This is such a great time of year for food! Yes, I love the simplicity of summer barbeques, but I AM so ready for fall cuisine. Bring me soups, and pot roasts and casseroles! I AM ready for all the comfort food. The harvest is in, and my oven is ready!
I’m not going to lie, my husband is the favoured chef in our family. While I enjoy cooking, he has well over a decade of experience working in high-end kitchens. His meals are no joke. On weekends, when he is afforded more family time, he usually cooks, while I set the table and clean up afterward.
With Thanksgiving around the corner, I try to keep the house quite festive. But if I’m being honest, all of this comes down at mealtime. Having both children and beautiful things at the table is a recipe for disaster. But I couldn’t resist snapping a pre-dinner pic to showcase how EASY it is to get a gorgeous tablescape. I used a wreath as the centrepiece with a flameless candle in the middle and laid a couple of faux branches over the table runner to add some depth. And voila! Simple, festive and cozy. Sure, there are so many stunning ways to decorate the table for a feast. But in this house, it has to be easy to dismantle!
Wreath $49.99 | Flameless Candle $19.99 | Gold Charger Plate $9.99 | Round Placemat $14.99 | Table Runner $79.99
Pumpkin Trivets $12.99 & $14.99
35” Golden tone Leaves $14.99
Ok, let’s get back to food! Over the years, my husband has managed to teach me the art of blending flavours…and that’s about it. I can make food taste delicious, but execution and time management are not in my skillset. While this is something that can be learned, it hasn’t been learned by this Mama. And I think that’s why – Mama. I can’t speak for other families, but in our house, pre-dinner time is the witching hour, as we like to call it. The kids are tired from a busy day and hungry, so very hungry! I allow them a small snack after school/daycare, but I don’t want them filling up on snacks, so come dinnertime, they are ravenous!
Since working full time again, meal prepping has been spoken of often, but honestly, I just haven’t nailed it down yet. So, putting dinner together while tending to two hangry children is how I’ve been rolling. Occasionally, my husband works from home and surprises us with a delicious and unexpected mid-week dinner. But most of the weekdays, this task falls on me. And I’ve got to say, one-pot meals are my jam. Not only are there fewer dishes, but they are fairly foolproof, in my experience. Whether you prefer to use the oven, slow cooker or instant pot, the options are endless.
Some fall favourites in our house are:
- Instant pot chili with homemade buns
- Chicken stew with dumplings
- Roasted red pepper soup with fresh bread
- Chicken and rice casserole
- Roast beef with all the fixins (mashed potatoes, corn, broccoli, Yorkshire pudding and of course, lots of gravy)
- Beef stew with focaccia bread
One of my go-to meals that the entire family enjoys is the beef stew. I thought about posting my favourite stew recipe, but the truth is, we rarely follow one. I will often draw inspiration from recipes, then adjust them to accommodate the ingredients I have on hand.
Terra cotta 6” pot $3.99 & saucer $3.99 | ‘Parsley’ (and assorted herb) pot $14.99 | Wooden spoon $14.99 | Dish towel $7.99 |
Assorted 4” pot of herbs $2.49
Luckily, we almost always have fresh herbs like rosemary, thyme and parsley. We grow plenty of herbs in pots through the summer, then bring them in for the winter. With one-pot meals like beef stew, a good flavour base of caramelized veggies followed by a nice braise with lots of herbs like rosemary and thyme and bay leaf is so important. If you don’t still have your summer herbs and want some live plants to carry you through the season, Anna’s has plenty! And they have a plethora of adorable pots for them too.
Green & blush assorted pots with legs $24.99 & $49.99 | Ceramic green pumpkins $9.99 | Faux eucalyptus sprigs $19.99
We tend to use the oven more on weekends when time allows us a nice slow roast. But on weekdays, amidst the hustle and bustle, I lean heavily on my instant pot. While my husband will always claim it’s subpar, I love it! In a fraction of the time, I can make a truly delicious soup or stew that the entire family will devour!
Green Heart Rosemary Focaccia bread $8.00
What’s cooking in your house this season? I’d love to hear what meals your families enjoy, as I AM always looking to expand our menu. I hope the bountiful harvest we are so privileged to live amongst reaches your homes and fills your table with delicious food and of course, lots of laughter. Cheers friends!