New England Cranberry Duff

Yesterday we did our first ever Thanksgiving (yes, we Canadians celebrate Thanksgiving a month earlier than our neighbours down south, never really understood why…) dinner at home. Offner and I spent tons of time in the kitchen preparing enough food for an entire army (we were only 6!). We had three services: the appetizers (cheese, sausage, cold cuts, vegetables, foie gras, salads, etc.), the mains (chicken, roasted vegetables, Quenelles, quiche, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, etc.) and the desserts (fresh fruit, homemade apple pie and homemade New England Cranberry Duff). It was heavenly!

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I spent lot’s of time in the kitchen as a kid helping my mom make desserts for any kind of celebration or party she’d throw. Since I moved out almost eight years ago, I haven’t made too much dessert. Yesterday’s dinner was the perfect occasion to whip out my old dessert making skills and make a perfect fall creation. I usually always either invent recipes or add my own personal twist on recipes I already know but this time, I tried an all new recipe that I found on Martha Stewart’s website.

Last week I received cranberries with my Fresh City Farms basket so I wanted to make something with them. I found this New England Cranberry Duff cake that looked amazing on her site. It was an absolute hit! Not only does it not require many ingredients, it’s also super easy and quick to make. I decided to double to recipe to make the cake thicker. Not only is it great as a dessert but it’s also perfect for a snack or even breakfast!

Here’s the recipe taken directly from Martha’s website:

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, (1 stick), softened
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 1/3 cup pecans, toasted, coarsely chopped
  • 1/3 cup plus 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

DIRECTIONS

  1. STEP 1

    Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Butter bottom and halfway up sides of an 8-inch square glass baking dish using 2 tablespoons butter. Spread cranberries evenly over bottom of dish. Sprinkle pecans on top, then sprinkle with 1/3 cup sugar; set aside.

  2. STEP 2

    Melt remaining 6 tablespoons butter in a saucepan over medium-low heat; set aside. Put egg and the remaining 1/2 cup sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat on medium-high speed until pale and thick, about 1 minute. Reduce speed to medium-low; gradually beat in flour, and then salt. Pour in melted butter in a slow, steady stream, beating until smooth.

  3. STEP 3

    Slowly pour batter into pan to cover cranberries. Bake until golden brown and a cake tester inserted in center comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack 10 minutes. Run a knife around edge to loosen, and invert to unmold onto a serving platter. Serve warm or at room temperature.

So happy with how it turned out! Yummy!! 🙂

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Spaghetti Squash

Thrilled to have cooked my first ever spaghetti squash (thanks Fresh City Farms!) this week. I know it’s without a doubt a fall favorite for many, so I was excited to think of a creative recipe for it. Here’s what I came up with:

First thing’s first, you have to try and cut the spaghetti squash in half. Big challenge! It’s so tough! I had to get help so that I didn’t cut my hand off. Once you’ve cut the squash in half, place the two halves on a baking sheet. Brush olive oil onto the inner part of the squash, also add a bit of brown or white sugar and salt + pepper. Flip the halves so that the open part is facing downwards. Cook in the oven for 45mins.

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While the squash was cooking I decided to make a little “accompagnement” for it. I cut up some apples and almonds and roasted them in a pan with butter.

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You will know the squash is cooked when you can poke a fork all the way through and it feels soft. When ready, take it out of the oven and wait for it to cool down a bit. Then, take a fork and scrape the squash. You will notice that it will easily tear apart and will become like little spaghetti noodles. After, I put the “noodles” in a bowl and added some extra spices – a little more salt, pepper, parsley, chives and some more butter. You can always add pine nuts, any other type of veggie, etc. Be as creative as you’d like! To finish, I added the garnish on top and it was ready to serve!

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This Week’s Pottage

A new week means a new pottage… at least that’s what it’s meant since we’ve been getting our Fresh City Farms baskets. This week’s pottage is my best one yet (that’s a good thing I guess since I’ve only ever made two 😛 Improvement is good!).

For this week’s pottage I used cabbage, green onions, cauliflower and beets. I never really measure anything when making pottage, I just eyeball it.

I let all the veggies boil in water for 20mins or so. I also added a cube of organic vegetable broth to add a bit of flavor as well as salt and pepper.

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Once everything has boiled, I blend everything up using my hand mixer. I also add a bit of almond milk, dijon mustard and my secret ingredient: maple syrup! Yup! Plus it’s from my family’s sugar shack, so there’s nothing better 🙂 I find that the maple syrup cuts the bitterness and the milk and dijon make the pottage more of a velvety texture.

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Et voilà! Bon appétit!

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Fall Pumpkin

Last week, two small pumpkins came in our Fresh City Farms bag and just like the concord grapes, I had never cooked anything with pumpkins before. Growing up, I saw my mom make pumpkin pie but had never really been interested in making anything with pumpkin because it always looked so complicated.

After looking at a few different recipes (thank god for Martha Stewart sometimes!), I got inspired to make my own pumpkin dishes.

The first recipe I made was a pumpkin, roasted garlic, beemster cheese, concord grape, tomato, avocado and cantaloupe salad. It really took no time to make. The only kind of preparation it took, was cutting up the pumpkin in small cubes and placing them on a cookie sheet. I drizzled a bit of cumin, maple syrup, olive oil and salt and pepper on them. I also added a few fresh garlic cloves on the cookie sheet to bake with the pumpkin. I cooked the pumpkin in the oven for 40mins at 350F, I kept adding water throughout so that the pumpkin didn’t dry up. When it got nice and mushy, I took it out of the oven and peeled off the skin.

For the dressing, I just mixed freshly squeezed lemon juice, olive oil and dijon mustard. Contrary to what I was expecting, the pumpkin tasted really soft and sweet. It was delish!

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For the second pumpkin recipe, I made a pumpkin and tofu stir-fry with the left over pumpkin I cooked for the salad. I pan fried cubes of tofu, added pineapple pieces, garlic, pumpkin cubes as well as sweet and sour sauce. I cooked everything in the pan until nicely roasted and then placed it on a bed of fresh kale. I was also surprised by how amazing it tasted!

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With the leftover seeds I had from the pumpkin, I put them on a cookie sheet, drizzled a bit of olive oil on them and spices and baked them in the oven at 350F for 15-20mins. They were the perfect lunch snack for the next day!!

There you have it! Some quick and easy pumpkin recipes. What have you made with pumpkin this fall?

 

Concord Grape Spread

Last week we received our first Fresh City Farms local fruit and veggie bag. I challenged myself to use every single item they gave us, even if the bag contained some items I had never cooked with before.

One of these items was Concorde Grapes. I opted to try a grape spread to serve with cheese as an appetizer on the weekend. It’s super easy to make!

All you need is a big handful of grapes, rosemary, olive oil, sugar and salt.

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Rinse the grapes and then place them on a baking sheet. Drizzle 2 teaspoon of olive oil over the grapes. Add a pinch of sea salt and 1 teaspoon of rosemary on the grapes. Also add 1/2 a teaspoon of sugar over the grapes to cut the bitterness.

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Place grapes in the oven and cook at 400F for 15-20 minutes or until grapes burst. Once they’ve cooled off you can place them in a bowl.

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I opted to serve the grape spread with blue cheese on whole wheat toast but they can be served with burrata cheese, compté or any type of cheese you like. The strong taste of blue cheese fit perfectly with the sweetness of the grapes! It was a succulant appetizer to kick off a Saturday night meal. Hope you’ll enjoy 🙂

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Kale Chips Recipe

I love finally being home for a few weeks. This will allow me to start cooking a whole lot more. One of my recent favorite snacks, is homemade Kale Chips. Though I love getting some at the store, there’s nothing quite like making your own.

Wednesday I received a whole bunch of kale in my Fresh City Farms basket and decided to make some yummy kale chips to go with my dinner last night. They are SUPER easy to make 🙂

All you have to do is pre-heat the oven at 350, cut up kale in small pieces.

Drizzle olive oil or as I did, flavored olive oil (I went for the hot pepper oil) over the kale and add salt and pepper. Some people also add yeast to the kale to add a crunchier texture but I find that they taste fine without it too!

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Put it in the oven for 10-15mins, until cripsy and dark green.

The perfect healthy snack!

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September Blues #DailyOutfit

Yesterday we received our first ever Fresh City Farms vegetable and fruit bag, from local organic farmers in Ontario. I can’t believe I didn’t think of doing this before. For $30 a week, they deliver right to your doorstep a bag filled with seasonal fruits and veggies. You can also add a bunch of extras to your bag: cheese, honey, fresh bread, etc. They also give you some sample recipes every week, recipes for the fruits and veggies in your bag. What’s great about getting a different bag each week is that it forces you to not only eat healthy but also helps you be more creative with the food you make. Plus, being someone who eats a lot of fruits and veggies every day, I find that this makes it a lot cheaper.

So last night, I used some of the veggies we had received to make my first ever homemade pottage. It really didn’t take long! I basically just boiled a bunch of veggies from the bag (leek, brocoli, mushrooms, tomatos, garlic), added a few spices, a bit of oil and olive juice, a touch of almond milk and blended everything up. Voilà! Perfect for the fall!

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It’s now pant weather again! Feels good to take out some of my favs from last season. Seems like I’m not the only one who’s stoked about fall fashion. One of the things I’m most excited about this season, are all the rad jackets that are coming out. Here are some of my favorite jackets for the fall… Wish I could get them all! AHH they are so heavenly!!

1) MLLE Mademoiselle Rumi Leopard Biker Jacket (get it here)

MLLE-28_1024x10242) VEDA x Pamela Love special collaboration (get it here)

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3) Mackage TAMIKA Natural Leather Jacket (get it here)

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4) Zara Leopard Furry Coat (get it here)

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5) Topshop Quilted Leather Look Biker Jacket (get it here)

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For today’s outfit, I’m rock a whole lot of blues! I love printed pants and love my Pamela Love x Nine West boots I got last year. Still one of my favs!

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Urban Outfitters bleu and grey southwestern print skinnies

Zara basic blue scoop neck shirt

Forever 21 Bleached demin vest (get it here)

Pamela Love x Nine West brick moto booties 

Biko Neon Blue Colby necklace (get it here)

Biko black chainmaille bracelet (get it here)

Lionette SINEAD bracelet (check the site for more info)