• Staci

Easy Cottage Cooking: Review and GIVEAWAY!

Our cottage on Georgian Bay has been a part of my life for my whole life. My parents honeymooned there, and I've been going there every summer of my life (41 summers, to be exact). In fact, many of my best memories are of that place: The family get-togethers every Civic Holiday weekend (sometimes nearly 100 relatives!), the many Thanksgivings spent around the bonfire, the music played and sung by my aunts and uncles, and so much more. It is, in every way, my happy place.

Did I mention the food? There's just something about lazy days at the cottage that makes me want to eat all the things. But it's easy to run out of ideas for what to make, and it can be a challenge sometimes because everything has to be transported by car (for us, more than three hours) then by ferry to the cottage. There's a small store on the island, but by and large if you want something, it's best to bring it with you. Elaborate recipes are probably not in the cards. But that doesn't mean you can't eat well at the cottage!

That's the premise behind a new cookbook, Easy Cottage Cooking. It's all about creating delicious meals for the family all season long without having to bring a huge list of groceries and without spending all day in the kitchen (because who wants to do that at the cottage? There's swimming to do, bonfires to have, and board games to play, after all!)

This book, by the beloved institution Canadian Living Magazine is full of "140+ Test-Till-Perfect Recipes for Cottagers." Here, you'll find recipes for every meal of the day, including:

-- Burgers and Sandwiches

-- Breakfast and Brunch

-- Mains

-- Dishes perfect for the grill

-- Slow-cooker mains (perfect for the cottage, because you can throw dinner in the slow cooker and go have fun for the day, then come back to a finished meal!)

-- Skillet suppers and one-pot meals (because who wants to do dishes at the cottage?)

-- No-cook recipes

-- Frozen summer treats

There are recipes perfect for the summer, of course, but there are also offerings for those who use their cottage year-round, too.

We decided to test out the Butter Chicken Macaroni and Cheese Skillet. My husband isn't a fan of Indian flavours, but me, my daughter, and my mom all are, and we were all at the cottage that weekend, so we decided to give it a whirl.

Here's the basic rundown:

Start by sauteing some diced chicken breast in a cast-iron or ovenproof skillet. (There's really no pretty way to photograph raw chicken, is there?)

Then, transfer the chicken to a bowl and add chopped onion to the pan. Once the onion is soft, add flour and butter and cook for a minute or two. Then, slow whisk in milk and storebought butter chicken sauce until the sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.

Meanwhile, boil 2 cups of elbow macaroni until just done (do not overcook).

Once the pasta is cooked, add it and the chicken to the sauce mixture and stir to combine.

Top with shredded mozzarella and cheddar, and broil until bubbly.

TA-DA! Look at that cheesy masterpiece!!!

Ohhhhh yeahhh baby....the money shot!

This recipe was very well received! We all liked it, and some even went back for seconds! Definitely something I'd make again, although it does make a huge batch, so I might halve the recipe next time. I'm sure it would work out just fine to do that.

This is a great cookbook for people who love to spend their summers living life, not spending hours in the kitchen, but without sacrificing flavourful and interesting food. The dishes are easy to prepare, the instructions are very clear, and the ingredients are easy to find. I can see myself going back to this book time and again.

Now....would you like to WIN your very own copy of this book? FIVE readers are going to win a copy of Easy Cottage Cooking! Here's what you need to do:

Head over to my Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/3plusabunny/

1) Be sure you "Like" my page

2) "Like" and share the pinned post at the top (featuring this cookbook)

3) Comment on that post letting me know what your favourite summer food tradition is!

Winners will be drawn on Monday, August 19. Good luck!

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