About Aimee

Cooking has always been Aimée's preferred recreational activity, creative outlet, and source of relaxation. After nearly ten years in the professional cooking industry, she went from restaurant to RSS by trading her tongs and clogs for cookie cutters and a laptop, serving as editor here at Simple Bites. Her first book, Brown Eggs and Jam Jars - Family Recipes from the Kitchen of Simple Bites, was published in February 2015.

Spiced Pumpkin Cheesecake Brownies (gluten-free) || Simple Bites

Spiced Pumpkin Cheesecake Brownies (gluten-free)

A recent string of blustery, grey days abruptly ended our streak of glorious fall weather, and the pounding of the rain on the window panes sent me scuttling to the kitchen in search of warmth and comfort.

I found solace in a pan of marbled, maple-sweetened pumpkin cheesecake brownies, rich with both chopped chocolate and dark cocoa and lightly spiced with the beloved autumn flavour of my own ‘pumpkin spice’ blend.

If these brownies sound like an irresistible fall dessert, you are absolutely right. They are soft and dense, moist and rich – but what really makes them ideal is that they also contain a secret nutritious ingredient.

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Pork Chops with Roasted Pears, Sage and Shallots | Simple Bites

Pork Chops with Roasted Pears, Sage and Shallots

Happy Thanksgiving to my Canadian readers! It’s a long weekend from coast to coast and I hope you are enjoying the time with family and friends.

This post was written and scheduled last week, so that I could spend my holiday baking pumpkin pies, roasting the turkey and dishing up dinner around my table. We’re hosting a wonderful big gang for a feast today and I am definitely in my happy place- the kitchen!

If you like, join me in the Simple Bites kitchen today (and any day!)by using Instagram Stories. First follow @aimeebourque on your Instagram app, and then tap on my profile picture to play the stories. Make sure you have the most recent update of the app.

Okay, now on to today’s recipe and a recipe round-up from our #EatSeasonal blogging group.

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Sparkling Vanilla-Scented Apple Cider Punch | Simple Bites

Sparking Vanilla-Scented Apple Cider Party Punch

Last week, I gave in to the chilly weather and started wearing socks and sweaters. I simmered two pots of soup, made a pie and roasted off a few butternut squash for future baking projects.

October arrived, as did a carpet of ochre oak and maple leaves on our forest floor. Yes, fall is here to stay, and it’s getting me in the mood for Canadian Thanksgiving next week.

Because of our large extended family, we will celebrate Thanksgiving with a couple of events here and there over the holiday long weekend. Then on Monday, Danny and I are hosting twenty people for a mid-day turkey dinner around our table. I’m still finalizing the full menu (so many favourite dishes to narrow down!) but I have settled on a punch to serve.

I have a go-to party punch for spring and summer – a raspberry rhubarb collins – and it serves me well for a range of warm weather occasions. But truth be told, I didn’t have a favourite punch for fall until I started testing in earnest quite recently.

Spices. Spirits. Syrups. Sweeteners. There are a dozen different directions one can go when it comes to creating a crowd pleasing drink. In the end, I stayed true to this blog’s mantra and kept things simple; today’s recipe for Sparking Vanilla-Scented Apple Cider Party Punch is my pick for pre-Thanksgiving dinner cocktail hour.

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28 Apple Recipes: the sweet and the savoury

When it comes to fall fruit in Quebec, apples reign supreme, from the early Jersey Mac to the late maturing Cortland.

A wide wooden bowl on my kitchen table holds an ever-rotating assortment of Honeycrisp and Sunrise – our favourites for munching – and the fridge drawer keeps Green Russets and Ginger Golds crisp for salads and slaws.

Local farms open their orchard gates and we are among the many Montrealers who flock through to pick apples. We make it an annual event, enjoy a picnic with the family amid the fall leaves, and stay until the sun dips and the children tire of running.

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Dark Chocolate Zucchini Muffins | Simple Bites

Dark Chocolate Zucchini Muffins

Yesterday at the market I passed several large baskets overflowing with plump zucchini and noted that they were being sold for mere pocket change.

Then I remembered this muffin recipe which I had yet to post and made an additional mental note to get it out into your inboxes while zucchini is still cheap and prolific. I resisted bringing home any more zucchini from the market yesterday, but my kids are so crazy about these muffins, I’m know going to need to make a double batch before long.

Dark Chocolate Zucchini Muffins are fantastic for breakfast or school lunches. Their flavour deepens after twenty four hours at room temperature, so they are just as delicious on the second day as they are served up warm from the oven. I’ve been making them in mini format for snacking as well as jumbo size for a filling breakfast-on-the-go.

Are you ready for fall baking? Let’s kick things off with a tray of nourishing muffins.

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