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Antipasti Amuse

15 Apr

When hosting a dinner party, I always like to put out a good spread of pre-meal munchies and wines of course to get guests excited for the main attractions. Like the invite before the wedding, the appetizer sets the scene for the culinary feast ahead.

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My favourite and well repeated amuse bouche to serve is a jam packed antipasti plate. I thank my Italian roots for introducing me to this style of eating at an early age. I loved the plates you used to be served at any special dining function as it was a mini buffet for your palate. Also – it isn’t precious, thus making it easy enough for a novice in the kitchen and will get you as many ooh’s and ahh’s as a salmon tartlette!

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My Martha tip to the antipasti plate- mix as many in season pickled and roasted veg you can get your hands on with a medley of olives and at minimum 2 cheeses and one sharp salami. Forgo the cracker and instead roughly tear up some robust bread. Buon Appetito!

Home Made Winter – Butternut Squash and Lentil Soup

4 Jan

Note – a good hard covered cook book with pretty pictures is ALWAYS a girls fav present. Thanks for this beauty Rebecca:) Like a kid in a candy store I was vibrating in my floral apron on in anticipating of attempting my first recipe in Home Made Winter. The photos were so beautiful I know I had a lot to live up to. Being the middle of December and my pre-Christmas gluttony phase I was going for hot and healthy, so for my first dish I prepared Squash & Lentil Soup. So easy and delicious.

  Home Made Winter

 Step 1 – Peel and cut into 1 inch cubes an entire butternut squash. Throw the squash into a bowl and add paprika, oregano, salt and pepper and a good 2-3 Tablespoons of cooking oil. I used grapeseed oil.

Step 2 – throw those beautiful squash nuggets on a baking sheet and cook at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until the squash are golden and can be easily pierced with a fork.

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Step 3 – Put the squash to the side and in a large sauce pan sauté 1 medium onion and some chopped garlic with butter of olive oil. Add to that 1/2 cup of yellow split peas and 1/4 cup of green split peas or lentils. Sauté that all together and add 2 Tablespoons of tomatoe paste. Sauté for another minute or so and then add in 4 cups of veggie broth. simmer on low for about 35 minutes until the lentils have absorbed the liquid and have softened. Add the squash back into the pot and heat back up!

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Step 4: Et Voila! Spoon out the soup into your fav soup bowl and garnish with cilantro (if you fancy it!) stirred greek yoghurt and I also added some avocado for no other reason than I had a perfectly ripened avocado in my veggie bowl!