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Color my neighborhood

With so many eye-catching Christmas posts out there, I thought I’d reflect on saying goodbye to autumn.  Autumn is my second favorite season, after spring.  It signals an end to the long dog days of summer.  It’s a season where everything transforms in the garden.  The season also known as “fall” in North America,  is a time of year when the deciduous trees shed their leaves, but not before displaying a fiery exhibit which illuminates the sky.

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Tagine of monkfish, potatoes, cherry tomatoes and black olives

I’d say a few meals are more satisfying and eye-appealing than a hearty and warm tagine.  The name tagine is given to the conical shaped, earthenware vessel in which the food is cooked.  From the stove top  to the table, this decorative vessel with its fragrant stew forms the basis of traditional Moroccan cooking.  Most authentic tagines have a small hole at the top of the conical lid to release some of the steam.

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Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala

What could be more rewarding than having a meal cooking away in your crock pot (slow cooker) when you’ve had a busy day?  Do you love Indian cuisine, but don’t have the time to make it from scratch?  The crock pot method makes it all happen in one big pot, melding the flavors and spices and cooks it to perfection. Imagine the aroma as you walk in. You’ll know that warm, comforting feeling, it’s as if your kitchen is beckoning you in to a dish that you didn’t have to slave over.

I’ve used a slow cooker for many soups and stews but it was only recently that I discovered that cooking curry in a crock pot, was not only feasible, but it makes clean up a cinch!  I did my happy dance when I first discovered it, as there’s nothing quite as heartening as an irresistible curry when the weather turns.

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Baked Greek Chicken-squash meatballs

A fellow Canadian blogger, Johanne, @ French Gardener dishes recently posted a gorgeous dish that caught my eye.  If you are new to Johanne’s blog, I urge you to visit and take a look around.  She’s a creative cook and gardener and her blog definitely reflects that.  We bonded over just that….our love of food, gardening and entertaining.  I’ve also had the pleasure of meeting Johanne in person.   She’s just a wealth of information when it comes to those areas.

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Tri-color organic Quinoa with roasted vegetables

Need a quick side dish that is healthy and moist?  Look no further, this tri-colored quinoa can be served up with a main course or just as a side.  Best of all, it is vegetarian and gluten-free.   You’ll find the bold, beautiful colors of this dish both satisfying to your senses as well as your waistline.  I don’t have a recipe per se, but I will attempt to itemize the ingredients used and the assembly of the grain bowl.  All I can say is that it packed a mean flavor punch for sure.

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Lentil and vegetarian cottage pie

In keeping with the warm Fall colors, this delicious and aromatic cottage pie came to be.  Can you imagine my excitement when I saw this orange cauliflower just waiting to be picked at Trader Joe’s? Trader Joe’s is a neighborhood grocery store with amazing food and produce from around the globe and around the corner. The quality is second to none and the prices, very reasonable.  The flowers used in this presentation are also from Trader Joe’s – my one stop shop🙂

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Berry Pudding Cake

Berry Pudding Cake  is a quick and simple cake that makes delicious use of fresh summer berries.  When berries were plentiful in the summertime, I baked this tender cake over sweet berries, creating a juicy, cobbler-like dessert.  Raspberries, strawberries, and blueberries were mixed in a light pudding batter and baked. 

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