Some time ago – I can’t even remember when – I was invited to join a Facebook group called Indie Writers Unite, a place where independently publishing authors could get together and give sage advice to their fellows. I was one of the first to join, number 15, I think. Now IWU has 975 members and continues to grow. The founder, Cheryl Bradshaw, came up with the idea of using our combined talents to create a book, and not just any book.
A cook book.
Who doesn’t enjoy browsing a cookbook filled with yummy recipes and colorful pictures of yummy food? I like to browse, though I admit I look for quick and easy recipes nowadays. Having seen some of the recipes that will appear in the book, I think I’ll be trying out quite a few of them. I practically flooded my keyboard with drool when I saw the pictures.
Proceeds from the book – Dine With Us: A collection of recipes from the authors of Indie Writers Unite – will go to UNICEF.
As a sample of the delights in store, here is my contribution. If you’ve read Whisperings, you know Tiff Banks does occasionally cook, if it’s not too complicated, and she loves Italian food, so I think she would like this one. And I bet Royal would contribute fresh, crusty , homemade bread warm from the oven to go with it.
Easy Pasta e Fagioli.
My version of this hearty Italian soup uses store cupboard ingredients. You’ll need a big saucepan or Dutch oven for this. My family prefers the small red and small white beans, but you can use cannellini and red kidney beans. This is heart-healthy dish; if you want healthier, substitute 1/4 lb ground beef and 1/4 lb ground turkey for the 100% ground beef and cook meat in microwave instead of pan.
½ lb ground beef
15 oz can Small Red Beans, drained
15 oz can Small White Beans, drained
1 cup shredded carrot
½ cup shredded zucchini
½ tsp minced garlic
½ red pepper, sliced in thin strips (julienned)
6 oz can Tomato Paste
14 oz cans Beef Broth (2)
1 ½ cups water
14 oz can Italian style diced tomatoes
1 tsp beef base (best) or beef granules
1 Tbsp dried minced or chopped onion
½ tsp dried Italian Seasoning
2 dried Bay Leaves
2 celery stalks, sliced lengthwise then crosswise into small pieces
Two or three handfuls of small pasta (macaroni, ditalina, etc)
Spray bottom of pan with nonstick spray. Brown ground beef in saucepan, drain. Add all ingredients except pasta and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer covered for half an hour. Add pasta and continue to simmer a further half an hour (as pasta can take that long to reach al dente on a simmer.) Or cook pasta in boiling water in a separate pot and add during the last 5 minutes. Remove the bay leaves before serving.
Serve with crusty bread and parmesan cheese.