The Perfect Fall Menu by Erika Kelly, author of THE HEARTLESS BOYFRIEND - Vilma Iris | Lifestyle Blogger

This post contains affiliate links, meaning I’ll receive a small commission should you purchase using those links. All opinions expressed are my own. I receive no compensation for reviews.

The Perfect Fall Menu by Erika Kelly, author of THE HEARTLESS BOYFRIEND

The Perfect Fall Menu by Erika Kelly, author of THE HEARTLESS BOYFRIEND

Author Erika Kelly is back with her second standalone installment in the Bad Boyfriend series—THE HEARTLESS BOYFRIEND.

The story centers on an Olympic hopeful whose discliplined life is disrupted by a fiercy chef and her two year old. In the spirit of the main protagonist, Delilah Lua, Erika is sharing the perfect Fall menu.

If you want to see more of Erika’s recipes, sign up here to get a book of family receipes from Jennifer Probst, Susan Mallery, Melissa Foster, Sonali Dev, and Erika Kelly.

THE HEARTLESS BOYFRIEND is out October 16th.




There’s nothing more comforting when the weather starts to cool than a creamy, rich soup. Delila Lua, the heroine of my book, THE HEARTLESS BOYFRIEND, is the executive chef of the restaurant in Owl Hoot, Wyoming. If you haven’t been to Jackson Hole in the fall and winter, trust me when I say it’s cold!




4 pounds of whole butternut squash

2 TBSP of unsalted butter

1/2 medium yellow onion

8 fresh sage leaves

2 1/2 cups of chicken broth

2 1/2 cups of water

1 1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

1/3 cup heavy cream

1/2 cup toasted pumpkin seeds



Preheat the oven to 425°.

Cut the butternut squash in half and remove the seeds. Place the halves, cut-side up, on a baking sheet. Brush a tablespoon of melted butter over the tops. Season with salt and pepper. Roast until tender, about 50 minutes to 1 hour.

While it’s baking, dice the onion. Melt a tablespoon of butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and sage and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 7 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside.

When the squash is cooked, let it cool. Then, scoop the flesh into the saucepan with the onions; discard the skins.

Add the broth, water, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine and bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer, stirring occasionally and breaking up any large pieces of squash, about 15 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the cream.

Let the soup cool before transferring in small batches to a blender. Purée until smooth. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed.

Use the pumpkin seeds as a garnish.



Delilah Lua’s parents came to Manhattan with nothing but a few bucks in their pockets. They both got jobs at the most famous restaurant in Little Italy, her dad as a dish washer, and her mom as a hostess. After the owner, Nonna Abelli, passed away, the Luas bought the restaurant. They’ve now turned it into a successful franchise. They’re most famous for their manicotti because of the delicate crespelle they use—instead of the thicker dried pasta you can buy in stores.


makes about 24



To make the crepe batter:

6 large eggs

1¼ cups all-purpose flour

½ tsp salt

Butter for the skillet



2 large egg yolks, beaten

1½ pounds ricotta cheese

8 ounces mozzarella, grated

1 ounce Parmesan, grated

Salt and ground pepper

3 cups marinara sauce



To make the crepe batter:

Using an electric mixer on high speed, beat the eggs in a large bowl until light, pale in color, and can nearly hold peaks, 6–8 minutes.

Reducing the mixer speed to low, gradually add the flour and salt, beating well between additions. While mixing, slowly pour in 1½ cups of water and continue to beat until well incorporated. Cover and let the dough rest at least 2 hours.

Coat a small nonstick skillet with a little butter. Pour 2 Tbsp. of the batter into the skillet and cook, swirling constantly so you form a nice, round crepe. Once it’s set, around 15–20 seconds, overturn the skillet and let the crepe drop onto a clean towel or drying rack. Repeat with the remaining batter but don’t stack crepes.


Filling and Assembly:

Preheat the oven to 350°. Mix egg yolks, ricotta, mozzarella, and Parmesan in a large bowl; season with salt and pepper.

Spread 1 cup of the sauce in a 13×9″ baking pan.

Working one at a time, spoon 2 Tbsp. of the filling into the center of the crepe. Spread the filling all the way to the ends, then roll up the crepe, flattening it slightly with your hands.

Transfer it, seam-side down, to the prepared dish. Repeat with the remaining crepes and filling, leaving a small gap between each.

Top with sauce and cover with foil. (I like to add grated mozzarella on top of the sauce, but it’s not necessary)

Bake the manicotti until the cheese is melted and the sauce is bubbling, about 35–45 minutes.

If you haven’t added the extra mozzarella, then sprinkle with Parmesan before serving.

Delilah Lua grew up in New York City. The youngest of seven siblings in a restaurant family, she was cooking at a very young age. One of her favorite childhood memories is apple picking every fall. With her family’s haul, she’d make apple pie and applesauce with cinnamon. Once she became a chef, she elevated her pie to a galette. This one has the added touch of maple in the whipped cream. A perfect fall dessert!





For the tart dough:

1 tbsp sugar

½ tsp salt

1 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for kneading

6 tbsp chilled, unsalted butter

1 large egg



Mix sugar, salt, and 1 cup flour in a bowl. Add diced bits of butter and rub with your fingers until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Pour the beaten egg over the butter mixture and mix gently with a fork until dough just comes together.

Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead until smooth. Form dough into a ball. Wrap in plastic and chill until firm, at least 2 hours.


For the tart:

¼ cup (½ stick) salted butter

½ vanilla bean, split lengthwise

Flour (for dusting)

1 pound baking apples, about 2 large), scrubbed, sliced ⅛” thick

3 tbsp dark muscovado or dark brown sugar

1 large egg

1 tbsp granulated sugar

2 cups heavy cream

2 tbsp pure maple syrup



Preheat the oven to 375°.

Place butter and scraped vanilla seeds into a small saucepan; add the vanilla pod. Stirring, cook over medium heat, until the butter foams, then browns (be careful not to burn), 5–8 minutes. Remove the pan from heat (and remove the pod!).

Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface into a 14×10” rectangle, about ⅛” thick (or, if you prefer, you can roll it out into a 12” round). Transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Arrange the apples on top, overlapping and leaving a 1” border. Brush the apple slices with brown butter and sprinkle with muscovado sugar. Lift the edges of the dough over the apples, tucking and overlapping as needed to keep rectangular shape.

Beat the egg with 1 tsp. of water and brush the crust with egg wash. Sprinkle with granulated sugar and bake, rotating once, until the apples are soft and juicy and the crust is golden brown, 40–50 minutes. Let cool a bit on the baking sheet before slicing.

Beat the cream to medium-soft peaks. Fold in maple syrup and serve with the galette.


    Will Bowie is supposed to be training for the Olympics, but the toddler unexpectedly dropped into his life isn’t interested in his schedules. Still, he’ll make it work. He has to. There’s no way he’ll bail on the little girl—not after his own mom ditched him twenty years ago. He’s pretty sure he’s got things under control…

    …until a sexy chef lands on his doorstep and offers a temptation he can’t resist.

    Hours after losing her restaurant, chef Delilah Lua flies across the country to participate in a renowned cooking competition in the breathtaking Tetons. Winning would resurrect the dream that’s been stolen from her. If—no, when—she wins, she’ll go home with the capital to open her own place and enough fame to do it with flair. Her roommate, though, is a delicious surprise she hadn’t anticipated…

    …but she’s not sure how to have her cake and eat it, too.

    Despite the undeniable sparks in the kitchen, Will’s not about to give his heart to another woman who’s leaving, and Delilah must decide if the delectable future she could cook up with Will is worth more than her lifelong dream.

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This post contains affiliate links, meaning I’ll receive a small commission should you purchase using those links. All opinions expressed are my own. I receive no compensation for reviews.

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  1. Amy DeLuca said:

    Wow! All three of these recipes sound amazing. Especially excited to try the soup recipe because Fall has fallen here in New England. Great article!


  2. Vanessa said:

    Wow, I’m sure reading Erika’s book is going to make me very hungry! Best I make that apple galette now. Great recipes!


  3. Ellen S Lindseth said:

    Everything about this menu looks fantastic! Thank you so much for sharing, and I can’t wait to read your novel, Erika! 🙂


  4. Laura Trentham said:

    Hmm….I’ll be trying these recipes soon! Can’t wait for the Heartless Boyfriend release!


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