Saturday, 21 March 2015

Cookbook Challenge: comfort foods for the winter that wasn't

With apologies to the rest of Canada,  (who hate us west-coasters at the best of times),  this winter has been more like spring.  BBQ has seen more action than the slow-cooker.  As a skier, I am brazen enough to complain about the warm winter we had, which doesn't tend to get a lot of sympathy from anyone.  If only we could ship some snow from the Maritimes onto the top of Whistler.

Skiing with Rich in Feb

This is what the hill normally looks like in April or May, not February!

But even in a comfortable winter, I love comfort foods.  Winter is the best time to indulge in soups and stews.  I didn't get this when I was little, and would beg my mom to make lasagna and meatloaf in July.

Cookbook Challenge 25: South Indian Lentils & Vegetables from The Complete Book of Indian Cooking by Shehzad Husain and Rafi Fernandez

That is a bit of a mouthful.  This is a big book which I brought home from India with me in 1997 as a gift for my mom.  I have conveniently forgotten how heavy my backpack was, but I'm sure if this was my idea of a good souvenir, it was a seriously heavy bag!

After owning it for awhile & not using it, my mom gave it to me and occasionally asks me to make Indian food.  I have not been very adventurous, but the book actually has lots of great looking recipes.

The one I chose was hardy and yummy and easy to make.  Also, Finley liked it, which is a huge score these days.  It's one of those kitchen sink kind of meals where you can throw in whichever veggies you happen to have on hand.

Cookbook Challenge 26: French Onion Soup from Heartsmart cooking for Family and Friends by Bonnie Stern

I don't know where this book came from.  Other than Jaime Oliver, I think Bonnie Stern is the cookbook author most represented on my shelf.  Her stuff is always reliable - tastes good, easy to prepare and healthy.

I've never been into French Onion Soup, but Derek and my in-laws are serious connoisseurs.  I made this especially for Derek.  I mostly just liked the cheesy bread on top!

Cookbook Challenge 27: Chicken Pot Pie from "Dinner: A love story", by Jenny Rosenstrach

This wonderful book was a gift from my sister Briana.  It's part cookbook, part journal, part guide on how to bring your family & besties together to eat, drink and be merry.  This idea really strikes a chord with me - growing up, we ate dinner together pretty much every night.  The whole family, and often boyfriends and friends too.  It was so great to all sit down & catch up on our day, laugh & joke and eat good food.  Not to get super geeky here, but research shows that the benefits of families eating together are huge - improved communication, relationship building, more nutritious food, modelling manners.  Obviously that is pretty much why my siblings and I are models of healthy, polite and communicative human beings!

Anyway, back to the book.  It's great.  She also has a blog:  Thanks Briana for introducing me to this great book & blog.

Chicken pot pie is comfort food through and through.  It was delicious!

At our house, Finley is not quite on the same eating schedule as us, but we have most breakfasts together and dinner a few times a week.  Sometimes a guy likes to be independent at his own little table though: 

Cookbook Challenge 28: Indonesian Chicken from Whitewater Cooks with Passion, by Shelley Adams

This is cookbook author who is the third most represented on my shelf (I think this is incorrect grammar, but I can't seem to figure out the right way to say it).  I got this book for Christmas.  As compared to the first three whitewater books, my initial flip through this book didn't light me on fire.  The recipes looked good, but nothing special.    Finally I had to just jump in.  I made the Havana Chicken, but I won't blog about that one as it was only OK, it was burned, and I got a bad burn and did an F-bomb dance on the back porch while BBQing it.  

My friend recommended the Indonesian chicken.  It was easy and delicious and no sensitive ears were harmed in the making of this dinner.  

Here's what I've been doing instead of skiing this "winter": LOVING my new bike!

1 comment:

  1. great post, Meg. Glad you had cleansed your palate of "winter food" in the summer!