Pumpkin Spice Honey Butter

Pumpkin Spice Honey Butter

Pumpkin Spice Honey Butter

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My inspiration for today’s sweet and spicy honey butter comes from my recent 50th birthday celebration. Not only did I get to spend it with some very special people, but I also got to enjoy cake and a few gifts. As a food blogger, nothing says happy birthday more than a foodie gift, right? One of the birthday gifts received was a trio of flavoured gourmet honey. One of them being maple honey, which was fantastic mixed with butter and melted over steamed carrots. Another was pumpkin spice honey which I cheerfully mixed with butter and spread onto a toasted bagel. It was ohhhh so good!

Butter, honey and spices arranged on a wooden board in preparation for Pumpkin Spice Honey Butter.

So in the fashion of sharing, I mixed warm fall spices with honey and butter so you can enjoy Pumpkin Spice Honey Butter without having to worry about finding and buying specialty honey. It’s super easy to make at home and wonderful on baked goods like zucchini bread, muffins, bagels/toast, pancakes and French toast. All I can say now is thank goodness for turning 50, thoughtful people and foodie gifts. Enjoy!

Pumpkin Spice Honey Butter spread on zucchini bread and arranged on a wooden board with extra butter.
Pumpkin Spice Honey Butter served in a small stainless steel dish and arranged with pine cones.

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Pumpkin Spice Honey Butter

Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup salted butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/8 tsp allspice
  • 1/8 tsp ground clove

Instructions

  • Add all ingredients to a medium bowl and mix until smooth.

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Mediterranean Pasta Salad

Mediterranean Pasta Salad

Prepared Mediterranean Pasta Salad served in a clear bowl on a wooden tray.

Mediterranean Pasta Salad

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Go ahead and skip the mayo with this Mediterranean Pasta Salad that is bright and briny with a wonderful array of ingredients. The zesty dressing made with Dijon and fresh herbs is a burst of flavour that takes this salad to the next level. Olives and pancetta add a nice texture and brininess to the pasta, while the spinach, cherry tomatoes and red onion keep it light and fresh. Mediterranean Pasta Salad is great for picnics, potlucks, backyard BBQ parties and your July long weekend. This salad holds up wonderfully the day it is made so there’s no fear of a soggy salad. The pasta and pancetta can be cooked up to two days ahead so tossing this salad together at the last minute is a cinch. Enjoy!

Ingredients for Mediterranean Pasta Salad arranged on a wodden tray.

This recipe was one of the first posted to my blog back in 2016 and I forgot how delicious it is. I felt it deserved a little revival just in time to enjoy for summer.

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Mediterranean Pasta Salad

Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Servings 6 cups

Ingredients

  • 7 ounces gemelli or fusilli pasta
  • 4 ounces pancetta
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh basil see note
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh oregano see note
  • 1 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 tsp chopped fresh parsley see note
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 cups lightly packed baby spinach, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 cup sliced black olives
  • 1/3 cup thinly sliced and roughly chopped red onion
  • 1/3 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese

Instructions

  • Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and rinse under cold water until pasta is cool. Drain well and set aside.
  • Meanwhile, in a small skillet cook pancetta over medium heat until crispy and fat has been rendered, about 5-7 minutes. Drain well on a paper towel-lined plate.
  • Whisk together olive oil, red wine vinegar, basil, oregano, Dijon mustard, red pepper flakes, garlic, salt and pepper.
  • Toss together pasta, pancetta, spinach, cherry tomatoes, black olives, red onion, parmesan cheese and dressing until combined. Adjust seasoning and serve.

Notes

-fresh herbs are lovely in this recipe, however, if you need to use dry herbs use 1/3 of the amount stated for fresh.
-this salad is best served the day it is made but leftovers will keep for 2 days covered in the refrigerator.

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Spinach and Feta Shakshuka

Spinach and Feta Shakshuka

Spinach and Feta Shakshuka ready to serve from a shallow braiser.

Spinach and Feta Shakshuka

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Meatless meals can be so darn good! Spinach and Feta Shakshuka is a quick and easy vegetarian meal that has a crazy amount of nutrition packed into it. Eggs on their own are very nutritious, add in spinach, leeks and legumes and you’ve got a healthy dose of vitamins A, C, K and D, not to mention loads of protein and fibre. This lovely dish packs a lot of flavour too, plus it’s prime for serving for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

The preparation of ingredients for Spinach and Feta Shakshuka.
Spinach and Feta Shakshuka in a shallow braiser ready to cook the eggs.

There are plenty of green shakshuka variations out there, but I love the classic feta and dill combination of this one. It’s bursting with fresh flavours of dill and lemon, and the spinach is a great pairing with the eggs. I’ve opted to use cannellini beans, however, other legumes such as chickpeas would be great as well. I find the beans round out the dish and make it rustic and very satisfying. I also suggest serving this dish with crusty, toasted bread. You’ll need it to dunk into the perfectly soft eggs and scoop up the saucy greens. Enjoy!

Spinach and Feta Shakshuka ready to serve from a shallow braiser.

Spinach and Feta Shakshuka ready to serve from a shallow braiser.
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Spinach and Feta Shakshuka

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Servings 3 people

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 medium leeks, well cleaned
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 7 ounces fresh baby spinach
  • 3/4 cup cooked cannellini beans, see note
  • 2 tbsp fresh dill, chopped
  • 1/2 each lemon
  • 6 large eggs
  • 3 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
  • 2 each green onions

Instructions

  • Thinly slice the leeks and green onions. Heat oil in a large shallow skillet or braiser. Add leeks and garlic. Sauté for 2-3 minutes until starting to soften. Stir in broth, cumin, coriander, salt and pepper. Simmer for 4-5 until leels are tender and most of the broth has cooked out.
  • Add spinach and toss gently with leeks until wilted. Stir in beans, dill and squeeze in the juice of half a lemon. Make 6 large indentations and crack an egg into each. Sprinkle evenly with feta cheese. Cover and cook on medium heat until egg whites are just set and the centers still jiggle, about 4-5 minutes.
  • Sprinkle with sliced green onions and the remaining tbsp of fresh dill. Serve with toasted bread.

Notes

-I used cannellini beans for this recipe and enjoyed them in the dish.   Chickpeas would be another great choice.

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Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

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Not all chocolate chip cookies are created equal! For years, I’ve been making a recipe that I thought was the bomb, but as it turns out, there was a better cookie yet to be made. These Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies have taken the lead in my kitchen and have become my new favourite chocolate chip cookie. But let me be clear, my personal favourite remains my Coconut Oatmeal Cookies I’d make them ALL the time, but there’s another person in the home that deserves their favourite too. So for him (AKA husband), I make chocolate chip cookies. He’s my little cookie monster and these fantastic cookies get a double thumbs up from him too.

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies rolled dough on a parchment lined baking tray.
A parchment lined baking tray filled with flattened cookie dough balls in making Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies.

These Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies rank number one with me for several reasons. First is the slightly crisp golden edges of the cookie. They’re great to nibble away at and exactly what you’d expect in a perfect cookie. The second is the slightly chewy center with melty chocolate when eaten while just a little warm. The third is the oatmeal, there’s just enough to call them an oatmeal cookie but the cookie doesn’t seem laden with it. It’s just the perfect balance of oats to give a little texture and chew. Fourth is the taste, there’s a little more salt and vanilla in the recipe than most call for and that really makes this cookie delicious.

Baked Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies on a parchment lined baking tray.

You’ll find the cookie dough easy enough to make and it’s made using melted butter which lends towards a chewier cookie. The dough is also nicely “scoopable” straight out of the bowl with no chilling required. Although, I have scooped and baked these cookies from a chilled state as well and found little difference in the end product. I do prefer to flatten the cookies before baking because it produces a uniform cookie that’s not too puffy in the center. Happy baking, you’ll love these cookies!

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Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 48 cookies

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup butter, melted
  • 1 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 2 cups large flake oatmeal
  • 1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350°F and arrange oven rack to the middle position. Line baking trays with parchment.
  • In a medium bowl whisk together flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  • Beat together both sugars and melted butter until light and creamy. Add whole eggs one at a time, and then the egg yolk, incorporating after each addition. Scrape bowl and mix in vanilla.
  • Add flour mixture all at once and mix until incorporated. Add oatmeal and mix to combine. Scrap bowl and stir in chocolate chips.
  • Using a 1-ounce cookie scoop, scoop the batter onto prepared trays spacing evenly at least 2 inches apart. Flatten cookies with the palm of your hand or the bottom of a cup.
  • Bake one tray at a time for 10-11 minutes (do not overbake). Remove from oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes on the tray before moving to a cooling rack.
  • Repeat with the remaining cookie dough.

Notes

-recipe makes approximately 48 3" cookies.
-dough can be chilled for up to 3 days and scooped as is, but will be more difficult to scoop in a chilled state. I prefer scooping room-temperature dough.
-dough can be frozen and sealed in an airtight bag or container for up to a month. Allow to thaw in the refrigerator and scoop from a chilled or room temperature state.

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Wor Wonton Soup

Wor Wonton Soup

Wor Wonton Soup served in a shallow black bowl on a bamboo mat with a broken fortune cookie in the background.

Wor Wonton Soup

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You’ll want to skip the takeout when you can make flavour-packed Wor Wonton Soup at home. It’s incredibly easy and quick once all the components are ready. I prefer to make homemade wontons and pork for this recipe because both are just so much better than store-bought in my opinion. I’ve included links for both, so I encourage you to be adventurous and try both. For this soup, I’ve chosen to use broccoli and carrots for my vegetables, however, feel free to sub in baby bok choy, water chestnuts, snow peas or baby corn to suit your liking.

Prepped pork wontons, pork char sui, shrimp and vegetables ready for Wor Wonton Soup.

The biggest trick to Wor Wonton Soup is the timing. I’ve dabbled with several different timing arrangements and found that the vegetables will cook in the same time it takes the wontons to cook. Therefore, adding them to the simmering broth at the same time is essential. Overcooking either is undesirable, to say the least. The same can be said for the shrimp and pork too. The shrimp will cook in no more than 2 minutes and the pork only needs to be warmed as it’s already cooked. So be sure to stick around the pot, the whole process takes only 4-5 minutes, so it’s not the time to do even the quickest of choirs.

Wor Wonton Soup served in a shallow black bowl on a bamboo mat with a broken fortune cookie in the background.

I’ve included links for the Pork Char Siu and Pork Wontons. The extra pork can be tightly wrapped in a sealable bag and frozen for up to two months. The wontons can also be frozen in a single layer and then placed in a sealable container for up to a month. Extra wontons are easily cooked in a little broth, deep-fried or pan-fried. Trust me, they will not go to waste!! This is a wonderful soup that eats like a meal and it’s easier than you might think. Enjoy!

Pork Char Siu

Crispy Wontons

Wor Wonton Soup served in a shallow black bowl on a bamboo mat with a broken fortune cookie in the background.
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Wor Wonton Soup

Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 4 people

Ingredients

  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 4 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 1/2-2 cups large bite-size broccoli pieces
  • 1 large carrot, thinly sliced on a diagonal
  • 16 each pork wontons see note
  • 12 large shrimp, deveined and tail removed
  • 6 ounces Chinese BBQ pork (Pork Char Siu), thinly sliced see note
  • 2 tbsp green onion, thinly sliced on a diagonal
  • as needed sesame oil

Instructions

  • In a large pot heat broth and soy sauce to a gentle simmer. Add broccoli, carrots and pork wontons and maintain a simmer. Cook for 4-5 minutes until wontons are cooked and vegetables are just tender. Add shrimp and sliced pork when about 2 minutes of cooking time remains.
  • Divide soup into shallow bowls and garnish with green onions and a drizzle of sesame oil.

Notes

-The prep time noted does not include the time to make the wontons or pork char siu if making either from scratch.
-You can use store-bought wontons and pork char siu, however homemade is so much better and I've included a link to both in the post above.

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I may receive compensation for purchases made through this site, at no cost to the purchaser. Compelled to Cook is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com