Saturday, October 31, 2015

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween to all you ghouls and goblins!

Tonight kids will take to the streets and echo the familiar chorus of "trick or treat!" and receive sweet goodies.  Years back when I was a child, we would get not only a few candies, but plenty of apples in our treat bags.  Mom would check them to make sure they were okay, then we used them to bake apple desserts and enjoy with the family, or if there were only a few, to go into my lunch bag for school the following day.  It is rare to give out apples nowadays, but I thought I would celebrate Halloween with you by sharing a favourite recipe of mine, apple crisp. 

One of the best apples to use for this recipe is the McIntosh, which is a much older, but popular apple available at supermarkets throughout the year.  While still sweet, the flesh is softer and tends to melt down easily in baked desserts, which is why it is a popular apple to use in apple pies, crumbles, sauces and jams.
The dessert is fairly quick to make, so it makes a great addition to any dinner or gathering.  No trick, this is a great Halloween treat!

Apple Crisp


6 medium McIntosh apples, peeled, cored and sliced                     1 cup butter

1 cup rolled oats                                                                                               1/2 tsp cinnamon

1 cup flour

1 cup packed brown sugar


1) Preheat oven to 350 F

2) in a bowl, combine dry ingredients, cut butter into mixture until crumbly

3) lay apples in the bottom of a greased 9X9 pan

4) cover the apples with the crumb mixture

5) bake at 350 F for 30-45 mins or until crust is golden.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

The Fall is here! Hip Hip Puree!

Roasted Butternut Squash & Honey Crisp Apple
        The fall is in the air  and the leaves will soon be changing color. During this time of the year I turn to comfort foods and hotter meals. But nothing warms up the soul like a hot bowl of soup. That being said, pureed soups are among my favorites.

      They can made from virtually all sorts of fruits and vegetables, which results in amazing color and flavor/texture combinations. They are so rich with vitamins and satisfying that even the American Food Journal of Nutrition says blended soups are both healthy and helps sedate hunger.

Avocado Spinach Pesto

So please enjoy the following soup recipe as we usher in the autumn equinox.
---until next time, get ready and let's get souped up!


2 tbsp Olive oil
2 tbsp Garlic, minced
1 cup Onion, diced
2 stalks of Leeks, chopped, discarding deep green tops
3 Tomatoes, halved and seeded
1 tbsp Canola oil
4 cups Butternut Squash, chopped
2 tbsp Smoked Paprika
1.5 L Vegetable stock
Salt and pepper to taste

Light Sour cream or Greek yogurt
Chopped fresh basil leaves

1)     In a skillet or cast iron frying pan, heat 1 tablespoon of canola oil until it starts to smoke. Carefully place the tomato halves open flesh side down into the hot pan.  Let them cook for a minute until they start to brown. Turn them over and continue to brown and blister the outer skin of the tomato until dark brown. Transfer them onto a plate and peel the outer charred skin leaving the sweet inner flash for later. 

2)     Heat olive oil in a large stockpot over medium-high setting. Add garlic, onions, & leeks and cook, stirring frequently, until the onions and leeks start to brown, about 3-5 minutes.
3)     Stir in the tomatoes, butternut squash, smoked paprika and cook until the bottom of the pot starts to stick.
4)     Add vegetable stock to deglaze the pot and bring to a boil.
5)     Reduce heat and simmer until the butternut squash is really soft and tender, about 15-20 minutes. You will notice that the soup has slightly thickened.
6)      Puree the soup with an immersion blender until a smooth consistency is achieved.

7)      Season with salt & fresh cracked black pepper. Taste, serve & enjoy!