As the air becomes crisp and the days are grow shorter, chances are this is one of the busiest times of year for your family. These quick recipes help you breeze your way through.
Brown sugar meatloaf
When you sweeten up a traditional favourite, even meatloaf skeptics will be won over. Use onion powder instead of onion if you prefer. Serves 4.
- 1 ½ lb. (682.5 g) ground beef
- small onion, minced
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1 ½ cup (375 mL) soda crackers, crushed
- ⅓ cup (75 mL) milk
- 2 tsp. (10 mL) Worcestershire sauce
For the glaze
- 1 small can tomato paste
- ½ cup (125 mL) brown sugar
- ¼ cup (50 mL) Worcestershire sauce
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (176 degrees Celsius).
- In a small bowl, mix the cracker crumbs with the milk and allow the crackers to absorb the milk.
- Put the beef, onion, eggs, and Worcestershire sauce into a larger bowl. Add the cracker mixture. Mix all the meatloaf ingredients by hand until thoroughly combined.
- Press the meatloaf into a greased loaf pan. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, stir the tomato paste, brown sugar, and Worcestershire sauce together until blended.
- Pour the glaze over the meatloaf. Use a spatula to make sure it is covered completely.
- Bake, uncovered, for 1 hour, or until done. Allow the meatloaf to cool for about 10 minutes. Slice and serve with mashed potatoes.
Pumpkin and sage risotto
Risotto has an undeserved reputation as being difficult to make, but it just takes some attention. You can get this creamy, seasonal dish on the table in about a half hour. Perfect for a fall party or a school night. Serves 4-6 as a main; serves more as a side.
- 6 cups (1,500 mL) chicken or vegetable stock
- 2 cups (500 mL) Arborio rice
- 1 cup (250 mL) pumpkin puree
- ¾ cup (175 mL) fresh parmesan cheese, grated
- ½ cup (125 mL) white wine
- ¼ cup (50 mL) butter
- small onion, minced
- a few sprigs of fresh sage, minced, or 2 tsp. (10 mL) ground sage
- salt, to taste
- Prepare and measure all the ingredients in advance, then place them within reach of your cooking surface.
- In a large stockpot or microwave-safe bowl, heat the stock. Set the stock aside, within reach.
- Meanwhile, melt the butter in a heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven. Add the onion and sage and sauté until the onion is just translucent.
- Add the rice to the butter and toss to coat. Toast the rice for about 5 minutes, until the outer edge of the grains is translucent.
- Pour the wine over the rice, deglazing the pot. Allow the rice to absorb the wine.
- Add hot stock, ½ cup (125 mL) at a time, and stir constantly. Bring it to a simmer, and allow the rice to absorb the liquid before adding the next ½ cup.
- When you add the last of the stock, add the pumpkin puree as well. Stir until well blended. Simmer for about 5 minutes more, until the risotto is the texture of a thick porridge.
- Add parmesan, and salt to taste. Serve immediately, garnished with fresh sage.
Caramel cheesecake dip
Keep these ingredients on hand for a fun after-school snack.
- 1 package cream cheese, softened
- ½ -¾ cup (125 mL – 175 mL) Eagle brand dulce de leche, or similar
- 1 tsp. (5 mL) cinnamon
- graham crackers, crushed (optional)
- sliced apples, to serve
- Using a stand mixer or food processor, whip the cream cheese, dulce de leche and cinnamon until smooth.
- Top with crushed graham crackers, if using. Serve alongside sliced apples.