We had our first 60 degree day of the year and we celebrated with smoke and fire-aka the best way. My husband has an obsession with all things fire and grilling, and we have quite a list of equipment that he lovingly stares at and daydreams about during long winter months. When we saw the forecast, we knew we’d be setting something on fire (though hopefully not the food we were to eat, I like my food grilled, not cremated.) Chicken is always the easiest. Not as unctuous as a 10-hour pulled pork, and not as labor intensive either, it’s our go-to when we want to fire up the charcoal grill and have an excuse to drink a few beers as we play with fire.
We’re THISCLOSE to being over all the comfort food of winter. (Noticed I said almost!) We had another late season snow this past weekend, and something comforting was calling our name. This time we pulled one of our favorite beef stew recipes from one of my go-to cookbooks by Ted Allen. Usually, if I make beef stew, the recipe uses red wine, tomato paste and lots of other aromatics, but this recipe is a unique variation because it calls for Belgian beer instead of wine, and bread is used as the thickening agent instead of flour. It’s easy to assemble, and it is DIVINE.
I’m married to an Englishman. (Never a better way to start a blog post than by laying down a dry fact.) This is relevant because he has memories and cultural food favorites that are not readily available here, or are not a part of our cultural collective. I’ve always tried to incorporate his favorites into my repertoire (with the exception of Supernoodles mixed with baked beans and tuna), but I spent many years afraid to tackle the full roast dinner because the bar is set quite high. I’m not entirely sure it’s possible to compete with years of skill and nostalgia, but every once and a while, I’ll be brave and give it a go.
For us, there’s no such thing as too much soup. This time of year, we make chicken dumpling soup as often as humanly possible. Our go-to recipe is in Live to Cook by Michael Symon. The soup is straight forward and flavorful. Years of making this soup under my belt, I’ve perfected a dumpling making system that’s too good not to share. Continue reading
We try to have a nice Sunday dinner. We also knew that Saturday’s dinner would be hard to beat, so when Ross was looking for inspiration, he stumbled across a recipe for Moussaka that inspired nostalgia and a bit of excitement. Since Saturday was spent completing all the week-ahead cooking, I thought we could easily tackle this recipe. It was the only thing I had to do! Fool. This one was complicated. Moussaka- it’s basically lasagna, and had I thought about that before planning to make it, I would have reconsidered. Don’t get me wrong- it was delicious. It was also approximately 35 dirty pans, 62 utensils, and 14 mixing bowls of fun to clean up (which, thankfully for me, is my husband’s job). Continue reading
In our house, weekends are for cooking. Usually my weekends are spent in my kitchen, streaming a tv show of choice (right now it’s Supernatural), and cooking up a storm. Ross is often in the background, offering his thoughts on the current plot twists, or helpfully putting things away before I use them. This weekend was no different. Cold weekend+time change= comfort food. Continue reading