Caprese Bites

Caprese Bites

As fall arrives, many of us are struggling with an overload and excess of tomatoes – many shapes and sizes.  Some beefsteaks and most likely some lovely sweet cherry tomatoes.  In my family, those cherry tomatoes are just as good as candy – we all pop them in our mouths, sometimes fresh off the plant!

This appetizer is a great way to use some of those tomatoes in a classic combination, in appetizer size – caprese salad bites.

 

 

Caprese Bites
Serves 5
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Ingredients
  1. 10 basil leaves
  2. 10 cherry tomatoes, various colours
  3. 10 mini bocconcini balls
  4. balsamic vinegar (optional)
  5. olive oil (optional)
Instructions
  1. Pull out 10 longer sized toothpicks.
  2. On each toothpick, stack a cherry tomato, a basil leaf, and a cheese ball.
  3. Place or stack on serving plate of your choice.
Notes
  1. This recipe is very easy to scale up (or down) depending on your party size. If you are making it for yourself, then the sky is the limit!
  2. If you want to make it a bit more fancy, you could either drizzle some olive oil and balsamic vinegar over top, or place it on the side for dipping. Both those flavours complement the cheese and tomatoes very well, making it a classic combination.
River City Cookery http://rivercitycookery.com/
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Apple Crisp

Apple Crisp

As we head into cooler weather, some of us look forward to the warm and cozy foods that we are all about to indulge in.  This next recipe is a prime example of how to use up some of that late summer produce, as well as enjoy some lovely warm spices as we ease into fall.  

This is a super simple recipe, which not only has a great filling full of apples and cinnamon, but it reuses our crisp topping from our summery rhubarb berry crisp.

Apple Crisp
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Filling
  1. 6 cups apples, sliced
  2. 2 tbsp lemon juice
  3. 2 tsp cinnamon
Topping
  1. 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  2. 1/4 cup oats
  3. 3/4 cup sugar
  4. pinch salt
  5. 1 tsp cinnamon
  6. 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  7. 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cold
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375F and pull out a 9" x 9" square baking pan.
For the filling
  1. Peel, core, and slice the apples.
  2. Add the lemon juice and cinnamon.
  3. Mix well and pour into the pan.
For the topping
  1. Combine flour, oats, sugar, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg in a medium bowl and mix to combine.
  2. Cut in the cold butter to your flour and oats mixture. You can also use your fingers.
  3. Pour flour mixture evenly over your fruit and bake for 50-55 minutes or until golden brown on top.
Notes
  1. After baking, if you feel you would like the topping a bit crisper and more golden brown, use your oven's broiler setting and broil for approximately 3-5 min. VERY IMPORTANT NOTE: DO NOT walk away while the broiler is on!! I cannot emphasize this enough.
  2. Serve warm with ice cream, whipped cream, or simply on its own!
River City Cookery http://rivercitycookery.com/
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Small Batch Refrigerator Pickles

Small Batch Refrigerator Pickles

Late summer/early fall is my favourite time of year. There’s so much wonderful produce available and so many options to preserve it. Preserving some of the produce you come across at this time of year allows you to experience the freshness and flavours throughout the winter. 

Today we’re sharing a quick way to keep those garden cucumbers hanging around just a little longer. This is a refrigerator pickle recipe which means we are not hot water canning it, it’s not shelf stable, and it MUST always be kept in the fridge. You can keep these in the fridge for up to two months, but I promise they won’t last that long. 

Small Batch Refrigerator Pickles

Small Batch Refrigerator Pickles
This quick and easy refrigerator pickle recipe makes about one 2-cup mason jar of pickles.
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Ingredients
  1. 1/2 lb cucumbers, sliced
Brine
  1. 1 clove garlic, crushed
  2. 1 1/2 tsp salt
  3. 1 1/2 tsp sugar
  4. 1/2 cup water
  5. 1/2 cup vinegar
  6. 1 tsp pickling spice
Instructions
  1. Add sliced cucumbers to a sterilized 2-cup mason jar, set aside.
  2. Add brine ingredients to a small sauce pan and bring to a boil.
  3. Pour brine over cucumbers.
  4. Allow jar to cool for about 1 hour and then refrigerate for up to 2 months.
Notes
  1. These pickles will taste great right away but will become more flavourful the longer they sit in their brine.
River City Cookery http://rivercitycookery.com/
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How to Plan Lunches for the Week

How to Plan Lunches

Back to school time has arrived. For the first time in a long time no one in our house is heading back to school this fall. Despite this, we know the benefits of planning ahead when it comes to lunches. Today we’re going to share some of our best tips on how to plan out lunches for the week. These tips aren’t just for those of you (or your family members) going back-to-school. We use these tips and recipes to plan and prepare lunches for work and travel too!

Keep in mind the magic formula for lunches: Protein + Vegetables + Carbohydrate = a filling and nutritious lunch. A whole container of pasta at lunch with leave you in a terrible place come 2pm – don’t forget to add protein! 

Leftovers

One of our easiest tips is to strategically plan your leftovers to make lunches. You can do this two ways:

  1. Cook more portions of what you’re already making. For example, my partner and I always cook dinner as though we are feeding 4 – one portion for each of us, and one portion for each of us to take for lunch. 
  2. Bulk cook to make lunches for the week. For example, at the beginning of the week cook several chicken breasts to portion out and add to a salad or a big pot of chili or a hearty soup that will serve as your lunch for the week.

How to Plan Lunches for the Week

Other Lunch Options

If leftovers aren’t your game, try making filling salads (add meat, tuna, beans, etc to up the filling-ness) or a good old sandwich. Both of these can still be made ahead of time so that you won’t be left scrambling in the morning. 

Snacks

Adding protein (think nuts, yogurt, nut butter) and fibre (whole grains, flax) to your snacks will keep you fuller longer. Some of our favourite options include:

Whole Wheat Raspberry Muffins

Find what works for you and you’ll never have to buy a lunch at work again!

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