10 more Back to School Snack ideas AND a Chocolate Pumpkin Swirl Loaf! Chocolate and Pumpkin together forever!
10 more Back to School Snack ideas AND a Chocolate Pumpkin Swirl Loaf! Chocolate and Pumpkin together forever!
Cold winter days are not a good match for me. I am a born and bred West Coast girl and I am terribly fair weathered. I hated soccer in the rain (or worse snow!) growing up, which is slightly ironic given that it rains about 7-8 months of the year here. This year had been terribly cold. I have loved the snow this year, but the cold has been rough. This Slow Cooker Cream of Leek Soup with Chorizo “Croutons” is my way of warming up all the way down to my toes. Plus, my kids dig Cream of Leek. I don’t know what their deal is, but I’ll take it.
Roasted Carrot Soup with Za’tar is the direct result of me being that person in the grocery store buying giant bags of whatever produce is on sale. Produce that looks like it’s in prime condition of course. Loaded with carrots and feeling like getting cozy with a bowl, I’m pretty sure my decision tree was on track the day I made this. Carrots are always used as a flavour booster in braised or stewed dishes so why not have a flavour packed bowl of soup? Topped with a small dollop of yogurt and sprinkled with za’tar, I’m going to stay cozy with a bowlful of this Roasted Carrot Soup with Za’tar for many days to come.
This Fall Lentil Salad with a Lemon-Shallot Dressing came up as the result of a much too indulgent weekend. You know the one? Too much food that was ordered or packaged and not fresh. Perhaps a bit too much wine one night. All in all the weekend was packed with many calories and my pants either needed to be let out or I need some salad in my life stat. I actually become quite unhappy with consuming too many meals that are not home cooked. I realize that makes me super weird since most people are looking for reasons to eat out, but it really gets to me and I immediately notice a difference in the health of my family and to be perfectly frank, the behaviour of my kids.
Suddenly, it smells like Fall when I open the front door each morning. The scent of crisp air, with a hint of warmth for what the day might bring. These are the days where I can quickly fall down memory lane and recall wearing a jacket to school each morning, only to shed it for lunch and the walk home (yes, I’m that old where I walked to and from school each day). Fall and apples go hand in hand (when it’s not raining pumpkin spice everything) and there’s nothing that can beat a farm fresh apple in September. Since we went apple u-picking (see more details here) I wanted a savoury way to use up more of the Honeycrisp Apples we picked. I came up with this recipe for a Pork, Apple and Ale Pie. The pie innards are full of savoury Autumn flavours – filling ground pork, slightly sweet apples, bitter ale … it’s like you take Fall and throw it into a Shake-n-Bake bag, toss it around, and then put it inside some pie crust. And the crust! Herbs and mustard are added to the crust to play off the flavours on the inside and it’s SO flaky. The crust literally crumbles as your fork hits it. The aromas that came from the oven during cooking were filled with sage, beer, and leek, almost forcing me to crack another beer, open the window to let the cool evening air in, and sit back.
Soups. Not the traditional type of comfort food we may think of, but I know that soup is my go-to comfort dish. Warmth, easy scents that can send me down memory lane and general ease of preparation make soup like a warm hug. Although we’re not quite out of summer, the thought of leaning over steaming hot liquid, wrapping my cold hands around the piping hot bowl, and inhaling the fragrant scents that seem to be welcomed breath have me craving soup regularly. Whether it’s a gourmet bowl of bisque or the ubiquitous red and white can of soup, they both have a way of grounding me unlike any other dish. This is another Canadian Food Creatives Collaboration with 9 Autumn Soups to send a bowlful of warmth your way. I made Roasted Chicken Minestrone as my contribution – a one pot meal that is ready to compensate for those colder, shorter days ahead. Big thanks to Diana of 365 Days of Easy Recipes for hosting!! Be sure to head to the end of this post to see all the soup recipes
The anticipation of eating is a wonderful experience. These days I’m making our dinners multiple hours in advance of suppertime and I often find myself literally wanting to dive in head first into these dishes. The house smells amazing. The kids want to know exactly what it is that I’m taking photos of (usually when I take photos it means the food is extra good, or as one of my twins says “this supper is extra yummy to me mommy”). And I can’t wait to see if all the recipe testing, planning, and effort has paid off. Making this Roasted Chicken Minestrone Soup, filled with fresh vibrant herbs was a pleasure … although the wait felt significant.
Up until recently, soups haven’t had much time at our supper table. Having very small children has limited the amount of soup I make due to the temperature (way too hot for them) and the difficulty of eating it (balancing thin liquids on a smaller spoon). I tried serving it at a cooler temperature in a cup for them to drink, but they still weren’t into it. This dish was much more successful. In large part because it was whole pieces of chicken and pasta – more stew-like, making it way easier for them to eat. I’m hoping that soup becomes a much more frequent dish for us as it’s easy to prepare in advance and make large batches of … making my life way easier. Don’t forget to scope out all the Autumn Soup recipes at the end of this post!
Do your kids like soup? Tell me your secrets! I need a gateway for the colder seasons ahead.
Fall forward into colder and shorter days with a comforting bowl of Roasted Chicken Minestrone Soup - one pot meal!
5 minPrep Time
35 minCook Time
40 minTotal Time
More comforting soups from my fellow Canadian Food Bloggers:
Recipe inspired by a Donna Hay‘s Roasted Spatchcock Minestrone
*This post is sponsored by Ricardo Cuisine
Fall is upon us and with it comes soul warming dishes, like chili. Chili is a wonderfully adaptable one pot meal. That means fast, simple, and usually very good. Here, we have loads of seasonal butternut squash and turkey to give a new spin on the traditional chili. It’s layered with mole-like flavours of cocoa and beer. It had me going back again and again for more.
This recipe comes from Ricardo Cuisine and you can find a wide selection of chili options here on Ricardo’s website.
This recipe is one pot and quick. Have all your ingredients prepped and ready (“mise en place” as they say). I’d recommend cutting the squash and the turkey into similar sized bite size pieces, about 1/2″ cubes. I had the butcher debone and remove the skin from the turkey leg meat so we could use the darker meat and to save myself some time in the kitchen. I find the leg meat holds the moisture a bit better than turkey breasts. The other ingredients are primarily pantry items that can be quickly laid out for use.
If you aren’t a fan of adding alcohol or beer to your dishes feel free to use chicken or vegetable stock in lieu of the beer. I liked the addition of beer to this dish. It does add a little something extra that you don’t see in a traditional chili recipe. Beer is also an excellent vehicle for deglazing the pan. It lifts the yummy bits stuck to the bottom of the pan quite easily.
Warming Turkey and Chipotle Chili with mole-like to coat seasonal butternut squash.
15 minPrep Time
40 minCook Time
55 minTotal Time
* If you make this recipe be sure to tag #MyKitchenLove
* This post is sponsored Ricardo Cuisine. My Kitchen Love has been compensated monetarily. All opinions expressed are mine own and Ricardo Cuisine did not alter or influence this post.
New to persimmons? Me too. I knew I wanted to try something different with complementing flavours besides persimmons pudding (which is what comes up when you Google persimmons recipes). This salad is a perfect Fall/Winter salad. It’s a bit more hardy than regular lettuce salad and has a good foundation of persimmons and watercress. It sets itself apart from the usual persimmons salad in all the right ways.
* This post is sponsored by World Kitchen.
Fun to say and fun to make. This baked ratatouille is delicious and pretty. Fitted into the new CorningWare CW Line it’s going to be a stunning dish on any Thanksgiving table. Not only good looking, the CW Line has a dish for every need. I’m looking forward to putting them all to good use.
This was my first time making and eating ratatouille. Possibly weird for a food blogger, but I spent a large portion of my life avoiding both eggplant and zucchini. I don’t really know why; when cooked properly they’re very delicious. We served this ratatouille on top of grilled thick cut toasts smeared with whipped ricotta cheese. Yes, it was as good as it sounds. I do think that ratatouille is a great way to use this season produce. Zucchini, eggplant, and peppers are all stellar currently.
This recipe is straightforward. The most complicated bits are in the preparation. The vegetables need to be sliced equally so that they cook consistently. For the tomatoes, we don’t want the skin. The easiest way to do this is to cut the tomatoes crosswise (across their middle horizontally) and grate over a box cheese grater. The image below depicts this method. It allows the juice and pulp to go into the box cutter and keep the skins out.
Serves 4-6 as a side dish
1 large zucchini
1 large Japanese eggplant
1 long red bell pepper
1 onion, thinly sliced
5 tomatoes, on-the-vine is preferred (or 1 x 14 oz can diced tomatoes)
5 sprigs of thyme
1 tbsp olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tbsp red wine, optional
salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 375° F.
Cut tomatoes in half horizontally across the middle of the tomatoes (cut crosswise). Grate, with the cut side of the tomatoes down on a box cutter. Discard tomato skins and reserve juices and pulp in box grater (see photo above).
In a small skillet heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and season with salt and pepper. Cook for 5-7 minutes until onion has soften and is starting to brown. Add garlic and cook, stirring for 2-3 minutes. Add red wine (if using) and deglaze the skillet. Cook allowing wine to completely reduce. Add tomato juices, pulp and thyme sprigs, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and cook until most of the tomato juices has evaporated., about 7-10 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
With a mandolin or a very sharp knife, cut zucchini, eggplant and pepper into 1/4″ thick slices.
In a small oven-proof dish place tomato mixture on the bottom. Top in a circular repetitive patter with zucchini, eggplant, and pepper slices.
Cook in oven for 40-50 minutes until vegetables have softened, but aren’t brown.
I promised pumpkin and this is pumpkin! Truth be told these photos are of my second attempt at pumpkin doughnuts; the first was a massive fail. As in I had to spit it out they tasted so bad. Let’s get back to the positive side of life though. This guys were light, fluffy and everything I want in a donuts. Full of fall flavours and let’s face it, I’m not one to turn down chocolate. Ever.
I love the combo of pumpkin with chocolate and whiskey. The whiskey cuts through any sweetness in the dughnut making it totally breakfast appropriate. Yes, cake like item and booze at breakfast. I support you 100% in this endeavour.
Doughnut recipe from Epicurious.com
Makes approximately 20-24 donuts
3 1/2 cups all purpose flour, plus more for dusting.
4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1 cup sugar
3 tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
1 large egg
2 large egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup plus 1 tbsp buttermilk
1 cup canned pure pumpkin
Canola oil (for deep-frying), about 3 to 4 cups. (You can reuse this oil up to 4 additional times. Allow to cool and strain through cheese cloth back into original container.)
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/4 cup whole milk
1 tbsp light corn syrup
2 tsp vanilla extract
4 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped
2 cups icing (confectioners’) sugar, sifted
1 tbsp whiskey
Whisk first 8 ingredients in medium bowl to blend. Using electric mixer, beat sugar and butter in large bowl until blended (mixture will be grainy). Beat in egg, then yolks and vanilla. Gradually beat in buttermilk; beat in pumpkin in 4 additions. Using rubber spatula, fold in dry ingredients in 4 additions, blending gently after each addition. Cover with plastic; chill 3 hours up to 24 hrs. I found the batter to be very sticky. I had to add about 1/4 cup of additional flour. I did leave it sit for 24 hrs though and that may have played a part. Add more flour, by the tablespoon, if you can’t pat it down and cut your rings out due to stickiness).
Sprinkle 2 rimmed baking sheets lightly with flour. Press out 1/3 of dough on floured surface to 1/2- to 2/3-inch thickness. Using 2 1/2-inch-diameter round cutter, cut out dough rounds. Arrange on sheets. Repeat with remaining dough in 2 more batches. Gather dough scraps. Press out dough and cut out more dough rounds until all dough is used.
Using 1-inch-diameter round cutter, cut out center of each dough round to make doughnuts (and doughnut holes if desired).
Line 2 baking sheets with several layers of paper towels. Pour oil into large deep skillet to depth of 1 1/2 inches. Attach deep-fry thermometer and heat oil to 365°F to 370°F. Fry doughnuts, 3 or 4 at a time, until golden brown, adjusting heat to maintain temperature, about 1 minute per side. Using slotted spoon, transfer doughnuts to paper towels to drain. Cool completely. For doughnut holes, fry holes in 2 batches until golden brown, turning occasionally, about 2 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer to paper towels to drain and cool.
Combine butter, milk, corn syrup, and vanilla in medium saucepan and heat over medium heat until butter is melted and milk is slightly warmed. Decrease the heat to low, add the chocolate, and whisk until melted. Turn off heat, add icing sugar, and whisk until smooth. Place the mixture over a bowl of warm water and dip the doughnuts immediately. Allow glaze to set for 30 minutes before serving.