Robert Rose – Best of Bridge Sunday Suppers

I struggle to have company over for meals. It’s not that I don’t love having company – I do! It’s not that I mind cooking for company. It’s simply that I have a hard time wrapping my head around what to cook for company! My Mom often did up a roast with potatoes and gravy and the whole nine yards – which I realize now is easier than it seemed considering the flavour that hit the table when it was all ready! It’s just that it feels like I should have a “fancier” meal if I’m having company. But if you have family and you have a life, you’ll know that planning a fancier meal just might mean that company never comes. And yeah, that’s kind of what’s been happening at our house!

When I received “Best of Bridge Sunday Suppers” from Robert Rose, I was drawn to what was written on the info sheet I received. It says, “Best of Bridge has always been about home entertaining, inviting people in and feeding them well. It doesn’t have to be extravagant – it could be pizza or taco night.” You see, that’s what I need to learn! It’s okay to have simple and fun meals! It’s okay, as my good friend taught me once, to invite people over and serve them tomato soup from the can, doctored up with other yummy stuff, with a side of cheese bread! It was delicious, it was easy, it filled up our bellies and in the meantime we had an enjoyable time visiting and being together! I also appreciated the Q&A that was included where one of the new authors of the book replied in answer to “What do you most want people to learn/take away from this book?” with “I’d love to take the pressure off of family meals, so that people feel more capable of cooking for a larger group on a regular basis.” See! That’s what I need! Though I can tell you that we had a bunch of family around this past weekend and I succeeded in cooking for 21! One of our meals was going to be a “time is short” kind of meal and it needed to be something that could either be ready when we got home or very shortly thereafter. So I made up a stock pot full of Taco Soup, served it with the usual tortilla chips, sour cream and cheddar cheese and it was a hit!

Okay, now you know everything I need to learn, now what about this cookbook!? It’s broken up into 12 different chapters; Salads, Soups, Big Roasts, Small Meats, On the Grill, Stews & Braises, Casseroles & Savory Pies, Pizzas & Pastas, Sides, Homemade Breads, Sauces & Condiments, and Desserts. That should pretty much cover everything, I think!? These recipes contain a real mix of ingredients. For example, in the Salad section, you can find everything from quinoa to feta to chutney to avocado to apples in the recipes! The Beet Borscht soup recipe is going to have to be tried! I lived in Ukraine for a year and had *true* Ukrainian borshch and so I keep trying different recipes here to find one that is close to what I had over there! The Ginger Carrot soup also sounds uniquely delicious! Or maybe the Mango Butternut soup?

The Big Roast section contains just what you’d expect – Classic Roast Chicken, Pot Roast with Mushroom Gravy, and Foolproof Prime Rib. But then it also includes Anne’s Baked Ham with Pears? Sounds ….yummy actually! In the Small Meats chapter you can find Baked Whole Salmon (it has fresh dill – I know I’ll like it!), Alphabet Pork Chops, Muffuletta, and Giant Cheese-Stuff Meatballs? Actually, just about all of the recipes in this section are ones I can see my family enjoying! On The Grill is an area I need more practice. I have this bad habit of forgetting to turn on a timer and then forgetting to flip the meat and it being a biiiiit crusty! One thing I can do successfully is meat and veggie packets – after camping for a few years in a row, I’ve gotten quite adept at them! There are four recipes for fish in this section – maybe these can be for camping too!? Oh and I’m thinking these two recipes sound fun to try – Cheeseburgers on the Grill and Meatloaf Burgers! What!? Sounds good to me!

Someday I’d like to work with lamb more – so maybe the Middle Eastern Lamb Stew with Chickpeas is where I should start? Or maybe I should head over the ocean and try the British Fish Pie! Actually, the Taco Pie would be a definite hit in this house. Now the Pizzas and Pastas chapter is maybe where I should start – there’s even a page for “Planning your Pizza Night”! There are Quick Tortilla Pizzas and Quick and Dirty Spaghetti Pizzas (really!). Or why not have pasta? There’s Leena’s Lasagna or Alana-ish Baked Ziti. I’m sure they’d go over with everyone!

Sides is another area I struggle with. I am just not a natural at putting foods together. So I generally fall back on what I’ve seen other people do! There are some seriously yummy sounding sides here – Asparagus with Lemon Butter, Sticky Carrots, Sichuan Green Beans, Jacki’s Latkes – ah but who needs main course!? The Homemade Breads section also yields drool – you know – like Cheesy Pull Apart Bread or Buttermilk Cornbread? I really have to try the cornbread – our family *loves* cornbread! If you’re looking for some homemade Sauces and Condiments, this chapter has you covered from everything from Tzatziki to Salsa Verde to Quick Homemade Mayo.

But then comes the best section…..the Desserts section! And, oh dear, I do think it’s the one with the most recipes! There are 26 recipes! Classic Pumpkin Pie? Check. Apple Crisp? Check. Sunken Flourless Chocolate Cake? Yup, it’s there too! Or maybe you’ve been craving Lemon Poppy Seed Pound Cake? Or Pudding in a Cloud? They’re both included as well. They ALL sound good!

My only disappointment with this book is that the pictures are scant in quantity. You know me, if I had my way I’d have a picture for *every* recipe! I want to see what it should look like before I make it! Haha!

Lucky for you all, I have a recipe to include! Since I enjoy sides, I thought I’d include this one – for Cumin Roasted Brussel Sprouts!

Sprouts are the new cool thing on restaurant menus everywhere. If you have a fancy flaky salt in the house, the extra crunch goes beautifully here (but no need to go buy some — table salt is just fine too).

2 tsp cumin seeds
2 lbs Brussels sprouts
3 large shallots, cut in half and thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup vegetable oil (approx.)
Salt and black pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 425°F (220°C). In a small saucepan, toast cumin seeds over medium heat for 3 to 5 minutes or until fragrant. Spread seeds out on a plate and let cool, then lightly crush in a mortar and pestle (see tip).
Trim sprouts and cut in half through the stem end. Place in a large bowl and add crushed cumin seeds, shallots, garlic, oil, salt and pepper. Toss until sprouts are well coated, adding a little more oil if needed. Spread sprouts out in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Roast, stirring once or twice, for 25 to 30 minutes or until tender and well browned in places.

Serves 6 to 8.
Tip: If you don’t have a mortar and pestle, place the toasted cumin seeds between two layers of parchment paper on a cutting board and roll over them with a rolling pin or even a straight-sided wine bottle. (The parchment will ensure that your next pastry won’t be cumin-flavored!)

This Best of Bridge Sunday Suppers cookbook is one that I think will fit the bill for a lot of people! It has plenty of your more “traditional” recipes in it, but then also plenty of recipes that are more “modern” – including ingredients like different cheeses and alternative grains!

Head over to Robert Rose to see what other new cookbooks they have coming out this season! They never seem to run out! And if you’re interested in these “Best of Bridge” cookbooks – there are a bunch of them! Oh, and if you’re looking for a copy for yourself, check out your local bookstore or head over to Amazon.  Now let’s get cooking!  

**Disclosure: The product(s) mentioned have been given free of charge from the company or PR firm in exchange for being featured on Glimpse. The opinions expressed in this post are those of Glimpse and have not been influenced in any other way. Please see the full Terms of use.

Comments

  1. Looks like a great company’s coming type cook book.

  2. Tammy Dalley says:

    This looks like a delicious recipe to serve at Christmas, thanks for sharing!

  3. kathy downey says:

    I have this cookbook and it has some amazing recipes

  4. kathy downey says:

    This is a wonderful cookbook,i have it and it has many great recipes

  5. kristen visser says:

    Those brussels look absolutely delish! One of my favorite sides for sure. I need a cook book like this. I too always struggle with what to make when I have company over…heck sometimes i struggle when it is just my husband, my daughters and myself

  6. Debbie White Beattie says:

    This book looks like it has recipes of that will fill us upand I really like that

  7. Elizabeth Matthiesen says:

    I love brussel sprouts but seldom eat them, in fact I can’t remember the last time I had them, this is because no one else here likes them, sigh! Sounds like a marvellous cook book, shame there aren’t enough photos though, I too like photos with my recipes.

  8. Yum – those Brussels sprouts look yummy! I love when they get all caramelized 🙂

Speak Your Mind

*