Cooking Adventures December 21st!

Starting the day off right!

Sorry that I have been gone for a bit, I got super sick last weekend with a fever/cold that took me out. I even called into work which happens about once a year. I am not a good sick person, I still feel like I need to clean and do the normal chores. I stopped when on Friday I vacuumed than had to take a nap. I am very happy to say that I am fully recovered and been busy catching up.

First let me tell you about this amazing soup I tried from Joy the Baker; can’t tell you how excited I am for her cookbook. It is Spicy Lentil Soup, I have never had or made lentil’s before and it is so easy just remember to soak your grains they are easier to digest then. I didn’t add the buttered bread like Joy, but it is still hits the spot on a cold night.

From Joy the Baker

My soup!

Spicy Chicken Sausage and Lentil Soup

makes a big pot of soup. serves 8

Print this Recipe!

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 pound spicy chicken sausage, uncased

1 medium yellow onion, finely diced

3 celery stalks, finely diced

2 carrots, finely diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 teaspoons dried ground cumin

1/4 teaspoon red chili flakes

2 cups uncooked French lentils, rinsed

8 cups chicken stock

salt and pepper to taste

parmesan cheese, olive oil, and bread to serve

in a large saucepan over medium heat, warm olive oil. Add the uncased chicken sausage and cook, breaking up with a spatula as it cooks. Sausage should finish cooking in small chunks. Remove from the pan.

Add a touch more olive oil if necessary. Add onions, celery, and carrots. Cook until the onions are transluscent, about 5 to seven minutes. Stir occasionally. Add the garlic, cumin, and chili flakes, and cook for one minute more.

Add the sausage back to the pan. Stir to incorporate. Add the lentils and chicken stock. Reduce the heat to low and simmer the soup, uncovered, until the lentils are tender, about 45 minutes.

Serve soup with a generous sprinkling of parmesan cheese, a drizzle of olive oil, and good crusty bread. Soup will last, in an airtight container in the fridge, for up to 5 days. Soup also freezes well.

Now while the soup was going I also made Chocolate Nutella Fudge with Sea Salt that I found on The Tasty Kitchen main page a few days ago. This recipe is by the Cookin Canuck, whose blog I have sad to say I have never been to before but now LOVE!! I am also sad to say that until making this fudge I had never had Nutella, which I am finding out is like a crime to my staff. Who knew :) This day was a many of first, lastly I have never done the double boiler to melt chocolate. It was SO easy I haven’t a clue of why I was always worried about it and need to go back and find all the recipes I have skipped making because of my worry. I actually have done it twice now this week alone! The second recipe will be up later.

From the Cookin Canuck

Soup and Fudge making go perfect together

Chocolate Nutella Fudge with Sea Salt
Basic fudge recipe by Giada De Laurentiis

Butter, for greasing pan
1 (14 oz. ) can sweetened condensed milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
8 oz. high-quality bittersweet (60% cacao) chocolate chips
1 cup Nutella, room temperature
3 tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
Sea salt, approximately 1/2 tsp

Grease the bottom and sides of an 8- by 8-inch baking pan with butter. Line the pan with parchment paper, leaving a 2-inch overlap on the sides.

In a medium glass or stainless steel bowl, stir together sweetened condensed milk, vanilla, bittersweet chocolate chips, Nutella, and butter.

Form a double-boiler by setting the bowl on a medium pot of gently simmering water. The water level should be low enough that the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water. Stir until the chocolate chips are melted and the mixture is smooth, 5 to 7 minutes.

Scrape the mixture into the prepared pan, spread the top smooth with a spatula, and sprinkle with sea salt. Refrigerate until the fudge is firm, at least 2 hours.

Run a knife under hot water, dry it off, and run it around the edges of the pan to loosen the fudge. Using the overhanging parchment paper, lift the fudge out. Peel off the parchment paper. Cut the fudge into 3/4-inch squares. Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container or wrapped well in plastic wrap and foil.

Makes approximately 50 3/4-inch squares.

Now that the holidays are in full swing what is on your baking and cooking list? I still have one HUGE project up my sleeve that I will be making this afternoon. I have been wanting to make this recipe for almost 2 YEARS now! I can’t wait!!

8 thoughts on “Cooking Adventures December 21st!

    1. We love it!! I know it’s so hard not to have some for breakfast this morning. I have going to be giving it out at work tomorrow to some of my staff and my boss, if it last. Thank you so much for the recipe!!

  1. That soup looks really pretty. Glad you’re feeling all better.

    As for my Christmas baking/cooking. Us Caribbean people are weirdos. We save alllllllll of our holiday baking for Christmas Eve and Christmas morning (except for this dense extremely alcoholic cake called black cake that’s made a few days before Christmas (I won’t be making that)). So I’m not sure what I’m making just yet for the holidays. So sad. My hubby is American and I must be messing up his Christmas traditions big time. No Christmas cookies, no Christmas cake, nothing Christmassy for him until Christmas day.

  2. It makes for an exciting time and then Christmas morning, you get to wake up, eat breakfast, get Christmas cooking out of the way by 10am and then you relax all day. The day after Christmas is a holiday (Boxing Day) as well, you get to relax even more and eat all the goodies up. I would liken a West Indian (Caribbean) Christmas to America’s Thanksgiving. They spend the week before Christmas cleaning the ENTIRE house. They repaint the house, they change every piece of linen in the house (drapes and all), bathroom curtains and rugs, bedroom curtains and bed stuff…EVERYTHING and replace them with only NEW ones. PPL buy new furniture and they wash every piece of dish (spoons, dishes, pots) over (even if they’re clean). It’s just one big “spring cleaning” to start the new year fresh and new. Since I’m in the States now, I don’t go to that extent but I will be doing my cooking and baking true Caribbean style: last minute.

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