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Slow Cooker Pear Sauce

This Slow Cooker Pear Sauce is a great recipe for using up ripe pears!  Enjoy it with ice cream or add it to your baking!

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Last week my friend Tiffany gave me this enormous box of pears.  And now I’m trying to come up with ways to use them all up, as I don’t want them to go to waste…I have a really hard time throwing food out…it feels like bad karma to me!

And since many of the pears are very ripe, bordering on overripe, I thought one of the best ways to deal with them was to turn them into a sauce like apple sauce.  And what better way to do that than with a slow cooker.

Slow Cooker Pear Sauce

So on a busy morning before we rushed out to school, work and errands I loaded up my slow cooker with fresh pears and waited for the magic to happen.  After a few hours on low, the house smelled like cinnamon, and I had a delicious batch of pear sauce to use.

Slow Cooker Pear Sauce

The thing about pear sauce, is that it’s not apple sauce.  It’s much different…the texture is a little more gritty, and the flavour is different, but it’s delicious.  It’s very good over vanilla ice cream, but I plan on mostly baking with the sauce.  I’m going to make muffins, a breakfast oatmeal and a few other things which I hope to share with you soon!

Slow Cooker Pear Sauce

So if you’ve got a bunch of pears on the verge of being overripe, this slow cooker recipe is perfect!  And stay tuned for more delicious pear recipes coming your way!

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Slow Cooker Pear Sauce

This recipe makes approximately 4 cups of pear sauce.  Enjoy on it's own, over ice cream or add to baking.

Servings 4 cups
Author Jo-Anna@APrettyLife

Ingredients

  • 6 cups chopped pears cored, peeled and cut into small pieces
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon

Instructions

  1. Add the chopped pears, sugar and cinnamon to the slow cooker.
  2. Set to LOW and cook for 4 - 5 hours.

  3. If possible, stir the mixture occasionally.

Have a delicious day!

Easy Apple Turnovers with Cheese

Make these Easy Apple Turnovers with Cheese as a simple and delicious dessert or snack! Use a pre-made puff pastry for extra ease.

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Turnovers are such a delicious dessert.  And did you know that they are simple enough to make at home?  True story.  They’re one of the easiest desserts to make.  The secret is to use a pre-made puff pastry crust.  I always keep a box of pre-made puff pastry in my freezer to put together quick pies and desserts like turnovers.  I especially like to use them when I have loads of fruit that needs to be used up.  Such is the case with these Apple Turnovers.

This summer I was lucky enough to be able to pick a giant bag of apples from our neighbour’s apple tree.  I love to have apples around, especially in the fall, so I can bake with them.  Apple turnovers, Apple piesapple cakesapple butterapple oatmeal…apple in everything.  So when this month’s Canadian Cheese of the Month arrived at the door, I knew I had to pair it with apples and pastry.

Easy Apple Turnovers with Cheese

Le Gré des Champs certified organic cheese is the cheese of the month, as part of my partnership with Dairy Farmers of Canada.  This cheese comes from the family owned business, Au Gré des Champs’ in Quebec.  Made with raw cows’ milk from a herd of Swiss brown dairy cows, this cheese is creamy, rich and tastes like a soft Swiss Cheese.  Its smooth texture and nutty aroma pairs beautifully with apples.  It’s also a really great snacking cheese…I’m also imagining it baked in a bowl of French Onion Soup…oh my.

Easy Apple Turnovers with Cheese

But when it’s apple season, one must combine apples and cheese together!  I mean, is there any better combination than apples, cheese and pastry?  I think not.  So I made Apple Turnovers with Cheese.

Easy Apple Turnovers with Cheese

These apple turnovers are so simple to make.  I just made a quick apple pie filling, rolled out pre-made puff sheets, and shredded some of the Le Gré de Champs cheese for the tops of the turnovers.

Easy Apple Turnovers with Cheese

In less than 30 minutes we had delicious apple turnover pockets right from the oven.  Some covered in melted cheese.  All smothered in cinnamon and sugar.  So delicious.

Easy Apple Turnovers with Cheese

Just look at all that delicious bubbled cheese.  Yummmm

Easy Apple Turnovers with Cheese

These turnovers are a perfect way to enjoy seasonal apples. Serve them up with extra slices of cheese.  One cannot have too much cheese.  😉

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Easy Apple Turnovers with Cheese

Servings 12 Turnovers
Author Jo-Anna@APrettyLife

Ingredients

Apple Filling:

  • 2 cups peeled and chopped apples
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp corn starch
  • 1 tbsp water

Pastry:

  • 2 - 12x12 sheets of frozen puff pastry, thawed
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • cinnamon and sugar for sprinkling
  • 1/2 cup shredded Le Gré des Champs cheese a swiss cheese

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.

Apple Filling:

  1. In a sauce pan over low/medium heat, add the chopped apples, sugar, cinnamon, cornstarch and water. Stir and cook until the apples are soft and the mixture is thickened.
  2. Once thickened, remove from heat and set aside.

Pastry:

  1. On a lightly floured surface, roll out your pastry sheets. Cut each sheet into 6 even squares.
  2. Spoon out 2 tsp of the apple mixture into the centres of the pastry squares. Then fold the dough over making them into triangles.
  3. Press the edges of each pastry with a fork to seal them.
  4. Brush the sealed pastries with the milk, then generously sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar.
  5. Then sprinkle on the shredded cheese (as shown above).
  6. Bake them on an ungreased cookie sheet for about 12 - 15 minutes. Make sure to watch them to make sure they don't burn. The pastries should be golden brown when done.

 

Easy Apple Turnovers with Cheese

About Canadian Le Gré des Champs Cheese:

  • Type: Certified organic cheese with a mixed rind. Made with raw cows’ milk sourced from the farms’ own Swiss brown dairy cows.
  • Tasting Notes: Medium, nutty aroma and a smooth, rich texture. Aged for 3 months to enhance the hazelnut flavour.
  • Location: Quebec

Delicious Canadian Cheese Recipes:

More Ways to Enjoy Cheese:

Visit Dairy Farmers of Canada for delicious recipes using cheese!

Have a delicious day!

Disclosure:  This post was sponsored by Dairy Farmers of Canada.  I will be working with Dairy Farmers of Canada over the next year to bring you some delicious recipe ideas that I have created!  This recipe, all pictures and words are my own.  I love cheese. 😉

Bread Machine Pizza Dough

This Bread Machine Pizza Dough recipe is my go-to pizza dough recipe!  It’s easy to make, and so delicious!

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Pizza night in our house is always very well received.  We often will order in, but our favourite kind of pizza is homemade pizza.  There’s really no better kind of pizza than one you make yourself with all of your favourite toppings and ALL THE CHEESE.  But the best part of a homemade pizza, I think, is the crust.

Bread Machine Pizza Dough

For years I have been making homemade pizza dough using my bread machine.  I love being able to add all of the ingredients to one container, and in an hour and a half, I have a home made ball of pizza dough to work with.  Homemade dough is especially great because you make it into any shape that you like…I like to make hearts for Valentine’s Day and ghosts for Halloween.  So fun.

Bread Machine Pizza Dough

So easy.  If you’ve got a bread machine, you need to try this simple and delicious pizza dough recipe.

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Bread Machine Pizza Dough

Servings 1 large pizza

Ingredients

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 2 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 tsp bread machine yeast

Instructions

  1. Add all of the above ingredients to your bread machine.

  2. Select the Dough/Pasta cycle (it's usually about a 1 hr and 30 minute cycle).
  3. Once the dough cycle has completed, remove the dough to a surface lightly dusted with flour, and cover with a clean tea towel. Let rise for 15 minutes.
  4. Roll out and shape the dough into the desired shape, then transfer to a prepared baking sheet. (I prepare a baking sheet with a light layer of olive oil, or some corn meal.)
  5. Assemble your pizza!

Recipe Idea to Try!

Use this pizza dough recipe for this delicious White Pizza with Chicken, Mushrooms and Mozzarella, that I’m sharing over on the Kendall-Jackson blog!  Trust me when I say that you need to make this pizza…I think white sauce is my favourite pizza sauce everrrrrrr

White Pizza with Chicken, Mushrooms and Mozzarella

Have a delicious day!

Disclosure:  This post has been sponsored by Kendall-Jackson wines!  But as always the pictures, my voice, all content, and opinions are mine alone. xo

Slow Cooker Loaded Baked Potato Soup

This Slow Cooker Loaded Baked Potato Soup is a perfect weeknight meal.  Add all of your favourite baked potato toppings!

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Ahhhh fall.  The season of soups, stews and all comfort foods.  I love it.  I think cooking in fall is actually my favourite.  I love the routine of cooking meals, the smell of dinner simmering on the stove and the comfort of hearty food.  SO good.

And yet at the same time, getting back to the routine of meal planning can be tough…gone are the lazy days of summer meals.  But not to worry, we can get through meal planning together!  In fact, today you are going to come away with 11 Slow Cooker Meal Recipes!  I’ve joined 10 bloggers, and we’re each sharing a slow cooker recipe.  All delicious.  All simple.  And all perfect for fall. So make sure to visit their recipes at the bottom of this post!

To get things started, I’m sharing a recipe for Loaded Baked Potato Soup.

Loaded Baked Potato Soup

Slow Cooker Loaded Baked Potato Soup

If you love loaded baked potatoes, then you will love this soup…with all the same flavours of creamy potatoes, bacon, cheese, and green onion.  This soup is a winner winner slow cooker soup dinner!

Slow Cooker Loaded Baked Potato Soup

Actually besides how delicious this soup is, one of the best things about this soup is that you can make it in the slow cooker.  Put everything into the cooker in the morning, and come home to dinner ready.  All you have to do a the very end is stir in some cream, add cheese, then dress it up with your favourite baked potato toppings.

Slow Cooker Loaded Baked Potato Soup

Extra cheese, bacon bits and green onion.  Yes. Please.

Slow Cooker Loaded Baked Potato Soup

It’s comfort in a bowl.

Slow Cooker Loaded Baked Potato Soup

Serve with a green salad and fresh bread, and you’ve got dinner covered.  Simple and so good.

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Slow Cooker Baked Potato Soup

Servings 8
Author Jo-Anna@APrettyLife

Ingredients

Soup:

  • 6 medium sized potatoes I like to use Yukon Gold
  • 1 onion minced
  • 3 slices of bacon
  • 1 L chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Toppings:

  • 4 green onions sliced
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 6 pieces bacon cooked and crumbled
  • salt & fresh ground pepper

Instructions

  1. Peel the potatoes and cut them into 1/2 inch cubes.
  2. In a slow cooker, add the chopped potatoes, minced onion, 3 slices of bacon (uncooked), and the 1 L of chicken broth.
  3. Cook on the LOW setting for 6 to 8 hours, or on HIGH for 3 to 4 hours.
  4. At about 30 minutes or so before the soup is done cooking in the slow cooker, remove the 3 bacon slices.
  5. Then using either a potato masher or immersion blender, blend about 3/4 of the soup if you would like it to have some potato chunks. If you would prefer a smooth soup, blend the entire soup.
  6. Stir in the cream, sour cream and 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese until smooth.
  7. Cook for about 10 to 15 minutes more.
  8. Salt and pepper to taste.
  9. Serve with your favourite toppings: green onion, bacon bits and more shredded cheese.
  10. Enjoy!

More Slow Cooker Recipes to Make:

11 Slow Cooker Recipes to Make

Here are 10 more delicious recipes to make in your slow cooker.

Slow Cooker Beef Bourguignon by Kim of Kim Power Style

Slow Cooker Loaded Baked Potato Soup by Jo-Anna of A Pretty Life

Cheesy Sweet Potato and Bacon Soup by Tara of Suburble

Weight Watchers Crock Pot Chicken Tacos by Virginia of Fynes Designs

Slow Cooker Honey Garlic Chicken with Peppers by Christina of The DIY Mommy

Slow Cooker Hot Fudge Cake by Kendra of Joy In Our Home

Slow Cooker Chicken Fajita Chili by Christine of Amidst the Chaos

Slow Cooker Apple Sauce by Jen of Kitchen Counter Chronicles

Slow Cooker Beef Stew by Shannon of AKA Design

Mexican Pulled Pork by Sarah of Flourish & Knot

Slow Cooker Spinach and Artichoke Dip by Dannyelle of Life is a Party

Have a delicious day!

Banana Bread

This Banana Bread is a classic recipe.  Simple, comforting and tastes like home.

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Who doesn’t love a good old fashioned piece of banana bread?  Making banana bread is such a delicious way to use up those old bananas that no one will eat, and we get quite a few of those around here. No one will touch a banana if there’s even a speck of brown on them.  Picky picky. 

So this week I tackled my growing stash of ripe bananas and made some loaves. This is comfort food at it’s best, and perfect for any time of year.  This recipe makes 1 loaf, but if you wish to have 2, it is easily doubled.

Classic Banana Bread and Chocolate Zucchini Bread

I love making loaves…everyone here loves them, and I like being able to put one in the freezer for later.  It’s such a nice feeling to go to the freezer and be able to have something ready for snacking.  So every once in a while I spend a Sunday baking loaves for the week ahead.  Last week I was busy and made some banana loaves and chocolate zucchini loaves.  So good.

Classic Banana Bread and Chocolate Zucchini Bread

Yummmmm.  Can’t you just smell them?

Classic Banana Bread

This banana bread recipe is my favourite.  It’s simple and classic and tastes just like how banana bread is supposed to.

Classic Banana Bread

Tips!
  • This recipe is easily doubled.
  • You can add a 1/2 cup nuts or chocolate chips to the batter after you have folded in the bananas.
  • It’s really delicious to generously sprinkle on Vanilla Bean Sugar to the top of the loaf before baking.
  • If you find you don’t have extra bananas around your house, most grocery stores have a section of more ripe bananas that are more inexpensive to buy than regular bananas, and are perfect for baking.

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Whisk
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Banana Bread

This recipe makes 1 loaf, but it is easily doubled if you would like 2.

Servings 1 Loaf
Author Jo-Anna@APrettyLife

Ingredients

  • 1 1/3 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/3 cup butter or margarine
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup mashed bananas (about 2 bananas)

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a bowl whisk together the flour, salt, baking soda and baking powder. Set aside.
  3. In a separate bowl, cream together the butter and sugar.
  4. Then beat the flour mix into the butter mix, until it has the consistency of brown sugar.
  5. Beat in the eggs one at a time.
  6. Fold in the mashed banana.
  7. Bake for about 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the centre of the loaf comes out clean.
Recipe from The Joy of Cooking
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Anyway, have a delicious day!

**  This post has been updated with new photos!  **

Chocolate Zucchini Cake

This Chocolate Zucchini Cake is a tender and super chocolatey cake!  Perfect for dessert and birthday cakes!

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This time of year makes me want to bake all the things.  There’s just something about fall that gets me all excited to get into the kitchen and bake.  So last weekend as we were preparing for back to school, I did my part by baking some banana bread and chocolate zucchini loaves that the kids could take in their lunches.  I had a basket of overripe bananas, and more zucchini than I know what to do with at this point…perfect time for baking.

Chocolate Zucchini Cake

Chocolate zucchini cake is a favourite around here. It’s rich, chocolatey and so delicious.  In fact, this cake would be perfect for a birthday cake…it’s amazing served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream!

Chocolate Zucchini Cake

Did I mention this recipe makes 2 loaves?  One for now, one for later.  Whoop!  And don’t forget to sprinkle extra chocolate chips on to the tops of the loaves before baking…my kids love this!  So delicious…enjoy!

Whisk

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Chocolate Zucchini Cake

Servings 2 loaves
Author Jo-Anna@APrettyLife

Ingredients

  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 2 cups grated, unpeeled zucchini (about 1 medium zucchini) ** See notes.
  • 1 1/2 cup chocolate chips, divided

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Prepare 2 loaf pans. I use wax paper to line them.
  3. Sift together the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  4. In a mixer, combine the sugar, butter and vegetable oil.
  5. Then add the eggs, mixing well.
  6. In a separate measuring cup combine the buttermilk and vanilla.
  7. To the butter mixture, add the dry ingredients alternately with the buttermilk (3 additions of each). Combine.
  8. Add the zucchini. Combine.
  9. Stir in 1 cup chocolate chips.

  10. Divide the batter between the 2 loaf pans.  Sprinkle 1/4 cup chocolate chips on to the tops of each loaf.

  11. Bake for 60 minutes. Or until a toothpick inserted into the centre of the cake, comes out clean.

Recipe Notes

If you find the grated zucchini is really juicy, lightly squeeze out some of the moisture before adding the zucchini to the batter.

Recipe from epicurious.com.
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Notes and Tips!
  • This recipe makes 2 loaves, so you can freeze one for later!
  • If you find the grated zucchini is really juicy, lightly squeeze out some of the moisture before adding the zucchini to the batter.
  • This recipe is quite cake-y, so it would make a great birthday cake.  If you want to bake it as a sheet cake, prepare a 9×13 pan, and bake for about 50 minutes.

Chocolate Zucchini Cake {A Pretty Life}

More Delicious Zucchini Recipes:

Click the image!

Zucchini Recipes To Try

9 Zucchini Recipes to Try

Have a delicious day!

Summer Peach Pie

This Summer Peach Pie is a perfect dessert!  The crust is tender and flaky, and the filling sweet and full of delicious peach flavour!

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Oh my, is there any fruit that tastes better right now than peaches from the market?  They’re perfectly ripe and taste like summer.  So good…so we eat a lot of peach everything these days…fresh peaches, peach jam, peach crisp, peach cake and peach pie!  All the peaches.  

Summer Peach Pie

A while ago I bought a flat of peaches and even with all of us eating as many as we could before they got too ripe, I still had more than we could eat.  So guess what that means?  It means pie.  Peach pie.  Peach pie is by far my most favourite kind of pie.  The taste of tender cooked peaches all wrapped up in delicious pie crust…mmm pie just doesn’t get any better than that.

Summer Peach Pie

And because I just can’t leave a pie crust well enough alone, I decided to have fun with it again.  I used the same flower cutter in this pie, as I did for my Saskatoon pie, except that I put a little hole in the centre, and also added some heart shaped cut outs.  I love how it looks!  And I think I mentioned this once or twice…making crusts like this is SO easy.  SO SO easy.

Summer Peach Pie

Then before I popped it in the oven, I brushed the top crust with milk and sprinkled on a healthy dose of cinnamon and sugar. Because you can’t have a peach pie with out a cinnamon sugar crust.

Summer Peach Pie

Then after about an hour of baking you have a delicious and gorgeous peach pie.  Look at all the peach pie filling that bubbled up. Yum.

Summer Peach Pie

Now let’s get to the best part, the recipe!  I have been making this crust and filling for over 10 years now…I believe it came from Mom.  It’s my fave.  Enjoy!

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Peach Pie

Servings 1 pie
Author Jo-Anna@APrettyLife

Ingredients

Pie Crust:

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 2/3 cup shortening (lard)
  • 1/4 cup water

Peach Filling:

  • 4 cups sliced peaches Optional: remove skins first
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice

Instructions

Making the Pie Crust:

  1. Sift the flour and salt into a bowl.
  2. With a pie cutter, cut in shortening until the particles are pea sized.
  3. Sprinkle in water, 1 tsp or so at a time, mixing lightly with a fork. Don't over mix or the crust will be tough.
  4. Press into a ball. It is okay if it is crumbly.
  5. Separate the ball into 2 balls: one for the bottom crust and one for the top.

Making the Peach Pie Filling:

  1. In a bowl combine peaches, sugar, cornstarch and lemon juice.

Baking the pie:

  1. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Roll out one ball of the pie crust for the bottom of your pie. Then place it into your pie plate. Gently press down.
  3. Add the peach pie filling.
  4. For the pie crust top, roll out the other ball of dough and place it over the top of your pie. Press together the edges of the crust. Then trim off the extra dough.
  5. Using a knife make air vents by cutting slits in the crust.
  6. If you want to make a fancy crust, use a small cookie cutter and create shapes for the crust topping. Randomly place them on the pie filling. (Refer to the pictures above)
  7. Brush the crust lightly with milk, then generously sprinkle the crust with a cinnamon and sugar mix.
  8. In your preheated 425 degree oven, bake your pie for 20 minutes.
  9. Then after this time slip a cookie sheet onto the rack below your pie, then reduce the temperature to 350 degrees, and bake for 35-40 minutes more. Bake until the crust is golden brown and your filling is bubbling in the vents.
  10. Serve with vanilla ice cream!

Summer Peach Pie

Pie Making Tips:

  • Roll your pie dough out on to floured wax or parchment paper.  It makes it so much easier to pick up your crust.  It’s great for clean-up too!

  • When you’re making the pie crust, remember that it is okay if it is crumbly. In fact crumbly makes for a tender, flaky crust!

  • Use cookie cutters to make a fun top crust.

More Pie Recipes:

Have a delicious day!