Archives for October 2013

Oatmeal Pumpkin Bundt Cake with Maple Caramel Sauce

Fall in Virginia is in full swing, as evidenced by the leaves changing colors and falling to the ground. I’ve been spending my afternoons outside with Clara, watching her toddler feet crunch the leaves as she squeals excitedly.

After burning so much energy playing outside, she’s almost always ready for a snack when we come in. We try to keep our snacks healthy, usually opting for fruit, cheese and crackers, or vegetables and hummus, but after walking in to the fragrant smell of this Bundt cake cooling, I couldn’t resist sharing some of it with her (and having a slice myself).

Oatmeal Pumpkin Bundt Cake with Maple Caramel SaucePhoto by Courtney Champion

This was a snack that, while not her typical variety, I still felt good giving Clara. I reduced the amount of sugar in the cake and swapped out raw cane sugar for the granulated sugar called for in the original recipe. This Bundt cake is full of pumpkin flavor that isn’t drowned out by sweetness.

The combination of oats and pumpkin is a new favorite of mine, and, in this recipe, the oats add a delicate texture that differentiates it from other cakes I’ve made.

While powdered sugar is the standard topping for many a Bundt cake, I decided to make a maple caramel sauce to top this one, turning it into a decadent treat. Toasted, salted pumpkin seeds add crunch and just the right amount of saltiness to balance the caramel. [Read more…]

Spiced Brown Rice Pudding

We’ve been graced with a mild fall this year; most days are sunny and balmy, the brilliance of the orange trees enhanced by the watercolour blue skies.

The warm weather has  been a bit of a mixed blessing, making it all too easy to ignore the approaching winter. So last week when the first frost struck, it left us quaking in our boots, literally.

A bowl of comfort food was in order and rice pudding was the obvious choice.

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{giveaway} KitchenAid Stand Mixer in Raspberry Ice

This past week has brought about more talk of cancer than I have ever discussed previously in my entire life.

It started when we celebrated with a family member who is in remission. Then, over the weekend we sat by the bed of another loved one who has undergone preventive surgery.

Lastly, it was only yesterday that we received news of another diagnosis in an immediate family member. That one hasn’t even begun to sink in yet.

We’ve all been touched by cancer in some way. Perhaps you’re standing with a dear one right now or in a battle of your own. It’s exhausting.

What to do? Certainly more than sink to the floor of the kitchen and stuff one’s face with baby animal crackers as I unashamedly did when I got the call.

I’ve had this giveaway planned for some time, only now it’s so very, very personal. Although the types of cancer we are dealing with are varied, breast cancer is one area where I had an opportunity to help. So I am.

With October being Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Simple Bites is proud to promote KitchenAid Canada’s Cook For The Cure Program. And there’s a stand mixer to be won.

Now that puts a smile on my face today. Read on for details.

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Roasted Applesauce with Spices

To me, applesauce is the quintessential fall food.

One of my favorite autumn memories is of wandering an antique apple orchard outside my hometown of Portland, Oregon, bundled up in scarves and layers for the first time of season, picking up windfall apples with my mom and sister. We’d bring our dog with us, and she’d run between the trees, tossing apples up in the air with her nose and then chasing after them.

apples in a roasting pan

Once our bags were full to the top, we’d head home to preserve our gathered fruit. My mom would cover counter tops with newspaper and we’d begin to peel. When the apples were ready, they’d go into her biggest soup pot with a splash of orange juice, cinnamon and grated nutmeg until they’d cooked down into a homey sauce (the peels and the newspaper would go to the compost bin).

roasted apples with spices

Though I live on the other side of the country now, it still doesn’t feel like autumn until I’ve spent an afternoon tramping around an orchard, picking apples and then taking them home to the canning pot.

I make my sauce much like we did when I was young, with plenty of spices and without any added sweetener. The one difference is that instead of cooking my apples down on the stovetop, I peel, core, chop, and roast.

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Roasted cabbage salad with brown butter croutons

If there is one essential ingredient that I have easy access to here in Montreal, it would have to be the baguette. Yep, the bagels are renowned, the croissants swoon-worthy, but I definitely sleep better knowing that a really great baguette is readily accessible.

It’s fair to call a baguette an ingredient if it is headed for the oven in buttery cubes. Baguettes make the best croutons, and croutons make the best salads, I think that is safe to say.

And while I’m on a roll with generalizations, I may as well go ahead and say that brown butter croutons are the best kind of all. They certainly bring the necessary crunch to today’s recipe – a very simple roasted cabbage salad.

[Read more…]