Italian Inspired Pasta

This pasta is healthy, simple and delicious.

Browned Italian turkey sausage sautéed with roasted red peppers, spinach, onion, garlic and a hint of chilli. This combination with fresh parmesan cheese and whole wheat penne makes for the perfect weeknight dinner.

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Hint: Always remember to reserve some pasta cooking water when making fresh sauce. The starchy liquid will bring everything together and act as a thickening agent.

 

Have questions about cooking pasta? Curious about making your own sauce?
Need inspiration?
Email me at holliejones@live.ca 

Taco Salad

This week I treated myself to an extra special lunch. A fresh taco salad in a homemade tortilla bowl. It was delicious!! Crisp veggies, light dressing and sharp cheese all in a flavourful and edible bowl!

Taco Salad for One

Making an editable tortilla bowl.

Making an editable tortilla bowl.

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The recipe:

Serves one.

1 mason jar                                                                                                                                                    1 large round tortilla
1tbsp olive oil
1 cup shredded lettuce (I used romaine)
1/2 medium tomato, diced
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
1/2 green bell pepper, diced
1/2 avocado, diced
1/4 cup fresh or canned corn
1/4 black beans
1tsp green onion, minced
1/4 cup shredded sharp cheddar
1tbsp sour cream
1/4 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/2 lime, juiced
Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400.

Brush tortilla with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place a large mason jar on a baking sheet. Mold tortilla over the mason jar. Bake in the oven for a 10 minutes, or until golden brown.

Remove tortilla from oven and place diced vegetables, corn and beans inside.

Top with shredded cheese, sour cream, fresh lime juice and spices. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

*If desired top with grilled chicken breast, seasoned steak, ground beef or cooked shrimp.

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This recipe is simple, fast and delicious.
It makes an excellent lunch for one or dinner for friends!

Enjoy!

Using Surplus to Feed a Hungry World.

With a heart for feeding the hungry I recently began to do some research on local food and aid organizations. I came across an organization called ‘Gleaners’. After stumbling across their website I was in complete awe. I sent out an email to the manager and a few days later I found myself touring the facility and connecting with volunteers.

Photo source: Gleaners website.

Photo source: Gleaners website.

Their Mission

“The Ontario Christian Gleaners is an Interdenominational Christian organization that seeks to visibly demonstrate God’s love and grace by working with volunteers to collect, process, and make available surplus agricultural produce for the relief of the hungry in overseas nations.” – Mission Statement, Ontario Gleaners.

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Irish Treats

In celebration of St. Patrick’s Day I whipped up two festive treats yesterday.

Starting with Gluten-Free Mint Swirl Chocolate Brownies. These were  a basic gluten-free brownie batter swirled with a cream cheese mixture that was flavoured with mint extract and green dye. They were fluffy, moist and delicious!

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I also made Chocolate cupcakes topped with Bailey’s Frosting. The cupcake was fluffy and the frosting was rich and sweet! They definitely added some fun to the night!

The chocolate cupcakes were topped with gold flakes.I think they’re pretty cute, and hellooo – chocolate and bailey’s!

 

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This dessert was so well loved, it was gone in a snap! And since it’s so easy to whip up, I’ll be making a second batch very soon.  Hope you enjoy it too!

 

Bailey’s Buttercream

1 cup butter , at room temperature
3 cups powdered sugar
6 Tablespoons Bailey’s Irish Cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Place all ingredients in a large bowl. Use electric mixer to blend together; mix until smooth and creamy.

Bruschetta

Spring is in the air…So I am getting prepared and whipping up some of my favourite spring and summer recipes!

Bruschetta is a great appetizer for summer months and can be made with any combination of healthy fruits and vegetables. I’ve topped these garlic-rubbed baguette toasts with fresh tomatoes, green onion and oregano. A touch of Parmesan cheese rounds out this flavorful mixture.

Bursting with the flavours of summer, bruschetta is a tomato harvest staple. Use your favourite variety of heirloom tomato or a variety of vegetables– it’s up to you!

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Roast Lamb Dinner

This past weekend I catered a birthday dinner in Waterloo. I had the pleasure of cooking in a beautiful kitchen with Granite counter tops and stunning china. It was destined to be a great night.

As guests arrive, they sipped on red wine and nibbled on an antipasti platter. The platter included; cured italian meats, aged canadian cheeses, red pepper tapenade, marinated mushrooms and collusive green and black olives.

As the evening progressed more wine was sipped, conversation was flowing and dinner was served.

The Menu

Arugula & Prosciutto Salad 

Shaved fennel & red onion, crispy prosciutto, Reggiano cheese with lemon vinaigrette

Dijon and Rosemary crusted Lamb

Served with sweet potato pave and Roast asparagus and Balsamic jus

 Sea Salted Chocolate-Caramel Tart

 A light butter crust filled with rich caramel, topped with dark chocolate and course sea salt.

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 It was my pleasure to cater for this wonderful birthday event!