As the weather chills, it’s the prime season for making cozy food. Why not add a twist to your cooking, and source local!

Fortunately for us, Southwestern Ontario is an agricultural powerhouse. Four of our Contributors: Carrie Freele, Emily Stewart, Kayla Bailey, and Molly Schneider, foraged some fantastic ingredients to make mouthwatering meals and goodies.

Have a look at what our locavore chefs cooked up, and add these ingredients to your shopping list!

Carrie’s Recipe: Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Brown Butter White Wine Sage Sauce

Fall makes me think back to family gatherings. There is something so comforting about gathering around a table with the ones you love to enjoy a home cooked feast.

Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Brown Butter White Wine Sage Sauce by Carrie Freele
Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Brown Butter White Wine Sage Sauce. Photo by Carrie Freele.

My parents always include sweet potatoes and stuffing spiced with sage for the holidays, so I chose to use that as inspiration for this fall dish. This year I decided to start a vegetable and herb garden, so I was able to harvest the kale and sage at home.

I placed an order with On The Move Organics, which provided the free range eggs from Scraps Farms Animal Sanctuary and local garlic. For the sweet potatoes, I checked out Trails End Market, which is a great place to find produce. The wine came from Pelee Island Winery and was delivered by London Brewing. I had been meaning to make this recipe for a while now, and now that I have, I know it will be one of my staple dishes. The combination of pasta, butter, and sage is the definition of comfort food for these cold and lonely days that we are facing.

Get Carrie’s recipe here: LondonFuse – Carrie Freele – Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Brown Butter White Wine Sage Sauce

Emily’s Recipe: Nana MacKenzie’s Chocolate Chip Cookies

I’ve made a lot of cookies in my time, and my fellow Fusers know that I like to bake for special occasions and potlucks. I’ve also made several chocolate chip cookies, and always wanted to try making my Nana’s chocolate chip cookie recipe.

Nana MacKenzie's Chocolate Chip Cookies by Emily Stewart
Nana MacKenzie’s Chocolate Chip Cookies. Photo by Emily Stewart.

These cookies are soft, chewy, and, most importantly, chocolatey, and I can’t get enough of them.  I looked forward to the chocolate chip cookies every time I visited my Nana and Papa growing up.

My parents found the recipe recently when they went to visit my Nana, and I was beyond thrilled to make it. For my local ingredient, I used Daisy flour from the Arva Flour Mill from Arva, Ont.  The White Stripes once performed at this historic mill, so you know they have good products.

Get Emily’s recipe here: LondonFuse – Emily Stewart – Nana MacKenzie’s Chocolate Chip Cookies

Kayla’s Recipe: Boozy Buffalo Stew

Stew is a classic dish come the winter months. You can add anything to it and it’ll turn out delicious. Plus, this recipe is a great excuse to have more wine in the home!

I ordered Buffalo stewing chunks from H.O.P.E Eco Farms, through On The Move Organics.  I find buffalo meat to be more lean than beef and packed with quite a bit more flavour too.

Kayla Bailey - Boozy Buffalo Stew
Boozy Buffalo Stew. Photo by Kayla Bailey.

This is a quick stew, so the meat won’t fall apart like it would in a slow-cooker. It’s delicious nonetheless, and it pairs perfectly with flavourful rice.  It’s a fantastic meal fit for a cozy night.

You can adjust, omit or switch out any of the ingredients.

Get Kayla’s recipe here: LondonFuse – Kayla Bailey -Boozy Buffalo Stew

Molly’s Recipe: Pumpkin Blondies

I always find that fall is a brief, gloomy season, so it’s always nice to indulge in comfort foods around this time. I took up the challenge of making a fall recipe with local ingredients, including a pumpkin from Crunican Orchards on Richmond St. North, Arva Flour Mill flour, and one local egg.

I chose a recipe from the internet that sounded interesting: pumpkin blondies. I got a friend to help me, and it was a very enjoyable fall activity for us. It was my first time making something with fresh pumpkin, and the recipe we used doesn’t account for this, so we took extra time to roast and puree it first.

Pumpkin Blondies. Photo by Molly Schneider.
Pumpkin Blondies. Photo by Molly Schneider.

The blondies ended up being very moist, and tasting similar to coffee cake. As an added benefit, the pumpkin spice blend made the house smell nice and cozy. And although it’s starting to get cooler, these blondies are really good with some ice cream.

As for the pumpkin, we had enough left over for my aunt to use in her Thanksgiving pumpkin pie, and everyone said it was extra delicious this year. If that isn’t proof of the value of local ingredients, I don’t know what is!

Find the recipe Molly used here!


What local ingredients have you been exploring recently? Let us know in the comments!

Also, if you decide to make any of these recipes, let us know by tagging us at LondonFuse on Facebook, @ldnfuse on Instagram, and @LondonFuse on Twitter!

Feature photo by Carrie Freele.

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