What I’ve been cooking

As much as I love food blogging, there is a lot of cooking that goes on at Casa Champagne Minimalist that hasn’t received a proper shout-out here. Sometimes the thought of cooking, food styling, taking photos and writing is just too much (not to mention making sure my kitchen is neat and tidy enough for photos, there’s enough natural light…) and I go back to basics – getting dinner on the table.

And many times the recipe I’ve made already has its own beautiful, perfect online home, and I haven’t adapted it. In that spirit, here are some recipes that I’ve enjoyed making over the past several months and would like to share with you:

Empire Roast Chicken – Jamie Oliver

I first saw this on his TV show – Jamie’s Great Britain and knew I had to track down this recipe. It’s unbelievable and I can’t wait to roast this chicken again.

How to cook perfect french onion soup – Felicity Cloake

Felicity Cloake writes a series called How to cook the perfect… and I say a little “Yessss!” under my breath every time a new installment appears in my RSS feed. This soup is now on permanent rotation in our household and is great to make when you’re stuck at home during the winter. Her perfect banana bread is my go-to banana bread recipe now too. Aw heck, just cook everything in her series. That’s what I’m doing.

Chicken and sweet potato hotpot – Angela Harnett

Angela calling this a summer dish gives new resonance to how chilly summer in the UK can be. I like this as more of a fall/winter dish – it’s healthy and hearty but gentle (no super spices) and my carb-fearing husband likes it too (he greenlit sweet potatoes, thank god, otherwise we’d be having a long think about our future).

Chili Con Carne – The Kitchn

Where do I start when I talk about The Kitchn? I have made so many recipes from this site – I almost don’t know where to begin. Ok – the chili recipe I just linked to is a good start – it’s an excellent chili offering, with nice depth of flavour and exactly what you want when you crave chili enough to make a batch. And this – Thai Grilled Steak Salad – I know the weather is so wrong for hearing about a summery salad right now, but we made it for everyone last summer. And this recipe is what started my love affair with The Kitchn – How to Make Fettucini Alfredo. There are some Italian restaurants here in Toronto that probably wish I hadn’t found that recipe. Thanks to aforementioned carb-fearing husband, this is a home-alone, fend-for-yourself, feelin’-kinda-blue-and-I-have-whipping-cream-in-the-fridge kind of dinner. Oh and this pasta dish too – Penne alla Vodka.

Perfect Single Serving Size Chocolate Chip Cookies – No. 2 Pencil

This recipe has saved my waistline. I don’t know much about No. 2 Pencil (yet), but I already owe a debt of gratitude for scaling down a great cookie recipe into a single-serving treat.

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