Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal

Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal

Even though Canadian Thanksgiving is over, pumpkin is still very much a big deal here. We’ve been eating leftover pumpkin pie tarts (made with coconut milk for Trevor), pumpkin gingerbread loaf and now I’m back to eating pumpkin for breakfast. It may seem like overkill right now, but soon we’ll be in the middle of the holiday season with gingerbread, peppermint and eggnog. The fall season is very, very short and I was nicely reminded of this the other day when I noticed some retail stores have already started to put out their upcoming holiday merchandise. I was so not ready to see that much red and green so soon after my long weekend.

I recently took on the challenge of roasting pumpkins to make my own puree, and wow, what a difference it was compared to the canned stuff. I’m all for using canned food when I’m in a pinch, but sometimes I forget the obvious of how much tastier (and cheaper!) it can be to go that extra mile. Of course, I forgot to document the process because taking apart a pumpkin, gutting it, cleaning, and trying to keep the seeds can be a messy job. Two small 3lb “pumpkin pie” pumpkins took me a little over an hour and that was before they were even placed in the oven. Luckily, I ended up with a sizable bowl full of pumpkin seeds to roast and over 4 cups of delicious pumpkin puree.

Vegan Pumpkin Spiced Walnut Pancakes

Vegan Pumpkin Spiced Walnut Pancakes

I’ve been on an comfort food kick as of late, what with the weather turning colder and the days being shorter. Over the weekend, Trevor and I went to Nuit Blanche which is an all-night art event held in downtown Toronto and it was so cold that I was kicking myself for not bringing my mitts, toque and a scarf. The streets were literally packed with people, but that didn’t stop the wind from picking up at random intervals and making me a miserable, shivering person. The event was all-night, but we ended our evening early just before 11pm and made a stop over at the food trucks that were parked conventionally across the street from our condo. Street food, warm pjs and late night television. Call me Grandma Jessica, but it was the perfect end to our Saturday night.

My longing for comfort food continued into the next morning when I swear these pancakes were calling my name. Normally I can’t even function first thing in the morning without my coffee, but for some reason I knew I was going to make spiced pumpkin pancakes before I had even crawled out of bed. ‘Tis the season I guess, because if it isn’t apples, apples and more apples, it’s pumpkin. I’ll probably be sick of both by the end of the month, but for now I’m embrace it while it’s here. Fall is such a short season and the fall produce season is even shorter.

Apple Walnut Phyllo Tart

Apple Walnut Phyllo Tart

Apple season is upon us! I’m so excited to share this recipe because the fall season is probably my favourite food season, especially with all the great produce available in Southern Ontario. We recently gave up our car so we’ve been braving the crowds and making use of the Saturday Farmer’s Market at the St. Lawrence Market every weekend. This was one of the many perks I was looking forward to when we were planning our move downtown and I couldn’t be happy that St. Lawrence and many other farmer’s markets are just a 10 minute streetcar ride away. Being carless may mean that we’re unable to make a trip up to the apple farm again this year, but at least we can still get our fill of locally grown apples.

Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Muffins

Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Muffins

I’m going to be honest with you all and admit that I have no idea what happened to summer. We didn’t get blasted by the snowfall that everyone in the prairies experienced (like most of Trevor’s family), but I’m still finding myself in denial about the chilly weather and don’t get me started on the lack of sunlight in the morning. We’re still trying to find our groove in our new place and now when my alarm goes off, I’m not only disoriented that our bed is facing a completely different way, but now the lack of natural light is throwing me off. I’m sure it’s only a matter of time before I walk into the wall or trip over the mountain of laundry I’ve managed to create in the past week.

I also haven’t been baking as much as I usually do because I’m still learning my way around my new(er) kitchen. The space is a little bit tighter and I’m still trying to figure out where I put everything in the haste that was unpacking everything and jumping on a plane to England. All in due time I suppose, but hopefully I’ll be able to find my groove by the end of this month as I have a few more recipes that I’ve been meaning to try out.

England, France and All That Jazz

europetrip-13

It’s taken me over a week to post photos from our whirlwind England/France trip because I’ve been in denial about no longer being in vacation-mode. Getting up early when you’re on vacation is fantastic because it’s all about the “what are we going to see next?” or in our case, “what are we going to eat next?” Although we had moved prior to our trip and a new place to come home to, it was a confusing few days fighting jet lag and getting back into the routine of work and daily life.

The main reason we took this trip was to attend Crystal and Craig’s wedding. Crystal and I go as far back as junior high when we both lived in Saskatchewan and she was even a bridesmaid at my own wedding last year. A couple years ago she went to teach in Saudi Arabia and met Craig who is from the UK. I wasn’t surprised when they announced their engagement, but I was thrilled when she asked me to be one of her bridesmaids. Since the wedding was going to take place overseas, we decided to make the most of the traveling and spend a few days in Paris, with a quick side-stop in London for good measure.