Squash-Roasted, Bacon-Wrapped Turkey Roulade with Cider Gravy

It’s officially the holidays. That is the only way I could get away with such an elaborate recipe title as the one above.

Yes, Canadian Thanksgiving is exactly one week away and I’ve been working on a turkey dish well worthy of your holiday dinner table. If it sounds complicated, don’t worry, it’s not, and roasts up in half the time as a whole turkey.

Today’s recipe is a whole turkey breast that has been flattened and filled with a bacon, herb and cranberry stuffing. The roulade is wrapped with bacon to keep it moist and tucked into a half of a spaghetti squash.

The turkey roulade and the squash roast up together in a time-saving 2-for-1 dish and a simple apple cider gravy tops it all off. It’s a seasonal and scrumptious way to bring turkey to your table this Thanksgiving.

Bacon & Cranberry Stuffed Turkey Roulade with Cider Gravy on www.simplebites.net #recipe #dinner #thanksgiving #turkey

The recipe as written, with two turkey breasts and one whole squash, would make a feast for about 8 people, but it can easily be divided in half, if you are a smaller group.

Oh, and plenty of the work can be done in advance, so important for these wonderful food-centric celebrations. Hit the jump to see how it all comes together, then grab a pen and paper and start a shopping list!

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Breakfast in minutes: One-Pan Crispy Bacon and Roasted Asparagus with Baked Eggs

Our weekend farmer’s market outing was a soggy affair, the kind where you dash through the droplets, a child in each hand, and make a beeline for the tarps. It was not the time nor the place to leisurely stroll from stall to stall admiring the butter tarts and the goose eggs; instead I headed straight for the asparagus.

I picked up two fat bundles, thinking I would -finally- get a batch of pickles put up, but the asparagus didn’t last more than a few hours in my kitchen. On Sunday, as the water dripped down off the porch roof and I faced yet another chilly, wet day, I wrenched open the fridge and pulled out bacon, eggs – and the local asparagus.

We needed something substantial and beautiful to beat the weather blahs. Strong coffee is good and all, but it only does so much. This quick breakfast of crispy bacon, eggs, and roasted asparagus hit the spot and I’m a little shy to admit that Danny and I polished off the entire pan between the two of us.

Later on the sun came out, but at that point, the weather didn’t matter anymore.

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Crunch-crunch: A week of (make ahead) spring salads in jars

Rainy conditions and toe-tingling cool temperatures dissuaded any notions I had of going out this past weekend. Instead I donned Danny’s hoodie for an extra layer of warmth, and flew about the place, tackling my to-do list with vigor, a cup of tea never too far from my reach.

I managed to tuck a delicate chicken and coconut curry with lentils away in the freezer, accompanied by a dozen soft chocolate ginger cookies, and a few other goodies. Danny is plenty proficient in the kitchen, but he’ll have his hands full looking after our three kiddos when I’m away; the least I can do is prep a few meals.

I even assembled a batch of salads in jars, so they are certain to get a serving of vegetables at least once a day.

Layered salad-in-a-jar is another one of my favorite strategies for warm weather batch cooking. The salad dressing can be added right in the jar and when the ingredients are packed correctly everything stays very crisp and fresh.

All you need is a quick shake, a fork and you can crunch away to your hearts’ content.

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Winter Salad Inspiration {recipe: Caesar Wedge Salad with Bacon}

Caesar Wedge Salad

Before kale was cool, before it was made into cheesy chips or added to smoothies, it grew in my mother’s garden when I was a child. This curly-leafed winter green lived under the snow all winter long, and aside from the alfalfa seeds we sprouted in a jar, was the only fresh salad we ate from November to April.

I was always the one booted out of doors with a bowl and a pair of scissors to retrieve the kale. Looking over our snow-covered garden, with its soft mounds scattered here and there, no one would ever guess that there was life underneath. I would kick away the snow with my boots and dig with my woolen mittens until the bright green stalks came into view.

My mother always had a jar of poppyseed vinaigrette prepped to dress our kale, and that combination remains a favorite of mine. It was our daily salad and much-needed vitamin C boost during the long Yukon winters.

After having the luxury of gorgeous Mexican produce at my fingertips for two weeks this past February, it was hard to get excited about the selection of salad greens upon my return home. Of course that was just wimpy of me, as I know winter salads can be vibrant and delicious – they just take a little more effort than their lazy summer counterparts.

So I challenged myself to create a salad a day. I stocked up on winter greens like endive, Napa cabbage and kale. I selected my favorite seasonal vegetables like beets, avocados and red onion. Winter citrus and a few nuts and seeds rounded out my ingredients of choice and suddenly, eating fresh in Canada’s coldest month was looking pretty good.

I posted a few salads on Instagram which made it easy for me to have a few to show you today and hopefully inspire you. Finally, I’m sharing a super easy salad I fixed for a recent Sunday dinner – the Caesar wedge.

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Coq au Vin and the Julia Child 100

Last week we had the opportunity to welcome six young laying hens to our little homestead and, as a consequence, we ‘harvested’ our older, non-laying hens. Conveniently, this week’s recipe in the Julie Child 100 club was Coq au Vin, a a classic French recipe that turns tougher, less-desirable cuts of chicken into a delectable dish.

Boy, did I have the chicken for that dish. I froze the breasts from the hens in a buttermilk & dijon marinade, turned the carcasses into stock, and that left just the legs for braising.

I simply couldn’t pass up the opportunity to prepare Coq au Vin for the 100 club, especially with our own homegrown chicken. Read on to find out more about the JC100…and how it all turned out for me.

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