Archives for September 2016

28 Apple Recipes: the sweet and the savoury

When it comes to fall fruit in Quebec, apples reign supreme, from the early Jersey Mac to the late maturing Cortland.

A wide wooden bowl on my kitchen table holds an ever-rotating assortment of Honeycrisp and Sunrise – our favourites for munching – and the fridge drawer keeps Green Russets and Ginger Golds crisp for salads and slaws.

Local farms open their orchard gates and we are among the many Montrealers who flock through to pick apples. We make it an annual event, enjoy a picnic with the family amid the fall leaves, and stay until the sun dips and the children tire of running.

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Dark Chocolate Zucchini Muffins

Yesterday at the market I passed several large baskets overflowing with plump zucchini and noted that they were being sold for mere pocket change.

Then I remembered this muffin recipe which I had yet to post and made an additional mental note to get it out into your inboxes while zucchini is still cheap and prolific. I resisted bringing home any more zucchini from the market yesterday, but my kids are so crazy about these muffins, I’m know going to need to make a double batch before long.

Dark Chocolate Zucchini Muffins are fantastic for breakfast or school lunches. Their flavour deepens after twenty four hours at room temperature, so they are just as delicious on the second day as they are served up warm from the oven. I’ve been making them in mini format for snacking as well as jumbo size for a filling breakfast-on-the-go.

Are you ready for fall baking? Let’s kick things off with a tray of nourishing muffins.

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Maple Cinnamon Apple Chips

Today I’m packing up the family for two nights in a secluded cabin in the Eastern Townships of Quebec. Friends of ours have a cottage in the woods, and we’re slipping away to join them over the weekend.

The maple and oak trees have started to don their fall foliage, and the weather is much cooler. This is our favourite time of the year to hike and immerse ourselves in the forest.

We won’t quite be camping, but I’ll be doing some cooking over an open fire, and am adapting our meals for a simple, outdoor setting. I want to relax on this little getaway, which means plenty of food prep in advance. Today’s maple-sweetened, cinnamon-spiced apple chips are part of that plan.

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Meringue-Topped, Layered Ice Cream Birthday Cake

Our home was a-buzz with birthday excitement last weekend, even if the party planning only started sometime Friday afternoon.

Mere moments after I had seen my parents out the door for their return trip home, I opened my trusty notebook, where I jot down ideas and details for every gathering we host. I wrote ‘Noah’s 11th Birthday’ and drew a line underneath the words, pausing for a moment to take in that number.

Eleven. It’s really teetering on the edge of childhood. There would be no robot cake this year, no pinata-thumping  or eating doughnuts off of string. Treasure hunts are a thing of the past for my 6th grader – and that is all okay; there will always be birthday cake.

Noah’s not into frosting at all, in fact, he wants nothing to do with it. He’s pretty keen on ice cream, however, and with this in mind, an idea for an epic (it must be epic) layered, ice cream cake began to take shape in my little book. A brownie layer would be good, and a chocolate cookie crumb base. He loves crisp meringues, why not work those into the topping.

After one shopping trip, lots of scooping and sculpting and melting and freezing, we had a birthday cake. An epic birthday cake.

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Eat Seasonal: Harvest Tortilla Soup

My New Mexican living sister, Haidi, is my source for all my Southwestern cooking inspiration, from simple salsas to seasonal soups. This recipe is one of her creations that I’ve adapted for our family with great success.

From my experience, anyone who dip a spoon into a bowl of harvest tortilla soup is an instant fan, won over by either the slightly smoky chicken broth or the crispy fried tortilla strips that are heaped on top. Personally, I love that the soup contains a good amount of vegetables and they are all in season right now.

I hope you’re ready to get on board with autumn soups, because we happen to love them around here. Harvest tortilla soup needs to be ladled into bowls and enjoyed around your table this fall.

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