05 February 2022

Weekend Cooking: The Comfortable Kitchen by Alex Snograss

Cover of Comfortable Kitchen Cookbook by Alex SnodgrassCan you believe it's already February and one of the big sports months of 2022. Do you watch the Olympics? Do you watch the Super Bowl? We watch both, though we don't have much emotional skin in any of the games.

Today I'm talking about a cookbook I got late last year. Now that I've had a chance to really read through it and to try a few dishes, I'm ready to tell you my thoughts about this general cookbook with over a hundred "wholesome recipes."

Alex Snodgrass's new cookbook is The Comfortable Kitchen, which I received from William Morrow as part of their #WMTasteMakers program. If you don't recognize Snodgrass's name, you may be familiar with her very popular website, The Defined Dish, a recipe and lifestyle site. She also has an email newsletter and an active and inspiring Instagram feed.

The Comfortable Kitchen has many of her signature features: full-flavored dishes that are suitable to a variety of diets. Each recipe is clearly marked as gluten free, dairy free, paleo, Whole 30, grain free, and/or vegetarian. Many of the recipes can be completed in a half hour or so, but others push the hour mark (or more). In this cookbook, Snodgrass focuses on pre-dinner (appetizers, cocktails), dinner, and desserts. My favorite chapters are the ones on pasta (all kinds of noodle dishes from around the world), vegetarian mains, and sides. However, I have several meat and chicken recipes marked and made two delicious meat dishes: lamb lettuce cups with tzatiki (see reel below) and green chile pork medallions.

photo of a pasta dish from The Comfortable Kitchen by Alex SnodgrassI find the recipes to be well written and straightforward. At first I was a little put off by the number of ingredients called for in some of the recipes, but then I realized that Snodgrass gives us instructions for making homemade sauces and the needed extras for serving the final dish. For example, the Mexican Pizza recipe includes instructions for the enchilada sauce as well as how to prep the suggested toppings. Despite the long ingredients list, that dish can be made in about a half hour. Those of us who are less ambitious on a weeknight could certainly use a store-bought sauce, saving time and cleanup.

I have a lot of faith in Alex Snodgrass's recipes, and I generally have good results. I tend to turn to The Defined Dish when I'm cooking for people with dietary restrictions because I know I'll find something tasty.

To get an idea of whether you'd like to own a Defined Dish cookbook, I encourage you to check out Snodgrass's website or Instagram posts. Note that vegans will find few dishes to make as is, though with some modification, most dairy-free and vegetarian recipes could easily work for you. My recommendation is to give The Comfortable Kitchen a try, especially if you're following a specific diet and are looking for new ideas. If you're not quite sure, I encourage you to browse The Defined Dish website and try some the recipes. That way you'll know whether to buy, borrow, or pass on the cookbook.

Here's an Instagram Reel of Snograss making those lamb lettuce cups:

Note: The reel of the lamb dish and the scan are used in the context of a review; all rights remain with the original copyright holders.

Shared with Weekend Cooking, hosted by Marg at The Intrepid Reader (and Baker)


Deb Nance at Readerbuzz 2/5/22, 9:34 AM  

I feel led to find a copy of this book after reading the title alone. Who wouldn't want a comfortable kitchen?

Jackie McGuinness 2/5/22, 9:51 AM  

Found both her books at the library, thanks!

Melynda@Scratch Made Food! 2/5/22, 10:24 AM  

I was not familiar until reading about her here. But I will look for her books at our library.

(Diane) bookchickdi 2/5/22, 12:03 PM  

I too am not familiar with Alex Snodgrass, I know a few people who would enjoy her style of cooking.

Claudia 2/5/22, 2:58 PM  

I checked out her website, and it looks like a good place for getting dinner inspiration ideas. Which I often need. I've also been doing my take on the sheet pan dinner, using a cast iron skillet, roasting the veggies first about half way with seasonings and olive oil, then adding chicken breast or fish, etc. for the finish. Similar to what she has on her page today.

Marg 2/6/22, 4:46 AM  

This is a new to me author! Thanks for sharing!

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