1/2 onion diced, 3 cloves of garlic diced, 1/2 yellow pepper diced, 4 Italian sausage links (remove meat from casing), fresh basil leaves, Persian cumin seeds, chilli flakes, tomato paste, jar of marinara sauce, salt, pepper.
Heat olive oil in a cocotte – add the fresh basil then sauté onions, garlic, yellow pepper, sausage meat and spices. When the meat is evenly browned, add 1 tablespoon tomato paste and the jar of marinara. Simmer for 45 minutes. Serve over cooked penne.
Spicy Chickpeas with Cucumber and Lime
1 can chickpeas
1/2 onion, diced
1 grated clove of garlic
5 grape tomatoes, diced
1/2 teaspoon whole mustard seeds
1 tablespoon garam masala
1/2 teaspoon ground chilli
Fresh coriander and mint.
Heat coconut oil and vegetable oil in a cast iron frypan. Add mustard seeds, garam masala, chilli – fry for a minute or two – add onion, garlic, tomato and chickpeas. Sauté for 10 minutes – season with salt and pepper. Garnish with fresh coriander and mint.
Serve with cucumber sticks and fresh lime.
Whipped Shortbread has always been a favourite in my home to make at Christmas time. Every year, I take the basic recipe and add something a little different to it. This year’s choice is cocoa and the result is like drinking a warm cup of hot chocolate on a cold day – all in one decadent cookie!
Chocolate Whipped Shortbread
2 cups room temperature butter
1 cup sifted icing sugar
1/3 cup sifted cornstarch
1/2 cup sifted cocoa powder
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. salt
2 1/2 cups sifted unbleached flour
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
In a stand mixer, whip each ingredient well – adding one at a time, in order, for 10 minutes.
Drop a teaspoon of dough onto parchment lined cookie sheets. Top each cookie with a chocolate chip. Bake for 20 minutes.
Cool cookies on a rack and then dust with a sprinkling of icing sugar or powdered candy cane.
Makes approximately 4 dozen cookies.
Roasted Pumpkin, Apple and Coconut Soup
3 cups cubed butternut squash / pumpkin, roasted in the oven with salt/pepper, olive oil
2 green apples , skinned and diced, roasted with the squash
1 clove garlic, 1/2 onion diced
1 teaspoon ground garam masala (ground corriander seed, cumin seed, mustard seed)
2 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1 can coconut milk
Fried sage leaves for garnish
Add first four ingredients to a soup pot, saute in a little olive oil and butter, add stock and coconut milk. Simmer until squash and apples are tender. Puree with a hand-blender. Serve in a bowl with crisp sage leaves (fry fresh sage leaves in olive oil till crisp)