Cookbook By: Ellen C Lee
“Food is a universal language that bypasses tension or silence. It bridges the chasm of differences,” Ellen C Lee from Food That Anchors.
I was gifted this cookbook and am so glad that I have it in my collection now. The introduction by Ellen is one of the most honest introductions I think I have ever read in any book. She discussed her challenging upbringing and how even in the difficult times they always sat down to dinner and in a way that anchored her family. We all experienced different childhoods each with their own problems – some more traumatic than others. I think her introduction shows how one small action such as having meals together can make a difference in even the most chaotic situations.
Food that Anchors is filled with recipes that can all be completed in under an hour. I had a really hard time narrowing down what I wanted to make but settled on the Eggs & Sausage Cups and the Stuffed Avocados. Check out my thoughts on each recipe below.
Egg & Sausage Cups
I love breakfast but I do not like to smell eggs cooking in the morning. No idea why this bothers me so much. Most mornings I have a protein shake for breakfast, but I love to have other options that are rich in protein ready to go, so I knew I had to try these Egg & Sausage cups. I will say that I do eat some sausage, but I tend to eat more bacon.
All of the ingredients were easy to find. The recipe gives you some options for ingredients which makes it more likely you will have what you need. I choose to use a mild italian sausage, triple cheddar cheese, half & half and mushrooms in the ones I made. One of the best things about this recipe is that it is perfect to be cut in half, which I did since I only have 12 muffin cups.
All of the directions in the recipe are easy to follow and it only takes about 15 minutes to get everything ready to pop in the oven. Then the egg & sausage cups cook in thirty minutes. I love having the time while they are in the oven to do up all the dishes I used so my kitchen is a lot less messy after I eat.
These are delicious and the perfect grab-n-go breakfast for people of all ages. I was pleasantly surprised by how well the sausage “cups” held up and everyone loved them. Next time I make these I will make sure I have another muffin tin so I can make a full batch and will make a variety using the substitutions she suggests with the mushrooms, tomatoes, spinach, or bacon. These are must-make for anyone who meal preps and wants to have a delicious breakfast ready to go. I still have a couple in the freezer to eat this week and can’t wait to have them!
Growing up and in my college years I hated avocados – but over the years I have grown to love them and some of my favorite things have avocado in them. I am always searching for new ways to use avocados as I hate to see them go bad when I buy them. The idea of stuffing them with a meat mixture really drew me in.
I couldn’t find any large avocados as my store only had one size, so I used those, but the large ones would definitely work better. The recipe calls for goat cheese but it’s one of those things that I do not eat, so I substituted feta cheese and it worked well. When you start mixing the spices don’t be alarmed by the amounts of the seasons you are mixing – I looked at them and wondered if there was a misprint – but no, they were the perfect amounts for the recipe.
It didn’t take a ton of time to get the mixture put together and ready for the oven, although I probably could have let my meat mixture cool a little longer than I did. This makes so much filling that with regular-size avocados it wouldn’t all fit so I put some in a small baking dish and that worked well.
The stuffed avocados were delicious and the extra meat mixture in the baking dish was also really good! I did add a little extra cheese as I was eating them but that’s just me as there can never be too much cheese on anything! Now begins the search for large avocados so I can make these again.
I was very happy with Food That Anchors as a cookbook. Her view on how eating together can be so important is something I share. No matter if it’s been with family or roommates, I always believe in sitting down and eating together – it’s something that my family instilled in me as a child.
Food That Anchors will be a staple cookbook on my shelf for years to come. I am looking forward to working myself through more of the recipes. It is a great cookbook for a chef of any level and also a great gift. Let me know below which recipe you make first from Food That Anchors.