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Slow Cooker Bacon Wrapped Apple BBQ Chicken

Slow Cooker Bacon Wrapped Apple BBQ Chicken
I have had a slow cooker for a few years now but I find that I hardly ever use it and when I do it is usually for things like pulled pork. I almost feel like I need to justify it taking up space when I have so little so I am always on the lookout for good slow cooker recipes to give it a workout. I recently came across a this tasty looking recipe for slow cooker bacon wrapped apple BBQ chicken on Chef in Training and with apples in season it seemed like the perfect chance to pull my slow cooker out! I mean you really cannot go wrong with BBQ chicken and if you then throw apples and bacon into the mix things can only get better! One thing that I do like about slow cooker recipes is that they are generally really easy, sometimes being as simple as throwing all of the ingredients into the slow cooker and turning it on and then you come home to a fully cooked one pot meal. This recipe is only requires you to dice some apples and wrap the chicken in bacon so it is easily doable even on a busy weekday morning and it is so worth the ten minutes of effort! The chicken comes out nice and moist and tender and the flavours of the bacon have melted into the chicken and BBQ creating one really tasty dish!

Pumpkin Pie Pancakes (with Caramel Sauce)

Pumpkin Pie Pancakes
I had a bunch of pumpkin puree leftover that needed to be used and I figured that it was the perfect opportunity to make one of my favourite pumpkin dishes, pumpkin pie pancakes, and to update the photos for the recipe! Pumpkin pie pancakes are one of my favourites because they are so nice and light, fluffy, moist and tender and not only do they taste just like pumpkin pie but they are so quick and easy to make! I mean really, it is as simple as mixing the dry ingredients, mixing the wet ingredients, mixing them together and the cooking the pancakes! In the past I would normally have served these pumpkin pie pancakes smothered in maple syrup but more recently I have been liking the pumpkin and caramel flavour combo and since homemade caramel sauce is so easy to make that is the way that I went this time. One of the nice things about caramel sauce is that when it is cool it is nice and thick but if you warm it up a bit it becomes much more fluid, like a syrup, which is perfect for pancakes!

Oh, my! Pumpkin pie pancakes smothered in caramel sauce; it's just like having dessert for breakfast!

If you want to be a bit more decadent you could use a vanilla bourbon caramel sauce!

Vanilla Bourbon Caramel Sauce

Vanilla Bourbon Caramel Sauce
I almost forgot to share the vanilla bourbon caramel sauce recipe that I mentioned in the pumpkin Greek yogurt banana bread the other day! This vanilla bourbon caramel sauce is a pretty standard caramel sauce with the seeds from a vanilla bean and a splash of bourbon added to add a depth of flavour and to give it an even more amazing aroma. Caramel sauce can be a bit tricky to make at first but once you get the hang of it, it is really easy! In fact the hardest thing about it is that it requires you to watch it the whole time because if you take yours eyes of of it for a few seconds it can burn really quickly. So other than having to dedicate 20-30 minutes of time to making it, it as simple as melting some sugar, bringing it to a boil and cooking it until it turns a nice amber colour. All that remains is to carefully add the cream followed by the butter and any flavourings that you want, in this case the vanilla and the bourbon.

Rolo Cheesecake Bars

Rolo Cheesecake Bars
I have a friend that is completely addicted to everything Rolo and you really can't blame him with all of that chocolatly and caramelly goodness. One example on this addiction is the fact that if you were to look in his freezer at any given time you would find about a half a dozen containers of Rolo ice cream. When I came across these Rolo cheesecke bars on Bakers Royale a while ago I thought of my friend and pinned the recipe to make the next time we met up. I recently got the chance to make the Rolo cheesecake bars for my friend and they were a huge success with him and everyone else that tried them! These Rolo cheesecake bars are decadently good with a graham cracker crumb crust and a cheesecake layer sweetened in part with caramel sauce that is stuffed with mini Rolos and finally topped with a chocolate layer that has a caramel wave pattern. The only problem that I have now is that every time I meetup with my friend, he asks me where his Rolo cheesecake bars are.

Pumpkin Greek Yogurt Banana Bread

Greek Yogurt Pumpkin Banana Bread

With Halloween coming up I have been thinking about pumpkins a lot more and when I was wondering what to do for breakfasts this week, a pumpkin bread seemed like a great way to go! Although I already have a recipe for a pumpkin bread that I really like I wanted to try to incorporate some of the ideas from the recently successful strawberry Greek yogurt banana bread into it. The Greek yogurt banana bread uses bananas and Greek yogurt to completely replace the oil or butter in an attempt to make it a little healthier while leaving the bread nice and light, fluffy and most importantly, moist. For my pumpkin Greek yogurt banana bread I pretty much took the Greek yogurt banana bread recipe and added pumpkin spices and pumpkin puree while removing some of the bananas to keep the moisture level consistent. In addition I replaced some of the all-purpose flour with whole wheat flour and since pecan go so well with pumpkin I added some of those as well. The pumpkin Greek yogurt banana bread turned out amazingly well, having one of the best textures that I have ever had in a quick bread! I am looking forward to breakfasts this week especially on Halloween!

Fried Green Tomato BLT with Pimento Cheese

Fried Green Tomato BLT with Pimento Cheese

Sorry about the lack of updates this past week; I had some computer problems which are hopefully resolved now!

You can still get green tomatoes at the grocery store and I have been taking full advantage of that by enjoying plenty of fried green tomatoes including more than a few fried green tomato BLTs! Once the field ripened tomatoes disappear in the late fall the green tomatoes show up and once fried until tender, these tart and tangy green tomatoes make an excellent substitute for red in BLTs! Of course, I like to play around with my fried green tomato BLTs just like I do with regular BLTs and this time I was thinking about a new version with pimento cheese. Normally adding cheese to a BLT might not be the first thing that would come to mind but the addictively good, sweet, spicy and creamy pimento cheese finds a perfect home in one!

Roast Turkey Club Sandwich with Cranberry Sauce

Roast Turkey Club Sandwich with Cranberry Sauce
One of my favourite parts about the Thanksgiving dinner has to be enjoying the leftovers for the rest of the week and in particular the turkey leftovers. Inevitably the first thing that I do with the leftover breast meat is make roast turkey club sandwiches and they always includes a healthy dose of homemade cranberry sauce! There is just something magical about the combo of turkey, cranberry sauce, mayonnaise, crisp lettuce and juicy tomatoes and I am hopelessly addicted to it! Over the last week I have enjoyed a number of these sandwiches and for a few of them I decided to play around a bit by making them more like turkey club sandwiches by adding bacon.

Tequila and Lime Jalapeno Cranberry Sauce

Tequila and Lime Jalapeno Cranberry Sauce
No holiday turkey dinner is complete without some homemade cranberry sauce and since it is so easy to make at home you really have no excuse not to! Although a basic cranberry sauce is amazing all by itself, you can change things up every once in a while by adding various flavoura and this time I went with a Mexican inspired flavour theme with spicy jalapeno peppers, lime and a hit of tequila. The heat provided by the jalapeno peppers goes well in the sweet and tart cranberry sauce making it little like a salsa and the lime juice really brightens it up!

Beer Mac n Cheese Soup

Beer Mac n Cheese Soup
With the weather getting cooler soups have been on my mind more often and with it being October I have been thinking about recipes that use beer for an Oktoberfest inspired menu. With that in mind it seemed like the perfect opportunity to make a beer mac n cheese soup! I had been planning on making a mac n cheese inspired soup for a while but when I last made the ale and cheddar soup I figured that a beer mac n cheese soup would be even better! This recipe is actually pretty similar to the ale and cheddar soup recipe with the primary difference being the addition of elbow macaroni and some extra cheese so that it tastes like a really creamy bowl of mac n cheese! I completed my mac n cheese soup meal off with some soft and chewy pretzel rolls, complimenting the Oktoberfest theme.

Triple Chocolate Pumpkin Pie

Triple Chocolate Pumpkin Pie
The final component of my Thanksgiving dinner was perhaps the most important part, the dessert, and this year I wanted to try something a little new, a chocolate pumpkin pie. Pumpkin pie is often the dessert of choice for Thanksgiving and since chocolate and pumpkin go so well together I was thinking that a chocolate pumpkin pie would be amazing! At first I was just planning on simply mixing chocolate into a regular pumpkin pie recipe but a quick search on the web led me to this triple chocolate pumpkin pie recipe and with three kinds of chocolate I was thinking that it would have to be at least three times as good!

This pumpkin pie uses a pretty basic graham cracker crumb crust with some pumpkin spices mixed in, though you could easily add some cocoa powder to the crust to get a fourth form of chocolate into the mix. The first chocolate comes in the form of a layer of bittersweet chocolate on the crust that is topped with the semisweet chocolate pumpkin pie and the final chocolate comes in the form of a milk chocolate drizzle that is added just before serving. This triple chocolate pumpkin pie is pure chocolaty decadence at its best!

Twice Baked Sweet Potato Potato Skins with Pecan Streusel (aka Individual Sweet Potato Casserole)

Twice Baked Bourbon Sweet Potato with Pecan Streusel (aka Individual Sweet Potato Casserole)

One idea that I had for a new appetizer for Thanksgiving was to make some kind of savoury sweet potato potato skins and the only question that I had was what to fill them with? Every time I thought about sweet potatoes though, I kept thinking about sweet potato casserole so I decided to just go with it and I made some sweet potato casserole potato skins! A sweet potato casserole is a casserole made with sweet potatoes and it is commonly topped with pecans and sometimes marshmallows and even though it is sweet enough to be a dessert it is served as a side dish. The basic idea behind these sweet potato potato skins was to bake the sweet potatoes until tender, scoop out the flesh, mash it and mix it up with common sweet potato casserole ingredients, stuffing the mixture back into the skins before topping with a pecan streusel and baking a second time! For the filling, I went with some of my favourite sweet potato casserole flavours including brown sugar, maple syrup and a splash of bourbon. Really you could consider each sweet potato potato skin to be and individually sized serving of sweet potato casserole!

Roasted Cauliflower and Aged White Cheddar Gratin

Roasted Cauliflower and Aged White Cheddar Gratin
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The roasted cauliflower and aged white cheddar soup has been on my mind a lot lately and when it came time to think about side dishes for my Thanksgiving dinner one of the first ideas that came to mind was to convert the soup into a side dish. It seemed only natural that the side dish would take the form of a gratin and a roasted cauliflower and aged white cheddar gratin was sounding really good! Although steamed cauliflower would work in a gratin, I wanted the extra flavour that roasting adds even if it meant more oven time! I kept the gratin really simple with a base of an easy bechamel sauce that the aged white cheddar is melted into before being poured over the roasted cauliflower. Once the cauliflower has been roasted the aged white cheddar bechamel sauce has been made, all that need to be done it to mix them, top them with panko bread crumbs and then bake them until golden brown.

Pumpkin Cinnamon Roll Pancakes with Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting

Pumpkin Cinnamon roll Pancakes with Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting
This weekend is the Canadian Thanksgiving and that means that it is time to make something special for breakfast and I knew just what I wanted to make. I have been wanting to try the cinnamon swirl pancakes from Recipe Girl ever since I saw them and Thanksgiving seemed like the perfect time to try the pumpkin pie version! I mean you really cannot go wrong combining two amazing things like pancakes and cinnamon rolls and throw in a third, pumpkin pie, and you have something that is sure to have every one coming back for seconds or even thirds! (The recipe easily doubles or triples!)

Pad Thai Omelette

Pad Thai Omelette
I am particularly fond of Pad Thai, a Thai fried noodle dish, so when I came across the idea of a pad Thai omelette I was intrigued and had to try it. Pad Thai generally consists of rice noodles, egg, fish sauce, tamarind, palm sugar, chilies, bean sprouts and chicken and/or shrimp and it is garnished with peanuts, cilantro and lime juice. The combination of flavours and textures is quite amazing especially the artful blend of salty, sour, sweet and spicy! I normally consider omelettes for breakfast and the first thing that came to mind when I discovered the pad Thai omelette was that I hardly needed an excuse to eat pad Thai for breakfast!

Bacon and Fried Green Tomato Pimento Grilled Cheese

Bacon and Fried Green Tomato Pimento Grilled Cheese

Another fall treat is green tomatoes which make a brief appearance at the farmers market when the weather threatens to destroy the tomatoes before they ripen. Ever since I first discovered them I eagerly await them each fall and this weekend they made their first appearance. Inevitably the first thing that I do with them is to make some fried green tomatoes which is a Southern dish where slices of green, unripe, tomatoes are coated in cornmeal and fried until crispy. After an initial batch of fried green tomatoes I wanted to combine them with another Southern delicacy, pimento cheese, a combination of cheddar cheese, pimentos and mayonnaise, and make, you guessed it, a fried green tomato and pimento cheese sandwich!

25 Outstanding Pumpkin Recipes

Pumpkin Recipes Collage

For me, October is the month of pumpkins and I always enjoy trying new pumpkin recipes. In addition to tasting great pumpkins are very versatile working in both sweet and savoury dishes that can be mains, sides, desserts or even appetizers or breakfasts. Pumpkin is commonly used in two different forms either solid chucks or pureed. Although canned pumpkin puree is pretty convenient it is easy to make homemade pumpkin puree. One thing to keep in mind when buying pumpkins to eat, look for the ones labeled as pie pumpkins as they taste a lot better than the ones that are for carving up for Halloween. Without further ado, 25 of my favourite pumpkin recipes: