Vacationing with my cousin Laure usually means you’re in for some amazing food. Last week we stayed with her and her husband, Tim, in a cabin in Grand Teton National Park. Our first dinner at the cabin was this delicious and easy chowder, which smelled so good that a red fox peeked in the sliding glass door to see what was cooking.
On my road trip earlier this year, a family friend invited us to his lake house and served pasta with a tomato sauce much like this one. He sautéed his vegetables first, and said that you can use bell peppers, zucchini, or any other veggie you have on hand.
Once you run everything through the food processor, you’d never know the veggies were there, except the flavor of the sauce is a little richer. This is a great way to use up leftover vegetables, especially if you have kids who need more veggies in their diets.
Our friends Erin and Matt have a lovely home in the country, surrounded by pastures and horses, and on the occasional holiday, a fireworks display on each horizon. We love gathering with friends there, especially when dishes like this are on the table.
Red onions, grapes, and bacon lend the red color to the otherwise green salad of broccoli, celery, and green onions.
My cousin Laure lives on the gulf coast. As my grandmother got older and less able to cook a Thanksgiving feast for the family, Laure started a new tradition. She would prepare seafood dishes like this one and take them to Grandma’s to serve the family. We now congregate at her house every year.
This stew of tomatoes, onion, celery, okra, and shrimp is thickened with a roux and seasoned with Old Bay, thyme, bay leaves, and garlic.
Though the beef in this stew is delicious and tender, we affectionately call this “Jerky Stew.” I made it on my second date with Guy and accidentally cooked it on the small simmer burner at the back of the stove. It didn’t cook enough and was pretty tough, but the date went well anyway. Cook it on a regular burner and it’ll be great! The red wine vinegar, parsley, and fresh cherry tomatoes add a fresh burst of flavor at the end.
Serve over halved baked potatoes, set in the bottom of a bowl and fluffed with a fork, or over cooked rice. Yum!
“In my family the best meal of the year is Thanksgiving. My mother makes the best cornbread dressing! You will notice that there’s no sage in this dressing, it uses cumin instead. Try it! I guarrantee you will like it. None of us have ever told our kids that the outside edge of the dressing is the best!”