Pumpkin Butter

Pumpkin Butter

It seems that I have been on quite the pumpkin kick lately! I sure have been enjoying the trip and the next stop was pumpkin butter. I had seen pumpkin butter popping up on the food blogging sphere and it sounded good. Last year I enjoyed an apple butter that I had made and I used that recipe as a starting point. The pumpkin butter was super easy to make as I already had some home made pumpkin puree on hand. The pumpkin butter was so good! If you like pumpkin will really like pumpkin butter. The pumpkin flavour is amazingly concentrated and good. The spices are reminiscent of pumpkin pie and there is a hint of apples in the background from the cider. So far I have been enjoying the pumpkin butter on toast in addition to by the spoon.

Ingredients:
2 cups pumpkin puree
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup apple cider
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cloves

Directions:
1. Simmer everything in a pot until most of the liquid has evaporated and the sauce has thickened.

Similar Recipes:
Apple Butter
Roasted Apple Sauce

Roasted Butternut Squash Farro Salad

Roasted Butternut Squash Farro Salad

I still had some leftover butternut squash and I was thinking about doing a whole grain salad with it. Over the last while I have been enjoying exploring whole grains and one of my favorite ways to use them is in simple salads. One of my favorite whole grains is farro as it is has a really nice chewy texture like pasta cooked al dente that I really like. I was thinking of a simple squash squash farro salad. Since sage goes really well with squash and since I had some in my fridge it was a no brainier to add it. I like the way that balsamic vinegar adds a touch of sweet along with the tart and I thought that it would work well with the roasted butternut squash. Walnuts are one of my favorites and I wanted to add them to the salad and I thought that it would be the perfect opportunity to try out the walnut oil that I had recently picked up. The walnuts were toasted to give them that perfect texture and to bring out their full flavour. Of course I could not pass up on the chance to add something green and I used it to enjoy some swiss chard. The roasted butternut squash farro salad turned out pretty good. I really liked the way the roasted butternut squash worked with the chewy farro and the salad had a really nice flavour. I enjoyed the salad warm the first night and I enjoyed it cool the next morning as a quick breakfast before running out the door.

I hope that everyone celebrating Thanksgiving today has a great one!

Ingredients:
2 cups butternut squash (peeled, seeded and cut into 1 inch cubes)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon sage (chopped)
2 cups cooked farro (cooked as directed on package)
1/2 bunch swiss chard (cut into bite sized pieces and wilted)
1 handful red onion (chopped)
1/4 cup feta (crumbled)
1/4 cup walnuts (toasted)
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon walnut oil (or olive oil)
salt and pepper to taste
1 teaspoon sage (chopped)

Directions:
1. Toss the squash in the oil and vinegar along with the sage.
2. Roast in a preheated 400F oven tossing after 15 minutes until the squash is tender, about 30 minutes.
3. Mix everything.

Similar Recipes:
Roasted Cauliflower and Red Pepper Farro Salad
Mushroom and Thyme Farro Salad
Roasted Butternut Squash Lasagna
Butternut Squash, Italian Sausage and Sage Pasta
Turkey and Squash "Thanksgiving" Risotto
Roasted Butternut Squash and Chickpea Wheatberry Salad

Pumpkin Quesadillas

Pumpkin Quesadillas

During squash/pumpkin season I fairly often find myself with extras. Having leftover pumpkin is certainly not a problem as I really like it and I enjoy coming up with new ways to use it. This time when I realized that I needed to use that pumpkin in the fridge I had been thinking about texmex flavours and about that open jar of chipotle chilies in adobo sauce that also needed to be used. I thought that some cheesy pumpkin quesadillas would hit the spot. Of course I had to roast the pumpkin to bring out its flavour and I decided to toss it in the chipotle chilies and adobo sauce before roasting it. Other than the pumpkin I went with some pretty standard quesadilla ingredients. The pumpkin quesadillas turned out pretty good! I may have gone a little too heavy on the chipotles but the fiery heat went well with the sweet roasted pumpkin and the gooey melted cheese. I served the quesadillas with some salsa verde for dipping. My texmex flavour cravings have been satisfied for another day. :)

Ingredients:
1 cup pumpkin/squash (cut into 1/2 inch cubes)
1 teaspoon oil
2 tablespoons chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (chopped)
1/4 cup black beans
1 jalapeno (chopped)
1 green onion (chopped)
2 large tortillas
2 handfuls cheese such as cheddar or jack etc. (grated)
1 tablespoon cilantro (chopped, optional)

Directions:
1. Toss the pumpkin in the oil and chipotle peppers to coat.
2. Roast in a preheated 400F oven until caramelized, about 30 minutes, tossing after 15 minutes.
3. Mix the squash, black beans, jalapeno and green onion.
4. Melt a touch of butter in a pan.
5. Place a tortilla in the pan and top with the pumpkin mixture, the cheese and the remaining tortilla.
6. Fry until both sides are golden brown and the cheese has melted. (Tip: Place a plate on top of the quesadilla in the pan and flip so that it ends up on the plate and then slide it back onto the plate to flip it.)

Tip: Place a plate onto the quesadilla and flipped it from the pan to the plate and then slide it back into the pan to flip the quesadilla.

Similar Recipes:
Squash Chili Mole
Pumpkin and Black Bean Burritos
Corn and Black Bean Quesadillas
Corn and Zucchini Quesadillas
Turkey and Cranberry Quesadillas
Pumpkin and Black Bean Soup
Roast Beef Quesadillas
Sweet Potato and Black Bean Tacos with Swiss Chard Pesto
Sweet Potato and Black Bean Quesadillas with Swiss Chard Pesto
Pumpkin Chorizo and Black Bean Soup

Roasted Butternut Squash Lasagna

Roasted Butternut Squash Lasagna

One of the things that I really like about this time of year is the winter squash and butternut squash is one of favorites. Near the end of last winter I started thinking about a butternut squash lasagna but then Spring started and all thoughts of squash were pushed from my mind by the fresh asparagus. The butternut lasagna has been on my mind since the squash returned and now I finally got around to making it. I wanted to keep the lasagna pretty simple to showcase the amazing flavour of the butternut. I knew that I wanted to roast the squash to maximize its flavour and sage was a must. Other than the squash there was to be a bechamel sauce and since this was going to be it I decided to saute some onions, garlic and more sage in the butter while I was making the sauce for a bit of extra flavour. I also thought long and hard about adding a layer of spinach or chard but in the end I wanted to really taste the butternut squash so I had the spinach on the side. Lasagna takes a bit of work to make. For this one, you need to roast the squash, make the bechamel sauce, cook the noodles, assemble and cook. Despite all of the steps involved and the time required it was pretty easy to make. The roasted butternut squash lasagna turned out really well. The cheese on top bubbled and turned golden brown forming a tasty crust. The lasagna tasted great and the flavours of the butternut squash and sage came through well! The sweetness of the squash went really in the creamy and cheesy lasagna. While I was eating the lasagna I was already thinking of the next version and I was thinking about adding that layer of spinach and maybe a meat layer consisting of tasty Italian sausage.

Ingredients:
1 butternut squash (peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch cubes)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 handful sage leaves (chiffonade)
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup butter
1 small onion (chopped
2 cloves garlic (chopped)
1 handful sage leaves (chiffonade)
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 cups milk
pinch nutmeg
salt and pepper to taste
9 lasagne noodles (cooked)
2 cups mozzarella cheese (grated)
1/2 cup grated parmigiano reggiano (grated)

Directions:
1. Toss the butternut squash with the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, sage, salt and pepper.
2. Roast in a preheated 400F oven until caramelized, about 30 minutes, tossing after 15 minutes.
3. Melt the butter in a sauce pan.
4. Add the onions and saute until tender, about 5-7 minutes.
5. Add the garlic and and sage saute until fragrant, about 1 minute.
6. Sprinkle in the flour and mix while cooking until it is bubbling and a little browned.
7. Stir in the milk and season with nutmeg, salt and pepper and heat until it thickens.
8. Spread 1/2 cup of the sauce on the bottom of a 9 inch square baking pan.
9. Add a layer of 3 lasagne noodles.
10. Spread half of the butter nut squash on top.
11. Spread 1/3 of the mozzarella cheese on top.
12. Spread 1 cup of the sauce on top.
13. Add a layer of 3 lasagne noodles.
14. Spread the remaining butternut squash on top.
15. Spread 1/3 of the mozzarella cheese on top.
16. Spread 1 cup of the sauce on top.
17. Add a layer of 3 lasagne noodles.
18. Spread the remaining sauce on top.
19. Top with the remaining mozzarella and the parmigiano reggiano.
20. Bake in a preheated 350F oven until golden brown on top and bubbling, about 30-45 minutes.

Similar Recipes:
Lasagna
Mushroom Lasagna
Squash Risotto
Butternut Squash, Italian Sausage and Sage Pasta
Penne with Pumpkin and Sage Sauce
Roasted Butternut Squash and Caramelized Onion Pizza with Gorgonzola and Crispy Fried Sage
Roasted Squash with Gorgonzola and Maple Syrup
Roasted Butternut Squash with Caramelized Onions, Gorgonzola and Crispy Fried Sage
Butternut Squash Carbonara
Pumpkin Mac n Cheese with Amaretti Crust
Mushroom and Kale Lasagna Roll Ups in Creamy Gorgonzola Cauliflower Sauce
Chipotle Roasted Pumpkin, Mushroom and Kale Quesadillas with Chipotle Pumpkin Crema and Kale Salsa

Carrot Cake Pancakes

Carrot Cake Pancakes

I often like to change things up a bit, like by having breakfast for dinner or a dessert for breakfast. When I cake across the concept of carrot cake pancakes on Joy the Baker I knew that I would be having a dessert for breakfast once again. Carrot cake is one of my favorite desserts and I like the idea of having them in pancake form for breakfast. I also really liked the idea of topping the pancakes with a cream cheese spread like the one used on a carrot cake instead of using syrup. I started with my basic pancake recipe and added some carrots and spices. I could not really have pancakes without maple syrup and since I was going to be spreading cream cheese on the pancakes I thought that mixing the maple syrup into the cream cheese spread would be a nice way to do it. The carrot cake pancakes were easy to make and tasted great! I stacked them on top of each other and spread cream cheese on top of each so they almost looked like a carrot cake in the end. The carrot cake pancakes with maple cream cheese spread tasted almost like carrot cake and I really enjoyed them. It is always nice to have dessert for breakfast!

Ingredients:
1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup milk (or buttermilk)
1 egg
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 cup carrot (grated)
4 ounces cream cheese (room temperature)
3 tablespoons maple syrup
powdered sugar to taste

Directions:
1. Mix the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger and in a large bowl.
2. Mix the milk, egg, sugar and carrot in another bowl.
3. Mix the wet and dry ingredients making sure to not over mix.
4. Heat a pan and melt a touch of butter in it.
5. Pour 1/4 cup of the mixture into the pan and heat until the surface starts to bubble and the bottom is golden brown, about 2-3 minutes.
6. Flip the pancake and cook the other side until the bottom is golden brown, about 1-2 minutes.
7. Mix the cream cheese and maple syrup and add some powdered sugar to get it as sweet as you like.
8. Spread the cream cheese onto the pancakes.

Similar Recipes:
Carrot Cake with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting
Pumpkin Pie Pancakes
Black Forest Pancakes

Apple Wild Rice Salad

Apple Wild Rice Salad

While I was eating my roasted pork tenderloin with apple gravy on apple wild rice I was reminded of the waldorf salad that I had recently enjoyed. One thought led to another and I was thinking about a wild rice salad with crisp fresh chunks of apple. The wild rice would have to be cooked in apple cider and chicken stock again to add all of that flavour. Crunchy celery, sweet raisins and toasted walnuts would also have to be a part of the salad. I was thinking of a simple oil and vinegar based dressing made with walnut oil and cider vinegar and a touch of maple syrup to balance it out. With apples and raisins in the salad it only seemed fair to invite cinnamon to the party. The apple wild rice salad turned out really nicely. I left the dressing rather tart and I quite enjoyed the contrasting sweetness of the apples and the raisins. Overall all of the ingredients worked really well together in the salad. I could not wait for the rice to cool down so I enjoyed it warm the day and the leftovers were good right from the fridge. I am looking forward to using wild rice again.

Ingredients:
1 cup wild rice (cooked in apple cider rand chicken or vegetable stock)
1 apple (cored and chopped)
1 stalk celery (chopped)
1 tablespoon raisins (or dried cranberries)
1 tablespoon walnuts (toasted and chopped)
1 clove garlic (grated)
1 tablespoon walnut oil (or olive oil)
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 teaspoon maple syrup (or honey)
1 dash cinnamon

Directions:
1. Mix everything in an bowl.

Similar Recipes:
Apple Wild Rice
Waldorf Salad

Apple Wild Rice

Apple Wild Rice

I liked the sound of serving the roasted pork tenderloin with apple gravy on a bed of wild rice cooked in apple sauce. I thought that just plain wild rice might be a little boring so I tweaked it a bit. I cooked the rice in fresh apple cider from the farmers market and chicken stock to give the rice a nice spiced apple and savoury flavour. I also wanted some more vegetables in the meal and the rice was a perfect spot to put them. Onions, carrots and celery form the base of lots of soups and sauces and I thought they would go well with he wild rice. Given the apple nature of the rice so far I thought that adding some sweet raisins would also be nice. Before serving the wild rice I topped it off with some chopped toasted pecans to add a contrasting texture. the apple wild rice turned out great! I really enjoyed the apple flavour of the tender wild rice. I am going to have to think of other flavours that I can add to rice by cooking it in different liquids. Overall the rice had a nice balance of sweet and savoury and it was full of flavour. I could easily eat a bowl of this rice all by itself. This would make a great side dish for many different meals.

Printable Recipe
Ingredients:
1 tablespoon oil
1 clove garlic (chopped)
1 small onion (chopped)
1 carrot (chopped)
1 rib celery (chopped)
1 cup wild rice
1 handful raisins
1 bay leaf
1 cup chicken stock (or vegetable)
1 cup apple cider
salt and pepper to taste
1 teaspoon oil
1 handful pecans (toasted and chopped)

Directions:
1. Heat the oil in a pan.
2. Add the garlic, onion, carrot, and celery and saute until tender, about 5 minutes.
3. Add the wild rice, raisins, bay leaf, chicken stock, apple cider, salt and pepper and bring to a boil.
4. Simmer covered until the rice is al dente, about 50 minutes. Check at intervals and if it needs more liquid add some.

Similar Recipes:
Sausage on Lentils and Greens
Apple Wild Rice Salad

Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Apple Gravy on Greens and Apple Wild Rice

Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Apple Gravy on Greens and Apple Wild Rice

I came across this recipe for a roasted pork tenderloin with apple gravy on greens and apple wild rice a while ago on Inspired Bites and I knew right away that I would have to make it. I really liked every aspect of this one dish meal, from the pork and apple flavour combo to my newly found favorite, swiss chard, to the wild rice that I had been wanting to try. It almost seed like a perfect meal and with apples every where it seemed like the perfect time to make it.

I only made a few changes to the apple gravy recipe by adding some sage which I had on hand and a pinch of cinnamon. Both sage and cinnamon go well with apples and I thought they would add some nice extra layers of flavour. I used some of my own roasted apple sauce in the gravy for even more flavour. The apple cider that I used was freshly made and bottled by local farmers and I picked it up at the farmers market. In the end I thought that there were so many good things in the gravy that it would be a shame to strain them out so I left them in and went with a thicker gravy. I accidentally grabbed the dark soy and my gravy turned out pretty dark but it did not adversely affect the flavour. I garnished the dish with some crispy butter fried sage.

The roasted pork tenderloin with apple gravy turn out great! This was the first time that I have cooked a pork tenderloin and I am glad that I shelled out the extra cash for it as it was so moist and tender and good. The pork would have been great without anything on it but the gravy was so tasty and flavourful that it took it to whole new levels of delightfulness. The gravy was full of appley goodness and the apple sauce and raisins added a nice sweetness to it. The salty soy sauce balanced out the sweetness and the touch of cinnamon added a nice hint of exotic. Luckily this recipe made enough that I will have tasty leftovers for quick lunches and dinners this week.

Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Apple Gravy


Ingredients:
1 pork tenderloin
1 tablespoon oil
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup apple cider
1/2 cup apple sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 handful raisins
1/2 tablespoon sage (chopped)
1 teaspoon ginger (grated)
1 pinch cinnamon

Apple Wild Rice

Directions:
1. Rub the pork with the oil and season it with salt and pepper.
2. Brown the pork on all sides in a pan.
3. Roast the pork in a preheated 350F oven until it reaches an internal temperature of 145F, about 20 minutes.
4. Let the pork rest.
5. Add the chicken stock, apple cider, apple sauce, chicken stock, soy sauce, raisins, sage, ginger and cinnamon to the pan that the pork was browned in and reduce to half.
6. Strain the bits from the sauce to make a smooth gravy or leave them in for a chunkier gravy.

Similar Recipes:
Pork Chop with Apple, Sage and Pancetta
Chicken and Chanterelles on Spinach and Wild Rice
Sausage on Lentils and Greens

Butternut Squash, Italian Sausage and Sage Pasta

Butternut Squash, Italian Sausage and Sage Pasta

One of the things that I like about the fall is that I always seem to have some leftover squash or squash puree around. It is really easy to use this leftover squash to cook up some quick and tasty meals. One way of using squash that I never seem to tire or is with pasta. In addition to having some leftover squash I had some extra Italian sausage and I thought that a pasta with tender sweet squash cubes and crumbled spicy Italian sausage would be nice. The squash and sage combo is so good that I did not even think about not adding the sage. I could not resist adding some greens and my current favorite is Swiss chard so I added some of that. Now that I had a nicely rounded pasta dish all that was left was to cook it. Normally I would roast the butternut squash cubes but this time I decided that it would be easier to just simmer them with the sauce until they were nice and tender. This pasta dish came together quite easily and quickly. The butternut squash, Italian sausage and sage pasta turned out great and best of all there was enough leftovers for lunches during the week. The sweetness of the squash went well with the heat of the sausage and the creaminess of the sauce and cheese balanced everything out nicely. While I was eating the pasta I was thinking that next time it would be nice to use turkey sausage and if I did, I could make it more of a holiday pasta by adding some dried cranberries.

Ingredients:
1 tablespoon oil
1 onion (chopped)
2 cloves garlic chopped)
red chili pepper flakes to taste
2 tablespoons sage (chopped)
2 links Italian sausage (casings removed and crumbled)
1 splash white wine (optional)
1 cup chicken stock
1 butternut squash (peeled, seeded and cut into 1 inch cubes)
1 bunch Swiss chard (optional, rinsed and cut into bit sized pieces)
1 pound pasta
1 splash heavy cream (optional)
parmigiano reggiano to taste (grated)

Instructions:
1. Heat the oil in a pan.
2. Add the onion and saute until tender, about 5 minutes.
3. Add the garlic, red pepper flakes and sage and saute until fragrant, about a minute.
4. Add the sausage and saute until cooked, about 5 minutes.
5. Add the wine and deglaze the pan.
6. Add the chicken stock, squash and and chard simmer until the squash is tender, about 10 minutes.
7. Cook your pasta.
8. Add the cooked pasta to the sauce along with a splash of heavy cream and remove from heat.
9. Plate and garnish with parmigiano reggiano.

Similar Recipes:
Penne with Pumpkin and Sage Sauce
Pumpkin and Cream Cheese Ravioli in Sage and Butter Sauce
Pasta with Italian Sausage, Roasted Red Peppers, Olives and Goat Cheese
Roasted Butternut Squash Lasagna
Roasted Butternut Squash Farro Salad
Spaghetti Squash and Chard Gratin

Hot Spinach and Artichoke Dip

Hot Spinach and Artichoke Dip

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It seems that I may be a little addicted to hot cheesy dips. Last week I made a hot sweet onion dip and while I was looking for recipes for it I came across some recipes for hot spinach and artichoke dip. This new dip filled with cheese, cream cheese and mayonnaise sounded so good that I had to try it right away. But, with both spinach and artichokes in it, it is just a little bit healthier. ;) One of the things that I liked about this recipe was that I would get to use artichokes again and I had been looking forward to doing so. The last time I used fresh artichokes and this time I got to try canned ones. This dip is super easy to make; you just mix all of the ingredients and bake until bubbling and golden brown on top. The spinach and artichoke dip was amazing! It was warm and cheesy and full of flavour! The big chunks of artichokes were nice and went well with the spinach in the dip. The chili sauce that I added left a nice after taste of heat that I enjoyed. I served the dip with some whole grain crackers.

Shrimp Carbonara

Shrimp Carbonara

Sometimes you just don't have the time of the energy to make dinner but you still want something tasty. It is at times like these that I like a quick pasta such as a carbonara pasta. The carbonara sauce comes together easily and in less time than it takes to boil the pasta. A typical carbonara sauce consists of egg yolks, parmigiano reggiano, pancetta and black pepper. One of the reasons that I like carbonara is that you can play around with it by adding different things. Shrimp is one of my favorite foods and I had been wanting to try a shrimp carbonara for a while. The shrimp carbonara did not disappoint; It was nice and light and tasty and the succulent shrimp worked well in the carbonara pasta. It was a super quick dish that did not compromise in flavour.

Ingredients:
1 serving linguine
4 slices bacon (chopped)
1/4 pound shrimp (peeled and deveined)
1 clove garlic (chopped)
pepper to taste
1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon heavy cream
1/4 cup parmigiano reggiano
1 tablespoon parsley (chopped)

Directions:
1. Start cooking the pasta.
2. Fry the bacon in a pan and set aside.
3. Drain most of the bacon grease from the pan but reserving about 1 tablespoons worth.
4. Add the shrimp, garlic and pepper and saute until just cooked.
5. Mix the egg yolk, heavy cream and parmigiano reggiano in a bowl.
6. Drain the cooked pasta reserving some of the water.
7. Add the pasta to the pan and toss.
8. Remove the pan from the heat and wait for the sizzling to stop.
9. Add the egg mixture and toss to coat.
10. Add a bit of the pasta water and toss to mix and coat.

Similar Recipes:
Shrimp Scampi
Fiddlehead Shrimp Scampi
Asparagus Carbonara
Pasta alla Carbonara
Zucchini Carbonara
Butternut Squash Carbonara
Bolognese Spaghetti alla Carbonara
Ramp Carbonara
Shrimp Linguine in a Tomato and Feta Sauce
Roasted Cauliflower and Mushroom Carbonara
Roasted Asparagus and Mushroom Carbonara

Waldorf Salad

Waldorf Salad

The farmers market has been full of many different varieties of apples for a while now and I seem to be bringing them home faster than I can eat them. I was going through my bookmarks looking for new ways to enjoy apples when I came across a waldorf salad. A waldorf salad is basically fresh apples, celery, walnuts and raisins in a mayonnaise based dressing. It sounded simple and good. (It reminded me a bit of a cole slaw.) I like the mayonnaise and lemon juice combo but I tried to make sure that it was not too heavy as I wanted to enjoy the flavours in the salad. I had a lot of apples to choose form but in the end I decided to go with gala. The waldorf salad turned out really good. The crisp and juicy apples cut through the sweet and tangy dressing nicely. I really enjoyed the range of textures in the salad from the crisp to the crunchy to the chewy. The toasted walnuts went really well in this salad and I think that toasting them first is essential. I would imagine that dried cranberries would work just as well as raisins in this salad. I am also thinking that I might try adding some fresh grape slices the next time. Shredded cooked turkey or chicken would also probably go well maybe even with some curry powder. I am going to be enjoying this salad for a while to come.

Ingredients:
1 apple (cored and chopped)
1 stalk celery (chopped)
1 handful dried raisins (or cranberries)
1 handful walnuts (toasted and chopped)
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon honey
salt and pepper to taste
lettuce

Directions:
1. Mix the apple, celery, cranberries and walnuts in a bowl.
2. Mix the mayonnaise, lemon juice, honey, salt and pepper in a bowl.
3. Toss the salad with the dressing.
4. Serve on a bed of lettuce.

Similar Recipes:
Cole Slaw
Avocado and Sweet Corn Salad
Apple Wild Rice Salad
Fresh Pea Salad

Risotto

Risotto

Risotto is one of my favorite foods. It is generally made with a medium grain rice and it is stirred constantly while cooking to coax out the starch to give it a nice and creamy texture. Risotto is pretty versatile in that you can add pretty much any flavours that you want. It can be anything from a side dish to a light meal or even a full meal. I have made risotto many times and enjoyed it each time. This time I made a pretty basic risotto to be a side dish or a bed for the chicken cacciatore. Making it with the chicken cacciatore worked out well as I could pay attention to the risotto while the chicken was braising. One of the keys to a nice risotto is to use a good quality stock and I like to use home made chicken stock when making a basic risotto. This risotto turned out really well! It was one of the creamiest risottos that I have made. It was nice and cheesy and full of flavour and went really well with the chicken cacciatore.

Ingredients:
1 tablespoon butter
1 onion (chopped)
1 clove garlic (chopped)
1 cup arborio rice (or other medium or short grained rice)
1/2 cup wine
2 cups chicken stock (warm or vegetable broth)
1/2 cup parmigiano reggiano (grated)
1 tablespoon butter
salt & pepper to taste

Directions:
1. Heat butter in large sauce pan.
2. Add the onions and saute until tender, about 5 minutes.
3. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant, about 1 minute.
4. Add the rice and stir to coat with the butter.
5. Add the wine, deglaze the pan and stir while simmering until it is gone.
6. Add 1/2 cup of the stock at a time and stir while simmering until it is gone. Continue until the rice is al dente.
7. Add the parmigiano reggiano and butter and stir to combine.

Other Risotto Recipes:
Baby Artichoke Heart Quinoa Risotto with Shrimp and Meyer Lemon Pesto
Turkey and Squash "Thanksgiving" Risotto
Pumpkin Risotto with Sage
Pear and Gorgonzola Risotto
Pea Barley Risotto
Mushroom Risotto

Chicken Cacciatore (Hunter Style Chicken)

Chicken Cacciatore (Hunter Style Chicken)

As the weather has been cooling I have found myself gravitating towards comfort dishes more and more. This weekend there was a nice sale on whole chickens and I picked some up. The first recipe that I thought of was chicken cacciatore or hunter's style chicken that I had been wanting to try. After looking at a few recipes it seemed to me that chicken cacciatore was pretty much chicken that is braised in a marinara sauce. I really liked the sound of the chicken cooking in the marinara sauce as all of the drippings would meld into the sauce and enhance its flavour. Since the chicken was being braised in the sauce it should come out nice an tender and it should be flavoured by the sauce as well. After thinking for a while I decided to serve the chicken cacciatore on a bed of cheesy risotto.

Marinara sauce is always fun to make and I like to play around with it, trying different things each time. I like to add a splash of balsamic vinegar to my sauces and this time I tried adding some capers as well. Since I had decided to serve the chicken cacciatore on some risotto I grated all of the parmigiano reggiano up front and threw the rind into the sauce for some extra flavour as well.

The hardest part about this dish was dividing the chicken into pieces as I had never done it before. It took me quite a bit of time to get it done but with some practice I should get quicker. (You could just use chicken thighs and avoid having to cut up a whole chicken if you want.) After dividing the chicken the rest of the dish is pretty straight forward and easy. The chicken cacciatore turned out great! The chicken was fall of the bones tender and full of flavour and the sauce was so tasty! In fact I think it is one of the best sauces that I have made. The creamy and cheesy risotto rounded everything off perfectly. After the first meal I pulled all of the chicken off the bones and mixed it into the sauce. The leftovers were even tastier the next day and I have been enjoying them all week. I threw the bones into a freezer bag and tossed them into the freezer to make chicken stock with in the future.

Ingredients:
1 tablespoon oil
1 small chicken (divided into 8 pieces)
1 tablespoon oil
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 onion (sliced)
1 carrot (chopped)
1 stalk celery (chopped)
4 ounces mushrooms (sliced)
1 red bell pepper (chopped)
3 cloves garlic (chopped)
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1/2 cup chicken stock
1 splash balsamic vinegar
* parmigiano reggiano rind (optional)
1 teaspoon oregano
1 tablespoon capers
1 handful parsley (chopped)

Directions:
1. Heat the oil in a large pan.
2. Add the chicken and fry skin side down until golden brown and set aside.
3. Add the oil to the pan and heat.
4. Add the red pepper flakes, onion, carrot, celery, mushrooms and pepper and saute until the onion is tender, about 5 minutes.
5. Add the garlic and saute for a minute.
6. Add the wine, deglaze the pan and simmer to reduce to half.
7. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, stock, balsamic vinegar, parmigiano reggiano, oregano and capers and simmer for 20 minutes.
8. Add the chicken and simmer until cooked, about 20 minutes.

Similar Recipes:
Chicken Giouvetsi
Osso Buco
Marinara Sauce on Spaghetti
Spaghetti alla Puttanesca
Arancini di Riso (Rice Balls)
Fish a la Spetsiota
Moroccan Chicken Tagine with Olives and Preserved Lemons

Hot Sweet Onion Dip

Hot Sweet Onion Dip

A while ago I came across a recipe for a hot sweet onion dip that sounded interesting. I had never really paid much attention to onions as they are not usually the star of the show and I could not recall having ever tried a sweet onion. I normally just use the basic yellow onions in cooking and some red onions for salads. The other day I noticed that they had some vidalia onions that were labeled as sweet at the grocery store and I picked some up right away remembering this recipe. This dip was super simple to make; you just mix everything and bake until it is golden brown and bubbling. I really enjoyed the hot sweet onion dip! The baked onions were soft and tender and they actually were nice and sweet. The sweetness of the onions went really well with the rest of the creamy and savoury dip. I served the dip with some toasted bread for dipping and or spreading. I will definitely be making this again.

Ingredients:
1 (4 ounce) package of cream cheese (softened)
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup parmigiano reggiano (grated)
1/2 cup sweet onion (chopped)
pepper to taste

Directions:
1. Mix everythin. place it in a baking dish and bake in a preheated 350F oven until the top is nice and browned, about 30-50 minutes.

Slow Cooker: Mix everything, place it in the slow cooker and cook until the cheese is nice and melted about 1-2 hours on high or 2-4 hours on low.

Similar Recipes:
Hot Caramelized Onion Dip
Hot Spinach and Artichoke Dip
Hot Corn Dip
Hot Cheesy Spinach and Crab Dip
Reuben Dip
Jalapeno Popper Dip
Baked Brie with Sundried Tomatoes
French Onion Soup Dip

Mushroom and Spinach Crepes with Goat Cheese and Balsamic Drizzle

Mushroom and Spinach Crepes with Goat Cheese and Balsamic Drizzle

It had been far too long since I had last had a good mushroom dish and I had been craving them. It seemed like the perfect opportunity to combine the mushrooms that I was craving with the new whole wheat crepe recipe that I wanted to try. I kept the mushroom mixture pretty simple using some of my favorite flavours. I decided to use shiitake and cremini mushrooms to form the base of the dish and I wanted something green so I added spinach. Thyme goes really well with mushrooms and it became the primary herb of the dish. I had some goat cheese left over and I thought that would be a great addition and I decided to go with a balsamic syrup garnish to round out the flavours. The mushroom and spinach crepes were a bit of work to put together as you have to juggle cooking the mushrooms, making the crepes and reducing the balsamic vinegar at the same time. In the end they turned out well! The mushrooms were of course great and the goat cheese added a really nice creaminess and the balsamic syrup cut through it nicely. Overall I really enjoyed both the meal and the whole wheat crepes.

Ingredients:
1 tablespoon oil
1 onion (sliced)
2 cloves garlic (chopped)
1 tablespoon butter
8 ounces mushrooms (sliced)
1 tablespoon thyme (chopped)
4 ounces spinach
salt and pepper to taste
1 splash dry sherry
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
4 whole wheat crepes (or crepes)
1 handful goat cheese (grumbled)

Directions:
1. Heat the oil in a pan.
2. Add the onion and saute until just starting to caramelize, about 5-9 minutes.
3. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant, about 1 minute.
4. Add the butter and let it melt.
5. Add the mushrooms and thyme and season with salt and pepper and saute until they start to caramelize.
6. Add the sherry and deglaze the pan.
7. Add the spinach and saute until it wilts.
8. Reduce the balsamic vinegar to a syrup like consistency in a small sauce pan.
9. Place some of the mushroom and spinach mixture into a crepe followed by some goat cheese and balsamic syrup drizzle and fold.

Similar Recipes:
Asparagus Crepes with Mushroom Dill Sauce
Mushroom and Goat Cheese Strudel with Balsamic Syrup
Wild Mushrooms Sauteed in Butter, Sherry and Lemon
Ham, Egg and Gruyere Crepes with Maple Syrup

Whole Wheat Crepes

It has been a little over a year since I first tried making crepes. At first they were a little bit challenging but with practice they have become pretty fun to make. I have been using the same recipe since I first made them and I was thinking that whole wheat crepes would be a nice healthier alternative. It seemed reasonable to start with the tried and true recipe and replace half of the all purpose flour with some whole wheat flour. I found that the batter was a little thick so I added more milk until it had a nice runny consistency that would be required to swirl it around the pan. The whole wheat crepes worked out well; they were a little heavier than the regular ones but they were still pretty light and fluffy. They were even good enough to enjoy eating plain, especially while still warm.

Ingredients:
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 egg
3/4 cup milk
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon butter (melted)

Directions:
1. Mix everything in a large bowl.
2. Pour 1/4 of the mixture into a lightly buttered pan heated at medium.
3. Tilt the pan and turn so that the mixture evenly coats the entire bottom of the pan.
4. Cook the crepe until golden brown on the bottom, about 2 minutes.
5. Flip and cook the other side until golden brown.

Similar Recipes:
Crepes

Strawberry Goat Cheese Banitsa

Strawberry Goat Cheese Banitsa

I was going through my bookmarks when I came across this recipe for a strawberry goat cheese banitsa that I had bookmarked a while ago. A banista is a Bulgarian pastry made with sirene (a Bulgarian feta cheese), eggs and phyllo dough. Banistas can be made savoury with spinach or peppers or they can be made sweet. This recipe for a sweet banista caught my eye immediately for its use of sweetened goat cheese (since I could not find the sirene), phyllo dough, strawberry jam and pecans. It simply sounded amazing! When I came across the bookmark I knew that I had to make it and it was the perfect opportunity to use some of the strawberry and rhubarb jam that I had made during the summer. As with most recipes that use phyllo dough, this one took a bit of effort but it was well worth it. The strawberry and rhubarb goat cheese banista with pecans turned out great! It was like a cross between a strawberry baklava and a cheesecake. The strawberry and rhubarb jam was like the syrup in the baklava and the goat cheese had a texture that reminded me of cheese cake. The phyllo dough on top and bottom was nice and crisp and the inside was moist and sticky and oh so good. The pecans added a really nice contrast in texture and finished off the banista nicely. Excuse me while I go and get another slice.

Ingredients:
1 pound goat cheese
3 eggs
1 cup yogurt
1/3 cup icing sugar
1/2 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 orange (zest)
2 cups pecans (chopped)
1 package phyllo dough
1 cup strawberry and rhubarb jam (or strawberry jam)
1 egg (lightly beaten)
* granulated sugar
1/4 cup pecans (chopped)

Directions:
1. Mix the cheese, eggs and yogurt.
2. Sift in the icing sugar, flour, baking soda and mix.
3. Mix in the orange zest and pecans.
4. Lay 3 layers of phyllo dough into a 9x9 inch baking dish.
5. Spread a third of the cheese mixture on top.
6. Lay 2 layers of the phyllo dough on top.
7. Spread half of the jam on top.
8. Lay 2 layers of the phyllo dough on top.
9. Spread a third of the cheese mixture on top.
10. Lay 2 layers of the phyllo dough on top.
11. Spread half of the jam on top.
12. Lay 2 layers of the phyllo dough on top.
13. Spread a third of the cheese mixture on top.
14. Lay 2 layers of the phyllo dough on top.
15. Brush the top with the egg and sprinkle the sugar and pecans.
16. Bake in a preheated 400F oven until the edges are bubbling and the top is golden brown, about 30 minutes.

Similar Recipes:
Baklava
Galaktoboureko (Greek Custard Pie)
Strawberry Tart

Use leftover phyllo dough in:
Spanakopita (Greek Spinach Pie)
Mushroom and Feta Phyllo Pie
Kolokithopita (Greek Zucchini Pie)
Agginaropita (Greek Artichoke Pie)
Mushroom and Goat Cheese Strudel with Balsamic Syrup
Tomato Tart
Baklava
Apple and Cheddar Quiche
Galaktoboureko (Greek Custard Pie)
Chicken and Date Pastilla
Asparagus and Walnut Phyllo Pie (aka Asparagus Baklava) with Avgolemono Sauce
Roasted Pumpkin Quiche with Caramelized Onions, Gorgonzola and Sage
Lamb Exohiko (Lamb, Spinach and Cheese Stuffed Phyllo Parcels)
Fiddlehead and Gruyere Tart

Chard Sauteed with Raisins and Pine Nuts

Chard Sauteed with Raisins and Pine Nuts

To finish off my curried honey dijon roasted chicken dinner I was looking for something green. As luck would have it I had just come across a new way to enjoy greens; catalan spinach on Spain...On The Road Again. The original recipe called for spinach but I figured that it would work with pretty much any green leaf vegetable and since I have been enjoying swiss chard lately I decided to go with that. One of the things that I like about swiss chard is that it can be a little bitter and I liked the sound of adding some sweet raisins to it. This side dish is easy to make and comes together in a matter of minutes. I quite enjoyed serving the swiss chard this way. It was a really nice simple combination of flavours and textures and it went well with the rest of the meal.

Ingredients:
1 table spoon olive oil
2 tablespoons pine nuts
2 tablespoons dried currants (or raisins)
1 bunch swiss chard (rinsed and shaken dry and chopped)
salt and pepper to taste

Directions:
1. Heat the oil in a pan.
2. Add the pine nuts, raisins and swiss chard stalks and saute until the pine nuts start to brown, about 2 minutes.
3. Add the swiss chard until it wilts, about 3 minutes.
4. Season with salt and pepper.

Similar Recipes:
Sauteed Swiss Chard
Swiss Chard and Cannellini Beans
Spaghetti Squash and Chard Gratin

Thai Style Coconut Butternut Squash

Thai Style Coconut Butternut Squash

When it came to deciding the side dishes to serve with my curried honey dijon roasted chicken I knew that I would have to include some butternut squash as I had a ton of it. I remembered seeing a recipe for a coconut butternut squash that sounded good. Since I already had curry in my meal I decided to swap the curry out of the original recipe and I was thinking about going with a more Thai type of theme. I added some fish sauce, lime juice, chili sauce and palm sugar to get the classic Thai salty, sour, spicy and sweet combo. This squash dish was pretty easy to make as it simmered on the stove top without much attention while the chicken roasted in the oven. The Thai style coconut butternut squash turned out great! The combination of flavours went really well with the sweet butternut squash and I enjoyed the coconut milk that ended up more like a sauce. I garnished the squash with some toasted coconut flakes and chopped cilantro. Some time soon I am going to have to try the original curried version.

Ingredients:
1 tablespoon oil
1 teaspoon garlic (chopped)
1 teaspoon ginger (grated)
2 cups butternut squash (cut into 1 inch cubes)
1/2 cup coconut milk
1 tablespoon palm sugar (or sugar)
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1/2 teaspoon chili sauce
1 handful coconut (toasted)
1 handful cilantro (chopped)

Directions:
1. Heat the oil in a pan.
2. Add the garlic and ginger and saute until fragrant, about a minute.
3. Add the squash, coconut milk, sugar, lime juice, fish sauce, chili sauce, cover and simmer until the squash it tender, about 30 minutes.
4. Set the squash aside and reduce the liquid.
5. Pour the reduced coconut milk onto the squash and garnish with coconut and cilantro.

Similar Recipes:
Harissa Roasted Squash
Roasted Squash with Gorgonzola and Maple Syrup
Beef Rendang
Similar Recipes:
Roasted Butternut Squash and Caramelized Onion Pizza with Gorgonzola and Crispy Fried Sage
Roasted Squash with Gorgonzola and Maple Syrup
Pumpkin Gnocchi in Gorgonzola Sauce
Roasted Butternut Squash and Sage Lasagna
Roasted Acorn Squash with Green Tomato and Jalapeno Jam

Curried Honey Dijon Roasted Chicken

Curried Honey Dijon Roasted Chicken

I like curries of all sorts and I am constantly looking for new ways to enjoy curry. A while ago I came across a recipe for curried honey dijon roasted chicken that sounded good. It is basically a recipe for honey and dijon chicken with some curry. I had been wanting to try honey dijon chicken as well and I thought that the idea of that amazing curry aroma and flavour could only make it better. I was sold and it quickly made it to my meal plan. Though I liked the look of the sliced chicken breast with the golden brown outside and white inside I decided to go with chicken thighs with the skin and bone as they have more flavour. This chicken was really easy to make; you just have to mix the marinade and let it marinate and then roast it in the oven. Pretty much all of the hard work is in the waiting. The curried honey dijon roasted chicken turned out really nicely. The chicken was moist and tender and full of flavour. I really liked the combination of the curry, mustard and honey and they balanced out well. I garnished the chicken with some chopped cilantro and served it with some coconut butternut squash and sauteed chard with raisins and pine nuts.

Ingredients:
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon curry powder
2 tablespoons soy sauce
cayenne pepper to taste (or some other form of heat)
pepper to taste
4 chicken thighs (with bone and skin)

Directions:
1. Mix everything but the chicken in a bowl.
2. Add the chicken, cover and marinate in the fridge for at least an hour.
3. Place the chicken in a baking dish (reserving the marinade) and cover with foil.
4. Bake in a 375F oven for 20 minutes.
5. Remove the foil and brush on some of the marinade.
6. Bake uncovered until the juices run clear, about 20-30 minutes, brushing with the marinade periodically.

Similar Recipes:
Maple and Mustard Glazed Chicken
Lemon Roasted Chicken
Maple and Chipotle Roasted Turkey
Corned Beef Glazed in Honey and Mustard Dinner with Cabbage
Maple Dijon Grilled Chicken
Maple-Miso Dijon Salmon
Honey Dijon Pretzel Chicken

Vanilla Apple Crisp with Caramel Sauce

Vanilla Apple Crisp with Caramel Sauce

I still hadn't satisfied my cravings for apples and I knew that an apple crisp had to be next. Apple crisps are among my favorite desserts. They are really easy to make and they are just so good! I like that you can vary the spices to make then a bit different each time. Although the classic cinnamon and nutmeg combo is probably my favorite I also really enjoyed the almond or amaretti/amaretto version that I had made last year. More recently I came across a vanilla bean apple crisp that sounded nice. I mean, if vanilla ice cream goes so well with apple crisp, and it does, then adding vanilla to the crisp sounded like a great idea. I used some granny smith and some honey crisp apples because I had them on hand but you can use can use your favorite baking apples. I also had some caramel sauce and I thought that it would be really nice if I topped the apple crisp with vanilla ice cream off with some of it. The hot apple crisp with the melting vanilla ice cream all drenched in a warm caramel sauce was so amazing! What a great combination of flavours! I can't wait till tomorrow to have another piece.

Caramel Sauce

Apples with Caramel Sauce

Apples have been on my mind recently and one thing led to another and I soon found myself thinking about caramel sauce or rather apples drenched in caramel sauce. Apples and caramel are a classic flavour combo and with good reason. I have made caramel sauce a few times but always as a part of a larger recipe and this time I wanted to make it to use as a condiment, or to just eat it by the spoonful. Caramel sauce is pretty simple in concept; you just heat sugar until it turns a nice golden brown. The trouble is that it can quickly go from a nice golden brown to burnt. There seems to be two main ways to make caramel sauce, a dry method and a wet method. With the dry method you heat the sugar until it melts and with the wet method you dissolve the sugar into something wet, like water and then heat it. I found this recipe for a wet caramel sauce on epicurious which sounded pretty easy and good.

The caramel sauce turned out really well! I got it off the stove and cooled it down with the cream after it had turned a nice amber colour but before it burned. Waiting for it to cool was like an eternity but it was well worth it in the end. The caramel sauce was so good! I enjoyed it on some honey crisp apple slices and then I enjoyed cleaning out the pan as well as I could with my fingers. My only problem with this recipe is that it does not make much and it will not last long. I will definitely be making this caramel sauce again. I was thinking that it might be nice to experiment with different flavours in the caramel like salt or vanilla bean.

Ingredients:
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt (optional)

Directions:
1. Mix the sugar and water in a small sauce pan, bring to a boil over medium heat and let simmer until it turns a medium amber colour.
2. Remove from heat, carefully pour in the heavy cream and stir the mixture until it is smooth, returning to heat to melt and lumps that may have formed.
3. Stir in the butter, allow to cool for a few minutes and stir in the vanilla extract and salt if using.

Similar Recipes:
Vanilla Bourbon Caramel Sauce
Blueberry Caramel Sauce
Dulce de Leche
Vietnamese Caramel Sauce

Use in:
Apple, Cheddar and Bacon Fritters in Caramel Sauce
Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake
Vanilla Apple Crisp with Caramel Sauce
Pumpkin Cinnamon Role Pancakes with Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting
Pumpkin Greek Yogurt Banana Bread
Rolo Cheesecake Bars
Pumpkin Pie Pancakes
Slow Cooker Pumpkin Pie Steel Cut Oatmeal
Apple Crisp Pizza with Caramel Sauce
Pumpkin Pie Quinoa Parfait with Gingersnap Pecan Streusel
Slow Cooker Apple Pie Steel Cut Oatmeal
Caramel Apple Grilled Cheese Sandwich (with Bacon)

Caramel Sauce Dripping from Knife

Apple Pie Pizza

Apple Pie Pizza

I still had enough dough from the Daring Bakers pizza dough recipe to make one more pizza. I had placed the extra dough in the freezer to save later and this weekend I pulled it out to use. I had been wanting to try making a dessert pizza and I thought that keeping it seasonal and using some apples would be a good idea. I really liked the idea of doing an apple pizza that made one think of an apple pie. This recipe is quite simple; you simply saute the apples in some butter and brown sugar along with some cinnamon, place it on the pizza dough and bake. I topped the pizza off with a bit of icing. Apple desserts are among my favorites and this apple pie pizza did not disappoint. Of course, any warm apple dessert goes really well with some melting vanilla ice cream on top!

Ingredients:
1 tablespoon butter
2 apples (peeled, cored and sliced)
1 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 pizza dough
1/4 cup icing sugar
* milk

Directions:
1. Melt the butter a pan.
2. Add the apples, brown sugar and cinnamon and saute until apples are nice and caramelized.
3. Spread the apple mixture over the pizza.
4. Bake in a preheated 500F oven until golden brown, about 5-10 minutes.
5. Mix some milk into the icing sugar to make a glaze and drizzle it over the pizza.

Apple Pie Pizza with Ice Cream

Similar Recipes:
Apple Crisp Pizza with Caramel Sauce
Apple Crisp with Amaretto
Vanilla Apple Crisp
Apple and Cinnamon Oatmeal Pancakes Topped with Caramelized Apples
Dulce de Leche Apple Pie
Granny Smith Apple and Gorgonzola Pizza