My French friend Laure, author of the blog Frog Mom, recently reminded me of this book when she served us a simple soup for dinner. Packed with nearly 200 recipes, there is always an appropriate option for something warm and comforting within its pages. Which I surely needed after swimming in the icy cold river at Hyde Park with her.
A recent favorite that we cooked for dinner while visiting my Mom in Tucson. She liked it so much that she makes it for herself at home (and probably shares some with her dog). The recipe is from thekitchn.com.
Chicken soup has long been recognized as a balm for troubled tummies, a warm and healthful food for cold, turbulent times and a delicious way to stretch one last meal out of nothing more than the leftovers from a roasted chicken and a few kitchen staples. My kids have loved it unquestioningly since they were babies and I still enjoy it myself.
Sometimes dinner needs to be fast and furious, and a plan made in haste can go badly awry. But occasionally a crazed forage through the pantry yields exciting surprises, like last night. In this case, Nigel Slater's Indian Inspired Spinach and Potatoes were on the menu (from Tender, my second favorite kitchen garden cookbook), but after dumping my son in front of TV and gearing up for dinner, I found no spinach and only a single potato in the house. Luckily, we had some sweet potatoes leftover from a past CSA box, fresh chard, spring onions and green garlic, all of which remade a semi-traditional take on saag aloo into a delightfully Springy Californian version. For a little extra protein that the kids would eat I warmed some frozen chickpeas with a little bit of curry powder and tossed those on top.
I may sound out of my head when I say this, but I had a great time making homemade gnocchi with my 3 1/2 year old son last week. It was the most enjoyable cooking experience I’ve shared with either of my kids so far. While I like to get messy and watch them engage their senses, I am not an unusually patient parent, so fully enjoying their help in the kitchen doesn't really happen very often. Anyone who has attempted cooking with young kids will probably know what I mean.