Eat Well, Spend Less: Seasonal Soups (Recipe: French Onion Soup)

How is it mid October already? Oh, right, first there was our jump into October Unprocessed, then Thanksgiving, and just last weekend, Blissdom Canada in Toronto. The month tends to fly by when one is busy.

Yes, it’s time to bring out the Le Creuset French Oven, hit up the market for those incredibly cheap root vegetables, onions, and late-harvest tomatoes and simmer some soup.

Here is a round-up of a few of my favorite recipes, as well as my family recipe for French Onion Soup with a Canadian twist!

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Entertaining on Easter: Simple Hosting Tips and Three Sample Menus

Easter is upon us in three weeks, and it is a time when many of us open our homes to friends and family. I adore entertaining on this long weekend in April because it usually brings the first really warm weather and promises of spring.

Last year I had Danny scrub down the picnic table while I squeezed fresh orange juice and made a batch of doughnuts with Noah. We served brunch on the back patio in the morning sunshine – our first al fresco meal of the season. I hope to do the same this year, although there is still -literally- two feet of snow out there, frozen solid. Cross your fingers for me.

If you’re welcoming guests on Easter weekend – or any day, for that matter – then these instant entertaining tips are for you. I’m a big believer in details, and know that even small gestures can make a big difference when receiving guests.

Following the tips, I’m sharing three menu suggestions for Easter. Whether you are planning a brunch, casual lunch or sit down dinner, you’ll find inspiration from some of my favorite dishes for entertaining.

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Winter Pizza Inspiration (recipe: Caramelized Onions)

Vine-ripened tomatoes and fresh basil are my absolute favorite pizza toppings. I slice the tomatoes thinly, tear the basil and marry them under a blanket of fresh mozzarella. A drizzle of olive oil and…heaven.

However, this deluxe pizza margherita is a summer-only treat, as local fresh tomatoes are but a memory of last August and – aww snap! – my basil plant got hit with frost months ago.  Now, tomatoes are tasteless rocks, a single bell pepper costs upwards of $3, and zucchinis are shriveled and soft. Not at all ideal garnish for my Friday night pizza.

So what is one to do during the winter months when the pizza cravings hit? I don’t love loading up pizza with meat – I prefer my ham glazed with a side of scalloped potatoes, thank you very much – and gravitate toward vegetarian toppings, no matter the season. Here are some of my favorites, plus my secret weapon recipe to great tasting pizza anytime.

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