Happy Birthday to Me!

For my birthday we decided to go hiking in Ball’s Falls. If you get a chance to check out this park,you really should. It’s one of the most beautiful places I have ever been and looks absolutely gorgeous in the fall. IMG_4690 IMG_4700 IMG_4714 IMG_4716IMG_4725After a day of muddy and sweaty hiking, we cleaned up and went for dinner at Union. Union has a great ambiance to it. It is what I imagine cute little restaurants in New York City to be: long and narrow, with exposed brick walls, vintage prints and warmth from the conversations and kitchen. There was music lightly playing in the background, but not too loud as to overpower the conversations. The crowd was a mix of old and young, families and couples and even Patrick J. Adams.

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Butternut Squash Soup

Butternut squash soup. Nothing screams fall to me more than this soup. I love this soup so much it was almost going to be the soup course at our wedding (instead we are opting for the potato leek topped with crispy pancetta bits).

IMG_4620I use the recipe below the cut which is just a plain butternut squash soup from All Recipes. It is extremely straightforward: throw your veg in a pot and slightly brown, decease cover with broth and let simmer and the puree and serve with a dollop of sour cream. The only additions I make are spices. I give a good shake of curry powder, cinnamon, cumin, nutmeg, paprika and ginger. Any spice with a warm and cozy flavor works to kick this soup up a notch.

Happy munching!

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The Markham Fair

The Markham Fair has become an annual event that I attend with my parents. It’s your typical fall fair – there’s livestock, prostate crafting, here baking, a midway, everything deep fried and of course, insanely large pumpkins.

IMG_4593 IMG_4594 IMG_4595I love the Markham Fair and going this year meant crossing #21 – Visit a fall fair off my Fall To-Do List!

Happy munching!

Apple Cranberry Hand Pies

Fall is the season of pies. There is just something comforting and cozy about smelling butter, discount cinnamon and harvest fruits oozing out of the oven and into the rest of the house.  Although apple and pumpkin are classic fall pies I am trying to experiment with new flavor profiles and combinations this fall. I am looking forward to baking with pears, salve a fruit I don’t give enough credit to for its flavor and versatility and pumpkin, a vegetable that is only used in October and November and therefore does not get enough time to shine.

My first pies of the season were apple cranberry hand pies. Hand pies are a trend I like, but I actually prefer a slice of pie. Hand pies are more convenient to eat but are more time consuming and tedious to make. You also do not get as much filling and cannot easily eat the pie with ice cream.

photoA few weeks ago I picked up this handy hand pie mold from Loblaws for $5.00. I picked it up in the hopes that this mold would ease the process of making hand pies. The one pictured is actually from Williams-Sonoma and therefore probably unnecessarily expensive and not worth it. However, for $5.00 – how can you say no?

I promptly threw out the recipe with the box and had to scour the internet for an alternative recipe, which lead me to Williams-Sonoma’s apple cranberry recipe and photo of the device.

IMG_4578Apple cranberry is a type of pie I had never had before but it is delicious and I recommend everyone try it/make it. The cranberry tartness rounds out the sweetness from the apples and brown sugar. The cranberry works with the spiciness of the cinnamon and nutmeg in a different way than the apple does, bringing together a new type of flavor from the apples and cranberry. It’s a new spin on a classic fall pie.

Recipe below the cut and happy munching!

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