I started this blog so my daughters could find all of our family favourite recipes in one place. It has actually grown into more than just the family favourites but also other recipes we've tried out in our kitchen. I don't like to fill up the post with alot of chatter. Sometimes there's a little story to tell, but usually I like to get right to the point. So this is for them, but hope you find some recipes that you like as well. I'll be sharing a lot of recipes, and along the way you'll find some crafty things and maybe some helpful hints too! Welcome!

Saturday, October 16, 2021

Mini Stuffed Pumpkins

Overflowing with flavour, these mini stuffed Baby Boo pumpkins make an elegant little presentation. Some of you may recall I posted DIY pumpkin placemarkers a few days back. Once they did their placemarking duties for Canadian Thanksgiving they turned into these cute side dishes! (See the placemarker how-to link at the end of this post)

9 mini pumpkins (these Baby Boos are about 4 oz each)
olive oil
salt and pepper

Rice and Veg Filling:
2 tbsps olive oil
1 onion, diced
1 celery stalk, diced
1 carrot, diced
1 cup diced mushrooms
2 tbsps minced garlic
1 tsp fresh chopped rosemary
1 tsp dry thyme
1/2 tsp dry sage or savory
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 1/2 cups rice (1/2 brown, 1/2 white)
2 3/4 cups broth
1 cup chopped nuts and seeds (walnuts, almonds, pumpkin seeds)
1/2 cup dried cranberries

Begin by slicing off the tops of the pumpkins as though you were going to make teenie tiny jack-o-lanterns. Some were quite easy to cut while the more squat squash were pretty hard! Scoop the seeds and stringy stuff out (save the seeds for next year's garden) and brush on olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper inside and out.

Replace the tops and bake on a lined cooking sheet in a 400°F oven for anywhere from 35-55 minutes or until tender. A knife should easily pierce the skin.

Now for the rice... this recipe makes more than what you'll need for the pumpkins which is OK because it's delicious and you'll want to serve it again later in the week!

Heat olive oil in a large skillet and add the onion, celery and carrot (classic mirepoix) cooking for about 10 minutes or until soft. Add the mushrooms and cook 2 minutes, then add the garlic and seasonings. Finally add the rice and stir together then pour in your choice of broth. Bring to a simmer, cover and cook 20 minutes until rice is tender. Remove from heat and add the nut mixture (whatever combo you like to make 1 cup) and the dried cranberries.

Fill each little pumpkin with the rice mixture and top them with their caps.

Return them to the 400°F oven for 15-20 minutes. The skin is edible so you can eat the whole thing, but some may just want to scoop the veg inside along with the rice mixture.

Really wish I had a black plate to show these off on!

Adapted from: domesticgothess.com

DIY Pumpkin Placemarkers:


Friday, October 15, 2021

Creamy Mashed Potatoes with Garlic

Ok, mashed potatoes must be the most boring, bland looking vegetable ever!  But with a little help bland can turn to BAM!

5 lbs Yukon gold potatoes (worth the extra $$)
1 garlic head, roasted and mashed
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup half and half cream
2 tbsps Lowney's chicken broth powder (this is already salty so don't overdo adding extra salt)
1/2 cup regular or roasted red pepper hummus (store bought or homemade... see below for both the hummus recipe and a quick "roasted" garlic recipe link)

🠋Booooring 😞😴

Once you have boiled your potatoes, drain and mash them. Then add the remaining ingredients and mash together until well combined and smooth. Add more cream if you like. Yum!

Serves 10 people

"Roasted" Garlic in the Microwave:


Roasted Red Pepper Hummus:


Thursday, October 14, 2021

Kicked Up Ham Sandwich

An awesome bread can change a ho-hum ham sandwich into a hit!

Spicy sliced mortadella
Leftover sliced dinner ham
Strong cheddar cheese
Dijon mustard
Cranberry Walnut Slow Cooker Yeast Bread (recipe link below🠋)

Here's the link to make this amazing cranberry bread that'll change your sandwich making game! A no hands on kneading required yeast bread packed with walnuts and cranberries!


Wednesday, October 13, 2021

DIY Pumpkin Placemarkers

An inexpensive, festive way to decorate your Turkey Day or Halloween dinner table.

Get some mini pumpkins. I chose these Baby Boos. 

And something to create a tag with. I hit the dollar store looking for little die-cut cardboard circles, tiny gift tags or stickers. Then this felt placemat caught my eye! You may have seen it in photos of my Thanksgiving Soup post here:

The leaves were just the size I was looking for. I tried sharpie marker to write with which didn't work out very well. But this dimensional fabric paint did the trick! Then it was just a matter of snipping each leaf off the placemat and sticking each leaf/name tag on each pumpkin with a straight pin. Of course, if you're a real keener just get a piece of felt and cut out each leaf by hand. (I don't have that kind of time or patience!)

And don't forget... these are pumpkins and quite edible. Google some mini pumpkin recipes once they have done their placemarking duty.

Here's my Mini Stuffed Pumpkin recipe:


Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Thanksgiving Soup

All the fall things in a bowl! A savory selection of vegetables with a hint of sweetness from one red apple.

1/2 cup pumpkin purée
5 carrots, unpeeled and diced
1 large sweet potato, diced
2 yukon gold potatoes, diced
1 onion, diced
1 apple, diced (I used Macintosh)
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 cups beef broth
4 cups chicken broth
1 tsp fresh minced ginger
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp dry thyme
dash of sea salt
pinch of cayenne
2 pinches of nutmeg
14 oz can coconut milk

Garnish with croutons and pumpkin seeds

In a large pot, sauté the onion in medium hot olive oil to soften, then add the garlic and ginger. Stir 1 minute then add the black pepper, thyme, salt, cayenne and nutmeg and cook 1 minute.
Add the carrots, sweet potato, potatoes and apple and stir together. Pour in the pumpkin purée and broth and bring to a boil. Then simmer about 10 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.

Take ladlefuls of soup and purée in a food processor in batches until smooth.

Return the puréed soup to a large pot and add the coconut milk. Whisk together and heat through. 

Then serve with your choice of garnishes for texture and eye-catching interest!

I like garlic croutons and well...pumpkin seeds seemed appropriate 🎃

Serves 10

First course heading to the dining room!

Sunday, October 10, 2021

Easy Fall Porch Decor

Recycled an unhappy potted chrysanthemum and some hydrangea blossoms for this simple fall display.

The fall chrysanthemum gave up the ghost not long after I brought it home. But a little spray paint gave it a new purpose. I sprayed it with gold, getting all in-between the flowers and leaves.

Then I took some hydrangea blossoms, removed the leaves from the stems, stuck them in a pot for support and painted them silver. I didn't intentionally leave some of the natural colour showing through, but I like it!

Once dry the silver hydrangeas were inserted into the gold mum ball. I think it looks pretty good just like this. If the stems are tall or if the display will be in a breezy area you may need to place wire supports in the pot and twist tie the hydrangeas to them.

Just added a dollar store fall garland and it's done in a snap! Already thinking ahead...this might get a winter transformation after Thanksgiving🎃.

Saturday, October 9, 2021

Pumpkin Patch Pasta

This pasta dish is accompanied by a savory medley of mixed vegetables with pumpkin highlighted in both the roasted veggies and the sauce.

8 oz cavatappi (corkscrew) pasta (2 1/2 cups uncooked)
1 sliced or diced onion
3 diced Italian tomatoes
1 diced bell pepper
8 medium mushrooms, quartered
1 medium carrot, sliced
1 cup pumpkin, cubed
black pepper to taste
2 tbsps + 2 tsps olive oil

1 cup pumpkin purée (see end of post for easy recipe)
1 cup reserved pasta water
1 cup tomato sauce
2 tbsps olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp ground sage
2 pinches of sugar
1 pinch of nutmeg
4 or 5 roasted garlic cloves, mashed (see end of post for easy recipe)

fresh chopped parsley
chia seeds

Combine the sauce ingredients (without the pasta water at this point) in a sauce pan. Heat on a very low simmer. Boil pumpkin cubes in a separate pot until just tender, then drain.

Toss the onion, tomato, bell pepper, mushrooms and carrots with 2 tbsps olive oil and spread on a lined baking sheet. Add black pepper to your taste and roast in a 450°F oven for 15 minutes. Toss the pre-cooked pumpkin with 2 tsps olive oil and add to the veggies. Return all to the oven for another 10 minutes.

Meanwhile cook the pasta as per package directions and reserve 1 cup pasta water. Add ladlefuls of the water to the sauce stirring until you reach a consistency you like. I did end up using nearly the whole cup. Once the water is incorporated, heat the sauce right through then continue simmering.

When the pasta is cooked, drain and toss with the sauce to coat.

Serve the pasta surrounded by the roasted vegetable medley and add fresh chopped parsley and chia seeds to garnish.