Thursday, November 19, 2009

Martha Stewart's Dinner at Home

I've long been a fan of Martha Stewart - her shows, her magazines and her books. Naturally, I was thrilled to receive a copy of Martha Stewart's Dinner at Home: 52 quick meals for family and friends from Random House.

Like many of the newest cookbooks, this one is arranged by season and it's lovely to have a range of options, especially if you're trying to support local producers. This cookbook has that and more. What makes it truly special, is that it puts together entire menu plans plus a rough preparation schedule. This is especially great for those of us who sometimes have trouble matching dishes and courses. Not only are the dinners complete as they are, for cooks like me, there's the wonderful opportunity to mix & match dishes too.

The other huge plus, especially during this crazy, busy season when we're all juggling work, school, kids, partners, ...fill in your particular challenges...PLUS holiday season that's fast approaching and often means more entertaining than usual....the book actually gives you a rough idea about scheduling the preparation for the menu. In my book, less stress in planning equals more time in enjoying the essence of dinner parties...the people!

Naturally, even though it's still officially Fall, I'm in a Winter frame of mind...which usually means grumpy, but I found this menu that really put a smile on my face - and we only ate two out of the four courses!

The Menu

Cheese Fondue

Crisp Pork Cutlets with Caraway Sour Cream

Egg Noodles with Sauteed Brussels-Sprouts Leaves
(which was so delicious, we'll be having this one again as a main course with one of Martha's salads...the Radicchio & Chestnut salad sounds awesome)

Cherry Compote over Chocolate Ice Cream

And if that doesn't whet your appetite, here are a few more menus...I've randomly chosen one for each season, but there are actually 13 different menus - and think of all the mix & match possibilities. Carnivore, fish eater, vegetarian...there are choices for us all.
Spring
(this very first menu in the book has me drooling and counting down the days to Spring and fresh local asparagus and rhubarb)
Baby Lamb Chops with Lemon Strips
Asparagus with Aioli
Quinoa, Pea & Mint Salad
Vanilla Poached Rhubarb
Vegetarian Spring
Pasta Shards with Fresh Herbs
Poached Eggs with Brown Butter
Arugula & Avocado Salad
Tiramisu
Summer
Pancetta Cheeseburgers
Balsamic Mushrooms
Tomato, Basil & White Bean Salad
Coconut topped Cupcakes
Vegetarian Summer
Broiled Black Pepper Tofu
Soy Lemon Dipping Sauce
Soba Noodle Salad
Baked Apricots with Almond Topping
Autumn
Skillet Rib-eye Steaks
Broiled Peppers with Melted Cheese
Broccoli with Garlic & Anchovies
Molten Chocolate Espresso Cakes
(My Honey is going to love me for this meal)
Vegetarian Autumn
Tomato, Eggplant & Mozzarella Stacks
Whole Wheat Pasta with Shelled Beans
Glazed Plums with Mascarpone
The book is a perfect gift for someone just starting out, or someone (more like me), who's tired of making the same old thing but doesn't want too much effort in the process.

1 comment:

Pam said...

Well, it's been added to my wish list! Great review!