Tuesday, November 16, 2010


I'd like to share my top 5 ingredients for the late fall/winter months! Sometimes just being able to focus in on a few key items helps can really help in meal planning and recipe searching!

1) Squash
2) Mushrooms
3) Cranberries
4) Risotto
5) Sage

Let me now share with you some great ways to use and combine these top five ingredients of mine!

1) Squash
The quintessential image of fall and Christmas. Squash has so many wonderful ways to be enjoyed and here are some ideas how:
- Squash, Onion & Garlic Soup
- Squash, Sage, Pancetta Risotto (combination of my top three right here)
- Roasted squash as a side dish to a meat

2) Mushrooms
I just love mushrooms more and more each day, and one of my favourite parts about them is their versatility! They can truly be used in so many ways, salads, soups, main courses, stuffing's, you name it!
- Mushroom risotto (a winter classic)
- Side dish of mushrooms in a cream, brandy and thyme sauce
- Warm and crispy mushrooms to top off a winter salad (with some pomegranate seeds for colour and as a fresh cool contrast)

3) Cranberries
I know I know, all you can think about when you hear the word "cranberry" is your grandma's cranberry sauce for the turkey! But cranberries with the right amount of  sugar can be wonderfully delicious and used it different ways!
- As a decoration in a champagne glass or in a bowl of festive punch
- A really nice cranberry compote type sauce can be used for a turkey, brie cheese and cranberry sandwich (throw a few leaves of nice and crunchy arugula in there for some peppery flavour)
- A perfect Christmas crowd pleasing appetizer: phyllo pastry cup with melted brie cheese and whole cranberries

4) Risotto
The warmest wintertime dish. Nothing says Italian comfort food like risotto. And the best part about this dish, the possibilities are endless! You can truly put any flavours you like into the basic risotto recipe!
- The squash, sage, pancetta risotto
- Wild mushroom risotto (really try and get a good selection of different mushrooms, the more, the tastier!)
- Green risotto: filled with peas, basil, edamame, fresh parmesan

5) Sage
I adooreeee sage! It is such a wonderful herb, so fragrant and so good!
- Ravioli in a sage brown butter sauce
- Sage, pancetta, water chestnut stuffing for roast chicken or turkey
- Pork chops with an apple and sage glaze with caramelized onions

I hope these recipe ideas have sparked some thinking, enthusiasm and recipe excitement!
For tips on these recipes just leave me a comment and I will be sure to get back to you! Enjoy and happy fall/winter!

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