More semi-homemade fun fall recipes

Staff Writer
Columbus Parent

Food Network star Sandra Lee shares more fast and fabulous fall recipes from her new book, Sandra Lee Semi-Homemade Weeknight Wonders.

Sandra Lee's recommended brands appear in parentheses in each recipe's ingredient list. She selects a brand based on what works best for the individual recipe and by sharing that information with readers, Sandra removes the stress that comes from grocery shopping and also the time that it takes to prepare, by telling you exactly what you need.

Sweet Potato Cake with Citrus Glaze

Servings: 10

  • 2 (8-inch or 9-inch) round cake pans
  • butter flavored cooking spray (Mazzola Pure)
  • large mixing bowl
  • electric mixer
  • wire cooling rack
  • medium mixing bowl
  • small zip-top bag


  • 1 box (18.25 oz.) spice cake mix (Betty Crocker)
  • 2 cups mashed sweet potatoes (Princella)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon orange extract (McCormick)
  • 1 1/4 cups evaporated milk (Carnation)
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil


  • 2 cups powdered sugar (C&H, sifted)
  • 1 cup lemon curd (Dickinson's), stirred to loosen
  • 1/4 cup no-pulp orange juice (Minute Maid)
  • 3 tablespoons orange liqueur (Gran Marnier)
  • 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (McCormick)
  • red food coloring (McCormick)
  • yellow food coloring (McCormick)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly spray Bundt cake pan with butter-flavored cooking spray; set aside.

FOR CAKE: In a large mixing bowl, combine cake mix, mashed sweet potatoes, eggs, orange extract, evaporated milk and oil. Use an electric mixer to beat on low speed for 30 seconds.

Scrape down sides of bowl and beat for 2 minutes on medium speed. Transfer batter into prepared cake pan. Bake in preheated oven for 45-55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in middle of cakes comes out clean.

Let cakes cool in pan for 10 minutes. Invert onto a wire cooling rack to cool completely.

FOR GLAZE: Whisk all the glaze ingredients except food coloring in a saucepan on low heat for 10 minutes, stirring frequently. If the glaze seems too dry, add more orange juice to reach the right consistency. Combine 2 parts yellow food coloring with 4 parts red food coloring to make orange food coloring and stir into glaze. Drizzle the glaze over the cake.

Slice and serve.

Excerpted from the book, Sandra Lee Semi-Homemade Weeknight Wonders. All recipes copyright 2009 SLSH Enterprises, Inc.

Pumpkin Pie Brisket

Prep: 15 minutes

Cook: 23 to 24 hours (low)

Makes 6 servings

  • 1 sweet onion, sliced 12-inch thick
  • 1 4-pound beef brisket, trimmed
  • 1 envelope (1-ounce) golden onion soup mix
  • 12 cup bourbon
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 cups frozen chopped collard greens
  • 34 cup apricot preserves
  • 14 cup orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes

Place onion slices in the bottom of a 5-quart slow cooker. Sprinkle brisket with onion soup mix; place in slow cooker, flat side up, on top of onions. (If necessary, cut brisket to fit.)

In a small bowl, stir together bourbon and Worcestershire sauce until combined. Pour over brisket in slow cooker.

Cover and cook on low heat setting for 21 hours.

Remove lid and add collard greens to slow cooker, placing them around and underneath brisket. In a large microwave-safe bowl, combine apricot preserves, orange juice, and pumpkin pie spice. Microwave on high heat setting (100 percent power) for 1 minute; stir until smooth. Add sweet potatoes; toss to coat. Place sweet potatoes on top of brisket in slow cooker.

Cover and cook on low heat setting for 2 to 3 hours more.

Transfer brisket to a cutting board; let rest for 10 minutes before slicing. Serve sliced brisket with sweet potatoes and collard greens.

Excerpted from the book, Sandra Lee Semi-Homemade Money Saving Slow Cooking, by Sandra Lee.

Copyright 2009 SLSH Enterprises, Inc.

Tricolor Pasta

Makes 6 servings

  • 4 quarts water
  • 1 (1-pound) package tricolor rotini pasta
  • 1 (1-pound) package frozen broccoli stir-fry mix (Birds Eye)
  • 14 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 14 cup plus 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons crushed red pepper
  • 34 teaspoon salt
  • 1 14 cups shredded Parmesan cheese

In a large heavy-bottomed pot, bring 4 quarts water to a boil over high heat. Add pasta; cook according to package directions. Add stir-fry mix to pasta water during the last 2 to 3 minutes of cooking; drain well.

In a large bowl, whisk together olive oil, vinegar, crushed red pepper and salt. Add pasta mixture and cheese, tossing gently to coat. Serve immediately.

Reprinted with permission by Hoffman Media, LLC.,


Makes 6 servings

  • 1 (11-ounce) can refrigerated French bread dough (Pillsbury)
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon basil-and-garlic seasoning blend (McCormick)
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 4 (18-inch-thick) tomato slices, quartered

Preheat oven to 350.

Spray a 9x9-inch square pan with nonstick cooking spray. Pat bread dough into bottom of pan.

Brush dough evenly with olive oil; sprinkle with seasoning blend and kosher salt. Top with tomato slices.

Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, or until golden brown. Cut into squares, and serve immediately.

Reprinted with permission by Hoffman Media, LLC.,