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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Turkey Pot Pie with Puff Pastry

Turkey Pot Pie with Puff Pastry

Turkey Pot Pie with Puff Pastry baked golden in a green casserole dish and garnished with fresh thyme.

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I don’t know about you, but I think leftovers make some of the very best meals. Not only does leftover turkey taste amazing smothered in cream sauce all nestled up against veggies and potatoes, but it ensures that you’ve made the best of your bird with little waste. 

Groceries are expensive and we all work hard to feed our families well, which is another reason I’m a fan of leftovers.  They’re great for repurposing into inexpensive meals.  Turkey Pot Pie with Puff Pastry is a great way to use up extra vegetables in your fridge, along with the leftover turkey.  Feel free to substitute the puff pastry for pie crust dough too.  They’re both great options, I just happen to choose puff pastry for this post. 

Puff pastry sprinkled with flour and ready to be rolled with fresh vegetables and diced turkey in the background for Turkey Pot Pie with Puff Pastry.

I’ve made this Turkey Pot Pie with Puff Pastry as a one-pan family-style meal.  It bakes up golden with bubbling hot goodness beneath.  It smells amazing and is homey and comforting.  As a child, I ate frozen pot pies, usually when my dad was away to give my mom a break from cooking.  While they’re no comparison to homemade, they emanated what I love about a pot pie and I secretly enjoyed them. I didn’t know any better and I had nothing to compare the frozen version to, so for me, it was comfort food heaven in a little foil dish. Nowadays I opt to make homemade and I hope your family enjoys it as much as I do, but whatever your homey, comfort food is, enjoy it! 

A scoop of Turkey Pot Pie with Puff Pastry from a green casserole dish with serving bowls in the background.

A scoop of Turkey Pot Pie with Puff Pastry from a green casserole dish with serving bowls in the background.
Turkey Pot Pie with Puff Pastry
Print Recipe
    Servings Prep Time
    6-8 people 35-40 minutes
    Cook Time
    30-35 minutes
    Servings Prep Time
    6-8 people 35-40 minutes
    Cook Time
    30-35 minutes
    A scoop of Turkey Pot Pie with Puff Pastry from a green casserole dish with serving bowls in the background.
    Turkey Pot Pie with Puff Pastry
    Print Recipe
      Servings Prep Time
      6-8 people 35-40 minutes
      Cook Time
      30-35 minutes
      Servings Prep Time
      6-8 people 35-40 minutes
      Cook Time
      30-35 minutes
      Ingredients
      Servings: people
      Instructions
      1. Melt butter in a large pot or Dutch oven until foamy. Stir in carrots, celery and onions. Sauté for 5 minutes until starting to soften.
      2. Sprinkle in flour and stir to coat all the vegetables. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring often.
      3. Over medium heat, slowly add one cup of hot chicken broth stirring constantly until mixture comes to a boil (mixture will be very thick).
      4. Add another cup of broth and stir until smooth and the mixture comes to a simmer. Repeat with remaining broth.
      5. Reduce heat to low and add potatoes, herbs, salt and pepper. Simmer, partially covered for 10-12 minutes until potatoes are almost tender (this will depend on the size of your diced potatoes).
      6. Preheat oven to 425°F.
      7. Meanwhile prep the puff pastry dough if you have purchased unrolled. Dust your work surface with flour and roll pastry to 13"x9" rectangle or large enough to overhang your casserole dish. Dough should be 1/8"-1/4" thick.
      8. Stir turkey and peas into the stew and adjust to taste with salt and pepper. Pour mixture into a greased 12"x8" or 2-quart equivalent casserole dish.
      9. Drape rolled puff pastry over the casserole, pressing the overhang onto the edge of the dish.
      10. Whisk egg and cream together in a small bowl and brush evenly over puff pastry.
      11. Cut 6-8 slits in the puff pastry to allow steam to escape. Bake for 30-35 minutes until golden and pastry is cooked through. Remove from oven and serve immediately.
      Recipe Notes

      -It's important to use hot chicken or turkey broth.  Pouring cold liquid into the hot flour mixture will cause the flour to congeal and you will have lumps in your sauce.  Using hot broth maintains a steady temperature of the mixture allowing all flour particles to become incorporated before the flour cooks.

      -Flour does not reach its full thickening capacity until it comes to a full boil.

      -Use pre-rolled puff pastry dough for more convenience.

      -Be sure to leave an overhang of puff pastry.  If you don't the stew will bubble up over the pastry, preventing it from cooking properly.

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      Steak with Balsamic Butter Sauce

      Steak with Balsamic Butter Sauce

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      Steak with Balsamic Butter Sauce is an elevated meal for two and takes only a few quality ingredients and less than 30 minutes to prepare.

      Tenderloin steak, butter and balsamic vinegar arranged on a wooden board in preparation for Steak with Balsamic Butter Sauce

      Beef tenderloin steaks can be a bit pricy, even for us here in beef country. But what I really like about beef tenderloin is that it’s a relatively lean cut of beef, it’s super tender and flavourful. It deserves a good sear to hold in the moisture and a generous drizzle of balsamic butter sauce.

      Butter sauce comes in many forms, like Beurre Blanc-French butter sauce, Piccata sauce and the sauce on my Tarragon Chicken Cutlets

      A butter sauce is quite simple and uber quick to pull off with a little know-how. In any butter sauce, it’s very important to use cold butter cut into small chunks. Cold butter melts more slowly, allowing the fat particles to breakdown and be dispersed throughout other liquids like wine, lemon juice, stock or in this case, balsamic vinegar. Adding butter gradually is equally as important. It allows all the fat particles to become completely emulsified but at a slower rate. This process creates a thicker and more stable sauce. Scientifically it’s a little more involved, but this gives you the idea behind it.  Enjoy!

      Steak with Balsamic Butter Sauce sliced and ready to serve garnished with fresh rosemary.

      Steak with Balsamic Butter Sauce sliced and ready to serve garnished with fresh rosemary.
      Steak with Balsamic Butter Sauce
      Print Recipe
        Servings Prep Time
        2 people 10-15 minutes
        Cook Time
        12-15 minutes
        Servings Prep Time
        2 people 10-15 minutes
        Cook Time
        12-15 minutes
        Steak with Balsamic Butter Sauce sliced and ready to serve garnished with fresh rosemary.
        Steak with Balsamic Butter Sauce
        Print Recipe
          Servings Prep Time
          2 people 10-15 minutes
          Cook Time
          12-15 minutes
          Servings Prep Time
          2 people 10-15 minutes
          Cook Time
          12-15 minutes
          Ingredients
          Servings: people
          Instructions
          1. Pat steaks dry with a paper towel and season generously with salt and pepper on both sides.
          2. Add oil to a medium stainless steel skillet and heat on high. When the oil is hot add steaks and cook 4 to 4 1/2 minutes per side for medium-rare, flipping only once and getting a good sear on both sides.
          3. Remove steaks to a plate and cover with foil.
          4. Add balsamic vinegar, beef broth and rosemary to the same pan whisking to pick up any beefy bits left behind by the steak. Continue to cook over medium-high heat for about 4 minutes until sauce is reduced by at least half and can coat the back of a spoon. Remove rosemary sprig.
          5. Turn heat to low and whisk in butter one chunk at a time, allowing the butter to be incorporated before adding more. Once all the butter is incorporated remove from heat and adjust seasoning to taste with salt and pepper. Serve over steak or on the side as a dipping sauce. Makes about 1/3 cup of sauce.
          Recipe Notes

          Cooking time for steaks will be dependant on size.  The steaks I used were approximately 8 ounces each and 1 1/2 " thick.

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          Breaded Pesto Chicken Cutlets

          Breaded Pesto Chicken Cutlets

          Why are chicken cutlets so good?

          Simply put, they are pounded thin.  This not only makes them tender but makes them cook quickly leaving them little chance of drying out. The trick is to pound them out as evenly as possible which results in even cooking.  Breading the cutlets isn’t always necessary but it does help to keep in all the moisture as does a good sear if opting not to bread them. Breaded Pesto Chicken Cutlets is a good example of both pounding thin and breading.

           

           

          I love versatile food!

          Breaded Pesto Chicken Cutlets are a great example of how one dish can become 3 different kinds of meals.  These crispy cutlets slathered with pesto are fantastic served with buttered noodles for a quick and easy weeknight meal.  They’re also great cut into wedges and served atop a crisp salad. I’m thinking my favourite though is nestling said cutlet between chewy bread and tomato slices for an upgraded sandwich that ‘s good for lunch or dinner.

           

          Breaded Pesto Chicken Cutlets are cut into strips in the foreground, while whole cutlets remain on a parchment lined tray in the background. A black kitchen towel, knife, fresh basil and pesto adorn the scene.
          Breaded Pesto Chicken Cutlets
          Print Recipe
            Servings Prep Time
            8 cutlets 35 minutes
            Cook Time
            12-15 minutes
            Servings Prep Time
            8 cutlets 35 minutes
            Cook Time
            12-15 minutes
            Breaded Pesto Chicken Cutlets are cut into strips in the foreground, while whole cutlets remain on a parchment lined tray in the background. A black kitchen towel, knife, fresh basil and pesto adorn the scene.
            Breaded Pesto Chicken Cutlets
            Print Recipe
              Servings Prep Time
              8 cutlets 35 minutes
              Cook Time
              12-15 minutes
              Servings Prep Time
              8 cutlets 35 minutes
              Cook Time
              12-15 minutes
              Ingredients
              Servings: cutlets
              Instructions
              1. Using a blender or mini processor combine the first 7 ingredients and blend until combined but still has some texture. Set aside.
              2. Using three shallow bowls, combine flour and 1/2 tsp salt in one, breadcrumbs and 1/2 tsp salt in the second and the eggs whisked with the milk in the third.
              3. Pat chicken breasts dry with a paper towel. Cut each breast in half horizontally and then cut each half into half vertically, giving you 4 pieces per breast.
              4. Place chicken pieces between 2 pieces of parchment. Pound to about a 1/4" thick (no thinner).
              5. Dredge chicken cutlets with flour, shaking off excess.
              6. Dunk floured cutlets into egg wash and then into bread crumbs, turning to coat evenly. Arrange prepared cutlets onto a clean plate or tray.
              7. Add enough oil to a large skillet to come up about an 1/8" of an inch. Heat over medium until hot. Add 4 cutlets and cook approximately 2 1/2 minutes per side depending on thickness. Remove to a paper towel lined plate. Repeat with remaining cutlets.
              8. Turn oven to broil, with rack 8-10" from heat.
              9. Arrange cutlets on a foil lined tray. Spread 1 tbsp of pesto onto each cutlet and sprinkle lightly with grated parmesan cheese. Broil for 1-2 minutes until cheese is bubbly. Remove from oven and serve immediately.
              Recipe Notes

              -You can use any pesto you'd like here, however, the one included with this recipe contains less oil than regular pesto.  I found regular pesto makes the cutlets too oily.  This slightly drier version gives the same great flavour but less oil and better results. If you'd like to use a classic pesto, here's the recipe Classic Pesto

              -These cutlets are also great on top of pasta drizzled with extra pesto or in a sandwich.

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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
              Spiced Rum Caramel

              Spiced Rum Caramel

              Delicious doesn’t have to be complicated.  Spiced Rum Caramel signifies how only a few ingredients can be transformed into something amazing.  With its burnished colour, creamy texture and buttery caramel taste, it’s the perfect topping for ice cream, cakes and apples to name just a few. 

              There’s no need to ever buy store bought again, because making your own is easy with a little know how.  Mainly, you don’t want any sugar crystals to form.  NO stirring is key to help prevent sugar crystals forming on the side of the pan. Sugar crystals form when the hot sugar hits the cold pan side or cold whisk if you were to stir it. This, in turn, can cause the whole sauce to become crystallized. You can brush down the sides of the pan with water and a pastry brush if a few crystals start to form. 

              The second important thing is timing.  It takes seconds to go from a light amber colour to a dark, overcooked colour.  The goal is a deep amber colour and knowing where that is, comes by doing. It may take a try or two to know exactly where you like it.  If in doubt, it’s best to opt for a slightly lighter colour than to go too far the other way, which will have a bitter taste.  Your caramel will still be amazing. Enjoy!

              Spiced Rum Caramel
              Print Recipe
                Servings Prep Time
                1 1/4 cups 10 minutes
                Cook Time
                12 minutes
                Servings Prep Time
                1 1/4 cups 10 minutes
                Cook Time
                12 minutes
                Spiced Rum Caramel
                Print Recipe
                  Servings Prep Time
                  1 1/4 cups 10 minutes
                  Cook Time
                  12 minutes
                  Servings Prep Time
                  1 1/4 cups 10 minutes
                  Cook Time
                  12 minutes
                  Ingredients
                  Servings: cups
                  Instructions
                  1. Assemble all ingredients prior to cooking.
                  2. Combine sugar and water in a medium-large saucepan (I used a 3 quart). Heat over medium-high until sugar is dissolved, gently swirling pan once or twice. DO NOT STIR. If any crystals form on the side of the pan, brush away with water and a pastry brush. Allow to cook at a boil until starting to turn an amber colour, about 10 minutes.
                  3. Once the outer edge starts to turn colour you can gently swirl the pan a couple of times to evenly distribute, once again, do not stir. When it becomes a deep amber colour, remove from heat and whisk in heavy cream. The mixture will bubble vigorously. Once it has smoothed out, whisk in butter and salt. Stir in rum. Pour into a sealable jar and allow to cool completely prior to storing in the fridge.
                  Recipe Notes

                  -If in doubt about the colour, opt for slightly lighter.  Going to dark will result in a slightly bitter/burnt taste.

                  -Makes about 1 1/4 cups and will keep in a sealed jar for up to a month in the fridge.

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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