Fall Fun Facts and a Recipe

Hello everyone, Winnie Griggs here. Today is the official first day of Autumn. That means the weather gets crisper, the days get shorter, the foliage gets more colorful and pumpkin spice can be found creatively added to any number of beverages and dishes.

Shanna’s post yesterday gave you lots of fabulous information on how to entertain and decorate with Autumn in mind (and if you missed it you really ought to go back and read it!) So today I thought I’d share some fun facts about Autumn and also provide a coy of one of my favorite recipes.

Autumn Fun Facts 

There have been some interesting statistics gathered about kids born in Autumn

  • They might live longer. This comes from a study conducted by the University of Essex in Great Britain. In fact they are statistically more likely to live to be 100 than those born in any other season
  • They are more likely to do better in school according to a Department for Education report that looked at the 2012-2013 school year.
  • They are also more likely to be taller and to excel at athletics. One explanation for this is that their mothers probably had much more exposure to sun when pregnant, which helped them produce more vitamin D, which in turn helped give their kids stronger bones.
  • But the news isn’t all good.
    One study conducted by National Jewish Health found that those born in Autumn have a higher risk of developing eczema, food allergies, hay fever and asthma in later years that those born during other seasons of the year.

One of the things people often mention  when speaking of why they like Autumn is the spectacular foliage. Here are some things related to that you may not know

  • Leaves don’t really ‘change colors’. The fall colors are actually always there, but their appearance is based on the amount of sunshine they get (or don’t get). Sunshine enhances the chlorophyll inherent in leaves, which is a natural chemical that makes them green. But with shorter days and less sunshine, chlorophyll isn’t produced as much, making the green fade and allowing the other colors to push through.
  • The depth of color you see in the Autumn is based on how much sugar and sap is trapped in the leaves – that’s why maple leaves are such a vibrant red.
  • Evergreen trees remain green throughout the winter because their leaves and needles are coated with a thick waxy substance and they contain materials that prevent them from freezing
  • Leaves fall from trees in the Autumn because of a hormone. As they are exposed to less and less sunlight they begin to produce a hormone that encourages the growth of a cell between the leaf and the stem. This basically forces the leaf to push away from the stem and fall off. And whatever doesn’t fall before winter arrives freezes and dies.

Okay, enough trivia. On to the recipe I promised you. Confession time – I LOVE soups. I can (and often do!) eat them several times a week year round. But soups are especially yummy and comforting as the weather turns crisper.  Below is a very hearty cold weather soup that I just love.

Taco Soup   

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs ground beef or turkey
  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 1 med onion, chopped
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cans whole kernel corn
  • 2 cans Rotel w/chilies
  • 2 cans pinto or kidney beans
  • 4 oz cream cheese
  • 1 pkg taco seasoning
  • 1 pkg dry hidden valley ranch salad dressing

Directions

  • Brown meat with onion. Drain and return to pot
  • Add everything else to meat without draining vegetables
  • Simmer for at least one hour. Add water as needed

NOTES:

  • If salt is a concern you can find NO or LOW Sodium options for most of these ingredients
  • When serving you can  top with cheese, tortilla chips and/or avocado if desired
  • Leftovers can be frozen.

So did any of my Autumn fun facts surprise you? Do you have a favorite fall recipe you’d like to share? Leave a comment to be interested in a drawing for your choice of any book from my backlist as well as a fun surprise.

 

And you’re also invited to join me and the rest of the Love Train authors for a “welcome autumn” celebration today at https://www.facebook.com/groups/2143576775865837. The fun begins at 8 a.m. Pacific Time (9 Mountain, 10 Central, 11 Eastern). It will be a day full of fun, games, giveaways, and more!

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Winnie Griggs is the author of Historical (and occasionally Contemporary) romances that focus on Small Towns, Big Hearts, Amazing Grace. She is also a list maker, a lover of dragonflies and holds an advanced degree in the art of procrastination.
Three of Winnie’s books have been nominated for the Romantic Times Reviewers Choice Award, and one of those nominations resulted in a win.
Winnie loves to hear from readers. You can connect with her on facebook at www.facebook.com/WinnieGriggs.Author or email her at winnie@winniegriggs.com.

39 thoughts on “Fall Fun Facts and a Recipe”

  1. Good morning Winnie- I loved reading all the fall facts.
    Oh your soup is right up my alley, thank you for sharing. I didn’t know that the fall colors and changing of the leaves was due to the sunlight. Very fascinating.

  2. Good morning. I am not usually up this early, but such a pleasure to read your blog. Thanks. Thanks for your recipe. YUMMY I loved all your facts, especially the ones about the trees. Thanks for sharing.

    Ground Beef Chili 10+ Stars

    1 TB Olive or Coconut Oil 1 tsp Sea Salt
    2 lb. Ground Beef 1 can (14 oz.) Beef Broth
    1 Red Pepper, diced 1 can (8 oz.) Tomato Paste
    1 Green Pepper, diced 1 TB Minced Garlic
    1 Butternut Squash, diced 2 TB Chili Powder
    1 large Sweet Onion, diced 1 TB Ground Cumin
    2 Zucchini, diced 1 tsp. Dried Oregano
    1 can (28 oz.) Diced Tomatoes, drained

    In a large pot over medium-high heat, heat the oil.
    Sauté onions and peppers.
    Cook the ground beef. Drain.
    Steam butternut squash.
    Steam zucchini.
    To cooked meat, add garlic, chili powder, oregano and salt. Stir.
    Add onions and peppers, butternut squash and zucchini.
    Add diced tomatoes, beef broth, tomato paste.
    Bring to a boil. Reduce heat.
    Cover and simmer until flavors are blended.

  3. Aw, information like this always makes me feel festive for a new season! And your recipe is right up my alley. The Hidden Valley mix was a surprise ingredient!

    See you at the Autumn Love Train party soon!

  4. I know that a lot of people look forward to Autumn but I am not one of them, because after autumn comes winter and in Canada, they can be brutal. I am a summer girl. We have our Thanksgiving in October and so lots of baking is being done in October. I have a great Pumpkin bread recipie.

    Pumpkin Bread Recipe

    Ingredients

    1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)
    1 2/3 cups sugar
    2/3 cup vegetable oil
    2 teaspoons vanilla
    4 eggs
    3 cups Gold Medal® all-purpose or whole wheat flour
    1/2 cup coarsely chopped nuts
    1/2 cup raisins, if desired
    2 teaspoons baking soda
    1 teaspoon salt
    1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    1/2 teaspoon baking powder
    1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

    Prepare
    Move oven rack to low position so that tops of pans will be in center of oven. Heat oven to 350ºF. Grease bottoms only of 2 loaf pans, 8 1/2×4 1/2×2 1/2 inches, or 1 loaf pan 9x5x3 inches, with shortening.

    Stir together pumpkin, sugar, oil, vanilla and eggs in large bowl. Stir in remaining ingredients. Pour into pans.

    Bake 8-inch loaves 50 to 60 minutes, 9-inch loaf 1 hour 10 minutes to 1 hour 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes. Loosen sides of loaves from pans; remove from pans and place top side up on wire rack. Cool completely, about 2 hours, before slicing. Wrap tightly and store at room temperature for up to 4 days, or refrigerate for up to 10 days.

  5. I loved learning all the great things about Autumn babies since I was born in November.

    Love taco soup. Your recipe is different from mine, so I’ll have to try it. Thanks.

  6. I’m excited to hear that autumn babies are more likely to live to be 100. I was born in October.

    I never knew that about fall leaves! How interesting!

    I love soup too. I just made pumpkin pie yesterday! It feels like fall.

    Thanks!

  7. I make a type of taco soup. I have to leave some things out because of my dietary stuff, but it’s very similar to yours! Since Florida doesn’t participate in Fall, I didn’t know about the leaves, as the only things that drop leaves here are my plumeria’s!! My oak drops, but it doesn’t change colors!

  8. Fall babies having eczema……maybe that’s our youngest daughter’s problem. She was born in October and has had eczema since she was a toddler.
    I also make a slightly different taco soup. We love homemade soup, many different kinds.

  9. Hi Winnie – I love all things related to Fall here in Central Minnesota. I especially enjoy making apple crisp with sweet tango apples. The old-fashioned kind which includes oatmeal. And, I love making cream of chicken wild rice soup. I so enjoyed reading your blog. Have a great day.

  10. I had not really thought about why evergreen trees do not freeze, but now I know! Your soup recipe sounds good. I don’t have a fall recipe that I make, I fix the same recipes all year long.

  11. Hi, these trivia is all so very fascinating, thank you for sharing them. Yes, alot of them did surprise me. We love chicken soup with rice and even turkey soup. Your soup sounds really good, thank you for sharing your recipe with us.

  12. I enjoyed reading the trivia and I love taco soup, though I haven’t made it in a while. I saved your recipe and will fix it soon. I fixed pulled pork vegetable soup today. It’s so good.

  13. Well, as a kid born in autumn, I did like the live longer fact but that is only good if I am healthy. Thanks for the taco soup recipe. I need to look for my fall recipes and start planning.

  14. That was interesting about the leaves changing color because of Chlorophyll. I knew it had something do with less sunlight but didn’t realize the whole story.

  15. The information on Autumn babies was interesting and something I had not heard before.
    When doing soups, stews, and casseroles, I tend to throw things together rather than use a recipe. A stew I make uses sliced smoked sausage, onions, canned tomatoes, cubed winter squash (I use butternut), garlic, beef broth, cubed carrots, and cubed potatoes if you wish. I usually brown the sausage before adding the other ingredients. Simmer until veggies are cooked and serve with a crusty bread or roll.

  16. I enjoyed reading your post.
    My oldest son who was born in November is tall 6’2”. He does have eczema and a mild case of asthma.
    My oldest granddaughter also born in November is in the 90+ % for height. She also has eczema.

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