The Comfort Table: Recipes for Everyday Occasions

Overview

Food has a nostalgic power. Just like hearing a favorite song, cooking and eating can transport us to a moment in time: Sunday family suppers or brunch with friends, a Fourth of July barbecue or a Chrismukkah feast. Katie Lee grew up in a small West Virginia town where her grandmother's kitchen was not far away, and her warmest memories are of being around the table with loved ones. In The Comfort Table: Recipes for Everyday Occasions, she brings her roots in southern hospitality to the table with year-round ...

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Overview

Food has a nostalgic power. Just like hearing a favorite song, cooking and eating can transport us to a moment in time: Sunday family suppers or brunch with friends, a Fourth of July barbecue or a Chrismukkah feast. Katie Lee grew up in a small West Virginia town where her grandmother's kitchen was not far away, and her warmest memories are of being around the table with loved ones. In The Comfort Table: Recipes for Everyday Occasions, she brings her roots in southern hospitality to the table with year-round menus for occasions big and small.

Whether she's throwing a Super Bowl party for friends or putting a pot roast in the oven for the first snowfall of the year, Katie shares her favorite home-cooked menus for making holiday feasts delicious and ordinary meals special. With more than 100 mouthwatering, easy-to-prepare seasonal recipes, she provides sumptuous soup-to-nuts menus, along with practical tips for effortless entertaining, including suggested wine pairings, playlists, hostess gifts, and general cooking tips.

Welcome autumn with the rustic elegance of a home-baked apple pie. Roast an irresistible turkey rubbed in herb butter for Thanksgiving (and stir up a spicy gumbo with the leftovers). Host a relaxing day for your friends with a healthy vegetarian spread and spa recipes for postprandial pampering. From the decadent — Nutella French toast sandwiches and juicy lamb burgers — to the sublime — creamy curried chicken salad and crispy zucchini chips — Katie serves up a rich assortment of seasonal recipes for the home cook for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

A guide to enjoying great food with good friends around the Comfort Table, Katie Lee's simple recipes for cooking and entertaining guarantee the best kind of meals — ones prepared with love that turn every occasion into a celebration.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Katie Lee's new book about easy, fun entertaining rides the delicious rail between comfort and inventiveness, and makes the real core of delicious fiestas seem a cinch. The recipes are easy to make, the menus are parties waiting to be uncorked, the drink recipes are refreshing and fun,Êand the music suggestions make for a party ready to happen at the drop of a hat in any location with no effort at all...this is the new party bible in our house." — MARIO BATALI

"My feet are the happiest when under Katie's table. I bet your feet will be tapping all the way to the table with these recipes." — PAULA DEEN

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781439126745
  • Publisher: Gallery Books
  • Publication date: 10/20/2009
  • Pages: 272
  • Product dimensions: 7.20 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Katie Lee is the food and lifestyle contributor for The Early Show and has appeared on Oprah, CBS Sunday Morning, The Rachael Ray Show, The Nate Berkus Show, and Iron Chef America. She writes a regular column for Cosmopolitan and has been featured in publications such as People, Vanity Fair, Food and Wine, Town & Country, and InStyle. She is the author of the cookbooks The Comfort Table and The Comfort Table: Recipes for Everyday Occasions. She lives in the Hamptons.

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Read an Excerpt

my must-haves

My house practically has a revolving door. There are always friends knocking and they are usually hungry. These are items that I always have on standby, because I never know when I might fi nd myself having an everyday occasion.

HERBS

I prefer to use fresh herbs, but dried are good to keep on hand for use in a pinch. I recommend planting a small herb garden either in your yard or in a window box.

my essentials
BASIL
CHIVES
CILANTRO
FLAT-LEAF PARSLEY
MINT
OREGANO
ROSEMARY
TARRAGON
THYME

SPICES

I have a whole shelf in my pantry devoted to spices. Each is labeled with the date that I opened it, and after six months, I throw it away and buy a new one. The potency diminishes — I like to be sure my spices are very flavorful. Whenever I travel, I pick up spices to re-create the dishes I ate on vacation when I get home.

my essentials
BAY LEAVES
CHINESE FIVE-SPICE
CHILI POWDER
GROUND CLOVES
GROUND CUMIN
PAPRIKA
CREOLE SEASONING
GROUND CINNAMON
CINNAMON STICKS
CRUSHED RED PEPPER FLAKES
BLACK PEPPERCORNS
GROUND GINGER
GROUND NUTMEG
GARLIC POWDER
GARLIC SALT
CELERY SALT
SESAME SEEDS
ONION POWDER
DRY MUSTARD
VANILLA EXTRACT
VANILLA BEANS
ZA'TAR

IN THE FREEZER

Fresh veggies and fruits are best, but I always keep some in my freezer. Frozen vegetables are good to cook a quick soup; frozen fruits are ideal for smoothies or to add to mixed drinks, or to make a sauce for ice cream.

my essentials
PEAS
CORN
PEARL ONIONS
EDAMAME
STRAWBERRIES
RASPBERRIES
BLACKBERRIES
CHERRIES
MANGO
PAPAYA
HOMEMADE CHICKEN STOCK
HOMEMADE PESTO (frozen in ice cube trays)
PIZZA DOUGH
HOMEMADE COOKIE DOUGH (for slicing and baking)
ICE CREAM

IN THE REFRIGERATOR

Some people say you can tell everything you need to know about a person by their shoes, I say look in their refrigerator. My meals are never the same from day to day, but there are some must-haves that I always keep on hand. I like to have the makings for panini or to be able to throw together a quick cheese plate for drop-in guests. And I always, always have a bottle of Champagne chilled and ready to go!

my essentials
MILK
UNSALTED BUTTER
PLAIN YOGURT
HEAVY CREAM
SOUR CREAM
CREAM CHEESE
CHEESE (goat, Brie, cheddar, blue,Parmesan, Gorgonzola, ricotta)
JARRED ARTICHOKE HEARTS
JARRED ROASTED RED BELL PEPPERS
HUMMUS
OLIVES
JAMS
MUSTARD (yellow, Dijon, and honey)
KETCHUP
MAYONNAISE
HOT SAUCES
PREPARED HORSERADISH
CITRUS (lemons, limes, oranges)
FRESH FRUITS, VEGETABLES, AND SALAD GREENS
CHAMPAGNE

IN THE PANTRY

A well-stocked pantry is a time saver. Not having to run to the grocery store for every little thing at the last minute makes a big difference when the urge to cook strikes.

my essentials
PASTA (wide, thin, short, and round)
RICE (Arborio, basmati, and brown)
NOODLES (rice, udon, egg, bean thread)
BREAD (white and whole wheat)
GRAINS (couscous, quinoa, grits, oats)
LEGUMES (canned beans, dried lentils)
CANNED TOMATOES (whole, diced, and crushed)
CANNED TUNA PACKED IN OLIVE OIL
CANNED OR BOXED LOW-SODIUM CHICKEN STOCK
CAPERS
OIL (olive, extra virgin olive, peanut, toasted sesame, canola)
VINEGAR (balsamic, red wine, white wine, apple cider)
ASIAN SAUCES (fish, soy, chili, hoisin, Sriracha)
BAKING NEEDS (all-purpose fl our, white sugar, superfi ne sugar, brown sugar, confectioners' sugar, baking soda, baking powder, cornstarch, cocoa)
HONEY
MOLASSES
CHOCOLATE CHIPS
BAKING CHOCOLATE
NUTS (refrigerate in summer months)
COFFEE (regular and decaf)
TEA (green, chamomile, Earl Grey, English breakfast, Lipton)

IN THE BAR

It's cocktail hour somewhere! And having a versatile bar makes it that much more fun when guests arrive. In addition to spirits and mixers, it's a great idea to keep a drink-mixing guide by the bar in case someone requests a cocktail you're not familiar with.

my essentials
BOURBON
VODKA
LIGHT RUM
GIN
TEQUILA
VERMOUTH
MIXERS (tonic, seltzer, juices)
TOOLS (ice bucket and tongs, shaker, strainer, two-sided jigger, bottle opener)

HORS D 'OEUVRES ON THE FLY

If I'm having friends over for drinks last minute, these are my go-to hors d'oeuvres. They take only minutes to prepare and are always a hit and appropriate for any occasion.

- Wrap store-bought breadsticks in prosciutto.

- Fill endive leaves with hummus and dust with paprika. (Endive leaves make great vessels for other simple, tasty combinations as well, like goat cheese with crushed walnuts and drizzled with honey, or smoked salmon with crème fraîche and chives.)

- Make a variety of crostini by toasting thinly sliced baguettes and topping with goat cheese and roasted red pepper, Gorgonzola and fig jam, ricotta with olive oil and sea salt, or olive tapenade.

- Marinate olives with fresh herbs and red pepper flakes.

- Season nuts with chili powder and toast lightly.

PARTY TIPS

- Make lists, lists, and more lists of everything that needs to be done for the party.

- Clean and set up the party space the day before.

- To save space, move any nonessential furniture out of the party area and into your bedroom.

- Stash old mail, magazines, and any other loose papers in decorative tins or baskets out of eyesight.

- Take some time to tidy up your bathroom. Clear your sink of beauty product clutter, put out fresh soap, clean hand towels, and plenty of toilet paper.

- Short on space? Clear off the shelf of a bookcase and use for bar setup with martini and wine glasses, a couple of drink garnishes, and plenty of cocktail napkins.

- Designated drivers and nondrinkers shouldn't be forced to drink water all night. Offer a nonalcoholic drink such as a fruit spritzer. Just mix fruit juice, club soda, and sliced fruit.

- To break the ice, give an out going friend a tray of hors d'oeuvres to pass around, and put another friend on drink duty.

- When it's time to wrap up the party, turn the lights up and put away the booze.

Copyright ©2009 by Katie Lee

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Sort by: Showing all of 11 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 29, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Wonderful Ideas and Recipes For Entertaining!

    I recently bought this cookbook in hopes to host a wonderful Thanksgiving Dinner for nine. I was interested in her recipes and ideas so I tried several of hers with mine, and it was the best holiday get together I have had yet! She gives you the menu, the wine options, and a lovly playlist of music to have playing in the background. It was simply divine and my guests loved the food and thought the music was a nice touch, since we usually eat in silence or with the T.V. on. I took the colors from the pages and tried to add it to my table and it looked dazzleing.
    I can't wait to have another party. Katie Lee has 18 to choose from all year round, from Fall to Summer. I would recommend this cookbook to anyone who LOVES to entertain.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 7, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    The Comfort Table is wonderful

    Another great hit from Miss Lee. In her new cookbook its all about entertaining friends and family. Her new book layout includes food for the holidays, special parties and seasons. In the beginning of her book she includes a short introduction about herself and why she wrote this book. The section she talks about her must haves in the kitchen. She includes a list of herbs and spices. She also gives some advice on how to set up your party. Now we can get to the section of food. Katie pretty much does the work for you. She includes a menu, wine pairing and a playlist. I would have to say I really enjoyed that about the book. Some of my favortie dishes from the book are the rustic apple pie, fried chicken and stewed lentils. If you enjoyed cooking for Katie's first cookbook then your going to love this too. The recipes are easy to follow and she gives little tips here and there. Enjoy :-)

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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