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Pumpkin Peanut Butter

Have you had enough of pumpkin yet?

We certainly hope not, because we have one last recipe to add to the onslaught of pumpkin-themed-everything that you have probably been being hit with for the past month-and-a-half.  If you are tired of it though, perhaps we could change your mind… with a cookie?

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Oh sorry, that’s just the dough- you were expecting the baked stuff, weren’t you?

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*Disclaimer: there may or may not have been a certain amount of dough that did not quite make it into cookies…

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But isn’t it kind of a rule that you always have to taste-test the batter before you bake the cookie?  It is in our house, anyways 😉

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In all seriousness though- these cookies are fantastic.  Who knew that peanut butter and pumpkin could be such a winning combination?  Of course, the chocolate chips just add that extra bit of decadence 🙂

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It’s difficult to describe the texture of these cookies.  They’re soft but dense, sort of cake-like but not quite as light as cake- you know what? Maybe you guys should just try them and decide for yourselves what the texture is instead of letting us ramble on forever, sound like a plan?

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And after all that we completely forgot to mention that these are gluten free!  How silly of us!  We used our trusty‘ol new gluten-free flour blend, of course :).

If you think the peanut butter-pumkin combo is strange, we urge you to give it a shot- we think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.  We know we were!

And after you’ve made these cookies, we give you full permission to start into all things ginger bread, peppermint, cranberry, chocolate and Christmas-filled wonderfulness!

Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Bake Time: 15-20 minutes
Makes: 12 cookies

Ingredients:

2 c. Gluten-Free flour blend
1
/4 tsp xantham gum
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 eggs
1/2 c. pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
1/2 c. peanut butter
1/2 c. liquid honey
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 c. – 1/2 c. chocolate chips

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350F

Combine the flour, xantham gum, baking powder salt and cinnamon in a medium-sized bowl.
In a separate smaller bowl, combine the remaining ingredients except the chocolate chips.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir just to combine.  Stir in the chocolate chips.
Cover a baking sheet with parchement paper and spray with non-stick cooking spray.  Drop the dough onto the sheet, about 2 tbsp for each cookie.
Using a floured fork, press the cookie so that it’s flat, shaping them to make them round.
Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until they are firm enough to be picked up and the bottoms are slightly brown.

~twosaucysisters

What was your favourite pumpkin recipe from this Fall?  Are you looking forward to Christmas baking?  What are you planning to make?

All Dressed Up

Even though it’s starting to get a little colder (you have no idea how much it pains us to admit that!) we here at Two Saucy Sisters still believe that it is never too cold for a big ol’ salad!

That being said, there are definitely a lot of ways to change up a salad to make it more seasonable.  Adding cooked, cubed sweet potato or squash adds a nice Fall flair, as do some crisp apple slices.  Pair that with some toasty walnuts and creamy goat cheese and you’ve got yourself a pretty tasty fall-ified salad!

But of course, salad just isn’t salad without dressing, now is it?  You could just go with your usual oil-and-vinegar combo, but why not make it a little more special?

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Something you may not know about us is that the house we live in (when we’re not at school) is actually a more than 100-year-old fruit farm.  Most of the orchards are gone now and we only have about 3 acres of the original land left, but we do have a few pear trees that still produce fruit every year.  So, you can imagine that when our gracious father picked us a whole bunch of them, we needed to figure out a way to use them up before they got too ripe.  Who knew the answer would be salad dressing?

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Yup- we made a pear vinaigrette!  It’s a little sweet, it’s a little savoury, and it makes the perfect topping for a Fall-inspired salad!

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This works really well if you just so happen to have a couple slightly over-ripe pears in your fridge.  If you don’t, just leave a pear out on the counter for a day or two and you’ll be ready to make this tasty dressing.  It’s simply a matter of throwing the ingredients in a blender and you’ve got yourself enough dressing for several salads in mere minutes!

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So now you have no excuse not to eat your greens 😉

Happy Fall Salad-Eating!

Pear Vinaigrette

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Prep time: 5 minutes
Makes: ~1 cup

Ingredients:

1 ripe pear
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp white vinegar
dash of salt
pepper, to taste
1/2 c. olive oil

Directions:

Add all ingredients to a blender except for the olive oil, and blend until the pear has been pulverized.   With the motor running, slowly add the olive oil in a steady stream.  Blend for another minute or two to ensure the pear is fully blended and everything is combined.  Adjust seasonings to taste.

Store in a sealed jar in the refrigerator. (Just be sure to set it on the counter a few minutes before using it, and give it a stir before pouring)

~twosaucysisters

Do you ever make fun salad dressings?  What’s your favourite way to jazz-up a salad?

Fall Favourites

We can hardly believe that we are already nearing the end of November!  Seriously, when did that happen!?!

It feels like just yesterday that everyone was cracking open their first can of pumpkin puree and roasting their first squash of the season, in anticipation of all things Fall, and now here we are starting to think about gingerbread, chocolate (not that we already don’t think about chocolate all the time!) candy canes and all things Christmas!

So before we move on to Christmas-themed everything, we thought it would be appropriate to do a Fall-recipe round-up, to pay homage to the first Fall season for our blog.  A sort-of farewell.  A very fond farewell 🙂

And afterwards who knows?  You may not be ready to throw out the last of your pumpkin just yet!

Our Favourite Fall Breakfasts

Pumpkin Gingerbread Pancakes

Pumpkin Pie Granola

Lunch/Dinner Recipes

Pumpkin Sage Crepes

Coconut Butternut Squash and Lentil Soup

Pumpkin Linguini

Pear and Cheddar Savoury Buckwheat Bake

Sides

Roasted Fall Veggie Salad

Pumpkin Israeli Couscous Risotto

Snacks and Desserts

Vegan Pumpkin Cheesecake

Apple and Spice Granola Bars

Pumpkin Pie Granola Bars

Pumpkin Rice Pudding

Other

Warm Spiced Apple Smoothie

Apple Butter

So now that we’ve paid a proper tribute to Fall, get ready for all things chocolate, peppermint, gingerbread, and of course a whole lot of red and green!  (But don’t be surprised if pumpkin still makes an appearance now and then 🙂 )

~twosaucysisters

What are some of your favourite Fall foods?  What are you doing to get ready for the Christmas season?

Fun Fall Baking

On Wednesday we decided to tease you guys a bit, and give you a sneak peak into what we’ve been concocting baking this week…

But we were mean and we have been withholding it from you… until now!

Vegan Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake.  We could end this post with just that and give you the recipe now, because really, what else needs to be said?

But we like to talk way too much for that 🙂

So you’re probably wondering- why make vegan cheesecake if you’re not vegan?  Because we can.  It’s a bit more of a challenge, and we like a challenge 🙂  If you remember, we made a zucchini-bread cheesecake a while back, and it turned out fabulously!  We knew at that moment that we couldn’t let that be our last experiment with vegan cheesecake!

Well we’re not trying to brag, but we think that this second version turned out just as well (if not better!) than the first!  Thick, creamy pumpkin over top of a chewy, oat-and-nut crust.  People, food heaven lives here!

And of course, chock-full of pumpkin pie spices, this is Fall in the form of vegan cheesecake!  Make that healthy, refined sugar-free cheesecake 🙂

Our initial intent was to make 1 large cheesecake, but then we thought, what’s better than having a slice of cheesecake?  How about your own personal-sized cake, where you can eat the whole thing all by yourself?  The choice was obvious.

So whether you’re vegan or not, make this cheesecake- you won’t be disappointed!

Vegan Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake

Prep: 20 minutes
Bake Time: 30 min
Serves: 6

Ingredients:

For the Crust:
1 c. dates
1 c. oats
1/2 c. walnuts
1/4 c. almonds
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp nutmeg

For The Cheesecake:
1 1/2 c. cashews, soaked overnight or for at least 4 hours
1 c. pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie puree)
1/3 c. date paste
1/2 tbsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350F

For the Crust: combine all ingredients in a food processor or high-power blender and pulse until everything is all ground up, and mixture sticks together when pinched.  Divide mixture evenly between 6 large lined muffin tins and press firmly into the bottom.

For the Cheesecake: blend all ingredients in a food processor or high-power blender until smooth.  Divide amoung the muffin tins and smooth with the back of a spoon.

Bake for 30 minutes, or until cheesecakes are firm to the touch.

~twosaucysisters

What is your favourite cheesecake flavour? Do you ever experiment with creating dishes for specific diets, even if you’re not on that diet yourself?

Thanksgiving Thanks

This weekend in Canada, it is Thanksgiving. We know for many of our readers in the states, this holiday doesn’t come around for another few weeks, and we’re sure many of the countries that our readers are from don’t have a Thanksgiving, but it’s that time of year here and what kind of bloggers would we be if we didn’t write about it? 🙂

Thanksgiving is one of our favourite holidays. It’s fall and the leaves are gorgeous, and the Niagara Escarpment looks beautiful this time of year!

 

Our favourite sport is in season, also: Cross Country! 🙂

 

If there’s one thing that we are thankful for, it’s Western cross country and all the fabulous friend’s we’ve made and the fun times we’ve had. University would not be the same without it!

The other great thing about Thanksgiving is the time we get to spend with our family! We don’t get the chance to come home much during the school year, cross and track (and school…) keep us pretty busy! This is really the first weekend we’ve been home since going back to school, and boy is it good to be home!

We seriously miss our family when we’re away! We have the best Mom, Dad, and brothers in the entire world. You can try and argue, but you are wrong! 🙂

We are super thankful for our family and the continual support that they provide every. single. day. Our family is always there to pick us up when we’re down and are our biggest fans. They encourage us in everything we do. We couldn’t have picked a better one if we tried!

Of course, thanksgiving wouldn’t be thanksgiving without a big family dinner! Turkey and pumpkin pie to be precise. Mainly the pumpkin pie part. 🙂

This thanksgiving was a bit different for our family this year. Normally, our entire dad’s family gets together at our Aunt’s house and has a big turkey dinner. This year, however, our Grandma decided to give our aunt a break, and we went out to dinner instead! We went to Betty’s Restaurant in Chippawa, Niagara Falls. To be perfectly honest, not much on the actual menu appealed to us.  This restaurant caters more towards an older demographic and young children, so we didn’t find it had an overly exciting menu. They do, however, serve a Turkey dinner every Saturday, which, being Thanksgiving, was just fine with us!

Turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, maple-butternut squash, and your choice of salad or soup (un-pictured). Cranberry sauce came in a little container on the side. It  was pretty yummy, what you would expect from a turkey dinner. Our only two  issues with this meal was the menu said Turkey dinner special served with soup and dessert, with no other description of what was coming with the meal, and the plate came with already poured gravy.  We like gravy, but we’d prefer to pour it ourselves, so that it wasn’t all over everything, you know? Perhaps if the menu had a more detailed description of the meal, we would have known to ask for it on the side.

Now, apparently this place is famous for their pies. Normally, we are both more cake, cookie and squares kinda girls, but there are 3 pies that we LOVE: Apple, mince, and of course PUMPKIN! Betcha’ never would’ve guessed that! 😉 So of course, after hearing the extremely lengthy list of pies that Betty’s had to offer, we chose pumpkin!

It definitely hit the spot! 🙂

Other highlights of our thanksgiving included:

A visit from our long-time friend Olivia

Going to Yuk Yuk’s Comedy Club in the Falls with our brothers

Bad pic, sorry!

A long run with our beautiful Mom

A workout with this girl

and lots of hugs from this guy!

We’ve also been doing a lot of cooking, and have a fabulous recipe for tomorrow’s Meatless Monday that you’re sure to love! Our family raved about it. 🙂

So, happy thanksgiving to all of our fabulous readers! Because of all the things we mentioned that we’re thankful for so far, we haven’t mentioned YOU! We really wouldn’t have a blog without you, and we’re so happy that you’ve been enjoying the recipes and other posts we’ve been putting on here. Please feel free to comment anytime with questions, anecdotes, ideas, suggestions, stories, whatever! We’d love to hear from you. 🙂

Happy Thanksgiving!

-twosaucysisters

WIAW: The Comforts of Fall

Can you believe it’s already the end of September?

We’ve been back in school for almost a month now, and we both still feel like we’re trying to make the transition from summer, which is why the theme for this month’s What I Ate Wednesday- “Falling into Good Habits”–  just seems so appropriate!  Because “falling” is a great way to describe the completely un-graceful transition that we are attempting to make, here.

But there are a few things that have been helping make this transition easier, or at least more pleasant.  Of course, being back with our cross country team has been fabulous, and we do love being in London, but there is one aspect of fall that really speaks to our inner-foodies.

As you know (and we’re sure you’ve all noticed lately!) the temperature takes a bit of a nose-dive this time of year.  And while we are both summer girls at heart, we take comfort in the fact that along with cooler temperatures comes one of our favourite foods- soup!

And not just any soup.  We’re talking about the thick, creamy variety made from nothing else but the season’s best squash (that just so happen to be only 50 cents/lb!).

Creamy Coconut, Buttercup squash and lentil soup.  Comfort in a bowl, friends!

We seriously can’t think of anything better than coming home from a hard cross country workout in the brisk fall breeze and digging into a warm bowl of this soup.

So if you’re feeling like us, and are still trying to adapt to the season, give this soup a try.  It might not help you keep track of all your homework and assignments, or just simply fall back into your routine, but it’ll make the transition easier 🙂

And then head over and visit Jenn at Peas and Crayons, and check out all the other What I Ate Wednesday participants!

Creamy Coconut Buttercup Squash and Lentil Soup

Prep Time: 10 min
Cook Time: 35
Serves: 2-3

Ingredients:

2 small buttercup squash, roasted and peeled
1/4 white onion, diced
1 clove garlic
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
1/2c. red lentils
4 c. water
1/2 c. coconut milk
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

Place buttercup squash, onion, garlic, bell pepper, lentils, and water in a large pot over medium-high heat.  Bring to a boil, then reduce to medium-low and simmer for 25 minutes.

Transfer to a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.  Return to the pot and add coconut milk and seasonings.  Return the soup to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes, or until heated through.  Add 1/4-1/2c. extra water if you desire a thinner consistency.

Spoon into bowls and serve topped with yogurt and hot sauce, if desired.

~twosaucysisters

What are your favourite Fall comfort foods?

What I Ate Wednesday: Savoury Buckwheat bakes and a New Routine

We think that Fall is finally starting to move in.  In fact, yesterday was the first time that either of us had to wear a long-sleeve shirt on our run since the spring!  And to top it off, we got word from our brother that they closed our pool at home.  <sigh>, Good bye, summer!

But as sad as we are to say farewell to the warm temperatures and long sunny days, not everything about the coming of Fall is bad!  We actually have many things to be excited about for what we’ve both agreed is our second-favourite season. (Come winter, though, we’ll be singing a different tune!)

Fall is great for a number of reasons:

Cross Country season starts!

Pumpkins and Squash are suuuper cheap!

(source)

Being back in London

Starbuck’s Pumpkin Spice Latte!

And of course who doesn’t love the satisfying crunch of leaves under your feet?

And now that Fall is in the air, Jenn’s theme for What I Ate Wednesday this month just seems so appropriate!

Yes, this is also the time of year when many of us are heading back to school, or at least settling back into a more consistent routine, which makes it the perfect time to begin some good new habits!  Think of it as an early new-years resolution 🙂

For us, the start of school means a more regimented workout routine.  We have practice every day at 4:30, which we actually like because we no longer have to think about scheduling our workouts in- that part’s already done for us! 🙂

The big change we notice this time of year is meal patterns.  More specifically, planning and making meals has to be much more pre-planned.  This holds true particularly on Thursdays, when we have class from 11:30am-8:30pm with no breaks.  That means that we have to pack a lunch and a dinner that day, along with some snacks. (Luckily that is our day off from practice, so at least that’s one less thing to worry about!)

Our new routine is to prep our dinner on Wednesday night, and make our lunch Thursday morning. Yes, we could just buy our dinner on campus, but its so expensive, and usually not as healthy as what we could make at home (or as delicious 🙂 )

Dinner has to also be easily-pack-able and portable.  And delicious. Did we say that already?

Enter the savoury buckwheat bake.

This was our first time making a savoury variety of one of our favourite breakfasts, and the only thing we could think was “why haven’t we done this before!?!”

Pear and Cheddar buckwheat bake… the perfect comfort food right before you enter into your last three hours of class during the longest. Day. Ever.

With a little rosemary thrown in there, this little dinner cake hit the spot and kept us both going through that last night class.

Fruit and cheese.  The perfect combination!  We don’t really have much more to say about this little creation, other than that it was extremely delicious and, when paired with a little die salad, was filling enough to last us straight through our 3-hour night class.

So if you’re a buckwheat-bake lover like us, don’t hesitate to branch out and try one for dinner, we promise you wont be disappointed!

Pear and Cheddar Savoury Buckwheat Bake

Prep Time: 10 min
Cook Time: 30 min
Serves: 2

Ingredients:

1/2 c. buckwheat flour
2 tbsp buckwheat groats
2 tbsp chia seeds
1/2 tsp baking powder
2 eggs
4 tbsp milk
2/3 c. plain yogurt
1 pear, diced, leaving a few slices left over for topping
1/4 c. cubed cheddar cheese, plus extra for topping
1 1/2 – 2 tbsp. dried rosemary
1/4 tsp salt
pepper

Directions:

Pre-heat oven to 350.

Combine all dry ingredients in one bowl and all wet in another. Mix thoroughly, stirring in the cheese, pear and rosemary. Pour into two greased bowls or ramekins, and top with pear slices and extra cheese.

Bake for 30-35min, or until done.

-twosaucysisters