In the month of November I did my best to cook from 3 Times A Day by Marilou & Alexandre Champagne. This is a lovely book and the recipes are easy and delicious. As you can see from the picture above, my intention was to cook many items from the book, hence all the post-it notes. Unfortunately it didn’t really work out that way. For one thing we were in the middle of a kitchen remodel and were actually cooking the best we could on the dining room table. Several of the recipes in this book weren’t ones I could pull off in that environment. Then Thanksgiving rolled around and I had to focus on that. So, I was only able to execute 4 recipes from the book, but enjoyed each and every one of them.
This is an assembly of the make-ahead breakfast burritos from the book. I’d never made burritos ahead of time and thought it a brilliant idea. The filling consisted of eggs, black beans, onions, red bell pepper, and jalapeño pepper with a touch of honey, smoked paprika, and oregano added. The honey was the magic ingredient that pulled it all together. I am inspired to do more of these as I like the idea of having an already assembled burrito I can zap in the microwave for a minute or two and bam, I’ve got breakfast!
Squash & White Bean Soup w/ Quinoa & Fresh Herbs. This is a great base recipe and I liked the texture of the quinoa. I did add a touch of cinnamon & nutmeg and a splash of white wine.
Tomato, Sausage & Spinach Soup. Fabulous flavor here. The one thing I changed was the cooking of the sausage. The recipe calls for cooking the sausage in a separate pot and setting aside, then in another pot cook up the rest of the ingredients, then add the sausage back in at the end. To me, that approach misses the opportunity to use the fat from the sausage to salute the rest of the ingredients so I cooked the sausage in the soup pot, then pulled the sausage to set aside but leaving the fat in the pot, then proceeding with the rest of the recipe. This also means one less pot to wash at the end.
Italian Veal Polpette & Basil Tomato Sauce. First of all, this recipe had me at pasta. I love pasta! I changed a bit of the procedure on this recipe as well. The recipe doesn’t call for browning the meatballs after assembling. Their approach was to put the raw meatballs into the sauce to sort of poach them. That just didn’t sit well for me so after I formed the meatballs, I browned them, then pulled to the side, leaving meat drippings in the pan to cook the rest of the ingredients and then adding the meatballs back in at the end. For the pasta I used Trader Joe’s Lemon Pepper Peppardelle. The black pepper in the pasta provided a nice little bite to compliment the sauce & meatballs. This was so good and reheated well too!
Well, there you have it. I wish I had more time to prepare more recipes from this book. I know I’ll revisit it soon. In the meantime, I’m going to change things up a bit for December. Because it is the holidays & life is a bit hectic right now, I’m not going to try to cook through a book. Instead I’m going to do a few cookie recipes from this magazine:
This month’s issue of Fine Cooking magazine is featuring 4 different Italian style cookies – a couple of them are even gluten free! I think it will be a nice change from my usual holiday cookies that I’ve been making every year for about 40 years. Time for something new don’t you think?
Happy holidays to you all. Thanks so much for stopping by.