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Warmth ...

Fig, raisin & cashew Biscotti

What does Winter mean to you? Is it about the biting cold, the freezing wind, the squishy snow, the treacherous black ice...? Or is it about roaring fires, steaming hot chocolate, cozy friendships (discovering who you really like in your circle enough to spend hours closeted together..!)? Or is it adventure sports, frolicking in white powder, standing with your mouth open to catch the light snow flakes and their incredible feeling of freshness?

When I first moved to this part of the world from the Tropics that I had known all my life before, I was a bit befuddled in my emotions to this particular season. I am not a lover of heat, and not much of sun either actually. But the East Coast cold isn't exactly an inviting one!

Winter Strawberries

Mozzarella & Tomato Salad1

Much like everything else in the New York life, it is unyielding, brutal, in-your-face and completely nonchalant of your perspective. It is what it is, love it or hate it!

And, while it is rather very easy to hate it, really HATE it, if you let it be, it will too.. and will actually grow on you! No, I don't mean, you will yearn for the season (you may but you don't have to!). But, you will come to cherish it for what it is and the gifts it affords..


Gifts of house parties, of cozy getaways in the woods, of serene landscapes, of laughter and chatter, of quiet introspection unadulterated by Summer's flirtations...

Of knowing your friends and who they are... Of love and who deserve yours... Of giving and sharing and how happy it makes... :)

Enjoy Winter! We are having a very pleasant one, this year, indeed! :)

Fig, raisin & cashew Biscotti1

Fig, Cashewnut & Cardamom Biscotti
(adapted from Epicurious)
yield: 12-15 biscotti, depending on size

1-1/4 cup, all purpose flour
3/4 tsp, baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3 T unsalted butter, room temperature
1/3 cup sugar
1 egg
5 cardamom pods, peeled and seeds ground
zest of half orange
1/2 cup semi-dried mission figs
1/2 cup toasted cashew nuts

Preheat oven to 325°F. Sift the dry ingredients together. In another bowl, beat the sugar and butter together until light and fluffy. Slowly incorporate the egg. Fold Beat in eggs 1 at a time. Fold in the zest and cardamom.

Slowly fold in the flour mixture just until blended. Fold in the figs and cashews. Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface. Roll into a 15-inch-long log (about 1 1/4 inches wide). Carefully transfer the log a prepared baking sheet.

Bake until almost firm to touch but still pale, about 28 minutes. Rotate if needed for even coloring. Cool log on baking sheet 10 minutes. Keep the oven on.

Carefully transfer the log on to a cutting board. Using serrated knife and gentle sawing motion, slice on a bias into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Place the slices, on their side, back on the baking sheet. Bake until firm and pale golden, about 9 minutes per side. Transfer cookies to racks and cool.

Store in an airtight container for upto a week. Share with fresh coffee or just as is! :)

Share your creations tagging @ashafsk on Instagram and hashtag #MadeFromFSK