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Kofta Balls with Indian Tomato Sauce

Indian cuisine was far more usual in my childhood diet than Italian. Of course, this quickly changed once I hit college, but prior to my noodle years, Indian feasts on Sunday afternoons weren’t entirely uncommon. My mom had a thing for curry, rice, and nutrition, and fortunately, all could easily be combined within many vegetarian Indian dishes.

This meal right here was by far one of my favorites that she’d make. As for this sauce, huge batches were always a summer tradition.  This left a never-ending supply in the freezer to use over rice all the way through the winter. My high school boyfriend, on the other hand, was always begging me to load him up on tomatoes so that his Italian momma could make her version of sauce. I presume he had a never-ending supply to spoon over spaghetti through the winter. Regardless, the tomatoes in my garden made us both happy kids.

This sauce is incredibly flavorful for how simple it is to make. It’s the perfect topping for the kofta balls, which when cooked, obtain a perfectly crisped, golden shell to hold their soft interior. I could easily see this combination on a bun for a unique, vegetarian take on a meatball sub. Though, in my household, my mom will never stray from her beloved brown rice. Go for brown basmati if you can. Its nuttiness completes the meal.

Click here for recipe…

Holiday Almond Balls

Almond Balls

These are one of my family’s signature holiday treats. Come Christmas time, and you’ll be sure to find a tin filled with these…although that tin certainly won’t stay full for long! Sweet, fragrant, and extra buttery, what’s not to like about these edible snowballs?

Now, I wouldn’t exactly classify this as one of my healthy recipes. (Okay, so it could be worse. These do have that vitamin E-rich almond-base going for them.) But sometimes a girl’s got to indulge, right? I’m a chocoholic and also happen to have a fairly big sweet tooth. My philosophy: Everything in moderation. Which means every year, I always cease the holidays as a time to pull out the sugar and flour and get baking. Nothing beats the warm smells that flow from the oven or the mouth-watering tastes that ensue! And with that, I’m off…a dinging timer and some cookies in the oven are so sweetly calling my name.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays everyone!

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Pecan Pie Truffles

With the pumpkin pie already covered by another family member, I set out to find a different dessert I could bring to the family Thanksgiving celebration.  I had been eyeing the VegNews Pecan Pie Truffles featured on the New York Times for sometime, so I settled on making a slightly modified version.  Although not typically a fan of pecan pie, I knew this recipe looked good.  And indeed, it certainly didn’t disappoint.  These balls were packed with flavor, infused with all the goodness of maple syrup, buttery toasted pecans, and a kick of spiced rum.  A chocolate covering made these extra decadent, allowing them to stick out among all the other dishes on the dessert table.  This one’s a keeper.  Move over Christmas cookies.

Pecan Pie Balls

(Yields about 24 truffles)

-2 1/2 cups pecans, toasted and finely chopped
-1 cup graham cracker crumbs
-1 cup dark brown sugar, packed
-1/2 teaspoon salt
-2 tablespoons maple syrup
-1/4 cup spiced rum
-1 teaspoon vanilla
-8 ounces bittersweet chocolate chips

In a medium bowl, stir together pecans, graham cracker crumbs, brown sugar and salt until well combined. Add maple syrup, spiced rum and vanilla, stirring thoroughly. Use your hands to make sure the mixture becomes fully incorporated.

Form mixture into 1-inch balls, then place on a parchment sheet-lined cookie sheet and freeze for 2 hours.

In the top of a double boiler or in a medium stainless steel bowl set over a pot of gently simmering water, melt chocolate. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Dip the frozen balls into the melted chocolate, then place onto prepared baking sheet. Let sit for 5-10 minutes or until firm.