Ina Garten's Chicken Pot Pie: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/chicken-pot-pie-recipe/
Barbara Kingsolver's Zucchini Chocolate Chip Cookies: http://www.animalvegetablemiracle.com/Zucchini%20Cookies.pdf
Art Opening Ratatouille: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Ratatouille/Detail.aspx
"Mommy, let's pretend you're a pillow that can talk," Selby said as she snuggled against me in her bed tonight. As she drifted off to sleep nestled into me, I first thought about how perhaps it was time to tackle that still-lingering baby weight. Then I remembered something my friend and former midwife, Heidi, once told me. She said the extra "fluff" that hangs around after childbirth is there "so you can be like a pillow for your baby." And my perception on being a pillow began to change... My pillow ranks way up there on the list of things that bring me comfort. I would guess it does for most people. And what better gift can I give my children than a soft, warm place to rest their heads and hearts upon anytime they need comfort?
With an intention to cultivate compassion in my life, I often find myself offering comfort to friends and family. This week has been no exception, as I have been cooking my heart out (what better comfort is there than food, really?) to help some much deserved people in my life. Yesterday, I made the ultimate of comfort foods - chicken pot pie - for a friend whose family has been dealt more than their share of hard times lately. Following a favorite Barefoot Contessa (Ina Garten) recipe my mother turned me on to - with a few of my own tweaks - I had enough for two casserole dishes. I took the extra meal to my parents, who have been working tirelessly to prepare for an art opening tomorrow night (more on that after the event!).
When sharing comforts from the heart with others, I have found the universe, in its characteristically magnificent way, always seems to reciprocate in-kind. Yesterday, I was given a beautiful gift at each of my deliveries. Jeff, the girls and I were able to stay and share the meal I had prepared with my dear parents - their gratitude for both the food and company was heartfelt. And when dropping off the meal at my friend's house, she gave me a belated birthday gift that was, ironically, a pillow! Not just any pillow, mind you, but a throw pillow she hand made to match my in-the-works "enchanted forest" family room. A pillow that speaks to the wonder of giving & receiving and all the comforts they bring.
Along with the pot pie, I delivered both households a salad and zucchini chocolate chip cookies, homemade from a recipe in Barbara Kingsolver's incredible book, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life. Of course, I saved a few for myself!For me, cooking is like a moving meditation so it feeds my soul to feed the ones I love. Today I found myself back in the kitchen, putting together a mostly-organic ratatouille to bring along to tomorrow evening's art opening to feed the behind-the-scenes crew - all of which are friends of mine. I plan to offer it with orzo pasta mixed with feta cheese and fresh basil.