Roasted Squash with Yogurt and Spiced Pistachios

Have you ever fallen in love with a recipe, making it over and over again, serving it to friends and working it repeatedly into your weekly menu plan?

That was my reaction to this recipe for Roasted Squash with Yogurt and Spiced, Buttered Pistachios – a decidedly wintery dish with strong comfort food vibes.

The recipe came to me via Allison Roman’s fantastic new cookbook, Nothing Fancy, and is just one of a few dishes from the book that I’ve got on repeat. (This Garlicky Beet Dip is another favourite)

Since the recipe features acorn squash, this is the perfect opportunity to continue our series on winter squash and put a bit of a spotlight on the Acorn in particular.

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Whole Roast Cauliflower with Minty Chimichurri :: Simple Bites

Whole Roasted Cauliflower with Minty Chimichurri

As the weather cools, our little Mallard friends leave the lake to fly South and we make a gradual return to hearty stews, roast chicken and comforting curries in the Simple Bites kitchen.

Well, today I’m bringing you the perfect autumn recipe to serve alongside them all.

I’ve fallen hard for the whole roasted cauliflower, a trend that I’ve long resisted because of the lengthy cooking time (about one and a half hours). However, it does’t take up much oven space and needs very little attention during the roasting time, so I’ve gotten into the habit of roasting off a cauliflower alongside my sheet pan suppers and fall baking projects.

This was the solution I needed, and you need too, because this Whole Roasted Cauliflower is absolutely fantastic and I want you to enjoy it for yourself.

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Maple-Glazed Sweet Potatoes with Walnut-Bacon Crumble

The boys had a few well-rehearsed pranks for us on April First, such as glue on the toilet handle (!), but the worst prank by far was played by Mother Nature: yet another snowstorm.

Snow in April isn’t a big surprise, but was still disappointing; I’m really, really ready for the snowbanks to melt. Yesterday the sun shone brightly, daring us to escape outdoors and defy the snow. So we did.

The boys shovelled the snow off of the fire pit and Danny built a roaring campfire. I brought pots and pans out from the kitchen and simmered maple beans and a cider ham over the open flame. In the coals I roasted sweet potatoes, and we boiled maple syrup to pour in the snow for maple taffy.

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Roasted Asparagus with Harissa Brown Butter Breadcrumbs

I‘ve had one thing on my mind since I injured my back: get strong enough to go in search of local asparagus.

Thankfully, I’m on the mend and yesterday, during a particularly sunny patch of the morning, Clara and I strolled through our open air market. She was the first to spot them:

Asparagus!” she shrieked, and darted toward the stall. I move a little slower, but inside I was just as excited about the discovery. At last!  They were all beautiful, but we selected three of the prettiest bundles.

We had the first bunch for lunch, simply steamed with butter and salt. Clara finished hers first, and then used her fingers to help herself to a few spears on my plate. Such is the enthusiasm we reserve for local asparagus around here.

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Secrets to the best mashed potatoes

Mashed potatoes are premium comfort food, that is a given, but they don’t always get the right treatment to ensure they are fluffy and well seasoned. This post can help.

Back when I put myself through culinary school, money was tight. I frequently relied on samples from class to get me through a day; which was easily feasible. We had opportunity to eat most everything we prepared and you know how I dislike waste! I must have been particularly hungry the morning we were learning how to make the best mashed potatoes (yes, that was actually a topic covered in a class) because I can remember every little detail of the process.

It seemed a torturous wait before we could serve ourselves from the enormous pan of steaming spuds, but the wait was well worth it. Creamy potatoes, skillfully seasoned, without a lump to be seen. It was the dead of winter. I had been up since 5 am in order to make it to class on time. Yet the memory of spooning up mashed potatoes while perched on an overturned milk crate remains one of my happiest ones from culinary school.

Today I’ll share my teacher’s secret to fluffy mashed potatoes. Then stick around, because the #EatSeasonal group of girls are throwing a virtual potluck for the holidays.

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