Cold weather is setting in, the days are getting shorter and even on the sunniest of days, one still needs to bundle up. This is the weather that requires tucking into a warm bowl of soup or stew after coming in from the cold. Thanksgiving comes earlier in Canada, we celebrate it a month earlier than Americans, and last week we made a chicken chili instead of having the traditional turkey. (We would have used turkey, but my Mum didn’t have her readers on when she went to pick it up. To be fair, though, the chicken and turkey (both ground) were close together.)
This will have been only the second recipe for chili I’ve made so far, and it’s a good one. It was an instant favourite with my family – there were no leftovers – and it has the traditional chili flavours with bacon and ground turkey (or chicken, which is tofu-like in that it absorbs the spices and flavours of the ingredients) and the addition of cocoa powder gives it depth and a subtle flavour of its own. (I had not used cocoa powder before in chili and despite my doubts, I was pleasantly surprised and happy I went along with it.) We also used red and white kidney beans in celebration of Canadian spirit.
One other recipe that caught my eye when I was reading Jacques Pépin’s The Apprentice, was for pasta primavera. (The first one was for eggs Jeannette.) One thing I love so much about M. Pépin’s recipes are their utter simplicity and ease; often this includes ingredients already in your kitchen.
This pasta was an instant hit with my family and it is on our repeat list. Everyone wanted seconds! The tomatoes and basil, with olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper, marinate for a time while the noodles cook. It flavours the pasta, giving a pleasant and satisfying taste.
I love Donna Hay – before there was an iPad app, I used to have to hunt down the print issues as soon as a new one came out, or my family would find it for me, because once it was gone, it was gone. Since the iPad app, I no longer have hunt down the latest issue, knowing it is only a download away, not to mention with exclusive features like beautiful animation and videos accompanying recipes.
One of the winning streaks about Donna Hay is the simplicity of her recipes. You’ll never find anything overly complicated or fussy, only recipes that are easy to prepare and nothing short of inspiring.
Take these quinoa fritters, for example, which also work just as well as a scramble if you’re not in the mood for fritters or don’t feel like shaping fritters. Quinoa is mixed with cut up bacon, mashed white kidney (cannellini) beans, broccoli, and cheese (the original recipe uses mozzarella but the Gruyere I had on hand also worked). I was lucky to get the one photo at the top of this post, since it was all gone quickly. Everybody liked it. I know I’ll be making them again, at some point.