We’re all a little cranky these days because it’s winter, it gets dark early, and we’ve been dealing with the virus for so long. This is when I crave a big bowl of stew or a pan of cheesy baked pasta. Fortunately, with my Baked Rigatoni with Lamb Ragù, I don’t have to choose because it’s both!
First, I make a rich lamb stew by sautéing onions, carrots, and fennel, then add ground lamb, tomatoes, garlic, and simmer it with almost a whole bottle of earthy red wine. Then I cook some rigatoni, drain it, and add it to the lamb stew plus lots of fresh mozzarella, some eggs and cream, and finish it with grated Parmesan cheese. The whole dish goes into the oven and the house starts to smell amazing, and all of a sudden, I feel so much better! Hope this makes you feel better too!
This holiday season will be a lot different for everyone and that’s why I think it’s even more important to mark the occasion. Whether its a birthday, an anniversary, Christmas, Kwanzaa, or New Year’s Eve - let’s celebrate everything this year! And what better way to start than with a big warm mug of Peppermint Hot Chocolate! Make this for the people around you and I promise everything will feel a little warmer and cheerful.
My Boston Cream Pie takes a little time to make but I’ve spent more than six years (I’m not kidding!) working on the recipe so it would come out perfectly for you every time you make it. The good news is, you can make the cake, cool it, wrap it, and refrigerate it overnight. You can also make the pastry cream and orange soak in advance and refrigerate them, too. Then all you need to do is assemble the cake, make the chocolate glaze, and pour it on before serving. Your family won’t believe you made this cake yourself!
Entertaining outdoors has been such a surprise pleasure during these difficult times. As the weather turns chilly, I’ve done several things to make sure we can continue the fun. First, for safety, I only entertain people from one “household” at a time so I put chairs at both ends of a 6-foot dining table or both sides of a 5-foot square coffee table to ensure social distancing. Second, although we’re sitting far apart, I want it to feel cozy, so I fill the tables with flowers and candles. Third, I set up outdoor heaters or build a nice fire, plus cushions and blankets for each person so we’re nice and warm under the stars. And finally, since entertaining outdoors is more work than serving inside, I make really easy no-cook appetizers for cocktails and very simple lunches and dinners. This is the time when a take-out pizza and a big Caesar salad makes the best evening for everyone, even the host.
Applesauce Cake is a classic recipe but my Applesauce Cake with Bourbon Raisinshas a modern twist - bourbon soaked raisins AND bourbon cream cheese frosting! And who doesn’t need more cream cheese frosting right now?? Modern Comfort Food is out now. I hope you love it!
Homemade Black & White Cookies are one of my all-time favorite treats because they’re really more like decadent, snack-sized cakes. The best part is that they are glazed with both chocolate AND vanilla icing so you don’t have to choose between the two. And, once you’ve had them fresh out of the oven, you’ll never go back to store-bought cookies again! This is MODERN COMFORT FOOD at its best – old-fashioned flavor but totally modern and delicious.
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