10.07.2008

back to basics in the kitchen

One of my favorite things about food is the comforting aspect of home cooking. It's why I love to cook and it's the type of food I like best to eat. I remember the things my Mom made for us growing up, and also what my grandmother's would feed us on visits. They were foods that made me happy and that's exactly what I want to feed my boys.

With the brisk fall weather already here, I pulled out one of my favorite cookbooks- Cold Weather Cooking by Sarah Leah Chase. Reading it makes you want to have a pot of soup on the stove, a loaf of bread fresh from the oven, and snuggle up on the couch with a cup of coffee and cookie(s) afterwards. True comfort food that feeds your soul. It's been inspiring me to cook and also get a better handle on my sometimes uncontrollable schedule.

With the start up of school and new routines, I was cooking less and less. I was really missing that time in the kitchen, so to remedy the cooking hiatus I inadvertently took, I came up with a plan. A menu plan! Armed with lots of advice from the internet, and some inspiration from here, I decided to just get things under control.

I realized that the one major thing stopping me from cooking was the lack of a plan. If I came home from work without a dinner planned, nothing was happening in my kitchen (except some annoyance with myself for not being organized). And if Glen even asked 'What's for dinner?' when I didn't know, I would snap. So I went onto my gmail calendar and set up a menu plan. It's taken me a couple weeks to figure out what works best, and I have to say I think I have the hang of it now. Not only am I cooking more again, but I think I'm saving money on groceries, and more importantly, I am not so stressed.

One of our favorites has been this Hungarian Chicken from Cold Weather Cooking.

Pancetta, onions and red peppers are cooked before adding paprika, tomato paste and chicken broth. Then, chicken breasts are added and slowly cooked for about an hour. When the chicken is cooked, it's set aside and a sour cream and flour mixture is stirred in to make the creamiest, most delicious sauce. Chicken is added back, and all is served on top of a bed of egg noodles. So good!

I also made her baby carrots with mustard and brown sugar glaze. She really has become one of my favorite cookbook authors.

I'm going to get cozy with a blanket now and see what's on the plan for tomorrow.

2 comments:

Anna said...

You're so organized! I don't know if ~I could follow a plan, it sounds like a good idea though!
The food looks yummy!
xx

Lisa said...

That dinner looks fantastic!!!