fall

Sage Butternut Squash Soup with Sage Browned Butter

Sage Butternut Squash Soup with Sage Browned Butter

Ah! What beautiful colors fall brings us not only in the fall leaves but in the colors of our foods. I just love the beautiful bright orange color of butternut squash and this soup is a lovely reminder of the beauty and taste of this food. 

I had fun taking a basic recipe and adding my own special flavors and elements to the dish. The browned butter on top really takes this dish to the next level! :) YUM!! 

Sage Butternut Squash Soup with Sage Brown Butter: 

Makes 3-4 small servings

1.5 pounds butternut squash, peeled and cut into small cubes (1/2 inch) 

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage

1.5 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 1/2 leeks, white and tender green parts, coarsely chopped

2 teaspoons chopped fresh sage

1 1/3 cups chicken stock or veggie stock

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Brown Butter: 

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage

1. Heat the oven to 350. In a medium bowl, toss the squash cubes with the olive oil and fresh sage. Place onto a rimmed baking sheet and roast for 20-30 minutes until the squash is soft and beginning to brown. 

2. While the squash is roasting, in a large saucepan melt the butter over fairly low heat. Add in the sage and leeks and cook, stirring from time to time, until softened and browned- about 15 minutes or so. 

3. Stir in the chicken or veggie stock and the roasted squash. Simmer the mixture over medium heat for 10-15 minutes.

4. While the soup is simmering, make the brown butter. Over medium to high heat, add the butter and sage to the skillet. The butter will foam for a while. Stir the butter with a spatula. After a while the bubbling subsides and the butter will begin to brown. Take the butter mixture off the heat once it is browned and set aside. 

5. Puree the soup in a blender or food processor. Add in more stock as needed to create the thickness of soup that you want. 

6. Serve in bowls and top with browned butter. You can also top with homemade croutons! 

**You may serve these with homemade croutons if you'd like. I made some gluten free cornbread that I made into cubes, then brushed with butter and sprinkled with Parmesan cheese and baked them in a 350 oven for a few minutes. 

Apple Pear Cinnamon Spice Almond Cake

    A delicious slice of Apple Pear Cinnamon Spice Almond Cake

 

A delicious slice of Apple Pear Cinnamon Spice Almond Cake

I love looking at old cookbooks and food magazines. In one of my Scandinavian cookbooks a recipe appeared for an apple almond cake. It looked good, but it seemed as if it lacked a certain spark. There were no spices or other flavors other than the almonds and apples. I decided to spice up this recipe and give it a try! 

It just happened that my mom gave me some small apples and pears from their orchard, so I quickly peeled those and put them in some water and honey to poach with some cinnamon sticks, whole cloves and honey. This sure made the house smell heavenly! Yum! 

    The Apple Pear Cinnamon Almond Cake right out of the oven! Yum!  

 

The Apple Pear Cinnamon Almond Cake right out of the oven! Yum! 

 

It turns out that my changes to this recipe were spot on, and I love the almond flavor along with the soft apples, pears and spices. It is delightfully gluten free just as it is and so yummy! My son and I both enjoyed a slice after he came home from school yesterday. 

I hope that you enjoy making this lovely fall dessert for the ones that you love. I imagine that this dessert may be made dairy free by using a vegan margarine instead of the butter (just watch to make sure there isn't a high water content in the margarine) or some coconut oil. 

Apple Pear Cinnamon Spice Almond Cake: 

Serves 6-8

9 inch ceramic or glass  pie plate

Poached apples & pears: 

2 cups water

3 cinnamon sticks

5 whole cloves

1/4 orange

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1/2 cup honey

4 small apples, peeled, cut in half and cored

3-4 small pears, peeled, cut in half and cored

Note:  You may have extra poached fruit leftover, you can save it & eat it for a yummy snack! 

1. Place water, honey, lemon juice, juice of the 1/4 orange and the actual 1/4 orange, apples, pears, cinnamon sticks and whole cloves into a large saucepan. Bring to a boil. Then, simmer on medium-low heat for 6-8 minutes, until the pears and apples are tender. Set aside to cool. 

Batter for Top of Cake: 

1/2 cup softened butter

2/3 cup sugar

3 egg yolks

1/2 cup almond flour

2 teaspoons lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon cardamom

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

 

3 egg whites

pinch salt

 

1. Grease a 9 inch ceramic or glass pie plate with softened butter. Heat the oven to 350F.

2. In a stand mixer, beat the butter until soft and light. Slowly add in sugar and beat to combine. Add in egg yolks one at a time and mix well. Mix in the almond flour, lemon juice and spices. Set aside. 

3. In a separate bowl, place the egg whites and pinch of salt. Using a hand mixer, beat the egg whites until they form stiff peaks. 

4. Mix in 2-3 tablespoons of the egg white mixture into the butter-almond mixture. Then, gently fold in the rest of the egg whites. 

5. Place the pear and apple halves in the bottom of the pie plate. Place them core-side down. Then, using a rubber spatula, spread the almond mixture on top of the fruit. 

6. Place on the middle rack of the oven. Bake for about 20 minutes or until golden brown on top. Let cool before serving. 

If you love fall desserts, pass this on to an apple-pear loving friend! 

Trista

 

 

Spiced Apple Cider Pumpkin Bread

spiced apple cider pumpkin bread

One of a household's fall "must-haves" in my opinion is pumpkin bread! It is such a great breakfast, snack, dessert. I just love the spices in this bread. It is so moist and flavorful, perfect along with a cup of tea or coffee while you are cozy with a blanket reading a book. Hooray! 

This is a recipe I adapted to gluten free/dairy free from Southern Living magazine. I different flours and lot more spices to this bread. I am believer in using several separate spices to build up flavor instead of pre-made spice mixes like pumpkin pie spice. That way you get a lot more flavor into your baked goods. 

Actually, as I worked on this bread yesterday I realized I had left out the coconut oil, however, when my son and husband ate it- they loved it! So, I decided to leave the oil out. The bread has such a fantastic pumpkin-spice flavor and I think this is a "perfect mistake!" 

I hope that you enjoy this fall "must have" in your house today! 

Spiced Apple Cider Pumpkin Bread

Adapted from Southern Living

Makes two 9x5 loaves

1 cup organic sugar

1/2 cup coconut sugar

1/4 cup honey

2/3 cup apple cider

4 eggs

15 oz can pumpkin puree

2 cups gluten free flour mix

1 1/2 cups almond meal

2 teaspoons salt

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon ginger

1/4 teaspoon allspice

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1. Preheat the oven to 350F. 

2. Grease two 9x5 pans with coconut oil and add in 1-2 teaspoons of gluten free flour and shake out excess to coat the pan in flour. 

3. Beat the sugar, coconut sugar, honey and apple cider in the bowl of a stand mixer at medium speed until combined. Add in eggs, one at a time, beat after each addition. Add in the pumpkin and mix. 

4. Whisk together the gluten free flour, almond meal, salt, baking soda and spices in a separate bowl. 

5. Add the dry mixture to the pumpkin mixture in the mixer bowl and beat at low speed just until combined. 

6. Divide the batter between the 2 pans and smooth the tops of the batter with a rubber spatula. 

7. Bake at 350F for 45-50 minutes or so or until a wooden toothpick comes out clean. You can put foil on top of the pans towards the end of baking so that your bread doesn't over-brown on top. 

8. Cool the pumpkin bread in pans for 10 minutes. Then, un-mold the loaves onto a wire rack and let the bread cool for 30 minutes before slicing. 

Enjoy! 

Pumpkin, Tomato, Onion and Garlic Corn Empanadas

Pumpkin, Tomato, Onion and Garlic Corn Empanadas

These bright and cheery empanadas are the perfect cure for the dark, rainy days of fall like we are experiencing right now here in Oregon. I had a fun time making these empanadas, adding herbs and spices to make them just right. They may also be made with a meat or seafood filling, but they are a perfect snack, vegan main dish or a side dish to a larger meal. 

This version was a big hit with my husband and son as well. They loved the pumpkin/tomato/onion mixture and the crispness of the empanada lightly pan fried in coconut oil. 

Empananadas also make a perfect party snack or appetizer and since these have pumpkin in them, why not serve them at your Halloween or Fall Harvest party! 

I hope that you enjoy some of these soon for a flavor explosion!! 

Pumpkin Tomato, Onion and Garlic Corn Empanadas: 

Makes 10-11 empanadas (double the recipe for a large appetizer dish) 

Empanada dough: 

11 ounces  masa made from masa harina (follow the instructions on the masa bag (mix + water) and weigh. 

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon onion powder

1 teaspoon oregano, crushed

1 teaspoon chili powder

1/4 cup gluten free flour mix

salt to taste

coconut oil for pan frying

Filling: 

olive oil

1/2 onion, finely chopped

1 cloves garlic, minced

2 tablespoons tomato paste

1 cup pumpkin puree

1 teaspoon oregano

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon chili powder

 

1. Mix together the masa, spices and herbs along with the gluten free flour mix. Add in a little extra water if the dough is dry. Set the masa aside. 

2. Heat a small frying pan and add in olive oil. Saute the onion and garlic on medium heat until the onion is translucent. Set aside to cool for 5-7 minutes. 

3. Once the onion is cool, in a medium bowl combine all of the filling ingredients. Adjust seasonings to taste. 

4. Make 10-11 small balls out of the masa mixture. Press them in a tortilla press to make tortillas that are around 3-4 inches in diameter. Put 1-2 tablespoons of the filling into the center of each empanada. Fold over and pinch the edges to close. 

5. In an electric skillet set to 375F, heat the coconut oil (I heated around 2/3 cup to 1 cup coconut oil) When hot, place the empanadas into the hot oil. Brown on each side until golden and crispy on each side. Remove with a slotted spoon to cool slightly before serving. 

Serve with salsa & enjoy!!