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Our Favorite Fall Recipes

Fall in the NC Mountains is one of the best times of year! The leaves are changing color, the temperatures are dropping and there's beauty all around us. It's time to pull out those comfy sweaters and cozy up by the fire. We've rounded up some of our favorite Fall recipes to keep you warm all season long! Keep reading for recommendations from our agents on what to cook to get you in the spirit of the season!


Amazing Apple-Chocolate Chip Cake

From: Lorraine Silverman, Broker/REALTOR® 828.230.5328 lsilverman@townandmountain.com


  • 5 eggs
  • 1 1/2 c oil
  • 5 apples -peeled & chopped
  • 3 c self-rising flour
  • 1 1/2 c white sugar
  • 1/2 c brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 12 oz. chocolate chips
  • 1/2 c chopped nuts (optional)

Mix oil, eggs and apples in one bowl. Mix the rest in a 2nd bowl. Mix both bowls together. Bake at 350° for 55 minutes in a 9x13 pan.


Slow Cooker Creamy Chicken Tortilla Soup

From: Patti Carter, Broker/REALTOR® 828.242.4802 patti@townandmountain.com


  • 3 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 can green chilies
  • 2 cups frozen corn
  • 2 tablespoon taco seasoning
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 4 cups cheddar cheese hand shredded
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro optional
  • tortilla strips or tortilla chips crushed

Place the chicken in the slow cooker. Top with the chicken broth, green chilies, corn, and taco seasoning. Cover and cook on low for 7 hours, or high for 4. Remove the chicken, shred and return to the crock pot. Stir in the sour cream and the shredded cheese. Cover and cook until melted. Serve with your favorite toppings, like tortilla strips, more cheese and cilantro.


Easy Taco Bean Soup

From: Athena Dygert, Broker/REALTOR® 828.301.3619 athena@townandmountain.com


  • 1 Lb. ground turkey
  • One Packet taco seasoning
  • 2 cans Rotel
  • 2 cans pinto beans
  • 2 cans great northern beans
  • 2 cans red kidney beans
  • Sour cream and shredded cheese garnish

Brown turkey and drain. Put in a large soup pot. Add in all beans (do NOT drain), Rotel, and taco seasoning. Heat until hot, garnish with cheese and sour cream, and serve. This super easy recipe is the first thing my daughter ever cooked at about 5 years old. Serves 8.


Carrot Soup with Ginger and Lemon

From: Ashton Peters, Broker/REALTOR® 239.839.6452 ashton@townandmountain.com

"I absolutely love this soup. I just made a big batch and I think it is perfect for fall! This soup is healthy and so easy to make! It has a lovely spicy flavor and is more savory than some of the sweeter carrot soups I have made. I absolutely love this with a slice of fresh sourdough bread, butter, and flaky salt!"


  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped onion
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped peeled fresh ginger
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 1/4 pounds medium carrots, peeled, chopped (about 3 cups)
  • 2 tomatoes, seeded, chopped (about 1 1/3 cups)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
  • 3 cups (or more) chicken stock or canned low-salt broth
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 4 tablespoons sour cream
  • 1 small carrot, peeled, grated

Melt butter in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion; sauté 4 minutes. Add ginger and garlic; sauté 2 minutes. Add chopped carrots, tomatoes and lemon peel; sauté 1 minute. Add 3 cups stock and bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover partially and simmer until carrots are very tender, about 20 minutes. Cool slightly. Puree soup in batches in blender. Return soup to pot. Mix in lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill.) Bring soup to simmer, thinning with more stock, if desired. Ladle into bowls. Top each with sour cream and grated carrot.


Potato and Sausage Soup

From: Carly Esslinger, Broker/REALTOR® 828.280.3056 carly@townandmountain.com

"This is adapted from Italian wedding soup recipes."


  • large or 4 small thin skinned potatoes, cubed (red, white or yellow potatoes work)
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 can navy beans, drained
  • 1 pound of pork sausage, rolled into balls
  • approx. 6 cups of chicken broth
  • 1 bunch of kale or any dark leafy green, chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • splash of white wine vinegar

Saute onions in olive oil on medium heat until soft.  Add garlic, sautee for a minute more.  Add broth, potatoes, and bay leaf, simmer on low until potatoes are tender about 10-15 minutes.  Add sausage and beans, simmer about ten minutes more.  Add kale and let wilt for a few minutes.  Add salt, pepper, and vinegar to taste. Enjoy!


Pulled Pork

From: Nettie Turcott, Broker/REALTOR® 989.745.8488 nettie@townandmountain.com


  • 1 pound pork tenderloin
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 2 TBS + 1 1/2 TSP brown sugar
  • 2 TBS + 1 1/2 TSP cider vinegar
  • 1 TBS + 1 1/2 TSP worcestershire sauce
  • 1 TBS barbeque sauce
  • pepper
  • chopped onions and garlic

Brown pork on all sides. Put all the ingredients in the crock pot, stir together and add pork in. Simmer for about 6 hours, shred about an hour before serving and let simmer in the juices.


Chicken Pot Pie

From: Claire Stanhope, Broker/REALTOR® 828.713.0055 claire@townandmountain.com



  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 1 cup finely diced yellow onion (about 1 small to medium onion)
  • 1 cup peeled, finely diced carrot (about 2 large carrots)
  • 1 cup finely diced celery (about 2 stalks)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups whole-milk
  • 1 tablespoon chicken-flavored Better Than Bouillon
  • 2 cups chopped cooked chicken, preferably a mix of white and dark meat (see headnote)
  • 3/4 cup frozen green peas
  • 2 tablespoons roughly chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely chopped thyme


  • 2 1/4 sticks (254 grams) unsalted butter, cold
  • 2 cups (256 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup (40 grams) whole-wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 tablespoons very cold water

Make the filling: Melt 3 tablespoons butter in a large sauté pan (with high, straight sides) over medium heat. Add the onion, carrot, celery, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine, then cook for about 12 minutes, stirring occasionally and lowering the heat as needed, until the vegetables are soft and beginning to brown. Add the garlic and stir-fry for about 1 minute until fragrant. With the heat now at medium to medium-low, add the remaining tablespoon butter and mix. Once it’s completely melted, add the flour and stir-fry for 1 minute to get rid of the raw flour taste. Add a splash (figure ¼ cup or so) of milk. Stir until smooth (it will be very thick and pasty at that point—that’s okay). Add another, slightly larger splash and stir. Repeat this until you’ve added all the milk. Stir in the chicken bouillon. Cook this mixture over medium heat, stirring slowly but constantly, for about 5 minutes, or until thick enough that dragging a spoon along the bottom of the pot leaves a trail; toward the end of this time, it should reach a gentle simmer. When the gravy is thick, stir in the chicken and frozen peas. Cook another few minutes, stirring occasionally, to thaw and cook the peas. Cut the heat, then stir in the herbs. Taste and adjust the salt, pepper, and chicken bouillon as needed.

Let the chicken pot pie filling cool, uncovered, until barely warm, then get in the fridge, in an airtight container, to cool completely. Adding a chilled filling to the pie encourages a flaky, crispy, browned crust. The filling will keep in the fridge for a few days.

Make the pie dough: Chop the butter sticks into tablespoons. Put these on a plate in the fridge while you assemble the rest of the ingredients. Add the flours, salt, sugar, and pepper to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Stir on low for a few seconds just to combine. Add the butter and pulse on low (to prevent the flour from flying everywhere!), for 15 to 30 seconds of active mixing, until none of the butter pieces are bigger than a plump chickpea. If there are any oversized stragglers, you can squash them between your fingers (just turn off the mixer first). Once the butter is broken down, turn on the mixer again to low and slowly pour in the water. As soon as a dough begins form clumps and curds, and the sides of the bowl no longer look dusty, stop the mixer. It should not be in a cohesive ball at this point, but it should hold together when squeezed. It’s better to undermix than overmix here (you can also mix more by hand). (If you don’t have a stand mixer, you can make this dough by hand. Simply combine the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl, add the butter cubes, and incorporate with your fingertips. Stir with a fork while you pour in the water. Refer to the same visual cues mentioned above.) Dump the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and divide into two portions. One should be slightly larger than the other (if you have a scale, you can estimate about 350 grams for one ball, 284 grams for the other). The larger one will be our bottom crust (which needs to cover more ground), while the smaller one will be the top crust. Wrap both of these blobs in plastic, then press down to form a well-sealed disc. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before rolling and assembling the pie.

Heat the oven to 425°F. Take the pie dough discs out of the fridge, unwrap, and let hang out on a lightly floured surface for a few minutes. Roll out the larger disc into a 12-inch circle and set into a 9-inch glass pie pan. Use your fingers to gently press the dough into the corners of the pan, so it’s as snug as can be. Roll out the smaller disc into a 10- to 11-inch circle. Fill the dough-lined pie pan with the cold chicken pot pie filling and use a spoon to smooth out to fill the pan completely. Top with the smaller round of pie dough. Trim any excess so you have an even ¾-inch overhang. Use your fingers to squeeze the two layers together, then fold the overhang under itself, so the edge is tucked into the pie pan and a ridge is formed. Use your fingers to reinforce this ridge, so it’s distinctly shaped, then crimp the edge of the pie crust into ruffles. The easiest way to crimp is by creating a guide with the thumb and pointer finger of your left hand, then pushing the dough outward with the pointer finger of your right hand. (If you’re a lefty, flip accordingly.) Use a paring knife to cut four slits in the center of the top crust. Place the pie pan on a rimmed sheet pan (this makes getting in and out of the oven a lot simpler).

Bake for 65 to 70 minutes (rotating halfway through), until the crusty is deeply golden brown. Let sit on a cooling rack for at least 30 minutes—the filling will still be very warm, but not too liquidy.

Cut into big wedges and serve warm.


Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

From: Grace Barron-Martinez, Broker/REALTOR® 828.275.7629 grace@townandmountain.com

"My dinner tonight is blissfully fall! I got a local butternut squash when I went pumpkin pickin’ last weekend. I roasted it up and blended it into this awesome autumn soup and paired it with a fast and no-knead focaccia that is a greater starter bread for folks who haven’t delved into bread making before."


  • 1 large butternut squash, peeled and cubed (seeds removed)
  • 2 potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 3 tbsp.
  • extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp.butter
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, thinly sliced
  • 1 large carrot, chopped
  • 1 tbsp. fresh thyme, plus more for garnish
  • 1 qt. low-sodium chicken broth

Preheat oven to 400º. On a large baking sheet, toss butternut squash and potatoes with 2 tablespoons olive oil and season generously with salt and pepper. Roast until tender, 25 minutes. Meanwhile, in a large pot over medium heat, melt butter and remaining tablespoon olive oil. Add onion, celery, and carrot and cook until softened, 7 to 10 minutes. Season generously with salt, pepper, and thyme. Add roasted squash and potatoes and pour over chicken broth. Simmer 10 minutes, then using an immersion blender, blend soup until creamy. (Alternately, carefully transfer batches of the hot soup to a blender.) Serve garnished with thyme.

Fast Focaccia


  • 1 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons lukewarm water
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons (8 grams) dried instant yeast (not rapid rise)
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons (16 grams) kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon (11 grams) sugar
  • 3 3/4 cups (18 ounces; 511 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped rosemary (from 1 to 2 stems)
  • Coarse or flaky salt, for sprinkling

Use a wooden spoon or sturdy spatula to stir together the water, half the oil, the yeast, kosher salt, sugar and flour in a large (5- or 6-quart) bowl, forming a rough dough. Transfer to a container with a lid; partially cover and let it rest for about 2 hours on the counter. (Alternately, if you have a lidded container large enough for mixing, you can assemble the dough in there.) The dough can then be used right away, but it is much easier to handle once it has been thoroughly chilled. The dough can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

Place a baking stone on the middle oven rack; preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Pour the remaining oil into a 9-inch cake pan and evenly coat the bottom of the pan. Dust the surface of the refrigerated dough lightly with flour, then pull half of it off (it will be about a 1-pound portion; the dusting makes this task easier, as the dough is sticky). Dust the half you are using with more flour and quickly shape it into a ball by stretching the surface of the dough around to the bottom on all four sides, rotating the ball a quarter-turn as you go. Use your hands to flatten it into a 1/2-inch-thick round 6 to 7 inches in diameter. Place the dough top side down in the cake pan, moving it around a bit to coat it with the oil. It will not fill to the edges of the pan. Turn the dough over, cover the pan with plastic wrap, and let the dough rest for 10 to 15 minutes. Use your hands to gently push the dough to the edges of the cake pan. Sprinkle with the rosemary and coarse or flaky salt, as needed.

Cover with plastic wrap, and allow the dough to rest and rise for 20 minutes. Place the cake pan on the heated baking stone in the oven. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the focaccia crust is medium brown and feels dry and firm on the surface. The baking time will vary depending on the focaccia’s thickness. Use a rounded knife to loosen the loaf from the edges of the pan, then transfer the focaccia to a cutting board. Cut into wedges and serve warm, or allow to cool completely.


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