Mini Fall Pies and Tarts!

This past weekend we took advantage of the fabulous weather and drove to Andrew Scenic Farms, this farm is a family run business and definitely doesn’t have the long line ups and wait times that other apple picking farms have. We spent about 2 hours there, had a pony ride, picked raspberries and apples and then enjoyed some lunch. On Sunday, my son and I spent the afternoon in the kitchen making these delicious mini tarts.

First you’ll need some custard, this recipe is scaled down as you don’t need that much, my son (who is 2 years old) really enjoyed making this, lots of mixing and whisking!

Buttermilk Custard

3/4 cup of sugar
2 tbsp of. flour
1/4 cup of butter, softened
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 cup buttermilk

Mix sugar and flour; cream with butter. Add eggs, vanilla, salt and buttermilk.

Raspberry Mini Tarts (recipe makes 6)

Preheat oven to 350 F

Pastry Recipe (I used Martha Stewart’s – I find it’s better to add a little more water than she suggests. I wrapped the pastry dough into two separate discs and used one disc for the apple pie tarts).

2 cups of raspberries

1 egg beaten

Use muffin pan and lined each cup with parchment muffin cups. Roll out the pastry dough and cut into squares, press each square into the muffin cup and cut away any excess. Brush the top of each pastry cup with some egg. Spoon custard into each pastry cup and then bake for about 20-25 minutes until pastry turns brown and custard sets.

Mini Apple Pie Tarts (makes 6 pies) IMG_1866

Preheat oven to 350 F

Pastry Recipe (see above)

3 apples, peeled and diced

1 tbsp of cinnamon

6 tsp of brown sugar

1/4 cup of butter cut into cubes

Use muffin pan and line each cup with parchment muffin cups. Roll out the pastry dough and cut into squares, press each square into the muffin cup and cut away any excess. In each cup add your apples, sprinkle with cinnamon, a tsp of brown sugar and a couple cubes of butter. To do the lattice top, simply take the remaining pastry dough, roll it out and use a knife to cut strips. Weave the strips over and under each other and use a fork to decorate the edges. Brush with a beaten egg before putting in the oven for approximately 20-25 minutes.

 

Fall Mushroom Risotto

Fall Mushroom RisottoJust in time for the first day of Fall! This easy and delicious risotto was such a hit with the family! Some people veer away from trying to make risotto because it is said to be one of the harder dishes to master. I found this method (cooking in the oven) so simple and the risotto came out perfectly.

Ingredients

1 cup of Arborio rice

1 pint of mushrooms (your choice on type, I used button mushrooms)

3/4 cup of stock

1 cup of Parmesan Cheese (optional)

1/2 an onion (diced)

1 handful of thyme chopped

2 tbsp of butter

Directions

Preheat the oven to 375 F

Use a “stove to oven” casserole dish, I used a Le Creuset casserole dish which worked perfectly for this recipe. Start by putting the casserole dish on the stove, melt the butter. Add the onions and mushrooms and fry for about 5 minutes.

Once the onions and mushrooms have cooked, add the rice and stir around until the rice begins to turn brown. Then pour in the stock.

Place the lid on the casserole dish and put in the oven for about 45 minutes, or until all the liquid is drained. Remove from oven and add fresh thyme and cheese.

Peach BBQ Sauce (for sugarfree September)

Peach BBQ Sauce

This month, my husband and I are trying to be sugar-free, it’s turning out to be a lot easier than I anticipated. At first, it was definitely a struggle, especially giving up dark chocolate. However, as time as progressed I find myself craving it less, I have more energy and feel less hungry. The one time of day I still find the hardest is after dinner, I’m so use to having a little something sweet and I really crave it. With each passing day the cravings are getting easier and as long as I get myself out of the kitchen fast I seem to forget about them.

We’ve been making ribs in our slow cooker a LOT and usually dump a bottle of Diana’s in there, with some onion and garlic. Well, Diana’s isn’t going to make the sugar-free list that is for certain! So I made up a batch of this, smothered the ribs in it and cooked them on slow for most of the day. Easy Peasy!


Ingredients
3 slices of bacon
3 peaches peeled and diced
1/2 red onion diced
2 tbsp of tomato paste
1/4 apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp sugarfree molasses
1/2 cup water
1 tsp of salt and pepper
Put bacon in a large pot and fry until it starts to brown. Add remaining ingredients, bring to a boil. Then let simmer for 2 hours. Mash ingredients at this point and continuing simmering for another hour.

Back to School Caddy

So it’s that time of year again, when the leaves slowly slip away, the fall colours come out shining bright. It’s a time for new beginnings, fresh starts and back to school! Here’s a great little craft that uses the 3 R’s (reduce, reuse and recycle) plus has so many uses! I made one for the kitchen with bigger coffee tin cans to store utensils or you could use one in the bathroom for sorting out your stuff. There’s so many options.

Back To School Tin Can Caddy

Back to School Caddy

All you need is 6 washed out tin cans, spray paint (there are environmentally friendly spray paints) a 2×4 (cut down to size), 6 screws, and a handle (which you can buy from any hardware store). Spray the cans, handle and wood with your choice of colour. Once dry, use a metal dowel and hammer to knock a hole in the cans. Screw the cans onto the wood and then screw the handle onto the top of the wood and voila! A perfect organizer!