warm spiced pumpkin + tomato dip

 

FINALLY, real fall weather. we just got back from a trip to new york city & it was so hot. although i wish the trip would have lasted longer (i'll be sharing a post all about it this week), i am excited to return home to cooler temperatures so i can soak up all things fall. i spent my first day back home baking up a variety of homemade breads & this cozy pumpkin + tomato dip. it is the perfect recipe to welcome fall!

the dip has a middle eastern vibe as it is spiced with cumin, coriander & tumeric. the base of it is tomato, so it is important to use quality tomatoes such as pomi usa. pomi's tomatoes are fresh & 100% italian. in this recipe i used a mix of the strained tomatoes for smoothness & the chopped tomatoes for texture. the addition of pumpkin puree adds an extra kick of fall flavour & silkiness. i paired the dish with a variety of colourful vegetables to serve as an appetizer, but serving the dip with various breads & pita works too (similar to fondue).

happy october! xo

ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 shallots, chopped
  • salt & pepper, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 pinch red pepper flakes
  • 3/4 cup low sodium chicken stock
  • 1 can POMI chopped tomatoes (400 grams)
  • 1/2 cup POMI strained tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree, fresh or canned
  • pumpkin seeds, to garnish
  • fresh cilantro or parsely, to garnish
  • crumbled feta, to garnish
  • crunchy vegetables, for serving

directions

  • in a saucepan over medium heat sautee the olive oil, garlic & shallots. season with salt & pepper. cook until the shallots begin to soften, about 5 minutes.
  • add the cumin, coriander, turmeric & red pepper flakes.
  • whisk in the chicken stock, chopped tomatoes, tomato puree & pumpkin puree. season with salt & pepper.
  • simmer over low heat (covered) for an hour, until the sauce has cooked down.
  • garnish with pumpkin seeds, cilantro & feta. serve warm with crunchy vegetables for dipping!

wild mushroom, kale + sausage pinwheels

 

there is something about pizza pinwheels that screams back to school season! i haven't been in school for years, but it is still so nostalgic this time of year. these pizza pinwheels are not the same pinwheels of your childhood. they are a fancy pants version filled with sweet sausage, wild mushrooms, kale & grueyere cheese. i used california olive ranch's mild & butter extra virgin olive oil as the base to the pizza rolls instead of traditional pizza sauce (kind of like a white pizza) & served them with a side of marinara for dipping. the mild & buttery olive oil is california olive ranch's mildest extra virgin olive oil. it has a subtle buttery flavour which makes it ideal for baking. i like to drizzle the fresh from the oven pinwheels with a touch of the olive oil before serving too, because i can't get enough of that fresh olive oil flavour. maybe it is the italian in me, but there is no such thing as too much olive oil.

these rolls have so many amazing flavours happening, justin couldn't get enough of them. they are great for an after school (or after work) snack & to pack for lunch. i made the dough from scratch using my favourite pizza dough recipe, but if making dough isn't your thing (or you are strapped for time) a store bought version will work! whenever i don't have time to make dough from scratch, i go to a local bakery to purchase the dough directly from them. bakeries & pizza shops make for the best "store bought" dough, as it is prepared from scratch anyways. enjoy!

ingredients

for the pizza dough

for the pinwheels

  • 1 batch of pizza dough (see recipe)
  • 2 tablespoons + 1/4 cup california olive ranch's mild & buttery olive oil
  • 150 grams sweet sausage, casing removed
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cups wild mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups fresh kale, torn into pieces
  • salt & pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili flakes
  • 2 cups grated gruyere cheese
  • marinara sauce, to serve

directions

for the pizza dough

  • in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment add the water & yeast. let stand for 5 minutes to allow the yeast to activate.
  • once activated, whisk in the olive oil & salt. turn the mixer to low speed & add the flour 1/2 cup at a time.
  • when the dough comes together, turn the mixer to medium speed & knead for 5 minutes.
  • shape dough into a ball & transfer to a greased bowl. cover with a towel & let rise for 2 hours, or until it doubles in size.

for the pinwheels

  • line two baking sheets with parchment paper. set aside.
  • heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. add the sausage & cook until browned, about 5 minutes.
  • using a slotted spoon, transfer sausage to a small bowl. in the same skillet add the garlic & onion, cook until translucent.
  • add the mushrooms & sautee until soft, about 5 minutes. stir in the kale & cook until wilted. season with salt, pepper & chili flakes.
  • remove from heat & let cool for 15 minutes.
  • as the mixture cools, roll out dough on a floured surface as if you were making cinnamon rolls (approximately an 10 x 15 inch rectangle).
  • brush with remaining olive oil, salt & pepper. evenly spread the cheese across the surface of the dough, followed by the mushroom filling.
  • roll dough carefully into a log & pinch ends to close. cut into 10 even slices & transfer to prepared baking sheets.
  • bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes, or until golden brown on top. when ready to serve, drizzle with additional olive oil & a side of marinara sauce for dipping.

glazed pumpkin + cider pound cake

 

this cake mixes the two best ingredients of fall: pumpkin + apple. a pumpkin spiced based cake ft. an apple cider glaze! the batter is a simple one-bowl pound cake baked in the most gorgeous ciroa scallop decorative cake pan. designed in australia, the design of the pan is inspired by vintage tinware but made in durable cast aluminium. i think bundt cakes present so beautifully without any of the hassle that layer cakes bring. the cake is dense enough that it comes out of the pan very easily without any breakage, plus the pan has a non-stick surface. trust me, i know how it feels to bake up a gorgeous bundt cake, only for it to fall apart as you flip the pan. this recipe will ensure that doesn't happen, just be sure to grease & flour every nook of the pan before baking.

justin brought the leftovers into work the next morning & it didn't even last the hour! so many of his co-workers were asking (demanding) for the recipe. just be sure to use pure apple cider, not apple juice as the cider has a much stronger flavour & consistency. apple juice tends to be much more watered down. lastly, i recommend glazing the cake just before serving so the frosting is fresh.

as always, happy baking! xo

ingredients

for the pound cake

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups turbinado sugar
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree, fresh or canned
  • 1/2 cup apple cider
  • 2 3/4 cups all purpose flour, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

for the glaze

  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ginger

directions

for the pound cake

  • preheat oven to 350 degrees. grease & flour cake pan.
  • in a large bowl cream together the butter & sugar until fluffy, about 2 minutes.
  • add the eggs one at a time (until incorporated) followed by the pumpkin puree & apple cider. beat until well blended.
  • sift in the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg & cloves. mix until batter is smooth, about 2 minutes.
  • transfer to prepared cake pan & bake for 45-55 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. let cool completely before removing from pan & glazing.

for the glaze

  • in a medium size mixing bowl whisk together the sugar, apple cider, butter, vanilla, cinnamon & ginger until smooth. if mixture appears thick, add more cider. if mixture appears thin, add more sugar.
  • pour glaze over cake & serve!