Quinoa Fall Skillet

I’m trying really hard to think of a way to start this post without the phrase “One of my favorite things about fall is…” I think it is a well established fact that, as a people, we tend to love fall.

So I’ll try this…

What really gets me jazzed about fall…

is all the produce that starts turning up at the market. There is suddenly an abundance of whole stalks of cute little brussels sprouts, gourds, squashes, and pumpkins. So. Many. Pumpkins. Now, I love pumpkin as much as the next girl {really, I do!}, but it isn’t the end all be all of amazing fall veg.

What about all of those other delicious, beta-carotene packed, orange veggies?

Sure there are carrots, but I don’t want to talk about that. {Unless they’re in cake, then I fully support their existence.}

I want to talk about sweet potatoes. These babies are easily my all-time favorite veggie in the history of ever. You can boil them, mash them, stick ’em in a stew. You can roast them and put them in a salad. You can cook them with with bacon and some other fall favorites like apples and brussels sprouts and get this skillet that will make you want to go jump in a pile of leaves and watch Hocus Pocus on repeat until your boyfriend demands that you turn the drivel off.

It’s fall, in your mouth, minus the pumpkin.

Quinoa Fall Skillet from Kiwi and Peach

Quinoa Fall Skillet from Kiwi and Peach

Quinoa Fall Skillet

{Serves two. Adapted, barely, from a heart healthy recipe Prevention magazine. I reduced the recipe for two, and completely eliminating the heart-healthy aspect of the recipe, I used my normal chicken stock, and subbed thick cut bacon for the low-fat and let’s face it, low-flavor, bacon. If we’re going to eat bacon, let’s eat the real stuff from a nice non-factory pig, why don’t we? My method is also a bit different too because of the quinoa.}

The Quinoa
2 cups water
1 cup quinoa
dash of salt
1 Tbsp olive oil for crisping

The Chicken
1 chicken breast, cut into cubes
salt and pepper
dash of olive oil for cooking

The Skillet
2 ounces thick cut bacon, sliced
1/2 of a medium onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 small sweet potato, peeled and cubed
about 10 brussels sprouts, quartered
1 Granny Smith apple, peeled and cubed
1 tsp fresh thyme
big pinch of cinnamon
little pinch of sea salt
1/2 cup chicken stock

First things first, let’s get the quinoa on. Boil your jug and start heating a medium pot and a large pan, both on medium high heat.

Once the jug has boiled, add your water to the pot and salt it. Bring it to a boil and add the quinoa. Remember to rinse your quinoa with hot water before you cook it to get rid of that bitter powder that coats it! Set your timer for 20 minutes and let it do its thing.

Cube your chicken and season it withe salt and pepper. {I usually go ahead and slice the bacon now as well since I already have the meat cutting board out. Just sit it to the side until we’re ready for it.} Once the pan is really hot, add a dash of olive oil and pop the chicken in there. I usually sear it on one side, then flip and let it cook for 4–5 minutes or so. You want to cook it until it’s a nice golden color. When the chicken is finished transfer to a bowl and set it to the side. Return the pan to the heat.

While I’m waiting for the quinoa to finish up, I go ahead and start prepping the veggies. They all go in at about the same time, so it’s good to have them ready before you start on the skillet. Dice your onion. Peel and press your garlic. Peel and cube your sweet potato and apple. {1/2 – 3/4 inch cubes should do it.} After rinsing your brussels sprouts, cut the bottom off like you would a head of cabbage and quarter them. I discard the leaves that fall off when quartering them since they can be a bit bitter anyway.

By now the quinoa should be finished. Now, this step is completely optional. I, personally, like my quinoa crispy, so it’s worth the extra step to me. It’s completely up to you. Before getting started on the skillet, I add some olive oil to the now very hot pan and transfer the quinoa from the pot to the pan. Stir a bit, let it sit, then repeat a couple times. Basically what we’re doing is getting rid of the extra water and frying it up a tad bit. The quinoa will get a little darker and some bits might blacken. That’s when you know you’re done. Transfer it back to the pot and set it off the heat.

Now. The skillet.

Add your bacon, onion, and garlic to the hot pan and let them cook for a couple of minutes. Add the brussels sprouts and sweet potatoes, cover, and cook for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Once the sweet potatoes are starting to get tender go ahead and stir in the apple, thyme, cinnamon, and salt and let those flavors cook for a couple minutes. Add half of the chicken stock and let it cook until it is mostly evaporated. {This will soften up those potatoes!} Add the chicken to the skillet along with the rest of the stock and cook for a couple minutes longer until the it is all nice and hot.

Stir the quinoa in and serve it up. Enjoy!

Quinoa Fall Skillet from Kiwi and Peach

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The Stinky Burger

A couple of months ago the Kiwi and I were in Zermatt. And while we were in Zermat, we were introduced to the worst smelling, most fantastic burger we had ever put in our mouths.

The, aptly named, stinky burger.

Sound appetizing?

I thought so.

But really, it combines some of the tastiest {and stinkiest} ingredients like garlic, onions, and stinky, gorgonzola cheese into one burger that will blow your mind.

Naturally, once we got home after the trip, I set out to recreate this puppy and now, it’s a staple. {It’s one of the Kiwi’s favorites!} It’s the perfect dinner after a long day of hiking around the Matterhorn or, you know, just playing in these gorgeous, crunchy fall leaves.

The Stinky Burger from Kiwi and Peach

The Stinky Burger

{serves two, inspired by a meal at Brown Cow Pub in Zermatt}

The Toppings
drop of olive oil
1/2 of a medium sized onion, sliced
1 clove of garlic, minced
about 1/2 cup of gorgonzola cheese {or whatever stinky cheese you have on hand}

The Burger
10 ounces {300 grams} grass-fed ground beef
1/4 cup whole wheat bread crumbs
1 tbsp worcestshire sauce
1 tbsp whole grain mustard
1 clove of garlic, minced
salt and pepper

The Buns
2 buns {I like it best with kaiser buns with sesame seeds or with a pretzel roll fresh from the bakery.}
smidge of butter for spreading

Start heating up a pan on medium heat. Slice the onion and mince the garlic {or put it through a garlic press}. Once the pan is hot, drop a bit of olive oil in the pan and add the onions and garlic. Give it a stir then cover and let cook for about 10 minutes or until the onions are nice a soft. Once the onions are finished transfer them to a bowl and set aside. Return the pan to the stove top and turn it up to medium high heat.

While the onions are cooking, roll up your sleeves because we’re going to get a little messy. Add all of your burger ingredients to a bowl and get your hands in there. Mix all of that goodness together well making sure it’s evenly mixed. Divide the meat in half, form two patties, and drop them in the pan. Give it about 4-5 on that side and then flip.

Take about half of the onions and top the burgers with it. Cover each burger with the gorgonzola, put the lid on the pan, and let it cook away for another 4-5 minutes.

While the cheese is busy melting, slice your buns and butter each side. Turn the broiler in your oven on pop the buns in the oven on the top rack for about 3-4 minutes or until their lightly toasted. They should be done about the same time as your burger and then we can get started with the assembly.

Here’s how I layer it. Bottom bun, rest of the onions, burger, top bun. Done!

Take a big wiff and enjoy!

Oh, you might want to make sure your significant other eats it too.

What about you? Do you have any home adaptations of a favorite vacation meal? I want to hear about them!

Food News {a weekend report}

It’s the weekend!

We are actually staying in Bavaria this weekend, and I am so excited about having a chill weekend at home. We haven’t done that in a while. We’re planning on taking a nice long walk through the Englisher Garten, catching a play, and hopefully, heading to the Alps for a quick visit.

Perfection.

Food News from Kiwi and Peach {Fall Colors in Munich}

You know what else hasn’t happened in a while? Food News. My links bookmark folder is getting unruly because I’ve amassed a ridiculous number of articles that I’m just dying to share and discuss.

So, I’m sharing.

Let’s discuss.

{read}

An explanation as to why flavor is as much mental as it is physiological. {scientific american}

A look at why companies think GMO labeling would raise food prices. Hint, it’s not the labels. {grist}

A really interesting article about the evolution of boxed cake mix. {bon appétit}

Could the chemicals in processed foods be the contributing factor for obesity? {pro publica}

An interview with Marion Nestle: school “cafeterias [are the] key battlegrounds in the fight against obesity and poor nutrition.” {civil eats}

{make}

Can you believe they use lye when making pretzels?! I’ll stick with the baking soda when we give this a try this weekend. {the kitchn}

Sign me up for this butternut squash mac and cheese. Get in my belly! {marshalls abroad}

Can’t wait to try this salad. {naturally ella}

{love}

Parchment paper really is a baked goods game changer. {food52}

How to maintain those gorgeous wooden chopping boards. {the kitchn}

This tortilla press is exactly what I’ve been looking for. The goodies that come with it aren’t half bad either. {food 52 provisions}

Beer and Bacon Broccoli Cheddar Soup

I’ve mentioned before that I’m not a soup person.

Chili? Always.

Soup? Eh.

To be fair, soup in my house growing up meant Campbell’s. The tomato soup was always made with water. {Yuck.} The brothy soups were bland, not filling, and frankly the meat in them just creeped me out.

I’m not a soup person.

Except that, maybe I am.

Something seems to have changed this year.

Maybe it’s because Sheena keeps posting some of the most delicious look soup ever?

Maybe it’s because I’m incredibly stubborn and am seeing how long we can go before we have to turn the heat on, so a nice warm bowl of soup sounds like perfection?

Maybe it’s because soup made from scratch, while still ridiculously easy, is exactly one and a half million times better than soup from a can?

Either way, I’ve been making soup.

This soup is the gateway soup. Between the bacon, aged cheddar cheese, and the dark wheat beer, there really is nowhere this sucker can go but on the keepers list.

Beer + Bacon Broccoli Cheddar Soup from Kiwi and Peach

Beer and Bacon Broccoli Cheddar Soup

{I had been dreaming about a broccoli cheddar soup with bacon and a dark wheat beer. After looking at tons of recipes, I liked From Away’s method best and used it as my base and inspiration. I altered the amounts to serve two, added the broccoli, and omitted some of the other ingredients.}

4 ounces {120 grams} thick cut bacon, chopped into bits
1/2 of a medium onion
2 cloves of garlic
2 cups of broccoli {I used about 3/4 of a head and chopped it up pretty small}
1 Tbsp thyme
salt and pepper
1 cup of beer {I used a dark wheat beer. My recommendation: Schneider Weiss Aventinus or Franziskaner Royal}
1 cup of chicken stock
2 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp whole wheat flour
1/2 cup cream {I used soy.}
5 ounces {150 grams} of cheddar cheese

This is one of those recipes where its best to have everything prepped before you get started. So chop that bacon, onion, and broccoli. Peel the garlic and put it in the press.

Beer + Bacon Broccoli Cheddar Soup from Kiwi and Peach

Beer + Bacon Broccoli Cheddar Soup from Kiwi and Peach

Now let’s get started.

Heat a large pot in medium high heat.

Once hot, toss the bacon in there and cook it for a couple of minutes. You just want the fat to render and for it to cook up a bit. When it’s finished, transfer it to a bowl and set it to the side.

Back in the pot, throw your onion, broccoli, and minced garlic in and give it a stir. Cook for about 5 minutes or until it all starts to get tender. Stir regularly so all of that nice bacon grease on the bottom of the pan gets incorporated. Season the veggies with some thyme, salt and pepper.

Add about half of the beer {1/2 cup} to the pot and let it simmer away for 3 or 4 minutes until it has reduced by half. Then add the chicken stock.

While the beer and stock are reducing, we’ll make the roux to thicken this baby up. In a separate little pot, melt the butter and then whisk in the flour slowly to avoid lumps. Continue whisking for a couple minutes, then add it to the soup. Let this simmer for about 5 minutes while the whole thing thickens up.

Once the soup is coating your spoon, add the cream and the rest of the beer and give it a stir.

You can turn the heat off at this point, but leave the pot where it is. Add the bacon back in and start stirring in the cheese. It might take a couple minutes for the cheese to completely melt, but just keep stirring until the chunks are gone.

Serve it with bread. Serve it in a bowl. Serve it in a bread bowl. But most importantly, enjoy every bite!

Beer + Bacon Broccoli Cheddar Soup from Kiwi and Peach

Whole Wheat Pumpkin Spice Pancakes

You made it to Friday, my friend! Go you!

Remember a couple months ago when I did Nicole’s Monogram Swap? Well, in addition to getting some super cute gear for my kitchen, I also met and cultivated relationships with a group of lovely and talented ladies. One of those ladies is Susan over at the lifestyle blog, Charming Lucy. As a self-professed non-cook {Susan} and a fashion struggler {that’d be me}, we’ve been great resources for each other.

Today I’m blogging over there sharing the recipe for my Whole Wheat Pumpkin Spice Pancakes made with our fresh pumpkin puree and sprinkled with those Spiced Pumpkin Seeds. Head on over for the recipe!

If you’ve ventured over here from Charming Lucy, welcome! I’m so glad you could stop by! I sure hope you’ll stick around for a bit, drop me a line and say hi. I’d love to get to know you! And, of course, let me know if you try the pancakes!

Here are some of the things I used to make these magical pancakes a smidge more delicious:

Our How-To for making your own pumpkin puree.

The recipe for our simple granola staple.

The easy, peasy topping: spiced pumpkin seeds.

Whole Wheat Pumpkin Spice Pancakes from Kiwi and Peach

Spiced Pumpkin Seeds

This week is flying by y’all! Tonight we are headed to see one of the Kiwi’s favorite bands, the Mountain Goats, and then just one more work day. The Kiwi is taking Friday off, so hopefully we have at least one day without crazy long lines.

Also on Friday, I will be over on the lifestyle blog, Charming Lucy, sharing the recipe for our favorite fall breakfast, Whole Wheat Pumpkin Spice Pancakes. Yum!

Today, I thought I’d pop in really quickly to share an easy peasy topping for all of those pumpkin spice goodies you’re baking this month, including those pancakes I know you’re going to be whipping up this weekend.

{P.S. Have y’all made that pumpkin puree yet?!  I want to hear about it!}

Spiced Pumpkin Seeds on Whole Wheat Pumpkin Spice Pancakes from Kiwi and Peach

Spiced Pumpkin Seeds

1/4 cup shelled pumpkin seeds
1 tsp honey
big pinch of sea salt
little pinch of cayenne pepper
2 tsp butter

Start heating your pan on medium heat. While thats getting hot, mix your pumpkin seeds, honey, salt, and pepper together in a small bowl. Make sure it is mixed well or you might get a surprise clump of cayenne pepper. Ouch!

Once the pan is hot, melt the butter and then toss in the seed mixture.  Stirring continuously, cook for about 5 minutes or until they are nice and toasted and most have popped. {Oh and watch out, they pop!}