Black Pepper Beef Filet with Horseradish Cream

We’ve been eating dinner outdoors nearly every evening – now that the spring rains have let up – making the most of June weather, with its light breezes and warm temperatures.

The intense heat and humidity is starting, but I’ve still been able to turn on the oven to bake a rhubarb galette or roast a slab of beef and not cook us completely out of house and home.

Today’s recipe is a fantastic do-ahead main dish for a weekend picnic, backyard gathering or a Father’s Day spread this coming Sunday. Just pair it with a salad or tray of roasted asparagus and call it lunch.

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Squash-Roasted, Bacon-Wrapped Turkey Roulade with Cider Gravy

It’s officially the holidays. That is the only way I could get away with such an elaborate recipe title as the one above.

Yes, Canadian Thanksgiving is exactly one week away and I’ve been working on a turkey dish well worthy of your holiday dinner table. If it sounds complicated, don’t worry, it’s not, and roasts up in half the time as a whole turkey.

Today’s recipe is a whole turkey breast that has been flattened and filled with a bacon, herb and cranberry stuffing. The roulade is wrapped with bacon to keep it moist and tucked into a half of a spaghetti squash.

The turkey roulade and the squash roast up together in a time-saving 2-for-1 dish and a simple apple cider gravy tops it all off. It’s a seasonal and scrumptious way to bring turkey to your table this Thanksgiving.

Bacon & Cranberry Stuffed Turkey Roulade with Cider Gravy on www.simplebites.net #recipe #dinner #thanksgiving #turkey

The recipe as written, with two turkey breasts and one whole squash, would make a feast for about 8 people, but it can easily be divided in half, if you are a smaller group.

Oh, and plenty of the work can be done in advance, so important for these wonderful food-centric celebrations. Hit the jump to see how it all comes together, then grab a pen and paper and start a shopping list!

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Make a savory galette for simple fall entertaining

There is no denying that my favorite time of year for entertaining is the early fall.

From cozy weekend harvest dinners to our annual outdoor Thanksgiving, I play hostess more in October than any other month of the year.

But as our family has grown – not in size, but in age – and our weekends are devoted to chauffeuring children around to various ice rinks and cheering them on as they play, my approach to gathering friends and family has changed ever so slightly.

To begin with, I try only to make recipes that can mostly be made in advance. I also choose those which can be doubled or tripled easily to take into account the growing appetites of the kids we know, now that they are all approaching the teenage years.

Lastly, I try to offer familiar comfort foods (who doesn’t love those this time of year?) in fresh and exciting ways. This year, the dish that fits into my entertaining arsenal quite nicely is a rustic savoury galette.

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Chipotle-Honey Glazed Chicken

Summer is starting to fade away, and the vegetables we loved so much the past few months are slowly being replaced by fall produce.

This transitional time is always a tough one for me in terms of meal planning, so I count on recipes like this one, which is good any time of year, to get me over the hump. Since grilling is closely associated with summertime, I’m hanging onto the last bit of summer by enjoying as much grilled food as I can.

We all know that chicken breasts can be kind of boring, so I’m always on the hunt for recipes that give them a new spin. This one has been in my meal rotation for three years, and it’s still one of my favorites.

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Simple Lemon and Arugula Pasta

Editor’s note: I’m very happy to welcome Courtney from Cook like a Champion blog as the newest contributor to the site!

If there’s ever a time when I don’t feel like cooking, it’s in the middle of summer. I don’t know if it’s the long days (more time to play) or the fact that it’s too hot to stand over the stove, but I always struggle with what to cook in July.

There’s an abundance of produce at my farmer’s market, but it’s all so perfect I almost hate to even cook it. July is the month to appreciate quick meals with fresh ingredients.

There are plenty of nights I’d be fine having a salad or even cheese and crackers for dinner, but I obviously can’t go the entire month without cooking dinner. That’s where recipes like this one come in. The only thing that has to be cooked is the pasta.

The residual heat from the hot pasta cooks everything else, creating a simple and delicious meal that can be enjoyed on the hottest of days. Even better, this pasta tastes just as fantastic at room temperature, which means it would be great for a picnic or potluck.

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