A few weekends ago I drove up to Vancouver, B.C. Oh man. It was totally love at first site. Vancouver is such an incredibly beautiful and vibrant city, with way more to do than anyone could hope to accomplish in a single three-day weekend. I’m all ready itching to go back.
Since it was my first time visiting, I did some of the usual touristy things. I soaked up the views at Stanley Park, released my inner child at the Capilano Suspension Bridge, took a ride on the Aquabus and dinned at the immensely popular Vij’s (and might I add that it was truly amazing and all the hype you may have heard is true). Oh and of course I went to the Granville Island Public Market. I always have to check out the local markets when I visit a new place.
The Granville Island Public Market is situated right on the waterfront and is home to a wide selection of local products. They have everything from soaps to seafood to soufflés. I had a great time browsing and sampling all the treats. And I happened to be there on Canadian Thanksgiving, so all the vendors were stocked with roasted turkey, cranberry sauce, stuffing and of course pie. Mmmmm…pie.
Getting to sample all those traditional Thanksgiving foods has me seriously PUMPED for our American Thanksgiving. I’ve got it bad. I wish it was right now.
Patience have never been one of my best qualities.
So to quell my early bird urges, I decided to make my favorite Thanksgiving dessert: pecan pie. But not any old pecan pie. This is a Chocolate Lovers Pecan Pie! It has melted dark chocolate in the filling AND a chocolate crust. Double the chocolate = double the fun. Yes it does.
Just look at how dark and rich that pie filling is. I can’t even handle it. So good. In fact, this pie is so good that I’m considering making this version for Thanksgiving this year in lieu of the traditional pecan pie. That’s a big deal.
Make sure to use dark chocolate (I recommend 70%) to prevent this pie from getting overly sweet. A you have my permission to pile on the whipped cream. Not that you needed permission from me to do that.
Recipe for the pie crust slightly adapted from Bon Appétit
As promised, I’ve got another squash and apple recipe for you today. This time I trying to make a dent in my stock pile of acorn squashes. I brought home several from my trip to Gordon Skagit Farms. And then on top of that, I received a couple in my CSA box this week. So I’m buried in acorn squash! But I don’t mind much. There are much worse problems to have.
Acorn squash just begs to be stuffed. Once you cut it in half and scoop out the seeds you have the most perfect little edible bowl staring you right in the face. So naturally I was compelled to whip up a hearty and healthy stuffing. On a whim I tossed together some cooked wild rice, onions, celery, apples, kale and pecans for a colorful and flavorful stuffing that provides just the right amount of texture and contrast to the softness of the cooked squash.
This was a total “clean out the refrigerator” type of recipe. Which means it’s highly adaptable to whatever you may have on hand. Leeks or shallots would be great in place of the onion. Try pears or dried cranberries instead of the apple. And any greens (spinach or chard) or nuts (walnuts or almonds) would be delicious too. It’s all good. And you know what else is good? The fact that you can cook and stuff the acorn squash in advance, then simply re-warm it before serving.
I enjoyed these as a hearty vegetarian (and vegan!) entrée. But these little beauties make for an excellent side dish as well. Grains and vegetables all in one = winning in my book.