All Posts By

Jo-Anna@APrettyLife

5 Minute Fall Berry Wreath

This 5 Minute Fall Berry Wreath is SO easy to make, and adds just the perfect touch of fall to your front door!

– – – – – –

As you may know already, I’m a big fan of wreaths hung on front doors.  I think they’re the perfect way to greet those who come up to your home…they’re just a nice warm welcome.  And because I’m kind of obsessed with wreaths, I also like to change them up with the seasons…I have wreaths for ChristmasHalloween, WinterSummer…you name it, I made it.

Harvest Theme Fall Front Porch with Fall Berry Wreath

This fall I decided to make a new wreath to go with my Harvest Theme Fall Front Porch.  I wanted something simple and not too overpowering because I have a lot going on in this space already.  So I kept things super simple and made this 5 Minute Fall Berry Wreath.

5 Minute Fall Berry Wreath

Honestly, this wreath is so easy it’s ridiculous.  But as I’ve learned, sometimes all we need is the inspiration to make our own project, so that’s why I’m sharing this simple wreath DIY with you. Just because something is easy doesn’t mean it’s not beautiful.

5 Minute Fall Berry Wreath

All you need to do is head out to your nearest craft store and buy 2 things…that’s it.  A wreath base and a string of fall berries.  All of it should cost you less than $10. Simple and inexpensive…that’s my kind of craft!  So here’s how to make your own fall wreath:

Materials Required:

  • 1 grapevine wreath base
  • 1 strand of fall berry garland

How To Assemble:

  • All you have to do is tuck the garland into the front of the grapevine wreath base.
  • Add a ribbon for hanging.
  • Done!

I love the simplicity of this wreath…it’s perfect for my fall porch don’t you think?

More Fall Wreaths to Make:

Simple Fall Grass Wreath

Simple Fall Grass Wreath

Cozy Fall Yarn Wreath

Cozy Fall Yarn Wreath

Fiery Fall Leaf Wreath

Fiery Fall Leaf Wreath

Have an inspired day!

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!

– – – – – –

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!

Print

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.

– – – – – –

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.  😉

Print

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. 😉

What’s For Dinner? A Fall Pasta Menu

This comforting fall dinner menu includes Creamy Butternut Squash Pasta, a simple Kale & Roasted Squash Fall Salad, and Peach Pie for dessert.

– – – – – –

Welcome back to What’s For Dinner!  This week it’s all about fall squash. There is no better time of year than fall for better tasting squash…not to mention an abundance of it at reasonable prices.  I love to serve squash in different ways for dinner, but this butternut squash pasta sauce is my absolute favourite!  Not only is it easy to make, but it is SO delicious!  Serve it up with a simple fall salad and pie for dessert, and you’ve got a fall comfort meal.

Fall Pasta Menu

  • Main Dish:  Creamy Butternut Squash Pasta
  • Side Salad: Kale & Roasted Squash Fall Salad
  • Dessert:  Peach Pie

Creamy Butternut Squash Pasta

Creamy Butternut Squash Pasta is easy to make, and uses 1 whole butternut squash in the recipe…delicious and healthy!  And even kids love it.  Winner winner pasta dinner.

Kale and Roasted Squash Fall Salad

This Kale and Roasted Squash Fall Salad is a perfect salad to serve with the butternut squash pasta.  This salad is full of kale, squash, pear, carrots, goat cheese and more…so good.  This is a recipe that I have shared over on the Kendall-Jackson blog…

Peach Pie

And for dessert, Peach Pie.  My absolute favourite pie.  Make it with leftover summer peaches. Yummmm

I hope you enjoy this dinner menu!

More What’s For Dinner Menu Ideas:

Want more menu ideas?

Sign up for my weekly e-mail and you will have some delicious meal menus delivered to your inbox…complete with a main course, salads or side dishes, and a dessert!  Sign up here!

Have a delicious day!

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!

– – – – –

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.

Print

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!

– – – – – –

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.

Print

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!

My Harvest Themed Fall Front Porch

Welcome to fall!  Today I’ve teamed up with 11 bloggers, and we’re sharing our fall front porches with you to get you inspired! So make sure you check them out at the bottom of this post. A big thank you to Taryn at Taryn Whiteaker Designs for organizing this fall porch blog hop!

– – – – – –

I’ve welcomed fall with open arms this year.  We have had the most dry, hot and smoky summer…I don’t remember another summer quite like it.  I love the heat, but I’ve actually grown tired of it, and am ready for cooler temperatures.  Cooler temperatures mean fall, and fall is my favourite time of year.  I adore everything about it…the markets, the farmers fields, the smell of leaves in the air, the crunch of leaves under my feet.  It’s the best.

I like to embrace fall in its fullest, including in my home.  I decorate the mantel, add fall pillows and decorations to my living space, and I even like to decorate the porch. In fact, decorating my front porch is my favourite.  So come have a look at how I decorated my porch for fall…I hope you leave feeling inspired to decorate your own front door space.

My Harvest Themed Fall Front Porch

This year I wanted to really capture all the best things about fall…farmers’ markets, sunflowers, apples, pumpkins, mums, grasses…all the things that make fall feel cozy.

My Harvest Themed Fall Front Porch

In fact it was this wooden sign that I found at Michaels that really inspired my front porch decorating this year…fall harvest is the best.

My Harvest Themed Fall Front Porch

Once I knew what direction I was going, I loaded up this space with as many fall things as I could find.  Apples, sunflowers and pumpkins, oh my.

My Harvest Themed Fall Front Porch

And make sure to stay tuned to see how I turn these little apples into delicious fall desserts!  Decorating can be practical too right?  😉

My Harvest Themed Fall Front Porch

Whenever I decorate a space in my home, I always try to use as many things as I can that I already have.  So I ‘shopped’ around my home first and moved over my garden lavenders, brought out a cozy blanket and one of my favourite fall pillows.  All things that came together to create a cozy fall scene.

5 Minute Fall Berry Wreath

One thing that I knew I wanted to add to my porch that was different from last year, was a new fall wreath.  I love the wreath I hung last fall, but I wanted a new fall wreath for our door this year, so I put together this really simple 5 Minute Fall Berry Wreath (see how to make it here).  I bought a grapevine wreath base at Michaels, and decorated it with a berry garland that I also found there.  It took me 5 minutes to put this together, and I really like how it turned out.  It ties in perfectly with everything on my porch. Simple and understated.

My Harvest Themed Fall Front Porch

 One of my favourite things about this front porch though, is the lighting.  I had outdoor lights strung along our fence for summer, and thought that they would look so pretty strung around our front porch.  So I took 2 strings and hung them on the ceiling of our porch…and I LOVE how they look both during the day, and at night.  It feels like a little intimate garden party.

My Harvest Themed Fall Front Porch at Night

So pretty at night…sometimes I come outside just to stand and look at everything.

My Harvest Themed Fall Front Porch

Looking for more fall porch inspiration?  Visit these bloggers beautiful fall porches!

Taryn Whiteaker Designs | Anderson + Grant | Christina’s Adventures | A Burst of Beautiful

 A Pretty Life | PMQ for Two | The Happy Housie | Setting for Four

 Little Glass Jar | Lolly Jane | Clean & Scentsible | Zevy Joy

 House by Hoff | Hymns & Verses

Happy Fall!