When my fiance is home on weekends, I love to take the time and get creative in the kitchen. One of my goal’s in life is to go back to school and get an education in food. I do have some basic food skillz, I’d just like to take it up a touch.
Usually it’s just me and my fur-piglets, which are always extremely impressed with whatever food bits fall their way. So, when the Mr. comes home, it’s my chance to cook for someone and get an honest opinion. We wanted to go to a local apple orchard, but they wouldn’t accept dogs in the orchard. Even on leash, What’s with that?! Needless to say, we chose to go elsewhere. What’s the point if the entire fam jam can’t go and enjoy the great outdoors together!
Ok enough with the mini-rant. We went for a walk around the area anyway, took in the beautiful fall colors and then made our way back to the house. A friend at dinner last night said, we are really lucky when we love all the seasons we live through. I thought about it for a moment as I really do love all the things the seasons give us, especially in regards to produce. I find it incredibly inspiring to cook with whatever is in season.
Using seasonal ingredients and finding new ways them that I personally haven’t used before is exciting (yep, I’m a foodie geek!). The Cortland apples I picked up from the market were a great choice for this recipe as I find they bake really well. This simple recipe was one I learned as a kid.
Simple Apple Crumble
5 Cortland Apples
2 tablespoons softened butter
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup brown sugar
1.5 cups Rolled Oats
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 cup apple cider + mulled spices
1 cup melted butter
2 cups Rolled Oats
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
Cut the apples into small wedges after peeling the skins off. Then mix all the first 7 ingredients into a bowl so everything is mixed together. Next put all the top 8 ingredients in the baking pan together.
To make the top crisp, first ensure you have softened butter, then by hand, mix all of the 4 ingredients together to ensure the butter is well mixed in. Coat the top of your apple mixture with approx 1-2 cm of this top layer.
Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Bake for 30 mins.
*I like to serve it with maple whipped cream. Add 2-3 tbsp homemade maple syrup to 1 cup whipping cream and enjoy!
Yep, starting to smell a lot like fall in here!
Next, my family harvested a new crop, a delicious little veggie called Dumpling Squash. AMAZING.
It still has that fantastic smooth buttery squash texture and is a whole lot sweeter then it’s more popular cousin (Butternut Squash). It was love at first taste. To soften, just cut them open and remove the seeds as you would any other squash. I usually put mine in the microwave with saran wrap with butter and brown sugar. Believe me, these babies do not need any additional sweetness. I added a bit of olive oil and some sea salt before stowing them in the microwave for 10 mins.
I decided to make Squash soup. It’s SUPER easy.
Meat of 2 dumpling Squash, seeded and softened
1 x tsp olive oil
1 x shallot
1 x tsp garlic
1 x tsp nutmeg
1 cup shredded yukon gold potato
3 cups vegetable broth
pinch of salt and pepper
Bring all to a boil in a large soup pot, and then simmer for 20 mins. Blend with a hand mixer until smooth and then add 1 cup of skim milk (3/4 cup of heavy cream for those of you who are not counting calories). Enjoy with freshly baked bread, sprinkles of fresh chopped chives and a slice of Havarti!
(Photo cred: Wineaccess.ca)
As I sit down and enjoy my cup of apple cider (with added mulled spices of course), I’m thinking about all my great leftovers for my work week.
These recipes were extremely easy and very flavorful. Therein lies the difference with cooking with only the freshest, in season produce. All the produce I used was local and easy to find. There’s nothing like picking your own ingredients directly from the earth.
Cheers and enjoy your own fall favorites!