Sweet Potato Soup with Ham and Leeks

Sweet Potato SoupI love soup on chilly winter evenings. This Sweet Potato Soup recipe is a real winner. The earthy aroma of the sage and garlic will fill your kitchen and have everyone coming in to see what’s cooking. Everyone will love the creamy, savory, and slightly sweet taste of this soup that’s filled chucks of ham and sweet potatoes.

Sweet potatoes are rich in Vitamin C and Vitamin B6, which are important for brain and nervous system health. They’re also a good source of potassium and magnesium which help regulate blood pressure and improve heart health.

 

Sweet Potato Soup with Ham and Leeks

Soup Ingredients:

  • 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 lb fully-cooked ham, cut into small dice (about 1 cup)
  • 1 large leek, cleaned well and sliced thin (about 1 ½ cups)
  • 3-4 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into small cubes (about 3 cups)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried sage
  • 1 can chicken broth (about 14 ounces)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 small can evaporated milk (about 5 ounces)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Garnish (optional):

  • Sour cream
  • Thinly sliced scallions
  1. Put the oil in a pot and fry the ham cubes, stirring constantly, until slightly crispy on the edges (about 5 minutes). Then remove the ham from the pot.
  2. Add the leeks and cook until slightly wilted. Add the sweet potatoes, garlic, sage, chicken broth, water, and evaporated milk. Simmer for 15 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender.
  3. Place half the soup into a blender (secure the lid by placing a kitchen towel over the top to prevent splatters) and then puree until smooth. Return to the soup pot and add the ham. Then add salt and pepper to taste. Garnish each bowl with sour cream and sliced scallions. Enjoy!

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This month I’ve reduced the price of all 3 of my Christmas books. Today, I’m featuring AN ALMOST PERFECT CHRISTMAS. It’s the story of how one little girl brings together her widower daddy and her favorite pediatric nurse.

An Almost Perfect Christmas

 

Hot Mulled Cider #Recipe by @Donna_Fasano

I love mulled cider. In trying to decide which recipe to use for this post, I was torn between recipes offered by 2 Food Network chefs that I love—Bobby Flay and Ina Garten. I went with Garten’s recipe because I love the flavor and scent of star anise. If you’ve never used this spice, you have got to try it! It smells like a holiday all by itself. I often put a few star anise and few whole cloves into a saucepan of simmering water. This concoction makes my house smell wonderful. Be careful not to let the water evaporate completely or you’ll end up with scorched spices. Now, on to the recipe.

Hot Mulled Cider

By Ina Garten of Food Network

Ingredients

  • 1 gallon fresh apple cider
  • 4 cinnamon sticks
  • 8 whole cloves
  • 6 star anise

Directions

  • Combine all ingredients into a pot and simmer over low heat for 10 minutes, or until all flavors are combined.
  • Pour into mugs and serve hot.
  • Makes 12 servings.

This month, I’m celebrating fall by putting MOUNTAIN LAUREL on sale for just 99¢ for Kindle readers. This sweet romance is the first book I ever wrote. It won a finalist spot on what was then called The Unpublished RITA Contest (now known as The Golden Heart). Although the book did not win a trophy, editor Tara Gavin of Harlequin bought and published the book. I was so proud!

Mountain Laurel

Links to buy in the Kindle Store:

US  #Ad

UK

Canada

Australia

The sale price is available in all Kindle Stores! Don’t see a link to your store? Search for “Mountain Laurel Donna Fasano” in your Kindle Store. Thank you!

Have you checked out the list of fabulous Authors’ Billboard Authors?

 

Sour Cream Fudge Cake

This cake is rich, moist, and chocolaty. I recently baked this Sour Cream Fudge Cake for a special occasion, filling it with Nutella and frosting it with vanilla butter cream icing. Everyone loved it! Give it a try.

Sour Cream Fudge Cake

Ingredients

Sour Cream Fudge Cake

For the cake:

  • 1 2/3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2/3 cup cocoa
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

For the filling:

  • 1/2 cup Nutella

For the butter cream frosting:

  • 1 stick butter
  • 3 cups confectioner sugar
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 350°. Spray two 8 or 9 inch round pans with cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, beat together the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, salt, sour cream, milk, oil, eggs, and vanilla until combined, scraping the bowl occasionally, about 3 minute. Pour evenly into pans.
  3. Bake until wooden pick inserted into center comes out clean, about 28 to 32 min. Allow to rest for 15 minutes. Remove from pans and place on wire rack. Cool completely! If you don’t let the cake cool before assembling it, the Nutella will melt and you’ll have a mess on your hands.
  4. For the frosting: Beat the butter with electric mixing until fluffy. Add confectioner sugar, sour cream, and vanilla, and beat until combined, fluffy, and of spreading consistency.
  5. Place one cake layer on a plate. Spread Nutella over it. Top with second layer, and then cover sides and top with butter cream frosting.

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This month, I am offering my book HER FAKE ROMANCE for just 99¢ for Kindle readers—a $3 savings off the regular price! Julia, the protagonist in the book, is a caterer and this Sour Cream Fudge Cake is something she might bake. Here are a few reviews for the book:

“I loved the emotional build-up with just the right amount of sexual tension.” ~Kindle Reader

“…strong characters, heated passion.” ~Romantic Times

“The author’s style was pure delight, fun and funky. Modern and very entertaining. I never would have thought that a fake romance could be so funny and emotional at the same time. HJ Top Pick!”  ~HarlequinJunkie.com

About the book:

“Mom, get a life!”

Her teenage daughter’s words are daunting. True, struggling single mom Julia Jones hasn’t had a date in over a decade, but she could still catch a man–if she needed to! So Julia, who claims not to want a husband, finds herself entangled in a fake romance.

Ryan Shane is tall, dark, and devastatingly handsome. And he just so happens to need a no-strings date himself. Their plan is perfectly thought out. Until a conveniently staged good-night kiss turns into very inconvenient passion…

This book contains bonus material that includes several delicious recipes! Grab this deal in the Kindle Store.

Happy Eating and Happy Reading!

Toe-Curling Blueberry Muffins #Recipe @DonnaFaz

Toe-Curling Blueberry MuffinBecause September has arrived with its cooler temperatures, we can turn on the oven and begin baking again. (Baking is a favorite pastime of mine!) I’m using this recipe for Toe-Curling Blueberry Muffins in a new novella I am currently writing. The recipe will be included in the book, but I just couldn’t wait so I’m posting it here. Blueberry muffins with crumble topping are my favorite. These are easy to make. If you decide to give this recipe a try, I hope you’ll let me know if they make your toes curl!

Toe-Curling Blueberry Muffins

Makes 8 large muffins

For the muffin batter:

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup milk
1 egg
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries

For the topping:

1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
4 tablespoons butter, softened

  1. Preheat oven to 400° F. Prepare muffin pan by spraying with cooking spray.
  2. To make muffin batter: combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. In a separate bowl, combine the oil, milk, and egg. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir just until all the dry ingredients are incorporated. Do not over mix. Gently stir in the blueberry just until they are well distributed. Do not mash the fruit.
  3. To make topping: in a small bowl, stir together the sugar, flour, and cinnamon. Add the softened butter and stir with a fork until all ingredients are combined. Topping will be crumbly.
  4. Fill the muffing tins to the top with batter and top each muffin with a heaping tablespoon of topping. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a wooden pick inserted in the muffins comes out clean.

I currently have 2 wonderful deals to offer you.

The first is a FREE download – FOLLOWING HIS HEART is available free (through Sept 5th only!) for Kindle, Nook, iBooks, Kobo, and Google.

The second is a savings of $3.00 off the regular price of RECLAIM YOUR HEART. You can download the Kindle version of the book for just $0.99 through Sept. 30th.

Following His Heart

Download FREE!

Reclaim My Heart

Save $3 through Sept 30th!