Although I never spent much time in the kitchen growing up my mom’s simple, hearty and homemade cooking had a big impact on me and inspires a lot of the way I cook today. She’s an awesome cook and has produced some of my all time favourite recipes. Today I’m sharing her Simplified Stuffing. If you’re like me and have an aversion to soggy stuffing then I encourage you to give it a try. My mom has converted many a stuffing hater with this recipe.
“The best thing about this stuffing is that it’s so easy to make. No having to take the temperature to make sure it’s cooked through, no complicated steps or procedures and no need to use old crusty bread (fresh is actually best!). Just a simple and delicious recipe that can easily be multiplied to feed a crowd.”
Yesterday I stood staring at the abundance of gorgeous purple plums sitting on my counter. I knew I needed to use them up soon but I wasn’t sure what I wanted to make with them. I love plum jelly but since I don’t have any canning equipment that wasn’t really a possibility. That’s why this recipe immediately caught my eye when I went on my Internet search for recipes.
I’ve never made fruit butter before but it seemed so easy I had to give it a try. It will now be my go to when a little bit of fruit needs using up. It’s really so simple to throw together and makes the house smell amazing while it bubbles away.
Fall spices with the sweetness of plums and crisp tart apples make this a perfect fall spread and a wonderful hostess gift. I mean, just look at that gorgeous purple color! It has me swooning.
Have you made any fruit butters before? What are your favourite combinations?
I love working with chocolate. It’s a pretty hard project to mess up because no matter what goes wrong almost every mistake is salvageable (beyond burning it to a crisp) and you’re always able to find some way to get it in your belly.
I’m sharing two of my favourite homemade chocolates on Simple Bites today, Bark and Truffles. They’re so easy to make that there shouldn’t be any salvaging needed. ;)
“Homemade chocolates are a perfect gift to make because not only do they store well in the freezer (if someone is already overloaded with goodies) but they are extremely easy to make and do not require a candy thermometer.
You can get the kids involved too, giving them a fun project on those cold days when you’re all stuck inside. I’m sure they’d be proud to give a batch to their grandma knowing that they had a hand in making them (Grandma will like that too).”
Read more and get the recipes (including the Dark Chocolate Rum Truffles pictured above!) on Simple Bites.
This cake has Christmas written all over it. I know there will be people rolling their eyes since it’s only the beginning of November, but I love Christmas, so I’m not afraid to start sharing early. To be totally honest I started listening to Christmas music at the end of September. Not every day, mind you, but when it’s a gloomy day that needs perking up I pop in some Bing Crosby and my day gets a whole lot brighter.
I wasn’t planning on sharing any Christmas recipes quite yet but this cake would be so perfect for a Christmas gathering. The sticky, bright red cranberry topping with the scent of cinnamon and cloves wafting in the air. If you can make this and not turn on the Christmas music, I commend you.
For those of you who are still gearing up for Thanksgiving, Mandi from life… your way has partnered with 15 different bloggers (including myself) to bring you a Free Thanksgiving E-book that is completely dedicated to helping you get your Thanksgiving plans in order. This e-book has everything from How to Thaw a Turkey to Table Setting Inspiration. If you’re hosting Thanksgiving and feel like you could use some help with the planning then I recommend you check it out.
P.S. I think this cake would make a wonderful addition to the Thanksgiving table as well. It really is perfect for the entire holiday season, and it’s just too good to be limited to Christmas.
Prepare an 8 inch round cake pan by rubbing the sides and bottom with 2 tablespoons butter (Don’t skimp on the butter! I thought it was a little excessive so I only used 1 tablespoon, but I had trouble with my topping getting stuck to the pan, so use the whole 2 tablespoons).
Mix together 1/2 cup sugar, cinnamon and cloves. Sprinkle evenly over bottom of pan. Top with cranberries, making sure they are in a single layer.
Cream together remaining 6 tablespoons of butter and 1/2 cup sugar. Mix in egg and vanilla.
In a separate bowl mix together flour, baking powder and salt. Alternating with milk, mix the flour mixture into butter mixture in three additions, starting and ending with flour.
Spread cake mixture over cranberries, smooth top.
Bake at 350ºF for 30-35 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean. Let cool for 20 minutes in pan, run a knife around the edges to loosen the sides. Flip onto serving platter.
Makes: 8 servings
*This cake is best served fresh, although the leftovers are still tasty, the sticky topping is so much better when it’s still a bit warm (in my opinion).
Thanks to all you wonderful people who voted for me many moons ago, I am now in a published cookbook! I received the book in the mail today and am honored to be published alongside some of my favourite bloggers. Thank you so much everyone. You all rock!
The cookbook is compiled of 100 recipes from food blogs around the world. All with photographs, bio”s and quips from their blog posts. I haven”t had a chance to browse through it all yet but I”m sure I”ll find some new favourite blogs once I do.
Here I am on page 146. Woot!
The main reason I”m sharing this with all of you is, to not only thank you but, to let you know that Foodista is having a giveaway for everyone who buys the book between a specific time tomorrow. They have some pretty great prizes and if you were thinking of buying the book I wouldn”t want you to miss this opportunity!
I’m not much for Halloween. I love the idea of little kids dressing up and the sense of community when going door to door for candy. But, I just can’t handle the creepy stuff. I find it too… creepy. I always dreaded having to listen to all the scary stories that the teachers told at Halloween. I just couldn’t handle it and not much has changed since then. You definitely won’t catch this girl watching any horror movies. I wouldn’t be able to sleep for a year! I believe my parents would chalk it up to an over-active imagination. :)
That being said I think there’s plenty to be done without things going over the top with scariness. Today on Smithfield.com I’m sharing some simple ways to add Halloween touches, including this delicious Pumpkin-Spiced Hot Chocolate. I don’t know if I will ever be able to go back to regular old hot chocolate.
“After coming in from the cold this Pumpkin-Spiced Hot Chocolate is the perfect way to warm up, while the kids sort their candy. You can make it extra festive by tinting the whipped cream orange and maybe add some black or chocolate sprinkles. The flavour is mostly hot chocolate with just a hint of pumpkin and spice making it a great beverage for adults and children alike.”
Update: The post is no longer active on Smithfield. But, I don’t want you to miss out so here’s the recipe!
Pumpkin-Spiced Hot Chocolate
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup very hot water
3.5 cups milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
1/3 cup pumpkin puree
whipped cream tinted orange, for serving
Mix together cocoa powder, sugar and salt in a medium sized saucepan. Stir in water. Heat over medium heat until it comes to a simmer. Stirring constantly (so it does not scorch) allow to simmer two minutes.
Pour in remaining ingredients and cook until heated through, stirring occasionally. Do not boil. Ladle into 4 mugs and top with whipped cream.
*You may use 3/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice in place of spices.
*Strain through a fine mesh sieve or cheesecloth if you don’t want the spices building up at the bottom of the mug.