I’ve been holding onto this cookbook from Best of Bridge called “Sunday Suppers.” I like the BoB series because they have tasty, traditional, no-fuss recipes in spiral-bound books. They’re trusty, like a beloved coffee mug. I can always find a bunch of stuff in them I want to try, and this time I had little sticky notes sticking out at every angle: To the side for sides, to the bottom for dessert, to the top for entrees, out the corners for bread.

I forget how many I had stuck in this particular book, but it would have made a remarkable flapping sound if I’d held it up in a stiff wind. I finally decided I’d make one thing from every category and call it, well, a Sunday supper. Everything worked out really well and nothing was the least bit complicated. Well, the ravioli got a little dicey, but a few emergency measures saved them from the trash can.

It’s technically still summer, but fall arrives Saturday, and for some reason, this makes me want to go into the kitchen and bring out beautiful, tasty comforting food. Sheet Pan Chicken, Squash and Ricotta Ravioli, Naan and Spiced Pumpkin Cake filled the bill quite nicely.

Five things I learned:
1. I want to write a book about baking sheet dinners. That’s when you cook protein and veggies together under the broiler for 10 minutes or so and then you eat. I want to write this book because that’s how we eat in my house these days, and it seems like it would work well in lots of busy families full of people who have no patience for Mom’s 45-minutes roast anything.

Here’s my book: I put four or five boneless, skinless chicken thighs or pork chops or fish fillet in the middle of a baking sheet covered in foil and surround the meat with fresh vegetables, such as summer squash, sliced onions, tomatoes, pepper strips, eggplant or the like, drizzle it all with olive oil, sprinkle it with some seasoning blend or another and put it all under the broiler for five minutes. Then turn the meat over, stir the vegetables and put it back in for another five to eight minutes. The end.

It almost feels like cheating, except that it’s real, honest-to-God cooking. (It’s actually upside down grilling, but out of the elements.) You can get creative with it by cooking some foods longer and adding shorter-cooking foods later. If you use potatoes or carrots, for example, they might need 15 more minutes than a salmon fillet.

Things I haven’t tried this with but want to: Corn on the cob, pork tenderloin sliced into medallions, flank steak, mushrooms, top sirloin, shrimp, and now I have to stop because they’re piling up in my brain faster than I can type.

2. This sheet pan recipe called for bone-in chicken pieces, and I used thighs. I’m with my husband on this: We’ve been eating thigh cutlets (bone and skin removed) for a while, and much prefer them. With the bone in, they just seem to take forever to fully cook, and even when they do cook through, they’re more difficult to eat around the bone. I don’t know if the flavor is just too rich with the bone in, or if I’m doing something wrong, but the cutlets just seem to taste better.

3. The ravioli sounded delicious, but I probably should have chucked the whole project though, when the store was out of wonton wrappers. They had pot-sticker wrappers and egg roll wrappers, but no wonton wrappers. Grr. I got egg roll wrappers, planning to cut them in half diagonally, but if my life had an orchestra soundtrack, the music would have turned foreboding at this point.

Slicing the wrappers seemed to work fine, but as my ravioli pile got bigger, I got a little nervous about them sticking to each other while raw. Those fears were well-founded. Once I had the water boiled and tried to put one in, they had all become quite fond of each other, and I had to stretch and cajole and massage them apart.

Once in the water, they didn’t act like ravioli. They acted like wet tissue. After scooping out three flimsy, shapeless, water-logged mounds of blech, I decided to pan fry them. That worked much better. I still had trouble picking them off of each other, so they looked deformed, but at least they tasted good.

I can only assume wonton wrappers would work better since they’re made to go into soup, while egg roll wrappers are meant to be deep fried. But I did not test this theory.

4. As for the naan, that’s a Middle Eastern type of soft bread kneaded and rolled into an oblong shape and briefly pan-fried on both sides until it blisters. I’ve made it before. This time I used my bread machine’s 90-minute dough cycle, so I didn’t have to worry about the kneading and rising. I just put all the ingredients in and turned it on. When I was ready to cook it, it was ready to roll — really.

I reflexively added oil to the pan to cook it in, and it got a little dense. Naan shouldn’t be cooked in oil. Just put the naan right on the hot pan and flip it over after a minute or two. I’d use a nonstick pan for this. After the naan is cooked, Indians typically brush it with melted ghee (clarified butter).

You could also bake the naan on a hot pizza stone in the oven.

5. What to say about the cake? Uhm, it’s perfect? I just made it as a 9-by-13, though the recipe is for one of those three-layer deals. Layer cakes are a pain and I wasn’t up for it. The authors do make an excellent point in that you can freeze the layers and then frost them while they’re frozen for minimal crumb and logistical complication. Just, obviously, let it thaw before serving.

That said, I’m still partial to oblong cakes. Dump in the batter, bake, frost, hack off as much as you want, all in the same day. Mess contained to one pan, easier to transport, just as scrumptious.

Sheet Pan Chicken with Pistachios and Honey
Serves 4 to 6
1 onion, chopped
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch saffron, optional
¼ cup olive oil
Juice of 1 lemon
Salt and black pepper to taste
2 pounds assorted bone-in, skin-on chicken pieces
3 tablespoons honey
½ teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon warm water
¾ cup shelled pistachios, roughly chopped

In a small bowl, combine onion, ginger, cinnamon, saffron, oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Place chicken in a shallow dish or sealable plastic bag and cover with marinade. Cover and refrigerate for a couple hours or overnight.

Preheat oven to 400 F. Remove chicken from marinade and arrange on a rimmed baking sheet, then pour marinade over top. Roast for 35 minutes.

Meanwhile, in another small bowl, combine honey and vanilla. Stir in warm water to form a paste (start with a little water and add more until you get a workable consistency.) Stir in pistachios. Remove chicken from oven and spread the paste evenly on top of chicken. Bake for 5 to 10 minutes or until juices run clear when chicken is pierced.

Tip: Any combination of bone-in, skin-on chicken pieces is fine in this recipe, and the same amount of marinade will work for a slightly larger quantity. If you are comfortable with dismantling a whole chicken, or have a butcher who will do it for you, that will work. For ease, we like buying a couple of packages of chicken thighs and legs.

Nutrition information per piece of chicken, assuming 8 are cooked: 270 calories; 16 g fat (2.5 g saturated); 81 mg cholesterol; 292 mg sodium; 11 g carbohydrate; 1.4 g fiber; 7.9 g sugar; 22 g protein
— Best of Bridge “Sunday Suppers”

Roasted Squash and Ricotta Ravioli
Serves 6
1 small butternut squash
Vegetable oil for roasting, frying
1 cup ricotta cheese
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
Salt and black pepper to taste
½ (1-pound) package wonton wrappers, thawed if frozen
Small dish of water

Preheat oven to 400 F. Trim stem off squash and cut squash in half lengthwise. Scoop out seeds. Place squash, cut side up, on a rimmed baking sheet or in a baking dish and drizzle with oil. Bake for 45 to 60 minutes or until soft. Set aside until cool enough to handle. (Alternatively, pierce squash in several places with a fork and microwave 10 to 15 minutes. Let cool.)

Scoop cooled roasted squash into a bowl and mash it, then stir in ricotta, maple syrup, salt and pepper. Place a wonton wrapper on the counter and put a small spoonful of filling in the middle. Dip your finger in water and run it around the edges of the wrapper, then fold wrapper over, forming a triangle. Press down to seal the edges, pressing out any air bubbles around the filling. Place formed ravioli on a plate with wax paper between layers.

Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a frying pan and place 2 or 3 ravioli in the pan, cooking 3-4 minutes, until browned on one side. Flip and cook another 2-3 minutes and remove to a paper-towel-lined plate.

Tip: To make ravioli ahead, freeze in a single layer on a baking sheet. Then transfer to freezer bags. Cook straight from frozen.
Nutrition information per serving: 256 calories; 11 g fat (7 g saturated); 16 mg cholesterol; 657 mg sodium; 32 g carbohydrate; 1.7 g fiber; 3.1 g sugar; 8.7 g protein
— Adapted from Best of Bridge “Sunday Suppers

Naan
Makes 6 to 8 naan
2¼ teaspoons active dry yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
½ cup warm water
2½ cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
1 large egg, lightly beaten
¼ cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup plain yogurt

In a large bowl, stir yeast and sugar into the warm water; let stand for 3 to 5 minutes or until foamy. Stir in flour, salt, egg, oil and yogurt.

Knead for 5 to 7 minutes or until dough is soft and elastic. Cover with a tea towel and let rise until doubled in size, about an hour.

Divide dough into 6 to 8 pieces. Roll out each piece into a thin circle or oval. Heat a nonstick pan and cook naan, one at a time, flipping as necessary until deep golden and blistered on both sides.

Nutrition information per serving: 252 calories; 12 g fat (7.8 g saturated); 23 mg cholesterol; 15 mg sodium; 31 g carbohydrate; 1.3 g fiber; 1 g sugar; 6.1 g protein
— Adapted from Best of Bridge “Sunday Suppers”

Spiced Pumpkin Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
Serves 12
1½ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg or allspice (or add both)
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup packed brown sugar
½ cup butter, softened
¼ cup vegetable oil
3 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 (14-ounce) can pumpkin puree

Frosting:
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
½ cup butter, softened
3 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
Water or milk as needed

For cake: Preheat oven to 350 F. In a small bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and salt; set aside.

In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat brown sugar, butter and oil until pale and light. Beat in eggs and vanilla until well combined. Beat in pumpkin puree. It might look curdled. Add the flour mixture and beat on low or stir by hand, just until combined. Divide batter among 3 greased 8- or 9-inch round cake pans, or a greased 9-by-13-inch baking pan, smoothing the tops.

Bake for 24 to 35 minutes, or until golden and springy to the touch. If using round layers, invert cakes onto a wire rack to cool completely. (You can wrap and freeze layers for up to 6 months.)

Frosting: In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese and butter until there are no more lumps. Beat in powdered sugar and vanilla until frosting is spreadable. (Add a spoonful of water or milk if it’s too thick and a little extra powdered sugar if it seems too runny.)

If the round layers are domed on top, slice off the domed part with a serrated knife to make more even layers. Spread frosting over the top of one of the cake layers, then place another layer on top. Repeat, frosting the top of the second layer and placing the third layer on top. Frost the top of the cake, leaving the sides exposed or covering them with a thin layer of frosting.

Nutrition information per serving: 508 calories; 27 g fat (17 g saturated); 62 mg cholesterol; 263 mg sodium; 73 g carbohydrate; 3.5 g fiber; 50 g sugar; 4.4 g protein
— Adapted from Best of Bridge “Sunday Suppers”

— Jennie Geisler can be reached on Twitter: @ETNGeisler.