Flavouring Fall

Autumn inspires me in many ways.  The Fall harvest along with the bite in the air, stirs my desire to cook comfort food.  I seem to be iphone photoing a lot of my efforts over the past few weeks.  This post is more about the recipes than quality of the photos.  Hope you find something delicious and comforting.

I was inspired to make my version of this traditional Portuguese soup while looking at options for travel next fall.  I used chorizo from the stupor store, kale from our own garden,  walla walla onions and flavourful potatoes from Don-O-Ray.

I'm not much of a baker but I will make the occasional pie.  This occasion was an evening of dessert and drinks with friends.  This pie set a high standard for any future apple pies I bake. Darned if I can remember what recipe I used but I definitely recommend apples from Bite Me Organics.  My mom made the best pie crust bar none.  I don't know what her secret was, but she used the recipe off the Tenderflake package.  For me it's hit and miss but I keep trying.

The occasion for this pie was a visit from my Dad.  Lemon Meringue is his favourite.  I made a pumpkin pie for our Thanksgiving meal, but sadly I have no photo.  Here's a link to one from a previous year including the recipe.

This pie worthy occasion was the final dinner of my Dad's visit to Kelowna last month.  It's a three berry pie  made with berries from our 2013 freezer collection:  blueberries from Blueberry Haven, strawberries from Benvoulin Strawberries and raspberries from our backyard.  I tried to save another trip from the kitchen to my office computer and guessed at the amount of sugar required. Turns out I doubled it, but it was a good thing as the pie was still fairly tart.

This is the easiest bread recipe ever and makes a tasty ciabatta style loaf.  Until hubby bought me my Staub la Cocotte, I used my good old metal Lagostina dutch oven.

Here's the easiest risotto recipe you'll ever make.  This beet risotto with goat cheese ends up looking a little odd in colour but it's amazingly delicious.

If you've ever worked in an office you'll be familiar with the traveling book salesperson.  I loved it when these people would come into the office as they almost always had cookbooks with them - often obscure cookbooks, but always at affordable prices.  This Mushroom Stogranoff is from a vegetarian cookbook I purchased while working at Rysco Engineering in Huntsville Ontario.  In more than twenty five years it's the only recipe I've made from the book and it's been worth every penny.

This antipasto was inspired by a recent trip to Momma Rosa's for dinner and a visit to Valoroso's .  These Orticola Mediterranean grilled baby artichokes are really tasty.  They cost a little more than the squat jars of marinated artichoke hearts you find in most grocery stories but the flavour is outstanding.

This recipe was also inspired by the same trip to Valoroso and quick stop at Ferrara's Italian Market on the way home. The Famiglia Bianci Malbec was a suprisingly good pairing and was just as full and flavourful the next day when we had it with the Beef Mole you'll see shortly.

Dinner ended with an espresso macchiato made with my 
new favourite coffee maker - the Aerobie Aeropress.

Last Sunday I discovered that when it's lunch time and there's no soup already made, tomato soup is surely the quickest and easiest soups to make from scratch.  I sautéed a diced shallot and some minced garlic in the bottom of a big pot, added a couple of splashes of gin and cooked off the alcohol, then added a 1 litre jar of canned tomatoes (if you don't can your own tomatoes you can use a store bought tin, but I'm sorry, it won't taste nearly as good.)  I may have added some low salt beef stock but I can't be sure.  I added a bit of pepper and after it had simmered for about 15 minutes I blended it with my immersion blender.  Before I served it I sliced a few large basil leaves into ribbons, added to the pot and gave it a good stir.

Sunday has turned into Slow-cooker Sunday in our kitchen.  This week I mad this recipe, found in a Canadian Living magazine collection given to me by a friend - thanks Val!  It's a really flavourful  Mole Beef Chilli.  I didn't have a jalapeno to add but the chipotle pepper it called for gave off plenty of heat.  I didn't have a cube of unsweetened chocolate either, but a quick google searched showed me I could substitute powdered coco and a little oil .  This one's a keeper!

I didn't have any egg noodles or pasta to serve it over hubby suggested garlic mashed potatoes, which reminded me of Michael Smith's brown butter mashed potatoes.  Decadent, but Chef Smith was right, they were the best mashed potatoes I ever made - aided a little by the sauteed garlic I added at the end.


  1. Your Nana Smith would give your pies an A+ on appearance. She didn't like the look of a pale, white crust....said they looked anemic, but rather preferred them nicely browned or golden as yours are. She said they should have the colour of fire in them.....the lemon meringue looks heavenly....such beautiful peaks you have!! Auntie


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