Fall is a beautiful time to reconnect with family, especially after a busy summer.
Everyone pulls out their cozy sweaters, warm beverages and goes for long walks taking in the changing colours of the leaves and finding chestnuts and acorns on the ground. It’s also a time to celebrate and thank those we are grateful for or who have played a significant role in our lives.
Below are a few of our favourite recipes to get you thinking about Thanksgiving and all of the other family time fall brings.
Tasty Autumn Stuffing
Can you really consider it Autumn without thanksgiving, especially here in Canada? And when it comes to fall and Thanksgiving, stuffing is everything. Stuffing at Thanksgiving is the highlight of the meal. At least, that’s what we think. All you need to put your stuffing in the spotlight are the following ingredients;
- 10 cups of crumbled, dried D’Italiano® Thick Slice Original White Bread or D’Italiano with Gusto!™ Brioche Style Thick Sliced Loaf
- 9 tbsp. of butter
- 2 cups of celery, chopped
- 2 cups of yellow onion, chopped.
- ½ tsp. Kosher salt
- ½ tsp. Freshly ground pepper
- 2 tsp. of Dried poultry seasoning
- 1 ½ cups of chicken broth
Begin by placing a Dutch oven or large pot on the stove over low to medium heat. Melt eight tablespoons of butter, adding in the chopped onion and celery, occasionally stirring until the vegetable turn soft (6-7 minutes). Season with salt and pepper and remove from heat. Add 10 cups of dried D’Italiano® Bread of your choosing to a large mixing bowl with the sautéed onions and celery. Sprinkle with the dried poultry seasoning and drizzle with the chicken broth. Gently toss until the ingredients are well mixed. If you plan on baking your stuffing outside your turkey, grease a 9x13-inch baking dish thoroughly with one tablespoon of butter, and spoon the filling into the container. Drizzle with an additional ¼ cup of chicken broth and place two tablespoons of butter throughout the dish to help keep the stuffing moist. Cover the stuffing with tin foil and bake at 400°F for 20-25 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown.
If you are overwhelmed, with all the baking you need for the family Thanksgiving or any larger familiga get together, it’s best to make the stuffing the day before. This allows the flavours to settle even more and you can sprinkle a bit of oil or water on top before reheating to keep it moist and avoid it drying out. You can also let other family members bring part of the meal to share the load and have even more food to go around. If you want to add more crunch to the dishes, add water chestnuts and toasted walnuts.
Pumpkin Spiced French toast
The season of Pumpkin Spice is upon us and is it really fall without the toasty aroma of pumpkin spice or apple and cinnamon seasoning is in every warm drink or baked good? One of our favourites, is this quick and easy French toast recipe will have you family asking every weekend on repeat, for this tasty brunch idea. If you love pumpkin as much as we do, you likely have most of these ingredients in the pantry;
- 1 loaf D’Italiano® Thick Slice 100% Whole Wheat Bread or D’Italiano with Gusto!™ Brioche Style Thick Sliced Loaf
- 4 large eggs
- ¾ cup of canned pumpkin
- 1 ½ tsp. of pumpkin pie spice
- 1 tsp. of vanilla extract
- ¼ tsp. of kosher salt
- ¼ cup of unsalted butter
- ¼ cup of maple syrup
- Optional: 1 tbsp. of confectioners’ sugar
Whisk together eggs, milk, pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice, vanilla extract and salt in a large bowl. Dip a slice of bread into the egg mixture one at a time, allowing it to soak for at least 10 seconds. Melt 1 ½ tablespoon butter in a large frying pan over medium heat. Working in batches, add soaked bread slices to the skillet, allowing them to cook until evenly golden brown, about 2-3 minutes on each side. Repeat with remaining bread and butter. Serve immediately with maple syrup, pumpkin spice, and a little confectioner’s sugar if you desire.
Butternut Squash Soup with Sage and Parmesan Croutons
Nothing is more comforting than a bowl of warm soup on a brisk Autumn day. And soup never really feels complete without a little added flavour and crunch of a sandwich on the side, or some tasty croutons on top. This quick and easy soup recipe will be a fall favourite with you and your famiglia, and topping it off with croutons just might make it into Nonna’s family recipe book!
- 5 to 6 cups of butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes (a bag of frozen squash will also work in a pinch)
- 2 tbsp. of olive oil
- 3 tsp. of kosher salt
- 1 tbsp. of butter
- 1 large yellow onion, diced
- 3 stalks of celery, chopped
- 1 tbsp. of chopped fresh sage (about six large leaves)
- 6 cups of chicken broth (chicken bouillon cubes or vegetable broth can be substituted)
- ½ cup of freshly grated Parmesan
Sage and parmesan croutons
- 5 cups of dried D’Italiano® Italian-Style Loaf with Grains, cubed
- 1 tbsp. Olive oil
- ½ cup of fresh sage finely chopped
- ½ cup of shredded parmesan cheese
- Salt & pepper to season
Begin by preheating your oven to 400° F. using a flat surface or cutting board. Peel your butternut squash, cut it into chunks, remove the seeds and dice it into 1-inch cubes. Place the cubed butternut squash into a large bowl and toss with two tablespoons of olive oil along with 2 tsp of salt and a little pepper. Place the squash on a rimmed baking sheet and roast in the oven for 15 minutes. Remove butternut squash from the oven, mix and place back in the range for an additional 15 minutes or until the squash is caramelized.
Place a large pot or a Dutch oven on a stove over medium to high heat. Add the onion, celery, and sage, and sauté, occasionally stirring, until the vegetables are translucent and tender about 10 minutes. Add the squash, broth and the remaining salt and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer for 30 minutes or until the liquid is flavoured. Remove from heat.
Let the soup cool. Blend the soup in batches until smooth using a blender or immersion blender. If using a blender, place the soup back into the Dutch oven on low heat to stay warm.
In a large bowl, place 5 cups of dried D’Italiano® Italian-Style Loaf with Grains cut into cubes, tossing it in two tablespoons of olive oil, chopped sage, salt and pepper. Mix thoroughly until the bread is well-coated. Add the ½ cup of shredded parmesan cheese mix and place on a rimmed lined baking sheet. Place in the oven at 350° F and allow the bread to roast for 8 minutes. Pull the croutons out of the oven, stir and place the baking sheet back in the oven for another 10 minutes or until the bread is crispy and golden brown. Place soup in a big bowl, sprinkle croutons on top of the soup, serve and enjoy.
Cranberry, Apple, Pecan Bread Pudding
Bread pudding is a versatile dish that is simple, easy and can boast a lot of flavours. It’s a perfect dessert to which you can genuinely add anything, and families are most likely to have all the ingredients on hand. All you need are the following ingredients to make this quick and easy yummy dessert.
- One loaf or 4 cups of stale D’Italiano with Gusto!™ Brioche-Style Thick Sliced Loaf or your favourite D’Italiano® bread
- 3 cups of sugar (2 ½ cups if you prefer it less sweet)
- 2 cups of milk
- ½ lb. of fresh cranberries (water to cover)
- 4 eggs
- Cinnamon and nutmeg to taste
- 1 tbsp. of vanilla
- ¾ cup of melted butter cooled
- 2 firm tart apples, cut into chunks
- ½ cup of walnuts
Begin by cubing 4 cups of stale D’Italiano with Gusto!™ Brioche Style Thick Sliced Loaf and place into a mixing bowl with 2 cups of sugar. Pour the 3 cups of milk over the bread and allow it to sit for about an hour. Place a saucepan over medium heat, placing ½ lb. of cranberries and 1 cup of sugar and cover with water. Allow the sauce to simmer for 30 minutes, remove from heat and set aside to cool as the sauce thickens. Whisk together eggs, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla and melted butter in a small bowl. Pour the egg mixture over the soaking bread, and stir in apples, cranberries and walnut, mixing well. In a large baking dish, pour the entire bread mixture into the pan and place in an oven at 350° F for 30 minutes or until the pudding is puffed and golden. Allow the dish to cool slightly and serve with some vanilla ice cream. Enjoy!