Morning Delight, Scary at Night

I love desserts, I always want something a little sweet after dinner. But what fun is it to only have dessert after dinner? Wouldn’t it be nice to have with lunch or even for breakfast. I like to make my dessert recipes with natural sweetener like honey or maple syrup or sometimes I will use cane sugar depending on the recipe. With the ingredients I often use in my recipes my desserts are usually healthy enough to eat even for breakfast. Yesterday my lobster and I decided we wanted dessert for breakfast  so I opened up my kitchen cupboards and created  a Maple Apple Crisp.

Maple Apple Crisp

Preheat oven to 350

  • 7-9 apples peeled, cored and sliced (I use Macintosh)
  • 1/8 cup cane sugar
  • 1 Tbsp melted butter (replace with coconut oil for dairy free)
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp lemon juice

Mix ingredients together until apples are coated in butter mixture and put in baking dish ( I use an 8×8 size).  In a separate bowl add ingredients for the topping.

  • 1 cup oats
  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup

Mix topping ingredients together until well blended and crumbly. Sprinkle on top of apples.

Bake for 20-30 minutes or until apples are tender. Serve on its own or in a bowl with milk!

Of course I completely forgot to take any pictures of the end result because I was so excited about the ghost walk we had booked for later in the evening. Presented by Ghost Walks my lobster and I were ready for a night of history and ghosts stories

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We were not disappointed. It was the first time we had been on a ghost walk and it was amazing. We had a 90 minute tour of the building that consisted of history lessons and stories of ghost activity within the building.

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Definitely something to try again next year. For now that is two more items off the Fall Fun Activity List.

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A Day In The Kitchen

I love my crockpot. I use it for everything. I never realized that there were so many different things you could make in a crockpot. This time I used it to make apple cider.

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I found a recipe for homemade apple cider. We adjusted it slightly and threw everything in the crockpot. Seven hours later we were tasting our first sip. It was good for a first attempt. I think we will try a different variety of apples next time to see if we find a better flavour combination.

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Since our crockpot was occupied I had to figure out another way to make dinner. Since ‘make chilli’ was on my Fall Activity list I thought it was a great opportunity to scratch off another item.

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My Lobster and I are both a fan of chilli and we found our favourite chilli recipe courtesy of Michael Smith.

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His Bacon Chipotle Chili found in Make Ahead Meals is now our go to chilli recipe.

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Light and Fluffy

Last year I wanted to try make pumpkin muffins but just did not have the time. This year I added it to the Fall Fun activity list and made the time.

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I decided to take my banana muffin recipe and just replace the bananas with pumpkin. It worked out that I had extra pumpkin pie filling from making tarts which just happened to be the amount I needed…it was fate.

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Pumpkin Muffins

  • 1 1/2 cups spelt flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil (softened or melted)
  • 2 large eggs (beaten)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 cup of apple sauce
  • 1 1/2 cups pumpkin filling
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a standard 12 cup muffin pan with paper liners or grease pan. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.
  2. Make a well in centre of flour mixture. In well, mix together maple syrup, coconut oil, eggs, vanilla, apple sauce, and pumpkin filling. Stir together, do not over mix. Spoon batter into muffin tray.
  3. Bake until a toothpick inserted in centre of a muffin comes out clean, 25-30 minutes. Remove muffins from pan and let cool.

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They tasted delicious; very light and fluffy. I think I enjoyed them more than the regular banana recipe. This recipe is definitely a keeper for our family.

Where Is My Pie?

Thanksgiving is not complete without pumpkin pie and since ‘bake a pie’ was on my fall activity list I can now scratch another item off. Okay I actually just made tarts instead of a full pie but in order to cross it off the fall fun list lets just call them mini pies!

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Over the past few years in my journey to eat healthier I have adjusted many favourite dessert recipes to have less sugar, or at least contain a more natural sweetener, as well as no dairy. It was time to come up with a new pumpkin pie filling. With the clock ticking I crafted a new recipe. It took a couple tries to get the spices right but other than that it was a great success.

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Pumpkin Pie Filling

*makes for 2 pies or 1.5 dozen tarts

  • 3 1/4 cups of pumpkin puree ( 1 can of pumpkin puree)
  • 150 ml pure maple syrup
  • 100 ml almond milk (can substitute with the milk of your choice)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 6 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 1 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tbs arrowroot powder
  • 3 eggs

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  1. Heat oven to 350*. Beat eggs in a bowl and add remaining ingredients. Stir until blended.
  2. Pour filling into unbaked pie or tart shells.
  3. Bake for approximately 25 minutes for mini pies or tarts. **I have not tried the recipe in a full sized pie yet. Not sure about baking time, probably around 30-40 min.** To test the pie insert a knife, if the knife comes out clean its done, if not bake for longer.
  4. Let pie cool before serving.

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That Time Of Year

As an Early Childhood Educator it always seems like ‘that time of year’ when the colds come around. Once again the cold has come home, surprisingly it was not with me. That was a shocker. This time my Lobster brought the cold home. To help him feel better, and to keep the cold from getting me, I made chicken noodle soup for dinner. 

  
 Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup

  • 1 onion
  • 4-5 cloves of garlic 
  • 4-5 carrots 
  • 4 potatoes 
  • 1 carton of chicken broth
  • 5 cups of water 
  • 1-2 breasts of chicken, cooked 
  • 1 cup of pasta noodles ( I like baby shells)
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  1. Chop onion and garlic and fry in large pot with oil. 
  2. Chop carrots and potatoes into small cubes, add to onions and garlic. 
  3. Add chicken broth and water to pot, bring to a boil then let simmer 
  4. Add cooked chicken breast cut into bite size pieces with salt and pepper to taste. 
  5. Continue to simmer until potatoes are tender. 
  6. Bring pot to medium heat and add pasta. Cook until pasta is ready. 
  7. Serve and enjoy. 

  
 

In case you need something with a little extra fighting power check out my recipe for garlic soup, Garlic Is For Heroes.

A Weekend for Preparations 

This weekend I went on an adventure with my Lobster to Springridge Farm. One of my favourite times to visit is during Autumn when the apples and pumpkins are out and the leaves are changing. 

  
  

  
After a delicious lunch we picked out a batch of apples and a bottle of apple cider. It was now time to head home to start preparations for Thanksgiving. I am making a pumpkin pie and homemade perogies for our feast next weekend. 

   
 I have a wheat intolerance so I decided to make a batch of perogies using spelt flour. I love experimenting in the kitchen and trying new things with a recipe. The dough worked out great so we cooked a couple to try and they tasted just as delicious as the original recipe. I am so glad the recipe worked as perogies are one of my favourite dishes. I also whipped up a few batches using the original recipe for those family members that are not as adventurous when it comes to trying new foods.  

 

All Grown Up

I love traditions. I think they are a great way for a family to stay close. I look forward to each and everyone of our family traditions, some of my favourite ones occur during Christmas. One such tradition is making shortbread cookies. Oh they are delicious. Of course I always thought the dough tasted so much better than the baked cookies.

Well keeping the tradition alive I decided to bake a batch of shortbread for the Christmas season. Of course now that I am all grown up I thought I would experiment and make grown up shortbread cookies. I am glad I decided to venture into the kitchen as my cookies turned out great. My secret grown up ingredient…Baileys Irish Cream!

Baileys Shortbread Cookies

*1/2 cup cornstarch
*1/2 cup icing sugar
*1 cup flour
*3/4 cup butter (softened)
*1/8 cup Baileys Irish Cream

Blend all ingredients together with hands. Roll out into logs and roll in wax paper.

Cool for about a 1/2 hour in fridge. Don’t cool for to long as it will crack when cutting.

Slice and bake on an ungreased cookie sheet @300*C for 20 to 30 minutes.

Cookies freeze well.

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