In this episode, the Dinner Sisters do comfort food this episode with recipes for Broccoli Cheddar Soup from Simply Recipes, Chili Mac from Rachel Ray and Jamie Oliver’s Chicken in Milk. All three recipes are great family recipes with one that could feed a soccer team – or last minute guests- and another that is an all time favorite. Betsy talks about gardening in the Smorgasbord. If you’re thinking fruit in the garden, plant berries! Betsy will explain why berries are a hit and suggest some good plants for little gardeners.
This week we cooked…
The classic broccoli cheddar soup never fails to disappoint. This recipe is creamy but not heavy. Bigger chunks of broccoli give this soup some additional character.
- The recipe calls for blanching the broccoli, then cooking in the milk. We’re considering cutting down on steps (and time) but adding thawed, frozen broccoli instead. An option that we haven’t tested but might work.
- This soup needs something to make it a complete meal- Betsy served it with risotto and Kate ended up liking it for lunch.
Chili Mac is an American classic and favorite for a reason. This recipe is a crowd-pleasing combo of pasta and chili for a filling meal.
- If you aren’t feeding a crowd consider halving this recipe. Kate did this very successfully and still had enough for four generous servings.
- Serving suggestions were to add sliced scallion at the end, which is no doubt delicious. However, we both felt shredded cheese at the end was almost a necessity.
Braising a whole chicken in milk, lemon and sage results in an amazingly tender, flavorful, dinner-guest worthy meal.
- Debate is on about whether to lid the pot or not. We split the difference and started the chicken covered. We uncovered it halfway through. Check out The Kitchn’s take here.
- Serve this over rice, with potatoes on the side or over a thick slice of toast. This is the ultimate comfort food.
From the Smorgäsbȯrd:
Thinking about planting some berry bushes in your garden? Use these resources for success:
- USDA Plant Hardiness Zones : use these codes to determine what plants work best in your area.
- Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds: this online store is a stalwart of the heirloom seeds world. At last check they had 5 varieties of sugar snap peas and hundreds of fascinating plants. Warning- it’s easy to get lost for hours perusing this site.
- Try these online retailers for berry plants: Willis Orchards, Double A Vineyards, Fedco Co-Op Seeds, or Nourse Farms or better yet, check out your local independent nursery for plants that will do well in your area.
- Our other sister Mary recommends trying annual berry plants like ground cherry, sunberry or garden huckleberry. Seeds for all three are available through Seed Savers Exchange.