Showing posts with label cookbooks. Show all posts
Showing posts with label cookbooks. Show all posts

08 April 2007

An Easter Basket

Among the old things I cherish is my father's childhood Easter basket, above.

I usually keep it filled with small terra cotta pots, but at Easter I use it for chocolate eggs. We're foregoing the chocolate this year (oh, the pain of it all), but I wanted to share the basket with you today.

We are not religious in any traditional way at our house, but I like to think we are deeply spiritual.

It is important to us to respect and honor other people's differences, whatever they might be.

Really, that's all I wanted to say. I hope those sentiments are one of the threads that run through this blog.

On the subject of my father, I have enjoyed making recipes from the "Ships of the Great Lakes Cookbook," provided to me for review by Creative Characters Publishing. Although the recipes were not from any of the ships he sailed on, I felt his spirit guide me as I chopped and sliced and baked and braised. I will feature another recipe in a day or so.

For links to other bloggers who participated in the cookbook review, please visit The Sour Dough and Weekend Cookbook Challenge.

28 January 2007

Patricia Wells' Fricasee of Chicken with White Wine, Capers and Olives

When I was a student at UW-Madison in the 1980s, everyone was talking about alumna Jane Brody, the New York Times writer who was making a name for herself writing cookbooks about healthy food.

I very much wanted to write about food, but was not sure how to start. I wrote my first “how-to” feature about baking bread, which at that time was one of the few things I knew how to do.

Somewhere along the line, I heard someone say, “Yes, Jane’s doing very well but there’s another grad over in Paris who is doing some interesting things with French cooking.”

That was Patricia Wells.

It took me a while to put two and two together — to connect the name Patricia Wells with the J-school alumna I'd heard about — but I have followed her career and cheered her many successes.

And I’ve made my share of Patricia’s recipes. I have never known one to fail.

Sunday we had Patricia’s Fricassee of Chicken with White Wine, Capers and Olives. It's from The Provence Cookbook, published in 2004. I did not have a whole chicken and did not feel like leaving the house to get one, so I used two chicken breasts and halved the recipe, which calls for tomatoes, onions, green olives and capers.

Here is the recipe (scroll down).

It's easy: Season the chicken and brown, then remove from the pan and soften the onions. You then add everything else and simmer over low heat for an hour. I served this with penne pasta flavored with butter, truffle breakings and a dash of grated Gruyere.

"Ah, the tastes!" my husband exclaimed after the first bite. "And the chicken is so tender."

I've said it before, you cannot go wrong following a Patricia Wells recipe.