Butternut squash pasta bake (V)

I don’t care what so-called health experts say: carbs are the best.

And when it comes to speedy but satisfying dinners, nothing beats a pasta bake.

Butternut squash pasta bake ‚óŹ Autumn recipe ‚óŹ Cake + WhiskyButternut squash pasta bake ‚óŹ Autumn recipe ‚óŹ Cake + Whisky

Proof if you ever needed one – this butternut squash pasta bake.

Butternut squash pasta bake ‚óŹ Autumn recipe ‚óŹ Cake + WhiskyButternut squash pasta bake ‚óŹ Autumn recipe ‚óŹ Cake + Whisky

The very definition of seasonal¬†(roasted butternut squash! sage!), it’s one of those dishes that somehow manage to reach the perfect balance between healthy (hello, loads of veggies and whole-grain carbs!) and comforting.

And, best of all, it can be made in advance and is super easy to put together Рabsolutely no Gourd-on Ramsay skills required!

No-nonsense, nutrient-packed…¬†Gourd-geous autumn dinner made simple!

Butternut squash pasta bake ‚óŹ Autumn recipe ‚óŹ Cake + Whisky

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Butternut squash pasta bake ‚óŹ Autumn recipe ‚óŹ Cake + Whisky

More fall recipes

The best squash soup (VE)

Apple & black pudding sausage rolls

Pumpkin spice latte (V)

Halloween monster cookies (V)

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Butternut squash pasta bake (V)

13 reasons to be excited about autumn

Admitedly, I have quite mixed feelings about transitioning from summer to winter.

Yay for cosy nights at home with all the candles, all the snuggly blankets and all the hot drinks. Absolutely nay to freezing toes and fingers (mine actually turn the most charming shade of purple-ey grey at times) and night time starting at 3:30pm.

XX reasons to be excited about autumn ‚ÄĘ Cake + Whisky

That said, fall is an absolute charmer of a season.

Beautiful golden leaves, cinnamon scent and cashmere everything – there are so many reasons to be excited about autumn!

  1. Being able to drink¬†hot tea all day, every day without anyone raising an eyebrow. Turns out you don’t get that sort of acceptance when you ask for a cup of peppermint tea in the middle of a heatwave…
  2. Not having to think about which nail colour you want. Dark red ’til Spring¬†it is!
  3. Cashmere sweater weather (the best kind of weather).¬†That plus black jeans/a cute skirt with black tights and boots and that’s all your fall outfits sorted.
  4. Pumpkin Spice Lattes. Need I say more?
  5. Soup being back on the menu! Super easy to make, hot, healthy, satisfying all at once Рsoup is just souper!
  6. Not feeling any remorse to ditch any going out plans and stay home – Comfort (carb-based) food, Netflix & chill is what chilly Autumn nights are made for!
  7. Cinnamon everything. Apple strudel, cinnamon rolls, hot chocolate, apple pie Рcinnamon is the flavour of the season!
  8. New seasons of all your fave TV shows. After months with nothing better to binge than the 2500th re-run of Friends, the wait is finally over!
  9. Stew. Mashed potato. Roasted potatoes. Bolognese. Pie. Carbs are BACK! 
  10. Massive blanket-like scarves.¬†Don’t you just love being able to use nasty¬†air drafts as an excuse to wear a comforter around¬†your person at all times?
  11. Squash and pumpkin – because what’s better than food you can use as decorations until it¬†gets roasted!
  12. Putting your vast collection of deliciouly scented candles¬†to good use. Apple pie & cinnamon cookie candles, it’s your time to shine!
  13. It FINALLY being socially appropriate to talk about Christmas. I’ve been ready since July, but y’a know, the rest of the world wasn’t quite on board with discussing wrapping theme and festive cocktails just yet!

What makes you excited about autumn? Are you a jumping-in-the-golden-leaves or a cuddle-up-with-a-good-book kind of person?

13 reasons to be excited about autumn ‚ÄĘ Cake + Whisky

More fall-spiration

Autumnal quinoa salad (V)

Pumpkin Spice Latte pancakes (V)

The best carrot cake recipe (V)

The perfect night in in 5 steps

Halloween monster brookies (V)

13 reasons to be excited about autumn

Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers (+vegan version!)

Finding fun & easy Halloween-themed dishes that are not laced with sugar can be quite the challenge.

Everything I’ve come across sofar has been of the ‘candy-upcycling’ variety (guilty as charged), but in the wholesome, real-food department, there isn’t so much to stick your fangs in…

Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers (+vegan version!)

I’m not sure why that is though, as a few tricks are enough to transform beautiful, healthy everyday dinner dishes into fantastic Halloween centre-pieces.

Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers (+vegan version!)

Proof if you ever needed one with these pesto-studded, couscous- & veggie-filled vegetarian stuffed peppers.

Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers (+vegan version!)

Very quick & super easy to prep, healthy and satisfying all at once, they’re all¬†treat & no tricks!

Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers (+vegan version!)

Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers (vegan version included) (served 4)

Ingredients:

  • 4 orange peppers
  • 100g Israeli couscous
  • 1 yellow pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 chilli pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1 big carrot, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp pesto (I used this one¬†from Borough Olives)
  • 1 ball of mozzarella, shredded (skip for a vegan version)
  • 1 tsp red chilli flakes
  • 1 tsp sumac
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • olive oil, salt, pepper

1. Pre-heat the oven to 180¬įC

2. Cut the tops of the orange peppers and remove the core & seeds. Using a sharp knife, carefully carve eyes and a mouth in each of them, season the inside of each pepper with salt & pepper, then set aside.

3. Cook the couscous in boiling salted water according to packaging instruction, then drain and set aside to cool.

4. Heat up 1 tbsp of olive oil in a frying pan, then add the chopped yellow pepper, onion, chilli pepper and carrot and cook until soft and golden.

5. In a big bowl, mix together the cooked couscous, vegetables, pesto, mozzarella and spices. Season to taste and mix thoroughly.

6. Stuff the peppers with the couscous mixture, place the tops back on and place the peppers in an oven-proof dish.

7. Bake for 40 min. Serve¬†immediately (they’re especially great with a nice green salad on the side).

PS: You can also make the whole thing in advance, in which case you’ll want to slightly reduce the cooking time to 35 minutes, and stick the dish into a hot oven (180¬įC or so) for 10-15 min to re-heat.

Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers (+vegan version!)

Pumpkin Spice Latte Pancakes

Shorter days, longer nights, chilly mornings & sweater weather… It looks like summer’s indeed over!

Which can only mean one thing: it’s Pumpkin Spice Latte season! Excited much?

Pumpkin Spice Latte Pancakes | Cake + WhiskyPumpkin Spice Latte Pancakes | Cake + Whisky

I’m not a big coffee drinker (my stomach won’t let me) but Starbuck’s PSL goes far beyond being the hot drink of the season.

In my opinion, it’s also an excellent way to autum-up some of your favourite sweet treats.

Pumpkin Spice Latte Pancakes | Cake + Whisky

My favourite to date? These Pumpkin Spice Latte Pancakes.

Pumpkin Spice Latte Pancakes | Cake + Whisky

I mean, pancakes and coffee and cinnamon all at once?

Fall brunch winner right there!

Pumpkin Spice Latte Pancakes | Cake + Whisky

Pumpkin Spice Latte Pancakes (serves 2-3)

Ingredients:

  • 120g wholemeal flour¬†
  • 120g plain flour
  • 1 bag of dehydrated yeast
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tall Pumpkin Spice Latte (cream and all…)
  • Coffee or maple syrup to serve

1. Mix all the ingredients together until you get a kind-of smooth batter. Let the batter stand for at least an hour or overnight.

2. Heat a non-stick frying pan over a medium heat (add a bit of oil or butter if necessary), then add a laddle of batter into the pan. When the top of the pancake starts to bubble, turn it over and cook for about 10 more sec. Repeat until all the batter is used up.

3. Drizzle with syrup and serve immediately.

PIN FOR LATER:

Pumpkin Spice Latte Pancakes | Cake + Whisky

Pumpkin Spice Latte Pancakes

Autumnal Quinoa Salad

If I’m not all that happy to wave the Summer goodbye, I must admit there are things about Autumn I’m rather excited about.

Besides the fact that my workplace will FINALLY be turning the AC off and I won’t have to wear cashmere to avoid catching a cold in the middle of a heatwave, that is.

Butternut, Feta & Quinoa Salad | Cake + Whisky

Top of my list is the comeback of all sorts of winter squash onto the list of seasonal fruit & veggies!

Butternut, Feta & Quinoa Salad | Cake + Whisky

I love squashes & pumpkins of all kinds, and couldn’t help but pick up one of the first butternuts of the season at my local farmers’ market last week.

It almost ended up¬†into¬†my favourite soup, but a bit of fridge foraging later and this beautiful Autumnal Quinoa Salad was born…

Easy to make, healthy & super tasty, it’s the perfect dish for a light Autumn dinner or a colourful, vitamin-packed lunch!

Warm Butternut & Quinoa Salad | Cake + Whisky

Autumnal Quinoa Salad with Butternut, Feta & Pine Nuts (serves 2)

Ingredients: 

  • 200g quinoa (I got this pretty mixed-coloured one from Waitrose)
  • 300g butternut squash, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 50g crumbled feta
  • 20g pine nuts
  • sea salt, cracked black pepper, oregano

1. Pre-heat your oven to 200¬įC (gas mark 6).

2. In a bowl, mix the slices of butternut with the olive oil, a pinch of salt, some black pepper and a generous pinch of oregano. Spread onto an oven-safe dish and bake for 35-45 minutes (or until the edges start caramelising).

3. Bring a big pot of salted water to the boil, then throw in the quinoa and cook for about 20min, then drain.

4. In a dry pan, fry the pine nut kernels until golden.

5. Mix all the ingredients in a big bowl or pile them up onto two plates, top with a little more oregano and serve immediately.

This dish can also be eaten cold, which makes it a brilliant packed lunch option as well!

PIN FOR LATER:

Autumnal Quinoa Salad | Cake + Whisky

Autumnal Quinoa Salad

Rabbit Ragu Pappardelle

The best recipes are almost always circonstancial.

Whether it’s a trip to the farmer’s market, a recent visit to a new favourite restaurant or simply a massive fridge forage and the realisation that half of what’s in it needs using, those lightbulb moments are what inspire me most in the kitchen.

With Autumn being very much on its way, I’ve been craving comfort food more and more in the last few days.

So of course, I turned to Italian classics, because as much as I wish the French would do better at it, nobody does comfort food quite like the Italians…

Rabbit Ragu Pappardelle recipe | Cake + Whisky

With bolognese on my mind, I went on a little bit of a fridge/freezer forage.

Memories of a beautiful pasta dish we had in Paris, the last few remaining pieces of rabbit my grandma brought in her luggage when she last visited, a can of olives fished from the back of a cupboard, a few bits and bobs from a previous Farmdrop order

… slowly, all the pieces of the puzzle fell into place and this rich and zingy Rabbit Ragu Pappardelle recipe was born!

Rabbit Ragu Pappardelle recipe | Cake + Whisky

Rabbit Ragu Pappardelle (serves 2-3)

Ingredients: 250g fresh pappardelle (I get mine from La Tua Pasta via Farmdrop), 1/2 rabbit (about 600g, preferably leg pieces as they have fewer small bones), 1 small shallot (finely chopped), 2 rashers of smoked bacon, cut into small pieces, handful of cherry tomatoes (about 200g, chopped roughly), small handful pitted black olives (about 15, sliced), 1L good quality chicken or vegetable stock, zest of 1/4 lemon (grated), 2 bay leaves, 1 fresh sprig of thyme, pinch of smoked paprika, 5 pepper corns + freshly ground black pepper, sea salt, good quality olive oil, grated parmesan to serve

1. In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat up 2 tbs of olive oil, then add the rabbit pieces. Season with a small pinch of sea salt. Cook over high heat for a few minutes until golden. Add the bay leaves and the peppercorns, then pour in the chicken/vegetable stock. Cover the pot, reduce to a small simmer and cook for about an hour or until the meat starts falling off the bones, topping with a little bit of water if necessary.

2. Take the rabbit pieces off the cooking stock and let if cool off before taking all the meat off the bones. Discard the bones and shred the rabbit to bite-sized pieces.

3. Cook the pappardelle according to packaging instructions.

4. In a large pan or wok, heat up 2 tbs of olive oil. Add the chopped shallot and the bacon bits and cook until golden. Add the tomatoes and cook until they start breaking down (about 5-10 min), adding a bit of the cooking stock if necessary. Throw in the sliced olives, lemon zest and smoked paprika, season with salt and pepper and cook for another 2-3 min.

5. Drain the pasta, add to the pan and toss to coat. Serve immediately with some freshly grated parmesan.

What inspires you to get cooking?

PIN FOR LATER:

Rabbit Ragu Pappardelle recipe | Cake + Whisky

Rabbit Ragu Pappardelle

Yoghurt Breakfast Parfait with Plum Compote

I might be fooling everybody into believing I’m a city kind of person the majority of the time.

But the second Autumn hits, all my hard work goes right down the drain.

Yoghurt Breakfast Parfait with Plum Compote | Cake + Whisky

With trees getting covered with fruit and bushes bending with berries, foraging brings out the most countryside-y¬†aspects of my personality, and it’s very likely you’ll find me climbing on trees or getting my hair stuck in brambles in a desperate attempt to fill¬†my fridge with some hand-picked¬†seasonal jewels.

Yoghurt Breakfast Parfait with Plum Compote | Cake + Whisky

This breakfast parfait recipe was directly inspired by the first blushing plums (delivered to my door by Farmdrop) and a particularly succesful commute blackberry forage.

Combined with creamy Greek yoghurt and crunchy roasted hazelnuts, it makes for a super easy, perfectly seasonal and incredibly satisfying breakfast!

Yoghurt Breakfast Parfait with Plum Compote | Cake + Whisky

Yoghurt Breakfast Parfait with Plum Compote, blackberries and hazelnuts (serves 2)

Ingredients: 200g Greek yoghurt, 200g plums (stones removed and quartered), 50g blackberries, 25g hazelnuts, 2 tsp cane syrup (or other liquid syrup), 1/4 tablespoon cinnamon powder

1. In a dry pan, roast your hazelnuts for a few minutes until golden, then break them down to small-ish pieces with a mortar and pestle.

2. Comine the plums, cane syrup and cinnamon powder with a tiny bit of water in a hot pan, then simmer until the plums break down and reach a slightly jam-like consistency.

3. Layer the yoghurt, plum compote, fresh blackberries and roasted hazelnuts into two glasses. Top with more blackberries and hazelnuts and serve immediately.

PIN FOR LATER:

Yoghurt Breakfast Parfait with Plum Compote | Cake + Whisky

Yoghurt Breakfast Parfait with Plum Compote