Chicken Soup for the Presidential Soul

homemade chicken soup recipeLife is tough. Whether you are running across the country campaigning for president or running city blocks to the nearest coffee shop early in the morning, the moments of modern day living can sometimes leave one in a spinning, dizzying delirium.

As we come to the finish line of February, perhaps a bit weary from all the running – running to keep up with the 2016 presidential election, running to work, running a business or running a very crazy household – it might do your soul well to sit down for a quiet moment to enjoy a hot steaming bowl of homemade chicken soup. Maybe even contemplate a different perspective, such as what life would be like on Mars or back in the days of our Founding Fathers…

Enjoy below: the Winter Citrus Salad for some refreshment, the Homemade Chicken Soup for some comfort, and the Chocolate Peanut Butter chip cookies for some satisfaction. Read more

Celebrate Royally with a Creamy, Spicy, Lovely & Sweet Valentine Dinner

Italian Cream Cake RecipeCelebrate Valentine’s Day royally with some creamy, spicy, lovely & sweet Valentine’s Day recipes. Enjoy a royal beginning with the cocktails below, followed by dinner and dessert! Read more

Three Bowls of “Just Right” Porridge

homemade oatmeal recipe

“The snow started and didn’t stop. Icy winds banged against the window as if they wanted to come inside and warm themselves by the fire. The gale howled, the drifts mounted around the house. Three weather advisories warned us not to leave unless absolutely necessary. Inside, the house was cozy,” writes Ruth Reichl in her new book My Kitchen Year: 136 Recipes That Saved My Life.

Reichl finds comfort and sustenance in her kitchen, where her everyday cooking and baking is inspired and directed by the natural rhythms of the seasons, the day-to-day elements that we awaken to each morning – sun, rain, sleet, hail, wind and snow – and that the earth needs to rejuvenate, grow and flourish.

Below please find three recipes for oatmeal that offer a cozy comfort and help to sustain one through early morning storms.

Ms. Reichl writes: “So cold. Heavy snow-swollen sky. Butter-toasted oatmeal, rivers of thick cream, brown sugar. Fresh orange juice; such fragrant hope.” Read more

A Hot Bone Broth Tonic for Morning, Noon and Night

Bone broth recipe

“Good broth will resurrect the dead.” –South American Proverb
“Stock is everything in cooking. Without it, nothing can be done.” –Escoffier

In an ever-changing culinary landscape, I have come to depend on my daughter-in-law to keep me abreast of the latest food trends, which seem to be driven largely by her millennial generation. Gluten-free, dairy-free, grain-free, paleo, organic kale, “The Organic Kitchen” and “Wellness Mama” blogs, microbrews, sustainable wine, house-made sodas, artisanal coffees and bacon-flavored chocolates, cara oranges, coconut oil, almond milk, ghee and sriracha are just a few of the things I have learned more about when visiting her kitchen over the past couple years.

Read more

All Things White, Light and Healthy (almost)

roasted cauliflower recipes

Considering that cauliflower seems to be what all farm-to-table chefs up and down the East coast served in 2015, I think it’s safe to say that it has joined its green cousins (kale and Brussels sprouts) as a “hot and trendy” vegetable in the culinary landscape.

So, what better vegetable to serve up in the New Year than this white cruciferous vegetable that is packed (like a snowball) with antioxidants, has anti-inflammatory and digestive benefits and lots of vitamin C, and can warm a January soul on these cold winter days.

From cheesy cauliflower soup to hearty cauliflower gratin to spicy roasted bites, enjoy all things white, light and healthy this month, beginning with the cauliflower recipes below.

Further below you’ll find another round, white “snowball” treat, perfect for afternoon tea! Read more

All Things Beaujolais

Le Beaujolais Nouveau “Every year…millions of bottles of a fresh, fruity Gamay from Beaujolais are poured to celebrate the new vintage,” writes S. Irene Virbila in a recent Los Angeles Times article. “Banners all over France — and the world — proclaim ‘Le Beaujolais Nouveau est arrivé!’ French restaurants, of course, get into the spirit of things big-time.”

Shortly after the Paris attacks, when the world became more attuned to all things Paris and France, I viewed a show on television about the annual French festival, celebrating the arrival of the 2015 Beaujolais wine. What a contrast, I thought, between the festivities and the tragic events that had taken place just a week before. And so, when I came across an abundant supply of Georges Duboeufs 2015 Beaujolais Nouveau that was festively displayed for the Thanksgiving holiday, I thought it appropriate to celebrate France and support the Parisians by buying a bottle. Read more

Christmas Cookies for Christmas Tea

Christmas cookie recipes

“Come, let us have some tea and continue to talk about happy things.” –Chaim Potok (American author and rabbi, 1929-2002)*

In the jingle-jangle, hustle-bustle of this busy, blessed season it is always good to make time for some peace, quiet and comfort with the taking of afternoon tea – accompanied, of course, by a sprinkled assortment of crisp and chewy Christmas tea cookies.

It is with a joyful spirit that ATG shares below an afternoon of tea and cookies with recipes for three very heavenly cookies. Read more

Soups for the Winter Soul

Cauliflower SoupIn The Secrets of Jesuit Soupmaking: A Year of Our Soups, Brother Rick Curry, S.J. writes:

“Soup is very comforting. It touches something deeply rooted in our lives. Like bread, soup is one of the earliest preparations in the recorded history of food, and doubtless predates recorded history. As soon as man possessed fire, and a fire-resistant receptacle to cook in, he began to make stews, soups, and breads. So elemental is soup that in many languages it is synonymous with, or a substitute for, the whole notion of meals or food. Expressions such as ‘Soup’s on!’ mean simply that dinner is served. The verb ‘to sup,’ meaning to eat the evening meal, and its substantive form ‘supper’ both derive from the word ‘soup’ or its cognate ‘sop,’ which means to dip or soak pieces of food – of course, usually bread – in broth, wine, or some other liquid.”

Below are three tried and true recipes for hearty cold-weather soups. They are old recipes that I have adapted over the years. As with any soup, it is best to taste and adjust seasonings as you go (I always add a little more salt and pepper and I always adjust the amount of water that I use in each recipe). Read more

Please note: ATG is “traveling” along a rosy “ridge” in a distant “realm” of sparkling light. We’ll be back at the “table” December 7th.

“A meal doesn’t have to be like a painting by Raphael, but it should be a serious and beautiful thing, no matter how simple…[w]hat nicer way for a family to get together and communicate? Which is what life is all about, really.” – Julia Child, as found in “Thanksgiving, The Julia Child Way“, New York Times, 2015

Julia Child Quotes

Thanksgiving Favorites: Cornbread, Popcorn Balls & Pumpkin Pie

Popcorn balls recipe In the season of “all things cooking”, when the lights in the kitchen burn from early morning well into the late evening, we celebrate the harvest of Thanksgiving with some very basic and traditional recipes, including three variations of corn bread.

As found in The Blackberry Farm Cookbook, John Egerton writes in Southern Food: At Home, on the Road, in History, “A properly prepared dish of spoon bread can be taken as testimony to the perfectibility of humankind; a crisp corn bread, dodger, or hoecake, on the other hand, demonstrates another kind of perfection, an enduring strength that has not been improved upon in four centuries of service to hungry people.” Read more