with recipes to complement the bottles of wines the hubby and I find on our adventures. A nice semi-dry Riesling is a delicious accompaniment to a simple one pan chicken dish. Earthy mushrooms and fresh sage in a light cream sauce with a touch of sweet sherry blend so well with the crispness of this white wine. Serve the chicken over some simple yet classic smashed red skinned potatoes. This dish pairs beautifully with a spinach salad topped with fresh apples, creamy blue cheese and a warm bacon dressing. Add the warm dressing to the salad right before eating. It wilts the spinach and melts the cheese ever so slightly. Holy flavor explosion! Be sure to chill your white wine for 2-3 hours before serving.
Red wine and Chocolate, talk about heaven on earth! No need to spend any time in the kitchen preparing a dessert. Right in the heart of our neighborhood you will find some of the most decadent chocolates one can buy. Swing by Hedonist Artisan Chocolates and pick up some of their chocolate bark, the almond bark is my personal favorite. No need to chill the red wine as its flavors are most delicious when served at room temperature.
A day trip with a loved one during this beautiful time of the year, topped by an easy-to-prepare dinner using the delights picked up during your travels equals a full belly and a full heart. Hope you enjoy!
Sautéed Chicken Breast with Creamy Mushroom andSherry Sauce
2 -8 oz organic chicken breasts lightly dusted with flour and salt and pepper
2 Tbsp canola or coconut oil
2 shallots, finely chopped
½ lb sliced white mushrooms
½ cup heavy cream
½ cup of good cooking sherry
1 tbsp butter
3-4 fresh sage leaves thinly sliced
Heat a sauté pan over medium high heat for 1 minute. Add oil and begin to cook chicken (about 3-4 minutes on each side.) Remove chicken from pan and place in a 375 degree oven and cook for an additional 10 minutes. Add chopped shallots and mushrooms to pan and sauté until lightly browned. Add sherry to the pan and let it cook for 2-3 minutes. Lower heat to a light simmer and add heavy cream and butter. Add chicken and sage to sauce and cook for another 2-3 minutes to incorporate flavors.

Baby Spinach and Apple Salad with Warm Bacon Dressing Salad
8 oz baby spinach
2 medium Apples (I use McIntosh)
¼ cup walnuts
¼ cup almonds
¼ cup dried cranberries
½ cup crumbed blue cheese
½ pound of bacon, julienned
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
¼ cup brown sugar
½ cup apple cider vinegar
In a non-stick sauce pan cook bacon until crisp, do not drain. Add brown sugar, Dijon mustard, and vinegar. Whisk to incorporate. Drizzle over salad. Can be stored in air-tight container for up to 2 weeks.
Smashed Red Potatoes
3 pounds of red skinned potatoes cut into quarters
2 tbsp butter
¼ cup milk
1-2 tbsp chopped fresh Italian parsley
Salt and Pepper to taste
Bring 4 quarts of lightly salted water to a boil, add potatoes and cook until fork tender. Place butter and milk in a heat safe mixing bowl. Drain cooked, well drained potatoes to bowl and smash gently. I like to keep them on the chunky side. Finally, mix in chopped parsley.