Between all the exciting holiday parties is the option to entertain yourself at home. Open a bottle of wine. Read a book that has been collecting dust since it was gifted last year. And, make a fancy or simple dinner. The inspiration? JeanMarie Brownson’s Dinner at Home cookbook.
Dinner at Home is a curated collection of 140 recipes from her Chicago Tribune column. Not only is the cookbook perfect for a relaxing solo evening, but it’s a reference for entertaining family and friends. As Chicago Tribune’s Test Kitchen Director and Associate Food Editor, Brownson collaborates with Chef Rick Bayless on numerous projects, such as a Culinary Director for Frontera Foods and co-author of Mexico—One Plate at a Time.
Brownson’s passion for cooking is influenced by her grandparents who were Austrian-Hungarian immigrants. As her grandmother baked, her grandfather butchered and smoked bacon and sausage. She recalls spending numerous hours at her grandparents’ house cooking and enjoying recipes. Brownson’s maternal grandfather was a professional baker who taught her mother how to cook delicious pies. It was an uncle who gifted Brownson a subscription to Gourmet magazine that inspired her career in food journalism.
Her recipe (located here), Chorizo and Seafood Stew, is a hearty and entertaining dish for the holidays. It reminds me of a traditional Italian-American Feasts of the Seven Fishes held on Christmas Eve. It might be the inspiration for our Christmas dinner.
Using her three decades of achievements, Dinner at Home includes behind the scenes stories as a food journalist. The design is unpretentious, clean with a classic, homey feeling. The pages of recipes express Brownson’s love of cooking, and she makes entertaining seem effortless… but it’s even better if you’re cooking for yourself!