Dad’s Fish Chowder

One of my favorite things to do as a kid was hang around the adult’s table and overhear conversation at family gatherings. Over a glass of wine and the remaining desserts, the adults would chat about everything from current events and politics to grocery shopping and cars. I learned a lot about their points of view just by sitting quietly!

Similarly, when I would get home from school and my dad would be getting up from his nap (his radio show went live at 5:30 am), we would sit at the kitchen table and share some soup, an English muffin, and always great conversation. My dad was hilarious and one of a kind, and I could sit at the table and talk to him forever! He loved soup, and this recipe is an adaptation of one he created and my mom and he made many times. It’s not really a traditional chowder because it’s brothy, not thickened, but it is hearty and filling, with potatoes, carrots, corn and chunks of fresh cod. You can also add shrimp or other seafood you love. Cook up a batch and share it with your loved ones, along with a nice glass of white wine, of course…

One bowl may not be enough, but it’s ok. This recipe makes a big pot.

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Sheet Pan Dinner

My husband Mike named this dish for its super-simple, one-pan preparation. I tried it last year to use up fall produce from our farm and it has been a once-a-week favorite since then. This was actually the first solid meal my younger son tried, and he was sold on the sweet roasted carrots and creamy potatoes right away. I personally like to be the one who finds the roasted golden gems of garlic strewn throughout. The recipe is flexible enough to incorporate your favorite root vegetables, from parsnips and rutabaga to sweet potatoes and celery root. It’s up to you! Let me know what combinations you try… 

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Pear Walnut Salad

I just recently started making this salad, and already it has become a favorite! The combination of the sweet but not-too-sweet pears, the hearty walnuts and the unmistakable blue cheese makes this a winner and something you can do for a light lunch or with a soup for a casual dinner party. I have served it with red saucy Italian fare, a roast chicken dinner, or on its own. If you don’t care for blue cheese, the salad is interesting enough to just omit it, or try cubing some Gruyere. Champagne vinegar for the dressing can be found in your regular grocery store, I even found it at Target in the grocery department one time, so give it a try!

 

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Peppery Chicken Stew

I have been making this West African-inspired stew for about 10 years now, and it is truly the #1 most-asked-about-near-the-microwave-at-work dish. My former coworker and friend, Cristina, will be so excited to have this recipe now! There is something about the wafting aroma of the peppers, curry, cumin, and peanuts that makes everyone take a warm, deep breath and want to dig in! I serve it over steamed jasmine rice and top it with crunchy unsalted peanuts. You can up the spice level with extra cayenne, but I keep it mild for the kids right now.Try it and make your coworkers jealous.

A pan full of happiness. This dish is for those of you who love bold flavors!

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Quiche Lorraine

I am guilty of making some dishes for parties because I need an excuse to have the leftovers around, and quiche is most certainly one of those dishes. Its creamy, salty custard and crumbly crust make it the perfect comfort food, so sometimes it’s ok to just make it for yourself! It really is great party food too, since it can be served at room temperature or just a few moments out of the oven. 

 

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