What’s cookin’? The Great Minnesota Hot Dish and The Campfire Foodie

Think of the most memorable gatherings in your life. You still remember what you ate, don’t you? Delish things were lovingly made from scratch and you weren’t overly worried about your figure. But these days, with subscription meal plans, food delivery apps and smoothies-as-entrees, we’re losing our ability to cook and comfort. But don’t fear! Two books out by Adventure Publications will give you a hand in improving your entertaining art. I was happy to be hosted to experience them.

The Great Minnesota Hot Dish – Your Cookbook for Classic Comfort Food brings back those foods that Grandma made for company. Maybe you remember these 1 pan creations from church suppers, funerals or family reunions. Certainly, people are generally eating differently these days . . . but how soothing is a lettuce wrap? In times of joy or sorrow, you’ll still want these tasty recipes in your arsenal.

The book is organized into different proteins. Generally, you’ll find the protein, a creamy soup, a starch, cheese — well, Minnesota is part of the Midwest! — and sometimes, a bit of veggies. None are hard to make.

I would say that the book is a little like many Junior League cookbooks, in that there are several variations of the same dish. But it’s those slight differences that’ll make one recipe addictive to you! Some stick with classic flavors, some have more exotic seasonings. The book lists some more figure-friendly substitutes when it makes sense. Also, for fresher, less salty options, there are recipes for homemade cream soup bases.

The Campfire Foodie Cookbook has gorgeous, appetizing photos of each recipe. The concept of the book gets away from the trope that camping requires subsisting off dried and packaged food that you’d never eat at home. Speaking of “at home”, most of the recipes still work in a home setting. They’re good concepts for working folks, as a bit of preparation the night before makes for quick and easy serving for dinner.

The freshness of the foods really are a point of difference: many of the recipes can incorporate seasonal produce that you pick up at a local farmers market. Apple-sage turkey sausage patties are able to have a moistness and non-chemical flavor that you really wouldn’t be able to buy at the grocery store.

 

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