I love winter, and the excuse to hunker down and get cozy. Put on a wooly sweater, some fluffy socks and break out the red wine. But pairing red wines with the food we normally eat – fish, veggies, salads – can be challenging. So this recipe, which relies on the earthy, umami-ness of mushrooms and miso and a long, slow cook for depth and complexity, has become a cold weather staple. It’s rich and satisfying, and I might venture to say, even better than the meaty original.
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We eat salmon at least once a week in our house. It’s a nutritional superstar, full of brain-boosting, anti-aging and anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids — and all of us, including my two little guys, love it. This recipe, from Indian goddess Madhur Jaffrey’s book At Home with Madhur Jaffrey, is in constant rotation.
This rich, rustic tortilla soup with warm, smokey spice nourishes the body and soul. And it seems just right for these late season warm days that turn into brisk nights, as summer fades into fall. I love all the different textures – chunks of chicken, earthy kale, soft avocado and crunchy homemade tortilla strips. And let’s be honest – my boys love the opportunity to eat tortilla strips for dinner…
Everybody needs a killer go-to dish that they can whip out, practically from memory, for guests or special occasions. One that pleases just about everyone, and doesn’t stress out the host. Preferably one that can be assembled ahead of time. For me, this is the dish, my “famous” turkey meatballs. Famous because I’ve made them so many times, at one point or other for every single person who has joined us for dinner, and are always a hit.
Even as a kid, I was not a Kraft mac & cheese girl. The neon orange color and lack of any discernible cheese confused me. Give me a layer of melty, crispy cheese on top of some noodles, and now we’re talking. But even then, I’d probably rather just have the melted cheese, or real pasta with loads of salty pecorino. So I did not rush out to create a healthier version of good old mac & cheese. Until I had kids, that is.
I love fish, and I want my kids to love it. None of this, “Ewww! Fish is stinky” from my babies. So I’ve been serving it to them for dinner from the time they started solids, in kid-friendly preparations. And guess what? They love it! Give Xander, who isn’t even 5 yet, a choice of dumbed-down kids-menu items or grilled salmon on a restaurant menu, and he chooses the salmon. These baked fish fingers were the gateway …
A few years ago we took the whole family to Sicily for two weeks. It still lingers in my memory as one of the best trips. Ever. It was beautiful, and charmingly rough around the edges. We swam in the brilliant teal Aeolian sea and drank cheap (and delicious) Salina Bianco out of small plastic cups on a boat, the salt from the sea drying on our lips and mingling with the wine.
I’m a mom of two young boys, a sommelier, a former restaurateur, and a passionate home cook. I believe in eating well and celebrating life every day, not just on weekends or holidays or vacation. With delicious, healthy food, good wine and family and friends gathered around the table. This is my happy place.
My goal is to inspire to get you into the kitchen, and to take the mystery out of serving wine with food. On a Tuesday night. With picky eaters, even toddlers. It’s totally doable. Especially with a glass of wine. Trust me.