main dish

Love At First Bite

With the recent cold dips in temperature, I’m reminded of what comfort food is all about. Easy, especially when you have a husband who constantly reminds you. “I don’t eat fish when it’s cold outside. Fish is a summer food.”

Hmph. Has the man never tasted a wonderfully warm and succulent pan-seared dolphin with jambalaya? I mean, seriously. We just celebrated Fat Tuesday, a day for pancakes and all things crazy. But Mardi Gras was so yesterday and I’m sitting at the dinner table with a family looking for comfort.

kale in chicken soup

What do I serve? For starters, we think of chicken soup during the cold snaps. It’s the only time I make it and I do so from scratch using carrots from my garden. I’d use the sweet onions from my garden, but they aren’t ready for harvest and celery is not on my to-grow list. We simply don’t eat enough of it. But I do have kale so I toss in a few leaves and dive in heartily.

French Onion soup

Next up is my Savory French Onion Soup. This is one of my all-time favorites. It’s easy to make though it tends to take a bit of time. And what good soup doesn’t? Definitely worth a try for your family.

onion gratin

While we’re on the topic of onions, how about Onions Au Gratin? This one is a spinoff of the French Onion Soup and worth every ounce of effort. Again, I must use grocer onions because mine won’t be ready until April. Wah.

Baked Sweet Onions

While we’re on the topic of onions, how about some Baked Sweet Onions?

comfort in cabbage and onions

Maybe a bit of Sautéed Cabbage and Onions? A Cabbage Bake?

potatoes and cabbage steaming hot out of the oven

How about a lovely side dish of Rosemary Roasted Potatoes? Easy and delicious!

roasted potatoes

For dessert, I’m heading for the Butterscotch Cookies. Found this recipe while perusing some of my cooking magazines and had to share. The butterscotch flavor screams comfort and the soft melt-in-your mouth goodness backs it up.

Butterscotch Cookies 2

But watch yourself–not only do these taste divine but your belly will fall madly in love and you might find yourself overstuffing! This kind of comfort makes me feel like I’m drifting on cloud nine… Follow the links for full recipes, or check my Recipe section here on the blog for these delicious numbers and more!

 

 

Bursting with Zucchini

I do love a plant that grows without effort. And when I say grow, I mean REALLY grow–producing big, beautiful and abundant zucchini. Aren’t they beautiful?

first zucchini

Sure, they might look oddly shaped, but they taste the same as perfectly shaped zucchini. I’m sensing this happened due to a burst of water–repeated days dropping tons of rain–then, nothing. Well, not nothing, but the spray misters in my garden are no comparison to the inches of rain we had, proving just how important water is to your garden. Note to self: water more during fruit production for huge produce. More

Sweet and Savory Baked Onions

“How sweet it is” doesn’t begin to describe these delicacies!  The kids devoured the onions they pulled from their school garden this week, followed by howls for seconds.  And I do mean howls.  It’s Friday and these kids were energized, to say the least!

But so long as they’re behaving we don’t mind a bit of energy, right?  Nah.  Besides, who can blame them?  Eating what you grow is way too exciting.

We began our harvest party with a sampling of raw onion slices served with a choice of either ranch or honey mustard dressing–for dipping, of course.  Upon first bite, many of the kids were surprised how well the onions tasted!  Some thought them too “spicy” while others thought they tasted like water.  What?!  Water! How can you say such a thing?

They remained firm in their opinion.

Hmph.  Water?  Well… 

They were picked fresh from our garden, and as vegetables go, onions do consist mostly of water…  Could be an accurate description.  How about we go with “sugar water,” to be precise. 🙂

It was an easy sell.  Next it was time to sample our baked onions–which won the taste competition hands down.  Why? 

Perhaps it was the scent of sweet onions baking in the oven that tickled their bellies (sure worked a number on the teachers!).  Maybe it was the brown sugar and melted cheese that cinched the win (both well-known favorites of children).  But either way, the baked version definitely became the preferred dish of the afternoon, warranting seconds, thirds–as much as I would give them!

Which is heartwarming for a parent.  Connecting kids to what they grow in a tangible way really makes an impression between their garden and their food supply.  Taking time to slice the onions, grate the cheese, witness their entry into the oven followed by the ogling of golden beauty said it all.  Sure they were delicious, but so are a lot of things these kids consume. 

One thing for certain:  these students will remember these onions, no doubt about it!  If you’d like to sample some these gems for yourself, check my recipe section for full details on how you can make them at home.