Cheesy Crusted Butternut Squash Wedge Salad

Post halloween haze.

Serves 4  

Maybe you’ve indulged in too much candy or too much “grape juice” but this salad will help you get back on the right track! The cheesy crusted butternut squash wedges are hearty enough to make this a perfect chilly evening dinner option. The sweet butternut squash wrapped in a savoury and salty crust is absolute heaven! Topped with some creamy goat cheese and crunchy toasted almonds, it is the perfect combination of crunchy and soft textures!  This healthy dinner recipe is quick to throw together, and will definitely please the whole fam! 

Pro Tips

  • The crust may seem a little dry, this is what makes for a crunchy exterior when it is baked. To keep the coating from falling off, really pack it tightly around the squash wedges. 
  • If you are not a huge fan of butternut squash, or another type of squash went on sale, use that one instead. The only squash I wouldn’t use for this is spaghetti squash as it falls apart when baked. 

Ingredients

  • ½ butternut squash
  • Spring Lettuce
  • ½ cup bread crumbs
  • ½ cup sharp cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tbl Thyme, chopped
  • ¼ cup Goat cheese
  • 1 tbl Parsley, finely chopped
  • ¼ cup sliced almonds
  • ¼ cup olive oil 

Vinaigrette 

  • 3 tbl Olive oil
  • 1 tsp dijon
  • 1 tsp maple syrup
  • 3 tbl white wine vinegar
  • 1 minced garlic
  • 1 tsp lemon juice

Directions 

  1. Preheat oven to 350 °F.  
  2. Prep your mise! Peel the butternut squash and cut the squash lengthwise. Discard the seeds with a spoon. Cut the butternut squash in 1 inch thick wedges (see picture for example). Place wedges on a parchment lined baking sheet. Set aside. 
  3. In a medium bowl, combine the coating ingredients; breadcrumbs, grated cheese, parsley, thyme and garlic and mix well. 
  4. Brush the squash wedges, with olive oil then pack the coating onto the squash wedges on both sides. Returned coated wedges to the parchment paper. Bake for 1 hour, flipping halfway through.  
  5. Meanwhile, make the salad dressing by combining all ingredients in a mason jar and give it a good shake! 
  6. In a small saucepan, Toast almonds  till golden brown. Set aside. 
  7. Assembly time! Place lettuce in the base of the dish, place hot squash wedges on top of the lettuce then top with crumbled goat cheese and toasted almonds.

Pumpkin Gnocchi and Creamy Beurre Noisette Sauce

Serves 4

Pillow soft pumpkin gnocchi; this is the epitome of fall wrapped in a creamy nutty brown butter sauce. This gnocchi recipe was derived trying to use up leftover pumpkin puree..maybe involving one (or two) many glasses of wine. It combines, pumpkin puree, ricotta and parmesan cheese to make soft and fluffy gnocchi. The (lick your plate clean) sauce starts off as a beurre noisette, thickened with cream and topped with bacon and grated parm, need I say more?! 

 This recipe is IDEAL for hosting friends or family as it is incredibly easy to pull together and will not break the bank. What makes this recipe so easy, other than having dinner dinner on the table in less than 30 minutes, is that there is no potatoes involved. Classically gnocchis have boiled potatoes that have been passed through a ricer to create these dense pastas. However, when I was making these gnocchis I didn’t have any potatoes, and these pillows of goodness don’t seem to need it! Pair this perfect fall pasta with a Chardonnay wine from the Fall Wine Roundup, trust me you won’t be disappointed. (LINK). 

Pro Tips

  • Gnocchis have the groves or the textured pattern on them to hold the sauce better. This allows for each bite to be covered evenly in delicious sauce. 
  • This is a super rich dish, and you don’t need a huge amount of gnocchi on the plate to satisfy your guests. Paire the gnocchi with a big leafy green salad. 

You’ll Need

  • Medium Bowl
  • Medium Pot
  • Medium Saucepan
  • Cheese Grater 
  • Whisk

Ingredients

Gnocchi

  • 1 ⅓  cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup ricotta
  • 4 cups flour plus extra for dusting
  • ⅔ cups parm plus extra for garnish
  • 2 eggs 
  • 1 tsp salt 

Sauce 

  • Cook 4 slices of bacon (keep 4 tsp of bacon fat, discard the rest) 
  • 2 cloves of garlic minced
  • ½  cup of butter
  • 2 tbl of chopped sage
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 4 tbl cooking cream (35%)

Directions

  1. In a medium bowl, combine pumpkin puree, ricotta, flour, parm and eggs. Mix until the dough comes off from the edges of the bowl.

2. On a floured surface, place dough and shape into a ball and section dough into four pieces.

3. Roll out section of dough into a long log about 2 cm thick, then with a knife, cut into pillow like squares. Do this for all four sections. 

4. Using the back of the fork tines (teeth) roll the squares along the tines to create a groovy texture on the gnocchi . The groves allow for the gnocchi to hold the sauce better. 

5. In a medium pot, heavily salt the water (salty like the sea!!) and bring to a boil. Add the gnocchi in batches and boil for 1:30-2 minutes. The gnocchis will float to the top of the water, this indicates that they are cooked.  Remove gnocchi with a slotted spoon and set aside while you make the sauce. 

6. Meanwhile, in a medium pan cook bacon. Remove the bacon once crispy and coarsely chop. Keep 4 tsp of bacon fat in the pan and discard the rest. 

7. To the bacon fat, add butter to create a brown butter. Heat butter on medium low heat until it’s golden brown and smells nutty (beurre noisette). 

8. Turn heat to lowest setting and and add minced garlic, chopped sage and lemon juice. Let the garlic cook for 2 minutes, until fragrant. Add cream and whisk until thick and creamy. 

9. Add the gnocchis to the saucepan and coat in the sauce. Transfer to plate and top with grated parmesan cheese and chopped bacon. 


Pumpkin Snickerdoodles



Yields 24 cookies 

These cookies are ADDICTIVE giving meaning to the “other drugs” part of this blog. The combination of pumpkin with the spices is seriously delicious and pairs so well. In this recipe, I used a pumpkin spice mix,  however, I also included a recipe to create this heavenly combination of spices. These cookies are crispy on the outside and fluffy and light on the inside; they are a serious win in the cookie department. The crunchy exterior is from chilling the cookie dough prior to baking. This step seems redundant but I tried this recipe without chilling it and it just didn’t have the same effect. 

 

This Snickerdoodle recipe is one our family does at Christmas time but in the spirit of Halloween, I added the pumpkin puree and spice mix. These cookies can be made in advance and prior to baking can be frozen and baked fresh another day (keeps in freezer up to 3 months). Talk about being prepared! Make these for family and friends today, I promise they will be a hit at your Halloween party! 

 

Pro Tips

What does “Do not Overmix mean”? So vague, here is an explanation as how to not overmix in the two most important stages of making cookies. 

  • Creaming the sugar and butter: The whole point of creaming sugar and butter is to combine the fat and sugar by incorporating air into the two. For cookies in particular we do not want too much aeration, so beat the sugar and butter for 3 minutes, or until the sugar crystals have dissolved. As for cakes you want maximum aeration, so you would cream together for 4-5 minutes. 
  • Overmixing the dry and wet ingredients:

It means when the gluten in the flour is overworked it can make a chewy, glutenous cookie or for any baked bread, cake muffins etc. My tip for not “overmixing” is to add all the dry ingredients in at once (without making too much of a mess), and mix until the flour is just about combined. 

You’ll Need

  • Large mixing bowl
  • Medium Mixing Bowl
  • Small Bowl
  • 2 parchment lined baking sheets
  • Standing mixer or Hand held beater 
  • Spatula 
  • Measuring cups 

Ingredients

Snicker Doodle Cookie

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice mix
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cream of tartar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup softened butter, unsalted
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 egg yolk 
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin puree

Sugar & Spice Layer

  • 1 tbl granulated sugar
  • ½ tsp pumpkin spice mix 

Maple Glaze 

  • 1 tbl maple syrup
  • ½ cup confectioners sugar
  • 1 tsp milk (of your choice)

Directions 

  1. In a medium-sized mixing bowl,  whisk flour, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, baking soda, cream of tartar, and salt. Set aside.
  2. In a standing mixer or an electric on medium-low seed, cream together the butter and sugars for 3  minutes (or until the sugar has dissolved. Add the egg yolk, vanilla and pumpkin puree, mix until well combined. 
  3. Once well combined, add the dry ingredient mixture to the wet ingredients in one fowl swoop! Mix for 1 minute, then scrape down sides then mix for another minute. Ensure that the dough is just about combined, then stop. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 30 minutes. 
  4. In a small bowl, combine sugar and cinnamon. Set aside. 
  5. Remove the cookie dough from the fridge, scoop out dough with a 1 tbl measuring spoon and place on parchment lined baking sheet. Leave 2 inches in between each cookie. 
  6. Roll each cookie in the sugar and cinnamon coating and place back on the baking sheet. Place baking sheets back in fridge for another 30 minutes. 
  7. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  8. Remove cookies from fridge and bake for 12-15 minutes. 
  9. While the cookies are baking, in a small bowl combine the maple syrup, confectioners sugar and milk. Mix until smooth
  10. Remove cookies from oven and allow to cool completely. 
  11. Once the cookies are cooled, drizzle maple glaze over top. 

Wild Rice Stuffed Acorns

Yields 6 servings

Fall is still upon us! The snow has not yet hit the ground so I am stretching out my harvest veg as much as possible. This is such a flavourful meal, it is packed with so many delicious flavours, savoury, sweet and salty, a winning trio! The wild rice, apricots, cranberries and apples married with the savoury flavours of the garlic rice is perfection. All these flavors nestled in the perfect vessel; halved acorns, provide a tasty edible bowl for this amazing stuffing. This recipe was intended to be vegetarian friendly, however it can be made vegan by omitting the butter for your choice of oil. This is a hearty enough dish that it can be a main, however to provide a little variety to the table can be a side dish as well. 

As American Thanksgiving is just around the corner, it is the perfect dish to add variety to your table and to please all guests without breaking your back or your wallet! This dish can be made a day in advance and can be heated up “a la minute”! 

Pro Tips 

  • These acorns hold up well and can be baked and assembled the day prior to serving. When ready to serve, simply heat them up in the oven at 350 for 40 minutes to ensure they are fully heated through.
  • Wild rice is very high in fiber and serves as a great option for a healthy weeknight meal. 

What you’ll need

  • Parchment lined baking sheet
  • Small saucepan
  • Kitchen brush
  • Medium Pot

Ingredients 

Acorn Boats

  • 3 Acorn Squash
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • 2 tbl butter, salted
  • 2 tbl finely chopped sage
  • 1tbl freshly grated ginger
  • 1 tsp salt

Autumn Rice Stuffing 

  • 4 tbl butter, salted
  • 3 shallots finely chopped (aprox. 90g)
  • 3 celery stalks chopped
  • 3 cloves of minced garlic 
  • 1.5 cups of wild rice
  • 4.5 cups of vegetable stock 
  • ¼ cup dried apricots
  • ¼  cup red currants
  • ½ cup of freshly chopped herbs (parsley, sage and thyme)
  • 1 apple (of your choice) chopped 
  • 1tsp lemon juice
  • ¼  tsp cinnamon 
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg

Directions 

  1. Get the ball rolling and prep your Mise! Gather your ingredients and measure out the butter and maple syrup for the Acorn Boats.
  2. Preheat your oven to 425℉. 
  3. Cut the Acorns in half (lengthwise) and with a spoon, discard seeds. Lay the acorns flesh side up (skin on the parchment paper) on a parchment lined baking sheet. 
  4. In a small saucepan, combine 2 tbl of butter, maple syrup, sage and ginger until sauce is melted and combined. Using a kitchen brush, brush the inside of the acorns with the sauce and bake for 30-40 minutes until tender (insert a fork into the flesh, if the fork slides in and out without any resistance it is cooked).  
  5. Meanwhile, place dried apricots and red currants in separate bowls and cover with water. Allow them to soak up the water, 20-30 minutes. 
  6. In a medium pot, add 1 tbl of butter, minced garlic, chopped celery and finely chopped onion. Sweat for 3-4 minutes on medium heat or until the onion becomes translucent. 
  7. Rinse the rice thoroughly. In a medium pot combine the rice and vegetable stock. Simmer rice over medium low heat or until cooked, about 45 minutes. 
  8. While the rice is cooking, peel and chop apple in 1 cm cubes. 
  9. In a small saucepan, add finely chopped apple, lemon juice, cinnamon and nutmeg. Cook apple over low heat until apple is tender, 10-15 minutes. 
  10. Strain apricots and cranberries (now that they have come back to life) and roughly chop. 
  11. Once rice is cooked, remove from heat add chopped fruit, chopped herbs and apples. Mix till well combined and fill acorn boats with rice mixture. Serve hot! 

Fall Wine Roundup

Fall brings changing leaves, warm stews and thanksgiving, and no thanksgiving in this household is complete without a wine pairing. This Friendsgiving, I’ve teamed up with my soon to be sommelier sister to pick our top wines under 20$. To narrow the search she picked wines from France and chose wines that would pair well with turkey, cranberries and everything in between. 

Check out her specific pairing recommendations below. These wines are breathtaking and honestly very well priced. Wine roundups are geared towards the adventurous wine seekers…those who want to drink Wallaroo or Kim Crawford, however, want to experiment without breaking the bank.  Finding exceptional wines with modest prices is not hard, narrowing down the best ones, now that is a feat…one that might have left us with a slight handover…all in the name of bringing good content to the website.

1) Domaine Gueguen Bourgogne Cotes Salines 2018 ($19)

The Gueguen mom and pop vineyard is nestled in the rolling hills of the Chablis region. This wine is 100% classic Chardonnay white wine with tones from the Chablis region.  Chablis wine is quite expensive and the taste is uncanny, it has a particular mineral taste and an oaky essence, combined the flavours are buttery and light. The combination of Chardonnay wine and the essence of a chablis make for incredible favour at a lower price point. This wine is a go-too pair with richer foods that will be filling your bellies this fall: roasted chicken and turkey (– a classic Thanksgiving fare) and harvest roasted vegetables.

2) Leon Beyer Reserve Riesling ($19)

The Riesling grape started in Germany and is now one of the most important grapes in the Alsace France region. Riesling is known as an aromatic and fresh wine that can easily pair with many kinds of foods. The Beyer family has been pressing wine since the 1500’s and have created a dry Riesling, medium bodied wine which is lively on the palate. Great with seafood, especially fresh oysters (with a mignonette sauce of course!). If you are a cheese board fanatic, this is a perfect wine to pair with soft cheeses such as Morbier, Blue Cheese or Camanbert. 

3) Jean Paul Daumen Mediteranee 2017 (17$)

An organic bold red from the South of France; where the winemaker’s main focus is sustainability and ecological growth. Daumen sources his grapes from organically cultivated vineyards and uses recycled materials for his packaging. This refreshing and complex medium bodied blend will be sure to be a winner around the table. Its sister wine’s (Cote de Rhone and Chateuneuf de Pape) have been spotted in Joe Beef and other top restaurants in Montreal; this one in particular won’t let you down and is a great value.


Salted Caramel Apple Crumble

Serves 10 

Alright this recipe comes in two parts; salted caramel and the apple crumble. I’ve been making this easy apple crumble for a long time and im seriosuly debating not sharing it with you…it’s that friggen good. It can be made in advance and baked during dinner for a hot and delicious dessert. The salted caramel can be made in advance and stored in the fridge for up to two week. 

This is the perfect dessert to serve at Friends Friday or during the holiday season because it makes a TON! The soft and juicy apples are topped with a crunchy oat streusel and the entire dish is drizzled with salted caramel (yes my mouth is watering as I write this). By all means you can buy salted caramel to speed up the process however it will seriously not be as good. This salted caramel recipe is done by Riccardo and is absolutely heaven in your mouth…why fix something that ain’t broken?! 

Caramel Fleur de Sel

Ingredients

  • 1 cup sugar (250 ml)
  • ¼ cup water (60 ml)
  • ½ cup of 35% cream (125 ml)
  • ½ tsp fleur de sel 
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter

Directions

  1. In a small pot over medium heat, combine sugar and water. Do not mix, this is what makes the caramel smooth, trust me. Using a brush dipped in water, brush the edges of the pan to avoid crystallization. 
  2. Once mixture turns golden brown, lower heat to simmer and add cream and salt and mix until smooth.
  3.  Bring to a gentle simmer and add butter. Once combined let cool and transfer to an airtight container. 

Apple Crumble 

  • 6 Cups Granny Smith Apples sliced
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 tbl flour
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans
  • 2 tbl lemon juice

Pecan Crisp Topping 

  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup butter chopped into pieces
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 °F. 
  2. Lightly spray a 9×13 inch casserole dish or baking dish with cooking spray.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together sugar, flour, cinnamon, ginger and 1/4 cup chopped pecans. Add apples and lemon juice and toss until evenly coated. Spread apples evenly in the dish.
  4. To make the crumb topping: In a medium sized bowl mix flour, brown sugar, granulated sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Add the butter and break apart with fingers or a fork until becomes a crumb consistency. Stir in 1/4 cup pecans. Sprinkle streusel mixture on top of apples.
  5. Bake for 40 minutes or until apples are tender and top is lightly golden brown.
  6. Let cool for 5 minutes before serving and top apple crumble with salted caramel.

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

Your soon to be fall go-to! 

Serves 10  

This roasted butternut squash soup is as much of a fall staple as the pumpkin spice latte. This soup has a rich thickness that will fill you up and warm your belly during a chilly fall day. It’s great for meal prepping and lunches as it holds up well during transport, just make sure you have the right Tupperware with a lid that seals (we’ve all been there…) The Butternut squash is such a versatile veg as it can be blended, fried and mashed and still hold its consistency. Once baked, butternut squash flesh is silky smooth and deliciously sweet. Sage and butternut squash are a match made in flavour heaven, as the sage cuts the sweetness of the squash and brings out that savoury flavour. Serve this soup along-side a piece of grilled chicken or a grilled cheese sandwich, either one will leave you feeling satisfied!

Pro Tips

  • This soup freezes really well as it keeps it’s smooth consistency. It can keep in the freezer for up to 2 months, so be sure to label it! 
  • Sweat vs Sauté – to sweat vegetables means to cook the food over low heat with little to no colour. Whereas sauté means to cook the food over medium heat to give it a nice colour. The veg needs to be sweated for this recipe. 

You will need

  • 2 baking sheets lined with parchment paper or foil
  • 1 large pot for the soup
  • A blender or food processor

Ingredients

  • 2 small/medium sized butternut squash (total 3 pounds)
  • 1 pound of carrots
  • 2 small white onions diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 tbl of butter, cubed
  • ½ tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tbl brown sugar
  • 4 cups of chicken broth (substitute vegetable broth for vegetarians) 
  • 3 cups of water 
  • Sage leaves (6) plus extra for garnish. 

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400
  2. Prep your mise! Wash carrots and butternut squash. 
  3. With a good knife, cut squash lengthwise. With a spoon remove the seeds and discard. Place flesh side up on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. 
  4. Sprinkle brown sugar and 3 tbl of the cubed butter over the halved squashes. 
  5. Top and tail carrots (trim both ends of the carrott) and cut into 3 inch pieces. Place on another baking sheet lined with parchment paper. These veggies may differ in cooking times so we separate them. Start with 45 minutes, however this may take upwards of an hour. Check on the vegetables doneness by sticking a fork in the squash and carrots, it should slide in and out without much resistance. 
  6. Meanwhile, in a large pot, melt 1 tbl of butter over medium-low heat and sweat the minced garlic and diced onion. Once the onion is translucent add nutmeg and salt. 
  7. Tie sage leaves with kitchen string and add to pot. Add chicken broth and water. Simmer over low heat. 
  8. Once the squash is cooked, allow it to cool slightly until it is ready to be handled. With a spoon, scoop out the flesh and add it to your broth. Add carrots to broth as well. 
  9. Allow soup to boil for 10 minutes. This allows some of the water to evaporate and create a deep rich flavour. 
  10. Transfer soup to a blender and blend until a thick consistency. Store in a plastic container in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Rosé All Day 

 

As soon as the first warm day hits in Montreal (which tends to be towards the end of May), maybe 12 or 15 degrees celsius, I run to the SAQ and I buy Rosé wine. I sit outside with my friends and drink the liquid pink gold and toast to the upcoming summer.  I can’t lie to you, I am that basic girl who drinks the pink stuff BUT it is only because I’ve been drinking red wine all throughout winter (which in Quebec is 6 months) and as soon as I see that white sh*t melt, I’ll be perusing the rosé isle.   

Some things to consider when purchasing wine, most importantly have a budget before you go into the wine store. These sneaky, yet very knowledgeable sales clerks will try and upsell you on some expensive wine that I’m certain they know of a cheaper one that tastes exactly the same. That is why I go in with a smaller budget and challenge the brilliant sales clerks to find me the best wine on a budget. This is how I’ve come to find some of my favourite wines under 20$. 

 

Simboli Pinot Grigio Rosé-12.70$ (SAQ Prices)

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This is your pool party, girls night and hosting rosé. It is extremely affordable, so much so that you can buy a case and not feel guilty about it. This wine is characterized by its dry and citrus tones ending with a slightly sweet note. This is the perfect wine to drink by the pool or on the patio while the sun is still at its peak, my prefered day drinking snacks are Dorritos, XXX and of course my fave Artichoke Dip (shameless plug). 

 

Château Bellevue La Foret-14.75$ (SAQ Prices)

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This Rosé wine is one for the books, characterized by its subtle fruity flavours and dry finish, this wine is a show stopper. Perfect to sip and pair with dinner! Your suggestions are; lemon sole, sushi, salad and fresh homemade pesto pasta (link) . 

 

Cote de Rose-18.35$ (SAQ Prices)

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This is the perfect rosé to accompany a spicier dish as the crisp and fruity aromas will complement the heat well. I would pair this wine with a curry dish, spicy BBQ ribs or a tangy stir fry. This is one of the most beautiful bottles of wine I’ve ever seen and it will make for a beautiful hostess gift.


Apple Crumble Muffins

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Did someone say “sweater weather/apple picking?” 

Yields 12 muffins 

 

When I think of fall in Montreal, I think cozy clothes, changing leaves and the annual apple picking pilgrimage. This means everyone has MASSIVE bags of apples lying around (like why do they let us pick so damn many?). Many think that there is only so much you can do with apples…wrong! There are so many recipes and these apple crumble muffins are by far one of my go-to’s. They are easy to whip up and surprisingly have no butter in them, which gives the muffin their addictive fluffy interior.The spicy soft center and crunchy streusel topping is a match made in apple heaven. 

 

Pro Tips

  • When making the streusel topping, using your fingers, rub the mixture between your hands until you’ve formed a sand-like consistency. This should take a minute or two of rubbing your hands together. 
  • When topping the muffins with the streusel mixture, sprinkle an even and thin layer to allow for the muffins to rise and become super fluffy. If the layer of streusel is too thick, the muffins will not rise and will become too dense.  

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Ingredients

Streusel

  • ½ cup flour
  • ¼ cup packed brown sugar
  • ¼ cup rolled oats
  • 4 tbl of room temperature salted butter 

Muffin 

  • 2 cups apples (about 2 large apples or 3 small-ish ones)
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup whole milk 
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 cups flour 
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt

 

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 ℉ and line muffin tins with cupcake/muffin liners. 
  2. Prep your mise! Measure out all your ingredients.
  3. In a medium size bowl, combine the streusel ingredients. With your hands,  rub ingredients together until it has a sandy consistency. Set aside. 
  4. In a measuring cup, combine oil, egg, vanilla and milk (for easy pouring) and mix with a fork until combined. 
  5. In a medium sized bowl, mix the dry ingredients, flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. 
  6. Create a well in the dry ingredients and slowly incorporate the wet ingredients. Do not overmix (meaning, combine the dry and wet until it has just about come together. If you overmix you will get a dense a*s muffin.) 
  7. Shred the apples into the batter and mix until combined. 
  8. Pour mixture into prepared muffin cups.  Top the muffin batter with a thin layer of streusel. Bake for 18 minutes. Do not open the oven…resist the temptation! If you open the oven it can deflate the rising of the muffins..which makes for flat sad muffins. 

Grilled Peaches and Goat Cheese Salad 

Nothing beats that cardbox box peach “panier” nostalgia

Serves 4

 

When I began cooking I always steered away from salads- it was a particularly bad word that made me cringe. Why have a boring salad when I could have a delicious pasta, a savoury fish or a Belle Pro “steamy” ? (I know, you all thought I would say a hearty steak) While a delicious fresh fish on the BBQ will always be my favourite summer meal, this grilled peach, chicken and goat cheese salad comes pretty close to second best. This healthy and hearty salad checks off all the boxes: sweet, savoury, a nice crunch with the almonds and a creamy finish with goat cheese. The best part? It’s so easy to throw together and healthy (but don’t tell anyone, since this is a blog about butter and all/ will ruin my rep). 

 

The summer season in montreal is signaled with the arrival of Ontario peaches in the handheld cardboard “paniers”. The peach season is quite short, lasting only 1-2 months (July to early September) so enjoying them in their prime is a MUST! When looking for the perfect peaches you want a firm peach, anything too soft tends to ripen quickly and no one likes a mushy peach. Colour simply indicates the type of peach so steer steer clear of any green hues. Store the peaches away from direct sunlight, at room temperatures and eat them within a few days of purchase, as they go mushy fairly quickly. Lastly, be gentle to the peaches as they bruise very easily. 

 

Pro Tips

  • Invest in a handheld little meat thermometer (Cute ones are sold at any local kitchen store and Wal-Marts around you).This takes all the guessing and worrying out of cooking, I swear by it! 
  • Not as important but a lifesaver when it comes to BBQ’ing is that little spray oil. It helps prevent anything from sticking to the grill racks. This also allows your food to get the perfect grill marks…why else BBQ other than for those angelic lines?! (I use PAM, but any brand will do!) 
  • I suggest grilling the peaches first to avoid cross- contamination from the raw chicken (we don’t want to go poisoning our friends because of salmonella). 

Ingredients

  • 3 peaches
  • Spring mix lettuce 
  • ½ cup of toasted slivered almonds
  • 125g goat cheese
  • 2 Boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 tbl olive oil (1 tbl for chicken, 1 tbl for peaches) 
  • BBQ Spray or vegetable oil 
  • Basic Red Wine Vinaigrette

 

Directions

  1. Preheat BBQ to high heat (350* fahrenheit) 
  2. Prep your mise! Wash peaches and spring mix (it may say pre-washed, but TRUST me…you want to wash it again). Place spring mix in large salad bowl. 
  3. In a small saucepan, toast almonds until golden brown. 
  4. Quarter peaches and toss in olive oil and sprinkle with salt. 
  5. Coat chicken with remaining olive oil and season with salt and pepper. 
  6. Spray BBQ with pam spray or grease with vegetable oil on a paper towel/brush. This prevents the peaches from sticking to the grill and getting those drool worthy grill marks. Grill peaches until slightly charred, 1-2 minutes per side. 
  7. Once peaches are cooked, grill the chicken breast for 4-6 minutes per side or until the internal temperature reaches 72 °C or 160 °F  (This is when that thermomateur comes in handy!) 
  8. Assemble your salad! Toss lettuce with vinaigrette, top with peaches, chicken, goat cheese and almonds. Serve while the peaches and chicken are still hot.