Maple Pecan Granola

Like most kids, I grew up with pseudo maple syrup. I can’t recall the first time Mother Nature’s version was introduced to my kitchen, but the switch to the real sap had to be an immediate choice over the brand with corn syrup and caramel color. When Tonewood Maple Syrup approached MyLifeRunsOnFood.com to participate in their Tasting Troupe program, I didn’t hesitate to answer yes. Tonewood Maple Syrups are pure, unblended, doesn’t have artificial flavors and they work with small farmers. A portion of all sales is donated to 1% for the Planet to support University of Vermont’s Proctor Maple Research Center’s* climate change research efforts with a focus on improving harvesting technology and understanding maple trees.  Read more

Dirty Chai Pumpkin Muffins with Chocolate Ganache
I wanted a special pumpkin muffin—like a unique Halloween costume—to stand out among the store-bought versions. Inspired by the flavors of warm spice tea and bitter coffee you find in a “dirty chai” drink, this is a muffin to nibble on while sipping coffee (or black tea) in a thermos as kids trick and treat in the neighborhood. As an added treat, the muffins are sweetly topped with a generous drizzle of bittersweet chocolate ganache. Here’s a warning: Be careful of kids performing magic tricks, causing these muffins to disappear into the ghostly night. Read more

Nutty Butternut Squash Pancakes With Baked Apples

Like its winter cousins, acorn squash and pumpkins, butternut squash are naturally sweet. They’re the dessert of the dinner table. Since discovering butternut squash a few years ago, I’ve enjoyed them, because they’re easier to prep with their subtle ridges and smaller cavities. (Make sure to use a sharp knife.)  Read more

Spinach Fettuccine with Basil Pesto Shrimp

The weather is cooler, but there’s still plenty of green vegetables everywhere, especially summer squash, arugula and basil. Fresh spinach fettuccine pasta (find it at an Italian store or use dry pasta) is tossed with shaved zucchini, basil pesto shrimp and baby arugula. It’s a pasta dish for enjoying the last of summer’s vibrant vegetables. Read more

Watermelon and Shrimp Salad with Vanilla Balsamic Vinaigrette

As we’re at the height of Summer’s juicy bounty, we’re also a few weeks away from the start of a crisp autumn. Continue to savor the taste of summer in a leafy salad tossed with juicy cubes of watermelon, sweet shrimp, and creamy feta cheese with a few crunchy pistachios and celery pieces. While you’re at it, drizzle a lovely Vanilla Balsamic Vinaigrette to bring out summer’s juicy flavors, because autumn is still weeks away.  Read more